Airbus has successfully tested the prototype of a removable fire-extinguishing kit for the new generation A400M transport aircraft during a flight test campaign in Spain.
The plane flew up to 150 feet high, at a flight speed of 125 knots and managed to release 20 tons of water from the current tank in less than 10 seconds.
The development of this prototype and the tests have been carried out in close collaboration with the 43rd Air Force Group of Spain, European authorities in firefighting operations, and with the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.
"We are convinced that the A400M can play a key role in combating the growing threat of wildfires and in supporting the recovery of social and environmental ecosystems," said Mike Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defense and Space.
The firefighting solution that Airbus has developed for the A400M is a loading and unloading kit that requires no modifications to the aircraft and can therefore be installed on any aircraft in the A400M fleet.
This RORO solution allows rapid response to unforeseen fires and reconfiguration of the aircraft as soon as possible so that it can return to any of its other functions.
Thanks to its low-level flight capability and low-speed maneuverability, the A400M can accurately drop water payloads as low as 150 feet.
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