World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0008056315
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ws-125  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Project Pluto, General Electric J87, North American XB-70 Valkyrie, Ford Seattle-ite XXI, TOPAZ nuclear reactor
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


HTRE-3, a nuclear aircraft engine prototype at the Idaho National Laboratory.
Role Long-range nuclear powered bomber
National origin United States
Manufacturer Convair (X-6)
Status Cancelled
Program cost 1 billion dollars +

The WS-125 was a proposed super long range bomber, designed in the United States during the cold war as a nuclear aircraft and was scheduled to be named as B-72.

In 1954, the 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.


Experimental HTRE reactors for nuclear aircraft, (HTRE 3 left and HTRE 1 right), on display at Idaho National Laboratory near Arco, Idaho

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 located at the EBR-1 facility south of the Idaho National Laboratory .

In popular culture

  • The novel Steam Bird (1984) by Hilbert Schenck explored the possibilities if the WS-124/B-72 had actually been built and put in service.[1]

See also


  1. ^ Steam Bird at ISFDB
  • Butler, Tony (2010). American Secret Projects. Hinckley, England: Midland Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85780-331-0.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.