US Designs Supersonic Flying Saucer – in the ’50s

October 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Posted in History, Science, Strange, Technology, Transportation | Leave a comment

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Recent declassified documents from the US Air Force indicates they designed and began prototyping a flying saucer in the 1950’s. They hired Avro Air, a Canadian Co., to test the specs. Called USAF Project 1794, it was designed for vertical takeoff and landing, a top speed of about Mach 4, a ceiling of over 100,000 feet, and a range of over 1,000 nautical miles.

Testing concluded it was quite feasible, with a top speed higher than initially expected. It doesn’t appear a full prototype was actually built. They estimated a cost a little over $3 million ($26.6 mill in todays $) over 2 years to do so. It would have an average top speed of about 2,600 miles per hour.

Structure Cutaway

As the archives point out, they had a curiously strong resemblance to flying saucers depicted in popular science fiction films of the mid-50’s.

The US Archives

Wired comments

Given the troubles with the later “Avrocar“, a related project between the USAF and Avro, the early testing seems to have been overly optimistic.

David

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