Russian Helicopters' Ka-32 Fights Forest Fires in Southern Europe

  • Our Bureau
  • 12:38 PM, June 20, 2015
  • 2748

Russian Helicopters Ka-32A11BC is helping to put out summer forest fires in Spain, Portugal, and other countries in Southern Europe.

The multirole Ka-32A11BC is the only coaxial helicopter capable of reaching the scene of the blaze in record time and delivering about 5 tonnes of water to extinguish the fire, a company press release said.

The season of heightened fire risk in the Iberian Peninsula begins each year from the middle of May and lasts through until October. Throughout this period, about 20 Ka-32A11BC helicopters are based near water bodies across the peninsula. The main fire zones are situated in Seville and Valencia in Southern Spain.

During the season a single helicopter complete 300 flying hours and when required, the helicopters have to perform complex operations for 14 hours a day.

Further, the helicopter can carry out about five to 30 trips to collect water each hour between the fire and the body of water, depending upon the distance.

“Due to its manoeuvrability and compactness, it is able to carry out special operations in virtually any conditions. The Ka-32A11BC is able to put out fires in cities and remote mountain and forest areas.

The fire-fighting model can be used to extinguish fires using Bambi bucket or water cannon. The coaxial design and lack of tail rotor ensure the Ka-32A11BC boasts a compact design, high energy efficiency and manoeuvrability, while also being very easy to handle.

The helicopter can operate for up to 32,000 hours, incurring low operating costs. Moreover, it is economical.

In addition, the Ka-32A11BC can be fitted with medical equipment and intensive care, meaning that resuscitation can be provided to sick and injured passengers during transportation.

The Ka-32A11BC meets AP-29 requirements and in 2009 was certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Various models of Ka-32 helicopter are operated successfully in Russia and the CIS, as well as in Brazil, Canada, China, South Korea, Spain, and Switzerland.

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