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Dear God, the Fulton Skyhook. For those of you who don't know, this is a device that allows men behind enemy lines to be picked up by low flying jet fighters.



Put on this harness with a 20' odd long flexible pole sticking up vertically that has a hook on the end, and have a jet fly by with a catch line. And we did this in Vietnam!



SNAP boing twaaaaannnnnnnnng and you're gone. Kind of like a carrier landing's mirror image.



--The Fox
 

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The Toad
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Heck of a rush though. No need for drugs.



I think they used cargo planes. A jet fighter has no place to winch the victim into. The landing, with the poor sap being dragged behind on a long cable and a jet fighter's landing speed of around 175 knots, would defeat the purpose of rescuing him in the first place.
 

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Indeed. I have a friend who has "ridden" one. They now use a modified C130 with a trapping device on the nose to catch a balloon lofted tether. The crew of the Herc would then winch the "rider" in as the AC cruised at >120 MPH. Use of the balloon allows extraction from closed in areas. Believe it is called STABO extraction.



Tha original device employed the cable suspended between 20 foot poles and rescue by a small observation aircraft. I am not sure how they winched the "rider" in after that, though.
 

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I like this description of a test using a pig:



"Fulton first used instrumented dummies as he prepared for a live pickup. He next used a pig, as pigs have nervous systems close to humans. Lifted off the ground, the pig began to spin as it flew through the air at 125 mph. It arrived on board undamaged but in a disoriented state. Once it recovered, it attacked the crew. "
 

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I only wish I could have met him before he passed. Melissa Holbrook Pierson's account of her visit with him in "The Perfect Vehicle" has cemented his incredible journey in my mind.



Can you imagine riding around the world without a helmet?



I hope someone makes a documentary using the film from his journey.



Ride on Robert Edison Fulton, the world is surely a more lonely place without you.
 
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