The old way is to shove a pallet of beans and bullets tied to a few parachutes out the back of a C-130 Hercules and hope it lands in one piece. The new way is to release the CQ-10A SnowGoose from 18,000 feet and allow the 110-horsepower Rotax 914-driven prop and laptop-programmable navigation system to land the payload within 50 meters of a customer up to 500 miles away.
Manufactured by Canadian company Mist Mobility Integrated Systems Technology, the SnowGoose represents the latest in a class of guided parafoil systems that are blurring the line between unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and traditional cargo parachute systems. The SnowGoose doesn't even need a plane to launch; the fat-tourist paraglide method works just as well, with a Humvee standing in for the speedboat.
The system--basically a six-compartment, prop-driven, air frame on skids--will be used primarily to resupply small military units with up to 600 pounds of fuel, water, ammo, blood or other battlefield essentials. It's easily adaptable to other missions as well: The U.S. Special Operations Command has used it to spread propaganda leaflets and conduct loudspeaker broadcasts.
Wonder if they know "Ride of the Valkyries" in South Waziristan.