The Sikorsky S-70 Firehawk is a specialised multimission derivative of the UH-60 Black Hawk for fire-fighting, rescue and medical evacuation work. Mark Broadbent reports
PARAPUBLIC S-70 FIREHAWK
Wildfires sweeping through California recently have again shown the importance of aerial fire-fighting. It was one such devastating fire in the region 25 years ago that prompted the development of the Sikorsky S-70 Firehawk multimission helicopter.
The devastating Old Topanga Fire in California in November 1993 burnt through 20,000 acres (8,093ha) and destroyed 300 homes. In its aftermath, the Los Angeles County Fire Department Air Operations Unit realised a better aerial fire-fighter was needed than the ageing helicopters they operated at the time.