Ever wanted your very own S-70i Firehawk helicopter but don’t have $26 million? Lego might soon have you covered, though at a smaller scale.
As a tribute to Cal Fire, Lego designer Adrien Pecquet has launched a campaign to have the toy brick company produce a 3,000-piece Firehawk set. But he needs public support to make the kit a buildable reality.
“I wanted to create a set to honor the bravery and devotion of the firefighters in California,” Pecquet said in the description of his kit on the Lego Ideas website. The site encourages amateur Lego engineers to come up with unique building kits and pitch them to the public in hopes of garnering enough votes for Lego to mass produce a version of the kit.
The more votes an Ideas kit receives, the longer Lego allows the campaign to remain active. Pecquet’s Firehawk reached 1,000 votes in June, which gave him another six months to reach 5,000 votes and earn another extension. As of Nov. 24, it sits at 3,652 with 34 days left to reach that goal. At 10,000 supporters, the Firehawk kit will undergo an “expert review” and will become a buildable Lego set.
Cal Fire and Sikorsky have both boosted the campaign on Twitter, with calls for Firehawk fans to lift the project to prominence so Lego might take notice.
As currently designed, the 3,000-piece set contains two pilots, two firefighters and the helicopter.
The real-world version is slightly more complex. A Firehawk starts its life in Mielec, Poland as a Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk and is then reconfigured in the U.S. by United Rotorcraft, the only company authorized to perform the associated modifications.
A finished Firehawk can siphon, carry and release up to 1,000 gallons (4,500 liters) of water from its newly installed belly tank. The aircraft is capable of carrying 9,000 pounds (4,080 kilograms) of supplies internally or as an external sling load on a cargo hook. The cabin has space for up to 11 wildland firefighters and their gear.
Thirteen S-70 Firehawk helicopters are operated by Cal Fire, the Los Angeles County Fire Department and San Diego Fire Rescue Department. Five more contracted aircraft are on the way, according to Sikorsky.
Because the Firehawk is a public-service firefighting aircraft, it has a decent chance of passing Lego’s somewhat strict rules about which vehicles it will produce brick sets for. The company famously will not produce kits of any military ground vehicles and aircraft, to the point that a search-and-rescue version of the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey was pulled from production just days before its 2020 release because the tiltrotor is primarily in use by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces.