The US Air Force recently declassified documents that detail a plan to contract a Canadian company to build a flying saucer capable of flying at Mach 4 and landing and taking off vertically. According to CNET, Project 1794, as it was known, had a development budget in 1956 of $3.168 million (about $27 million in 2012 dollars) and envisioned a strike aircraft that could still operate without the runways that would presumably have been destroyed by nuclear strikes from Russia.
Avro Canada apparently came up with the idea. "It is concluded that the stabilization and control of the aircraft in the manner proposed -- the propulsive jets are used to control the aircraft -- is feasible and the aircraft can be designed to have satisfactory handling through the whole flight range from ground cushion takeoff to supersonic flight at very high altitude," Avro said.
Since the declassified drawings look so much like the alien spacecraft that were rampantly reported about the same time, it begs some questions that are there for the answering by enterprising historians and/or conspiracy theorists.
The truth is that Avro did build a little flying saucer called the Avrocar in a contract for the Army, which was looking for a low-flying VTOL aircraft. The Avrocar didn't work very well and the project was cancelled in 1961. As for the more ambitious Project 1794, the details of its demise are in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The Archives has only gone through a couple of boxes of the flying saucer files but the rest of them are available.
Source: AVweb, Russ Niles
Gravity always wins!
This reminds me of something I heard only recently (from a family member who had seen or read it-- can't necessarily vouch for my reciting it 100%) about declassification of some US air force information. Apparently, there are former aviation personnel from these bases who claim they were paid to paint the silhouettes of fake "top secret" aircraft on the runways for when the Russian satellites would fly overhead (remember the fuzzy quality of satellite imagery while the Cold War was still going on). They would repaint the aircraft in different positions so it looked like the aircraft were changing positions from day-to-day. They also talked about painting just ridiculous aircraft designs, massive super-fortress planes with six wings, jet engines, strange helicopters and other aircraft, and so on, just to make it less boring and more importantly confuse anyone who would ever look at the satellite photos. Silly I know, but I thought that it's pretty interesting, if true.
Aviation is proof that given the will we have the capacity to achieve the impossible - E.R.
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