[Photo] Man-carrying pod used on U.S. P-38 Lightning during WWII

Exint pods, man-carrying pods used to insert or exifiltrate special forces or wounded soldiers were not only tested British Harriers and AH-64 Apache and certified for Israeli AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters.

The concept dates back to World War 2 when “body-bags” or wing-mounted enclosures were tested on British Spitfires as well as Stuka dive bombers and ME 109 fighters. Tests were conducted even in the U.S.

Dan Nelson, a reader of this blog sent us some pictures, reportedly taken in 1944, showing casualty evacuation pods attached to an F-5, the reconnaissance variant of the P-38 Lightining.


Image credit: via Dan Nelson


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


    • The photographer in the pod is David Duncan Douglas. There are a few more details in his book “Yankee Nomad”. It was used, at least in his instance, to get photos of attack aircraft in action. It seemed to work well, with the exception of not having any sort of ventiliation built in.

  1. I really wonder what if any efficacy these would have in a real life situation when it comes to evacuating injured peoples.

  2. I do recall that at least one RAF Mosquito was fitted out as a fast VIP transport, apparently the navigators compartment was converted, and fitted out as a leather lined compartment. Speed and luxury!

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