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Fulton Recovery System.

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Talk of mechanical tablet catchers at speed reminded me of the Fulton Recovery System - definitely not one for the faint-hearted.


After you were shot down, you let up a balloon on a wire, that got picked up by a passing Hercules, hoicked you violently off the ground and they then winched you in - if all went well...




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It was a bit bonkers, but that's how it was then - everything was new.


They used to recover film canisters from spy satellites in a similar manner - after re-entry, they would hang from a parachute on a long cord that would be snagged by the plane, the 'chute then being ripped off and the canister hauled inside. It meant that it was truly secure, nobody else could ever know what you had got on the film, there was no way of 'hacking' it, short of getting to the canister first. I suspect that the pilot recovery side developed from that application.


For aircrew, it might have been preferable to being captured.


It was used for some larger items than single/double people payloads....

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