Project 1794: Plans for an Air Force flying saucer (images)
This declassified cover image from a 1956 document titled "Project 1794, Final Development Summary Report" shows an artist's concept of U.S. Air Force plans for a flying saucer. Built by Canada's Avro Aircraft, the saucer was supposed to fly at speeds of up to Mach 4. But apparently, it barely got off the ground.
The saucer was to be powered by a large central turbine, and generate lift and thrust from the Coanda effect, which governs the behavior of fluid jets.
Under the hood
The 1956 plans show that the saucer would have room for one pilot. The craft was designed to have a range of more than 1,000 nautical miles.
The price of a saucer
This declassified report by Avro Aircraft of Canada cites the costs for the saucer development program at $3.16 million for 18 to 24 months. The sum is about $26 million today.
Avro had built the controversial Arrow supersonic interceptor, which was abruptly cancelled in 1959. Project 1794, the plan to build a flying saucer for the U.S. Air Force, never got beyond the testing phase.
The long-lost Avrocar
Project 1794 was a variant of the Avrocar, a smaller saucer that Avro was building for the U.S. military amid Cold War tensions. It fared poorly during tests and was ultimately canceled in 1961.