Mar 262013

In the 1970’s, when everybody and their brother was thinking of ways of dealing with oil shortages and the like, Boeing studied the idea of using giant aircraft to carry oil and/or natural gas from Alaskas north slope down to the lower 48. Quite a number of these aircraft were designed; the math seemed to work on the aircraft being possible, but the math didn’t seem to work on them making economic sense. One of these crashes… hoo boy. Still, the idea of watching the Keystone pipeline protestors heads asploding when seeing these monster planes fly over would almost make the risk worthwhile.

Shown below is a photo of a model of one such design, capable of hauling a two-million pound payload (about 10 times the 747’s capability).

nat resources

One of these decades I’ll probably do an APR article on the concept.

 Posted by at 2:42 am
  • That’s the eight-engine job. Wasn’t there also a twelve-engine version as well? Heads asplode, indeed.

    Interesting that those of us who lived through the 70s tend to think of it as a dead decade in terms of technological ambition, but there were some supremely wild concepts out there, including the whole SPS effort and things like the Lockheed family of giant nuclear-powered seaplanes.

    Along the lines of this Boeing proposal was the General Dynamics idea of 1500-ft nuclear-powered LNG submarine tankers to bring North Slope gas under the polar ice cap to Germany.

    And to bring this back to APR-land, the South Carolina facility that built the massive cryogenic tanks for GD’s LNG surface ships is still there, should any investors want to go the Nexus route.

  • Michel Van

    After reading I have two things in mind,
    one: who many pound kerosine burn that plane for one transport ?
    second: that gonna be hell of a Air born oil split, if one of these crash down !.

  • Jordan

    Actually, the Keystone pipeline protesters probably would have backed this idea with full force.

    Can you give some dimensions on these aircraft?

  • publiusr

    I wonder how far that plane could have flown using its own fuel load of refined product…
    We just don’t think big any more.

  • Robin.

    >One of these decades I’ll probably do an APR article on the concept.

    (jedi mind trick on…) This is the article you have been looking to write…(…jedi mind trick off)