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Offline Marlin

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Offline Marlin

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #2 on: Jan 22, 2019, 08:01 »
shields too heavy

That is not why it was canceled. The towers to test the plane shielding are still up out at ORNL. Think crash.

Offline SloGlo

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #3 on: Jan 22, 2019, 08:37 »
shields too heavy
moor power, knot a problem wit a nuke.
bigger wings i.e. lift increase, woodant bee a problem wit the bigger body kneaded four the nuke.
quando omni flunkus moritati

dubble eye, dubble yew, dubble aye!

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

Offline GLW

Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #4 on: Jan 22, 2019, 09:45 »
That is not why it was canceled. The towers to test the plane shielding are still up out at ORNL. Think crash.

no,.....

big,...

fat,...

slow,....

expensive,...

kamikaze rides,...


versus,...

ICBMs: cheaper, faster, no good guys committing sepuku,...

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline Marlin

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #5 on: Jan 22, 2019, 10:43 »
no,.....

big,...

fat,...

slow,....

expensive,...

kamikaze rides,...


versus,...

ICBMs: cheaper, faster, no good guys committing sepuku,...


All true but the advantage of long flight times was  the reason it was even considered. Cost and risk to the public were the primary reasons It was cancelled.

Offline GLW

Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #6 on: Jan 22, 2019, 01:53 »
All true but the advantage of long flight times was  the reason it was even considered. Cost and risk to the public were the primary reasons It was cancelled.

okay, you win, cherry pick the details as you must,...

big,... huge radar signature

fat,...high wing loading, low maneuverability

slow,....thousands of MIG-19s and 21s, SU-7s, 9s and 11s and the Convair was no where near supersonic after 15 years of development (1946-1961)

expensive,...after 15 years only one demonstration project with no technology breakthroughs on the horizon for production line viability

kamikaze rides,...the USAF went so far as to nominate old pilots as aircrew to avoid liability for induced cancer

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nuclear-powered-aircraft/

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/01/elderly-pilots-who-could-have-flown-nuclear-airplanes/580780/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convair_NB-36H

https://books.google.com/books?id=y5WjYgMc7eEC&pg=PA77&lpg=PA77&dq=john+kennedy+cancels+nuclear+airplane&source=bl&ots=CkdHpTLbX7&sig=ACfU3U1v4ORAoRfA9ZR_C6dVUADBVYa8UA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi_tI3Gh4LgAhWsct8KHTjIA884ChDoATAGegQIARAB#v=onepage&q=john%20kennedy%20cancels%20nuclear%20airplane&f=false

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline hamsamich

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #7 on: Jan 22, 2019, 02:26 »
"In a last-ditch effort to keep the nuclear airplane on the table, military strategists considered a radical solution: They could use pilots closer to death. The Air Force would use crews old enough to die of natural causes before the harmful effects of radiation could show up and thus, the logic went, sidestep the shielding problem. As the nuclear-policy expert Leonard Weiss explained in an article for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the proposal would have made radiation shielding unnecessary and decreased the weight of the plane significantly. It might have let the nuclear airplane take flight."

oh no?  I'm sure you could eventually make one, but it was never practical due to shielding concerns.  cost and practicality due to shielding trumped usefulness.  yes there were other reasons but in the 50s and 60s I think crashing a nuclear airplane wasn't as big a concern as it is today.  it was a different world then with a different mindset.  if you could have made it quicker and easier I think we would have seen at least a few early nuclear planes early on because they could stay in the sky "forever".  the shielding problem was so daunting that the years it took thinking about overcoming it killed it because yes, the world was becoming a place where a nuclear airplane had no place. 


I'm looking at GLWs last post and it is exactly what I've always read in every article.  You say cost was one of the reasons it was cancelled.  Yep, because of the HUGE shielding problem.  It would have been expensive anyway but the shielding problem just magnified cost issues.


One other thing not mentioned is the up and coming success of nuclear subs made the nuclear airplane less attractive as well.  But really....if we could have built one in the 50s easily we would have.  But we couldn't because of the huge shielding problem.  This is 100% obvious to me and I've read alot on this subject.

Offline hamsamich

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #8 on: Jan 22, 2019, 02:47 »
Oh along with nuclear subs ballistic missile success.  These two go hand in hand.

Offline Marlin

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #9 on: Jan 22, 2019, 05:19 »
okay, you win, cherry pick the details as you must,...

big,... huge radar signature

fat,...high wing loading, low maneuverability

slow,....thousands of MIG-19s and 21s, SU-7s, 9s and 11s and the Convair was no where near supersonic after 15 years of development (1946-1961)

expensive,...after 15 years only one demonstration project with no technology breakthroughs on the horizon for production line viability

kamikaze rides,...the USAF went so far as to nominate old pilots as aircrew to avoid liability for induced cancer

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nuclear-powered-aircraft/

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/01/elderly-pilots-who-could-have-flown-nuclear-airplanes/580780/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convair_NB-36H

https://books.google.com/books?id=y5WjYgMc7eEC&pg=PA77&lpg=PA77&dq=john+kennedy+cancels+nuclear+airplane&source=bl&ots=CkdHpTLbX7&sig=ACfU3U1v4ORAoRfA9ZR_C6dVUADBVYa8UA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi_tI3Gh4LgAhWsct8KHTjIA884ChDoATAGegQIARAB#v=onepage&q=john%20kennedy%20cancels%20nuclear%20airplane&f=false
 

From your first citation Scientific American about possible resurgence of the nuclear airplane;

But by the end of the decade, advances in conventional aircraft and engine design outmoded the atom-powered B-36 and the public became concerned about the dangers of a nuclear reactor flying overhead. The program also failed to yield a commercial aircraft due to its steep cost (hundreds of millions in today's dollars, says Stephen Schwartz, editor of The Non Proliferation Review, published by California's Monterey Institute of International Studies), prompting Pres. John F. Kennedy to cancel the ANP in 1961. The U.S. government promptly redirected much of the project's resources toward space exploration and the race with the Soviet Union to reach the moon.


Thanks for confirming my statement that the primary reason it was cancelled was safety and cost.


 ::)




Offline GLW

Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #10 on: Jan 22, 2019, 05:23 »
 

From your first citation Scientific American about possible resurgence of the nuclear airplane;

But by the end of the decade, advances in conventional aircraft and engine design outmoded the atom-powered B-36 and the public became concerned about the dangers of a nuclear reactor flying overhead. The program also failed to yield a commercial aircraft due to its steep cost (hundreds of millions in today's dollars, says Stephen Schwartz, editor of The Non Proliferation Review, published by California's Monterey Institute of International Studies), prompting Pres. John F. Kennedy to cancel the ANP in 1961. The U.S. government promptly redirected much of the project's resources toward space exploration and the race with the Soviet Union to reach the moon.


Thanks for confirming my statement that the primary reason it was cancelled was safety and cost.


 ::)





you win,....

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline Marlin

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #11 on: Jan 22, 2019, 05:55 »
you win,....

We both suffer from terminal-locution syndrome.

Offline hamsamich

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #12 on: Jan 22, 2019, 05:59 »
Nah....the cost was BECAUSE of the shielding problem.  That's like saying I cured my cold by taking Sudafed.  If ICBMS and nuclear subs weren't cheaper and more feasible and a nuclear airplane was the only answer we still could have had it before the 70s.  It just wasn't as easy due to the feasibility of building an airplane large enough to have adequate shielding.  Politicians justify things all the time, airplanes weren't justifiable due to the prohibitive cost (due to shielding) and the fact we already had successful deterrents ....because of the early success of ICBMs and subs.  This isn't the first time I've seen the word safety thrown around to explain something away.  Happens all the time where ever I work. The answer is more complex then just "safety and cost".  depends on what year it was and how badly we need something.  I could probably put all kinds of quotes up there to support Marlin's answer OR GLW's.  But when you really look into you can see what the real issue's are.  Look at NASA's issue with the 1986 space shuttle for instance....you could say the problem was safety and cost (along with public perception) and while true the real answer was much more complex than that.


Just answer me this if you don't agree.....if shielding (weight) wasn't an issue can you honestly say we wouldn't have built at least one nuclear airplane before 1961?

Offline Marlin

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #13 on: Jan 22, 2019, 06:05 »

Just answer me this if you don't agree.....if shielding (weight) wasn't an issue can you honestly say we wouldn't have built at least one nuclear airplane before 1961?


I'll stick to my original statement.

"Once we knew that nuclear reactors operated as expected in flight and that adequate shielding could be provided to a crew, the U.S. turned its attention to the design of a nuclear engine. Two approaches were taken, by two separate contractors. General Electric set about designing a direct cycle engine, while Pratt & Whitney worked on an indirect cycle engine."


http://mentalfloss.com/article/53184/brief-history-nuclear-airplanes

Offline Marlin

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #14 on: Jan 22, 2019, 07:15 »

I'll stick to my original statement.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/53184/brief-history-nuclear-airplanes

Well mostly, I was not aware of this little jewel from the same article.

 It was a presidential election year. Frustrated that Soviets had an operational atomic airplane before we did, and at Eisenhower’s seeming ambivalence to it, Kennedy promised to pump additional resources into the atomic airplane project should he be elected.

Kennedy won the election—and within several months of taking office, he cancelled the nuclear airplane program all together. What happened? Well, it turns out that Eisenhower’s ambivalence to the whole thing was warranted. Late in his term, he found out that the Soviets did not in fact have an atomic airplane. The whole thing was a hoax. And we bought into it hard.

Offline hamsamich

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #15 on: Jan 23, 2019, 02:56 »
Sigh....yes it COULD be done, but at a huge cost due to the shielding issue and the crew would be exposed to chronic radiation levels constantly. and even then, I don't know what those levels would be but if these crews stayed in the air 24/7 the only way they could get away from them would be to change out crews....how many times could this be done until we ran out of pilots due to chronic exposure?  I guess with exposure limits from yesteryear of 15 Rem (also 18-N)5 a year maybe they could have stayed up there for a while...it would be nice to know what the planned levels were.

I could go on and on...you can find plenty of data and use it to posit all kinds of theories....but taking them all into consideration it seems like the shielding killed any attempt to build a nuclear airplane with 50s technology and the scientists spun their wheels trying to figure it out.  Every problem talked about eventually finds it's way back to the shielding issue, until you start dealing with a nuclear airplane falling out of the sky onto the public.  But this wasn't as big a deal in the 50's like it was today or as Kennedy saw it coming in 1961.  The 50s were a time of the Red Scare, and if we could of put a nuclear airplane in the sky as easily as a sub, we would have.  What made it so difficult?  The shielding issue.

Here is yet another quote of what the planners were up against even after coming up with something they thought might work:

"Another decision involved the crew, for although the shield tests accomplished all of their goals, it was still felt that some mildly harmful radiation may reach the crew. This begot a plan which in hindsight look rather ridiculous, although at the time it was quite serious.

While most of the intellectual effort devoted to solving these problems was of the usual serious and straight forward kind, occasionally some bizarre proposals arose. One which was discussed quite seriously was that older men (i.e., men beyond the usual age for begetting children) should be used as pilots so that genetic damage from radiation would be held to a minimum and because older people are generally more resistant to radiation than younger ones."

York, Herbert Frank, Race to Oblivion, (Simon and Schuster: New York, 1970), 62-63

Offline Marlin

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #16 on: Jan 23, 2019, 06:43 »
Sigh....yes it COULD be done, but at a huge cost due to the shielding issue and the crew would be exposed to chronic radiation levels constantly. and even then, I don't know what those levels would be but if these crews stayed in the air 24/7 the only way they could get away from them would be to change out crews....how many times could this be done until we ran out of pilots due to chronic exposure?  I guess with exposure limits from yesteryear of 15 Rem (also 18-N)5 a year maybe they could have stayed up there for a while...it would be nice to know what the planned levels were.

I could go on and on...you can find plenty of data and use it to posit all kinds of theories....but taking them all into consideration it seems like the shielding killed any attempt to build a nuclear airplane with 50s technology and the scientists spun their wheels trying to figure it out.  Every problem talked about eventually finds it's way back to the shielding issue, until you start dealing with a nuclear airplane falling out of the sky onto the public.  But this wasn't as big a deal in the 50's like it was today or as Kennedy saw it coming in 1961.  The 50s were a time of the Red Scare, and if we could of put a nuclear airplane in the sky as easily as a sub, we would have.  What made it so difficult?  The shielding issue.

Here is yet another quote of what the planners were up against even after coming up with something they thought might work:

"Another decision involved the crew, for although the shield tests accomplished all of their goals, it was still felt that some mildly harmful radiation may reach the crew. This begot a plan which in hindsight look rather ridiculous, although at the time it was quite serious.

While most of the intellectual effort devoted to solving these problems was of the usual serious and straight forward kind, occasionally some bizarre proposals arose. One which was discussed quite seriously was that older men (i.e., men beyond the usual age for begetting children) should be used as pilots so that genetic damage from radiation would be held to a minimum and because older people are generally more resistant to radiation than younger ones."

York, Herbert Frank, Race to Oblivion, (Simon and Schuster: New York, 1970), 62-63


We will have to agree to disagree, the citation I used yesterday clearly stated that the shielding issue had been solved. Cost of the plane went beyond the shielding to cost of the reactor etc. I won't ague that shielding was not a component of the overall cost but it was not THE reason for the demise of the plane. Semantics perhaps but to say that the shielding was the problem that caused the cancellation is not accurate

Offline Marlin

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #17 on: Jan 23, 2019, 07:14 »

Offline hamsamich

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #18 on: Jan 23, 2019, 07:38 »
The shielding issue was the underlying issue to most of the problems....big aircraft, big runway...go on and on..... 11 tons of shielding caused huge problems that could be overcome at large cost and a long time-table.  Great resource, says many of the things I've read in other articles just not as in depth.  The 50s were different.....could have happened without the shielding problem in the 50s.  That's what I've been getting from everything I've read.   Sure in the 60s things were changing.....but not the 50s. 

Offline Marlin

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #19 on: Jan 23, 2019, 07:50 »
The shielding issue was the underlying issue to most of the problems....big aircraft, big runway...go on and on..... 11 tons of shielding caused huge problems that could be overcome at large cost and a long time-table.  Great resource, says many of the things I've read in other articles just not as in depth.  The 50s were different.....could have happened without the shielding problem in the 50s.  That's what I've been getting from everything I've read.   Sure in the 60s things were changing.....but not the 50s. 

Funny, the articles cited the weight of he reactor as the issue.

But a reactor large enough for this purpose was calculated to weigh 82.5 tons; more than the weight of an entire B-36! Obviously, a
much larger airframe would be needed, and some exotic concepts were postulated.


Wikipedia and few other sources seem to imply that the shielding was the weight issue but that was solved with a two tier system.

Offline hamsamich

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #20 on: Jan 24, 2019, 01:39 »
so 11 tons on top of that was an easy fix?

Offline Marlin

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #21 on: Jan 24, 2019, 06:12 »
so 11 tons on top of that was an easy fix?

   I started with the primary reason for the cancellation of the plane was cost and risk. There may be many contributing factors for both but cost and risk were primary with other contributing factors such as discovery of the hoax of Russia having one. I wonder if the hoax had not been revealed if Kennedy would have canceled it as it was one of his campaign promises to keep the program. We made the trip under the north pole with the USS Nautilus primarily because we wanted a public relations win after the Soviets launched Sputnik.

Offline GLW

Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #22 on: Jan 24, 2019, 08:26 »
   I started with the primary reason for the cancellation of the plane was cost and risk. There may be many contributing factors for both but cost and risk were primary with other contributing factors such as discovery of the hoax of Russia having one. I wonder if the hoax had not been revealed if Kennedy would have canceled it as it was one of his campaign promises to keep the program. We made the trip under the north pole with the USS Nautilus primarily because we wanted a public relations win after the Soviets launched Sputnik.

eeeyup,....

well, you do not have to speculate or wonder as Kennedy's own words have been recorded for posterity,...

the March 28, 1961 defense budget message to Congress, Item 5., which killed the atomic plane but assured PBRF a future mission:

https://quod.lib.umich.edu/p/ppotpus/4730886.1961.001/297?page=root;size=100;view=image


1 billion dollars over 15 years of development with no tangible, militarily useful returns,...


not a word about safety or reactors crashing to earth though,...


if you read the full message, Kennedy did forecast a lot of budget for a lot of ballistic missile inventory,....


pert much for the reasons listed previously,...

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline Marlin

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Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #23 on: Jan 24, 2019, 08:41 »
eeeyup,....

well, you do not have to speculate or wonder as Kennedy's own words have been recorded for posterity,...

the March 28, 1961 defense budget message to Congress, Item 5., which killed the atomic plane but assured PBRF a future mission:

https://quod.lib.umich.edu/p/ppotpus/4730886.1961.001/297?page=root;size=100;view=image


1 billion dollars over 15 years of development with no tangible, militarily useful returns,...


not a word about safety or reactors crashing to earth though,...


if you read the full message, Kennedy did forecast a lot of budget for a lot of ballistic missile inventory,....


pert much for the reasons listed previously,...

The papers you are citing appear to be budget not policy soooooooo....   8)


 

From your first citation Scientific American about possible resurgence of the nuclear airplane;

But by the end of the decade, advances in conventional aircraft and engine design outmoded the atom-powered B-36 and the public became concerned about the dangers of a nuclear reactor flying overhead. The program also failed to yield a commercial aircraft due to its steep cost (hundreds of millions in today's dollars, says Stephen Schwartz, editor of The Non Proliferation Review, published by California's Monterey Institute of International Studies), prompting Pres. John F. Kennedy to cancel the ANP in 1961. The U.S. government promptly redirected much of the project's resources toward space exploration and the race with the Soviet Union to reach the moon.


Thanks for confirming my statement that the primary reason it was cancelled was safety and cost.


 ::)
« Last Edit: Jan 24, 2019, 08:45 by Marlin »

Offline GLW

Re: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes
« Reply #24 on: Jan 24, 2019, 09:02 »
 

From your first citation Scientific American about possible resurgence of the nuclear airplane;

But by the end of the decade, advances in conventional aircraft and engine design outmoded the atom-powered B-36 and the public became concerned about the dangers of a nuclear reactor flying overhead. The program also failed to yield a commercial aircraft due to its steep cost (hundreds of millions in today's dollars, says Stephen Schwartz, editor of The Non Proliferation Review, published by California's Monterey Institute of International Studies), prompting Pres. John F. Kennedy to cancel the ANP in 1961. The U.S. government promptly redirected much of the project's resources toward space exploration and the race with the Soviet Union to reach the moon.


Thanks for confirming my statement that the primary reason it was cancelled was safety and cost.


 ::)






Yeah I know, you win,.....

You and Schwartz, the Greenpeace affiliated sociologist cum self made  nuclear expert with a history of embellishment for effect, who was not even born while Kennedy was alive,....

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

 


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