Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Like Thunderbirds' Fireflash?

Nuclear-powered aircraft? I read about those when I was eight years old in one of my favorite childhood books, Our Friend the Atom, a 1958 Walt Disney book about the wonders of nuclear power.

Nuclear-powered bombers were in development in the 1950's; both the United States and the Soviet Union worked on the idea, only to discard it when it appeared that missiles would do the job better.

The intent was to develop an aircraft that could remain on station for weeks at a time, if necessary, without refueling.


(Nuclear-powered B-36 jet bomber [experimental])

Dr. Ian Poll, Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Cranfield university, says that the experiments conducted during the Cold War have shown that nuclear-powered aircraft are possible. And there is a new problem; since the end of the oil era is now in sight, we need an alternative to kerosene-powered aircraft.

“We need a design which is not kerosene-powered, and I think nuclear-powered aeroplanes are the answer beyond 2050. The idea was proved 50 years ago, but I accept it would take about 30 years to persuade the public of the need to fly on them.”

“It's done on nuclear submarines and could be achieved on aircraft by locating the reactors with the engines out on the wings,” Dr. Poll said.

Fans of the series Thunderbirds recall the Fireflash airliner. The first episode shows the nuclear-powered airliner on its maiden voyage from London to Tokyo. At six times the speed of sound.


(Fireflash from Thunderbirds)

Thrill to these scenes showing the takeoff of the nuclear-powered airliner Fireflash in splendid Supermarionation! (Skip to 2:55 if you're in a hurry.)

From Nuclear-powered passenger aircraft 'to transport millions' says expert; thanks to Winchell Chung for the tip and references.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/30/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Vehicle ")

Tesla Autopilot's 40 Percent Crash Reduction
''I hope all those other cars are on automatic,' he said anxiously.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1976

Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...' - James Blish, 1957.

Star Wars Speeder Bikes! On Water, By Jetovator
'Hey, wait!' Now, you don't need to say that.

Honda To Offer Car With Emotions
'All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition.' - Douglas Adams, 1979.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Fluorescent Bacteria Fashion
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'

Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'

Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'

Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'

Robot Strolls Field, Examines EVERY Plant
'The great machines that did the work ... required but a few dozen men to cultivate an entire county.'

Sweden Outlaws Drones
'An eye that could not only see, but fly, roam, travel at speeds and in directions to suit its operator...'

Wear Your Self-Powered Generator
'It's basically a micro-sandwich...'

TITAN-III Spider Robot Is WAY Too Quick (Video)
'My little friends can find you wherever you go!'

Bill Gates Suggests Tax On Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot that 'appears or pretends to be human' had to be compensated...'

Handle, New Wheeled Hopping Robot
'the hopper sprang thirty feet into the air...'

Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.