Arista Aviation Services (Arista) and Helitak Fire Fighting Equipment (Helitak) have entered into a Cooperation Agreement to modify and provide aerial firefighting helicopters with expandable underbelly fire suppression tanks.
As a leader in Sikorsky Black Hawk UH-60 airframe modifications, Arista retrofits different configurations, including the aerial firefighting platform and views the Helitak FT4500 as a critical component in the performance of aerial firefighting operations.
Rotary Aerial Firefighting specialist Helitak designs and produces a product line of advanced aerial firefighting equipment and has obtained an STC for its FT4500 expandable fire suppression tank for installation on UH-60/S-70 series aircraft. The FT4500 tank shell is manufactured from carbon fiber with a maximum capacity of 1100 gallons US (4500 liters).
Under the agreement, Arista will offer the Helitak expandable tanks to customers wanting to operate with a fixed belly tank requiring no airframe modification and no extended landing gear installation.
Helitak's CEO and Chief Engineer, Jason Schellaars said, “We are delighted to work with Arista and its customers to offer versatility to the operators. It is clear, from our discussions with Arista, that their leadership in the Blackhawk retrofit and modification market is world-class and to have been selected by Arista to provide the underbelly tank is further testimony to the durability and innovation of our designs.”
Arista’s President, Rich Enderle said, “Arista is known for offering customers a wide variety of options that help ensure their mission success. After looking at numerous tank options, we believe the Helitak Tank provides our customers with a sustainable, quality solution, that will enhance their capabilities and meet the demanding conditions of aerial firefighting. We are excited at the opportunity to work with the professionals from Helitak.”
Arista and Helitak believe the retrofitted Blackhawk airframe coupled with the lightweight FT4500 aerial fire suppression tank covers all necessary firefighting mission objectives:
- Type 1 capacity
- Night ‘NVG’ Bombing operations
Arista Aviation Services is an FAA Part 145 Repair Station and provider of MRO services regardless of the airframe. Arista specializes in depot level repairs, custom painting, custom avionics upgrades, structural enhancements, and other repairs as needed. Arista also offers airframe modification and retrofit into different configurations, including the aerial firefighting platform.
Helitak Fire Fighting Equipment is a Rotary Aerial Firefighting specialist, aerial firefighting design and manufacturing company located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, offering custom- built tanks capable of carrying 250 to 2,645 gallons (945 to 10,000 liters) of water. Each tank is manufactured from carbon fiber and, due to the low profile requires no structural modifications or extended landing gear to the aircraft.