U.S. Air Force Developing Nuclear Blast Curtains

The U.S. Air Force yesterday announced it is developing thermal curtains to protect the crews of its B-52 nuclear bombers from the light of an atomic blast (see GSN, Aug. 9, 2006).

The curtains being prepared by personnel in the 540th Aircraft Sustainment Squadron would consist of a reflective layer, a stiffening layer and a third layer made of rubberized vinyl. Air Force personnel flying a B-52 on a nuclear attack mission would remove the curtains from storage and hang them position them over the aircraft's windows.

"The nuclear mission is becoming more and more important and this is one of the things that completes the mission, while keeping an aircrew safe should (an aircrew) have to do a mission with nuclear weapons," said Matt Yost, a structural engineer involved with the project.

A set of seven curtains would cost roughly $2,500 . A prototype model is expected to be prepared this month, and the final curtain is slated for completion next October (U.S. Air Force release, Dec. 15).

December 16, 2008
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The U.S. Air Force yesterday announced it is developing thermal curtains to protect the crews of its B-52 nuclear bombers from the light of an atomic blast (see GSN, Aug. 9, 2006).