Why the Korea Forest Service purchased the S-64 for aerial firefighting
Erickson highlight the key features which make the S-64 aircrane an essential aerial firefighting asset around the world
To improve the firefighting capacity, performance, and operations for year-round forest firefighting in South Korea.
Korea Forest Service (KFS) to own their own aerial assets — the S-64 Air Crane® helicopter.
The S-64 has a greater and more powerful firefighting capacity than the rest of the KFS fleet.
The Forest Aviation Headquarters, a subsidiary of the Korea Forest Service, contracted Erickson to build several S-64E models over the course of 20-year relationship. 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; as of 2019 KFS is operating six S-64E helicopters and conducts business with Erickson for parts purchasing and service support. K9 is set to deliver in 2020, bringing their total operational aircraft to seven helicopters. These orders signal continued demand for the S-64 around the world.
“FROM PREVIOUS S-64 OPERATIONS EXPERIENCED BY THE KOREA FOREST SERVICE, THE S-64E SHOWS OVER-WHELMING IMPROVED PERFORMANCE ON FOREST FIREFIGHTING USING A HELICOPTER.”
The S-64 has a greater and more powerful firefighting capacity than the rest of the KFS fleet. The S-64 Air Crane® helicopter is manufactured to include a firefighting helitank and foam cannon. 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 bestin-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 RECENT ACQUISITIONS REAFFIRMS THE S-64 AIR CRANE® HELICOPTER AS THE PREMIER FORESTRY DEFENSE AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE RESOURCE. THE CONSISTENT INVESTMENT IN PRODUCT IMPROVEMENT AND INNOVATION HAS PROMOTED CUSTOMER CONFIDENCE; WE ARE THRILLED TO CONTINUE OUR PARTNERSHIP IN SUPPORTING THEIR CRITICAL MISSIONS.”