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Is it possible to parachute tanks?

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1939 - 1942' started by HellWarrior, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I cannot imagine the amount of canopy that would be required and then have it land soft enough not to damage the suspension and other vitals.

    I dont think that there was an aircraft built during the war with that kind of lifting ability that could successfully deploy the vehicle. 17 tons is a lot weight to be going out in one piece, as opposed to box by box or pallet by pallet. The door would have to huge and rear facing.
     
  2. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner) Patron  

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    It would also create a helluva shift in CG as that amount of weight slides back toward the door. There's a reason why bomb loads were carried near the aircraft's CG.
     
  3. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member Patron  

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    Yes, they were called bombs ;0)

    KTK
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    I have a feeling that palletised & parachuted bulldozers may have been dropped in WW2. Vague memory of a chat with an owner at Beltring...
    May have been a Clarke CA1 he said could go in via other means than glider, but I don't think so.
    Hmmm... probably postwar confusion on my part.

    The big problem for WW2 air-dropping isn't so much the actual technology of making something heavy survive a fall.
    That's quite straightforward in comparison to the need for an aircraft with the airborne opening rear door to deploy such stuff.

    I mean, this isn't the way forward:
    [​IMG]


    This, however, starts to look more intriguing:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Looks intriguing until you notice that the C-82 Packet's "clamshell" doors are opening into the slipstream. To do this in flight, you would most likely need a very strong hydraulic assist. Then you would have to consider what effect these two very large air brakes would have on the C-82's ability to remain airborne.
     
  6. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    I think the soviets dis some air drop experiments before the war with the TB-3 and T 27 tankettes,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_TB-3

    The tank was hung close enough to the CG so it could be dropped but IIRC that was tried without parachutes

    but the "acceptable" loss ratio of Soviet airdrops is not what a western nation would call a reliable delivery system (look at the pitcure at the bottom for what I mean. :XD:.

    Some modern big Helicopters can lift a light tank, assuming there are still any 20t class vehicles in use, that would be stricly "second wave" but doable.
     
  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Member Patron  

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    Here's kind of a neat page on the Clark

    http://www.questmasters.us/Clark_CA-1.html
     
  8. LowDog

    LowDog New Member

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    The U.S. Army may have tried it prior to WWII. An elderly truck drive told me he spent the entireity of WWII transporting damaged trucks, jeeps, light armor, and artillery that were air dropped at BarksdaleAFB, Louisiana, during the 1940 war games, to Texas for repair.
     
  9. Arthur124

    Arthur124 Member

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    This type of glider was e.g. used end of March 1945 to drop paratroopers who attacked the German positions behind the river Rhine.
    According to my late father's war diary they saw hundreds of these gliders at Hamminkeln.
     
  10. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WWII Veteran Patron  

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    My memory tells me the Sherman weighed 30 ton.

    Can't visualise that being dropped by parachute !

    Ron
     
  11. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    The German Me-321 Gigant glider could theoretically carry just over 20 tonnes. A panzer III weighs in at around 23 tonnes.

    I say, theoretically, because their service record is rather wanting, they really seem to have been built (200!), and then mostly just shuffled around in anticipation of being used, without actually getting used. Invasion of Malta; didn't happen. Didn't help Paulus at Stalingrad. Didn't assault Astrakhan or Baku. Didn't land troops in Sicily. I suppose someone can find a reference to somewhere where they were used.

    The lack of aircraft to tow them, even the specifically designed He-111Z needed rato to tow a fully loaded Gigant, or lack of suitable airfields, or lack of suitable landing areas, meant they were really limited.

    [​IMG]

    CGI recreation of HE-111Z towing a Me 321

    [​IMG]
    HE-111Z In flight.

    When you're building a five-engined, 7-crew monstrosity to tow a glider, yet failing to build 200 to tow the 200 gliders you have already built, you really have to question what the hell you are doing.

    Its competitor for the contract the Ju-322 Mammut had this comment "A test with a battle tank compacted the loading floor, leading to redesign, further reducing the payload." in wikipedia. It had a payload of around 11,000 kg.

    'Due to the dangerous "troikaschlepp" arrangement utilizing three rato-equipped BF-110's, a Gigant glider accident in 1941 with 129 dead was the worst disaster in aviation history until 1960.'
    -wikipedia (looking for independant confirmation of this)
     
  12. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    The tanks they used were the Tetrarch and the Locust both less than 10 tonnes in weight and delivered by glider.

    The Americans did drop the postb war M551 Sheriden from the air.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50cpPAVoxJQ

    I don't think this was an act of war. More para willy-waving
     
  13. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    In respect of the Gigant....I wonder how many of the gliders were rebuilt as the motored version??? ;)
     

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