The Book - Bart Beck

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About Bart Beck

THE ESCORTS

Both the Matadors and the Snarks were escorted, on their flights, by at least two small Jet Aircraft. I don't know what the were, but they were fast, not supersonic, however. The Matador wasn't supersonic either, but the Snark was. I was told that the Mission Control flew the Snark in a square pattern, out over the ocean and, in order for the escorts to keep contact, they would alternate, while one was in visual contact, the other one would cut across the corner, of the pattern and intercept the drone, after the other escort had lost it. Those escort planes would sometimes practice their pick up runs, because in an actual firing, they would have to come in over the drone just as it was leaving the launcher, so everything had to be properly synchronized.

As I said before, those little escorts did not exceed the speed of sound, but they did come pretty close to it, close enough so that if you were not aware that one was approaching, at the height of a tall Palmetto, and that blast of sound struck you, just about the time that the damn thing was right over your head, it could give a person quite a jolt. I know about that, because one day, I was checking a Pad mounted Transformer Station, that we had installed, that was right on their flight line, to the launchers. The station was activated and under load, and I was all involved with my work when one of those dudes came through there. I thought, for sure, that one of the transformers had blown up.

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