Thanks to an idea from former RAF pilot Jack Walters, with the help of U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin, C-130s that were used to bomb targets with landmines are now being redesigned for reforestation, dropping tree mines instead in remote areas in Scotland.
”Equipment we developed for precision planting of fields of landmines can be adapted easily for planting trees,” Peter Simmons, a spokesperson from Lockheed, said.
”There are 2,500 C-130 transport aircraft in 70 countries, so the delivery system for planting forests is widely available – mostly mothballed in military hangers waiting for someone to hire them.”
”The possibilities are amazing,” Simmons added.
”We can fly at 1,000 ft at 130 knots planting more than 3,000 cones a minute in a pattern across the landscape – just as we did with landmines, but in this case each cone contains a sapling. That’s 125,000 trees for each sortie and 900,000 trees in a day.”
The tree cones are ”bombed” in such a way that they are planted as if they had been by hand.
Walters, the former pilot who spawned the idea, was more than happy to see his vision realized, saying that he is ”delighted the idea has been taken seriously.”
”I did the preliminary tests to make sure the trees survived the fall, and it all worked.”