Old but good article on the SLAM (Supersonic Low-Altitude Missile), also known as ‘Project Pluto’ and the ‘Flying Crowbar.’
This baby was to be a nuclear ramjet-powered Mach-3 intercontinental cruise missile with a maximum range of over 100,000 miles and room for up to 26 hydrogen bombs to be dropped on the specified address as it passed over. Besides the bombs, the sound and heat of the thing’s passage at 1000 feet would have left wanton destruction in its path and the radioactive output of the ramjet would have been dangerous.
I think all I knew about this I learned in the description of an Estes model rocket of the thing back in the early 80s. I don’t believe Estes’ version had a nuclear ramjet.
Question: What would have limited the range of this thing? If the nuclear reactor was used to heat the air in the ramjet, wouldn’t range have been pretty much unlimited? Or was the range really dictated by how long the structure could hold up to the heat and stress of flight?
The SLAM was canceled in 1964.