Continual Research and development leads to new evolution of airborne firefighting tank technology to aid in accurate and faster water dispersal onto bushfires.

On the back of their announcement late last year that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had approved seven additional Sikorsky Black Hawk Type Certificates on the Helitak FT4500 Black Hawk STC, Helitak have now received certification for the Super Puma Fire Tank.

In 2019, European rotary operator ‘Heli Austria’ reached out to Helitak in a bid to fast-track the development of the Helitak FT4250 Super Puma fire tank. And while the pandemic delayed the process, three years of hard work has come to fruition with FAA issuing a Supplemental Type Certificate last week (Certification No: SR04509CH).

An Australian aerial firefighting design and manufacturing company, Helitak have been specialising in rotary aircraft fire suppressions systems for over a decade and their tanks are widely recognised for their innovative retractable design that maximises head pressure and delivers high volumes of water and retardant in an unmatched drop pattern.

CEO and Founder of Helitak, Jason Schellaars said, “The advantage of our tanks is that they are lightweight, offer large Type 1 water volume capacity and have easy plug-and-play operations that deliver a perfect and controllable drop pattern every time.”

The STC Certification project was overseen and managed by U.S. Technical (Aviation Products, Services, Engineering & Certification) based in Southern California. In addition to continuing to work with Helitak on a number of projects, U.S. Technical will be the Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA) house for this product.

The Super Puma tank offers a plug-and-play underbelly tank that can be installed or removed in less than 25 minutes, requires no costly aircraft modifications and is the only external Super Puma tank offering 1000 gallon+ capacity.

About Helitak
Helitak Fire Fighting Equipment Pty Ltd is a Rotary Aerial Fire Fighting specialist, aerial firefighting design and manufacturing company located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.

Every Helitak tank is custom built and has a carrying capacity that ranges from 250 to 2645 gallons of water and the carbon fibre design means there are no modifications required to the aircraft.

Refill time is also kept to a minimum using the Helitak manufactured hover pumps which provide a refill of less than 30 seconds for the HP2000 on the smaller tanks and less than 50 seconds for the HP6000 on the Black Hawk and Super Puma tanks.

The innovative design and technology behind Helitak’s expandable water tank quickly drew attention from all over the world and in 2009 The Helitak Fire Tank was featured on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “New Inventors Program”, taking out the winning design and ‘People’s Choice’ awards.

In October 2020, Helitak Fire Fighting Equipment added another trophy to their stable taking home a national award at the Australian Technologies Competition, which aims to identify and accelerate “Australia’s best ‘deep tech’ scaleups”.

Ryan Mason
Ryan Mason
Ryan is an accomplished writer and aerial photographer that has worked in the aviation industry for over a decade before co-founding AerialFire Magazine. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Ryan is a former police officer that focuses his writing and photography efforts on para-public operations and agricultural aviation.

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