Aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) trucks have grown in size and equipment-carrying power over the years. ARFF manufacturers have come out with new designs to meet customer demand and refined existing designs to be able to do more within the same truck footprint.
Oshkosh Airport Products
Sam Lowe, senior marketing representative for Oshkosh Airport Products, says Oshkosh unveiled a new Striker™ 8×8 ARFF vehicle this year, completely redesigned and featuring a pair of rear-mounted engines driving all eight wheels. “The change is an entirely new truck,” Lowe says. “A significant change is that the frame and cab are the same as the ones we use on our 4×4 and 6×6 Striker models, which provides a commonality for airport fire departments.”
The change to dual engines at the rear of the vehicle, Lowe says, complicates gauges in the cab, so Oshkosh installs an LCD dashboard display in the 8×8 where the left side of the display shows the driver’s side engine information, and the right the engine on the officer’s side. “All of our ARFF vehicles can now be specified with Scania’s DC16 engine in horsepower up to 770,” Lowe points out. “Scania Tier 4 Final engines deliver excellent performance without the need for particulate filters, which is especially beneficial in colder climates and situations where engine regeneration is not practical, such as airport emergency response.” Lowe adds that Oshkosh ARFF rigs also are available with Deutz engines.
|1 Oshkosh Airport Products redesigned its Striker™ 8×8 ARFF truck, giving it two engines at the rear. (Photo courtesy of Oshkosh Airport Products.)|
Lowe says that a compartment above the 8×8’s front axle was moved to the third axle, allowing Oshkosh engineers to push the vehicle’s water tank forward. “It helps with the weight distribution on the vehicle,” he observes, “because we have a lot of weight in the rear with two diesel engines.” Each engine is mated with its own Allison transmission along with Oshkosh’s Power Uniter, which takes power from both engines and powers all eight wheels. The operator can switch to pump and roll at any speed, Lowe notes, where one engine drives the wheels and the other the Waterous pump’s fire suppression system.
The Strikers have the option of carrying a high-reach extendable turret (HRET) Snozzle with a piercing nozzle. “We offer K-Factor, an LCD readout in the cab for aligning the 65-foot Snozzle’s piercing attachment,” Lowe says. “It can be hard to see the tip, so K-Factor scans the fuselage to be pierced, finds a perpendicular spot to pierce, displays it on the screen, and the operator moves the joystick to match the view. K-Factor is available on all our Strikers.”
Steve Reedy, vice president of Rosenbauer, says the company has redesigned its 4×4 and 6×6 Panther™ ARFF models, making major changes in the cab and windshield areas of the rigs. “We reduced the size of the main A and B pillars and increased the size of the windshield by adding more glass to the sides,” Reedy says. “We also have a combination glass and aluminum tubing door on the Panther. Once we got greater visibility by adding more glass, we felt the need to get the cab crash tested, which we did, and it meets all United States and European crash test standards.”
Reedy says the Panthers also carry a new Rosenbauer pump and foam system. “It’s a 2,000-gallon-per-minute (gpm) Rosenbauer pump with an electronic foam system that measures water flow and educts the proper amount of foam,” he points out. “The operator can select 1, 3, or 6 percent foam from the cab electronically.”
|2 Rosenbauer built this 6×6 Panther™ ARFF truck with a Stinger HRET for the Dallas (TX) Love Field Airport. (Photo courtesy of Rosenbauer.)|
Paul Powell, Rosenbauer’s Central States sales manager, says the 6×6 Panther has a 3,100-gallon water tank, a 420-gallon foam tank, and a 500-pound dry chemical system. The 4×4 Panther carries a 1,500-gallon water tank, a 210-gallon foam tank, and a 500-pound dry chemical system. “We offer our Stinger HRET on the 6×6 Panther,” Powell says. “Our piercing tip can penetrate the fuselage of any aircraft, even the new glare material some aircraft are using, which is a composite material skinned in aluminum. The four-sided piercer at the end of our piercing tip is designed to be thicker toward the back, so when the operator withdraws the tip, composite material can’t grab and trap it.”
Powell says the Stinger HRET can penetrate with 230 degrees of rotation, allowing it to pierce a fuselage from underneath, overhead, or at any side point on the radius of the aircraft. “The operator has the option of flowing water and foam; water, foam, and dry chemical; water and dry chemical; or dry chemical only, which usually is a silicone-based Purple K,” he notes.
E-ONE makes two models of its Titan Force™ ARFF vehicles: 4×4 and 6×6 models. The 6×6 Titan Force features an integral roll cage and carries a 2,000-gpm pump, a 3,170-gallon water tank, and a 405-gallon foam tank. Options on the rig include a dry chemical system, multiple foam proportioning percentages, a Rhine II high-volume low-attack bumper turret, driver enhanced vision system and forward-looking infrared camera packages, electric ladder racks, medical cabinets, light towers, and LED scene and quartz lighting.
|3 The Sikorsky Aircraft Fire Department, Stratford, Connecticut, had E-ONE build this Titan Force™ 6×6 ARFF truck. (Photo courtesy of E-ONE.)|
The 4×4 Titan Force ARFF truck also has an integral roll cage, along with a 1,500-gpm pump, 1,585-gallon water tank, and 200-gallon foam tank. All the options available on E-ONE’s 6×6 can be had on the 4×4 model too.
KME’s Airport Products Department offers a range of airport apparatus, including Class 4 and Class 5 ARFF units. Its KME Force™ Series Class 4 ARFF truck is built on a custom 4×4 chassis, with a choice of pump, 1,500-gallon water tank, and 200-gallon foam tank. Options include a 500-pound dry chemical system, Halotron systems, and a variety of roof and bumper turret options.
|4 KME makes its Force™ Series Class 4 ARFF truck on a custom 4×4 chassis with a choice of pump and water tank size. (Photo courtesy of KME.)|
The KME Force Series Class 5 ARFF model is a custom 6×6 or 8×8 chassis with water capacities ranging from 3,000 to 4,500 gallons and foam capacities from 400 to 600 gallons. Options are those that are available on the KME Class 4 model.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.