An experimental plane intended to test the feasibility of nuclear-powered aircraft. Convair was desperately trying to maintain U.S. Air Force interest in the B-36 platform, and in the 1950s, "nuclear" was the magic word. A proposal was to convert the swept-wing, jet-powered B-36G (later designated the YB-60) to nuclear power.

Thankfully, the X-6 never actually materialized. The Air Force did, however, supply a modified NB-36H with a 35,000 pound, 1,000 kilowatt nuclear reactor to test the effects of radiation on aircraft instruments and components. The crew was sealed off in a lead-lined compartment, looked out foot thick leaded glass windows, watched the reactor via closed-circuit TV, and if that weren't enough, they threw a 4 ton lead disc in the middle of the fuselage. A total of 47 flights were conducted, each accompanied by a C-97 transport full of armed Marines ready to parachute in and surround the aircraft in case it crashed.

By 1957, it was obvious to all parties involved that atomic-powered flight was impractical, and the project was cancelled. The NB-36H was scrapped, the radioactive parts being burned.

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