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Atomic-Powered Free Flight

From 33rd Annual Symposium 2000
National Free Flight Society

As a public relations stunt, a Canadian nuclear power reactor manufacturer invited people to send golf balls that the company would irradiate and return, claiming an increase in driving distance of up to 10 percent. It seems that a high dose of neutrons alters and enhances some of the physical properties of materials like the center of a golf ball, which is made of a rubber-like compound.

This got me thinking that if nuclear energy could make golf balls fly farther, would it not be possible to "supercharge" the motors in rubber-powered free flight airplanes so that they would also fly longer?


Fortunately, the research and development company I work for has a small reactor, which is used to irradiate laboratory samples for further analysis. The capacity of the machine is large enough to treat small samples of Tan II, which may then be tested for their energy storage capability.

This paper will briefly outline the science, describe the experiment and disclose the results so that we may predict if Atomic Energy Enhanced Rubber will be in every serious free flight competitor's field box in the new millennium.

Copyright 2000 NFFS*

GizmoGeezer Products supports the NFFS and its efforts in keeping free flight modeling alive and well. The balance of this article and many other great articles may be found in their publications. Order yours today from Robert McLinden at, 3903 West Temple Place, Denver CO 80236. Or visit the web site at

*The National Free Flight Society (NFFS) is a nonprofit corporation, operating in conjunction with the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI).

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