How It Works: Airport Fire Truck

Fire Truck Driving Safety

Popular Science Magazine Truck TechnologyOver the road truck drivers have tough jobs. There’s danger around every corner. But one type of truck driver is in immediate and constant peril every time they’re called into action (which, fortunately isn’t often). The airport fire truck driver.

Aircraft fires pose unusual challenges for first responders. Extinguishing jet fuel requires thousands of gallons of flame-smothering foam, and the fuel burns so hot (up to 2,500°F) that firefighters typically have only three minutes to respond before passengers would be overcome by heat and smoke inhalation.

Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) vehicles, then, must balance a heavy payload with quick acceleration. Since its release in 2001, the Oshkosh Striker has become the industry-leading ARFF; today it’s used at the White House, nearly every Air Force base, and more than 200 U.S. airports. In 2010, Oshkosh revamped the $600,000-to-$800,000 vehicle for the first time, streamlining the design and refining the controls.

How do these marvels of practical engineering work? Click the image below to find out at Popular Science.