Allison equips Shimojishima Airport fire engines with Automatic Transmissions


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Shimojishima Airport, one of the largest airports in Okinawa Prefecture’s outlying islands, recently selected the Dragon X6 TEP, a Magirus-manufactured airport fire engine, under a contract with Morita Technos Corporation, to replace its aging fire engines.

In order to rapidly respond to an accident and provide aircraft crew and passengers with escape routes and sufficient time to escape, the Dragon X6 TEP with two Allison fully automatic transmissions and two powerful engines is able to arrive at accident sites quickly with driving speeds up to 110 km/h.

The Dragon X6 TEP, which the airport deployed in December 2020, has two Allison 4500 six-speed fully automatic transmissions and two Fiat Powertrain Technologies’ Cursor13 Euro-5 engines. With a maximum torque of 5000 Nm and a maximum output of 824 kilowatts, it reaches speeds of 80km/h in roughly 20 seconds.

This significantly reduces dispatch times for disasters occurring at any airport location, as defined by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) regulations, and in the case of Shimojishima Airport, can reach the most remote location 3 kilometers away in 102 seconds. It is the most powerful and fastest 10,000 liter class 6×6 aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicle in the world.

The fire engine’s tanks are some of the largest of any airport fire engine, holding 11,500 liters of water and 1,300 liters of chemicals. The fire engine can pump 6,300 liters per minute from the main turret. The left engine is used to operate the pump, spraying water and foam.

A consistent level of pumping performance is maintained while moving at any speed, whether moving forward or in reverse. In the unlikely event that one of the two engines were to fail, recovery mode would engage and driving would be handled by the remaining engine.

“The driving performance and firefighting capabilities of the Dragon x6 TEP stand head and shoulders above those of other 6×6 airport chemical fire engines,” said Tsuyoshi Hamakawa, Firefighting Group Chief of the Shimojishima Airport Management Co., Ltd. Airport Support Division. “Allison’s patented torque converter increases engine torque, and the Continuous Power TechnologyTM provides uninterrupted power to the tires, so you can accelerate without feeling like you’re driving a 40 ton vehicle.

“That makes it the only ARFF vehicle that can reach accident sites within two minutes from the initial report. Shimojishima Airport has the longest runway in Okinawa prefecture, and since we began offering fixed route service in 2019, we’ve been developing as a gateway for tourists from both Japan and overseas. We’re constantly training to ensure that we can deal with any situation, and we’re preparing to welcome an influx of tourists following the pandemic, keeping them safe and secure.”

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