1.3 Overview of HRET Technology HRETs provide ARFF firefighters with a number of tactical advantages when involved in ARFF operations. Testing conducted by the FAA compared a P-19 roof turret with an HRET involving pooled fuel test fires (refer to DOT/FAA/AR-05/53 – High Reach Extendable Turrets with Skin Penetrator Nozzle, Final Report November 2005). The HRET in its optimum attack mode, the down-in-front configuration, was compared to the P-19 roof-mounted turret agent delivery system. Both vehicles were tested under the same conditions. The HRET in the down-in-front attack mode extinguished the burn area an average of 53% faster than the P-19 roof-mounted turret. Both vehicles used a frontal attack method on the large-scale burn area. The HRET in the down-in-front position was able to extinguish the burn area by oscillating the HRET from right to left without repositioning the vehicle. The P-19, however, had to make slight vehicle adjustments to the right and left of the burn area in order for its roof-mounted turret to reach the sides of the large-scale aircraft mockup.
a. The HRET and skin-penetrating nozzle evaluated at the fire test facility outperformed the standard roof-mounted turret and hand line. In all aspects of the evaluation, the data gathered from simulated real fire aircraft crashes involving the HRET with skin-penetrating nozzle demonstrated the ability to extinguish fire faster, increase the accuracy of firefighting agent application by positioning the HRET close to the source of the fires, and using less firefighting agent on several fires. Other fire extinguishment performance advantages included the extendable reach of the HRETs nozzle, increase in firefighting agent throw range because of its extendibility, and its ability to reposition the HRET in all directions without moving the airport firefighting vehicle.
b. The HRET with skin-penetrating nozzle, when used on the full-scale fire field test using a training aircraft, showed the ability to control and contain the fire from spreading beyond the tail section, reduce high cabin temperatures from over 1500°F (815°C) to approximately 250°F (121°C), provide rapid smoke ventilation, and the ability to extinguish fire. The injection of fine mist water spray showed immediate results providing a fire-block and lowering cabin temperatures. The ability to ventilate using 1 AC 150/5210-23 09/30/2010 the skin-penetrating nozzle is a less manpower-intensive and time-consuming process compared to using traditional ventilation fans. The cabin conditions after discharging the fine mist water spray allowed fire fighters to enter the aircraft.
c. The extendable turret places the nozzle well forward and below the operator, thus eliminating foam overspray and providing a clearer view of the effectiveness of agent application. The ability to position the nozzle nearer to, or in alignment with the target allows more precise aiming, reduces disruption from wind and helps to conserve agent.
d. When the nozzle is positioned at the seat of the fire, it allows extinguishment of ground based fires more effectively as agent is applied directly on the burning surface. This eliminates the “raindrop” application, a situation that generally results in wasted agent, as the heated smoke plume and wind carry it away. In addition, the nozzle can be placed near an elevated engine or wing fuel tank fire to cut off running fuel fires.
e. The extendable turret with precision nozzle placement can be more effective with rates in the 250 to 500 gallon per minute (946 to 1892 Liters per minute) range, whereas conventional primary turrets flowing 750 to 1000 gallons per minute (2839 to 3785 Liters per minute) exhaust the supply of agent much more rapidly. This technology allows the operator to extinguish the fire with short bursts of agent with more precision, as opposed to mass application.
f. The operator has the ability to switch agent application rates between high flow and low flow. This allows the operator to select the amount of agent needed to do the job most effectively. In large fires, a high flow rate is the most effective way to overcome the intense heat and quickly control the fire. In other situations, where less flow can be effective, a low flow rate helps to conserve agent for reapplication to maintain the integrity of the foam blanket.
g. HRETs increase ability and safety in getting agent to a high mounted engine as well as with 3 dimensional running fuel fires. The ability to quickly position the nozzle in the most effective attack position, increases effectiveness of the stream, reduces agent consumption and provides a safe vantage point for the firefighter.
h. HRETs are very effective in fighting fires on aircraft undercarriage. The tool allows precise positioning of the nozzle without putting the firefighter in harm’s way.
i. All of the benefits of an HRET that have been verified through extensive testing and during actual events can only be realized if the tool is in the hands of skilled, qualified operators.