A few months ago some news sites went buggo with the declassification of several reports on the Avro-Canada Project 1794, a late 1950’s effort to develop a VTOL supersonic “flying saucer.” See, for example, Wired wildly inaccurately titled: “Declassified at Last: Air Force’s Supersonic Flying Saucer Schematics,” which ignores the fact that this design had been declassified fifteen or more years ago… I got a report from the NASM in the mid/late 1990’s, and have seen it online for *years.* Heck, a year or two back I made available some Avro documents on the topic (to thunderous silence, I’ll add).
While a technical masterpiece, it suffered from one minor flaw… it didn’t work. The “Avrocar” test vehicle proved wholly incapable of flight… it could hover in ground effect, and slowly wobble about, but could not generate enough vertical thrust to lurch clear of the ground.
Anyway, a few months back the National Archives declassified a box of reports, the tech blogosphere went nuts, and very little actually got posted online, just retreads of what the National Archives put in a single blog post. So, here’s some more Project 1794 stuff.