ATR has the leading edge in discovering and testing new firefighting methodologies, thanks to an evolving, world-class Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Research Facility and a fleet of versatile vehicles. 


ARFF Research Facility

The ARFF Research Facility is a one-of-a-kind fire research facility at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, NJ. Resources include an outdoor open burn area and a full-scale test aircraft to evaluate new equipment, firefighting tactics, and strategies.


ARFF Test Laboratory

The heart of the Research Facility is a custom-built, 2,500 square-foot indoor ARFF Test Laboratory that focuses on live fire-testing for fire-extinguishing agents and other ARFF technologies.


Laboratory specifications include:

  • 50-foot-wide by 50-foot-long by 65-foot-high building
  • 15-megawatt hood calorimeter
  • Color and thermal video
  • Heat flux sensors
  • Weight platforms that measure fuel burn rate and firefighting agent use
  • Ventilation system capable of 180,000 cubic feet per minute


The ARFF Test Laboratory aligns with military specifications (MILSPEC) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) protocol:

  • ICAO Level C Fire – 78.8 ft.², 22.3 ft. flame height, 11.9 megawatt
  • MIL-F-24385 Fire – 28.2 ft.², 24.3 ft. flame height, 6.2 megawatt



The enclosed fire-test facility contains and collects fire-testing runoff, preventing its release into the surrounding environment. This mitigates the facility’s environmental impact and allows for more frequent and efficient testing.


Test Vehicles

FAA’s four fire trucks are used on and offsite in various test scenarios and hold 100 to 3,000 gallons of water.  Some use high reach extendable turrets (HRETs) to discharge water and foam at up to 1,200 gallons per minute. The two larger vehicles directly attack interior fires by piercing the aircraft with skin-penetrating nozzles. The newest, a 6x6 Rosenbauer Panther, tests compressed air foam systems’ functionality and performance.