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Nuclear flying monster. As in the Soviet Union was building nuclear aircraft
Material posted : Administrator Publication date: 04-12-2016

After the war, the world of the winners was intoxicated opened nuclear capabilities. And it's not only about the weapons capabilities, but also quite peaceful use of nuclear energy. In the US, for example, in addition to the nuclear tanks spoke about the establishment of even such household things like vacuum cleaners, working at a nuclear chain reaction.

After the war, the world of the winners was intoxicated opened nuclear capabilities. And it's not only about the weapons capabilities, but also quite peaceful use of nuclear energy. In the US, for example, in addition to the nuclear tanks spoke about the establishment of even such household things like vacuum cleaners, working at a nuclear chain reaction.

In 1955, Lewyt head of the company promised to release a nuclear vacuum cleaner in the next 10 years
In early 1946, the United States, then still being the only country with a nuclear Arsenal, decided to establish the aircraft with a nuclear engine. But due to unforeseen difficulties the work proceeded very slowly. Only nine years later was able to levitate the plane with a nuclear reactor on Board. According to Soviet intelligence, to speak of a valid glider with a nuclear engine to say it before: do a secret facility equipped with a nuclear plant, but it was not connected to the motors and were only used for testing.

Igor Kurchatov

Why the same task put in front of a few KB? Thus the government wanted to maintain the competitive nature of the work of engineers. Gap with the US was decent, so to catch up with the Americans had by any means.

All employees are warned — we are talking about a project of national importance, on which depends the security of the homeland. According to engineers, overtime is not encouraged — it was considered the norm. Theoretically, the employee could go home in 18 hours, but colleagues looked on him as the accomplice of the enemy of the people. The next day was closed.

First, the initiative took on KB myasishcheva. Local engineers proposed the project of a supersonic bomber M-60. In fact, it was about the equipment of the already existing M-50 nuclear reactor. The problem is the first Soviet supersonic strategic media M-50 just was in a catastrophic fuel "appetite". Even with two refueling in the air 500 tonnes of kerosene a bomber were to fly to Washington and back.

It seemed that all questions had to solve the nuclear engine that guarantees an almost unlimited range and duration of flight. A few grams of uranium would be enough for dozens of hours of flight. It was considered that in cases of emergency the crew would be able to patrol non-stop in the air for two weeks.

Aircraft M-60 was planned to equip a nuclear power plant of open type, designed in the Bureau of Arkhip Cradles. These engines were much simpler and cheaper, but as it later turned out, in aviation it was not the place.

Combined turbojet-nuclear engine. 1 — starter; 2 — damper; 3 — the air flow circuit; 4 — compressor; 5 — combustion chamber; 6 — the case of a nuclear reactor; 7 — fuel Assembly

So, for security purposes, the nuclear installation should be positioned as far as possible from the crew. The tail part of the fuselage work best. There was supposed to place four nuclear turbojet engine. Next was the bomb Bay and finally the cockpit. The pilots wanted to put in the dead lead the capsule weight of 60 tons. To compensate for the absence of visual review was planned with the help of radar and television screens and periscopes. Many of the functions of the crew relied on automation, and subsequently was offered and did put the device on fully Autonomous unmanned.

The crew cabin. 1 — instrument panel; 2 — ejection of capsules; 3 — escape hatch; 4 — position of the hatch cover when entering and exiting the cockpit and ejection; 5 — lead; 6 — lithium hydride; 7 — sliding roof

Because of the "dirty" type used engines is the service a supersonic strategic bomber M-60 had to be implemented with minimal participation of people. So, the power plant was supposed to "cling" to the aircraft right before flight in automatic mode. Filling, delivery of pilots, preparing the weapons are also supposed to do "robots". Of course, for the servicing of such tomollow required a complete restructuring of the existing infrastructure of airfields, until the seaming of new runways with a minimum thickness of half a meter.

Because of all these difficulties, the project of creation of the M-60 had to be closed at the stage of drawings. Instead, he was supposed to build another attomole — M-30 nuclear installation closed. The reactor design was much more complicated, but the issue of radiation protection was not so dire. The aircraft was equipped with six turbojet engines, fed from one nuclear reactor. If necessary, the power plant could run on kerosene. Weight protect the crew and engines were almost twice less than the M-60, so the plane could carry a payload of 25 tonnes.

The first flight of the M-30 with a wingspan of about 30 meters was planned for 1966. However, this car was not destined to go with the drawings and at least partially translated into reality. By 1960, in opposition to the aviation and missile, there has been a victory for the latter. Khrushchev was convinced that the aircraft now is not as important as before, and a key role in the struggle against the external enemy moved on to missiles. As a result, collapsing almost all the advanced programs for toolitem and restructuring of the relevant design Bureau. Not passed this fate and KB myasishcheva, which lost its status as an independent unit and has been refocused on aerospace. But the aircraft was still one last hope.

Subsonic "carcass"

The design Bureau of A. N. Tupolev was more fortunate. Here, the engineers along with "masisizane" he worked on his own project atonalite. But unlike the M-60 or M-30, it was much more close to reality model. First, it was about creating a subsonic bomber at a nuclear facility that was not much easier compared to the development of supersonic aircraft. Second, the car does not need to be reinvented for the goals were good already existing Tu-95 bomber. In fact, it was necessary only to equip it with a nuclear reactor.

Andrei Tupolev

In March 1956 the Council of Ministers of the USSR Tupolev instructs to start the design of a flying atomic laboratory on the basis of serial Tu-95. In the first place had something to do with the size of existing nuclear reactors. It's one thing to equip a nuclear facility is a huge icebreaker, which actually was not the weight and size restrictions. It is quite another to place the reactor in a rather limited space of the fuselage.


The nuclear industry argued that in any case it is necessary to rely on the setting of volume from a small house. However, when the Tupolev engineers had set the task in whatever was to reduce the dimensions of the reactor. Every extra kilogram of weight of the power plant entails a defense of three extra pounds of load on the plane. So they fought literally for every gram. No restriction was money allocated as much as needed. The designer, who found a way to reduce the weight of the installation, paid a substantial premium.

In the end Andrei Tupolev has shown a reactor the size of a huge, but still the wardrobe, and meets all the security requirements. According to legend, the aircraft not without pride declared that "houses on the aircraft do not carry", and the main Soviet nuclear scientist Igor Kurchatov at first I was sure that before him only the layout of the reactor, and not a valid sample.

 A nuclear reactor in the bowels of the Tu-95

In the end, the installation adopted and approved. But first it was necessary to conduct a series of ground tests. On the basis of the middle part of the fuselage of the bomber at one of the airfields near Semipalatinsk stand was built with a nuclear installation. During the test the reactor was released to a specified power level. As it turned out, the biggest problem was not so much of a reactor, how much biosecurity and electronics work — living organisms has received too high a radiation dose, and the devices could behave unpredictably. I decided that from now on the main attention should be paid to the reactor which was ready for use in airplanes, and reliable radiation protection.

The first options were too big. Participants of the events recall the filter is tall with a 14-storey building, 12 'floors' which went under the ground, but two stood above the surface. The thickness of the protective layer reached half a meter. Of course, to find a practical application of such technologies in tamalate was impossible.

Maybe I should use the experience of engineers KB myasishcheva and hide the crew in a lead capsule with no Windows and doors? This option was not suitable due to size and weight. Therefore, the invented protection of a new type. It was a coating of lead plates with thickness of 5 cm and 20 cm thick layer of polyethylene and microcrystalline wax product, obtained from petroleum feedstock and is vaguely reminiscent of soap.

Surprisingly, Tupolev Bureau managed to survive a difficult aircraft 1960. Last but not least due to the fact that attomole on the Tu-95 was already quite real machine, able to rise into the air on nuclear-powered in the coming years. It remains only to carry out air tests.

In may 1961 it rose into the sky Packed with sensors the Tu-95M No. 7800408 with a nuclear reactor on Board and four turboprop engines of 15,000 horsepower each. A nuclear powerplant is not connected to the engines — the plane was flying on jet fuel, and a working reactor yet needed in order to assess the behaviour of equipment and the exposure of pilots. Only from may to August, the bomber made 34 test flight.

It turned out that during the two-day flight, the pilots received radiation at 5 REM. For comparison, today for NPP workers is considered normal exposure to 2 REM, but not during the two days, and the year. It was assumed that the crew of tomollow will include men older than 40 years who already have children.

The radiation absorbed and the body of the bomber, which after the flight, must be isolated for "clean" for a few days. In General radiation protection is recognized effective, but unfinished. In addition, for a long time no one knew how to deal with possible accidents tomollow and subsequent contamination of large areas of nuclear components. Subsequently, the reactor was proposed to equip the parachute system, able in an emergency to separate the nuclear plant from the body of the aircraft and to land it gently.

But it was too late — suddenly atonality-bombers became useless. Throw enemies with something deadly was much easier and cheaper with the help of Intercontinental ballistic missiles or stealthy nuclear submarines. Andrei Tupolev, however, did not lose hope to build attomole. He hoped that in the 1970-ies will begin development of a supersonic nuclear aircraft the Tu-120, but these hopes did not come true. After the United States in the mid-1960s, the Soviet Union ceased all research-related tomolefe. Nuclear reactor still planned to use the aircraft, oriented on the hunt for submarines. Even did some testing with the An-22 nuclear installation on Board, but on the same scale you could only dream of. Despite the fact that the USSR came close to making an atomic plane (in fact, it remained only to connect the nuclear installation to the engine), to the dreams never reached.

Converted and passed dozens of tests of Tu-95, which could become the world's first tomalito for a long time stood at the airport near Semipalatinsk. After removal of the reactor, the aircraft was transferred to the Irkutsk military aviation technical school, and in the course of restructuring allowed for scrap.

The last hundred years, aviation plays so important role in the history of mankind that a particular project could easily turn the development of civilization. Who knows, maybe the story go a little the other way, and today the sky sailed passenger atomic planes, grandma's carpets are cleaned to the cleaners on a nuclear-powered smartphone would be enough to charge every five years, and to Mars and back five times a day shuttled to the space ships. It seemed half a century ago has been solved a difficult task. Here are the results of the decision were never used.

Konstantin Sidorovich


Tags: AME , aviation

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