The Aviation Thread [Contains Lots of Awesome Pictures]

nsx_23

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The idea of a nuclear ramjet is to use the heat from the reactor to heat up the compressed air. I think a "nuclear jet" would be trying to take advantage of the same thing.

The americans tried it with Project Pluto:



They actually managed to ground-test the engine.
 
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Lieutenant47

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The XB-70 was never nuclear-powered. There was an early proposal to make it nuclear-powered, but it (pardon the pun) never got off the ground. The U.S. and the former Soviet Union both experimented with airborne nuclear reactors, and in the U.S. case at least, a B-36 was modified to install a nuclear reactor (but not providing propulsive power) and made a number of test flights, some with the reactor critical, but the projects were eventually abandoned.
 

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Cessna 177 RG






The final aircraft in the 177 line was the retractable-gear 177RG Cardinal RG, which Cessna began producing in 1971 as a direct competitor to the Piper PA-28-200R Cherokee Arrow and Beechcraft Sierra. The RG has a 200 hp (150 kW) Lycoming IO-360 engine to offset the 300 lb (136 kg) increase in maximum weight, much of which was from the electrically-powered hydraulic gear mechanism.

The additional power and cleaner lines of the 177RG result in a cruise speed of 146 knots (270 km/h), 22 knots (41 km/h) faster than the 177B. 1,543 177RG's were delivered including those built in France by Reims, as the Reims F177RG.
 

MrChips

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The idea of a nuclear ramjet is to use the heat from the reactor to heat up the compressed air. I think a "nuclear jet" would be trying to take advantage of the same thing.

The americans tried it with Project Pluto:



They actually managed to ground-test the engine.
The idea of a nuclear jet engine, as you mentioned, was to replace the hydrocarbon-burning combustor with a nuclear heat source; the compressed air would pass through either the reactor itself or a heat exchanger connected to the reactor. Back in the late 1950s, the the Americans actually ground-tested a nearly flight-ready nuclear turbojet propulsion unit, dubbed the HTRE-3:



As part of the NEPA program, Convair's X-6 proved that a reactor could be operated safely in an aircraft in the project's first phase. The next phase was to harness the heat generated by the reactor to propel an aircraft. They designed a working powerplant, based on the HTRE-3, using four heavily modified GE J47 engines.




Both the HTRE-3 and this powerplant, dubbed P-1, are fairly primitive designs, taking air from the engine's compressors, passing it through the reactor core and back into the turbine sections. While an air-cooled nuclear reactor is simple and lightweight, it is cumbersome, as it needs huge ducts between the turbines and the reactors. Also, it isn't entirely safe (the fuel comes in direct contact with the outside environment), nor is it particularly efficient. A better solution would be to run the reactor with a closed cooling system, using a set of coolant-to-air heat exchangers inside the turbine engines. While this is heavier, it is easier to design an aircraft using this system, and it does contain the radioactivity from the engine better.

Convair once again took the lead with this concept, producing several designs of varying sizes, speeds and configurations, for the WS-125 program. One of the last designs, dubbed the NX-2, was about the size of a B-52, and rather different than anything made before:



This design used two jet-fuel burning J75 engines as boosters for takeoff, as well as four large GE X211 nuclear turbojets for propulsion. The WS-125 program was cancelled in 1959, citing any number of challenges, not the least of which was the thought that the ICBM was a vastly superior means of delivering nuclear weapons.
 

nsx_23

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Man attempts to build a transitioning RC Harrier.

Pretty cool stuff, especially how he had to build his own scale jet engine to allow hovering and transitioning.

The WS-125 program was cancelled in 1959, citing any number of challenges, not the least of which was the thought that the ICBM was a vastly superior means of delivering nuclear weapons.
Pretty much the same reason the Valkyrie was cancelled.

Another "what-if" aircraft:



Cue political debate over project cancellation.
 
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Lately I've been watching Dirty Jobs beginning from the very first episode and yesterday I watched S02E15 - Tank Rat / Fuel Tank Cleaner (first aired in July 2006). I'm not that much of an airplane fanboy myself, but I must admit that Mike had one helluva reward in the end.

Looks like Youtube has a shorter edited version of the clip, but it's worth the watch anyway:


ps. the refuelling boom operator is cuuuuuuute <3
What no she can opperate my boom any time jokes?

Son I am disappoint.


cool article about the XB-70 valkyrie, a nuclear powered bomber

http://jalopnik.com/5720675/


can anyone explain to me how a nuclear powered jet engine works? there are no exhaust gasses...how can there be thrust?
I saw that on wired back a few days ago and couldn't get in here to post it when the forums crashed.

Great videos from the old wing series at that link.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/12/meet-the-xb-70-valkyrie-almost-the-world’s-1st-nuclear-aircraft/
 

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The idea of a nuclear ramjet is to use the heat from the reactor to heat up the compressed air. I think a "nuclear jet" would be trying to take advantage of the same thing.

The americans tried it with Project Pluto:

They actually managed to ground-test the engine.
I love Project Pluto just because it is so wacky and something only a Bond villain would come up with.
 

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I think it's the nuclear-powered B-36 testbed we've been discussing on the past few pages. Note the radiation sign on the tail.
 

CrzRsn

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Ah. Interesting.

Also,



Hey, if Charles Lindbergh could cross the Atlantic in a primitive aircraft with no provision for forward vision, who?s to say you can?t cruise at Mach 3 without a windshield? Meet the Sukhoi T-4, simultaneously one of the most original, derivative, and bizarre Soviet X-planes.

Just when you thought we?d exhausted the carbon-copy droopnose Soviet supersonic plane thing with the Tu-144 SST, the SuT-4 (as I?ll abbreviate it -and not to be confused with the Tu-4, the reverse-engineered B-29.) comes along appearing to be a shameless ripoff of the awesome-in-its-own-right North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie. ?So what?s the deal?? you think. And then you think, ?? and while we?re at it, the SuT-4 looks to have a perfectly functional windshield. What?s your deal, man??



The deal, skeptical reader, is that the SuT-4 had a Concordeski-esque droop snoot, giving the pilot better landing visibility, but which in the ?up? (or as I like to call it, ?cross your fingers and pray?) position completely obscured the windshield. Thus, the pilot had no forward view. Well, that?s not completely true. Apparently below 373 MPH, you could deploy a periscope for a degree of visibility. Above 373 MPH, you?re S.O.L. I?ve never flown so much as a Piper Cub, let alone a Mach 3 experiemental bomber, but you can be damn sure I?d feel more comfortable being able to see out the front. Hell, one of the more distinctive features of Soviet military vehicles were the traditional window-studded conning towers of Soviet subamarines, whereas the American subs (wisely?) had none. So it?s somewhat interesting that the SuT-4 had this solution to an aerodynamic problem.



Then again, if you?re at the undoubtedly high altitudes that the Sukhoi was designed to travel at, there?s probably not a ton to look at. Plus, people have been flying in instrument-only situations since they had the bright idea to put altimeters into those glorified kites of the early days of aviation. And lest anyone make a ?trust your life at Mach 3 with Russian instrumentation? joke inwardly, I?d like to point out that an enduring charactersitic of Soviet design philosophy was the almost Eastern philosophy sounding, ?it cannot fail, because there is no backup.? Simply put, where most American engineers prefered a less-robust system with multiple failsafes and backups, the Soviets simply engineered the damn things not to break. When they did, your Commie ass was grass ? but mostly they didn?t break. Ingest a Makarov in the starboard engine nacelle? No problem. You can probably still take off, whereas a F-16 would be a pile of charred aluminum.



Now, was the SuT-4 a copy of the XB-70, as it seems externally? The best answer I can find is ?not in so many words.? It was clearly inspired by many of the innovative features of the American aircraft, and was intended for a similar recon/strategic bombing mission profile. But unlike the Tu-4 ?Bull,? for example, it was an approximation rather than an exact copy. Its four Kolesov RD36-41 afterburning engines which produced a total of 142,000 pounds of thrust, and while the airframe was theoretically capable of that Mach 3 number I?m bandying about, it only ever reached Mach 1.3 before the project was cancelled in 1974 due to cost and mission irrelevance. Like the XB-70, cancelled over a decade earlier, the reality was that manned supersonic strategic bombers were a really expensive way to do a job that a cheaper ICBM could do more effectively. The Soviets redistributed the costs into air superiority fighters, and the SuT-4s (all two of them) were retired. One survives at the Central Airforce Museum near Moscow.
 

Lieutenant47

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I think it's the nuclear-powered B-36 testbed we've been discussing on the past few pages. Note the radiation sign on the tail.
You are [mostly] correct. Despite what you see on the nose, it was actually variously known as the X-6, NB-36H or XB-36H, depending on who's telling the story. It was NOT, however, "nuclear-powered".
 

Blayde

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Saw this at the airport today, Model 17 Staggerwing, on it's way to America







 

Heathrow

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Saw this at the airport today, Model 17 Staggerwing, on it's way to America

That's a beauty!
I have a bit of a soft spot for aircraft of this vintage as well. The aircraft nerd in me is curious as to how the bird will get to the USA.

Blayde, is he flying somewhere to get crated up and go by air/sea freight or is the ferry pilot going to fly across the Atlantic?

The northern Atlantic UK - Iceland - Greenland ? Canada, crossing route would be a tough journey for such an old single.

:)
 

Blayde

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It was fully restored in NZ/Australia i think and being flown to America, if it was being shipped it wouldnt be stored open like that...

from airliners.net:
Bill Charney's beautifully restored Beech Staggerwing, rebuilt in New Zealand and slowly working its way home to Reno, Nevada, via India and Europe.
 
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