The Airlifters

Airlifters are very interesting to me, especially mega-lifters. But “exotics” are also fun, like tilt-ducted fans, compound helicopters, convertiplanes, flying wings, and much more. I think there’s several reasons why I’ve taken a liking to them, besides some very good sources that I’m eager to review.

  1. They represent an army marching on its stomach, or in this case, flying on its stomach. They’re the behind-the-scenes things that no one can do without.
  2. They’re military but not inherently destructive (unless converted to bombers, of course). Thus they can serve humanitarian and civilian support efforts very well.
  3. Finally, the numbers analyst in me likes seeing, especially for inherently risky airborne drops/landings, what you can accomplish with X number of airlifters with a capacity of Y per unit. Operations researchers with far more resources and far better command of math than me have been studying this since the parachute was invented.
  4. Plus I live fairly close to an airlifter base and see the big grey Globemasters and Galaxies flying overhead fairly frequently.
  5. Paradropping can be used as a way to add drama to the characters in a story, regardless of the overall force balance.
  6. It’s hard not to be impressed by something weird and/or big.

What I’m most interested in at the moment is: “To what extend does having big lifters that can reach the LZ safely remove bottlenecks?”

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