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Parasite fighters

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posted on Nov, 13 2004 @ 05:16 AM
Mention of the F-85 Goblin on another thread reminds me of Britains various schemes in this area. Possibly the first 'parasite' scheme was devised in WW 1 in which Sopwith Camels were to be hung beneath airships like the R34 in the same way as the USN actually tested in later years. What may well have been the last scheme of this type ever devised came in the 1960's when the bigger 'phase 6' Avro Vulcan was being planned as a skybolt carrier to replace the Blue Steel carrying B.2 in Britains nuclear deterrant force.

Two other versions of the phase 6 Vulcan were devised, one of which was a conventional bomber and the other one a 'mobile fighter escort platform' which featured three Gnat fighters carried semi recessed beneath the Vulcan, one under the fuselage and another under each wing. The scheme was for three of these Vulcan carriers to accompany each bomber formation providing nine defensive fighters 'on the spot'.

An interesting scheme but obviously flawed, as they all were.

In a slightly different direction as late as the 1980's BAe were promoting the 'Skyhook'. In this scheme, it was argued, any surface ship could carry its own compliment of high performance fighters as it involved large cranes and Sea Harriers. The aircraft would be hung over the side of the ship while the engine was run up to speed and then released. Recovery would involve the Harrier hovering alongside the ship while the 'skyhook' manouvred into position above it.

Incredibly the mechanics of the scheme were proven to work with a ground based set up but not surprisingly there were no takers.

edit; I have found a photograph in a book of the Sopwith Camel+airship combo so it was actually tried out rather than just schemed.

[edit on 13-11-2004 by waynos]

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