A company in the Antalya region of southern Turkey has developed a domestically designed water basket using locally sourced materials that can be used by helicopters to fight forest fires. The water basket has successfully passed initial testing and is expected to help resources save time and water while also allowing them to respond more quickly to incidents.
The company’s team of 16 people has experience producing industrial textiles such as those used around the world in sun shading products. The team decided to research creating their own version of water buckets utilizing local resources, after witnessing this year’s damaging forest fires.
Evren Ulaş, the general manager of the company, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they examined the technologies used for fire extinguishing apparatuses attached to helicopters. “There is only one company in the world that does this, and it exports it to 140 countries.”.
“We thought we can produce this as well,” he said and added, “So, we listened to our Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) officials and senior pilots and worked on questions of ‘What are the shortcomings of this project?’ and ‘What can we add to it so we can take a step forward in technology?’.”
“We produced the only controllable helicopter fire extinguishing apparatus in the world. Our Ministry supported us from its inception to the tests,” he said.
According to Ulaş one of the advantages of this new basket is the ability to control the water dispersal at the pilot’s discretion, meaning that water in the basket can be split up into as many different drops as the crew chooses. Additionally, Ulaş stated that the basket is designed to rapidly submerge.
“The helicopter, which reaches the sea or the pond, loses at least eight to 10 seconds to fill the existing water baskets. It maneuvers and waits for it to submerge. We’ve overcome that. The product is fully submerged in two seconds.”
Already, the baskets have been successful in their initial phases of testing utilizing helicopters from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. In the hopes of supporting Turkey’s firefighting needs, the company is expecting to begin full production in January of 2022, they are also hoping to export their new baskets to foreign operators as well.