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Carrying a Nuke to Sevastopol: One Pilot, One Engine, and One Plutonium Bomb

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Length: 91 pages1 hour

Summary

This story began as a study of lofting or tossing nuclear weapons, known as"LABs," for Low Altitude Bombing system. I became fascinated with the notion of using the prop-driven Skyraider for this purpose, and the story evolved into an account of what it would have been like to drive this 1940s aircraft to Sevastopol on the first day of the Third World War. "Crazy days," as one pilot called the notion. The article was published in Foundation magazine of the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola in its Fall 1999 issue, and is somewhat expanded here. I have included my email correspondents with the men who call themselves the "Spadguys," for the benefit of those who'd like to delve deeper into the sometimes desperate measures that were taken during the Cold War years. The book's frontispiece shows the pretty Pokrovsky cathedral in the center of Sevastopol, which I have chosen as the IP or Initial Point of my mythical sortie. From its spire, all other calculations would be based. Crazy days, indeed! -- Daniel Ford

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