In my opinion, design and improvement for a helicopter belly tank has long since plateaued. This is due to the inherent challenges faced by manufacturers. The main issues facing a helicopter tank manufacturer are the lack of space under the aircraft (when on the ground) and maintaining head pressure to ensure a useful drop pattern that will substantially impact a fire line.
The driving need from the firefighting industry to have a belly tank fitted to their aircraft is forcing the tank manufacturers to redesign their systems to fit the multitude of different airframes. In other words, they are trying to make an existing system work in an application that it wasn’t designed for.
By contrast, the Helitak retractable tank concept is highly innovative. It addresses the issues that traditional water bombing tanks either ignore or do poorly. Using ‘out of the box’ ideas, the resulting concept takes advantage of state of the art technologies from different sectors.
The Helitak retractable tank is the first design to address those inherent challenges, without requiring expensive modifications to the existing airframe. The innovative design is adaptable to virtually any platform, and due to its clever independent operating systems, it can be installed or removed very quickly.