During the test flight, 20 tons of water were dropped in less than ten seconds.
According to what Airbus announced, the test of the A400M military transport aircraft as a firefighter was crowned with success.
“Airbus has successfully tested a detachable fire extinguishing kit on its next-generation A400M transport aircraft during a test flight in Spain,” the European aircraft manufacturing group said.
During the test flight, 20 tons of water were dropped in less than ten seconds, it is noted in the relevant announcement.
The water is stored in a fixed tank in the cargo hold of the aircraft and is held by two independent doors.
These doors are connected to two overflow pipes, so when the discharge is activated, the water is expelled through two sections at the end of the ramp.
Because of the aircraft’s low-altitude flight capability and low-speed maneuverability, the A400M can accurately drop water payloads at very low altitudes, up to 50 meters, Airbus said.
“The development of this firefighting kit is an inherent part of our journey to help create a more sustainable and safer world, not only through our actions but also through our products,” said Mike Selhorn, head of Airbus Defense and Space.
“We strongly believe that the A400M can play a vital role in combating the ever-increasing threat posed by wildfires and supporting the restoration of social and environmental systems,” he added.
Airbus’s deputy head of military aircraft, Jean-Brice Dumont, said the goal of using the A400M as a firefighter was not to compete with Canadair’s, but to complement them.
Canadair’s equivalent aircraft have a capacity of 6,000 liters — only a third of that of the A400M. But while Canadair’s water bomber can take water from a lake, the A400M must land to refill its tanks.