Rain Industries has announced its latest autonomous firefighting demonstrator aircraft, the Rain MK2.
Its uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) based on a helicopter airframe, used to demonstrate rapid initial wildfire response and containment.
The MK2 is currently Rain’s largest autonomous system. It can carry approximately 30 gallons of payload and is designed to fly for over an hour with a 23-mile response radius.
Equipped with Rain’s automation technology, the MK2 can complete all phases of flight of a traditional helicopter – takeoff, hover, cruise and landing – but this is overseen by a remote operator, rather than an onboard pilot.
Maxwell Brodie, Rain Industries CEO, said: “Every wildfire starts small. Automation enables us to position firefighting assets in high-risk regions, where it would otherwise be impossible to staff humans 24/7.
“The launch of our MK2 airframe is the culmination of 18 months of research and development efforts – and is a major step towards our goal of eliminating catastrophic wildfires.”
This demonstrator aircraft will be used in pilot projects with Californian fire agencies as part of Rain’s build-up program, to provide autonomous wildfire suppression services to high-risk regions.