Fork-tailed Devils and Flying Shoes

What does the Northrop P-61 have in common with Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne?

The Bv 138 attacked convoys, resupplied U-boats, and swept for mines mostly in Scandinavian waters. (NASM (SI Neg. #00010700))
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A final version, the XC-120 Packplane prototype, featured a detachable container pod, which mated to the fuselage by means of complicated gear that tucked into the fuselage and booms in flight. World War II Army Airborne legend General James M. Gavin called it “the most significant development ever produced by the American aircraft industry.” None were ordered.

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