US critical mission systems and helicopter support company United Rotorcraft has partnered with components manufacturer Dart Aerospace to develop an aerial firefighting system for the Airbus Super Puma family of helicopters. The system will consist of a fixed, external belly-mounted water tank with a capacity of 4,000 litres and system controls located in the cockpit. United Rotorcraft will also develop multi-mission equipment packages to extend the year-round value of the helicopter platform for operator-specific requirements. A key objective includes certification under FAA, EASA and Transport Canada supplemental type certificates (STC).
"This partnership solidifies DART's position as a leader in the helicopter mission equipment industry. Together, United Rotorcraft and DART are reaffirming our commitment to delivering superior solutions to the firefighting market," says president Alain Madore.
“Our purpose at United Rotorcraft is to provide emergency responders with the tools needed to save lives and protect property and the environment, something that we share at our core with Dart Aerospace,” adds president Larry Alexandre. “We are excited to be partnering with such a driven leader in the world of aviation to bring further innovation and versatility to the global aerial firefighting community by adding to our existing product portfolio.”
Currently, the companies leverage their experience producing similar aerial firefighting capabilities for other Type 1 helicopters. The new Super Puma system, an extension of their aerial firefighting solution portfolios, will provide the market with crucial wildfire attack capability for Type 1 rotorcraft where there is an estimated 25 per cent capacity gap globally. With this long-term agreement, the team will identify and meet additional market requirements with a type-certified aerial firefighting system for operators of the Super Puma helicopter family, including new and legacy Airbus H225 and AS332 aircraft. Targeted end users include government agencies and commercial operators worldwide requiring a highly effective multi-mission solution.