JF Ptak Science Books, LLC Post 260
This may not be the best idea I've seen--in principle this works fine for dropping tanks and other ordnance, but it seems to run against common sense when applied to delivering soldiers to a combat area. This was of course just ten years after the end of WWI, which saw a spectacular increase in aircraft and aeronautical knowledge, and only 25 years after the Wright Brothers' powered heavier than air flight at Kill Devil, so the lessons on paratrooping were just now being learned. (By the way, what was the most significant militarily-based discovery in aviation between 1914-1918? Could it have been the invention of the "barrel roll", which instantly changed all concepts of aerial strategy?)
Now what was going on in this display--appearing in the Illustrated London News on 8 September 1928--was the idea that a group of soldiers (14 in this case) could be seated in a cushioned/springed box which would be parachuted onto a battlefield. The idea of getting troops into a tight or difficult spot by a parachute is a very good one, a brilliant step forward really in the history of military strategy--but doing it in this fashion, by these means, was just not correct. First of all the whole thing looks way too heavy for the aircraft to leave the ground to begin with, at least with those engines; then it looks too heavy for the chute to pull it out of the plane (and looks as though it would act as an airbrake more than anything else, as the chute seems to be gigantic, fully half the width of an already-wide aircraft. I reckon that given space for seven seated men that the cabin would have to be at least 25' long, meaning that the parachute seems to be 10 cabin-widths in the larger image, or 250' in diameter...in the smaller image the chute is only 4 times the length of the cabin or so, meaning it is a hundred feet across.). The intention was for the chute to be deployed and for it to somehow lift the big box up and out of the plane, without dragging into or across the tail and etc. Then there's the issue of landing, which, springs or shock absorbers or not, looks to be very problematical.
The technical part of the strategic idea just wasn't going to work--the idea would, of course.
I should point out that this image was drawn by G.H. Davis, who made hundreds of images like this for the ILN over a four decade career--we'll be seeing more of his work in the months to come. Usually the work of Mr. Davis was spot-on, and he seemed to flourish in the "exploded view" and cut-away schematic. This drawing was from the earliest part of his career, and I think he didn't have much to work with--it seems an idea with a lot of leftover and abandoned Edwardian sensibilities.