One Truck, Two Trucks, Yellow Trucks & More – Solving
a Mystery at the Airport
May 11, 2016
Let’s solve a mystery.
Did the airport fire department have one or two Walters
CB3000 crash trucks, back in the day? Wait, doesn’t story go
that the 1973 Walter CB3000 (delivered new) was re-manufactured
by Crash Rescue Equipment Services in/around 1990? Yes, that’s
the long-told story.
Then a certain fire historian heard an interesting story the
other day. He’s resumed his research on RDU CFR history, and an
old-timer told him, “I seem to remember that one of those
rehabbed Walters was from a different department. It was a
replacement that was already built, and not one of ours.”
Wait a minute, what?
Early ARFF Rigs
First, let’s review the details of the airport’s ARFF rigs,
from the 1970s to the 1990s. After the delivery in 1969 of an
International/Ansul dry-chemical/light water rig, the airport
obtained an ex-Army 1959 Walter Class 1500 crash truck. This met
their need for “big water/big foam” until the purchase of a new
1973 Walter CB3000. Four years later, a second crash truck was
purchased, a new 1977 Walter B1500. And after which, the 1959
Walter was presumably disposed, and later parked as a permanent
exhibit at the Durham Museum of Life and Science.
Photo credit: (Raleigh) News & Observer and Dale Johnson (lower
Three crash trucks, plus an earlier ex-Army 1946
International/Bean Class 125 pumper (below left) that was
replaced in 1979 by a Chevrolet/Reading utility body truck with
a skid-mounted dry chemical system. (Said skid system was
previously mounted on a pick-up truck. There was also a second
skid system, mounted on a pick-up truck and later a trailer.)
And with those four rigs (CT1 through CT4), the airport
entered the eighties with a quartet of new or somewhat new
CT1 – 1979 Chevrolet/Reading
CT2 – 1969 International/Ansul
CT3 – 1977 Walter
CT4 – 1973 Walter
By the end of the decade, however, an upgrade was in order.
Three “big water/big foam” trucks were needed, instead of two.
And improvements were sought for the two 1970s Walter crash
In October 1989, a third crash truck was delivered, a rebuild
of a 1970s Walter B1500 by Crash Rescue Equipment Service
(CRES). As old-timers tell it, the rig was identical to their
1977 Walter B1500. And the original B1500 was subsequently sent
to CRES, for it’s own rebuild. The 1977 truck was rehabbed from
top to bottom and with improvements ranging from new turrets to
added air conditioning.
1Why the need for a third water/foam truck in
1989? Probably the result of the new runway in 1986, and the
larger aircraft later using the 10,000-foot strip. Also, the
1969, 1973, and 1977 crash trucks were getting older, with more
likelihood of a truck being out of service. And without another
unit of equivalent capacity, they’d be in trouble.
Rehabbed or Replaced?
As for the 1973 Walter, the original story said that it was
also rebuilt by CRES. That’s what folks remembered and
historians (including myself) have recorded. But then we
(meaning me) noticed these pictures.
Photo credit: Lee Wilson
The 1973 Walter is designated as CFR 14. And that didn’t make
sense. The 1969 International/Ansul was designated CFR 12, but
only after it’s replacement was delivered in 1989. The Ansul was
originally CFR 2, and changed to CFR 12 after the delivery of
the 1989 CRES/197_ Walter B1500.
And if the “12” designation referred to a “displaced rig,”
wouldn’t the same logic apply to a “14” designation? Curiouser
Next, Mr. Historian (you know him as Mr. Blogger) carefully
compared photos of the 1973 Walter as CFR 14 with the subsequent
CRES rehabbed version. Practically identical! Sure appeared to
be before and after pictures.
Photo credit: Lee Wilson (left) and Pete Brock (right)
Then came the a-ha moment. Look at the photo on the left.
Notice the door of the rig behind CFR 14. Slanted stripe. Now
look at this group photo of the airport’s three CRES rigs. Two
of them have straight stripes. Only one has a slanted stripe.
The rehabbed CB3000.
Click to enlarge:
Photo credit: Lee Wilson
Thus the likely interpretation–and really that’s all
historians are able to do, which is interpret history–is that
the 1973 Walter CB3000 never left the airfield, and a second
CRES-rebuilt Walter CB3000 was delivered circa 1990.
This interpretation is further reinforced by a log book entry
in November 1990. It reads “foam nozzle cleaned on CFR 4” and
“hose repacked on CFR 14.” Ergo, both rigs on site at the same
With signs pointing to yes, Legeros contacted a former fire
chief at the airport. He confirmed the conclusions drawn above.
He also noted that CFR 4 (1989 CRES/197_ Walter) and CFR 14
(1973 Walter) were operated in tandem while the 1977 Walter was
being rehabbed by CRES. Once the returned, CFR 14 was disposed
to CRES. e.g., a trade-in.
But Still a Few Questions
Mystery solved? Mostly.
Still don’t know the model years for the rehabbed Walter
CB3000 in 1990. For now, calling it a 1990 CRES/197_ Walter. The
truck had diesel engines, instead of gasoline. Presuming
identical capacity to the 1973 version, which was 1500 GPM, 3000
gallons of water, 500 gallons of foam.
Also don’t know the model year of the first rehabbed Walter
B1500. We’ll cite as 1989 CRES/197_ Walter. Presuming identical
capacity to the 1977 version, which was also rehabbed by CRES.
That was 1000 GPM, 1500 gallons of water, 180 gallons of foam.
Thoroughly confused? Here’s the scorecard:
1969 International/Ansul dry chemical/light water rig.
Delivered new. Designated CFR 2 until 1989, then CFR 12.
1959 Walter Class 1500 crash truck. Obtained used circa
1970. Designated CFR 3 until 1977, then disposed.
1973 Walter CB 3000 crash truck. Delivered new.
Designated CFR 4 until circa 1990, then CFR 14.
1977 Walter B1500 crash truck. Delivered new. Designated
CFR 3. Then rehabbed by CRES circa 1990.
Where did the two CRES built crash trucks originally serve?
Good question. To be determined. The 1989 CRES/197_ Walter
CB3000 was apparently wrecked when new, at its original airport.
The incident also involved a fatality. When and where? To be
determined. Was the truck first repaired by Walter, and later
re-rebuilt by CRES? To be determined.
One more mystery to solve!
And a Visit to CRES
Our friends at the airport fire department also shared these
pictures of a visit to CRES in December 1988. The plant is
located in Dallas, TX.
Talk about an ARFF-a-palooza! Click to enlarge:
Photo credit: RDU CFR
Notable sources for this blog posting:
Fire Apparatus Journal, Volume 19, Number 5,
“On the Runway” by Mark A. Redman and Pete Brock,
New Crash Truck Delivered at Airport – September 1969
May 4, 2016
In September 1969, a new fire engine was delivered at
Raleigh-Durham Airport. The Ansul 480 “aircraft crash rescue
vehicle” was built on a 1969 International Harvester Loadstar
chassis by Southeastern Safety Appliance Company in Charlotte.
The Airport Authority authorized its purchase on August 5 of
that year. It cost $32,250.50.
The truck was equipped with 1,350 of Purple K dry chemical
extinguishing agent, and 250 of gallons of “light water.” The
latter was water pre-mixed with foam concentrate. The rig was
also the airport’s first pump-and-roll (er, spray-and-roll) rig,
and its first larger-capacity truck. It was designated CT-2,
later CT-12, later CFR-12. And remained on the roster in the
1990s, as memory serves.
Previously, the firefighting fleet consisted of two trucks: a
1950s pick-me-up truck with an Ansul dry-chemical system (600 or
650 pounds of Purple K) and a World War II-era 1946
International/Bean with a high-pressure pump, 300 gallons of
water, and 30 gallons of foam. (Likely an Army Class 125 crash
truck.) See my page
of apparatus info for complete histories.
The 1969 International/Ansul crash truck was demonstrated on
Tuesday, September 23. The next day’s Raleigh
Times reported that “nine hundred gallons of
jet fuel and 100 gallons of gasoline went up in a searing column
of smoke and heat. But half a minute later, the blaze was tamed
by a new fire truck.” The truck also helped improve the
airport’s “fire rating.” But the rating dropped again, after an
Eastern DC-8-61 landed.
Airport Manager Henry Boyd said “ideas were being kicked
around” on how to raise the airport’s rating again. The old
apparatus would also be retained.1 Who
were the firefighters that operated the truck? Those were “sales
service personnel” who “had been trained in life saving and fire
control.” (Full-time firefighters were added in 1977. Fire crews
continued their secondary duties as ramp crews until about 1979,
when the airport sold its aircraft fueling business.)
The airport soon had a military surplus 1959 Walter Class
1500 crash truck on the roster, likely obtained around 1970.
That probably or certainly raised the airport’s fire rating back
to the top. Then in 1973, a new Walter CB300 crash truck was
purchased, with further improved the airport’s firefighting
Here are a trio of Raleigh Times photographs from the
demonstration. If the top image looks familiar, it’s also the
cover photo of Mr. Blogger’s book Raleigh &
Wake County Firefighting – Part II, published in 2004 by
Arcadia. See more
information. Or learn more history
of the airport fire department.
Raleigh Times photographs, courtesy
(Raleigh) News & Observer, via North
Carolina State Archives
And here’s the truck in later years. Left is a snapshot
scanned from the old photos are the airport fire station. right
is a picture by Lee Wilson.
1The Times story
described the existing apparatus as “converted foam generator
World War II brush fire fighter, 650 pounds of dry chemicals,
and Purple K extinguishers on all airport vehicles.”
On Thursday morning, a new crash truck was delivered to
Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The 2016 Oshkosh Striker
3000, 2000/3200/420/450#/460# plus Snozzle is first new ARFF rig
since 2000, and the first lime apparatus in a quarter century.
The truck was purchased with 85% of funding from federal and
state sources, and thus the safety yellow color. Which is a
requirement of the program. Designated CFR 4, it will replace a
2000 Oshkosh T-3000, 1950/3000/420/450#. The airport is
evaluating retaining the older truck as a reserve rig.
Production is complete on the airport’s new 2016 Oshkosh
Striker 3000, 2000/ 3200/ 420/ 450#/ 460# + Snozzle. It’s also
the first lime apparatus since the 1990s. Here are some
pictures from the pre-delivery inspection last week, shared
by our friends at RDU Fire-Rescue. Delivery is expected next
week. Click once or twice to enlarge. Then scroll down for
specs, details, and more.
Production is underway on a new crash truck for
Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Our friends at the
airport fire department have passed along some pictures and detailed
The 2016 Oshkosh Striker 3000 (with Snozzle!) will
replace CFR 4, a 2000 Oshkosh T-3000. It was purchased by
the airport authority with 85% of the funding from federal
and state sources, via the Airport Improvement Program. The
truck will be painted safety yellow, which is a requirement
of the program. (The department’s fleet is presently white
with blue striping.)
Check out these pics, which include a trio of similar
trucks awaiting delivery to Charlotte. Then keep scrolling
for specs and more information. Click to enlarge:
Bottom photo showing a trio of Strikers in production for
Stock picture. The RDU truck will be solid yellow.
Deutz TCD 16.0L V8, 670 HP, 1950
ft. lbs. of torque at 1400 RPM, US Tier 3
Allison 4800 EVS automatic
Oshkosh TAK-4 independent system
Power divider driven Waterous CRQB,
single stage, pump and roll capable, 2000 GPM at 240
420 gallons (3% AFFF)
450 pounds (nitrogen propellant)
460 pounds (argon propellant)
Snozzle, 50 foot extendable boom,
500/1000/1250 GPM. High volume, low attack bumper
turret, 1250 GPM. Driver s Enhanced Vision System
About the Snozzle
This is a first for the airport’s crash trucks. Called a
High Reach Extendable Turret (HRET), it adds the ability to:
Flow 500 GPM (low flow), 1000 GPM (high flow), or
1250 GPM (with limited horizontal travel). Plus 250 GPM
through the piercing tip. (The airport’s current crash
trucks flow 300 GPM from the bumper.)
Flow water, foam, and dry chemical.
Deliver precise and controlled piercing over the
wing, under cargo areas, and from high angles of
Extend the reach of extinguishing agents, so the
vehicle can be positioned away from escape slides and
Flow a full master stream at ground level, for such
uses as extinguishing burning tires and/or hot brakes
quickly and effectively.
Deliver a wide spray pattern to reach under an
aircraft, for cooling fuel tanks and cargo areas.
Master stream can be adjusted to deliver a quick
mass decontamination shower.
Lift up to 500 pounds.
Can be used as a stand pipe.
About the Driver’s Enhanced Vision System
This is another new capability for the airport’s ARFF
units. DEVS is a moving map display that helps vehicle
operators safely navigate in low visibility conditions. Such
as rain, sleet, fog, or smoke from a fire. It displays the
location of the truck on the airfield, and also provides
alerts as the vehicle approaches runway holding markings and
runway safety areas. (Called an Imbedded Runway Incursion
Additional features of DEVS are:
Waypoints and crash site information can be placed
on the map for easier low visibility navigation.
Routes can be programmed into the system to avoid
unsafe areas and for most efficient routing.
Ability to create geographic zones to avoid areas of
construction and other obstacles.
Full internet access from within the vehicle.
Document storage gives personnel access to schematic
drawings of aircraft, hazardous materials information,
GIS maps, etc.
Allows for vehicle location tracking for incident
The fire department just finished with their
mid-construction inspection at the Oshkosh/Pierce plant in
Appleton, WI. Their pre-delivery inspection is scheduled for
Delivery is anticipated at the end of April. After it has
arrived, two weeks of hands-on training will be provided by
Oshkosh for all personnel. That training hasn’t been
scheduled, and the timeframe for in-service is still being
determined. Maybe by mid-June.
Airport administration, meanwhile, is evaluating
retaining the current CFR4 as a reserve truck. (The fleet
currently consists of front-line rigs only.) They’re also
looking at replacing CFR 2 and CFR 3 in a future budget
Current Crash Trucks
The current fleet of ARFF apparatus at Raleigh-Durham
CFR 1 – 2001 Ford F-550/4 Guys mini-pumper,
Looking Closely at the Airport’s 1959 Walter Crash Truck
March 20, 2016
It’s airport week at Blog Central! Time for some time
Raleigh-Durham International Airport has operated four
Walter crash trucks in its day, the first being a 1959
Class 1500 that was acquired some time around 1970.
Below is the closest we have to a posed photo of the
thing. Click to enlarge:
News & Observer photo
About This Truck
Based on new research, this truck was acquired around
1970 or abouts. It wasn’t on the roster in 1970, and had
disappeared from the roster by 1980. Yours Truly (cough,
cough) had cited in his decade-ago
updated) that the truck was delivered new. Wrong. Though
there was a civilian version created around 1960, the
turret configuration is different. This one’s an
ex-military rig. Thanks MarkRedman,
for that info.
Then what’s the story?
In 1969, the airport received a new International/Ansul
dry-chemical rig. This raised the airport’s fire rating
briefly, and then an Eastern DC-8 landed. Guess that was
the largest jet to date, and they needed even more
firefighting capabilities. The article said that ideas
were being “kicked around” on how to raise the rating
By 1970, the airport master plan said that construction
was underway of a 5,000 gallon, tractor-drawn foam
generator. Was it ever built and/or delivered? Thinking
not. Then a couple years later, a new 1973 Walter CB3000
crash was delivered. Where does the 1959 Walter fit into
Thinking that the 1959 truck was bought a bit before the
1973 truck. That would’ve immediately expanded their
ARFF capacity until funds were available and
construction was finished on the 1973 truck. (Hey,
sounds good to me!)
The 1959 truck operated until 1977, when a second new
Walter rig was delivered. (Thanks Dale
Johnson, for digging through your memory banks
on this one.)
It was retired and (immediately? later?)
moved to the Durham Museum of Life and Science, where it
sat outdoors as an attraction. It’s pictured here in
1985, with our friend (and military/ARFF historian) Pete
the front seat:
Pete Brock photo
The above image appears in this News &
from 1976, cropped from a larger image also showing the
airport’s 1973 Walter CB3000, and Fire Chief Terry
more historical photos.
The truck was developed by the Army Corps of Engineers
beginning in 1954, to “meet the challenges associated
with new types of weapons, missile installations, and
the increased use of aircraft at Army airfields.”
Production started in 1959.
The 4×4 truck was powered by an eight-cylinder, 300 HP
gas engine. The 1500 GPM two-stage pump powered a roof
turret, two one-inch booster lines, and discharges for
the 1000 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose and 100 feet of 1
3/4-inch hose it carried. Aboard were 950 gallons of
water and 250 gallons of foam. Other features included a
20,000 pound winch. There were a total of 136 trucks
produced for the Army.
Heinbuch also includes information about the Sabre Fire
Fighting Trailer, designed to be towed behind the Class
1500. It carried 2,000 gallons of water in a baffled
tank, and was equipped with a 1500 GPM electric water
pump. There was also a gas-fired heating unit for cold
climates, that circulated warm water and air. The
trailer road on flotation-type military tires, as did
the crash truck. Eight of these were produced.
How cool is this thing?
Ted Heinbuch photo, via Fire Trucks at War on Facebook
Learned of a couple new pieces of airport fire equipment
yesterday, while attending the tri-annual Sky Drill at the airport.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport Emergency Services
department added a brush truck and a foam trailer last year. (Mr.
Blogger clearly being behind the times.)
CFR 12 is a 2015 Ford F-350 with a UPF Defender skid unit, 300
gallon water tank and 10 gallon foam cell. Don't know pump capacity.
No roof lights or lettering. The truck is also used as a service
truck, for utility purposes, and pulls the foam trailer. It's added
on calls as needed, and can answer parking deck calls when CFR 1 is
The trailer was built by Combat Support Products, which located
right here in Wake County. Just down the road in Fuquay-Varina, in
fact. That's their Foam Chariot III model. Equipped with three foam
totes and a high-capacity water/foam deluge gun. The trailer can be
used as a simple resupply unit, for the crash trucks on or off
airport property. It can also respond as mutual aid for offsite
incidents. We'll see if we can get exact specs.
Note that both Apex and Raleigh have purchased similar trailers
in recent years. See prior postings about Apex and Raleigh foam
The full roster of airport apparatus currently includes: