Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Commentary - - Glider

This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog:

"I've always been surprised that militaries don't use gliders anymore . . . they seem cheap to make. I am sure they could be built of "stealth" materials making them even harder to detect . . . When you jump out of a plane as a paratrooper, you are limited in the amount of stuff you can carry . . . I don't see why unmanned gliders that are remotely controlled couldn't be used for resupply either."

* Well, cheap to make, already stealthy, made of wood with doped canvas covering, NO engine, few metal parts. Towed by a conventional aircraft, say a AC-130, released a goodly distance from the target, swoops down upon the adversary, the troops disembark, the AC gunship turns around and from 8,000 feet gives the same combat support to the troops on the ground as if they had a nuclear weapon at their disposal. And you already have proven work-horse models such as the British Horsa that could be put back into production relatively easily and cheaply? THIS WOULD NOT COST A LOT OF BUCKS FOR A CAPABILITY THAT MIGHT DO SOME REAL GOOD? AND CAN BE DONE NOW?

* Those American paratroopers jump with about one hundred fifty [150] pounds on their back? Cannot hit the ground running and move toward the objective as you see in the movies. Jumping with the fighting load, the existence load, two chutes, all strapped to the body, is not only cumbersome, BUT DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS!! I know American parachutists used to have a technique, and maybe still do, that would allow them to jettison the fighting and existence load just prior to impact to ease the paratroopers touchdown!! Just make sure you don't land on your own gear and hurt yourself!

* I guess the biggest drawback to gliders as used by the military was the inability, relatively speaking, for extraction. But that WAS NOT AN ISSUE DURING WW2! When employed paratroopers were to seize territory or objectives and THEN LINK UP WITH CONVENTIONAL MILITARY UNITS AND BE RELIEVED, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!

* See this web site. Blogged about this man and his company before. The resupply glider [actually a para-glider, more parachute than a conventional aircraft] is NOW? A concept at least embraced to a degree!




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