Saturday, February 5, 2011

Oooops . . .

On this day, in 1958, a B-47 bomber on a training mission off the cost of Georgia collided at 37,000 feet with an F-86 fighter. The B-47 was able to stay airborne, barely, and requested permission to drop its payload so that it didn't detonate in a crash landing. Once approved, the pilot jettisoned his payload - a 7,000+ lbs. Mark 15 hydrogen bomb with a 3.8 megaton yield - into the waters off of Tybee Island near Savannah, Georgia. Despit a dillegent search, the "Tybee bomb" has never been found. Oooops indeed.

1 comment:

OBloodyHell said...

After all this time, it's reasonably certain that the device is utterly unusable.

That's one of the arguments against any threat from "suitcase nukes" from the former USSR being still functional, if they ever existed at all.

As I understand it, a typical nuke requires maintenance on the order of every 2-5 years or its functionality becomes totally compromised. This is inherent in certain unavoidable elements of the design used to produce an implosion of nuclear material for long enough to reach a critical point.

Finally, the only groups (The Russians, the Brits, the French, the Chinese) with any real possible capacity to have retrieved it are all well past whatever technologies were involved by now.