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I recently read a book about the "X-planes". And read a little
about the X-6 project to use a nuclear reactor as the heat source for a
gas turbine engine. I know that the original design required too much
heavy shielding, but I was wondering about using a small IEC fusion device
along the lines of the farnsworth fusor for atmospheric flight. A fusing
plasma would be quite hot, and emit photons along with all kinds of
charged particles and neutrons. A shield structure around the electrodes
would convert the radiation into heat, which would have air forced past it
to keep it cool. A supply of liquified gas could be kept on board to
provide reaction mass for translation to vacuum (SSTO?). Anyway, this is
all just a fanciful idea on my part. I'm most interested in hearing
what's wrong with the idea...
Nobody's perfect, but we are working on it.
-Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.