skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: An Investigation of the Application of the Gas Generator-Free Turbine Cycle to a Nuclear Powered Aircraft

Abstract

This study has investigated the feasibility of installing a gas generator-free turbine type power plant in the R3Y aircraft, using a circulating fuel reactor as a power source. Two variations of the cycle were considered. The split flow cycle bleeds high temperature, high pressure air from the gas generator directly to the free turbine in the wing. The through flow cycle partially expands the high temperature, high pressure air through the compressor turbine of the gas generator then directs the compressor-turbine exhaust air to the free turbine in the wing. Design parameters of pressure ratio, radiator depth, radiation flow density, and hot gas duct size were optimized to give minimum weight per shaft horsepower of the complete power plant. The weight of a split flow power plant capable of supplying 22,000 shaft horsepower was found to be 116,600 pounds. The weight of a similar through flow power plant was found to be 119,900 pounds. The reactor power required in both cases was 70 megawatts. The nominal gross weight of the R3Y airplane is 175,000 pounds. With pay loads of approximately 20,000 pounds, either nuclear conversion will have a gross weight of 200,000 pounds. It was found that either cycle couldmore » be installed in the R3Y aircraft; however, the installation of either would require major structural redesign. The split flow cycle with its smaller hot air ducts required the least amount of redesign. A comparison of existing aircraft engines with a preliminary design of the split flow turbo-components indicated that the compressor and possibly the free turbine could be adapted from current engine components.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1068544
Report Number(s):
CF-57-8-3
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 42 ENGINEERING

Citation Formats

Alvis, J. H., and Chessman, S. R. An Investigation of the Application of the Gas Generator-Free Turbine Cycle to a Nuclear Powered Aircraft. United States: N. p., 1957. Web. doi:10.2172/1068544.
Alvis, J. H., & Chessman, S. R. An Investigation of the Application of the Gas Generator-Free Turbine Cycle to a Nuclear Powered Aircraft. United States. doi:10.2172/1068544.
Alvis, J. H., and Chessman, S. R. Thu . "An Investigation of the Application of the Gas Generator-Free Turbine Cycle to a Nuclear Powered Aircraft". United States. doi:10.2172/1068544. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1068544.
@article{osti_1068544,
title = {An Investigation of the Application of the Gas Generator-Free Turbine Cycle to a Nuclear Powered Aircraft},
author = {Alvis, J. H. and Chessman, S. R.},
abstractNote = {This study has investigated the feasibility of installing a gas generator-free turbine type power plant in the R3Y aircraft, using a circulating fuel reactor as a power source. Two variations of the cycle were considered. The split flow cycle bleeds high temperature, high pressure air from the gas generator directly to the free turbine in the wing. The through flow cycle partially expands the high temperature, high pressure air through the compressor turbine of the gas generator then directs the compressor-turbine exhaust air to the free turbine in the wing. Design parameters of pressure ratio, radiator depth, radiation flow density, and hot gas duct size were optimized to give minimum weight per shaft horsepower of the complete power plant. The weight of a split flow power plant capable of supplying 22,000 shaft horsepower was found to be 116,600 pounds. The weight of a similar through flow power plant was found to be 119,900 pounds. The reactor power required in both cases was 70 megawatts. The nominal gross weight of the R3Y airplane is 175,000 pounds. With pay loads of approximately 20,000 pounds, either nuclear conversion will have a gross weight of 200,000 pounds. It was found that either cycle could be installed in the R3Y aircraft; however, the installation of either would require major structural redesign. The split flow cycle with its smaller hot air ducts required the least amount of redesign. A comparison of existing aircraft engines with a preliminary design of the split flow turbo-components indicated that the compressor and possibly the free turbine could be adapted from current engine components.},
doi = {10.2172/1068544},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1957},
month = {8}
}