“The VIT, or the valve integral nozzles, that we’ve used for quite a while, taught us a great deal about stream quality and the importance of having a stream straightener,” explained TFT Senior Design Engineer Dave Kolacz.
“For high-rise operations, where debris can be an issue, or for maximized compressed air foam performance, this insert can be very easily removed.” The FlipTip, which spent nine months in development, is Kolacz’s brainchild. Carringer, one of the early field testers, destroyed three of the engineer’s prototypes while putting them through some arduous drop, drag, and stomping trials.
“The biggest challenge we had was in creating the FlipTip’s rotational lock mechanism,” Kolacz said. “We had to make sure that the lock had robust positive locking while allowing easy unlocking in both the stowed and deployed position. And that was a challenge. We ended up going through a number of different designs before we came up with a twist lock that is easy to use with a wet or foamy gloved hand.” The final design of TFT’s innovative FlipTip includes 21 new parts, many of which would be impossible if it weren’t for the state-of-the-art Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines TFT uses in producing both its New Force and TFT legacy products at its Northwest Indiana Plant.
Like many of TFT’s products, the FlipTip was born of necessity, designed in response to firefighters’ requests. “The need for the FlipTip has been there for years, but we just didn’t have the technology to build it at an affordable price,” O’Donnell explained. “When a firefighter is out in the field and he unscrews a tip, what the heck is he supposed to do with it? The FlipTip is the answer.”
TFT has already had to ramp up production at its Valparaiso, Indiana world headquarters to meet the demand for the multi-tasking nozzle.
“Not since 1896 has there been a nozzle that’s this innovative,” Carringer said. “That was the year that the patent originally came out for a concept that was similar to the FlipTip. Of course, that’s like the great, great grandfather of the one you’ll see today. TFT’s FlipTip features a new, patent pending design that solves a lot of problems that firefighters have been battling for years. New Force dealers keep telling us that once people try the FlipTip, they’ve got to have it.”
As with any product in TFT’s New Force or Legacy line, the FlipTip enjoys a full five-year warranty, as well as 24 hour technical and service support. For more information on the FlipTip or other items in TFT’s New Force product line, as well as a list of authorized New Force dealers near you, please visit newforce.tft.com.