Queensland based Helitak Firefighting Equipment has received an FAA Supplemental Type Certificate for its FT-11K retractable aerial firefighting tank for use on the CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

In development and testing for several years, the FT-11K is the most innovative and robust product to enter the market for the CH-47, with its retractable design, the FT-11K can be fitted to any CH-47 with no modification needed to the landing gear or external structure of the aircraft, also not requiring use of any internal space to carry water or retardant.

The CH-47 tank, launched in conjunction with launch customer, Alaska based Rotak Helicopter Services, and began testing during 2023 in California, Idaho, and Arizona, before the receiving the STC.

The 2900-gallon capacity tank is now the only tank in the marketplace capable of carrying over 2500 gallons of water or retardant, the current maximum of tanks already available. The FT-11k CH-47 tank is available with both hydraulic and electric pump fill options and can be fitted and removed from an aircraft in 30 minutes.

“As a team, we are ecstatic to finally have the FT-11K tank certified by the FAA after many years of development and testing at our facility in Australia, and the hard work of the team at Rotak Helicopters that assisted us in gaining the FAA STC for the product and we look forward to seeing the tank during a successful first season on deployment with Rotak as the launch customer for the product,” said Jason Schellaars, CEO of Helitak. “I am immensely proud of the work put in by over one hundred people in two countries that helped make this product a reality for the market as the largest capacity firefighting tank available for a helicopter,” he continued.

The FT-11K tank features a water carrying capacity of 2905 US gallons/11000 liters that can be dropped on a fire in stages or in a single drop using the included Helitak Fire Tank Controller to disperse the load. The FT-11K can also take a 132-gallon/500-liter load of foam retardant if needed. The tank can take on a full load of water in 60 seconds with the included Hover Fill Pump.