AN-32P / Forest Fire Fighting Aircraft
- extinguishing the forest fires with the special fire liquid;
- airdropping the smoke jumpers, their equipment, special aids, equipment and cargoes to the area of forest fire;
The design performance of the aircraft have been confirmed during more than 10 years of operation. After discharging 8 tons of fire extinguishing liquid from two groups of tanks of the aircraft, from the altitude of 40-50 m at a speed of 240 to 260 km/h, a water spot of 120-160 m long and 10-35 m wide with concentration of the liquid exceeding 1 liter per sq. m is formed on the ground. Discharging the fire agent may be done simultaneously (in a single discharge) or serially from two tanks of one board, than of the other board, with an automatic delay or with manual control.
Two airplanes were used to extinguish the high-elevated forest fire in the vicinity of Yalta (Ukraine). The experience of their application (about 100 flights over mountain terrains) showed a high efficiency of these aircraft.
Three aircraft AN-32P were sent to Portugal for the experimental operation. A high intensive work (each airplane used to perform up to 10 or even 12 flights daily) resulted in a total of 545 fire fighting flights. The performance and fire fighting effectiveness of the aircraft were highly appreciated by the specialists who participated in the test operation.
In absence of fires, the aircraft can be converted (within the airfield conditions) into a standard cargo variant for airlift. To perform transport operations the aircraft obtains the following features:
- large cargo door at the tail fuselage section closed with a ramp that can be lowered down to the ground or shifted under the fuselage, thus providing fast loading from the truck or convenient parachute dropping of cargoes and people
- loading device with a cargo lifting capacity of 3 t, maximum
- removable roller track equipment providing parachute dropping of cargo platforms and transportation of cargoes at the pallets.
Dimensions of the cargo compartment (12.48 m length, 2.78 m width and 1.84 m height) and of the cargo door provide the transportation of different cargoes, self-propelled and non-self-propelled wheeled vehicles. The cargo hold is pressurized and equipped with the air conditioning system.
The aircraft has the following main features:
- high degree of structure and systems reliability, operational safety proved during a long service of the AN-32 basic aircraft version;
- possibility to operate from the unpaved airfields due to the landing gear design, low pressure tires and high arrangement of the engines that eliminates the penetration of foreign objects into the air intake;
- high thrust-to-weight ratio allowing to fly with a curved trajectory over the mountain terrain;
- autonomous operation that allow to start the engines with the aid of APU;
- capability to fly in adverse weather conditions.
The Interstate Aviation Committee Air Register and UKRAVIATRANS issued the Certificates of Type of the special category to the AN-32P aircraft on March 10,1995.
At present, the aircraft is serially produced at the ANTONOV Serial Plant.