By S.L. Fuller | December 5, 2017
Helimax Aviation’s Boeing CH-47D has successfully tested the company’s underslung bucket additional telemetry unit. Helimax Aviation said it worked with Trotter Controls to develop the bucket tracking solution.
The company said following the development, installation and testing, the aircraft was deployed near Sydney.
“Slung buckets present a range of unique challenges and Helimax’s commitment to solving them has enabled us to deliver a pioneering and practical solution. We're able to generate the full range of telemetry messages (start, engine on/off, takeoff/landing, hover entry/exit, drop/refill), giving the CH-47 the identical telemetry capability of any tanked aircraft,” said David Coward, DataVault product manager for Trotter Controls.
Each telemetry unit records and transmits data via TracPlus and the Iridium network, per aerial tank requirements for the U.S. Forest Service and Australia’s National Aerial Firefighting Centre. Data transmitted could include times, latitude, longitude, altitude, speed, drop start and stop, volume on board and volume dropped.
“We are focused on giving our customers what they need to keep up with technology and better approach aerial wildland firefighting,” said Patrick Pilolla, business development director for Helimax. “The underslung bucket remains an important tool in the firefighter's toolbox, and we want to ensure it is updated to give agencies the best value per gallon/liter delivered. This now allows tracking of 2,000 gal (7,570 liter) bucket data to the same requirements of aerial tanks.”å