Iveco flies as aviation sector grows – new mid sized crash tender launched

Published:  07 March, 2013

A new range of mid-sized crash tenders is hitting the runways. Ann-Marie Knegt went to see the new face of aviation safety.

Infraero, the organisation that manages all the airports in Brazil, has just placed an order for 80 air crash firefighting vehicles in order to support the increased air traffic that is expected during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Fire and Rescue magazine visited Iveco Magirus (Ulm, Germany) in October 2012 to find out more about the Iveco Magirus Crash Tender Range as well as witness the launch of the new Dragon 2 6x6 TEP.

Iveco Magirus offers two families of products in its crash tender range: the Impact Series which is based on a 4x4 or 6x6 Iveco chassis with water capacity up to 9,100 l, and the Dragon 2 Series which is based on a 4x4, 6x6 or 8x8 dedicated chassis with water capacity up to 17,000 l.

Iveco Magirus launched the Dragon 2 range of crash tenders at Interschutz 2010, where the company had the Dragon 2 8x8 TEP (Twin Engine Powerpack) on show. The new range gained a lot of admirers from fire service circles at the event. Ozgur Ozel, Vice President Marketing and Business Development for Iveco Magirus explained that the Dragon 2 range represents a completely new generation of customised ARFF vehicles. ‘The performance of the range exceeds current ICAO and NFPA requirements and this solution has been designed using a one-stop-shop approach, because the modular configuration makes it possible to implement different drive variants, including a 4x4 on a two-axle chassis and an 8x8 on a four-axle chassis with Twin Engine Powerpack. Now, we are adding a new member to the Dragon 2 family, the most powerful 6x6 ARFF in the world: the Dragon 2 6x6 with Twin Engine Power Pack.’

The Twin Engine Power Pack is a drive system based on two 560hp Iveco engines separately driving the vehicle and the fire pump. Twin engines enhance the vehicle’s capacity to deliver firefighting agents while also enabling the pumps to start rolling in approach to the incident, decreasing the response times set by ICAO, NFPA, ADV and the FAA. ‘The total power output of 1120hp of the twin engines not only leads to a 0-80 kph acceleration in less than 25 seconds, but it also enables this giant to reach a pump-and-roll speed of 70 kph, which is the best performance among its rivals,’ said Ozgur.

Stavros Papadopoulos, Platform Manager ARFF for Iveco Magirus, explained the main reasons behind the development of the new Dragon 2 TEP 6x6. ‘Population growth is expected to rise from 6.1 billion (2000) to 9.1 billion people in 2050, with the greatest increase expected in areas outside Europe and North America.

‘Gross domestic product is also estimated to grow considerably according to statistics from UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), and again most of this growth is expected in areas outside Europe and North America,’ said Stavros.

He explained that worldwide air passenger traffic is set to increase due to higher incomes, a greater international division of labour, and deregulation of international trade. He based these predictions on data from DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GMBH (2008).

According to the Boeing World Air Cargo Forecast, worldwide air cargo will also steadily increase at an average of 3.8% per year up to 2031. In the passenger airplane industry seat capacity will be growing, he continued, with the total number of airplanes estimated to increase from 16,168 in 2005 up to a number of 34,764 units in 2025 – as stated in the Boeing World Air Cargo Forecast.

Stavros also touched upon the fact that although there are approximately 44,000 airports worldwide at the moment, in China alone there will be 45 new airports built by 2015. And all over the world airports are becoming larger and larger.

All in all this is some serious growth for the air sector, but with this growth comes an increased requirement for safety, and Stavros expects legislation to become more stringent, since the number of aircraft incidents is growing due to increasing traffic, resulting in a requirement for more fire stations, with an increased vehicle pool and the subsequent need for more equipment. This also means that airport emergency services will be expecting higher performance criteria of their crash tenders, including higher speed and acceleration, engine performance, pump performance, pump-and-roll capability at speed, firefighting and fire extinguishing agents mixing and proportioning, and a lower total weight of the vehicle.

Iveco Magirus believes that all these capabilities have been incorporated in the Dragon 2 TEP range, and that the Dragon 2 6x6 TEP is the only crash tender in the mid-sized range that has a power output in 1080 (EURO 3) to 1120 hp (EURO 5).

The new vehicle has a top speed of a 135 kph (closest competitor 115 kph), and accelerates from 0 to 80 kph in 21 seconds (closest competitor 30 sec), while it can pump and roll up at 70kph (closest competitor 30 kph).

Stavros said: ‘The Dragon 2 TEP is the only crash tender in its class that has these capabilities, and we see this truck as having the best performance worldwide in the ARFF segment. For instance, where other manufacturers have planned Euro 5 engines at the moment, our truck has already been fitted with this. The vehicle is also already equipped with engine brakes, whereas other comparable 6x6 trucks don’t have this feature.

‘The pump output is equally impressive at 10,000 lpm (250 lpm at 40 bar), compared to approximately 6,000-7,000 lpm in some competitive products, depending on company and product. However, the Dragon 2 6x6 TEP stands out due to its modularity, as it is possible to develop a bespoke firefighting package.’

For instance, clients can choose to fit a water tank in the range of 10,000 up to 12,500 litres, while the foam tank can be fitted up to 1,500 l. Other firefighting media onboard include 250 kg of dry powder and 120 kg of CO2.

The vehicle comes standard with a roof monitor, a front-mounted monitor and quick-attack hose reels that can deliver foam-water or powder.

Whole lifecycle costs

Even though the new range offers a wide choice of different configurations, suited to the different requirements of customers all over the world, the company builds the trucks according to a standardised modular system in its production facilities. ‘In this manner, we can keep the whole lifecycle cost of the vehicle low, by being able to simplify maintenance and spare parts supply all over the world,’ said Stavros.

The bodywork has been designed according to the AluFire 3 design, which comprises anodised aluminium panels, which can be easily replaced when damaged, but which also enable full customisation in line with equipment storage requirements of the individual customers worldwide.

The cab has been optimised with wide windows for an optimal visibility in all directions, while the ergonomically-designed entry has easy egress and access during firefighting operations. Clients can also choose to have up to six people in the cab, and space for up to four people with breathing apparatus can also be provided. The driver’s seat can be positioned on the left, right or in the middle.

Chassis

Maximum stability has been achieved with a newly-designed rough terrain all-wheel chassis. The ARFF truck features rear engine and rigid axle suspension with coil springs. The single tyres all have the same track width, which enables faster forward progress and larger track to further enhance stability. Planetary hub reduction axles with disc brakes ensure maximum ground clearance as well as lower starting torque, resulting in less wear and tear of the drive chain.

Papadopoulos concluded: ‘Speed is the key in airport rescue. With the Dragon 2 6x6 TEP, you can arrive at the intervention area much earlier than any other rival products. The numbers speak for themselves.’

  • Operation Florian

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