The Chinese company QilingUAV has begun the development of a fire drone helicopter JS260. It is planned that the device will be used to extinguish forest fires in remote areas, the company said.
Nowadays, special fireplanes and helicopters equipped with large water tanks are used to extinguish fires. In this case, water is discharged only from a height of up to 40 m, otherwise part of the water will simply evaporate in hot air.
In addition, air fire extinguishing is now allowed only in the daytime, since at night pilots may not notice some tall object and collide with it.
In order to circumvent some of these limitations, Chinese engineers created an unmanned fire engine. The length of the JS260 is 2.8 m, the height is 1.6 m, and it rises into the air thanks to two coaxial rotary rotors with a diameter of about 3,6 m.
The device is equipped with two gasoline engines with a capacity of 34 hp each. On the sides of the drone are tanks with liquid to extinguish fires – with full tanks, its weight is about 260 kg.
JS260 can be in the air without refueling for up to four hours, and the volume of one tank installed on it is enough to extinguish 50 cubic meters of forest. Other technical details about the drone were not disclosed.