I suspect I originally saw this here, but I can't find it now. There was a proposal to launch Blue Steel at very low altitudes by dragging it behind the launch aircraft on a cable. Does anyone have a pointer to material on this?
Sure just a Blue Steel on its own wouldn’t work (no where near enough wing area) but maybe attached to jettisonable cradle which itself has some wings and some tail feathers I think you could get to something approaching feasible. I was once told by someone a bit closer to those trying to use the pig, it was rarely serviceable for a whole flight even in the relatively benign bay so being very cold and bounced around behind a V bomber is a real ask. The tricky bit of any glider tow is the first inch of altitude so an automatic system for this would really stretch the technology. Remember it’s pretty fragile, packed with not so nice HTP and a dirty great bucket of instant sunshine. It wouldn’t survive an unplanned contact with the ground and the results would be very unpleasant.
I mean, if the US experimented with an air-launched Minuteman dropped out the back of a C-5, I can almost see someone pulling out the idea of a towed standoff missile. It's not a good idea, obviously, but this WAS the era that gave us the SLAM and the chicken-warmed nuclear landmine.
I do remember reading about a proposal from Bristol about carrying their proposed X12/Pandora missile in a transport aircraft, and to launch it, it would be pushed out backwards from the hold of the aircraft.
It didn't strike me as being a very viable proposition.