A new Russian helicopter could put out a fire at the top of the 163-story Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world at 828 metres – when the complexities of high altitude make using traditional fire-fighting techniques impossible, a Russian Helicopters official told the High-Rise Aerial Firefighting & Rescue conference at Dubai Helishow 2012.

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa

The Ka-32A11BC is an all-weather coaxial rotor helicopter that can be equipped with special horizontal fire-fighting equipment. The helicopter was showcased in Dubai by Russian Helicopters.

“Today this helicopter is a unique and highly effective tool for tackling fires in high-rise buildings and skyscrapers,” said Dmitry Zuikov of Russian Helicopters at the conference. “The Ka-32A11BC’s coaxial rotors give it a crucial edge in terms of stability and manoeuvrability in the turbulent air found in fire zones, making it a high-precision tool that can fight fires with maximum efficiency.”

The Ka-32A11BC is highly configurable with more than 40 different options available to buyers, Zuikov said. “This includes Bambi-Bucket and Simplex fire-fighting systems of various capacities, stowable lifting cabins for transportation and rescue operations, and other equipment such as water-canons for horizontal fire-fighting, which would be perfectly suited to tackling a blaze in any of Dubai’s skyscrapers, like the Burj Khalifa.”

The Ka-32A11BC proved its fire-fighting credentials in April 2012, when a blaze engulfed more than 300 meters of the 67th floor at the Federation Tower in Moscow, more than 270 meters above ground level. More than 20 fire brigades were called out to respond to the incident – the highest altitude fire in Moscow’s history – but the fire was only contained after two Ka-32As belonging to the Russian Emergencies Ministry were called into action and ferried in water from the nearby Moscow River. More info