Jun 082013

A 1953 General Electric study for a Convair C-99 cargo plane modified with nuclear turbojet propulsion. The pusher-prop engines were removed from the wing and replaced with a 65,000-pound AC-2 nuclear powerplant within the fuselage. This was equipped with two separate jet engines, giving a total sea level static thrust of 35,500 pounds. Two additional conventionally fueled J77 engines were mounted in the wings for takeoff thrust. A lead and polyethylene shielded crew compartment weighing 20,000 pounds protected the crew, giving radiation doses of 0.5 roentgen per hour.

nuclear c-99

 Posted by at 6:38 am
  • Cthell

    Presumably it was intended as a test bed, since there doesn’t seem to be any mention of shielding for the cargo? I mean, neutron activation of the payload seems like it’d be an undesirable outcome most of the time…

    • publiusr

      I imagine the conventional explosives might act as a barrer. Urea was considered optimal for pulse-Orion if I remember Dyson jr’s book correctly.

    • Anonymous

      Neutron activation was generally not thought to be a problem. The reactor itself would have a lot of shielding, enough to drop the rads down to where activation would be minimal. You wouldn’t want to transport passengers, though…

  • Michael the Somewhat Civilized

    It would be an interesting model to hang from the ceiling. As a tanker, it could be displayed hooking up with the Hawk nuclear bomber, right over one’s bed.