At the end of last year, WISS presented a new generation of Felix 8x8 ARFF heavy airfield crash tender. This vehicle differs from other vehicles of this type in the new aggressive features, different suspension, engines and the high-reach extendable turret manufactured by Bumar-Koszalin.
The vehicle was built on a highly specialized chassis, developed and manufactured by TITAN, a German company. The drive unit consists of two Mercedes-Benz diesel engines. Each of these 8-cylinder turbocharged V-type engines with displacement of 15.930 ccm has an output of 480 kW (654 hp) at 1800 rpm and a maximum torque of 2800 Nm.
A superstructure is a self-supporting construction made, in the process of infusion, entirely of sandwich composite materials (GRP) i.e. glass fibre, polyurethane foam and polyester resin . It consists of three modules – a cabin, tanks for extinguishing media and engines’ compartment.
The cabin has a large panoramic windscreen made of laminated (multilayer) shatterproof glass. It features a manually opened low-positioned entrance door, which ensures easy entry and exit of the crew, as well as excellent visibility in all directions. Doors enabling the crew to climb the roof of a superstructure during rescue intervention are installed at the rear part of the cab. They also act as emergency exit.
The Felix 8x8 ARFF heavy airfield crash tender is intended for four crew members (seats: 1+1+1+1). The driver’s seat is installed in the central part of the cab. Thanks to this a driver has access to all indicators, engines’ control lights and other devices. The co-driver seat is located at the right side, which is equipped with an additional lamp for reading documents and maps. Both seats are fitted with headrests and inertial seat belts. There are also seats in the second row. They are additionally equipped with holders for BAs and wide-view masks.
Displays and indicators are placed on the dashboard in front of the driver's and co-driver’s seat. Such arrangement allows to control most of the parameters of the vehicle, a truck-mounted pump, monitors, etc. Displays show a graphic representation of a vehicle and multi-coloured, clearly visible buttons with displayed pictograms/signs of functions and devices. There are also joysticks for controlling the bumper monitor and the high-reach extendable turret. The cabin is fitted with an air-conditioning system and an independent heating system.
An electric, water-foam monitor is installed at the right front side. It has an output of 2000 l/min of water or foam. Work pressure for a water-foam head is 10 bar. It can be adjusted between full jet and spray mode. The monitor features horizontal rotation within 180° and vertical rotation within -45° to +90.
Chassis is protected with ground spray nozzles consisting of six nozzles for spraying water or low expansion foam. Each has an output of 75 l/min at the pressure of 8 bar. Moreover, there are four spray nozzles on the top, in front of the windshield and two spray nozzles at each side near the mirrors. They are supplied with an independent water pump.
The central module for extinguishing agents and a truck-mounted pump compartment consists of eight equipment lockers – four at each side of a vehicle. They are closed with shutters with bar-lock systems.
Felix 8x8 ARFF heavy airfield crash tender has composite tanks for water (15 000 l) and foam (1600 l). They have thermal insulation and are fitted with longitudinal and transverse baffles. Wide range of extinguishing media is supplemented with fire extinguishing powder of class BC (250kg), transported in a powder tank. It is pressured with nitrogen. Dry chemical extinguisher is delivered via a rapid intervention line with a 25m long hose DN20 ended with piston nozzles of an output of 2.5 kg/s.
Due to the technical parameters a vehicle is fitted with a one-stage, centrifugal Ruberg E100 pump of an output of 10000 l/min. at the pressure of 10 bar. It is fitted with automatic pressure regulation and a proportioning system, which enables proportioning of different types of foam to a rapid intervention line at the same time. The pump's casing and rotor are made of aluminum resistant to sea water, however, the pump’s shaft is made of stainless steel. Due to this fact the pump is able to pump industrial water of little salinity.
Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS) was provided by Ruberg AB, too. The system consists of air compressor, foam proportioner with a piston pump and a mixing chamber. A screw compressor (34 kW) has an output of 5000 l/min. and operating pressure up to 9 bar. Both the proportioner and the mixing chamber is controlled electronically. Compressed foam can be delivered to a rapid intervention line and both monitors, as well as a monitor on the HRET.
The roof is made in the form of a working platform with anti-slip surface and railings. It is able to withstand a minimum load of 180kg and the weight of the transported equipment. The high-reach extendable turret is installed on the roof of the vehicle in its central part. The HRET was manufactured by ‘Bumar-Koszalin’, a Polish company, which is a part of the WISS Group. The working height of the extension arm is 19.5 metres. It is fitted with a water-foam monitor of an output from 3800 to 7600 l/min at the pressure of 10 bar and the jet throw of 80 meters. Its arm is rotated within 180° horizontally (90° at each direction) and from + 90° to - 90° vertically. Two xenon lights, a video camera to observe the incident site and an infrared camera to observe the area in poor visibility and smoke conditions, as well as a piercing device are installed on the HRET's head. The piercing unit is used to pierce a fuselage and supply extinguishing media inside an airplane at the pressure of 10 bar (output of 1100l/min.). The view from both cameras is transmitted to a multi-function display of the extinguishing system in the vehicle’s cab.
Other equipment includes a 6.5m high telescopic, pneumatic light mast. The mast is equipped with a head consisting of eight LED projectors (40 watt each). It is remotely controlled, which allows the head to be rotated around the mast axis and the lamp to be tilted up and down within the range of 90° and sideways in the range of 180°.
Paweł Frątczak, Janusz Woźniak