by Mike LissongThe U.S. Air Force has developed a new version of its firefighting helicopter, the Firefighting Helicopter II, that has a bigger engine and can fly longer distances.
In a test earlier this month, the FH-II was able to stay aloft for several hours, while a smaller version was able do the same, a spokesman for the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office said in a statement.
The FHII will be available in 2019, with an initial order of about 5,500.
The helicopter is designed to use a turbojet engine that can reach an altitude of up to 40,000 feet, while being able to fire multiple small munitions.
The Air Force says the FHS-II has a flight time of about 10 minutes.