The PANTHER 8×8 is the most powerful aircraft rescue and fire fighting vehicle from Rosenbauer. It is used at major international airports which operate aircraft such as the Airbus A380, and airports which have special requirements on acceleration, maximum speed, and fire extinguishing capacity of fire fighting vehicles due to the geographical dimensions. The flagship of the PANTHER series protects many of the major aviation hubs in Europe for example, such as the two Parisian airports Orly and Charles de Gaulle, the German hubs in Berlin and Düsseldorf as well as the airports in Athens, Geneva, Moscow, Oslo, and Prague, to name but a few.
Internationally, the PANTHER 8×8 has a particularly strong presence in Asia and the Arab world. Beijing, the world’s largest airport by volume of passengers, operates several vehicles, as do Shanghai-Pudong, Guangzhou, and Hongkong. In India, 8×8 vehicles are stationed at New-Delhi Airport, while other large 8×8 fleets are also located at airports in Japan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman. And in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban, Rosenbauer’s flagship has been in operation for years.
Power, Safety, Comfort
In 1992, the first PANTHER 8×8 was put into service at Geneva Airport. Today, it is in its fourth generation. Just like the new PANTHER 4×4 and 6×6, which have been on the market for two years, the new PANTHER 8×8 has also been improved in three main aspects: It has a higher driving and extinguishing performance, offers the occupants more safety, and is more comfortable and accurate than its predecessor model. All this in a vehicle whose chassis, bodywork, firefighting equipment, and electronics are made by a single manufacturer. The first vehicles of the new generation will be delivered to Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle, Dubai International Airport, and Vienna-Schwechat.
Improved Driving Dynamics
A PANTHER 8×8 weighs up to 52 t and has up to 19,000 l of extinguishing agent on board. It is able to sprint across the airfield in the required time thanks to its two 700 hp strong Euro 5 engines. Optionally, the new PANTHER 8×8 can also be equipped with more powerful Euro 6 engines.
Together, they accelerate the power house from 0 to 80 km/h in considerably less than 25 seconds, and provide a top speed of more than 135 km/h. If the engines are decoupled, then one engine drives the wheels while the other drives the pump for pump-and-roll operation. A reworked drive concept allows for shorter switching times from pump-and-roll operation back into driving mode (both engines). Due to the modified weight and axle load distribution and a reduction in the overall center of gravity, the vehicle’s dynamics and stability were also further improved.
At the heart of its extinguishing technology, the PANTHER 8×8 incorporates the new N110 industrial supply pump. It features optimized pump drive and delivers over 10,000 liters of water per minute at 10 bar. For the application of extinguishing agent, monitors are available in various performance classes, including the new RM80 roof turret with an output rate of up to 9,000 l/min and a throw range of 100 m for water and 90 m for foam operations, as well as the new RM35 with up to 4,750 l/min and throwing distances of 85 m (water) and 76 m (foam).
In order to be able to combat fires at or near ground level (landing gear and jet engines), the RM35 can be mounted on a swiveling bumper boom turret, which is installed in the underride protection. For firefighting from an elevated position, the PANTHER 8×8 can be equipped with the STINGER boom, which can be erected to heights of up to 16 or 20 m.
Improved Occupant Protection
The crew is well protected in the new PANTHER cabin, as has been successfully demonstrated in crash tests carried out in accordance with ECE R29/3. The cabin also offers the occupants more room and storage space as well as an improved view to the outside thanks to the larger glass surfaces, slimmer A-pillar, and narrower control and instrument panel.
For modern comfort in the cabin, a new cab suspension provides better decoupling of underground movements. And even the pump is now further decoupled from the pumping box in the new PANTHER 8×8, so that any vibrations transmitted to adjacent components, e.g., in pump-and-roll mode, are kept to a minimum.
Complete Switchover in Vienna
Vienna-Schwechat, Austria’s largest airport, will replace its entire ARFF fleet and will exclusively operate Rosenbauer vehicles on the airfield in the future. In addition to the E8000/E3000 escape stair which is already in use, two PANTHER 6×6 S will be commissioned by the end of the year, with which the airport fire department can also access public roads and the marshy area which is part of the operational range. In the coming year, four new PANTHER 8x8s will be added, giving Vienna Airport the world’s most modern fleet of airport extinguishing and rescue vehicles.
New PANTHER 8×8
Chassis: Rosenbauer 52.1400 8×8
Engine: 2 x Volvo D16 Euro 5 (Euro 6 optional)
Power: 1.030 kW (1,400 hp)
Transmission: Allison automatic transmission
Brakes: Disk brakes
Crew: 1 + 5
Extinguishing agent: Up to 16,800 l water, 2,200 l foam compound and 500 kg powder / CO2
Pump unit: N110 with 10,000 l/min at 10 bar
Foam proportioning system: FOAMATIC E
Roof turret: RM80 with up to 9,000 l/min
Bumper turret: RM35 with up to 4,750 l/min
Boom (optional): STINGER, HVLA (High Volume Low Attack)
Dimensions L x W x H: 13.1 x 3.0 x 3.7 m (LWB) or 12.0 x 3.0 x 3.7 m (SWB)
Weight: 52 t