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G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion #4683789
03/04/18 06:00 AM
03/04/18 06:00 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 41,966
'Stralia
Shannow Online content OP
Shannow  Online Content OP
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 41,966
'Stralia

Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: Shannow] #4683894
03/04/18 09:02 AM
03/04/18 09:02 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,011
South Florida
bubbatime Offline
bubbatime  Offline
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Posts: 6,011
South Florida
I love military history and this is the first time Ive ever heard that the US had an actual nuclear powered aircraft that could stay in the air for 1000 hours before needing refueling. WOW. Amazing. Too bad they the president cut the budget. That would have been neat to see.


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Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: Shannow] #4683955
03/04/18 10:08 AM
03/04/18 10:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,631
USA
mk378 Online content
mk378  Online Content
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,631
USA
No nuclear powered aircraft were actually built or flown. The program was cancelled at the stage of testing engines on the ground.

This was mostly because of advances in ICBM technology. The "Minuteman" missile was fast accurate and reliable. It downplayed the importance of having bomber aircraft fly on constant standby near Russia.

Last edited by mk378; 03/04/18 10:10 AM.
Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: Shannow] #4683983
03/04/18 10:47 AM
03/04/18 10:47 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 407
NJ
JLawrence08648 Offline
JLawrence08648  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 407
NJ
With current technology TODAY, this is impossible, back then a waste of money to even do a proposal, and stupid for thinking it would work. Nuclear needs a water source for two things, for cooling off the rods to prevent a meltdown, then for propulsion to create steam to run an impeller to drive a shaft that drives a generator to create electricity.

Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: Shannow] #4684018
03/04/18 11:25 AM
03/04/18 11:25 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,100
Middlesex County CT
simple_gifts Offline
simple_gifts  Offline
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Posts: 12,100
Middlesex County CT
Apologize if this is considered a thread hijack; but PWA's Middletown CT facility (a few miles from my house) was once the center of their focus on nuclear powered aircraft

I'm adding for additional content only

http://coldwar-ct.com/CANEL_-_Middletown.html


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Was driving an ox cart; Now on the USS Enterprise
Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: mk378] #4684055
03/04/18 11:59 AM
03/04/18 11:59 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,490
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
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Posts: 10,490
Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: mk378
No nuclear powered aircraft were actually built or flown. The program was cancelled at the stage of testing engines on the ground.

This was mostly because of advances in ICBM technology. The "Minuteman" missile was fast accurate and reliable. It downplayed the importance of having bomber aircraft fly on constant standby near Russia.

Correct, but aircraft did fly with a fueled nuclear reactor onboard without powering the flight itself.


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Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: JLawrence08648] #4684063
03/04/18 12:12 PM
03/04/18 12:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,845
Ottumwa, Iowa
jhellwig Online content
jhellwig  Online Content
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,845
Ottumwa, Iowa
Originally Posted By: mk378
No nuclear powered aircraft were actually built or flown. The program was cancelled at the stage of testing engines on the ground.

This was mostly because of advances in ICBM technology. The "Minuteman" missile was fast accurate and reliable. It downplayed the importance of having bomber aircraft fly on constant standby near Russia.
They did fly one of the reactors and had it operational during the flight to test shielding.
Originally Posted By: JLawrence08648
With current technology TODAY, this is impossible, back then a waste of money to even do a proposal, and stupid for thinking it would work. Nuclear needs a water source for two things, for cooling off the rods to prevent a meltdown, then for propulsion to create steam to run an impeller to drive a shaft that drives a generator to create electricity.
It isn't impossible. They had a complete working setup ready to go into the aircraft.


Sparks fly from my fingers.

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Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: Shannow] #4684156
03/04/18 02:06 PM
03/04/18 02:06 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 41,966
'Stralia
Shannow Online content OP
Shannow  Online Content OP
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'Stralia
Yes, they flew with working reactors, to explore shielding.

According to this, the Russians ended up flying one at the end, by dropping their shielding simply to be the first ones to do it...(surprise)...go to 39:30


Russia Reckons that they've now got a nuclear POWERED missile that can travel 10 times further than traditional propulsion.

here

Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: Shannow] #4684242
03/04/18 03:58 PM
03/04/18 03:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 899
Ca USA
BusyLittleShop Offline
BusyLittleShop  Offline
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Posts: 899
Ca USA
The NB-36H was a modified Convair B-36 Peacekeeper that was used as a
testbed for an American nuclear powered bomber. In 1950 it made a
number of flights carrying a nuclear reactor... the crew hide in a
lead shield cockpit...







Last edited by BusyLittleShop; 03/04/18 04:05 PM.

Larry L
Have a Wheelie NICE day
94 RC45 #2 58,000 on 30 weights Currently Mobil 1 5W30
2002 Camaro Mobil 1 0W30
1952 De Havilland Chipmunk



Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: Shannow] #4684539
03/04/18 08:07 PM
03/04/18 08:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 93
Pocatello, Idaho
compratio10_5 Offline
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Posts: 93
Pocatello, Idaho
Interesting topic on a lube blog site. For anyone interested, there are two atomic aircraft test reactors mounted on railroad cars at the EBR-1 atomic museum in eastern Idaho. I believe that these may be the General Electric direct air cooled reactors mentioned in the film. They look too big and heavy to fly, and any plane leaving a trail of radioactivity should have been easy to detect and track. This museum is open to the public between Memorial Day and Labor Day and is the location of the first electric power generated by a nuclear reactor.


It's not what you don't know that hurts, it's what you think you know that ain't so. Will Rogers
Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: compratio10_5] #4684631
03/04/18 09:25 PM
03/04/18 09:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,480
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,480
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: compratio10_5
..... any plane leaving a trail of radioactivity should have been easy to detect and track.


Rendering it useless VERY quickly....


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: compratio10_5] #4685231
03/05/18 01:43 PM
03/05/18 01:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 899
Ca USA
BusyLittleShop Offline
BusyLittleShop  Offline
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 899
Ca USA
Originally Posted By: compratio10_5
any plane leaving a trail of radioactivity should have been easy to detect and track.


Radioactivity detection would have not been the enemy's choice to
track due to 100% of it was sealed in a container needed to protect
its crew... the enemy's eye balls could easy track an incoming NB36 by
its corkscrew contrails or alerted over head by its signature droning
sound made possible by the pusher propellers shock waves...




Larry L
Have a Wheelie NICE day
94 RC45 #2 58,000 on 30 weights Currently Mobil 1 5W30
2002 Camaro Mobil 1 0W30
1952 De Havilland Chipmunk



Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: BusyLittleShop] #4685241
03/05/18 01:54 PM
03/05/18 01:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 41,966
'Stralia
Shannow Online content OP
Shannow  Online Content OP
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Posts: 41,966
'Stralia
Originally Posted By: BusyLittleShop

Radioactivity detection would have not been the enemy's choice to
track due to 100% of it was sealed in a container needed to protect
its crew...


You haven't read the linked papers, nor watched the video, have you ?

There were two ways of making a nuclear powered gas turbine (jet engine)...transport the reactor coolant/heat transfer fluid to a heat exchanger where the jet's combustion chamber would otherwise be to heat the gasses, or the "direct method" where the compressed air was passed through the reactor to be heated, and returned to the engine to the turbine section of the engine.

Here's a Russian version of the latter.


The reactor could be close placed, or the air transported to it.

In the direct method, the air, having passed through the reactor core itself would have been radioactive, and leaving a radioactive plume across the skies...even the indirect method would have a small elevation in radioactivity.

And per the "shielding", they stated that they couldn't shield the reactors in the traditional method, as that would have been too heavy to get off the ground...they shielded the occupants from the radiation, not the reactors from the world.

Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: Shannow] #4685247
03/05/18 01:59 PM
03/05/18 01:59 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,490
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,490
Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: Shannow
And per the "shielding", they stated that they couldn't shield the reactors in the traditional method, as that would have been too heavy to get off the ground...they shielded the occupants from the radiation, not the reactors from the world.

Which refers to my favorite illustration from the post simple_gifts made:

Quote:
Artists Conception of a nuclear powered bomber. The crew compartment can be separated from the rest of the plane to allow to crew to get on and get off without being exposed to radiation.




1994 BMW 530i, 241K
1996 Honda Accord, 267K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 409K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 280K
Re: G.E. on nuclear aviation propulsion [Re: Shannow] #4685839
03/06/18 12:31 AM
03/06/18 12:31 AM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 899
Ca USA
BusyLittleShop Offline
BusyLittleShop  Offline
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 899
Ca USA
Originally Posted By: Shannow


You haven't read the linked papers, nor watched the video, have you ?

I saved the paper and I scanned the video... but I have a growing aviation
library so what do you want to know about the NB36???

Originally Posted By: Shannow

And per the "shielding", they stated that they couldn't shield the reactors in the traditional method, as that would have been too heavy to get off the ground...they shielded the occupants from the radiation, not the reactors from the world.


NB36 ASTR reactor featured 60,000 pounds of reactor shielding and
37,000 pounds of crew shielding. The reactor shield was 60 feet long
and 12 feet in diameter... additional side shielding around the
reactor was provided by a 2.5 thick layer of polyethylene sandwich
between two sheets of aluminum, one which was the exterior skin...
This shielding system lowered the exposure rate from the 1 Roentgen
per hour down to 0.25 Roentgen per hour... so technically speaking the
USAF went to great expense to protect the world... after all we are
the good guys...

If you were the squiring enemy sweating our bombers your 1st line of
defense would be radar... follow up by visual contrails and droning
sound... by time it would take you sniff out 0.25 Roentgens worth of a
radioactive signature you could be pharting Peacekeeper's bombs...



Larry L
Have a Wheelie NICE day
94 RC45 #2 58,000 on 30 weights Currently Mobil 1 5W30
2002 Camaro Mobil 1 0W30
1952 De Havilland Chipmunk



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