Air International 1991-06
R.Stitt - Turbo Firecat ... fighting flames with turbines
The proof-of-concept Turbo Firecat T16 pictured on an early test flight. The flush doors and generous venting of the retardant delivery system are clearly visible. The original S-2 tail-wheel installation is now removed as part of a tail weight-reduction programme.
T16 of "Securite Civile" delivers a two-door salvo of fire retardant during flight testing in British Columbia. Normal retardant delivery speed is 120 knots (222 km/hr)from an altitude of 100-150 ft (30-45m) above the tree canopy.
The unmistakable lines of the Grumman S-2 Tracker are clearly evident in this view of the prototype Turbo Firecat C-GHPU. Canadian certification was obtained in February this year following flight testing using 'Papa Uniform'.
A Conair Firecat of the "Securite Civile" before conversion to turboprop power. Operations using Wright Cyclone-powered Firecats started in 1978.
Turbo Firecat T18 undergoes final testing of its retardant delivery system - using water - prior to ferrying to "Securite Civile". The four narrow compartments produce the wide variety of retardant ground patterns required for Initial Attack operations; the computer-controlled system produces any practical combination of door openings and opening intervals.
Conair removes the original flare of the S-2 Tracker nacelle prior to installation of a new stainless steel firewall. This illustration depicts the proof-of-concept Turbo Firecat being converted from a former Conair-operated Firecat.
The piston-engined Firecat.
The Turbo version Firecat. Reported price is approximately $4 million. Conair expect to continue producing both piston-engined and Turbo types for some years to come.
The Turbo Firecat’s FAR 25 IFR cockpit is completely new. The angle-of-attack system indicator is visible to the left of the airspeed indicator; angle-of-attack indexers are mounted on the glare shield in the line of sight of each pilot.
The cockpit of the piston-engined Firecat, the instrumentation giving away its age. The engine throttles remain roof-mounted.
Conair Turbo Firecat
General arrangement drawing of the Conair Turbo Firecat.