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General Electric J87 / X211

 

The General Electric J87 (company designation X211) was a nuclear-powered turbojet engine designed to power the proposed WS-125 long-range bomber. The program was started in 1955 in conjunction with Convair for a joint engine/airframe proposal for the WS-125. It was one of two nuclear-powered gas turbine projects undertaken by GE, the other one being the X39 project.
The X211 was a relatively large turbojet engine of straight conventional layout, save for the combustion chamber being replaced with a heat exchanger. It featured variable-stator compressors and an afterburner. A single nuclear reactor was intended to supply heat to two X211 engines.
In 1956, the USAF decided that the proposed WS-125 bomber was unfeasible as an operational strategic aircraft. In spite of this, the X211 program was continued for another 3 years, albeit with no target application. It was finally terminated in mid-1959, and by 1961, all funding for nuclear propulsion was canceled.

 

Type: Afterburning turbojet, nuclear powered
Length: 41 ft
Maximum thrust: 34,600 lb with afterburner

 


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