Have you ever asked yourself, “What did the military use before they had helicopters?” Me neither. After some initial research, I discovered that helicopters haven’t always existed. (I know!) You’re probably now wondering how the pyramids were really built, but rest assured it wasn’t with the aid of helicopters.
All kidding aside, I’ve never really taken the time to wonder about it. So it came as quite a surprise to hear that the military actually used gliders back in WWII as stealth infiltrators, towing them behind regular planes (like the one below) and then cutting them loose behind enemy lines.
It was also surprising to learn that (of all places) Lubbock is home to the Silent Wings Museum (it turns out that most of the pilots in the glider program were trained in Lubbock). Housed in what was the original Lubbock airport terminal, the museum is dedicated to the Wolrd War II glider program. Having come from an era where helicopters were old news, I found it all the be pretty interesting. Definitely worth the price of admission (which was actually free–they waive the five dollar admission if you’ve come over from the Buddy Holly Center and paid for admission to his museum).
For more info on the Silent Wings Museum, click here.
The shot below was a three-exposure HDR with a little Photoshop trickery.