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Vehicle Stats:

Period of Service: 1974 - 1996

Pathfinder fire tender

Status: Retired
Role: Emergency

The Chubb Pathfinder was an airport fire tender operated by the South African Air Force Fire Service between 1974 and 1996.

The Pathfinder crash tender enabled the SAAF to protect irreplaceable lives and aircraft. The vehicle has a mass of 23 460 kg unladen and 37 600 kg fully laden. When fully laden the vehicle can accelerate from 0-80 km/h in 39 seconds with a maximum speed of 100 km/h plus. When fully laden, the Pathfinder has a capacity of 13 600 litres of water plus 2 300 litres of foam compound. The foam production rate is 61 360 litres per minute, which can be delivered up to a distance of 100 metres.

During the course of 1995, while the type was phased out of service, one such vehicle ended up at Swartkop and was unceremoniously left in the storage yard of the Air Force Museum, where it remained. As the whole fleet of vehicles were disposed of soon afterwards, this “donation” proved a blessing in disguise. It was restroed in 2009 and now remains the only survivor of its type in the Air Force.