WS-125

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WS-125
Project for Long-range Nuclear-powered aircraft strategic bomber
Requirement WS-125
Issued by United States Air Force
Experimental HTRE reactors for nuclear aircraft (HTRE-3 left and HTRE-1 right), on display at Idaho National Laboratory near Arco, Idaho

The WS-125 was an American super long-range strategic bomber project during the Cold War to develop a nuclear-powered aircraft, which was scheduled to be designated the B-72.

In 1954, the United States Air Force (USAF) issued a weapons system requirement for a nuclear-powered bomber, designated WS-125. In 1956, GE teamed up with Convair (X211 program) and Pratt & Whitney with Lockheed in competitive engine/airframe development to address the requirement.

In 1956, the USAF decided that the proposed WS-125 bomber was unfeasible as an operational strategic aircraft. Finally, after spending more than 1 billion dollars, the project was cancelled on March 28, 1961.

Powerplants[edit]

Two General Electric J87 turbofan engines were successfully powered to nearly full thrust using two shielded reactors. Two experimental engines complete with reactor systems (HTRE-3 and HTRE-1) are currently[when?] located at the EBR-1 facility south of the Idaho National Laboratory 43°30′42.22″N 113°0′18″W / 43.5117278°N 113.00500°W / 43.5117278; -113.00500.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Butler, Tony (2010). American Secret Projects. Hinckley, England: Midland Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85780-331-0.