American Atomic-Powered Bomber Concept (1955)
From LIFE Magazine (2/7/55)
About the Design
On Feb. 7, 1955, LIFE Magazine featured a multi-page spread about the U.S. Air Force's program to build a long-range nuclear bomber powered by atomic energy. The article featured illustrations of such an aircraft as conceived by a group of aeronautical specialists the magazine assembled just for this feature story. The designers' concept was of a large delta-winged plane with a compact, egg-shaped atomic reactor situated just forward of the tail section. To protect the two-man crew from radiation, the cockpit was located at the end of an over-long, wild goose-like fuselage, which contained extra shielding just aft of the crew compartment.
Servicing of the aircraft was to be done in a mountainside hangar, the cockpit and aft sections separated by a thick, shielded wall. All maintenance of the nuclear reactor would be done by remote-controlled robotic devices.
In the article, experts speculated that the first atomic-powered bomber would be flown by the year 1960.
About the Kit
This is the second model kitted by Fantastic Plastic Models. Mastered by Scott Lowther and cast by Controlled Energy Designs, the kit has 10 pieces, including a clear resin cockpit. Decals are by JBOT.
A "desktop" model, the American Atomic-Powered Bomber is designed to be displayed in the in-flight, wheels-up configuration. A display stand, inspired by the classic Aurora stands of the 1960s, is also available.
This model was built from an original issue.