The first technologically advanced, high capacity, multirole, amphibian aircraft
Wingspan: 32.45 mt.
Lenght: 25.25 mt.
Height: 9.33 mt.
Water Management System is the core of WF-X Mission Control System. WMS leverages updated technologies in an holistic approach to support the Crew during the intense routine of dropping and scooping operations. AI algorithms are fuelled by visible and infrared images captured by on-board high-performance ElectroOptical turret, enriched by satellites, auxiliary drones or Ground Crews data, to define in real time best dropping and scooping strategies. Operational theaters are visualized via conventional avionics displays and wearable devices, while actions are commanded by physical interfaces or via advanced visual/voice controls. Water tanks loading/unloading optimize aircraft center of gravity, reducing Crew workload and enhancing flight qualities for an outstanding safety of operations
WF-X has very good low speed performances to maximize effectiveness and precision during water bombing low speed pass, floating for water scooping and take-off in short lakes close to wildfires and access to majority of small airports available around operational theaters in mountainous regions. To achieve good performances at very low speed, WF-X is equipped with a Boundary Layer Control System, a consolidated technology perfectioned in similar applications. BLC actively energizes aerodynamic flow on Wing Flap and Horizontal Tail at very low speed during take-off and landing phases and in low-speed pass during water bombing operations.
24/7 operational capability multiplies WF-X effectiveness on wildfire, since cockpit and lighting equipment are designed for Night Vision Goggles compatibility, while 360° enhanced vision is obtained integrating specialized IR cockpit cameras with high-performance Electro Optical turret. To improve safety during low altitude flights, crew wearable devices integrate data from Sense & Avoid System, supporting detection of crossing electrical cables or eventual mid-air obstacles
WF-X is designed to fly in known icing conditions complying to current airworthiness requirements, with heated wing and horizontal tail leading edges plus turbine and Auxiliary Power Unit inlets. Beyond those mandatory characteristics, the aircraft is equipped with proprietary Windshield Water Rejection System, to facilitate Crew workload during low altitude flight with heavy rains as well as seaspray during take-off and water landing up to Sea State 4.
WF-X is equipped with the most up to date Fly-by-Wire technology in order to protect flight envelope eliminating dangerous limit exceedances and, at the same time, to enhance handling qualities reducing Crew workload. To guarantee an unprecedented level of safety for Fire Fighters aircraft category, FBW is designed with a fail-operative architecture, with redundant computational system and aerodynamic surfaces servomechanisms powered by diversified energy sources. Proprietary Safety Critical Softwares, dedicated to Control Laws and System Functional codes, comply with the highest design quality level set by international standard requirements
To maximize flight envelope and amplify the number of days suitable for water operations, WF-X is designed to operate up to Sea State 4. Fuselage lower shape is based on a Deep-Vee Hull able to sustain waves up to 2 meters high, while Powerplant nacelles -hosting turbines and propellers- are positioned on wing upper surface to minimize impact of seaspray. Innovative tip floats equipped with lifting foils provide speed increasing stabilizing forces during water runs, enhancing aircraft dynamic stability and increasing cross wind limits. Windshield is equipped with proprietary Windshield Water Rejection System, to deviate seaspray during take-off and water landing in heavy Sea State
To increase aircraft availability and reduce Life Cycle Costs, WF-X maintenance operations are centralized in a proprietary Advance Maintenance System. According to a Predictive Maintenance approach, AMS receives functional data from equipment plus airframe stresses on selected instrumented structures to evaluate aircraft health and activate maintenance operations. AMS supplies information to the Service Crew that plans and activates maintenance activities and delivers spares. The large amount of service data – gathered by on board sensors – are shared at fleet level, powering optimization of AMS operational logics, supporting analysis of aircraft service limits and driving spares production needs
WF-X is conceived to be the center of a System of Systems vocated to Fire fighting operations. WF-X integrates other segments such as satellites, drones and Ground Crews, with data received by the aircraft and distributed directly or via SATCOM to a Control Room that coordinates the System. Satellites provide strategic scenario information while drones support local operations with tactical information or scouting the theater to capture data on potential dangers or specific operational needs. Ground Crews support operations and supply close-by tactical information to the System. The Control Room elaborates information and defines tactical or strategic decisions. The Control Room may be centralized at an Headquarter, or positioned on a Remote Station close to the theater of operations, or on-board the Aircraft acting as the “Flagship”. In this case Mission Operators sit at dedicated Tactical Consoles located in the pressurized fuselage.
The WF-X is capable of performing different roles: Aerial Firefighting, Emergency relief, Medical evacuation, Maritime Search & Rescue, Maritime patrol, Cargo and Pax transportation. It can quickly and efficiently reach remote islands without an airport or disaster stricken countries.,
The WF-X can be easily reconfigured to be used on different roles and missions. It takes less than 3 hours thanks to a specially designed cargo door and load system.