A Airborne Aircraft Carrier

Is this for real ?
To close such a gap, the Air Force should develop a fleet of airborne aircraft carriers (AAC) to allow stealthy fighters and unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV) to protect, augment, and support the B-2 fleet. The AAC concept uses a Boeing 747-400 mother ship to transport and employ both a single stealth fighter in the piggyback configuration and a single UCAV carried under the fuselage. Air-to-air refueling will provide global range, enabling each AAC to remain airborne for days at a time. A retractable, protective shroud will cover the nose and cockpit of the stealth aircraft so its pilot can move freely between the AAC and fighter. Mechanisms to launch and recover the airborne stealth fighter and UCAV will facilitate multiple sorties by the parasite aircraft. Between missions both the fighter and UCAV will refuel and rearm while docked with the mother ship. After two or three coordinated strikes over the course of 12–24 hours, the mother ships will return the fighters and UCAVs to the CONUS for maintenance and regeneration as another group of AACs replaces them. The AAC concept will neither serve as a substitute for nor attempt to generate the sorties of a naval aircraft carrier. Instead, a fleet of AACs will enable the marshalling of high-payoff “silver-bullet” strike packages at the strategic and operational levels of war early in a campaign as a means of overcoming access denial and setting conditions for the deployment and employment of theater-based conventional forces.

jonwilly said:
Was tried in the 30s with US 'Zepplins' and technology of the time.
The fighter will be expected to land back on ! ?
One of which is the USS Macon mentioned about halfway down the page on the original posts link. The fighters were deployed and recovered via a "trapeze" mechanism. National Geographic did a good article on the Macon (which went down in a storm over the sea) that included photos of Sparrowhawk fighters like the one shown with NO undercarriage whatsoever. I've googled but cant find any images of this.

What a fcuking numpty Col George D.Kramlinger is. I bet they rue the day he showed up at Maxwell. (Or the day they commissioned him for that matter.)

1. What's going to protect the "carrier"?

2. Has he even considered the drag penalty of slapping other aircraft to the top/bottom of a 747? The NASA 747 has to land and refuel every 1000 or or so miles when it's carryingly the Space Shuttle, IIRC and it can't get above 250kts.

3. I know that there are some pretty stupid bowser mongs and armourers out there, but where does he plan on finding a bunch stupid enough to volunteer to go wing walking on a 747 for hours at a time, in -50 Degrees Celsius temperatures, at 25-30,000ft, in a 250kt wind to refuel and bomb-up the aircraft?

Mind you, I think there's a bloke called Jeff Tracy who is setting up some sort of International Rescue organisation on an island somewhere who's in need of some over-engineered and pointlessly elaborate flying contraptions. He might find a job there.

He is right about one thing though- the B2 is a white elephant that isn't worth the money that has been chucked at it. However, coming up with such a ludicrous proposal in order to offer force protection for it is just throwing good money after bad.


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