Re: Future of airliners?

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         27 Jun 95 01:43:13 
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>some have mentioned nuclear powered A/C.

There were some military projects in the late 1950s or early 1960s
that sought to develop nuclear-powered long-range bombers, but then
someone finally realized just how dirty the things would be.  Kinda
like a fleet of roving Chernobyls.

>some have mentioned hydrogen/oxygen combustion.

Airbus has done some studies of LH2 (liquid hydrogen) power airliners;
unlike rockets they don't need to carry their own oxygen since they
can grab it from the air just like a convention jet.  However, due to
the low volumetric density of LH2, they have to have a huge fuel tank,
and the proposals have used a huge upper fuselage lobe on an otherwise
conventional aircraft.

I'm pretty sure I've read recently that Airbus decided to go ahead and
build a prototype, based on the A300-600.  I haven't seen any mention
of similar projects, even design studies, at Boeing or McDonnell
Douglas, though I'd be surprised if they weren't thinking about it.

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