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Bags of Water

Development of water-bombing systems shifted to the water bag method which was simpler and less expensive. Water-filled bags, each containing 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, were dropped out of the aircaft.  Later improvements added a conveyor belt to allow dropping bags out of the bottom of the aircaft in groups of eight. The first operation waterbombing with bags took place on September 9, 1950 from a DeHavilland Beaver on a fire north of Sault Ste. Marie.
This system was finally discarded because:

Roll-over, Float and Internal tanks

In the mid 1950s, Tom Cooke of the OPAS brought waterbombing back on track by developing float-mounted roll-top tanks that allowed water to be dumped in a deluge rather than a trickle to combat fires.   A cockpit lever controlled dumping and lights notified the pilot when the tank was filled.  The system was so successful that by 1960 all 35 Beavers and 8 Otter of the Provincial Air Service had been fitted with the tanks.   The Otters were also fitted with larger belly-mounted roll-over tanks.  
Eventually the external rollover tanks were replaced by built-in float tanks.   In 1971 the OPAS converted 7 Grumman CS2F-1 Trackers antisubmarine aircaft into land-based waterbombers with fuselauge tanks.
IN 1961 Canadair of Montreal began design of the CL-215.   This aircraft was purpose-built as a waterbomber from the outset with large internal water tanks and a sophisticated dropping system.



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