A helicopter as big as a semi-trailer landed at Bundaberg Airport this week for refuelling after a recent fire-bombing mission.
The massive aircraft, nicknamed Mad Max, is a sight to behold, with an internal load capacity of four tonnes and an external load capacity of five tonnes.
Hevilift's project lead Aaron Booji said the aircraft was in Bundaberg for short period of time on its transit back to Papua New Guinea after its call to aid with the firefighting effort in Victoria.
“Thankfully the fires were brought under control and the MIL-8 was not required, however, the exercise allowed for the aircraft to pass all regulatory requirements and be approved for future use,” Aaron said.
“Time was also taken to demo the aircraft to State Emergency Service teams.”
Aaron said the MIL-8 was a heavy lifting aircraft which could reach speeds of up to 280kmh.
“It can easily be configured for internal cargo, external cargo (long-lining) or fire suppression,” he said.
“This particular aircraft, nicknamed Mad Max, spends six months each year fighting fires in Indonesia.
“The multiple configurations allow Mad Max to be an excellent fire-responder aircraft for disaster relief operations.”
Aaron said the aircraft was one of 50 in the Hevilift Australia fleet, two of which were MIL-8s.
The helicopter is known for its reliability, safety and cost-effectiveness.
Designed with adaptability in mind, it can accommodate a range of missions by using its lifting power, endurance, manoeuvrability and heavy-duty construction.
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