Drones are a groundbreaking invention that has bridged the gap between possible and impossible. They allow us to transport items over harsh terrain, spray fertilizers over vast fields, keep a vigilant eye on proceedings, and even extinguish fires.
Among these various applications, firefighting is one domain where drones can play a crucial role in saving lives and property. That’s partly because we can use them to put out a fire without risking the lives of firefighters. Moreover, the aerial prowess of drones allows for a quicker and more dynamic response than traditional firefighting solutions.
From actual products to concepts, inventors have envisioned firefighting drones in various distinct ways. Here’s a video compilation of the most incredible drone firefighters.
Firefighting drones roll call
1. Aerones firefighting drone
Latvian company Aerones has developed a drone that can go as high as 900ft (~274.3m) — 9 times more than a fire truck ladder’s reach. It can pair with the truck’s water hose to spray water over the burning structure. Meanwhile, a pilot on the ground can conveniently control the drone’s movement and elevation. It can stay in the air for 30 minutes in one single charge and takes 90 mins to fully recharge. As of 2021, it was reportedly still in development.
2. EHang Aerial firefighting solution
Ehang 216F is a Chinese-made firefighting drone that can rise up to 600ft (~182.9m) in the air. Instead of relying on a water hose, it carries its own fire extinguishing solutions such as firefighting foams (up to 5l) and half a dozen fire extinguisher bombs. Unlike the previous drone, this one detects the point of fire on its own using a built-in camera and aims the firefighting tools using laser-guided technology.
3. Bomber Drone (DIY)
This firefighting drone is a DIY project of a YouTube channel named Sons Of Xplosion. It is a powerful 8-rotor drone that can carry a payload of two fire extinguishing capsules. In a video, the YouTubers can be seen controlling the drone using a remote control and putting out a small fire in an open space.
4. Dahir Insaat Firefighting Drone-filled Truck (Concept)
While all the previous entries exist in reality, this one is just a concept as of now. It comes from the Turkish firm Dahir Insaat which is known for its futuristic — and, sometimes, simply impractical — concept machines such as the Earthquake Safety Bed. In this firefighting solution concept, the drones are a feature of a high-end fire truck that’s straight out of science fiction.
The concept shows a fire truck that can increase its height from the ground to make its way through dense traffic. Inside the truck lies a huge drone that houses a couple of firefighters, significant amounts of firefighting equipment, and a bridge-like platform to rescue people trapped in the fire.
Although firefighting drones aren’t prevalent yet, they hold great promise for the future. It’s only a matter of time before we see this ingenious technology penetrate the fire department. While we are on the topic of drones, make sure to check out how authorities capture rogue drones.