One of the Romanian Air Force’s C-27Js will be the first aircraft in Europe to use a new firefighting system: just dropping a cardboard box full of water or extinguishing liquid. In the past few weeks Alenia Aermacchi ran training tests with the aircraft and concept, which doesn’t acquire any special firefighting systems installed.
The Fortele Aeriene Române (Romanian Air Force, FAR) jointly with Alenia Aermacchi completed the tests in a Romanian mountain range and at sea level with a FAR C-27J Spartan. The so-called Caylym Guardian concept allows the C-27 to drop up to six large cardboard containers on bush fires; each container holding 1000 liters of water or extinguishing liquid.
After the drop the boxes create a retardant liquid cloud focused on the target. Containers are biodegradable but they can also be recovered by ground firefighters. The concept even allows the C-27J – or C-130J for that matter – to fight fires from 1,500 feet. That’s is higher than when using traditional firefighting methods on aircraft. It makes fighting bush fires safer and opens up more possibilities of combating fire at night.
Source: Alenia Aermacchi