SHOOTING THE MAIL (Jun, 1945)
SHOOTING THE MAIL
A CATAPULT device for airmail pickup is one for the coming air age, designed by Louis P. Wulf.
Present methods employ a heavy shock-absorbing mechanism in the pickup plane which relieves stress on the cable when the mail is jerked from its resting position on the ground. This new wrinkle, however, obviates the necessity for such an arrangement, the mail being hurled forward in the direction of the plane’s motion by an explosive charge when the cable engages the hook. In tests, an ordinary 10-gauge shotgun shell, set in a specially designed and reinforced gun barrel, has been sufficient to catapult a 15-lb. mail bag at speeds over 100 m.p.h.