Danger Room: Video: Ancient Airlifter Makes Daredevil Drops Over Afghanistan

21.03.12

Categorie: Afghanistan, Afghanistan 2012, Air, David Axe, Logistics, Wired |
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by DAVID AXE

The Caribou airlifter flies so low through the mountains and valleys of eastern Afghanistan that it’s invisible from the ground … until it’s right on top of you. The Vietnam-era, twin-engine cargo plane with the cranked wings and bulbous nose appears suddenly, racing just a couple hundred feet over the U.S. Army outpost on the outskirts of Marzak, in remote Paktika province. At a precisely timed moment, the Caribou pitches upward. A dozen black plastic pallets tumble from its cargo hold and, parachutes unfurling, drift down onto a snowy field adjacent to the American base. The Caribou, hundreds of pounds lighter, dives for the safety of a nearby valley.

The dramatic “Low-Cost, Low-Altitude” (LCLA) resupply, which I witnessed numerous times during my week at Marzak in January, represents the latest tactic in the high-stakes logistical campaign that underpins the U.S.-led war effort. Along with robot trucks, robot helicopters, “smart” parachutes, hybrid trucks and even airships, it’s also evidence of the Pentagon’s never-ending quest for better resupply methods.

Read the rest at Danger Room.

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2 Responses to “Danger Room: Video: Ancient Airlifter Makes Daredevil Drops Over Afghanistan”

  1. qingl78 says:

    you know, Viking Air in Victoria, BC owns the rights on all ex DeHavilland airframes.

    It is possible that the airframe is in fact new (though I doubt it).

    I have no doubt however that it has been retrofitted up to todays standards, or at least could be through Viking Air.

    Don’t know the background but just wanted to say that because saying that it is a “Vietnam era airframe” is a little misleading.

  2. Cameron Fraser says:

    Viking owns the rights but the only aircraft they’ve put into production is the Twin Otter. They have proposed a next generation of the Buffalo. The upshot is that this one is not a Viking product and will be an old airframe, re-engined. See http://www.penturbo.com

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