Faster, stronger, safer – in a nutshell, these are the advantages of the new PANTHER 8×8.
The flagship of Rosenbauer’s premium vehicles is based on the technical innovations of the PANTHER 6×6, which has been on the market for two years with great success and crowns the ARFF series. With the 8×8, all major PANTHER models are now in the “new generation,” and the fleet now consists of the 4×4, 6×6, and 8×8 models, with two 8×8 models available, with short (swb) and long (lwb) wheelbases, the current 4×4 and 6×6 versions that can be transported in aircraft, and the PANTHER 6×6 S, which are suitable for traveling on public roads.
Impressive performance data, both in terms of vehicle dynamics and extinguishing performance, are the hallmarks of the new PANTHER 8×8. The Volvo twin-engine in the rear provides 1,400 hp from 16 l engine displacement – while the Euro 6 variant offers even 50 hp more – and accelerates the 52 t vehicle to a maximum speed of over 135 km/h. An Allison transmission ensures high acceleration, and a single axle suspension with coil springs provides stable driving and cornering behaviour on asphalt and on unpaved terrain. And now the pump can be switched on and off for pump-and-roll operation much faster than before, more specifically in one-third of the time, thanks to a newly revised drive concept.
Integrated firefighting equipment
Like the entire vehicle, the N110 centrifugal pump is a new development and can pump at an output of 10,000 l/min at 10 bar. It is perfectly matched to the fire extinguishing system integrated into the PANTHER, which includes high-precision fully automatic foam proportioning systems (including compressed air foam systems) and electronically controlled monitors with outputs of up to 9,000 l/min and a throw range of up to 100 m.
Highly-flexible booms extend the PANTHER’s attack potential in all directions. The STINGER boom can be raised up to 16.5 m (20.0 m optional), thus enabling aircraft fire control from above or from a raised lateral position. It can also be equipped with a piercing tool for penetrating aircraft walls so that extinguishing agents can be applied internally. The new HVLA bumper boom turret, which is installed in the underride protection, facilitates the control of fires on the ground (leaking kerosene) or close to the ground (vehicle/engine fires).
The crew has never been as protected as in the new cabin, crash-tested in accordance with ECE R29-3. 3-point seat belts and side airbags provide additional safety. The visibility from the cabin has been significantly improved in the course of the PANTHER’s redevelopment, which makes it easier to enter and exit the cabin by means of wide-opening hinged or pneumatic outwards opening doors.
A new electronic braking system, as commonly used in serial chassis, also increases the safety of the PANTHER, as well as various assistance systems, such as electronic tire pressure monitoring.
More space, better serviceability
Both equipment compartments on the left and right side of the vehicle now have the same amount of space, which means that a rapid intervention system (reel) can be installed on either side. The control and instrument panels for the extinguishing system are located on the side of the equipment compartments and are now mounted at a more ergonomic height. Many service access points have been redesigned for better accessibility, for example, the rear box has been partitioned and the control and instrument panel are now slimmer.
Even before its official unveiling, numerous well-known airport fire departments have opted for the new PANTHER 8×8, with 16 vehicles already having been ordered. Orders have come in from Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, China, and Dubai. Among the first customers of the new PANTHER 8×8 are the fire departments at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, Dubai International Airport, and Vienna Schwechat. Paris will receive the first 8×8 swb, Dubai the first 8×8 lwb. As Vienna and Paris are also equipped with E8000/3000 escape stairs, they practically operate their entire airfield fleets with vehicles from Rosenbauer.
In addition, they also rely on Rosenbauer quality for building fire protection. For example, a TLF 5500 from the AT series and a B32 hydraulic platform are in service at the Vienna airport fire department.
In addition to vehicles, Rosenbauer also provides airport fire departments with simulators with which they can practice all operational scenarios, from runway approaches to the effective control of aircraft fires. The PANTHER tactical simulator is available in various sizes and designs, from a desktop device with control console and screen, through the cockpit variant with dashboard and five 4K screens, all the way to the full cab version with original cabin and 210° screen with a screen size of eight meters diagonally and edge blending projection.
For more information visit www.rosenbauer.co.uk