A Vast Improvement

Helimax’s AST Tank offers a vast improvement over typical helicopter tank systems. It uses a patented unique spade door system to create a laminar flow of the liquid being discharged. The unique design is a second-generation improvement over typical gated or actuated door drops where the liquid is disturbed during the drop and is allowed to break up when the column of water enters the aircraft slipstream and dissipates in the vacuum behind the aircraft.

The AST Tank is manufactured out of ultra-light and ultra-strong carbon fiber material with an extensive G-Loaded engineered tie-down support system to ensure the aircraft and occupant safety. The AST System allows for a quick change to bucket installation while the tank remains in the aircraft.
The AST Tank utilizes a Unique All-Electric Spade Gate Actuator & Snorkel System. This system incorporates a reliable and robust electrical system rather than complexities and added weight of a conventional hydraulic system. The spade gate design maintains a laminar flow of released water or retardant minimizing dispersal of the drop due to aircraft slipstream. This provides the best canopy penetration of any Helitank system and the greatest concentration of a drop maximizing it’s load on a target.

The AST Tank includes a stowable and releasable snorkel. This allows for the aircraft to transition at higher speeds to the fire and then deploy the snorkel en-route without having to land.

Installed AST system allows external loads carried from the hook.

Optional transport of external loads attached by the belly hook even when the tank system is installed in the unique Helimax CH-47 provides options to the customer.

Game changing Spade Gate System creates highly concentrated drops.

Our unique Spade Gate System incorporates a modified version of an aerospike plug nozzle to produce a laminar flow to minimize dispersion of the water column as it exits the aircraft.

With the spade gate system and unique tank design, the flow is constant throughout the drop and is a concentrated pattern minimally affected by the forward flight slipstream.

There is minimum dissipation of the water and the flow falls under the helicopter and is not sucked into the vacuum vortices behind the aircraft.

Extensive engineering analysis of the center of gravity loading unlike other tanks.

Specific and extensive engineering analysis of the aircraft's CG limits allows for the tank’s design of water placed in the tank to be at the highest level attainable to ensure maximum head pressure of the water load across the spade gate system during the drop sequence.

This ensures the greatest level of aircraft stability while undergoing fire operations and the optimum drop pattern.
Helimax AST

Operational advantages.

True constant flow delivery system optimizes retardant usage and allows for firefighting line building operations.
Extremely lightweight “all-electric”/ carbon fiber design improves payload capacity.
No hydraulic power usage and no airframe modifications.
Minimal impact on aircraft configuration.
Rapid load / unload of tank system.
Integrated reporting functions improves operational awareness and post-mission data analysis.
Mission Specific Control components designed specifically for aerial firefighting operations.
All-electric operation using high-performance motor technology with an integrated precision foam injection system with level monitoring and ATU reporting functions.
State of the art constant-flow delivery method.
Linear flow delivery for optimized ground pattern.
Constant coverage levels.
Multiple Split loads capable.
AUTO, MANUAL, and Emergency modes of operation provides a high level of operational redundancy.
High-performance microprocessors are used for real-time flow calculations and control.

Helimax tank capabilities.

CH-47D Internal Fire Suppression Tank System.
Manufacturer: Airborne Suppression Technologies.
All Electric Design.
2,550 US Gallon Capacity.
150 US Gallon Internal Foam Tank.
Trotter Control System with 6 Coverage Levels + Salvo.
Trotter Control ATU System.
Independent Pneumatic Emergency Dump System.

Tank pilot interface.

Simple to use Pilot Interface.
Color OLED pilot interface surrounded by a multi-function silicone keypad.
Rugged, mil-spec switches.
Two parameter control of flow rate and split load.
System status is continuously displayed to the pilot.
Fire Gate Control System

DataVault Telemetry System.

Captures live data including but not limited to: takeoff, landing, pick-up quantity, pick-up time, pick-up location, drop quantity, drop time, drop location.
Integrated AFF Tracking/ATU system provides data-rich situational awareness via satellite communications.
Meets NAFC / USAF JSON reporting requirements.
Provides data for operational awareness as well as post-mission analysis.