The Simplex Fire Attack System, an internal high-capacity fire-suppression tank, was deployed on a Columbia Helicopters CH-47D Chinook for the first time. The helicopter was dispatched to a wildland fire from a U.S. Forest Service base in Ely, Minnesota, last month. It dropped fire retardant and completed its mission in about 90 min.
The system, co-developed by Columbia and Simplex Aerospace, has been equipped on two of Columbia's Chinooks, both of which operate under the Forest Service. Its 2,800-gal tank, Columbia said, is the largest of its kind for a helicopter.