> Strange Vehicles > Avro
Canada VZ-9V Avrocar
The Avro Canada VZ-9V Avrocar was a flying saucer in the true sense
of the word. It used three turbojets to turn a central impeller which
kept it airborne by providing downward thrust. A vane and shutter
system allowed the aircraft to be maneuvered by venting thrust in
any direction desired.
It was capable of carrying two crew seated in separate enclosed cockpits
on either side of the aircraft. Total diameter of the Avrocar was
18 feet (5.5 metres), however it measured only 3.5 feet (1.07 metres)
The Avrocar was first proposed in the early 1950s by the Avro company
to the Canadian government. Later the United States government showed
a great deal of interest and ploughed alot of money into the project.
It was originally envisaged as a VTOL aircraft, and there were wild
claims in the Canadian Defense Ministry that the aircraft would be
capable of 1,500 mph.
Development of the aircraft was long and problematic. It appeared
in several different forms throughout the development program, and
each time the goals of the project were scaled back. It proved to
be unstable at heights over about 8 feet, and any hope of it achieving
its claimed speeds were soon dashed. A sedate 35 mph was the highest
speed ever attained by the Avrocar. The US Army showed some degree
of interest briefly while they were trying to develop a "Flying
Jeep". But it wasn't enough to save the project and the plug
was finally pulled in 1961.
The first Avrocar built (Serial no. 58-7055) currently resides in
the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.
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