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17

Clearly the plane must enter and exit through the belly of the larger plane Why so? If you drop this condition, things become much easier, because you could attach the smaller planes externally and avoid folding the wings. And this was indeed tried and even used operationally. The concept is generally termed as Airborne aircraft carrier. The first (?) and ...


3

It was actually done post-WW2 as part of the USAF FICON and Tip Tow projects which thought to extend the service life of the B-36 by giving it some escort fighters and photo reconnaiscance aircraft for damage assessment. It ultimately wasn't put into production as it was rather dangerous and seriously degraded the performance of the carrier aircraft, meaning ...


2

Sure, it's possible. There have been several experiments with so-called "parasite aircraft" over the years, some of which even managed some success before inevitably being canned for reasons of practicality and cost. Docking them together is going to be the hard part. A hydraulic claw won't work; aside from the sheer weight of such a device, planes ...


2

Consider a C-5 Galaxy and a T-38. Big and little. The C-5 cargo compartment is 19 feet (5.76m), The T-38 wingspan is 25 feet (7.7m). So not going to fit. Weight capacity of the C-5 is 291,000 lbs, and the little T-38 onl weighs 12,000 lbs or so. So THAT isn't the problem. Now...if you were to park the little jet on a platform extended from the back, and then ...


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