Embraer has successfully completed the flight test certification campaign for the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS II), which provides the C-390 Millennium with the ability to drop water or retardant on wildfires. The tests were carried out at the Embraer facility in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo State, in Brazil. After full certification, the firefighting capability will be available to the aircraft’s operators.
The MAFFS II can discharge up to 3,000 gallons. It is designed to interface with the aircraft’s Cargo Handling System and requires only aircraft power to operate. The conclusion of these tests, which included several in-flight water drops, proved the system’s ability to integrate with the aircraft, and demonstrated suitable aspects of flight quality and maneuverability at low speeds.
When the first C-390, known then as a KC-390, rolled out of the factory in 2014 and had not yet completed its first flight, Embraer was comparing it to the American-built C-130, saying it would be multi-role, including serving as an air tanker. Their web site included an artist’s conception of the aircraft outfitted with a first generation MAFFS, with two nozzles exiting through the open rear cargo ramp. The MAFFS II pumps the water or retardant out the troop door on the left side, as seen in the recent photos from Embraer.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Tom.