Feeds

USAF declassifies ‘flying saucer’ design

Spiked 1950s project had high hopes

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

If it had ever got off the ground, the US Air Force’s 1950s flying saucer would have gone a long way off the ground: all the way to 100,000 feet.

A paper recently declassified and made public at America’s National Archives details the project: a few million spent assessing the design feasibility of a flying saucer.

The USAF's recently-declassified flying saucer design. Source: US National Archive

The paper, dated 1 June 1956 – not April Fool’s day, then – was written by Canada’s Avro Aircraft, the contractor in charge of construction, and presents the final development summary of “Project 1794”. The design brief for the aircraft was ambitious: as well as the 100,000-foot ceiling, it was to be a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft with a top speed of Mach 4 and a 1,000-mile range.

Project 1794’s propulsion was to be achieved by spinning the outer disk, exploiting the Coandă effect – the attraction between a fluid and a surface that are moving with respect to each other.

The National Archives post doesn’t mention whether or not any were ever actually flown. At the time the report was prepared, the contractors seemed quite optimistic, stating that “the calculated thrust potential with the present design will provide a much superior performance to that estimated at the start of contract negotiations”.

However, even with a modest $3.168 million estimate for further development, the Air Force doesn’t seem to have ever built a flying saucer. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.