Excerpted from Science News Letter for June 10, 1944.
THE TINY grasshopper planes, or flying jeeps, are being used by the Army in the jungles of Burma for air ambulance work.
Up to the present time these planes have been used mainly for reconnaissance work and directing artillery fire. This is the first time that they have been used as flying ambulances.
Because of the steep climb, low landing speed, and ability to land and and take off after a run of only 65 yards, they can operate in and out of small jungle clearings where larger airplanes cannot possibly go.
They will save many hours in time required to move wounded soldiers from highly inaccessible places. Wounded [have] been flown back to base hospitals in 45 minutes, a trip that would take litter bearers 10 hours.
Converted to ambulance work, each grasshopper will carry one standard stretcher. Probably the smallest warplane in use, it has a wing span of only 34 feet, a length of 24 feet, and is powered by a 185 horsepower engine.
Military surgeons, in praising the new use for tiny aircraft, stated that many seriously wounded soldiers, abdominal cases in particular, can be saved if operated on within the “golden period”—that precious four hours immediately after injury, before infections develop.