Helitak Firefighting Equipment Receives STC for FT-11K CH-47 Aerial Firefighting Tank

Helitak Firefighting Equipment, a pioneer in the development of helicopter firefighting tanks announced on January 3rd, 2024 that the company has received an FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the FT-11K retractable aerial firefighting tank for use on the CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

In development and testing for several years, the FT-11K is the most innovative and robust product to enter the market for the CH-47, with its retractable design, the FT-11K can be fitted to any CH-47 with no modification needed to the landing gear or external structure of the aircraft, also not requiring use of any internal space to carry water or retardant.

The CH-47 tank, launched in conjunction with launch customer, Alaska based Rotak Helicopter Services debuted at Heli Expo 2023 in Atlanta and began testing during 2023 in California, Idaho, and Arizona, before the granting of an STC in January 2024.

The 2900-gallon capacity tank is now the only tank in the marketplace capable of carrying over 2500 gallons of water or retardant, the current maximum of tanks already available. The FT-11k CH-47 tank is available with both hydraulic and electric pump fill options and can be fitted and removed from an aircraft in 30 minutes.

“As a team, we are ecstatic to finally have the FT-11K tank certified by the FAA after many years of development and testing at our facility in Australia, and the hard work of the team at Rotak Helicopters that assisted us in gaining the FAA STC for the product and we look forward to seeing the tank during a successful first season on deployment with Rotak as the launch customer for the product,” said Jason Schellaars, CEO of Helitak. “I am immensely proud of the work put in by over one hundred people in two countries that helped make this product a reality for the market as the largest capacity firefighting tank available for a helicopter,” he continued.

The FT-11K tank features a water carrying capacity of 2905 US gallons/11000 liters that can be dropped on a fire in stages or in a single drop using the included Helitak Fire Tank Controller (FTC) to disperse the load. The FT-11K can also take a 132-gallon/500-liter load of foam retardant if needed.

The FT-11K tank can take on a full load of water in 60 seconds with the included Hover Fill Pump, ready to return to the firefight, enabling Helitak tank-equipped CH-47 helicopters more time on the fireground dispersing more water in less time.

Full Feature List of the FT-11K

Tank Capacity: 2905G/11000L

Tank Empty Weight: 2030lbs/880kg

Tank Full Weight: 26455lbs/12000kg

Tank Height: 14”/36cm

Foam Retardant Capacity: 132G/500L

Power Requirements: 40Kva 110Vac 3 Phase/50Amps 28Vdc 30 Amps

Hover Fill Pump Time: 2641G/10000 Liters Per Minute

The Helitak FT-11K will be displayed at this year’s Heli Expo show at the Helitak Firefighting Equipment booth in Anaheim, in addition Helitak will have the FT- 1300-1800-2500-4500 tanks on display for the AS350, Bell Meduim and UH-60 airframes on their the static location display.

For further information on this or any other Helitak Firefighting Equipment tank, please contact sales@helitak.com.au

About Helitak Firefighting Equipment

Helitak Firefighting Equipment is an award-winning world leader in the development of external tank solutions for the aerial firefighting industry, founded by Jason Schellaars, an engineer and helicopter pilot that believed it was possible to improve on tanks currently available to the industry. Helitak continues developing new products and improvements to the industry’s lightest and most efficient tanks.

About Rotak Helicopter Services

ROTAK Helicopter Services is an Alaskan-based global helicopter operator. ROTAK specializes in precision external load utility operations. Focused on complex aerial construction to disaster relief and wildfire suppression. ROTAK’s global operations, including operating in all types of extreme terrain and weather environments from Alaska’s North Slope to Antarctica. ROTAK operates CH-47D CHINOOK and Kaman K-1200 KMAX helicopters. www.rotakheli.com

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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