Tomorrow Capewell will be heading to Chicago to exhibit at the National Guard Association of the United States annual conference. We’ll be meeting with members of the Air National Guard to talk aerial delivery, specifically about the future of aerial firefighting. So this week we invited our friends at Caylym, a company dedicated to saving homes, to write an article on their Guardian System, a revolutionary innovation that Capewell is proud to support.
The annual cost of U.S. forest fires has more than quintupled in the past two decades, with current government spending around three to four billion dollars per year. There are many factors that contribute to these staggering numbers and the fear is that they will continue to rise in the years to come. The greatest opportunity to impact these numbers remains in fire prevention education and techniques. However, once a fire has started, an entire community and industry jumps into action to knock down the blaze and prevent it from spreading. Aerial firefighting has seen little advancement in equipment and technology over the last half century. The small aging operational fleet of air tankers that remains requires regular maintenance and is limited to low altitude daytime missions. Caylym Technologies, based in central California, has developed a product that will change the aerial landscape forever and may tip the scales in the firefighter’s direction.
The Guardian Aerial Firefighting System is a containerized aerial liquid deployment system that can be used by any rear loading cargo aircraft. A single Guardian Unit is a super-reinforced corrugated box which holds 264 gallons, or a giant metric ton raindrop, that opens midair once dropped from the aircraft, creating a rain effect. The genius design is elegant, simple, and reliable keeping the boxes sealed and secure until they are released from the aircraft, and upon opening, form an overlapping pattern for an instant deluge. The availability of aircraft and crew that can deploy The Guardian System would allow the United States’ current aerial firefighting fleet, which consists of a few dozen aging aircraft, to be increased by hundreds. Aircraft such as the mighty Hercules C-130 can carry sixteen Guardian units with the latest models carrying 18-20 units, which translates to over five thousand gallons of water or retardant dropped on each pass.
The Guardian aerial firefighting system is dropped using a military technique called Container Delivery System (CDS). This technique has been used for decades and allows already trained crews to drop a massive blanket of water with precision from a much higher altitude than a traditional air tanker. The Guardian System is quickly gaining acceptance overseas with the Romanian Air force and strong interest from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, and Chile just to name a few. The Guardian has also been working its way through the U.S. approvals, gaining a Resolution from the National Guard Association of the United States last year and garnering support from policy officials, state and local representatives, and support from military leaders.
Caylym has been manufacturing the Guardian and fulfilling orders since early 2013. Significant resources have been added this year to meet the demands of a strong European fire season. If you have questions about the Guardian Aerial Firefighting System visit Caylym.com or call (209) 322-9596. You can also see the Guardian in action here.