Tech

Declassified docs show Air Force flying saucer
Recently declassified documents from the U.S. Air Force reveal a Cold War-era plan to build a round, vertical take-off and landing aircraft that can only be described as a flying saucer.

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A close-up image shows the cockpit from a 1950s Air Force concept for a flying saucer.
National Archives

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Recently declassified documents reveal a 1950s U.S. Air Force effort to build a flying saucer.
National Archives

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“Six Armstrong Siddeley Viper turbo-jet s -- 1,900 lb. thrust, 22.0” overall diameter, 525 lb weight each -- are mounted radially in the wing, exhausting inwards; and used as gas generators to drive a pair of contra-rotating centrifigual impellers by means of a radial inflow turbine,” the document says.

National Declassification Center

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Much of the 114-page document is devoted to detailed descriptions and schematics of the propulsion system, as tested in a scale model seen in a series of photographs. But the report appears to conclude that the flying saucer was better in concept than actual execution. 

National Declassification Center

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A 1/6th scale, cut-away model of the flying saucer was used to test its ability to fly. 

National Declassification Center

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A recently declassified document from the mid 1950s reveals a U.S. Air Force plan for a flying saucer.
National Archives

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The forward-upper surface of the saucer, as tested in an M.I.T. wind tunnel. 

National Declassification Center

Fig_1_Cutaway

Recently declassified documents reveal a 1950s U.S. Air Force effort to build a flying saucer.
National Archives

Declassified docs show Air Force flying saucer

Recently declassified documents from the U.S. Air Force reveal a Cold War-era plan to build a round, vertical take-off and landing aircraft that can only be described as a flying saucer.

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