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M551 Sheridan Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System (LAPES)

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Uploaded on Aug 26, 2008

Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System (LAPES) is a tactical military airlift delivery method where a fixed wing cargo aircraft can deposit supplies when landing is not an option in an area that is too small to accurately parachute supplies from a high altitude.

This method was developed by the US Military in 1967 during the Siege of Khe Sanh in the Vietnam War. It involves loading supplies on a special pallet on a plane. Once a plane reaches the desired drop point, the pilot descends to a very low altitude of typically under 2 m. Once achieved, the cargo hatch is opened and the extraction parachute is deployed; once the parachute catches the wind outside the craft, it pulls the connected supplies out of the plane and on to the ground. Once the delivery is accomplished, the pilot ascends to a normal altitude and returns to base.

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