Modern sailplanes are usually positioned to their departure field using a trailer. How did military gliders get to their departure field?


1 Answer 1


Boxed in crates and assembled onsite.


Unlike powered airplanes that could either be flown directly overseas or shipped to distant ports fully assembled on the decks of aircraft carriers, gliders had to be shipped unassembled in wooden crates. Just one CG-4A glider, for example, required five enormous wooden crates to be shipped overseas. And again, unlike powered aircraft, which were ready for combat almost immediately upon reaching their destinations, the relatively delicate gliders required several days to be gently unloaded from cargo ships, uncrated, and painstakingly reassembled before they were ready for their test flights. This time-consuming shipping procedure was to be a source of considerable grief for the Allies throughout the war.

  • $\begingroup$ That makes a lot of sense. Did the crates fit in trucks? I do not think Germany used ships to send gliders to assault Belgium. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2023 at 18:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I expect the Germans just towed/flew them from Germany. $\endgroup$
    – WPNSGuy
    Feb 12, 2023 at 18:05
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. The 'citation needed' numbers for the range of their glider towing aircraft suggest they could achieve that, even if the gliders were built in the wrong part of Germany. $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2023 at 3:08

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