July 14, 2021
AiKhai Trung Le spoke with Jeff Baxter ahead of the Aerial firefighting roundtable discussion hosted by AirMed&Rescue with Erickson next week
** EDIT: the AirMed&Rescue Firefighting Roundtable is now available, watch the full discussion on innovation in the global fight against wildfire here **
AirMed&Rescue and Erickson have teamed up to host a firefighting roundtable discussion profiling the latest developments in aerial firefighting at a time when the service has never been more necessary.
Experts in their field from Erickson, Dauntless Air, and Intterra will bring their experience and insights to the roundtable, highlighting how adaptations to aircraft, dedicated mutual aid communications between aerial and ground operations, and more are helping to fight fires more effectively and efficiently.
Jeff Baxter, Senior Director of Research and Development at Erickson, will highlight technological and material innovation that keeps firefighting helicopters at the top of their game, specifically through enhancing aircraft efficiency. These include power-lift ratio, range extension, and the use of composite materials.
Before the event, Baxter spoke to AirMed&Rescue about the two key benefits of composite materials: “The first is aerodynamic performance. The new blades deliver a major upgrade in the amount of water we can lift at high temperatures and high altitudes, which is the exact operating regime for firefighting. The second critical aspect is that composite materials are modern and readily available, which allows us to stock our factory reliably and produce new blades.”