Erickson, March 12, 2017 - Erickson Incorporated, a leading global provider of aviation services, has been selected by the Forest Aviation Headquarters, a subsidiary of the Korea Forest Service, to build an S-64E model with an intended delivery date of December 2017.
The S-64 is well-known in Korea and has a strong reputation for being the best firefighting aircraft available.
In 2001, KFS was the first foreign government to purchase S-64 helicopters from Erickson. Currently KFS is operating three S-64E helicopters and conducts business with Erickson for parts purchasing and service support. The S-64 has a greater and more powerful firefighting capacity than the rest of the KFS fleet.
“From previous S-64 operations experienced by the Korea Forest Service, the S-64E shows overwhelming improved performance on forest firefighting using a helicopter,” said FAH operation manager, M. J. Kim of the Korea Forest Service.
The Aircrane will be manufactured to include a firefighting helitank and foam cannon. Erickson’s manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul capacity has been expanded in 2016 to accommodate Navy contracts for refurbishment of the MH-53 program.
“We are grateful for the trust the Korea Forest Service has placed in us as we begin to build the Aircrane and will endeavor to build on the spirit of friendship generated through the 15 years we have conducted business together,” said Andy Mills, vice president of global business development. “Our focus will continue to be insuring our Korean customers are happy with the customer support we provide and our attention to operational integrity and safety. We believe our Erickson Aircrane is the most powerful aerial firefighting machine in the market and that this aircraft will provide a tremendous value for Korea.”
Erickson developed the helitank system in 1992, and continues to manufacture and operate them for fire suppression. The helitanker has several unique features that make it best-in-class for wildland firefighting. The tanks can hold up to 2,650 gallons (10,000 liters) of water or retardant with foam injection capability.
The aircraft can be equipped with a hover pump snorkel or a ram hydrofoil sea snorkel, both of which allow for shallow water intake of either fresh or salt water in 30 to 45 seconds. Pilots can choose from eight different computerized coverage drop levels to maximize the suppression effect for each individual fire condition. The aircraft can be re-configured for other missions within a few hours after the tank is removed. This rugged, reliable system has been effectively proven hundreds of times, with millions of gallons of water dropped while supporting firefighting missions around the world.
The Erickson S-64 Aircrane is a premier heavy-lift precision helicopter that features an aft-facing pilot seat, providing unique and specialized lift and placement capabilities across a variety of platforms to include construction, HVAC installations, transmission powerline installations, and infrastructure projects ranging from dams to gas lines to waterlines. The heavy lift capability, coupled with the benefits of flying where there is no road, river, rail or runway access, allows Erickson to provide services that cannot be performed via traditional lift functions from the ground.
Erickson is the Federal Aviation Administration type certificate holder and manufacturer of the Aircrane helicopter.