Australia-based Helitak Firefighting equipment has received a supplemental type certificate from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its FT-11K retractable firefighting tank for CH-47 helicopters.
The FT-11K tank debuted at Heli-Expo 2023 and can be fitted to any CH-47 Chinook without modifications to the landing gear or the aircraft’s external structure. It also does not take up any internal space to carry water or flame retardant.
Rotak Helicopter Services, based in Anchorage, Alaska, is the product’s launch customer.
Testing on the FT-11K tank was carried out in Arizona, California and Idaho, leading up to the STC award in January 2024.
With a 2,900-gallon capacity, the FT-11K can be filled hydraulically or with an electric pump and is removable, with conversion time of about 30 minutes.
It fills with water in 60 seconds with the included hover fill pump, quickly returning to the field for additional fire suppression work.
“Their design team is very innovative,” said Ely Woods in an interview with Vertical shortly after the tank was unveiled at Heli-Expo 2023.
“There’s a very creative thought process there, and it’s been a good collaboration.”