How to Build a Flying Saucer
U.S.Air Force Project 1794, a proposal dated from 1956, describes construction of a vertical take-off/vertical landing saucer craft with a Mach 4 top speed.
Why was this not built? Or was it . . ?
(via NDC Blog)
The Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar was a VTOL aircraft developed by Avro Aircraft Ltd. (Canada) as part of a secret U.S. military project carried out in the early years of the Cold War. The Avrocar intended to exploit the Coandă effect to provide lift and thrust from a single “turborotor” blowing exhaust out the rim of the disk-shaped aircraft to provide anticipated VTOL-like performance. In the air, it would have resembled a flying saucer.
Originally designed as a fighter-like aircraft capable of very high speeds and altitudes, the project was repeatedly scaled back over time and the US Air Force eventually abandoned it. Development was then taken up by the US Army for a tactical combat aircraft requirement, a sort of high-performance helicopter. In flight testing, the Avrocar proved to have unresolved thrust and stability problems that limited it to a degraded, low-performance flight envelope; subsequently, the project was cancelled in September 1961.
Through the history of the program, the project was referred to by a number of different names. Avro referred to the efforts as Project Y, with individual vehicles known as Spade and Omega. Project Y-2 was later funded by the US Air Force, who referred to it as WS-606A, Project 1794 and Project Silver Bug. When the Army joined the efforts it took on its final name “Avrocar”, and the designation “VZ-9”, part of the US Army’s VTOL projects in the VZ series.