Flying Saucer “Avrocar”

A flying saucer made for the U.S. military, devised in the Cold War (period 1958-1959) by Canadian Scientists, was a completely top secret project. Avro Canada, a Canadian aircraft manufacturing company, designed and built two prototypes of this aircraft, under the funding of the U.S. military that believed on an “alien” looking plane. At those times as a common story on media, the UFO cases were arising, and news speculated some UFOs were actually Soviet-built saucer-shaped vehicles.

Avrocar. Source:

The designer, John Frost had discovered the “Coanda Effect” having the idea of this phenomenon as a powerful tool for making an aircraft with vertical flight characteristics. He had an outstanding career in Britain’s de Havilland Aircraft Company, where worked in designing the jet-powered, twin-boom DH-100 Vampire, the twin-engine DH-103 Hornet and the tailless DH-108 Swallow.

John Frost. Source: Bzuk at English Wikipedia

By 1958, Frost started building a machine he called the Avrocar, saying that this craft had the potential for a 10- minute ground effect “hover” capability, 25- mile range and the payload capacity of 1,000 pounds, powered by 3 engines.

The construction of the Avrocar was based on aluminum-skinned fuselage, shaped with a disk of 18 feet, the internal structure comprised a triangular truss made of metal. The propulsion, 124-blade “turborotor,” driven by three Continental J69-T-9 jet engines that provided 660 lbf of thrust, and was located on the center of the aircraft. The control of the Avrocar was performed by two crew, one a pilot, and one an observer, both located in opposite sides.

Avrocar aircraft. Source: Airforce

When tested, the aircraft revealed a stability problem and no good performance due to turbo-rotor tolerances. The funding of the project ran out, the company could not continue this project by its own, and the U.S. military felt that the aircraft even in a modified form did not merit continued development as they fulfilled their needs with other aircraft concepts.

The US military tried to develop a hovercraft in the 1950s. Source: Business Insider/Youtube

The two Avrocars are still intact, and are located in U.S. museums.


Cover photo:

The Avrocar S/N 58-7055 (marked AV-7055) on its rollout. Image from the book “Avrocar: Canada’s Flying Saucer, 2001″/…

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