JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
There's a certain attraction to relieving an aircraft of the weight and drag of landing gear--except for the actual "landing" part of the aircraft, which becomes more, well, difficult, without wheels. Except of course when you have an apparatus like that below, something to basically catch the aircraft. For the sake of fuel economy the idea of getting rid of wheels and other landing gear made the cover of this Popular Mechanics issue for March 1932. The apparatus was supposed to be able to (safely) stop an airplane in the space of 40', which no doubt would have interested the U.S. Navy if such a thing worked with damaging the airplane or the pilot. I really don't see how the thing could have possibly worked, even with the helpful image in the text of the thing being a "reverse catapult". Still, publishing such stuff may have given someone an idea for something else--some bit or insight in this apparatus may have come in handy for someone else working on something entirely different, as is sometimes the case with Outsider ideas.