View Full Version : Implausible misbehaviour in a Gooney

t'aint natural
22nd Jan 2003, 20:13
It says here... (Flypast, February, article on the AC47 gunship)...
'The idea of using vintage Douglas C-47 Skytrain transports as heavily-armed gunships to defend friendly forces from night attacks in Vietnam has been attributed to USAF Captain Ronald W. Terry. He reportedly witnessed the delivery of mail and supplies to remote jungle areas in South America by DC-3s flying in steep pylon turns with buckets lowered on the end of ropes. Stablilised at the end of the rope cone, the buckets could be emptied and filled by someone standing on the ground, assuming that everything was done just right. Terry envisioned the circling rope cone as a cone of gunfire that could deliver a devastating blow to targets at the tip.'
I imagine Terry envisioned a lot of things, being as he clearly was a connoisseur of the local mushrooms. Let me get this straight. Bloke flies round in a tight circle dangling a bucket on a rope. Joker on the ground fills the pail, which is then whisked heavenward...
Say it ain't so!

22nd Jan 2003, 22:19
Probably one of those oft-told tales which gets embellished with every telling. The originator of the procedure was a missionary called Nate Saint (not making this up) who used a bucket dangled from a Piper Cub to deliver 'presents' to the Woudoni (not making this up either) tribe. The presents included kettles and machetees. Eventually the missionaries landed and the tribe killed them. Decide your own moral to the story :(

No evidence that bucket-toting Gooneys were involved. ;)

22nd Jan 2003, 22:37
`tis so!
I saw this in a book, years ago, as a method of delivering/retrieving messages from A.O.P. aircraft.
A long ribbon towed behind an aircraft would simply follow the course of the aircraft but a thin rope with a weight on the end would `slip sideways` during a turn to try to make a straight line between the weight and the aircraft. As you tighten the turn you eventually end up with a stationary weight with a rope going around in circles. At this point you descend until the weight reaches the ground and pray that no-one ties it to a tree.

Mike W

23rd Jan 2003, 09:11
Surely this procedure can only be used on a no-wind day? In a situation with a bit of wind available you'll have to change the angle of bank throughout the turn to keep turning around the same point. But if my brain is ticking over correctly with a change in AOB the 'focus' of the turn changes as well, leaving the natives chasing after the bucket so to speak.

I'm still doubtful, photos and eyewitness accounts will be needed I'm afraid.

23rd Jan 2003, 09:48
The US Navy's 707-based E-6A Mercury (TACAMO II) uses a similar technique to provide a VLF communications link with submerged nuclear submarines. It flies a very tight orbit at altitude while trailing a 26,000-foot-long weighted antenna into the sea. The submerged end of antenna needs to be maintained close to the vertical for effective communications.