[FoRK] Global Strategic Aid Bombing

Stephen D. Williams sdw
Sat Sep 3 09:28:12 PDT 2005


It's not that tough to design a compact, bouyant, and slow descending 
package that can be packed tight until deployment.  The idea of dropping 
a whole pallet is pretty dumb in most situations, even where it's dry.


J. Andrew Rogers wrote:

>On 9/2/05 7:58 PM, "kelley at inkworkswell.com" <kelley at inkworkswell.com>
>>I don't know. I heard some tool this morning, trying to convince a
>>newsjoker that the reason we can't airdrop is that they'd be shoving
>>pallets out of planes. Right. He then said, to illustrate why it was a bad
>>idea, that they'd air dropped aid in for cattle. (!!!) When they flew over,
>>they discovered that some of the cattle had died when the bales of hay
>>landed on them.
>Well, sadly, there is a hell of a lot of truth to this.  Like most other
>safety measures the military uses, this one was put in place because there
>actually have been incidents where people died in airdrops.  No accounting
>for the species.  Those pallets are heavy and can smash a lot of structure,
>parachute or no.  I do not know anything about cattle getting smashed but it
>would not surprise me.
>The other two obvious problems is that 1) pallets have a high probability of
>landing underwater where it does not do anyone any good, and 2) there is no
>way to distribute the contents of said pallets when they do land in many
>cases.  Airdropping pallets of supplies randomly into a large lake is not an
>effective use of resources, no matter how good it makes you feel to be
>"doing something".
>They have landed pallets of supplies in many of the places where they would
>do some good.  Randomly bombing New Orleans with pallets of supplies is a
>ridiculous Monty Python-esque waste of resources.  Never mind being insanely
>While I'm sure they could custom design tiny floating aid packages that they
>could spread over the region, they've never had the need in the past and you
>can't put such things together in a couple days.
>J. Andrew Rogers
>FoRK mailing list

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Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw

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