erod said:I have heard there was a proposal to fit the Harrier with 2 under wing pods that could insert and extract covert troops.
There was a similar proposal to hang crew pods from AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. That proposal never got beyond mock up stage.
In practice, Israelis sat evacuees on
Apache stub wings and wrapped seat-belts around for the 1 or 2 kilometre flight out of rifle range.
British Apaches used this same technique once or twice in Afghanistan to evacuate wounded from battles. They only carried evacuees to the nearest ground ambulance. See the book "Wearing the Green Beret" by a Canadian-born Royal Marine who fought in Southern Afghanistan.
I also vaguely remember a photo of a modified drop tank hanging from a P-38 Lightning (?). A USAF mechanic smiled through the Plexiglas nose cap. The modification primarily included a clear Plexiglas nose cap. Considering the graceful curves,the Plexiglas cap was probably molded in a state-side factory.