Jan 292017
 

In 1961 Ryan Aircraft looked at alternate means of ground launching their Firebee UAvs. A number of companies put forward ideas for various catapults. The SDASM Flickr account has illustrations of a number of the concept put forward. One of them was  Brodie Rig, similar to the suspended runway I posted about a few weeks ago. Sadly details on this and the other studies is very limited… basically the date and the illustrations. The Brodie rig has what appears to be a winch a tthe end, indicating that the drone would have been accelerated not only by its jet engine but also the  rig itself, getting it up to flight speed ASAP. Whether it would be able to be recovered with the rig at the end of the mission is difficult to determine, but doing so would require a definite level of precise flying that I’m not sure the Firebee would have been able to attain in 1961.

See somewhat higher rez version of this illustration HERE.

 

 Posted by at 3:05 pm
  • CaptainNed

    A big stick, a long/thick rubber band, and I’m 5YO again. Just can’t see how that winch can spin fast enough, even with the double hitch, to add enough velocity in the length given (assuming everything else is to scale with the Firebee).

  • B-Sabre

    Firebees typically recover by parachute, so there’s no need to use a Brody rig.

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    • xvdougl

      True, but they don’t launch by parachute.

      • B-Sabre

        I wash addressing Scott’s statement in the last line:

        Whether it would be able to be recovered with the rig at the end of the mission is difficult to determine, but doing so would require a definite level of precise flying that I’m not sure the Firebee would have been able to attain in 1961.

  • Rick

    what would the benefit be over the normal rail launched, solid rocket boost system? less fire danger? seems all the setup would negate any benefits of portability or agility.

    • Scottlowther

      Speculation:
      1) The Brodie rig doesn’t require a storehouse of solid rocket boosters, just gas for the winch
      2) The BR can probably be loaded onto a single truck or a single air-droppable pallet
      3) The BR probably costs squaddoo compared to a rail
      4) Probably more ameniable to different aircraft than a rail
      5) Probably more hidable than a rail… don;t need to clear out a forest, just build *over* the forest
      6) And at least theoretically it could be used for aircraft recovery

      • publiusr

        I wonder if this might make a comeback.

        If we are ever able to mine asteroids–a case can be made for using cables to at least wrap abound some of the length of them. A system like this might be used in some way.