By the 1930’s it was well understood that military aircraft would play a crucial role in future conflicts. But there was an issue that had challenged aircraft designers since the dawn of flight. Large, heavy aircraft, like bombers, could carry plenty of fuel, allowing them to fly great distances, but smaller planes like fighters needed to be light and agile could carry only a small amount, limiting their range.
This mismatch in flight range meant that on long range missions, bombers couldnt rely on the protection of escorting fighters.In 1932 a pioneering Soviet engineer named Vladamir Vakhmistrov proposed a novel solution to this problem. Vakhmistrov realized that larger aircraft could be used to carry smaller ones to their targets where they could then be deployed to defend the bombers whenever needed. This would solve the short range problem of smaller, lighter aircraft.Watch the video from Mustard:
Normally, such an arraignment would significantly reduce the bomber’s own range, given the extra weight and drag caused by carrying aircraft. But Vakhmistrov’s brilliant solution was to have the fighters also operate their engines during flight, contributing to the bomber’s total thrust.
In fact, the fighters would help increase the bombers performance by providing more power than without the fighters attached. While connected to the carrier, the fighters would draw fuel from additional fuel reserves fitted inside the bomber’s wings. Vakhmistrov also proposed using the flying aircraft carriers for more than just protection. The fighters could be carried to far away targets to conduct more accurate dive bombing. They could also stay airborne to guard borders and engage incoming aircraft when needed..//Mustard