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Uranuim In Planes  
User currently offlineA340-600 From France, joined Aug 1999, 95 posts, RR: 2
Posted (15 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1442 times:

hi there,

- I would like some informations about Uranuim in planes (B747,Dc10,L1011,C-130...).
- Is there any other planes which use Uranuim.
- Why do Airbuses not use uranuim? even A300?
- What do you think about it?
- Is there any URL about this suject?


4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineIkarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (15 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1425 times:

Uranium is only used where its comparatively huge density is needed. As far as I know, mostly as counterweight for spoilers and other control surfaces in the case of the b747.

I don't mind the uranium. At that altitude, you are more tormented by the atmospheric radiation than by the bits in the plane. And when it crashes, it is usually easily recovered without endangering anyone. That's all the info I can offer.

You might want to post your questions in the Tech/Ops forum, where many more knowledgeable users can give good advice.

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 7142 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (15 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1409 times:

The only application of uranium in airliners I have heard of is rudder balance on the CV-990. (We are of course talking about U-238, not the 235 variant).
I think that it was chosen as a substitute for lead because the rudder was larger than the CV-880 rudder. With this substitute some substantial redesign of the CV-880 fixed fin was prevented. Uranium is much heavier than lead.
U-238 is a toxic heavy metal just like lead which is widely used on all types of aeroplanes. When talking about U-238 disadvantages compared to lead, then there is probably only one really serious one, the price! Lead is so much cheaper.
It is not pleasant to have to work with heavy metals of any kind, not to mention having it spread in the environment when planes (military or civil planes) fall out of the sky. But that impact is really minor compared to the amounts of lead which gets spread all over from hand weapons - military and civil - wars, hunters, murderers and whatever.
The obvious substitute for all toxic heavy metals is gold. It has the weight, but lacks the toxic properties. Gold just doesn't work in lead-acid batteries. But I doubt very much that we will ever fly on planes with gold balance weights.
Best regards, Preben Norholm

Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
User currently offlineYaki1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1401 times:

The DC-8 also had depleted uranium counter weights on control surfaces. Depleted uranium is a by product of removing enriched uranium from natural uranium. I remember working in overhaul shops many years ago, handling depleted uranium weights with no protective gear, now we read how it is a health hazard.

User currently offlineB727-200 From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 1051 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (15 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1370 times:

The original B747-100's that were built contained uranium in the engine mount pilons to stop the aircraft from sitting on its backside.


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