Why not nuclear aircraft took off?
• Why not soared nuclear aircraft?
Introduced in the 40s of the atomic bomb, has created the temptation to end all wars are just a few pinpoint strikes on the industrial centers of the enemy. But since, as a rule, it was well-protected areas in the rear, while the opposing sides of the Cold War threw all their forces to search for a reliable means of delivery "Label".
The choice is between ballistic missiles and ultra long-haul aircraft. Eventually, in the late 40's the scales tipped to the bombers. The next decade was a "golden age" of aviation. Huge financing facilitated the emergence of the most fantastic flying machines, but the most incredible and still seem to be projects of supersonic bombers with atomic rocket launcher developed in the USSR.
Bomber M-60 was supposed to be the first in the Soviet aircraft operating at the atomic engine. It was created at the nuclear reactor adapted for drawings of its predecessor M-50. Was developed plane of speeds up to 3200 km / h, with a weight of over 250 tons.
A turbojet with a nuclear reactor (TRDA) is based on a conventional turbojet engine (TRD). But unlike the turbojet engine, the engine thrust atomic provides heated air passing through the reactor, and not emitted during the combustion of kerosene hot gases.
Looking at the models and sketches of all the atomic planes of the time, you will notice one important detail: they lack the cabin crew. For protection against nuclear radiation crew of the aircraft housed in a sealed lead capsule. A lack of visual summary replaces the optical periscope, television and radar screens.
Exercise takeoffs and landings using the periscope - is no easy task. When engineers realized it, there was a logical idea - to make the unmanned aircraft. This solution also reduces the weight of the bomber. However, for strategic reasons, in the Air Force project is not approved.
Nuclear hydroplane M-60M
However, under the designation M-60M parallel supersonic airplane designed with atomic engine capable of performing landing on water. Such seaplanes were placed in special self-propelled docks on the bases on the coast. In March 1957, the project was canceled, as the planes at the atomic engine emits a strong radiation background at home bases and adjoining areas.
M to 30
Abandonment of the project M-60 did not mean cessation of work in this direction. And already in 1959, aircraft designers are taken for the development of new jet aircraft. At this time the thrust of its engines provides a new nuclear power plant "closed" type. By 1960, the preliminary draft of the M-30 was ready. The new engine is reduced radioactive release, and on the new plane has become possible to install a cabin for the crew. It believes that it is not later than 1966 M-30, rise into the air.
The funeral of a nuclear aircraft
But in 1960 Khrushchev at a meeting on the prospects for the development of strategic weapons systems it adopted a decision for which it is still called the gravedigger of aviation. Once separated and indecisive reports of aircraft, they were asked to take some orders on missile issues. All developments on the nuclear aircraft engines were frozen. Fortunately or unfortunately, to know what would our world be like if aircraft designers of the past still completed their beginnings, it is no longer possible today.