1945-1991: Cold War world Wiki

The Fulton Skyhook

The Fulton 'Skyhook' in use.

The device[]

The Fulton surface-to-air recovery system (STARS or 'sky hook' system) was a reteval system used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), United States Air Force and United States Navy for retrieving people from ground locations by using aircraft such as the HC-130E Combat Talon I.

It involved the person on the ground using an overall-type harness attached to a self-inflating balloon which carried a strong attached 'lift line'.

A aircraft like a HC-130E engages the thick, durable, line and hooks it up with its V-shaped yoke and the individual is reeled on board.

Red flags were pre-attached on the lift line to help guide the pilots during daylight recoveries. Lights were used on the lift line for night-time recoveries. The recovery kits were designed for one and 2 man retrievals.  

The Fulton system was planned in 1952 and used from 1958 to 1996. 

Popular culture[]

A sky hook-equipped US Navy aeroplane rescues 007 and his babe at the end of the film Thunderball.

Also see[]

  1. Skyhook momentum exchange tether
  2. Science

Other uses of "skyhook"[]

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyhook_(cable)
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyhook
  3. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Operation_Skyhook
  4. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Sky+hook
  5. http://messybeast.com/dragonqueen/fools-errands.htm
  6. http://www.edugeek.net/forums/jokes-interweb-things/67575-sky-hooks-glass-hammer-etc.html
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyhook_(structure)

Outside links[]

Fulton surface-to-air 'sky-hook' recovery system.