Helicopter Bucket for firefighting | Aerial fire Fighting by Helicopter

Helicopter Bucket for firefighting | Aerial fire Fighting by Helicopter

Helicopter Bucket for firefighting | Aerial fire Fighting by Helicopter

Aerial firefighting

Aerial firefighting is the use of aeroplane/helicopter and other aerial resources to combat wildfires. Helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are among the types of aircraft used. Aerial firefighters also include smokejumpers and rappellers, who drop into a fire by parachute from a variety of fixed-wing aircraft or by rappelling from helicopters. Water, water enhancers like foams and gels, and specifically made fire retardants like Phos-Chek are just a few of the chemicals that can be used to put out a fire.

Aerial Firefighting by Helicopter

In addition to buckets, helicopters can be equipped with tanks (helitankers). Some helitankers also come with a front-mounted foam cannon, like the Erickson AirCrane. Typically, buckets are filled by dipping them into portable tanks, lakes, rivers, or reservoirs. The adaptable Bambi Bucket is the most well-liked of the buckets. Tanks can be topped off on the ground (by water tenders or truck-mounted systems) or by syphoning water through a snorkel suspended from the ceiling from lakes, rivers, reservoirs, or a portable tank. Variants of the Bell 204, Bell 205, Bell 212, Boeing Vertol 107, Boeing Vertol 234, and the Sikorsky S-64 Aircrane helitanker, which has a snorkel for filling from a natural or artificial water source while in hover, are all common firefighting helicopters. A Bambi bucket is now used by the Mil Mi-26, the largest helicopter in the world.

Helicopter Bucket for firefighting
Bucket releasing water

Helicopter Bucket

A helicopter bucket is a unique bucket used for aerial firefighting that is suspended on a cable and transported by the helicopter. The release valve on the bottom of each bucket is operated by the helicopter crew. The crew releases the water to put out or suppress the fire below once the chopper is in position. A drop is the term used to describe each release of water. Because of the way the buckets are made, a helicopter may hover over a body of water, like a lake, river, pond, or tank, and descend the bucket into the water to fill it. This shortens the time between subsequent operations by enabling the helicopter crew to operate the bucket in far-off places without having to return to a regular operating base.

Helicopter Bucket Design

Buckets vary in size from 72 to 2,600 US gallons and can be stiff or foldable (273 to 9,842 liters). The lifting capacity of the helicopter needed to use each version dictates the size of each bucket. Some buckets have features like the capacity to pump water into an interior tank or fire-resistant foam. Water sources as shallow as one foot can be used by smaller collapsible buckets (30.5 cm). The term "monsoon bucket" is commonly used and recognised as a general term around the world. This kind of bucket is formally known as a helibucket in the United States. Firefighting teams frequently use the unofficial term "Bambi Bucket," which is a trademarked name, to refer to buckets made by various manufacturers.

Aerial fire Fighting by Helicopter
Helicopter Bucket

Bucket Variants

A-Flex Firefighting Monsoon Bucket

It is a collapsible bucket produced by A-Flex Technology.

Bambi Bucket

It is collapsible bucket designed by Canadian Don Arney and produced by SEI Industries since 1983. Bambi Buckets were used in year 2011 to cool nuclear reactors in Japan after damage from a tsunami.


It Is a Collapsible bucket produced by IMSNZ Ltd.

FAST Bucket

It is a variable Drop type, this fire fighting bucket allows the pilot to select drop patterns for bush fires to canopy fires on their selection. manufactured by Absolute Fire Solutions.

HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket

Collapsible type and free standing monsoon buckets developed & produced  by Rural Fire Service in New Zealand.

Water Hog Bucket

It is a lightweight, collapsible type, free-standing bucket developed and produced by Aerial Fire Control Pty Ltd in 2001.

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