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Offline Marlin

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Nuclear Outboard Motor
« on: Aug 09, 2013, 04:25 »

This Nuclear Outboard Motor Was a Really Terrible Idea

Podded atomic propulsion was leaky and noisy, as Steve Weintz explains

In the early 1960s the U.S. Navy could have gotten a disposable, atomic-powered outboard motor that would have made America’s warships a Hell of a lot more efficient. But there was the little problem of all that noise and radiation.

File this one under terrible, terrible weapons ideas of the Cold War alongside undersea bases, atomic artillery and ship-launched rocket planes.

The nuclear boat motor actually began life as airplane propulsion, if you can believe that. America’s two great aircraft engine-makers, General Electric and Pratt & Whitney, both hand their fingers in this particular radioactive pie.

Pratt & Whitney tinkered with a closed-loop system in which the radioactive components were kept isolated from the jet exhaust. GE, however, opted for the easier-to-develop open-loop system, which led to nearly flight-ready hardware … at the regrettable cost of highly-radioactive jet exhaust.

The safety issues alone doomed the nuke jet — to say nothing of the extraordinary cost. In 1961, after spending nearly 15 years and $1 billion — $7.7 billion in today’s dollars — the feds killed off the nuclear-powered aircraft program. But GE wasted no time looking for other uses for its designs.

Offline SloGlo

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Re: Nuclear Outboard Motor
« Reply #1 on: Aug 10, 2013, 07:57 »
a freaking outboard?!? i'm looking at that thing an figuring it'd either swamp the stern of my 17' larson or split the keel at the first wake i take it thru.  ;)

thinking that g.e. had the better idea, grow sum monster bass in a lake of   [nuke]glo.  ;D

better knot let the feds see this.  betcha the p&w wood make a heluva oceanic drone.  dig up won of the nuke grenades an zip tie it to the bow to go hunting somalian pirates. 8)
« Last Edit: Aug 10, 2013, 07:59 by SloGlo »
quando omni flunkus moritati

dubble eye, dubble yew, dubble aye!

dew the best ya kin, wit watt ya have, ware yinze are!


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