Aerial Firefighting

For over 30 years, Erickson has been a world leader in aerial firefighting. The fleet of S-64 Air Crane® helitankers, equipped with custom fire suppression systems, provides firefighting support for local, regional, and global fire agencies.

The ultimate tool for the needs of today

The S-64 Air Crane® helicopters are fixed with 2,650-gallon (10,031 liters) water tanks and can drop more than 25,000 gallons (95,000 liters) every hour. Erickson’s engineered Sea Snorkel™, which uses a ram scoop hydrofoil design, refills from both freshwater and saltwater in as little as 30 seconds. Erickson’s Hover Snorkel is designed with a hydraulic pump, that refills within 45 seconds from freshwater as shallow as 18 inches (46 centimeters). Once the fire is extinguished, the S-64 is equipped to support rehabilitation efforts with the aerial delivery of stabilizing hydroseed to jump-start re-vegetation and prevent erosion.

Erickson’s firefighting expertise extends to wildfire hotspots around the world — serving Greece, Australia, Chile, Italy, the United States and beyond.

  • Global impact
  • Supporting agencies worldwide
  • Protecting lives & assets
  • Unmatched response time
  • Access to remote locations
  • Recovery & hydroseed support

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Gallons of water or retardant capacity for helitankers


Gallons of water drops per hour


Seconds to refill water tank from fresh or saltwater sources

S-64 Firefighting Configurations




Diverse Tank Filling Options

The fire suppression tank, FAA certified in 1993, is equipped with a hover snorkel, also known as a pond snorkel, and optionally equipped with the innovative Sea Snorkel™ for diverse water refill options.


  • 2,650-gallon (10,031 liters) capacity
  • Hydroseed delivery system also compatible with the tank
  • The Sea Snorkel™ refills in less than 30 seconds from fresh or saltwater
  • The hover snorkel refills in less than 45 seconds and in as little as 18 inches (46cm) of fresh water
  • Both sea and hover snorkels were engineered to mitigate obstacle hindrances


Water Cannon

Developed in 1997 with FAA (STC) approval in 1998, the water cannon is optionally equipped based on the operational needs of the mission and landscape.


  • 160 feet (~53 meters) of effective range
  • Water flow rate of 300 gpm / 1,136 lpm

S-64 Global Firefighting Footprint

(Past and current)