Organization: Sci Military Moderated
Delivery-Date: Fri Jan 19 07:36:49 2001
Delivery-Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 07:36:48 -0800
	for ; Fri, 19 Jan 2001 07:36:46 -0800 (PST)
	Fri, 19 Jan 2001 10:28:31 -0500 (EST)
	(envelope-from news)
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 10:25:33 -0400
From: Bob Keeter 
Newsgroups: sci.military.moderated
Subject: Re: Vacuum bomb - Big Blue.
Message-ID: <>
References:  <>  <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-transfer-encoding: 8bit
User-Agent: YA-NewsWatcher/4.2.6
Content-Length: 2478
Lines: 61
X-Trace: 979927686 81172

In article <>, chrisrod 

OK, guys!  I think that we might just have a little war-story goulash
going here.  The "Big Blue" that some were refering to is a 15,000 lb
special purpose, USAF Special Ops bomb, usually loaded in pairs in the
back end of one of the Hurlbutt C-130s.  It was originally concocted
back in Vietnam days to make an LZ in the middle of the jungle.  After
being tried out a couple of times, people noticed that it made a really
COLD LZ and ended up using it for other purposes.  Was used in Desert
Storm both to try and clear some ugly minefields and for simple PsyOps,
i,e. let go with one on a company-sized bunker complex and hit the
bunkers to either side with pamphlets, "the next ones for you!" or
something similar.

The BLU-82 was most assuredly not a FAE (Fuel-Air explosive) but rather 
was filled with a "slurry" explosive, i.e. mixture of liquid and solid
of about the consistency of thin mud.

Now honest to goodness FAEs had one thing in common and that was the
tremendous blast and overpressure effects.

Practically any reasonably volitile combustible liquid, compressed gas
or finely powdered combustible solid can be used as a fuel for a FAE
the distinguishing factor being that unlike a "complete" explosive
(i.e. C4 or TNT) the oxidizer is not included in the mix but comes from
the air.  Thus "FUEL-AIR Explosive"!  ;-)  Think of what occasionally
happens (particularly in the past!) to gasoline-powered cabin cruisers;
grain elevators; sugar, flour and even textile mills!

According to


Propylene Oxide Chemical Backgrounder

Propylene oxide (C.A.S. 75-56-9) is a colorless liquid with an
ether-like odor that is used mainly (60%) as a chemical intermediate in
the production of polyurethane polyols, which are used to make
polyurethane foams, coatings, and adhesives. It is used . . . .  in
fuel-air explosives in munitions; and as a component of Zeospan, a
polyether rubber. 

The FAEs developed in China Lake ran up to a 2,000 lb version.

In either case, these bombs FAEs or BLU-82 depended on the very high
overpressure and shock for their effectiveness.  Other than that, they
were totally separate systems.