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'Snatch' recovery of assault gliders - any video?

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'Snatch' recovery of assault gliders - any video?

Old 19th Dec 2010, 00:36
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Dual 'snatch' recovery of assault gliders - any video?

Does anyone know of any video on the net showing 'snatch' recovery of two assault gliders? I've seen the odd clip on TV (usually Waco CG-4a Hadrian and Dakota tug) of a single recovery.

The dual recovery is described here on page 7:

WWII U.S. Army Air Force Glider Aerial Retrieval System

One more question on this theme, has this been attempted post-war with sailplanes? It would appear a much quicker way of getting gliders airborne in a competition without all the usual landing, taxi and take off again, and avoids the tug and glider combination being low and slow at the wrong end of the airfield.

Contrary to popular belief, there was no great shock to either the tug or the glider, as a force limiting payout winch was used in the tug which paid out line all the time the winch saw more than the set load. Once airborne, the tug winched in the excess cable.

Here's a video of a single recovery:

Last edited by Mechta; 19th Dec 2010 at 11:06.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 05:48
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There certainly is on You Tube, but I dont know the reference
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 08:18
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YouTube - All American Aviation and the US Army Glider Pick-ups
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 08:19
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G'day mate. The concept kinda reminds me of this...

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Old 19th Dec 2010, 13:44
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Can anyone tell me what the second aircraft is on the YouTube video?
Doesn't look like a C47.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 14:42
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Can anyone tell me what the second aircraft is on the YouTube video?
Doesn't look like a C47.
Douglas B-23 Dragon
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:54
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About ten years ago I was approached by someone who wanted to propose an environmentally friendly aerial target, as firing missiles at F4 drones is far from ideal for the environment. Having had some experience of towing parachutes behind Hercules it was thought I might be able to help him with getting his idea off the ground. Not happy with the idea of towing this thing off the runway with the Hercules ramp lowered (no modification to the Herc was a design aim) I suggested the snatch launch as a solution and even found reports of snatch launching Horsa gliders with Dakotas to back the idea up. Sadly nothing came of the idea which was a pity because I still think it would work - High tech companies panic if you back their ideas up with information dated 1945.
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Old 20th Dec 2010, 08:49
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We reinvented ' snatch ' for the Herc to retrieve mail bags from the Falklands before normal runway service could be resumed. Must still have the pics somewhere !
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Old 20th Dec 2010, 09:03
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I had the JATE reports for that available as well, but it wasn't really relevant (apart from the use of the Hercules) to my proposal.
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Old 20th Dec 2010, 09:32
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The Assault Glider Trust at Shawbury may be able to help. They certainly have videos of many glider operations and exercises. I'm sure I've seen the snatch manoeuvre on Wacos on a video there.

I've got a (commercial I think) video from them called IIRC "Silently to War" or similar. Trouble is it's on VHS, and Teetering Towers is now only DVD/Hard Disc equipped. Must transfer it to DVD. O tempora, o mores.
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Old 20th Dec 2010, 21:27
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Don't type 'Snatch' into google whilst at work

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Old 20th Dec 2010, 22:52
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Aside from the general curiosity about getting gliders into the air whilst keeping the tug airborne, I'm also wondering about the feasability of using retired aircraft as glider tankers to get fuel into bases in Afghanistan.

When I heard the number of road tankers being burned and drivers killed enroute to bases in Afghanistan, sometimes even when they are parked in supposedly guarded depots in Pakistan, it made me wonder if retired airframes could be towed (probably unmanned) and use their existing tanks plus a few more to carry fuel.

The C123 Provider started life as the XG-20 glider, so some types aren't that far removed, although it would really need something considerably larger to be worthwhile.

I'm sure this sounds far fetched, but if say an exisiting tanker such as a VC10 or KC135E was towed within gliding range, landed and emptied, the empty airframe could then be snatched out. The VC10 would have the advantage of a clean wing already, whilst the KC135E is more plentiful but would need something to replace the weight of engines removed from the wings to stop them twisting.

I'm sure you think this is a crazy idea, but the original idea with the C47 Dakotas & CG-4a Hadrians was probably viewed the same way.
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