I’m looking at the story of the Tu22 right now. It’s an interesting story. The development of the first nuclear-powered supersonic bomber shows several things.
One may wonder… what exactly ? Ok. The first element to underline is that there was obviously a fear by the engineers to have the nuclear reactor close to the pilots. For reasons related to energy transfer maximization the air propulsion was placed just above. It’s true that there’s a feeling the red star on the vertical rear wing was placed in a way to be more easily catapulted to Mars… (since the red star represents Mars and the way the nuclear power was designed in a pure vase of compression using air entry for accelerating the fission of the plutonium created that “catapult opportunity”)
The training version used a uranium reactor and that reactor took twice as much space.
Besides for official reasons of fight against cold temperatures alcohol was available just behind the pilots and likely did they take a sip too. Or at least after the flight. It was obviously intended to vaporize alcohol in…
The “play” arrow in the below picture shows exactly where the plutonium core is.
Here’s a closer look to another version, the plutonium pulse reactor is less visible, under the firejet this time :
Lastly the bomber idea seems to have derivated in the idea to have the emergency solution for pilots to be downwards. It seems the pilots were treated like bombs. Curious, really… did they really bomb anything except their pilots ?