Rostec, July 28, 2015 - Mi-26, Mi-8, and Ka-32 helicopters have been assigned to around-the-clock duty due to the risk of fires in southern Russia.
The helicopter crews are ready to fly out at a moment’s notice to extinguish fires and eliminate the effects of these emergencies.
“The equipment currently in service enables us to carry out all firefighting tasks, as well as delivering necessary forces and equipment for search, rescue, medical assistance to the emergency area, and transporting Ministry of Emergency Situations operational teams,” said Andrey Bazaly, head of the air-rescue center for Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations.
The Mi-26T is the world’s largest helicopter and also has the greatest lifting capacity, capable of carrying up to 20 tons of cargo on an external sling or in the cargo compartment. The fire-fighting version of the helicopter has a hose device on the external sling that can be used to extinguish and localize fires in steppe, forest, and mountainous areas, as well as to extinguish and localize both industrial and household fires.
The fire-fighting version of the Mi-26T is unique among performance helicopters. During one run it can dump up to 15 tons of water on a fire. At a flight speed of 60 km/h and a height of 30 meters, the fire-fighting coverage area measures 233 meters long and 16.7 meters across.
This helicopter can do more than extinguish forest fires and protect populated areas. In Moscow, it was used to put out a fire in one of the towers in the Moscow City complex. The helicopter successfully extinguished the fire on the 67th floor in spite of difficult weather conditions.
The Mi-26T has helped extinguish fires in China, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, and Cyprus. In France, these helicopters are respectfully known as “water bombers.”