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July 12, 2018 - 2:20pm

Le Roy native who once worked on classified project to build nuclear jet engine debuts book at O-at-ka Festival

posted by Virginia Kropf in Le Roy, news, history.

A Le Roy native will be attending his 65th class reunion today and debuting his newest book at the O-at-ka Festival.

Bill Brown worked on a secret project, now declassified, for a nuclear-powered bomber which could fly continuously for 30 days. His book, “The Atom Plane and the Young Lieutenant” is a true story of Huron’s United States Air Force military service at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio.

Brown was privileged to play an engineering role in the testing of critical components of the General Electric X-211 nuclear turbojet.

Very little is known today about the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion project, which spanned 10 years and the expenditure of $1 billion, Brown said. This was a highly advanced technology program conducted during the 1950s Cold War to provide a continuous 30-day flying bomber ready to respond to any attack on the United States, he said.

Although the nuclear-powered bomber never became an operational weapon system, the technology advancement was a major contribution to the nation’s military and civilian air and space programs, Brown added.

The author complements the story with several interesting experiences at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, including aircraft and security incidents, along with a flying saucer investigation.

“These were indeed adventurous years exploring the challenge of the unknown,” Brown said.

Brown will donate proceeds from his book sales at the O-at-ka Fest to the Le Roy Historical Society. The book will be for sale in the Le Roy Historical Society’s booth and at Amazon.com.

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