Science: Portable Airport

An airplane still cannot perch on a wire like a bird, but it can hang beneath a wire like a right-side-up bat. The Army now has a "portable airport" which enables a light observation plane to land and take off from a cable.

Invented by Captain James H. Brodie, the simple rig has four masts which support a long cable stretched between them. To land, the plane flies between the masts and snags a nylon loop with a hook above its wing. A friction brake brings it to a stop. To take off, the plane runs beneath the cable until it reaches...

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