As the U.S. fights an epic summer fire in Colorado, Russia offers an aircraft with fire-fighting technologies that has a chance in the U.S. market.Interesting.
The United States has its eyes on Russia’s Be-200 amphibious aircraft to bolster American-made fire-fighting aircraft, just as the country contemplates a radical renovation of its fire-fighting fleet, according to sources in the industry.
The ongoing fire in Colorado, both epic and uncontrollable, may spur the country to quicker action to renew its fleet.
These planes are sometimes the only means to fight fires, especially at industrial sites or large explosive facilities. The ability of a plane to travel at jet speed and begin extinguishing fire often offers the only chance to save people or prevent a large-scale environmental disaster.
The Be-200, a multipurpose amphibious aircraft made by Taganrog-based Beriev Aircraft Company, passed the first Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) certification tests this month. Specialists with the U.S. Interagency Tanker Board visited a test base in Taganrog to examine the Be-200ChS, a modification developed for fire-fighting operations.
Russia and the United States already contracted for the sale of ten planes in May 2010, and deliveries will start as soon as the aircraft completes tests and obtains an FAA certificate, according to Nikolai Lavro, deputy chief designer at Beriev Aircraft Company.
The Russian aircraft factory said in a statement that the initial Be-200 tests confirmed that the amphibious model is in compliance with U.S. requirements for scooping water when skimming the surface. However, the Americans would also like to be able to fill the tanker with flame retardant at the airfield, which calls for some minor alterations in the fire-extinguishing systems. After its upgrade, the Be-200 will continue certification tests, which is an essential part of the effort to bring the Russian technology to the international market.
The Be-200 can operate from a 1,800-meter long runway or an area of open water not less than 2,300 meters long, with waves of up to 1.3 meters high. Its corrosion protection system allows the plane to be used in the open sea. The Be-200 has a range of 3,600 kilometers, an altitude of 8,000 meters and a cruising speed of 710 kilometers per hour.
Currently, six Be-200 aircraft are successfully operating in Russia, and one more airplane is used for fire-fighting in Azerbaijan. The Russian Ministry for Emergencies has placed an order for eight more Be-200 units for three fire-fighting wings in the Central Region, Siberia and the Far East.
The US Forestry Service has antiquated fire fighting equipment and now a foreign nation is offering us gear to fight those fires. Sad but true.
The US government can't properly monitor welfare, is behind on processing veterans cases, is unable to control our border with Mexico, is spending money it doesn't have...
They can't do the things that the founders charged them to do and yet somehow someway people believe that they won't jack up the health care system?
Give me a break!