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

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Gliders - - Again II

This is coolbert:

"Germania rules!" - - Bert.

Originally my favorite military glider from the World War Two [WW2] era, to be resurrected and used by the American military for special operations type missions was the British Horsa. Able to accommodate a platoon of troops in one aircraft, hopefully with each man carrying his fighting load.

As an alternative, the German WW2 military glider, the Go 242 is a "possible".

"The Gotha Go 242 was a transport glider used by the Luftwaffe during World War II."

"The Go 242 was designed by Albert Kalkert in response to a Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) requirement for a heavy transport glider to replace the DFS 230 then in service. The requirement was for a glider capable of carrying 20 fully laden troops or the equivalent cargo."

Would allow for a troop transport capacity twice what the DFS 230 allowed. Two squads in the Go 242 versus one in the DFS 230!

"Cargo versions of the glider . . . could accommodate a small vehicle such as a K├╝belwagen [military version of the Volkswagen Beetle] or loads of similar size and weight."

There was evidently a cargo version and a troop carrying version? Distinct from one another?

The Do 242 had the capability to use rocket-assisted take-off [RATO] when too heavily laden! A variety of German military aircraft during WW2 used RATO. In this regard, at least during WW2, the German was unique?

"The glider was tested with rockets for overloaded take offs, a rack of four 48 kilogram Rheinmetall 109-502 take off rockets mounted on the rear of the cargo compartment. A second rocket called the 'R Device' was also used with the glider - it was a liquid-fuel Heinkel rocket engine R I-203 (HWK 109-500A) which was mounted beneath the wing on either side of the body and was ejected after takeoff, parachuting down to be recycled."

RATO take-off for a fully loaded and heavy glider. Useful in mountainous terrain where the air is "thin" and an assist is necessary to become airborne?

Please look carefully at the photo accompanying this blog entry. You can see what appears to be the RATO assembly at the rear of the cargo compartment?

And for those that would suggest - - "why not just develop your own military glider to your own specs?" - - I would respond - - "why bother to reinvent the wheel when the working proven product is already out there??"




Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Germans landed on top of Fort Eben-Emael with these and took the place by storm:

I've always been surprised that militaries don't use gliders anymore. If they are, I sure as hell haven't heard about it. There are many advantages: low/no noise, people and supplies right where you want them and they seem cheap to make. I am sure they could be built of "stealth" materials making them even harder to detect. And I think the advantages for the men inside are great as well. When you jump out of a plane as a paratrooper, you are limited in the amount of stuff you can carry. Men in gliders could bring much more equipment and heavier weapons with them. I don't see why unmanned gliders that are remotely controlled couldn't be used for resupply either.

8:04 AM


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