Unconventional Airdrop Missions
Another example of an unconventional airdrop mission was during a series of tests called the “Killer Hercules Demonstration Program.” This project involved the airdrop of a box that contained a running UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) from a C-130 aircraft. The UAV was to fly out of the box during descent, locate a target, and fire a missile. Check out the video below to see more of the “Killer Herc.”
Elephants weighing a whopping 7 or 8 tons are still lighter than the weight of the “Mother of All Bombs.” According to the U.S. Air Force, “The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb is a 21,600 pound, GPS-guided munition with precision guidance and architecture to be delivered accurately to enemy forces with the main intention of permanently disabling them. The goal was to put pressure on then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to cease and desist or the United States would not only have the means but use them against the unpopular tyrant.”
The MOAB was produced in-house at the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate and was considered unique for its “smart bomb” or satellite guided capabilities. A little known fact about the MOAB is why it is such a distinct green color. The Air Force states in the same article that during its production the team was in a rush to deliver the bomb to the war efforts and the only color available at the time was John Deere green. The MOAB is considered to be the most powerful bomb ever built even though it has never used in combat. It completed its job of deterring the enemy from its sheer presence.
Finally, one of the more unique airdrop missions revolved around Colonel Gail Halvorsen, or the “Candy Bomber.” Colonel Halvorsen was one of the many American pilots to fly the USAF C-54 Skymaster during the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49. The Colonel was nicknamed the “Candy Bomber” during the operation as he would regularly drop candy to the German children below. At one point he had engaged in a conversation with the young children who had asked if he had any candy or food to give to them. Colonel Halvorsen would then go on to promise the children he would drop them more candy on his next visit and to look for him to “wiggle his wings.”
Colonel Halvorsen soon became known to the children as “Uncle Wiggly Wings” and enlisted the help of fellow pilots who would donate their candy ration cards to support the continued candy efforts. When word of the “Candy Bomber” reached the United States, it wasn’t long before thousands of pounds of candy were delivered for the airdrops. Even children in East Berlin were able to receive the treats because according to Havlorsen, “kids are kids everywhere.”