Munich airport opts for 1000 hp-strong MAN airfield fire engine

Three modern airport fire engines on MAN SX 43.1000 8x8 chassis put into service

The commercial vehicle manufacturer MAN is writing a success story with the special chassis from the SX series which is deployed worldwide as an airport fire engine. Munich's “Franz Josef Strauß“ Airport is renewing its vehicle fleet in spring 2008 with three MAN SX 43.1000 8x8. The supplier is the German fire-fighting equipment company Ziegler from Giengen an der Brenz.

Munich was also the first airport in the world to deploy vehicles on the MAN SX chassis in 1991 when it was still new. Two of the four-axle, 1000 hp fire engines going into service in 2008 have 12,500 litres of water and 1,500 litres of foam agent on board for fire-fighting. The third vehicle also has a powder extinguishing system with 1000 kilogrammes of powder. The pumping output is 10,000 litres per minute.

MAN Nutzfahrzeuge designed the MAN SX 43.1000 8x8 chassis especially for deployment as an airport fire engine. A torsion-resistant frame, coil suspension and four rigid axles are the basis upon which the high-mobility off-road vehicle can quickly reach the scene of a fire. The 735 kW / 1000 hp 12-cylinder V engine is located in the rear. Built at the MAN plant in Vienna, the chassis is fitted with a cab platform. Bodymakers install the pump, extinguishing-agent tanks and cab on the chassis.

Rapidly at the scene of the fire

The shell of a plane can withstand a fire only for a short period. Special vehicles - such as the MAN SX - are necessary to get to the site of an accident within the shortest possible time, even to off-road areas. The SX chassis is designed for high-mobility off-road deployment but it must also have a high carrying capacity for the load of extinguishing agent. The guideline for the development of the MAN SX 43.1000 8x8 chassis are the internationally defined requirements for airport fire brigades. In crisis situations rapid acceleration and a high final speed are required which it must also be possible to reach when cornering and away from unpaved roads and paths. The MAN accelerates in less than 25 seconds from zero to 80 kilometres per hour and has a speed of up to 135 km/h. The combination of coil suspension and rigid axles permits a high degree of axle offset. The advantage is that each axle is independently sprung, thus retaining ground contact for a long time and ensuring propulsion in bumpy terrain.

The bodies on the extra-wide chassis are designed by the manufacturers of fire-fighting equipment with a view to achieving a low centre of gravity. In combination with the running-gear design selected by MAN this decisively promotes driving stability. Propulsion is supplied by the V12 engine installed in the rear. Its maximum torque of 3,500 Nm is available over a wide speed range of 1,400 to 1,900 rpm. This benefits rapid acceleration and high pulling power on trips off the beaten track.

Concentrated fire-fighting power for Munich Airport

In 2007 Munich Airport experienced a successful year. Nearly 34 million passengers and 420,000 take-offs were new records. The fire brigade at the airport has a very modern fleet which, with very few exceptions, runs on MAN chassis. Munich opted for the German company Ziegler for its new airport fire engines. The cab is an integral part of the body. The driver’s workstation is placed at the centre of the vehicle so that direct beside the door there is space for a crew member who can quickly jump out of the vehicle through the swinging doors. A special feature on two vehicles with an extinguishing arm: this can be extended to a height of 20 metres.

MANsuccessful in this market segment

Since the Boeing Jumbo Jet 747 took off on its maiden flight on February 9th 1969 and as the sizes of the planes have increased, fire engines have also got bigger. Large-capacity aeroplanes, such as the Airbus 380 or Boeing 777, which can carry up to 850 passengers, pose new challenges to fire protection at airports. For this reason more and more airports worldwide are interested in powerful fire engines which transport large quantities of extinguishing agent rapidly and off-road. MAN Nutzfahrzeuge has a leading position on this special market. MAN previously used the extra-wide 8x8 chassis KAT IA1 from the high-mobility off-road SX range, which has been introduced as a military vehicle in many countries, as a basis. Of the predecessor range launched in 1991 about 165 vehicles were built; they are deployed in Europe, Africa and Asia. The new MAN chassis SX 43.1000 8x8 celebrated its world première in Hanover at Interschutz 2005, the world’s largest trade fair for fire and disaster protection. Owing to the requirements of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) with regard to weight distribution on the vehicle and customer-specific requirements the chassis is designed with a rear engine. In a short time MAN Nutzfahrzeuge has already been able to win 30 orders for the chassis from Europe and Asia. The fire-fighting manufacturers Rosenbauer (Austria) and Ziegler (Germany) produce the fire-fighting equipment and the bodies including the cab. Further international bodymakers have also expressed interest.

Data as an overview

Model MAN SX 43.1000 8x8
Permissible gross weight 43,000 kg
Maximum speed approx. 135 km/h
Acceleration 0 – 80 km/h within 25 sec at 40 tonnes
Axles Planetary axles
Drive Permanent all-wheel drive 8x8
Suspension Coil suspension
Engine MAN V 12 diesel engine
Capacity 21,920 cm³
Output 735 kW / 1000 hp at 2,300 rpm
Torque 3,500 Nm at 1,400 – 1,900 rpm
Gearbox Allison 6610
Type of gearbox Automatic gearbox with torque converter and retarder
Body on the three vehicles at Munich Airport
Manufacturer Ziegler
Crew 3 crew members
Extinguishing agent 12,500 litre of water
1,500 litres of foam agent

In the 3rd vehicle 1,000 kg powder
Pump system Ziegler, with its own drive motor
Pumping output Normal pressure 10,000 rpm at 10 bar
High pressure 250 rpm at 40 bar