EHang firefighting drone passes quality tests

Chinese drone manufacturer and technology platform EHang has declared that its fire-fighting drone has passed examination by China’s qualifications authority and is now ready to douse fires in high rise buildings around the world.

In a statement, EHang said the EH216F AAV, the firefighting model, had been in testing by the China National Fire-Fighting Equipment Quality Supervision Testing Centre (NFFE), China’s firefighting equipment quality examination agency.

The NFFE’s responsibilities include standards development, centralised management, and technical guidance for firefighting equipment products, including firefighting unmanned aerial vehicles.

“The NFFE’s technical examination is widely used in the firefighting equipment markets and the MEM system and considered the cornerstone of quality for firefighting products in China,” the EHang statement read. “EH216F’s successful completion of the technical examination certifies that it conforms to the firefighting UAV standards and requirements by the NFFE and we believe it will further enhance customer confidence and promote the recognition and adoption of EHang’s high-rise firefighting solutions in the commercial markets in China and further abroad.

“The NFFE conducted a comprehensive 10-month technical examination on EH216F and 52 different types of tests were completed in areas such as flight control functions, hovering and return accuracy, high/low altitude flights, electromagnetic compatibility, wind resistance, high/low temperature adaptability, vibration/shock resistance, radiant heat resistance and smoke performance.”

But how exactly does the fire-fighting drone work?

Generally, drones have been applied in fire emergencies, mainly as an eye in the sky to help fighters with situational awareness, identifying hotspots though thermal imaging; and for search and rescue. These are functions that DJI’s industrial drones have been adept at for years.

The EH216F is trying to go a step further, by actually getting involved in extinguishing fires.

Released in July 2020, the EH216F has features that include autopilot, quick response and cluster management; designed to address pain points in urban high-rise firefighting and become a valuable complement to the existing firefighting system.

The drone is fitted with six fire extinguishing bombs, a laser pointer and a powerful camera capable of zooming into objects without the picture going grainy.

The fire bombs are shot at a fire, where they will explode into firefighting foam upon landing.

The drone is also equipped with a ten-metre long high-pressure nozzle, which can be aimed at a fire to eject water that can douse the flames.

This is without mentioning the great advantage the drone itself has – it can actually fly to dizzy heights and fight fires at altitudes that ladders cannot attain without putting fire fighters in considerable danger.

The only limiting factor might be in the amount of water the drone can carry though; and we are here dreaming of a day when a fire-fighting drone will be able to carry a fire hose straight from the fire truck and into a high-rise fire, and be able to aim the high-pressure hose at a fire without wobbling.

We swing for the fence, we know. But it is just a thought.

EHang its fire-fighting drone model demonstrates the commercial capabilities of its AAV technology in practical scenarios such as aerial firefighting and emergency rescues.


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