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USA: 21 million dollars for fire-fighting helicopters

San Diego (California) invests in rotorcraft and infrastructure

The US city of San Diego has approved an investment of 21 million dollars to strengthen the fire service. The funds allocated will be used for the purchase of a new Subaru-Bell 412 EPX helicopter and for the construction of a hangar, which recently obtained all the necessary authorizations, which will be able to accommodate the three aircraft that the municipal administration uses to fight the fires.

The aim is to make the fight against flames more efficient in an area of California which is among the most affected in the world. In fact, San Diego only had two helicopters, instead of the recommended three, after retiring one aircraft after 43 years of service. The city's fleet will therefore include the new Subaru-Bell 412 EPX helicopter, a Sikorsky S-70i Firehawk (3785 litres) purchased in 2018 and a Bell 412 EP purchased in 2008.

The new Subaru-Bell 412 EPX has a capacity of over 1400 litres, more than the helicopter it replaces. The aircraft has a weight of 3091 kg, a cruising speed of 228 kilometers per hour and a range of 669 km and 3.8 hours. Finally, the new 3,000-square-foot hangar, which will cost more than 20 million dollars, will be built at San Diego's Montgomery-Gibbs Airport.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency