The Air Tractor AT-802F and the Fire Retardant Dispersal System (FRDS) have grown up together. Proven to be a formidable firefighting system since its introduction in 1993, the AT-802F aircraft
and the Generation II FRDS are now set to move single engine air tanker firefighting into a new era of improved control, reliability and overall effectiveness.
The original Air Tractor FRDS represented a leap forward in fire gate control technology for aerial firefighting applications. With its computerized fire gate technology, air tanker pilots could simply and quickly dial-in coverage level and drop amount. Calculations were then handled by the system’s on-board computer, making it possible for the pilot to deliver a consistent and controlled amount of fire retardant to the specified drop zone.
Since its introduction, the Air Tractor FRDS fire gate has earned a reputation in wildland firefighting circles for uniform coverage and system reliability. But in the past 16 years computer technology has made exponential advances, so the Generation II FRDS fire gate has been updated to allow pilots and operators to take full advantage of those advances.
Says Leland Snow, President of Air Tractor, Inc., “The Air Tractor FRDS has been the most precise and accurate fire gate for single engine air tankers since its introduction with the AT-802F in 1993. Now it’s been improved with the latest computer technology and self-diagnostics. It’s the next logical step in the evolution of this computerized fire gate.”
Improved delivery accuracy, improved door speed and new advanced leakage compensation algorithms are among the second generation FRDS enhancements. The fire gate doors — which open and close with timing that’s measured in milliseconds — are even more responsive.
Numerous reliability enhancements have been designed-in throughout the new Air Tractor FRDS system. The components of the system have been “hardened” to protect against the effects of vibration and humidity; the system also has improved waterproofing throughout. Microprocessor and electro-mechanical back-up systems have been added. A three valve redundant auto salvo system assures reliable door opening for accurate drops.
Computer processing advances make the FRDS pilot interface more user friendly. An easy-to-read display allows pilots to assess system status at a glance.
Field service and maintenance has been simplified with a “black box” or cable swap-out program and self-diagnostic and alert message features that indicate possible malfunctions and help isolate problems in the system.
The hydraulic system of the FRDS also reflects numerous reliability improvements. The new dual-head hydraulic pump is 93% efficient, and powered by a heavy-duty DC motor. An inlet filter helps prevent contaminants from entering the hydraulic system and extends component life. The entire hydraulic system has been tested in a controlled environment of over 160° (F) for more than 6,000 flight hours.
The previous FRDS system’s servo valve has been replaced with three identical directional valves, providing three levels of redundancy when opening and closing fire gate doors. An independent pressure switch (electro-mechanical system) and pressure sensor control the hydraulic pump.
In total, all these improvements work together to make the Generation II FRDS easier for operators to use and even more reliable and simple to maintain. The minimal initial training that is required for system maintenance further improves the operational economics of the new system.
The Best Dispersal System on the market
Since its introduction, ease of use and ease of maintenance have been the hallmark of the Air Tractor FRDS-equipped AT-802A and 802AF. In 3 to 5 seconds the pilot can dial-in the coverage level, the drop amount, the ground speed and arm the system. With a press of the trigger on the control stick, the computer opens and closes the fire gate doors according to the selected parameters. For pilots, operators and fire management personnel on the ground, it’s a “point and shoot” system that proves its worth with every fire drop.
The first AT-802F aircraft equipped with the Generation II FRDS will be shipped to Avialsa, based near Valencia, Spain to join their fleet of 22 other AT-802F and AT-802AF single engine air tankers.
|9001-0015 - SL #273 - GEN II Retrofit||FRDS Gen 1 | FRDS Gen 2 | Manualsall-cats,frds-gen-1-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|manuals|
|SP-1060 - Brochure, DataVault, FRDS||FRDS Gen 2 | DataVault | Sales Literatureall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|fireops-gps-data-vault|sales-literature|
|9001-0037 - FRDS Simulator Quickstart||FRDS Gen 2 | Manualsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|manuals|
|9001-0038 - FRDS Simulator Tutorial Workbook||FRDS Gen 2 | Manualsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|manuals|
|5751-0050 - FRDS Simulator Installer||FRDS Gen 2 | Softwareall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|software|
|SP-1050 - Ad, FRDS Gen 2, AF&F, Summer 2014||FRDS Gen 2 | Sales Literatureall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|sales-literature|
|TP-1004 - FRDS GENII Ground Coverage Performance||FRDS Gen 2 | Technical Publicationsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|technical-publications|
|SP-1045 - Ad - AirFire & Forrestry - FRDS Gen 2||FRDS Gen 2 | Sales Literatureall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|sales-literature|
|9001-0011 - FRDS GEN2 Manual||FRDS Gen 2 | Manualsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|manuals|
|9001-0011 - FRDS GEN2 Maintenance Manual + Reference Files||FRDS Gen 2 | Manualsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|manuals|
|9001-0012 - FRDS GEN2 Operator's Manual||FRDS Gen 2 | Manualsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|manuals|
|9900-0033 - FRDS GEN2 Pilot Reference - English||FRDS Gen 2 | Drawings | Manualsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|drawings|manuals|
|DS-0001 - Datasheet - GEN2 Pilot Interface||FRDS Gen 2 | Datasheetsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|datasheets|
|9910-0008 - FRDS GEN2 NAAA Show 2008||FRDS Gen 2 | Sales Literatureall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|sales-literature|
|DS-0003 - Datasheet - VFD Remote Display||FRDS Gen 2 | IP67 Remote Display | Datasheetsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|ip67-remote-display|datasheets|
|DS-0002 - Datasheet - GEN2 Relay Box||FRDS Gen 2 | Datasheetsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|datasheets|
|DS-0009 - SS Accumulator Bracket||1 Gall. Accumulator Bracket | FRDS Gen 1 | FRDS Gen 2 | Datasheetsall-cats,1-gallon-accumulator-bracket-stainless-steel|frds-gen-1-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|datasheets|
|DS-0023 - Datasheet - GEN2 Pilot Interface LCD||FRDS Gen 2 | Datasheetsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|datasheets|
|ER-0074 - FRDS GEN2 System Operation Parameters||FRDS Gen 2 | Engineering Reportsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|engineering-reports|
|ER-0075 - FRDS GEN2 Error Code Description||FRDS Gen 2 | Engineering Reportsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|engineering-reports|
|ER-0077 - FRDS GEN2 PM Schedule||FRDS Gen 2 | Engineering Reportsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|engineering-reports|
|ER-1591 - Hyd Oil Comparison|
|ER-0093 - FRDS GEN2 Software Version History Log|
|ER-1738 - FRDS PLC Enclosure Vibration Isolation System||FRDS Gen 1 | FRDS Gen 2 | Engineering Reportsall-cats,frds-gen-1-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|engineering-reports|
|PS-0025 - Analog Input Calibration FRDS GENII Core Module||DSPIC30 Core Module | FRDS Gen 2 | Process Specificationsall-cats,dspic30-core-module|frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|process-specifications|
|PS-0030 - FRDS GEN2 Pressure Relief Valve Adjustment||FRDS Gen 2 | Process Specificationsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|process-specifications|
|PS-0031 - FRDS GEN2 Sensor Calibration||FRDS Gen 2 | Process Specificationsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|process-specifications|
|PS-0032 - FRDS GEN2 Dump Pit Calibration||FRDS Gen 2 | Process Specificationsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|process-specifications|
|PS-0033 - FRDS GEN2 Continuous Hydraulic System Flush Process|
|SL-273 - GEN2 Retrofit||FRDS Gen 2 | Service Lettersall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|service-letters|
|PS-0035 - FRDS Gen2 Memory Management|
|SP-1002 - Air Tractor FRDS Brochure||FRDS Gen 2 | Sales Literatureall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|sales-literature|
|SP-0019 - LCD FRDS Press Release||FRDS Gen 2 | News | Sales Literatureall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|news|sales-literature|
|SP-1008 - AgAir Update - FRDS Review 2009-06||FRDS Gen 2 | News | Sales Literatureall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|news|sales-literature|
|SP-1003 - AgAir Advertisement||FRDS Gen 2 | Sales Literatureall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|sales-literature|
|SP-1011 - Star Telegram on Air Tractor||FRDS Gen 1 | FRDS Gen 2 | News | Sales Literatureall-cats,frds-gen-1-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|news|sales-literature|
|SP-1015 - Air Fire & Forestry - FRDS Cover Story 2009-09||FRDS Gen 2 | News | Sales Literatureall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|news|sales-literature|
|SP-1018 - AgAir Update AT1002F|
|TP-1000 - Constant Flow Vs. Constant Gate Angle||FRDS Gen 1 | FRDS Gen 2 | Technical Publicationsall-cats,frds-gen-1-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|technical-publications|
|TP-1002 - FRDS GEN2 Hydraulic System Description||FRDS Gen 2 | Technical Publicationsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|technical-publications|
|TP-1001 - GEN2 FRDS Press Release||FRDS Gen 2 | Technical Publicationsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|technical-publications|
|TS-0005 - FRDS GEN2 Maintenance System Tests||FRDS Gen 2 | Test Specificationsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|test-specifications|
|TS-0004 - GEN2 Initial Setup & Calibration||FRDS Gen 2 | Test Specificationsall-cats,frds-gen-2-fire-retardant-dispersal-system|test-specifications|