Could This Firefighting Drone Be the Wave of the Future?

Aerones Ltd. believes they would be able to reach parts of high-rise buildings that conventional ladder trucks fall short of.

Aerones/Youtube

In theory, a fire-fighting drone is a fantastic idea. A drone could reach places a ladder can't, and it could adjust angles quicker than a conventional fire truck. Fortunately, a Latvian company called Aerones Ltd. is developing a firefighting drone that could one day fight high-rise fires. 

However, the video makes it quite clear this is still a lot of work to be done. Diving into the drone's specifications, we see that drone weighs 121 pounds, and is able to lift 319 pounds. Although that may seem like a lot, lifting 319 pounds can be fairly limiting when you are considering the drone is attached to a hose filled with water. Every foot of hose can weigh a significant amount; for example, 100 feet of charged 5-inch hose weighs 944 pounds

With this in mind, the advertised flight height of 984 to 1,312 feet seems a little out of whack. In order to achieve an operational flight height of 984 feet, the drone would be limited to a hose less than one inch. If the drone were to be attached to a conventional two-and-a-half-inch hand line, the lifting power would have to handle 2,086 pounds at 984 feet. 

All this being said, the drone is still under development, so we could see improved performance in the future. (Aerones Ltd has already begun transitioning from a battery-powered drone to developing a drone with a power cable for continued operation.) Long story short, this drone could someday be a much-needed tool in the arsenal for fighting tricky high-rise fires.