The 1955 Avrocar is unarguably one of the most unusual flying machines that has ever been built to date. This is not surprising considering the fact that the attempt was to build a real “flying saucer” that was based on specific ducted-fan principles.
It is extremely difficult to call it either a flying platform or jeep. This unique machine the Avrocar was created by John Frost who was an aeronautical engineer at Avro Canada’s Malton-Toronto plant. In the early 1950’s, he conducted studies on the extremely unorthodox & unusual vertical-take-off aircraft.
John Frost started with a design which looked very much like a shovel blade and dubbed it the “Avro Ace” /”Project Y-1″. Before long, the design transitioned to a saucer-shaped aircraft, which was named “Project Y-2”.
Soon, John Frost thought that these aircraft would be able to offer vertical take-off capability and high-speed forward flight. Somewhere along the way, the military started looking at this concept with greater interest. In 1955, the company was awarded the US Air Force contract for experimental development of this aircraft.
Top Secret Project
At the outset, this entire project was top secret as it was believed that the technology was a major breakthrough. Eventually, the U.S Army and the Air Force funded a joint project called “The Frisbee shaped craft that evolved which was 5.5 meter (18 ft.) in diameter & 1.1 meter (3 ft.5 inch) thick at the center.
Eventually, the interceptor program was cancelled which led to disruption in the Avro program and in 1961, the military axed the entire program. Today, the 1st prototype of the Avrocar sits at the US Army Transportation Museum.
Avrocar Test Program, 01 June 1960 & Terrain test, 14 June 1961