Rosenbauer Panther Mk 8 Ultra Large Fire Vehicle

The first of an initial batch of 18 of these Rosenbauer Panther Mk 8 ULFV
s entered service at Perth Airport in March 2005. As of March 2010, a total of 54 of these vehicles had been ordered by Airservices Australia. The photo above shows one of the first brand-new Panthers outside the Airport Fire Station at Avalon on 17 March 2007. The following day it was put on display at the Australian International Airshow.

The basic chassis of these vehicles are built in Wyoming, Minnesota, USA by Rosenbauer Motors (RBM), which is a subsidiary of Rosenbauer International Aktiengesellschaft (RBI). Once the chassis is delivered, the superstructure, fire fighting equipment, electrical/pneumatic systems and final assembly are all built up in RBIís Leonding plant Ė Leonding is just outside of Linz, Austria. The vehicles cost A$1.1 million each.

These 10 m long, 30-tonne vehicles can deliver 5700 litres of foam per minute and can throw foam in excess of 80 metres from their roof-mounted monitor. These vehicles have a top speed of 120 km/h. The grey 'box' on the roof just behind the passenger side window contains floodlights on a telescopic mast to provide area lighting if necessary. Stowage for various rescue and fire-fighting equipment is provided behind the 'roller doors' on the sides of the vehicles.


Rosenbauer ULFV

The photo above shows Avalon 'Tender 1' at the holding point for Runway 18/36 on Taxiway C. The photo was taken during the biennial Australian International Airshow on 9 March 2009.

The photo below shows 'Tender 23', allocated to the Airservices Learning Academy's ARFF Training School, departing the public aircraft viewing area on Operations Rd at the beginning of a drill in November 2013. The ARFF School training ground is in the Airservices compound, near the Control Tower in the background.


Rosenbauer ULFV

The photo below shows the first Panther for Melbourne Airport ARFF being delivered on 21 January 2009. The Panthers will eventually replace Melbourne's fleet of earlier Mills-Tui Mk 7 ULFVs. In a departure from the traditional colour scheme for ARFF vehicles, all later Panthers are being delivered in high-visibility yellow-green. Later Panthers also include some minor internal differences to earlier vehicles.


Below is a turret-top view of the Mk 8's monitor in action.


Rosenbauer ULFV

(Photos: 1,2 & 4-Phil Vabre/CAHS collection; 3-Gordon Reid; 5-Maurice Austin)

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