4 PANTHER and a Simulator

Rosenbauer at Stuttgart Airport

Stuttgart Airport (also called "Manfred Rommel Airport") is the sixth largest airport in Germany in terms of passenger volume: More than 10 million passengers a year use the Swabian aviation hub, situated directly on the A8 motorway. Since 2019, not only four PANTHER 6x6s have been in service with the airport fire department, but also a training simulator from Rosenbauer. This makes training for emergency calls easier and has an enormous impact on sustainability - in two ways.

Stuttgart's path to the PANTHER

The Stuttgart Airport fire department received its first vehicle from Rosenbauer in 2016, namely a so-called 'water/foam roll-off container'. This container, which is transported by an interchangeable loader, allows the fire department to fulfill its task of extinguishing aircraft fires beyond the perimeters of the airport, and thus outside the hydrant network.

In 2017, two auxiliary AT-type fire engines (HLF 20) then expanded the fleet, before the search for new airfield fire engines (ARFFs) with increased driving stability began the following year. The choice was clear, and thus four Rosenbauer PANTHER 6x6s were ordered in 2018.

Striking day-glo red

At first glance, the Stuttgart PANTHERs grab your attention, as they are finished in day-glo red - a rarity for an ARFF. And the equipment behind this brilliant exterior is second to none: The N80-type pump supplies an RM35 front monitor as well as an RM65, which can use the STINGER extinguishing arm to precisely deliver the extinguishing agent even to elevated locations. When deployed, the vehicle holds 12,000 liters of water and 750 liters of foam on board. Two vehicles are also equipped with a CO2 extinguishing system with a 120 kg gas supply, while the other two are fitted with a 250 kg powder extinguishing system.

A 750 hp unit drives the PANTHER and provides powerful acceleration. Thanks to the intentionally designed low center of gravity and the integrated ESC stability program, the vehicle - with its total weight of 39 tons - is not only made for dynamic driving in straight lines, but also for fast, and more importantly safe, cornering. For Stuttgart Airport, this was the decisive factor for choosing the PANTHER from Rosenbauer.

The simulator and its advantages

The four PANTHERs were delivered in May 2019. However, since there were no comparable vehicles in the fleet and the new ARFFs needed to be put into operation immediately, the decision was made in Stuttgart to purchase a training simulator. This was installed in January 2019, allowing the emergency crews to train on their new vehicles for four months before the actual vehicles arrived. This was made possible through an exact replica of the model that was eventually put into operation.

Economically and ecologically sensible

But the simulator is not only useful for tiding over. Since training drives are expensive (brakes and tires wear out, fuel is consumed, and monitoring personnel must be available), it offers an enormous savings potential. It doesn't matter whether for driving training or practicing tactical maneuvers: the simulator can be used to simulate any situation, which also gives firefighters a clear advantage over conventional training.

The ecological aspect should also be considered. The use of extinguishing foam has a significant environmental impact, and because of this its use for training purposes is even forbidden in Stuttgart. There are also emissions from training fires, in which large amounts of aviation fuel go up in flames and smoke. The Rosenbauer simulator enables completely safe and unlimited training with the foam extinguishing system. And naturally, it also helps to minimize the consumption of extinguishing water. With this effective tool, important maneuvers can be practiced over and over again without any harmful consequences for the environment and climate, allowing every action to be performed correctly in an emergency.

In short: The Rosenbauer PANTHER and the Rosenbauer Simulator are a great combination that ensures safety, low overall costs and environmental protection at Stuttgart Airport.

By the way: The PANTHER 6x6 as deployed at Stuttgart Airport is also available as a Wiking model in 1:43 scale in the Rosenbauer Fanshop!