Flamingo (Forest Flames Intelligent Outputter), an intelligent civil bomb for firefighting.
Flamingo is a guided civil bomb that flies completely autonomously through the merger of INS, GPS and other sensors. With a load of 200l retardant or extinguishing agent, allows both, direct firefighting and chemical firewall creation.
Flamingo is composed of two main elements. The control unit, which integrates Veronte Autopilot technology and is responsible for the functions of guidance, navigation and control (GNC). And the suppression unit, a housing for the extinguishing agent. It also incorporates a recovery mechanism that allows the separation of the control unit which releases a parachute just before impact, allowing the recovery of this component holding all the electronics and control actuators. The system is designed for use from manned cargo aircraft, not being necessary a modification of the aircraft for using it. To do this, the system has a release mechanism fully compatible with standard 463L pallets.
How does it work?
Flamingo is compatible with most of the existing cargo aircraft and it does not require any modification, thus avoiding the necessity of having dedicated aircraft for fire extinguishing purposes, therefore, sharing operational costs with other aircraft uses. Once onboard, a mission system running on a laptop engages each unit to an individual target along the fire front. This command is sent to every unit before launching. This mission system also helps the crew reach the launch window, the region from which Flamingo can reach its target. Before entering this window, the rear door is open. Every unit is launched before exiting the launch window.
Benefits of Using Flamingo for Aerial Firefighting
Flamingo offers several advantages over the usual means of extinction:
- Night operation.
- Performance in inaccessible areas.
- Water encapsulation.
- Accurate distribution of suppressant.
- Performance in adverse weather conditions and strong winds.
- Keep human resources away from fire.
- Fast reaction.
- Multipurpose aircraft use.