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Instead of a cargo of bored business men and excited holiday makers, this aged DC-10 was carrying 12,000 gallons, thats 45,000 ltrs of bright red liquid in a huge tank attached to the centre of the fuselage. This is the story of the fire fighting water bombers.
A vast DC10 converted to flying tanker operations
A forest fire
Mixing fire retardant
A fire lookout
The Morton Lake hotshots
The dangers of a wildfire are considerable, even during an evacuation
The dangers of manoeuvring a big aircraft at low level are considerable
Other aircraft are converted into water bombers like this PBY-6A Catalina
Helicopters deliver water from buckets
One of the few purpose built water bombers, the Canadair Superscooper
The magnificent Mars water bomber
Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to the USAF, John McColgan, signal mirror, DarrenRD, Tim Peterson, the USN, SSgt Ed Drew, Pierre Bona and Alex Juorio.