Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion - Introduction



In addition to this paper, I found an article from the March, 1995 issue of Aviation History, Dream of Atomic Powered Fight, online. I've marked that up for your reading pleasure.

Another interesting page is Anno Atomi: Growing Up with the Atom

The technical section of this paper has also been translated into Belorussian by Bohdan Zograf. And into Romanian by Web Geek Science

The Decay of the Atomic Powered Aircraft Program


© Copyright 1993


Interest in atomic energy hit full force following World War II. The scientists who had raced to produce a bomb had also developed theories for a number of possible uses for the atom. Martin Mann lists a number of them in his book, Peacetime Uses of Atomic Energy. Ideas ranged from power generation, to nuclear excavation, to nuclear propulsion for vehicles on land, sea, and in the air. There were proposals for nuclear ships, nuclear locomotives, nuclear automobiles, and nuclear aircraft. It is this last proposal that is the topic for this paper, which will examine the technical and socio-political aspects of the United States Air Force's Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion (ANP) program and associated programs, including the reasons the ANP program was undertaken, and the reasons it was canceled after a decade of work.

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