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"Applications of Nuclear Engines in Aviation"

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http://yuripasholok.livejournal.com/6110470.html

 

"Heavy transport helicopter with nuclear powerplant"

 

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"Atomic tandem stratoplane scheme. Nuclear engines in first aircraft, second contains crew and passengers"
 

 

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"Nuclear-powered passenger aircraft with total shielding of the reactor"

 

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"Nuclear transport aircraft"

 

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"Nuclear carrier aircraft for launching satellites"
 

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"Future nuclear convertiplane"

 

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"Nuclear passsenger plane with comprehensive radiation shielding"

 

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"Scheme of the "shadow" from the shielding protecting passengers and crew"

 

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""Duck" configuration nuclear passenger/transport aircraft"

 

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"This aircraft was originally called the "Joseph Stalin" aircraft, and had previously appeared in another book. It was said that the aircraft would be built in the near future, and completed before 1960."

 

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"After Stalin's death, this project was modified, becoming the A-10 "Sovietskiy Soyuz""

 

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I like the one with the drawing of the radiation shadow.

"See? With a lead bulkhead, the crew and passengers are protected from the harmful effects of the reactor's radiation."

"Yeah, but what about the ground crews, people in the terminal, local traffic, other taxiing aircraft, etc.?"

"Fuck 'em!"

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I'm not an aviation expert, but there's no way these weren't impractical designs, even ignoring fun radiation complications, is there?

 

Depends how much risk of cancer/nuclear accidents you're willing to accept.

 

The ones that are all long and spindly with the crew at one end and the reactor at the other could probably get radiation risk down to acceptable levels. Distance is an important component of shielding. Also, hydrocarbon fuels have a lot of hydrogen in them (durr), so they should be pretty good at stopping neutrons. I'll have to look and see if I can find any docs on the effectiveness of hydrocarbons as radiation shielding.

 

Edit: this has some info; https://three.jsc.nasa.gov/articles/CucinottaKimChappell0512.pdf

 

Just ctrl+f hydrocarbon

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I'm not an aviation expert, but there's no way these weren't impractical designs, even ignoring fun radiation complications, is there?

 

It's doable.  The reactor core would need to be somewhat exotic, since current reactors aren't really designed for high power to weight ratios (or if they are, they're designed for high enough power densities for a ship), but that was some work done on that in the '50s and '60s.

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I'm talking more about the scale of the construction. Intuition tells me that creating a plane that won't fall apart from the stresses of holding itself up is not just a simple task of scaling up existing designs, and a lot of the designs seem to be significantly larger than modern planes even. I vaguely recall that a nuclear powered nuclear bomber was built/prototyped/researched/something, I suspect it wouldn't be impossible to create a feasible nuclear aircraft weapon. I just doubt the fanciful illustrations for all of the designs, although being dubious about illustrations for things that didn't become reality is really semantics as I think about it.

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