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Swiss Air Force teams up with Rosenbauer for aircraft firefighting training

The Swiss Air Force has teamed up with fire service vehicle and equipment manufacturer Rosenbauer to implement its PANTHER training system to enable training for the tactical handling of ARFF vehicles as well as handling the extinguishing and control panels.

The PANTHER training system will be installed in the fire training center of CFR Campus PHÈNIX at Payerne Airport.

The simulator landscape consists of two PANTHER tactical simulators – 8×8 and 6×6 S, as well as two simulators that can be configured bot as ARFF vehicles and command or logistics vehicles.

The two PANTHER simulators are equipped with identical PANTHER cockpits, while the other two have generic cockpits on which all functions can be operated the same way as in the respective original vehicle.

Everything that happens outside the vehicles is displayed on large LED screens in Ultra-HD (4 times HDTV) resolution. Each screen is controlled by its own computer; a total of 18 computers with powerful graphics cards are installed in the training system.

The system also includes a control panel on which the virtual training sessions are planned, programmed, and documented. There are five airport layouts and numerous aircraft types to choose from, the time of day or night, and the weather and runway conditions can be modified in order to make the operational action as realistic as possible.

All firefighting operations from leaking jet fuel to an undercarriage catching fire or burning jet engines can be trained on, whereby the control of the firefighting equipment is just as sensitive as in the real-life counterparts.

“The Swiss Air Force is building a competence center for aircraft firefighting here, where the members of the aircraft incident squads will receive their complete training in future and be able to complete regular drills under real conditions,” saod Hans Schmid, Head of Crash and Fire Rescue Swiss Air Force.

“In the future, each and every member will train on the simulators for at least two days a year. Their integration into an overall system allows us to systematically and efficiently structure the training. In addition, three liquid gas-fired fire simulators (dummy aircraft) are available for “hot” drills on the approximately 26,000 m2 site.”

Markus Zellinger, Managing Director of Rosenbauer Switzerland added: “The Swiss Air Force’s aircraft incident squads can train for every operational scenario imaginable in a resource-saving, safe, and controlled manner. That’s the great advantage of simulator training.”