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"Airborne aicraft carriers" Topic

17 Posts

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1,692 hits since 31 Aug 2012
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP31 Aug 2012 5:06 p.m. PST
Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian31 Aug 2012 5:17 p.m. PST

Can we send one through a warp gate?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP31 Aug 2012 5:20 p.m. PST

I have seen stranger things sent through a warp gate.

Timbo W31 Aug 2012 5:28 p.m. PST

That's no warp gate!!

Lentulus31 Aug 2012 5:37 p.m. PST

Don't forget the civilian applications


jpattern231 Aug 2012 8:05 p.m. PST

Parasite fighters, what's not to love?

Texas Jack01 Sep 2012 1:49 a.m. PST

I just wonder how effective small fighters would have been in real combat situations where they would more than likely be going against land based aircraft. Doesn´t matter though, Sparrow Hawks are cool!

GarrisonMiniatures Inactive Member01 Sep 2012 2:44 a.m. PST

Indiana Jones did OK with one.

Twig6601 Sep 2012 3:28 a.m. PST

There are examples going back to WWI.

The Porte Baby from Felixstowe;


Airship experiments at Great Yarmouth;


Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2012 4:36 p.m. PST

The Russians actually flew a few missions with the Tb-3 using "parasite fighters" during WW2. But they used I-16 monoplanes, not I-15 biplanes.

The missions were not resounding successes, to my understanding.

One particular use was in bombing Romanian oil fields. The I-16s were configured with bombs. The Tb-3s flew them to Ploesti, then released them for dive-bombing attacks, then picked them up and flew them home. Something like 4 bombers made the run … not enough to make anything more than a footnote in history.

The bombers could actually carry MORE fuel in this configuration, because the fighters' engines helped a lot on take-off.

Or so I have read.

(aka: Mk 1)

Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2012 10:00 p.m. PST

OK, looking at my sources, it seems I was mistaken. The configuration with I-16s for dive-bombing did not allow the fighters to re-attach. They would be carried by the bombers, released to make their attacks, and then they would fly home under their own power.

The parasite mounting did offer 2 key advantages:
1) It allowed the fighters to carry 250kg bombs for dive-bombing attacks, whereas taking off on their own they could not manage more than 100kg of bombs.
2) It extended the combat range of the I-16 dive-bomber by some 80%.

My recollection of the attacks on the Romanian oil facilities was in error too. They did not hit the facilities at Ploesti. Rather, the first attack was against the oil depot at Konstanta, and only 2 carrier planes made it to the target area, releasing their 4 fighter dive-bombers. Two raids were also flown against the King Carol I bridge, which carried the Konstanta-Ploesti oil pipeline, bringing down a span of that bridge after numerous conventional attacks by heavy bombers had failed to hit the bridge.

All in all the parasite fighter dive-bomber planes flew something like 30 raids, before standing down in mid-1942 due to the vulnerability of the Tb-3 bombers, even though losses were light, and the I-16 fighters claimed several Me-109s on their trips home.

Might make for some interesting scenarios for air-to-air wargames.

(aka: Mk 1)

Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2012 3:18 p.m. PST

BTW – the USS Macon, a dirigible which carried parasite fighter aircraft for the US Navy during the inter-war period, used to be based in the great airship hangers at Moffit Field Naval Airstation in Sunnyvale, CA.

The zepplin hangers at Moffitt are a familiar sight to anyone who has been to the south San Francisco Bay Area. The field is no longer a naval air station, but rather is a NASA facility now. But the giant airship hangers are still there, and can be seen from 20 miles away.

And now, one of those enormous buildings is again doing the duty it was originally intended to perform. There is a zepplin that flies the skies of the SF Bay Area, and it is housed in one of the great airship hangers at Moffit.

Seems like you are in a time warp when you drive by on the Bayshore Freeway (US 101), look off to the east, and see a zepplin being pulled into a gigantic airship hanger.


Lion in the Stars16 Sep 2012 12:19 p.m. PST

Yeah, those are some crazy-big hangars (been past them a few times). Didn't mythbusters rent one for the 'helium-filled football' test?

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member16 Sep 2012 12:48 p.m. PST

I love visiting the Tillimook Air Museum here in Oregon.
"Hangar B" is the largest clear-span wooden structure in the world. Robert




Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2012 1:37 p.m. PST

Hangar 1 at Moffett is similar to Hangar B. Unbelievably big building. I took a hot air baloon ride INSIDE hangar 1 once. Went up to a dizzying height (for being in a little wicker basket), and was inside the whole time!

They used to keep a whole active-service squadron of P-3 Orian sub-patrol planes in one of the other hangars. 12 4-engined turbo-prop aircraft, on alert, ready to role, all inside one building. And it wasn't even the biggest of the hangars!

But it is remarkable now, to see the zepplin that flies the bay area skies, coming in to land, and buing man-handled into one of those hangars. Just like being in a time-warp.

(aka: Mk 1)

Biggles downunder Inactive Member18 Oct 2012 12:08 a.m. PST

If you have seen the animated movie 'Up'… :)

david alcock Inactive Member09 Nov 2012 10:24 a.m. PST

BRITAIN had a project in the sixties to carry 3 FOLLAND GNAT fighters armed with nukes under an AVRO VULCAN bomber "before cruise missiles worked"one way trip for the GNATS drop the bomb and head for home or a sub offshore and pray!!

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