Lockheed Martin partners with Coulson Aviation

Marietta, Georgia, [July 18, 2018]
Lockheed Martin has announced that their new model of C-130, the LM-100J FireHerc, comes with the option of having Coulson Aviation’s Retardant Aerial Delivery System (RADS) preinstalled.

The LM-100J FireHerc is a variant of the C-130J Super Hercules, but made for the civilian aerial firefighting market. It is designed for use in wildfire situations, able to withstand the incessant turbulence of flying over them, and outfitted with specialty avionics.

But a firefighting aircraft is of limited use without a method of delivering fire retardant. Lockheed Martin has hailed the RADS system, designed, manufactured, and sold by Coulson Aviation USA, as “The most effective method of aerial fire retardant application”.

Coulson Aviation’s RADS represents the best value and highest capacity C-130 Retardant Delivery System in the world. Below the tank, installed into the bottom of the fuselage, are a set of doors. These doors are computer controlled and can be adjusted with extreme precision in order to carefully guide the flow of fire retardant out of the tank. The resulting drop pattern allows a much better and more consistent coverage level of fire retardant on the ground, even when dropped from higher altitudes, compared to other tanking systems. The better the coverage level, the less likely a fire will be able to burn the vegetation blanketed by the retardant. The high flow rate also provides the flight crew an increased level of safety since, if required, the airplane can release 36,000 lbs of fluid in less than 2 seconds.

For customers who so choose, Lockheed Martin will carry out the RADS floor modification at their facility in conjunction with Coulson. Once the permanent modification is complete, installation of the RADS tank takes only 30 minutes and it can be removed and reconfigured at will, returning the aircraft back to a standard configuration with no limitations.

“Coulson Aviation is proud to partner with Lockheed Martin in outfitting these incredible aircraft with the best retardant delivery system in the world” said Britton Coulson, Vice President of Aviation for the Coulson Group of companies. “To have another major OEM recognize our RADS-XXL system as having superior performance is a testament to our company’s commitment to excellence.”


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