Russian NUCLEAR powered cruise missile blows up. Kills 5 scientists and spreads radiation

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by Doggzilla, Aug 10, 2019.

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  1. Aug 12, 2019 #21

    Aesquire

    Aesquire

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    IIRC the first U.S. H-bomb was a proof of concept device that used liquid deuterium and filled a large building. Nov. 1 1952.

    The Soviets tested a single stage bomb using lithium Aug 12 1953.

    The U.S..tested their first lithium fueled bomb Mar 1 1954. It was considerably more powerful than predicted & both scared the nearby monitoring team, & made a far bigger mess than expected.

    So, the U.S. was first with a fusion device, and technically the only actual Hydrogen bomb, that used Hydrogen. I don't think there's been a second.

    The Soviets were first to make a fusion device that used primarily Lithium, which is the type all subsequent "H-bombs" use.

    So... Technically, argue as you please. The Soviets beat the U.S. to a bomb that was even reasonable to deliver in something smaller that a Train or Ship. The U.S. beat the Soviets to a fusion explosion.

    However, the first sustained, repeatable, fusion reaction was by Philo T. Farsworth, ( the second most ripped off scientist in history ) 1964.

    This is in contrast to fission, which was first demonstrated with sustained, repeatable reactions in the first "reactor" in Chicago years before the Trinity test of the first Atom Bomb.

    Personally, I consider the Soviets first to a "practical" , "modern" Fusion bomb, while the U.S. Was first to demonstrate fusion in intended to be bomblike explosion form. But feel free to make up your own mind.

    I don't dispute first in having a bomb in operational form, since records from the Soviets are...unreliable.

    I will point out that keeping capabilities secret and lying about them is very traditional in military history.

    If as speculated, the Russian gov. is testing liquid fuelled fission rockets, then they are both behind the U.S. NERVA & DUMBO programs by decades, and well ahead of any unclassified U.S. program.

    PLUTO is one of the coolest flying things ever thankfully not flight tested. As a ramjet, it's range was limited only by the erosion of the reactor, with a theoretical range in days to weeks @ Mach 3.

    But Project Orion is IMHO the coolest flying machine thankfully never flight tested. See the book Project Orion by Dyson.

    https://www.amazon.com/Project-Orion-Story-Atomic-Spaceship/dp/0805059857

    Probably the best fictional version.
    https://www.amazon.com/Footfall-Lar...5GWRN3WCZG7&psc=1&refRID=8E2MDQNRK5GWRN3WCZG7

    Pluto, however, was ready to flight test, while Orion never had full scale hardware built... As far as you know. ;)
     
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  2. Aug 12, 2019 #22

    Aesquire

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    More relevant, but not soon, to home built planes, the Pluto Project technology with a non eroding reactor, would give you unlimited range. Measured in years. Pluto, like NERVA, used graphite core tech, which eroded and spewed bits of radioactive debris. DUMBO otoh, used a tungsten alloy core, and didn't have that problem.

    However, unless using untested and insanely rare man made transuranic fuel, a reactor is probably always going to be too big and heavy to use in a light aircraft. OTOH, a heat exchanger with a built in heat source using refined commercial reactor waste, may indeed be made small enough to power a turbine geared to a propeller in a size useful to a small plane.

    My guess is that will be available but probably not until Delta Hawk is. ;)
     
  3. Aug 12, 2019 #23

    Aesquire

    Aesquire

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    Oh.... Btw, to be pedantic, the Russian rocket motor isn't thermonuclear, it's fission. Thermonuclear is fusion. The "thermo" doesn't in this case mean heat, but the energy state of the neutron flux. It's a common error, as they don't really teach this stuff very much, and the terminology is corrupted by popular press. Hydrogen bomb is also technically wrong, mostly.

    As far as I know, the only fusion powered "practical" airplane is being flown out of Slovenia by Eric Raymond. The Sunseeker Duo. He keeps the reactor about 8 light minutes away.
     
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  4. Aug 12, 2019 #24

    BJC

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    Since the fusion energy released in an “H bomb” explosion comes from the fusion of two hydrogen isotopes, deuterium and tritium, I consider the term H bomb to be descriptive and acceptable.


    BJC
     
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  5. Aug 12, 2019 #25

    pictsidhe

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    That is how bomb fuses work. It would make sense adapting one to a long delay. Already perfected and available.
     
  6. Aug 12, 2019 #26

    Aesquire

    Aesquire

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    True, I should have put that differently. There's no free hydrogen involved, it's bound to Lithium. The tritium, except for a tiny amount in the "spark plug" doesn't exist until the Lithium absorbs neutrons.

    Further correction! The thermo- refers to X-Ray flux , not neutrons. My bad, not enough coffee.

    Thanks.
     
  7. Aug 12, 2019 #27

    bmcj

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    I agree, and I think that “hydrogen” bomb also works to differentiate it in a lay sense as a fusion vs fission bomb, since most people with a modicum of education (high school, or maybe college by today’s standards) will tell you that hydrogen cannot create a self-sustaining fission reaction.
     
  8. Aug 12, 2019 #28

    Vigilant1

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    My aircraft is fusion powered. Remote fusion reactor-->electromagnetic energy (light) -->terrestrial reaction to form glucose-->conversion and long-term storage of energy as C and H bonds in hydrocarbon form --> in-aircraft chemical conversion via exothermic reaction with O2 yielding primarily CO2, H2O. Every bit of the energy my plane uses ultimately came from the remote fusion reactor.
     
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  9. Aug 12, 2019 #29

    Aesquire

    Aesquire

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    Darn, I thought I'd get away with that one. ;)

    If I'd said "purest practical fusion powered" I could weasel it. Missed my barracks lawyer shot.

    All the organic fuels may indeed be fusion/solar. Metals come from the deaths of other stars and the heavy end from Supernovae. So... All from fusion.

    Should I go back & see what other gaffes I committed today, or just pretend to be a politician who need not be mentioned?

    You are all well spoken & polite, for engineering types. ;)
     
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  10. Aug 12, 2019 #30

    Doggzilla

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    The Mark19 does not exist. The Mark 18 was introduced but was not an H-bomb, it was fission. Very powerful fission, but still fission.

    Everything else I just posted was a quote from one of the Atlas engineers listed on its Wikipedia page. The same page you are reading from.

    The Soviets dominating early rocketry is well accepted historical fact, it’s no something to get upset about.

    You do know the ending to this story results with us humiliating them, right?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  11. Aug 12, 2019 #31

    Doggzilla

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    **I’m sure some of you may have heard, the Russians have admitted it was indeed a small nuclear reactor that exploded.**
     
  12. Aug 13, 2019 #32

    Doggzilla

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    Yes, it’s the spacing that makes the difference.

    “Thermonuclear” is a bomb, “thermo nuclear” with a space is a kind of engine.

    Probably never got a better name because the project never went anywhere.
     
  13. Aug 13, 2019 #33

    Kyle Boatright

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    Maybe he was thinking about the MK 17 and/or the MK 24, both of which were mass produced and in service by 1954.
     
  14. Aug 13, 2019 #34

    Doggzilla

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    Yes, which were not ICBM deliverable.

    They were deployed by already antiquated B-36 bombers that were slower than B-29s that were already badly mauled by MiG-15s in Korea 3 years earlier.

    Comparing a near defenseless aircraft to an operational ICBM is not really a fair comparison.
     
  15. Aug 13, 2019 #35

    mm4440

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    Nuclear homebuilt motorgliders????
     
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  16. Aug 13, 2019 #36

    Kyle Boatright

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    ICBM's didn't exist until 1957 or later and the B-36 was viable through the mid-50's due to its altitude capabilities and the shortcomings or absence of night/all weather interceptors in the USSR. Would they all have gotten through? Doubtful. But out of the 50 or 100 B-36's that would have been available at any one time, getting a dozen through would have resulted in the destruction of every major city in the USSR.
     
  17. Aug 13, 2019 #37

    Vigilant1

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    Yes, Mk17, not Mk18 . Apologies. It was the predecessor to the Mk21 and Mk24. Large numbers (hundreds total) of Mk17s, Mk21s, and Mk24s were produced, they were available and reliably deliverable--for someone to write ". . . the US did not have a deliverable H-bomb until 1960 with the W-47" is simply ridiculous. But don't hold your breath waiting for a correction.
    Exactly. In mid 1950s, at night, most of them would have made it to their targets. The USSR is big, the MiG's had pathetic range, would have had very poor GCI, and no effective means of terminal targeting/engagement. SAMs didn't show up until 1955, and even then, only around Moscow. High-altitude radar directed AAA might have been marginally effective--in the immediate target area, but neither the 85mm or the 100mm systems (the majority of the large Soviet AAA) could even reach the B-36's service ceiling, and the 130mm guns could only reach that altitude over a tiny portion of their coverage area. And, after the first proximate nuclear detonation, all bets would be off.
    B-52's began standing nuclear alert in 1955, with aerial refueling capability to allow missions to anywhere in the world, good speed, effective ECM. But ". . . the US did not have a deliverable H-bomb until 1960 with the W-47." :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  18. Aug 13, 2019 #38

    Kyle Boatright

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    In addition, the B-36's ECM would have degraded the performance of Russian RADAR and whatever it was aiming (AAA or SAM's). Plenty of those aircraft would have gotten through.

    Fortunately it never came to that.
     
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  19. Aug 13, 2019 #39

    Doggzilla

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    As I have repeated more than 5 times...I am talking EXCLUSIVELY about ICBM deliverable weapons that were functional systems. Why everyone keeps switching to the B-36 I do not know.

    The B-36 is not even an ICBM in the first place and sure doesn’t disprove that the Soviets beat us to the first ICBM. They beat us to Space with the same R-7 rocket when they launched Sputnik. It is completely accepted by the entire history field that in the late 50s the Soviets had a rocketry advantage.

    The idea that an obsolete bomber that was hopelessly unable to defeat its opponents was somehow equal to a functional ICBM is ridiculous.

    Entire formations of much faster and better armed B-29s escorted by fighters were unable to stop even a handful of MiG-15s from inflicting heavy casualties in Korea.

    The B-29s were helpless when it was 5 Mig against an entire escorted formation. The B-36s would have been facing 5 Migs per bomber and without an escort.

    A B-36 is simply not equivalent to an entire escorted formation of B-29s. It would be hopeless against the same number of fighters.

    The B-36 was so poorly performing that the only reason it wasn’t canceled was because literally no other aircraft could even carry the weapon. It’s performance and survivability were considered abysmal even by 1950. By 1953 it was a desperate stopgap that was incapable of its intended function. By 1955 it was absolutely hopelessly outmatches.

    *****By that time even the vastly more capable B-47 was so outclassed by Soviet air defenses that it had already switched to low level penetration and using LABS toss bombing in order to have a chance of penetrating the defenses without immediate death. The B-36 would have instantly been destroyed attempting to enter these defenses*****
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  20. Aug 13, 2019 #40

    Doggzilla

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    And when I say the Atlas rocket was not a working deployable weapon, 5 of 8 Atlas A flights failed. 4 of the 10 Atlas Bs failed, and 3 out of the 6 Atlas Ds failed. And it would have been much worse for deployed weapons for several very obvious reasons.

    The Atlas was such a useless missile that even testing it disabled the missile. Several of them failed after being tested because they could not withstand the heat of static testing rising upward and could only survive ignition if they were moving. So it was not possible to properly test and troubleshoot failures before deployment. Not just that, but if any component was disconnected or had a minor leak the missile would collapse on itself and be destroyed, which happened in several tests.

    They also required each to be individually guided by a radar tracking station and required a radio link. Jamming the signal would completely disable them. The Titan was the same way. And the Soviets had the full capability to jam them as well.

    In the same time period the R-7 ICBM had 23 fully successful launches and 5 failures, 3 of which failed because they exceeded performance expectations and missed their targets by overshooting.

    In fact, one of the space variants used for Luna 1 overshot so much that it passed the MOON and became the first object to leave geocentric orbit.

    So to say the Atlas was comparable to the earlier and much more successful R-7 is not really true at all. Not until the much later Atlas E and Minuteman did the US have rockets which could come close to the R7. Which was almost 5 years later.
     

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