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"I did more research, and realized I almost would rather be a biologist than a writer, because there was incredible stuff going on!"
- Greg Bear

Carryall  
  A flying wing (aircraft); used to pick up a sandcrawler (harvester factory)  

The most valuable substance in the universe of Dune is the spice mélange, which is only found on the desert world of Arrakis. Enormous armored worms hundreds of meters long roam freely over the spice sands. How do you mine the spice?

The primary use of a carryall is to place the mobile harvester factories used to gather the spice. Since sandworms always come to regular vibration, no permanent installations are possible. Once the harvester has fully loaded, or if a giant worm is sighted, the carryall flies in, attaches itself to the harvester, and pulls it clear.

The solido-image of the harvester-factory was replaced by a projection of a winged device that dwarfed the images of human figures around it.

"This is a carryall," Hawat said. "It's essentially a large 'thopter, whose sole function is to deliver a factory to spice-rich sands, then to rescue the factory when a sandworm appears. They always appear. Harvesting the spice is a process of getting in and getting out with as much as possible."

From Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

Here's an overflight of a spice bed:

The Duke banked their craft toward the sandcloud erupting from the factory crawler. "What happens now?"

"There's a carryall wing somewhere close," Kynes said. "It'll come in and lift off the crawler."

"Rich spice bed by the color," Kynes said. "They'll continue to work it until the last minute.

Of course, you have a problem if the carryall, which also doubles as a spotter plane looking for signs of giant sandworms large enough to swallow the harvester whole, cannot be found.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

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