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Author Topic: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program  (Read 12008 times)

Offline circle-5

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The General Electric AC110-2 Nuclear Turbojet was selected by Convair in 1956 to power their Models 23A and 23B nuclear seaplane bombers / mine layers. Layout of the AC110-2 is very similar to the GE XMA-1A, with a single reactor for each pair of turbojets (one pair in the 23A, two pairs in the 23B).

My questions are:

Does anybody have some documentation on the GE AC110-2 (reactor MW, engine thrust, etc.)?
Is this engine design before or after the GE XNJ140E?

Don't worry about the NSA -- you can probably speak freely.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 07:48:43 pm by PaulMM (Overscan) »

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2013, 10:23:42 am »
Not exactly what you were after, but interesting especially  APEX-910 with various nuclear powered aircraft and missile studies and even nuclear powered ballistic missiles:

APEX-901: Comprehensive Technical Report, General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program, Program Summary and References
http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/1048124

APEX-908 Part B: XNJ140E Nuclear Turbojet Section 4 - Reactor
http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/12555356

APEX-908 Part C: XNJ140E Nuclear Turbojet, Section 5, Shield; Section 6, Turbomachinery; Section 7. Control System
http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/12475089

APEX-910: Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Application Studies
http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/1048126

APEX-913: Metallic Fuel element Materials
http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/12475098

APEX-918: Reactor & Shield Physics
http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/4491615

APEX-919 : Aerothermodynamics,
http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/1048135
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 05:46:33 pm by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline George Allegrezza

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Re: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2013, 01:16:15 pm »
There are a couple of AC-110 references in the application studies doc (thanks Overscan for posting), including a drawing of a seaplane testbed, but not much in the way of technical detail.   There are a handful of wacky designs for things like hydrofoils and TSTOs as well.


The overview doc also has some of that data, and an extremely comprehensive bibliography of the GE ANP program.


Also, just a "duh" moment for me, I never realized the XNJ140 had the reactor mounted in-line with the turbojet.  I thought it was a separate unit with ducted airflow to the reactor as in the XMA-1. The XNJ140 configuration, of course, is obvious if you look at the NX-2.  As I said, "duh".

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2013, 03:58:32 pm »

See here:
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Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2013, 04:42:26 pm »
Unrelated but cool - nuclear ramjet. Maybe relevant to SLAM/Pluto?
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Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 04:47:54 pm »
From Scott  (http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=17998)

XNJ140E-1
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Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Offline circle-5

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Re: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2013, 05:21:14 pm »
Thank you Paul for all this wealth of information. There's some amazing stuff in these pages!  Page 37 of APEX-910 answers my main question:  The AC-110 was indeed an early version of the XMA-1. The XNJ-140E came later, by integrating a direct-cycle reactor into each turbojet (XNJ = Experimental Nuclear [turbo-] Jet).

The Convair 23B is interesting in that a single reactor appears to power (Qty.4) X-211 engines.  Maybe that arrangement was particular to the AC-110-2 variant.

The Convair 23A was designed around the original AC-110, much like the Nuclear Seamaster.

All the other answers are appreciated as well.

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2013, 06:37:08 pm »
XMA-1
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Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2013, 07:01:27 pm »
Drawing of XNJ140E-1
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Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2013, 07:06:11 pm »
Cutaway of the XNJ140E-1 reactor.
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Re: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2013, 02:53:02 am »
B-52 testbed


extremely poor scan, did my best.
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Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2013, 02:55:44 am »
Supersonic nuclear bomber.
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Offline AeroNG

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Re: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2014, 05:27:36 am »
Sorry to reply to a semi-old post, but I think these two were just declassified / found:

APEX-907 - XMA-1
http://home.fuse.net/engineering/anp/APEX-900/APEX-907%20-%20XMA-1.pdf

APEX-906 - HTRE No. 3
http://home.fuse.net/engineering/anp/APEX-900/APEX-906%20-%20HTRE-3.pdf

(Data was found here: http://home.fuse.net/engineering/anp/documents.htm)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 08:07:54 pm by AeroNG »

Offline dannydale

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Re: General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2014, 03:17:21 pm »