Scott Air Force Base News

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On Dec. 15, 1924, a Verville-Sperry M-1 Messenger biplane successfully docked in midair with Army Air Service airship TC-3 over Scott Field.

This was the first aircraft to successfully hook-on and release from another aircraft in flight.

Lt. Clyde V. Finter hooked on to a trapeze attached to non-rigid airship TC-3 (on the third attempt) at about 55 mph 1,200 feet over Scott Field, the Army’s lighter-than-air center from 1921-37.

He remained attached briefly while the airship made a turn, unhooked, and then came in for a landing.

While successful, the Army did not pursue the concept further.

However, the Navy employed a similar system on the massive rigid airships Akron and Macon with Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk biplanes in the early 1930s.

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