Simplex Aerospace STC Allows Fire Attack Helicopter to Transport Passengers with Hover Pump Installed
Portland, OR - September 17, 2012
Simplex Aerospace has received FAA STC for a hover refill pump storage latching system, called the
Aft Hook™. The Aft Hook™ allows firefighting helicopter operators to store the 5" hover pump
during flight and deploy the pump upon arrival at a water fill source. When installed on a Simplex Fire Attack system equipped helicopter, the Aft Hook™ allows operators to transport assengers while the hover pump is installed. The Aft Hook™ will make the Simplex Fire Attack system the only tank system
available with this transport category option. The new Aft Hook™, currently STC’d for medium Bell helicopters, is used in conjunction with the Simplex Aerospace model 304 Fire Attack system for medium Bell helicopters.
The Aft Hook ™ consists of a
latch system installed on the belly of the aircraft. The hook is then attched to the end of the hover pump, allowing the pump to be securely stored during flight. When the aircraft reaches a water
source, the pilot
releases the storage latch using a cockpit controlled switch to deploy the pump.
The Aft Hook™ provides several
benefits to helicopter firefighting operators. Storing the hover pump during flight gives operators multi-mission capability, such as the ability to transport firefighters to the fire site with the
hover pump installed. Storing the pump during flight also allows operators to fly at a faster
speed, which reduces transport time en route to the fire. The Aft Hook™ also helps operators comply with contract requirements in many countries. The multi-mission and speed advantages of the Aft Hook™ provide operators with a competitive edge
over non-stoable hover pump operators to fight fires more efficiently.
Mark Zimmerman, President and CEO
of Simplex Aerospace commented, “The Aft Hook™ is one of many new features that we have recently added to our Fire Attack
systems. By allowing our customers to carry fire fighters to the fire we will be adding an STC’d capability that will make Simplex Fire Attack users more competitive in the industry”.
The launch customer for the Aft
Hook™ is Wildcat Helicopters of Kelowna, BC Canada. Wildcat will use the Aft Hook with their aircraft that are on contract throughout Canada. Ian Wilson, Vice President of Operations at Wildcat said,
“The Aft Hook™ will allow us to operate far more effectively, and
enhance our ability to respond to fires quickly and safely”.
While the Aft Hook™ is currently
only STC'd for Fire Attack System model 304 for medium Bell helicopters Simplex plans to
pursue certification for its other twelve Fire Attack models including new systems for Bell, Agusta, Eurocopter, Kawasaki, Sikorsky and Kamov helicopters.