A PANTHER on a journey through the jungle

Surrounded by hundreds of square miles of jungle, Leticia is located in the southernmost part of Colombia. The city is cut off from the rest of the country: no roads or railway lines lead there. Airplane or boat by way of the mighty Amazon - these are the only ways to reach the city. One of three PANTHER 4x4s recently delivered to three Colombian airports made the journey to this remote location.

 

To say the delivery of the PANTHER 4x4 to the airport in Leticia was an adventure would be an understatement: this immense challenge began nearly 1000 aeronautical kilometers from its final destination, in the city of Puerto Asis. This is where the southbound roads end and new means of transportation must be used. For the task at hand, the PANTHER was loaded onto a cargo ship and sent down the Rio Putumayo, the river that flows along the border between Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia. After flowing hundreds of kilometers in the southeastern direction, the river crosses the border of Brazil, where it unites with the world's most awe-inspiring river, the Amazon. For its last leg, the PANTHER then made its way upstream along the mighty river into the middle of the jungle to Leticia. The river trip alone took 20 days.

 

The PANTHER 4x4 for the airport in Leticia has probably had the most spectacular trip to its destination. The second was delivered to the city of Armenia in a well-known coffee growing region, and the third to the city of Tame, in eastern Colombia. All three aircraft rescue and fire fighting vehicles were purchased by the "Unidad Administrativa Especial de Aeronáutica Civil," the Colombian authority responsible for airports.

 

Impressive driving performance

All three vehicles impress not only with their powerful extinguishing systems, but also with their driving performance. The PANTHER 4x4 is designed as a "rapid intervention vehicle," the quick responder at the airport, so to speak. The 700 PS Volvo EURO V-engine accelerates the nearly 25-ton vehicle to 80 km/h in just 22 seconds; its top speed is 115 km/h. Thus, all locations within the airport can be reached quickly.

 

The Rosenbauer normal pressure pump N65 has an output of up to 7,000 l/min at 12 bar and supplies the roof and bumper turrets with the necessary extinguishing agent. With the FIXMIX 2.0 A proportioning system, the extinguishing water can be admixed with foam compound at proportioning ratios of 1%, 3% or 6%. Not only the 6,200 liters of water and 750 liters of foam compound are available in the respective tanks for extinguishing; the three PANTHER 4x4s are also equipped with a dry powder unit and 250 kg of solid extinguishing agent each.

 

Optimal weight distribution for safe driving behavior

In contrast to the PANTHER 6x6, the water and foam agent tank in the PANTHER 4x4 are directly behind the panorama-view driver's cab. The pump compartment is located behind the (combined) water/foam agent tank. In comparison to the larger models, this reversed arrangement achieves optimal weight distribution, which reflects positively in the driving behavior of the aircraft rescue and fire fighting vehicle.

 

Ready for operation anytime and in any situation

Equipment, workmanship, and performance were some of the important aspects taken into account when deciding on the PANTHER 4x4 for the purchase of three new aircraft rescue and fire fighting vehicles for "Aeronautica Civil" in Columbia. Due to the fact that Leticia's location is extremely remote and the cost of travel and transport is high, standard characteristics that can be expected of Rosenbauer products, like maximum reliability and high quality, were the deciding factors. They needed "vehicles that would be ready for any situation, anytime." The new PANTHER 4x4 lives up to these requirements completely and will fulfill its duties in one of the most remote locations of the world with flying colors.