Norman Polmar is an analyst, consultant, and author, specializing in naval, aviation, and technology subjects. He has been a consultant or advisor on naval issues to three Senators, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and three Secretaries of the Navy as well as to the director of the Los Alamos national laboratory, and to the leadership of the U.S., Australian, Chinese, and Israeli Navies. He has written or coauthored more than 50 published books.

Articles by Norman Polmar

The NB-36H was the world’s first aircraft to fly with an operating nuclear reactor on board. The reactor did not power the plane but was used to obtain data on the effects of radiation on instruments, equipment, and the airframe. The NB-36H’s dark blue nose and orange radiation symbol on its tail distinguished it from a conventional B-36.

Atomic-Powered Aircraft

By Norman Polmar
April 2024
The program that developed the atomic bomb awarded a contract to the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Company to determine the feasibility of using nuclear energy to power an aircraft.
Nautilus, the Navy’s first nuclear-powered submarine, which Rickover was instrumental in bringing to fruition. But the Nautilus actually stood on the shoulders of an earlier sub project.

The First Atomic Submarine

By Norman Polmar
February 2024
Years before the launching of the Nautilus, the Naval Research Laboratory labored throughout the 1940s on the concepts and prototypes that would culminate in the birth of the nuclear Navy.
An OL-2 showing the aircraft’s two open cockpits; it could be flown with a control wheel in the forward cockpit or a control stick in the rear cockpit.

A Plane for All Seasons

By Norman Polmar
October 2023
The Loening OL-series amphibians were among the most popular aircraft used by the U.S. military services between the world wars, being flown by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast ...
The Shenandoah moored to the fleet oiler Patoka (AO-9)

Flying with Grace

By Norman Polmar
February 2023
During the 1920s and 1930s several large, graceful, rigid airships flew across the Atlantic and within the United States. Four of them were emblazoned “U.S. Navy.”

Atomic Fish

By Norman Polmar
August 2006
The history of the nuclear-tipped torpedo is almost as mysterious as any of the black projects of the submarine service, but the details that have surfaced are fascinating and, in ...

Books by Norman Polmar