The Port of Oakland is the proud owner of two new Rosenbauer Panther AFF vehicles. Designed in Austria and built in Minnesota, the vehicles are specifically designed to fight aircraft fires (AFF stands for Aircraft Fire Fighting). They'll be based at the Oakland Fire Department's station at Oakland International Airport.
Each vehicle is utterly massive, measuring 39 feet long, 12 feet high and 10 feet wide. When empty, each vehicle weighs 44,520 pounds or 22 tons. Fully loaded, they're 85,000 pounds or 43 tons. Each truck has a 750-horsepower diesel engine and an acceleration of zero to 50mph in 35 seconds. Together, the two vehicles cost $1.4 million.
After displaying the vehicles, the fire department, medical teams and Red Cross held a simulated aircraft disaster using an old FedEx Boeing 727. Held every year, the exercise is designed to test emergency procedures.
The new vehicles played along, but didn't operate their firefighting equipment.
The 727's integrated air stairs are useful for a few things: letting firefighters enter the airliner without any ground equipment, boarding passengers at undeveloped airports and, if you're D.B. Cooper, parachuting in midflight.