Thornycroft Nubian 6x6 Large Fire Tender

This photo shows a Thornycroft Nubian 6x6 Large Fire Tender (LFT). This 14 ton (16 tonne) all-up-weight tender was powered by a Rolls Royce B.81 straight 8 petrol engine producing 225 hp which enabled acceleration to 50 mph (80 km/h) in one minute.

The vehicle carried 3600 litres of water, 200 litres of foam compound and could accommodate a crew of 5 if required. The engine also drove a pump via a power take off (PTO) capable of delivering 18,000 litres per minute of produced foam from either the roof mounted monitor or handlines.

The photo below shows a Nubian LFT discharging foam during a training exercise at the Fire Service Training School at Sydney/Mascot, probably in the early 1970s. Standing by at right is a Landrover-based Light Rescue Tender. The aircraft is an ex-RAAF Avro Lincoln Mk.30A bomber, A73-27. This aircraft was resident at the Sydney Fire Service Training School and survived numerous practice fires into the 1970s. The aircraft previously served with 10 Sqn and it was used in, and slightly contaminated by, the atomic tests off the Western Australian coast, and/or Maralinga. It was listed for Disposal in January 1959. The cockpit section survives and is on display at the Camden Aviation Museum, NSW.

ARFF Training School

Seventeen Thornycroft Nubian LFTs were delivered between April and December 1958, with a further sixteen delivered between October 1959 and early 1960. Click here to see these vehicles in use in 1959. This type of vehicle saw service into the late 1970s.

(Photos: Top-CAHS collection / Bottom-Terry Martin/CAHS collection)

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