EGG HARBOR TWP., N.J. The Federal Aviation Administration’s William J. Hughes Technical Center has acquired a new Striker aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle, from Oshkosh Truck Corp. of Oshkosh, Wis. The $650,000 state-of-the-art test bed will open a whole new realm of aircraft rescue and firefighting testing capabilities for FAA researchers.
The new vehicle will allow research and testing on a scale much larger and more complex than existing equipment, as aircraft like the Airbus A380 come on the market.
The Striker has a large storage capacity for firefighting agents, and many specialized features. It holds 2,500 gallons of water, compared to the 800-gallon water capacity of the center’s current research vehicle. The Striker features an electronic foam proportioning system that takes the foam concentrate from one tank and mixes it into the water stream at the proper ratio. The system continually monitors itself, providing better control of foam injection and better measurement of the amount of agent used. The vehicle also carries two complimentary extinguishing agents – Halotron and dry chemicals.
The Striker is 39.7 feet long, about 10.2 feet wide and 12.5 feet high. It weighs 76,810 pounds, and has six wheels, each 4.4 feet high. The Striker has a Caterpillar C-16, 680-horsepower engine, with an Allison transmission, and is configured for a three-man crew. It will be equipped with the standard communications capabilities – air-to-ground radio, for communicating with aircraft crews or towers; and ground-to-ground radio, for communicating with other fire departments and outside agencies.
The new vehicle is the most technologically advanced model available, and provides the foundation for adding new technologies. For instance, there is room for up to 6,000 pounds of additional installed equipment, including the next-generation elevated boom. Also, it has rear wheel steering capabilities for optimum vehicle handling and reduced tire wear.
The Striker joins the Emergency One Titan high performance research vehicle used by FAA researchers at the Technical Center since 1992. The Titan was used to help develop many advances in aviation firefighting. These include: the Driver’s Enhanced Vision System, elevated boom technology, elevated boom with aircraft skin penetrating devices, the Rhino multi-position high performance bumper turret, vehicle suspension enhancements and the lateral G-force indicator for vehicle stability.
The Striker meets and exceeds the requirements of both the FAA and National Fire Protection Association for airport rescue and firefighting vehicle design. Between research projects, the vehicle will be kept ready for use at all times. Along with its FAA research focus, it will be capable of supporting emergency responses by area airport fire departments. FAA researchers have completed the necessary training to operate the vehicle for test purposes.
For more information about the FAA’s aircraft rescue and firefighting projects conducted by researchers in the Airport Technology Research and Development Branch, visit the website at: http://www.airporttech.tc.faa.gov/Safety/resfire.asp