Aerial Firefighting Industry Group Admits Scooping Air Tanker Developer To Membership

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Aerial Firefighting Industry Group Admits Scooping Air Tanker Developer To Membership

 The American Helicopter Services and Aerial Firefighting Association (AHSAFA) is proud to announce that Fire Boss LLC has become its newest associate member.

"It is a privilege to welcome Fire Boss to AHSAFA membership," said George Hill, Executive Director of the Washington-based aerial firefighting industry trade association.  "We believe that, as a long time supplier of a unique air tanker-equipped fire suppression system, Fire Boss is well aware of the challenges facing private operators of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft engaged in aerial firefighting today, and will be an invaluable asset to AHSAFA."

Fire Boss certified a unique water scooping system under a supplemental type certificate (STC) in 2003, specifically for retrofit on the Air Tractor AT-802.  The retrofit includes the installation of the Wipline 10000 amphibious float produced and manufactured by parent company, Wipaire, Inc. The float incorporates a scooping system which can be deployed on lakes, rivers and other bodies of water near a fire. As the aircraft skims the surface, water is routed through the scoop system and into the AT-802's integral fuselage tank. About 800 gallons of water is scooped into internal tanks in approximately 15 seconds. 

The water can also be mixed with foam from an optional 30 gallon capacity tank within each float.  Combined with an 18 gallon fuselage foam tank, the aircraft has a total foam capacity of 78 gallons.  Both the scooping and discharging systems are controlled by the pilot.  As a firefighting tool, the Fire Boss is used for initial attack, reducing the intensity of the fire to enable access by ground crews.

Retrofitting the AT-802 with the Wipline 10000 floats is carried out by Fire Boss for its customers in-house or at approved customer installation facilities.

"We believe that AHSAFA membership will give Fire Boss greater exposure to both the domestic and international firefighting markets and open more opportunities to introduce our product to state and federal government budget and decision makers," said Stephen Johnson, Fire Boss's Global Sales Director.  "At the same time, we believe we can contribute an awareness of--and solutions to--the issues impacting the US and international aerial firefighting communities."

According to Johnson, there are over 90 Fire Bosses operating in over 10 countries, world-wide.  "To date most are operating in international markets, but our goal is to get more contracts for US operators," he said.

Johnson added that, in the domestic market, the aircraft have been operated under contract to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, as well as the federal Bureau of Land Management, specifically in the western US and Alaska.

Fire Boss LLC is a subsidiary of Wipaire, Inc.  Based in South Saint Paul, Minnesota, Wipaire has been designing aircraft floats, used worldwide, for nearly 60 years.  Wipaire created Fire Boss LLC to focus on the rigorous requirements and service needs of the aerial firefighting industry.

AHSAFA represents the interests of privately owned and operated aerial firefighting companies before the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and other US government agencies tasked with wildland management and protection.  

Media Contact: George Hill, American Helicopter Services & Aerial Firefighting Association, 8016737324,

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SOURCE American Helicopter Services & Aerial Firefighting Association

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