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[cdn-nucl-l] Also No Pollution
*August 16, 2003* [updated March 28, 2004]
*Scientific advances prompt reopening of Air Force nuclear aircraft
For the past 40 years, little research has been done specifically
relating to nuclear powered jet engines. Recent discoveries, in the
field of controlled or triggered nuclear decay (Collins et al, 1999;
McDaniel, undated), along with 40 years in the advancement of materials,
airframe design, and jet engine development, have reinvigorated the
possibility of running aircraft on nuclear power. Nuclear power could
conceivably provide aircraft with compact heat sources allowing larger
thrust levels than conventional chemical combustion systems can provide,
as well as practically eliminating endurance limitations based on fuel
requirements (Keirn, 1960).
If this new power source can be utilized to provide heat energy to jet
engines, it could dramatically change flight envelopes, costs, and
capabilities of aerospace vehicles.
High drag losses, which occur during low altitude flight, could be
compensated by these propulsion systems; changing the fundamental way
flight paths are developed. Flight times could be reduced by hours, if
the need for refueling was eliminated. Thrust to weight values of these
engines could allow for vertical or short runway takeoffs to become
commonplace, imaginably eliminating the need for large runways.
While this idea has tremendous potential, research must begin in an
orderly and progressive way. Basic systems need to be designed and
suitable first-step applications need to be developed. Research into
replacing a combustion section of a turbojet engine, with a triggered
isomer heat exchanger represented the start of this process, by showing
that the concept was feasible (Hartsfield, 2001)...
Randal Leavitt ---------- gnupg public key: bbbad04d