Adam Ellis, Alyssa Sanchez, Anthony Lessa, Dakota Roy, Daniel Valencia, David Hargrave, Dillon Mickel, Ena Schentrup, Gavin Gamble, and Logan Molaschi
As climate change worsens, the number and intensity of wildfires is rapidly increasing across the nation. In 2018, wildfires costs $148.5 billion dollars in California alone. The AT-8 Phoenix was specially designed to fill a void in aeronautics. The AT-8 Phoenix will be the first aircraft specifically designed to combat forest fires on a large scale while minimizing the cost and maintenance. Powered by four 7,500 shp propeller engines, with a cruise speed of 300 knots and a range of 5,100 nm, the Phoenix will be manned by a 3-person crew with a cockpit accommodating the 95th percentile of pilots. The Phoenix can carry 8,000 gallons, or 72,000 pounds, of fire retardant and is comprised of eight 1,000-gallon gravity fed tanks. To maintain the center of gravity as constant as possible for stability purposes, a control system is in place to release the fire retardant two tanks at a time for a total of four 2,000 gallon drops per flight. Ease of maintenance was considered by implementing a single cargo door in the fuselage for the crew to enter and exit the plane as well as to remove tanks and parts when needed. The Phoenix has a payload drop speed of 115 knots and a maneuvering speed of 205 knots to ensure that the pilots will have enough time to properly position themselves for each drop. The Phoenix is a revolutionary, durable, light weight firefighting aircraft weighing a maximum of 185,174 pounds with a semi-monocoque structure. The AT-8 Phoenix is the future.