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Project SLAM / PLUTO

amsci99

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Hi,

Anyone out there has any pictures or references to the cancelled nuclear powered Supersonic Low Altitude Missile? The only reference I have so far is the Channel 4 Documentary, 'Machines of War: Cruise Missile' which only makes a passing reference.
 

overscan

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Re: Project SLAM

Try searching for Project Pluto.

Here's an article: http://www.merkle.com/pluto/pluto.html
 

Andreas Parsch

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Re: Project SLAM

Vought Heritage Website: http://www.vought.com/heritage/products/html/slam.html
 

sferrin

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Re: Project SLAM

There's also a Discovery (I think) episode on it. It might be half of one of the "Aircraft that never flew" episodes. BTW anybody know if there were more of those? I've seen the one on the US SST and US nuclear powered aircraft where they covered the bomber efforts and Pluto/SLAM but have not heard of any other episodes.
 

Orionblamblam

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Re: Project SLAM

I had an article on Pluto some years back in APR. This will re-appear in the US Bomber Project book. Also, the Bomber Projects "Preview" (currently working out the last bits of art) will have a lesser-known Pluto design.
 

Skybolt

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Re: Project SLAM

Uh, and the Navy had two Pluto-related designs: one was a sumbarine launched version (Regulus II subs), the other an air launched one (from a modified Seamaster).
 

aemann

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Re: Project SLAM

Some more info and renderings here:

http://www.bisbos.com/rocketscience/pluto/pluto-page.html
 

Orionblamblam

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Re: Project SLAM

One thing that modewrn artists almost *never* get right about Pluto: the color scheme. Not white, not black, not gray or camo. No, the Pluto was to be constructed from a dense Inconel alloy (nickel-rich steel, capable of withstanding high temperature, but with terrible thermal conductivity), coated with *gold.*
 

XB-35

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Re: Project SLAM

Hi Orion,

It would be great to see a 1/72 resin kit of this missile (with its transport dolly) in the "Fantastic Plastic" range !

All the Best,

XB-35
 

aemann

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Re: Project SLAM

Colour scheme - I didn't know that! I shall go back to my model and make it so! Expect to see new pics soon. Thanks!
 

Sentinel Chicken

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Re: Project SLAM

aemann said:
Some more info and renderings here:

http://www.bisbos.com/rocketscience/pluto/pluto-page.html
"The Mach 3 Flying Chernobyl". How apropos, that has to have been one of the crazier ideas to come about during the Cold War. The path of destruction it left in its flight path, though minor compared to a nuclear detonation, brings to mind an airborne version of Sherman's March to the Sea!
 

aemann

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Re: Project SLAM

One problem they had before cancellation ultimately addressed the situation, was how to test it. One of the more barking notions was to have it on a tether, flying round and round like a goat on a string, and eventually crash it into the Pacific. No green lobby in that era, though even they realised it might not be a good idea to go crashing white hot nuclear reactors into the sea.
Not so much the fallout from the reactor causing a problem (!) but the pressure wave caused by the thing. Another idea was to fly it up and down, like mowing the lawn, crushing everything unhardened in it's path.

BTW, I've heard of a book coming out soon on the World's Worst Weapons - Pluto/Slam is in the Premier League!
 

sferrin

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Re: Project SLAM

Orionblamblam said:
One thing that modewrn artists almost *never* get right about Pluto: the color scheme. Not white, not black, not gray or camo. No, the Pluto was to be constructed from a dense Inconel alloy (nickel-rich steel, capable of withstanding high temperature, but with terrible thermal conductivity), coated with *gold.*
rofl! Not saying I doubt you but I could just see how much fun a Democrat or POGO would have with that and Joe Public wouldn't have a clue why it was necessary.
 

sferrin

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Re: Project SLAM

aemann said:
Another idea was to fly it up and down, like mowing the lawn, crushing everything unhardened in it's path.
There was even a sci-fi movie out back then that had an alien spaceship (I think, it was a while ago) flying 4000 mph round and round the world destroying everything with shock wave and radiation. I remember they showed them firing a pair of Nike Ajaxs that missed and I think they eventually ended up nuking it. As I recall the ship looked like they ripped it off from the 30's Buck Rogers.
 

Orionblamblam

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Re: Project SLAM

XB-35 said:
Hi Orion,

It would be great to see a 1/72 resin kit of this missile (with its transport dolly) in the "Fantastic Plastic" range !
It is a distinct possibility. If'n you want one, the best approach would be to send a polite email to the guy who owns FP. I just build what he pays me to build.
 

Orionblamblam

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Re: Project SLAM

sferrin said:
Not saying I doubt you ...
http://www.vought.com/heritage/special/html/sslam1.html

An extensive materials investigative program resulted in the selection and fabrication of a section of fuselage using Rene 41 stainless steel with a skin thickness of 1/10 to ¼ inch. This was strength- tested in a furnace to simulate aerodynamic heating. Forward sections of the missile were to be gold plated to dissipate heat by radiation.

OK, Rene 41, not Inconel.

 

sferrin

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Re: Project SLAM

Oh, I believed you. As I'm sure you're aware they used it in the Valkyrie's engine compartment to help with heating as well. On the subject of gold most nukes use tampers of U-235 and such but the W71 on the Spartan had a gold one (or at least one with a gold layer wrapped around it) to maximize x-ray output.
 
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Overkiller

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Some good links here :), just a quick question ???:

Does anyone have any three views of SLAM as I would like to have a crack at modelling it?

Thanks

O.K.
 

XB-35

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Re: Project SLAM

Hi Aemann,

Regarding the SLAM/Pluto, you mention a forthcoming book related to the "Worlds Worst Weapons".

Do you have infos about the author, editor, website... ?

Thanks for the info,

All the Best,

XB-35
 

aemann

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Er, rather embarrasingly, I seem to have lost/deleted all the emails I had relating to the book! :-[

I'm sure I have it all backed up, somewhere, but I'll have to have a rummage. What I can remember: it's from a small UK publisher (not Midland Counties), is due out sometime in March/April, and will feature all kinds of bonkers or useless weapons, such as the Great Panjandrum, and possibly the F-111 !

One of my Pluto/SLAM images will be in it, but in the light of the material/construction/markings info, I'd best update them and send new ones. Once I find that email address of course!
 

aemann

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Overkiller: If no-one has any decent drawings of the "Flying Crowbar", I can create images that might be useful to you based on my 3D model. Curiously, the intake shape is a bit of a puzzle. On the image on a previous post - the red 1/10 model - it shows an oval intake, cut back in the centre. However, other images show a more conventional circular intake with an intake cone set in the centre, which from an aerodynamic/engine/ramjet perspective seems to make much more sense, so that's what I went with. Though the Vought Heritage site says "The classical spike inlet was replaced with a scoop-type inlet invented in the program, which gave pitch/yaw performance over a wider range and a pressure recovery of 86% that was much higher than the initial program objective" - and shows a cutaway with what appears to be a spike inlet. Odd.

Here's the cutaway image I made from my model:

 

Orionblamblam

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Since a model of the Pluto *is* on my schedule, and thus competition is to be despised, opposed and mercilessly crushed into oblivion, you'll pardon a bit of stinginess with the imagery.
 

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aemann

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Here's a first quick look at SLAM with new surface texture, and with the cone spike inlet. I'll have to try the scoop type inlet just for the sake of completeness.

 

aemann

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Stinginess with source material is completely understood. By "model" I'm assuming you mean a 3D/CGI model, and not an actual physical 'thing'? Still, the pics you posted are immensely helpful!
I accept the challenge - competing Pluto/SLAM 3D modelers - did someone say 'niche'?
 

Orionblamblam

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aemann said:
By "model" I'm assuming you mean a 3D/CGI model, and not an actual physical 'thing'?
No, an actual physical thing. More precisely, one that you can buy and assemble.
See:

http://www.fantastic-plastic.com/onlinecatalog.htm
 

XB-35

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I hope that the kit will be in 1/72 scale and with a detailled payload (nukes) bay !

Cheers,

XB-35
 
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Overkiller

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Overkiller: If no-one has any decent drawings of the "Flying Crowbar", I can create images that might be useful to you based on my 3D model.
I would be most appreciative if you could do that! I plan to have a go at this in plastic form, not sure as to what scale I plan, but I do want to give it a try. I may also try to bodge together some small scale ones as armament for a long term project I have in mind. I plan to model a Convair B-39 Nuclear bomber from the Charles Stross novelette " A Colder War" and in the story it's armed with Pluto's!

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/colderwar.htm

I'm a fan of the dark X-Files meets Stargate SG1 stylings of this story.

As for competing modellers Orionblamblam, I'm sure I'm not anywhere near your league! Just an enthusiastic amateur!

Thanks

O.K.
 

aemann

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OK - I shall make it so! I can do either image type drawings (JPG or TIFF) or vector (Illustrator/Freehand type) or PDF, which should give you the best of both worlds. Initially it will be with the spike inlet, as I still have to work out that scoop inlet thing.
 
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Overkiller

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aemann said:
OK - I shall make it so! I can do either image type drawings (JPG or TIFF) or vector (Illustrator/Freehand type) or PDF, which should give you the best of both worlds. Initially it will be with the spike inlet, as I still have to work out that scoop inlet thing.
Thanks! :)

Then I can think about doing this one, may try to get this done sometime this year! ::)
Maybe have it ready for Scale Model World in November :eek: :D!

Cheers

O.K.
 

Orionblamblam

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XB-35 said:
I hope that the kit will be in 1/72 scale and with a detailled payload (nukes) bay !
That would be my preferred scale. My preference for details would be to have cut-away sections for the weapons and reactor areas.
 

sferrin

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Orionblamblam said:
Since a model of the Pluto *is* on my schedule, and thus competition is to be despised, opposed and mercilessly crushed into oblivion, you'll pardon a bit of stinginess with the imagery.
do you know which intake design and warhead compartment design were the final designs? And any chance of you outlining the design progression in one of your books?
 

aemann

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Just been updating my Pluto/SLAM model in accordance with the various comments/new info, and here's where I am at present:



I think that looks pretty close to the two images we've seen of the model that was made. Any comments or suggestions anyone? This will be what I base the drawings on - I can dissassemble it to provide decent drawings of the components, and I should be able to take slices through it too.
 

Orionblamblam

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The model geometry looks more or less right, but the "red" parts should, IMO, be more "gold." As in 24 carat gold.

Plus: there do not appear to be bomb tube port covers on top.
 

aemann

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Just figured the attachment thing! ::)

Here's the latest - now in gold, with some indication of the weapons ports on the top surface.

Which makes me wonder - what mechanism or system did they have in mind for opening, and presumably closing, the port covers at Mach 3? Surely anything sticking up into the airflow would a) disrupt the airflow mightily, destabilising the vehicle and b) be subject to ferocious friction heating. I can't imagine it would have been a frangible panel or the like, as the resulting hole would create all kinds of turbulence and heating. Also, one of the diagrams of the internal layout shows the weapons would have been ejected at a slight forward facing angle. Any ideas as to the reasoning and/or desirability of this approach?
 

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sferrin

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The doors needn't ever protrude into the slipstream. The doors could slide on tracks down into the fuselage exposing the warhead compartment. Each cell could have a frangible cover that blows off and you could probably design it so once the warhead is ejected another panel slides up from beneath it to replace the blown out frangible cover. Then you do it with the next and so on.
 

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aemann said:
Which makes me wonder - what mechanism or system did they have in mind for opening, and presumably closing, the port covers at Mach 3?
From the drawing attached earlier, the doors were no bigger than they had to be... they'd pop open and slam shut as fast as possible.

Also, one of the diagrams of the internal layout shows the weapons would have been ejected at a slight forward facing angle. Any ideas as to the reasoning and/or desirability of this approach?
By launching forward, with the bomb pointing forward, the bomb would generate a bunch of lift. This would help raise it clear of the vehicle. If launched pointing aft, it would be downwards lift, pushing it back into the Pluto.
 
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