AVRO CAR VZ-9AV “Flying
1952, a Canadian firm, A. V. Roe Aircraft Limited,
launched a project to develop a supersonic
fighter-bomber that could take off and land
vertically, cruise at low altitudes on a cushion of
air, and accelerate to high speeds at higher
Canadian government eventually abandoned funding for
the project because of cost. The U.S. military then
became interested, and in July 1954, the US
government awarded A. V. Roe two contracts, worth
nearly $2 million to continue the study. Although
the project remained in Canada, it was owned and
controlled by the United States.
Avro flight test,
Above, a Montreal
newspaper report of the Canadian
government's withdrawal of funding for
the Avro 'flying saucer' project, 1953.
Above, an article
in the June 1955 edition of LOOK
Magazine, exposing the 'secret' AVRO
project by the Canadians.
The Army was looking for a subsonic, all-terrain
reconnaissance and troop-transport vehicle that was
rugged and adaptable. The Army wanted to replace
their light observation aircraft and helicopters.
They hoped the Avro Car would have the capability to
carry up to 1,000 pounds, and fly at 30 mph for at
least 30 minutes. The Air Force wanted a VTOL
that could hover beneath enemy radar and then rocket
into the stratosphere at supersonic speeds.
blue print for the Avro Car promised hovering
take-off and landing, and upward speeds of 300 mph
at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Unfortunately, the
Avro Car was unable to perform as engineers had
flight tests, the Avro Car reached speeds of 35 mph,
but became increasingly unstable at altitudes of
more than a few feet.
Engines: 3 - 920 lbs Continental
26 ft 10 in
5 ft 6 in
Where is the Flying
AVRO CAR - more popularly known as the Army's flying
saucer - is not currently on display at
Transportation Museum, Fort Eustis.
in the process of restoring the AVRO CAR to bring it
back to its original appearance. Once complete, it
will be on permanent display in the Cold War area of
the new Bellino Gallery.
consider the AVRO CAR an important example of the
Army's transportation, research and development
heritage. The Transportation Museum, the Museum
Foundation, and the leadership of Fort Eustis are
committed to accomplishing this restoration project
in order to provide a display worthy of the history
of the AVRO CAR.
present, we do not have a projected completion date
for its restoration. AWM