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Gremlins? DARPA’s next-gen drones will launch and land on other airplanes. While they’re moving.


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Now this sounds like a great idea. Reusable, small and hard to see, or track, and deployed as multiple weapons platforms from C-130s?


OK this isn't a done deal . . . yet.




"The Pentagon says it's going to bring together the best minds in aerospace design this fall to help build a fleet of small, robotic airplanes. These won't be your ordinary unmanned drones, though. Instead, the idea is to launch a veritable swarm of these tiny planes from the back of a much bigger plane.


That's right: The military wants to turn large C-130 cargo planes into makeshift aircraft carriers. And not only will the small drones, known as Gremlins, launch themselves, but they'll also be able to return to the mothership on their own after completing their mission.


Researchers at DARPA — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — put out a call last year for ways to turn this into reality. And on Friday it announced it'll hold a workshop in September for potential "proposers."


The rest of the article is here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2015/08/28/darpas-next-gen-drones-will-launch-and-land-on-other-airplanes-while-theyre-moving/?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_tech


One of the comments after the article ended with "God bless the Chair Force?" Another that this kind of idea was tried with the massive B-36 and failed, so it hasn't worked in the past?? Have these people not seen videos of drone strikes and their success rates? The only new part of this is the recovery to the launching aircraft. Very interesting idea.


Will it fly? I don't know. What do you think?


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Mark: Love his books.. He is a good military thriller author.




The only reason (IMHO) that the Goblin failed is it was next to useless as a point defense aircraft. The F-84 was a good choice but, the technology just wasn't there so it was scrapped. The late forties until the early sixties were the peak of the Buck Rogers era. No thought or idea was pushed aside until it either failed or was proven impractical.


The idea has some merit and it might work..depending on how much technology the AF sneaks in. I read an article about UCAV and RPA fighters and was surprised at the how we've come but the mountain of hurdles to overcome. One article suggests mid 2030's before it could field a viable offensive force.

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