- May 26, 2006
- Reaction score
airman said:The development of the B-52 and jet propulsion :
Was the Boeing Model 464-33-1 a concept for the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress?
hesham said:May be you are right my dear Scott.
archipeppe said:It seems unlikely that such B-52 with those monster tanks could take off with only 4 engines (I mean the 2 pods left on wing extremities), considering the the actual B-52 takes 8 engines to be airborne with no extra fuel onboard.hesham said:May be you are right my dear Scott.
circle-5 said:LH2 weighs about 1/2lb per gallon. JP-4 weighs about 7lbs per gallon (14 times more), so the plane would be a lot lighter, even with these big tanks. In addition, LH2 engines are more efficient, so 4 engines are enough to power a hydrogen-powered B-52.
circle-5 said:The attached Boeing drawing was posted elsewhere by OBB about 7 years ago. I think it's safe to say the 464-245 was more than just a "very rough sketch". Yes, those big tanks would have added some drag, but the deletion of four engines, 3,000-gal. underwing tanks, Skybolts, Hound Dogs or bomb racks would have largely made up for that.
In addition to being 14 times lighter, the energy content of LH2 is triple that of kerosene. That's why it is the preferred fuel in modern rocketry. I'm no engineer or chemist, but I trust the ones at Boeing pulled out a slide rule before publishing this design with the company logo on it. Had this variant made sense in other areas, there is no question in my mind that it could have comfortably flown on four engines, as it was engineered to do.
There are many reasons why no practical LH2-powered aircraft has been successfully built, to date. The complex handling and storing of cryogenic fuel is certainly one of them. So is the lack of infrastructure and the considerable cost of operation. But the engineering behind LH2 vehicles is generally sound and has been well-understood for decades.
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