This OSS film from 1944 shows something pretty odd… a method of building a “runway” that is just a suspended cable. A light aircraft can hang from the cable and accelerate, detaching just before the end and flying away; it can also fly low and slow and catch the cable, slowing to a stop while hanging. The idea was that this system could be set up by a truckload of guys in a forested or jungle area without the need to clear out the trees or create even a crude runway. One imagines that someone could set one of these things up over a shallow river or across a narrow canyon; the mind boggles at the possibilities. And the mind boggles at the myriad failure modes, which may be why this system didn’t seem to amount to much. Especially since helicopters were just coming on the scene.