The Future Of Firefighting Is Already Here

EHang 216F successfully controlling a high rise fire in Yunfu, China
Image Credit: EHang

A fast responding firefighting drone has been developed by the leading autonomous aerial vehicle technology (AAV) platform company, EHang. This latest version of firefighting drones, ‘EHang 216F’ is said to be the world’s first large-payload intelligent aerial firefighting solution.

The world is rising high with hundreds and thousands of high rising buildings and so the risk of fire and the difficulty to extinguish them on time are also rising high. The height of rescue ladders and the reach of fire nozzles are normally less than 50 metres which makes high rise fires a difficult task to control. But EHang 216F is built for dealing with such high rise fires. It has a maximum 600metres of flight altitude. 

A EHang 216F carries 150 litres of firefighting foams with 6 fire extinguisher bombs at once. The inbuilt visible-light zoom camera has the ability to quickly identify fire locations. Once it identifies the location it hovers straight to the point and uses its laser aiming device to break any barrier glass. Then it uses the foam spray and the fire extinguishing bombs to control the fire. With its autonomous flying capabilities, multiple drones can be deployed to tackle larger fires at once.

According to Huazhi Hu, the chairperson and CEO of EHang, “We are pleased to introduce the EHang 216F AAV aerial firefighting solution, which solves difficult challenges in high-rise firefighting.  The high-rise fire use case highlights the practical application of our passenger-grade AAV platform to different smart city management needs.  The potential of our intelligent AAV technology platform is boundless.  We will explore and develop more aerial solutions and use cases to empower smart cities.”

EHang 216F in a fire station in Yunfu, China (Ehang)

The company’s plan is to instate these EHang 216F drones in city fire stations to assist fires within 5kilometre radius. They believe that these fire fighting drones will be first responders to address fires even before the firefighters. In city areas, traffic can seriously delay firefighter response time. But using EHang 216F will significantly shorten response time and can reduce casualties.