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Slip coaches.

Old 21st Jan 2016, 14:39
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Wink Slip coaches.

Railways used to hook extra coaches to the rear of their trains that could be “slipped” as they approached a station and brought to a halt next to the platform by a brake-man whilst the rest of the passengers continued on their way at undiminished speed. Could not this principle be applied to aeroplanes? Several passenger compartments could be attached to a single power unit and “slipped” as it passed over, or near to, a number of destination airports thus saving time and fuel. A sufficiently skilled brake-man could land his compartment directly into a suitable parking area to be collected later at some suitable time. I believe that this system might also increase the number of options in the case of an emergency.
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 14:56
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Towed gliders were used in WW2, so this is not a new idea. Having a trained pilot in each unit would make the costs prohibitive. Staffing costs are generally one of the biggest budget items for most businesses and airlines have been keen to reduce the number of flight crew to a minimum since the dawn of aviation. It is possible that a computer controlled piloting system might be acceptable for cargo delivery, but I would expect passengers to be reluctant to fly this way.

Alternatively, kick the cargo out the back on a pallet attached to an aerofoil parachute...
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 15:09
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Been done before:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airspeed_Horsa

Although when speaking to some regimental vets, who had done it, they said that flight was really jerky as the speeds of the tug and glider were not well synchronised and the towline sagged and jerked, so loads of the troops suffered really bad airsickness.

As an aside there is a really good sequence in the film 'Theirs is the Glory' showing the glider landings at Arnhem (starts about 11 minutes in).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3e6S8rg9_c

EG

PS: @GOuli -snap posted before I saw yours
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 15:25
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And the tugs could pick up the gliders without landing ... provided they got the stretchiness of the tow rope exactly right. Used in Burma at least, possibly when they hadn't cut down enough jungle for the powered aircraft to land and take off again?
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