Vladimir Mikhaylovich Myasishchev was an outstanding Soviet aircraft designer. The planes he created became landmarks in the domestic (and even world) aviation. His organizational talent is undeniable - he three times "from scratch" created his design bureau in not the most favorable external conditions. However, as practice showed, this was not enough.
Quite worn out with the required range of the first Soviet intercontinental bomber M-4 and gradually getting bogged down in the problems of the supersonic M-50, Myasishchev seized on the possibilities of nuclear power, as they say, with both hands. Moreover, the task of guaranteeing the achievement of goals on the territory of a potential enemy was not yet solved. So Vladimir Mikhailovich bravely undertook not for a long-term program, but for a specific aircraft - M-60.
It was supposed to put on a bomber developed by M-50 nuclear turbojet engines, which would not require additional costs of time and effort. M-60 was listed as serious contender for the title of the first true atomoleta not only in the Soviet Union and in the world. Only a few months after the start of the project it became clear that the construction of the "60 Products" is postponed for at least a couple of years. The project had to solve a lot of specific questions that were previously just did not get up in front of Russian aircraft manufacturers.
In this Myasishchev found the full support of nuclear power engineers, and engine drivers, at least - Arkhip Mihailovich Lyulka, who were eagerly involved in the development of the open-air atomic-jet engines. Later, on the basis of the Lyulka Design Bureau, a special SKB-500 was created for this purpose. Using the basic idea - to place the active zone in the air path of the engine - the developers proposed three layout options - coaxial, "rocker" and combined.
In the first, the active zone, which is called "one-on-one", replaced the combustion chamber of a conventional turbojet engine. The scheme gave the maximum energy output, provided the minimum midship (in this case - the cross-sectional area) of the aircraft, but created monstrous problems in operation. The second somewhat simplified the operation, but increased the drag by 1.5 times. Finally, the most promising at that stage was the combined scheme in which an atomic reactor was placed in the afterburner of a turbojet engine, and as a result, the entire unit could operate both as a conventional turbojet engine and as a turbojet with atomic afterburner, and as atomic ramjet at high speeds. The pilot and navigator were placed side by side in a protected capsule.
The designers immediately faced problems that eventually left the aircraft "on the fly." The fact is that it is not enough to have on board a source of energy of monstrous power - it needs to be transformed into traction, to heat the working medium, in this case - air. So, if in the combustion chamber of a thermochemical engine the heating takes place throughout its volume, then in the active zone of the reactor (or in the heat exchanger) - only over the air blown by the air. As a result, the ratio of thrust of the engine to its midsection area decreases, which negatively affects the power-to-weight ratio of the aircraft as a whole. Having an unlimited range, the atomic plane turned out to be not so high-rise and high-speed as it would have been (and justifiably!) to the military customer in the late 1950s.
However, there was no need to forget about ecology either - the most preliminary studies of the technology of ground handling of aircraft with engines of the open circuit are more than impressive today. The radiation level after landing did not allow to approach the aircraft until the engines (or their active zones) were removed and stored in the protected storage by remotely controlled manipulators. Actually, only in this way (remotely controlled machines) and in general it was possible to ground service. The crew had to approach the plane and leave it through an underground tunnel. Accordingly, the design of the aircraft designed for such maintenance should be as simple as possible.
First, the questions evoked protection for the crew. Naturally, one would seat pilots in a seamless iron capsule. But in this case it was necessary to somehow provide a reasonable overview, also do some rescue systems. Second severe problem of M-60 project concerned the safety of ground personnel. According to preliminary calculations, after all 1st flight was due to a similar bomber "fonit" for a couple of months. Service similar technology sought a new approach, for example, the creation of some systems for remote operation with the parts and assemblies. In the end, the plane "60" had to be nade from the new alloys: structure, built in accordance with the available technology would have a resource that was missing due to radiation and thermal loads. Adding to the complexity project is assigned elected Engine type: turbojet open circuit.
All the technical difficulties associated with the corresponding features in the end forced the designers absolutely reconsider their first ideas. The plane M-50 could not be used in conjunction with nuclear engines. So there was a refreshed view of the "60". Now atomolet looked like midwing with a narrow tapered wing. The stabilizer of similar shape was planned to install the keel. In the front part of the fuselage in front of the wing positioned vozduhopoglotiteli semi-circular cross-section. They walked along the fuselage along its entire length, skirting gruzootsekah in the middle. Four nuclear turbojet engine open-loop located in the tail of the fuselage, putting them in a 2X2 square package.
In the nose, the M-60 was supposed to establish a multi-layer capsule, the cabin crew. Maintaining the operating pressure inside the cabin was made with the help of supplies of liquefied air on board. From the air intake declined rapidly because of the ability to enter the plane of radioactive particles. Capsule cabin to ensure the level of protection tribute had no glazing. Monitoring the situation pilots had to drive through periscopes, telecommunication Systems, also with the help of radar.
To ensure the take-off and landing was planned to make a special automatic system. Curiously, plans for an automatic control system almost did not change the status of the project. There was an idea to make the M-60 unmanned hundred percent. But as a result of disputes military insisted on the development of specific manned aircraft. Go with the M-60 flying boat, the project was created M-60M. Such atomolet not needed vulnerable to air attack runways, also eased slightly to ensure nuclear safety. From unusual aircraft "60" flying boat was different location vozduhopoglotiteley and other ski gear type.
Preliminary calculations showed that at take-off weight of 250 tonnes plane M-60 is required to have traction engines at 22-25 tons each. With these engines bomber at an altitude of about 20 km could fly at a speed of about 3000 km / h The design bureau AM Cradles considered two main options similar nuclear turbojet engines. The coaxial scheme involves the placement of a nuclear reactor at the place where everyday is a turbojet combustion chamber. In this case, the motor shaft passed directly through the construction of the reactor including a core.
Also considered the motor circuit, which received conditional title "rocker". In this embodiment, motor reactor was brought to the side of the compressor and turbine shaft. Vozduhopoglotitelya air from the curved pipe reached the reactor and just got to the turbine. In terms of safety the motor units were profitable scheme "rocker", but she lost coaxial engine in the simplicity of the design. With regard to radioactive threats, but this nuance scheme did not differ. Constructors DB-23 worked on two options assembly of engines according to their size and structural differences.
Aurora’s policy was to be first with significant, new aircraft designs. Additionally, Aurora intentionally made simple kits so that anyone could build them. Aurora’s balance sheet was envied by Revell and Monogram. After the December 1, 1958 article in Aviation Week, Aurora wasted little time. In 1959 they hit the shelves with kit number 128-98, the Russian Nuclear Powered Bomber. But this time the formula did not work. For whatever reason, sales were poor. Aurora’s Russian Nuclear Powered Bomber was a chillingly fun model back in the day. It is one of those subjects based on speculation with a grain of truth. The United States was designing a nuclear powered bomber and the Russians tried it too. M-50 was flying and the lines reflect the prototype. Since it was a speculative design, Aurora did not try to detail it up much. It is still an intriguing model.
Details of the SOVIET NUCLEAR-POWERED BOMBER (From Aurora’s instruction sheet with original spelling and punctuation)
Another milestone in mankind’s step forward in the development of atomic-powered engines is the Soviet Nuclear-powered bomber with engines capable of keeping a continuous patrol for untold hours without re-fueling. Using a nuclear reactor in place of the usual chemical fuel combustion chamber with a shaft connecting the compressor with the turbine by passing through the reactor itself, this engine promises some 70,000 pound thrust. Equipped with two of these engines, the Soviet bomber can perform in supersonic and subsonic speeds for lengths of time limited only by the endurance of the crew and the engines. The refueling will no longer be a major problem for one pound of atomic fuel can furnish energy exceeding the amount of power created by one and one-half million pounds of gasoline.
Each of the two atomic powerplants is located at about the middle of a wing and is housed in nacelles measuring some 36 feet long with air intakes about 6 feet in diameter. Supplementing these two atomic turbo jets are two conventionally fueled turbojet engines located in the wing tips capable of producing about 35,000 pound thrust each. These chemically fueled wingtip engines can be used for emergency use when an extra burst of speed is necessary in addition to supplementary power for takeoff. On returning from a mission, they may also be used for landing when the atomic reactors have been turned off.
This bomber has a fuselage length of some 195 feet with a wingspan of about 78 feet. The delta-type wing has a definite sweepback on the leading and trailing edges with a fairly thin airfoil. The sail type vertical fin extends upward roughly 22 feet above the fuselage and the horizontal tail surfaces spanning about 30 feet, sweep back to conform with the wing angle. Although the gross weight is approximately 300,000 pounds, this giant atomic bomber is rated in the Mach 2 category and would be an ideal craft for maintaining a continuous airborne alert. Equipped with a substantial weapon pay load, with the ability for a quick firing of 1,000 mile or more missile devastation and followup with a high speed low-flying penetration under radar defenses to key targets, the value of these atomic bombers is beyond military valuation.
The crew quarters are located in the nose as far away from the reactor engines as possible for protection from radiation. The two conventional turbo jets located in the wingtips are interchangeable with atomic engines if the necessity arises. Equipped with a bicycle main landing gear with outriggers which fold into the wings, the Soviet bomber is trim and sleek. The skies vibrate when this aircraft glides overhead on its patrol.
In addition to atomic powerplants for marine use such as atomic submarines and other ships of the sea, mankind is following through with another truly remarkable feat with their nuclear propulsion program.
Perhaps the near future will unfold unlimited power for non-refueled voyages and flights over the face of the earth. Perhaps, also, this same source of tremendous energy will carry the unpredictable human representative on his exploration of the vast unknown stretches of space beyond the horizons of his own solar system. Only time will tell.
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