Aeronautics: Operation Skyhook

It has always been the proud boast of the U.S. armed forces that their pilots would go to extravagant lengths to rescue comrades in trouble. Helicopters flap into impossible places to save plane-crash survivors; skindivers drop to the aid of downed astronauts; search-and-rescue craft crisscross vast areas of ocean. And now the lifesaving arsenal has a new weapon: the military Skyhook developed by Connecticut Inventor Robert E. Fulton, Jr.

Once its target is located, a Skyhook rescue plane sends a 400-lb., do-it-yourself kit drifting downward by parachute. The bulky package, which is...

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