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"Flashback:" Americas Tsar Bomb

sferrin

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I wonder what warhead package that was supposed to use. Given that we already had the 25 Mt B41 available I wonder what the yield of this thing would have been.
 

Orionblamblam

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If it is what it certainly looks like, it's probably the end result of the desire for a 50 to 100 megaton lay-down weapon.Prior to this, though, that concept only seemed to be some hand waving in some memos, so... who knows.
 

bobbymike

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Orionblamblam said:
If it is what it certainly looks like, it's probably the end result of the desire for a 50 to 100 megaton lay-down weapon.Prior to this, though, that concept only seemed to be some hand waving in some memos, so... who knows.
This was from Congressional Testimony I posted on another thread (can't remember where I found it originally)

Pastore: Do you see any military need for a 50- or 75-megaton bomb?

LeMay: Yes, sir; I do. The Joint Chiefs have already recommended we go ahead with the development work on a large-yield bomb.

Pastore: Is this a new policy?

LeMay: It is not new as far as I am concerned. I asked for, the Air Force asked for, a high-yield bomb as early as 1954 We have discussed for a long period of time the requirement for a very large-yield weapon, and there has always been a difference of opinion about whether we should have it or not where you could do just as well with smaller weapons… In addition to that, just the mere fact that the Russians will have one will, I think, be a strong psychological factor if we don’t have one, too
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Michel Van

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That very interesting find
i always wonder why the US not react on mother of all H-Bombs
seems they have
since the US were more advance in compact nuclear weapon design as USSR in 1960s
i suspect that Flashback could have be bigger in yield, but

how fast can a B-52 escape the blast radius of this monster ?
the T-95 that drop the Tsar bomb just able to escape it's blast narrowly
This could give a indication how big the yield on Flashback could be

Another indication on Yield is size on Test Vehicle of 1935 cu ft. used in Flashback drop test
what US warhead fit into that volume with additional layer of fission / fusion material ?
 

bobbymike

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Didn't Edward Teller want to put 1000 Mt bomb on a ship and sail them into Soviet ports?
 

Graham1973

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bobbymike said:
Didn't Edward Teller want to put 1000 Mt bomb on a ship and sail them into Soviet ports?
I'm not sure about that, but I do know that the reason the first British nuclear test, Operation Hurricane which involved the detonation of a bomb mounted inside a ship, was to provide test data on just what would happen if a nuclear weapon was detonated aboard a ship in port (Previous tests were over ground using bombs on towers or air-bursts.).

The basic idea turns up fictionally in one of the novels I covered on my fictional warships list 'A Frenzy of Merchentmen' (1977) by Brian Callison, but the ship in that novel is only carrying a 50mt weapon.
 

_Del_

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Michel Van said:
i suspect that Flashback could have be bigger in yield, but

how fast can a B-52 escape the blast radius of this monster ?
the T-95 that drop the Tsar bomb just able to escape it's blast narrowly
This could give a indication how big the yield on Flashback could be
Just a guess, but I imagine the sort of apocalyptic scenario that demands sending pilots off to drop something of this yield doesn't necessarily prioritize a return flight after delivery.
 

Orionblamblam

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_Del_ said:
Just a guess, but I imagine the sort of apocalyptic scenario that demands sending pilots off to drop something of this yield doesn't necessarily prioritize a return flight after delivery.
And yet the biggest, most powerful aircraft deliverable H-bombs came equipped with parachutes specifically to slow them down and give the aircrew a chance of escape. What was wanted by many was a 50-100 megaton laydown weapon that would actually plop down onto the ground and sit there for some time (maybe up to a minute) while the plane skedaddled. Imagine going about your day and having an H-bomb crash into the town square and just sit there like a turd in the punchbowl. Wouldn't be a whole lot of point in panicking, but witnesses would do just that.

As a sad update, it turns out that the nose of this thing is a *real* close match to the Titan II RV in terms of conical angle and max diameter. The nose radius is noticeably bigger, but it sure seems like this thing might be an existing RV with a tail bolted onto it. That would argue against it being a new giant bomb... but I can't guess what it argues *for* it being.
 

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The wedge fins (on the image in the link) look very X15;- Does this indicate a very high speed, high altitude stability requirement? in which case the body behind the conical W41 would be a big solid fuel rocket. This would be to high loft the the W41 away from the B52.

Maybe a means to test the W41 or an EMP experiment?
 

sferrin

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Orionblamblam said:
_Del_ said:
Imagine going about your day and having an H-bomb crash into the town square and just sit there like a turd in the punchbowl. Wouldn't be a whole lot of point in panicking, but witnesses would do just that.
Even somebody in a Veyron with a straight, smooth road out of town wouldn't be able to get away fast enough. Now if you had a trooper with a 50 BMG (or a Javelin), maybe you could disable it.
 

_Del_

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Obb said:
And yet the biggest, most powerful aircraft deliverable H-bombs came equipped with parachutes specifically to slow them down and give the aircrew a chance of escape.
I don't think B83's were going to be pulled off B-52's because of parachute issues if the balloon goes up. I think the mission took priority over egress. Regardless, trying to determine yield by B-52 speed seems pretty futile, in large parts for the reasons you listed above.
 

Orionblamblam

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Zootycoon said:
The wedge fins (on the image in the link) look very X15;- Does this indicate a very high speed, high altitude stability requirement?
Unlikely. Just about *all* the fat, tubby H-bombs used wedge fins, such as thr B53 (the freefall, aircraft-dropped bomb that used the same "physics package" as the W53 warhead within the Titan II RV):



Such fins were common on the "fat" H-bombs that were exceedingly draggy, meant to be carried withing the bomb bay of a giant aircraft like the B-36 or B-52. When smaller aircraft started externally carrying smaller, sleeker H-bombs like the B61, those bombs were given low drag thin fins.


in which case the body behind the conical W41 would be a big solid fuel rocket.
Nope. Parachute package, not rocket. Intended to:
1: Give the aircrew a chance of escape
2: Allow the bomb to impact softly enough to survive the experience.

A "laydown" weapon like that is your best bet for trashing underground reinforced structures. "Bunker buster" nukes were not yet available;if you hit the ground hard enough to penetrate, using one of the older, huger H-bomb designs, you'd smash the thing to bits. So a laydown bomb would put the bomb right on the surface for maximum ground shock and cratering. Air burts are minimally effective for underground reinforced targets.

This assumes that the Flashback is in fact meant to be a bomb designed to blow stuff up...

Maybe a means to test the W41 or an EMP experiment?
[/quote]

That's an open question.Given that one of the other units hauled down to Johnston Atoll was the undefined "EMPTV," and since I can't guess what the EMP stands for beyond electromagnetic pulse, *perhaps* the Flashback was designed to be dropped from a B-52, dangle from a chute, and then either generate an EMP, or be subjected to one. Given the late date of the experiment - September 67 - it clearly wasn't a nuclear air burst.
 
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