Worst Idea in Airpower History: Mid-Air Towing

06.09.12

Categorie: Air, Bizarre, David Axe, History |
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Via Air Force magazine.

Via Air Force magazine.

by DAVID AXE

Before aerial refueling was widespread, the U.S. Air Force experimented with a novel method of extending the endurance of short-range fighters escorting a long-range bomber: towing. As seen in the photo above, the fighters attached themselves to the bomber’s wingtips and shut down their engines.

A described in Air Force magazine, one 1953 towing test ended in what, in retrospect, seems to be a perfectly predictable disaster.

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2 Responses to “Worst Idea in Airpower History: Mid-Air Towing”

  1. Love these historical tidbits, keep’em coming!!!

  2. Tom Ehrhard says:

    Towing (i.e., gliders) was never a good idea. But, tilt-propulsion VSTOL is easily the worst idea in aviation history–trying to do what is seductive but what technology will not allow is ultimately a loser, recent attempts to force it being prime examples.

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