Schiphol's training aircraft FireFly is ready for the future


Schiphol's fire service has a very special aircraft fire trainer: the FireFly. This aircraft is located at the fire service training area at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. In recent weeks, various modifications have been made to the FireFly to ensure it is ready to face the future. These changes include the replacement of the aircraft's right wing with a wing from the largest passengers aircraft in the world, the Airbus A380. The original wing was based on that of a Boeing 747.

The new wing weights some 28 tons. Additional aspects of the upgrade involved the motor and the landing gear. These are now based on an Airbus A380 as well. Another new feature is that the motor of the aircraft can rotate in order to practice spraying it with water, and it is now possible to direct more smoke to the motor and landing gear to simulate those conditions, too.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol prioritises the safety of passengers and staff. This is why, each and every day, the Schiphol fire service carries out intensive training exercises involving a wide range of potential airport fire scenarios. We strive to always arrive at the scene within 3 minutes: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are extremely pleased with these modifications to the FireFly and that the lifespan of the training aircraft has been extended.
Alex Hagenbeek, officier opleiding en training brandweer bij at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

The FireFly has been at Schiphol since 2002. The exterior of the FireFly can be set on fire with three engine and landing gear fires, a broken wing fire or a large-scale surface fire measuring almost 860 m². Twelve separate fires can be lit inside the FireFly, making it possible to simulate various scenarios effectively.