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AVRO CAR VZ-9AV “Flying Saucer”

    In 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 altitudes.

  The 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 car (flying saucer) test flight in Canada

Avro flight test, Canada

 
 mews[a[er article with photo about Avro Car

Above, a Montreal newspaper report of the Canadian government's withdrawal of funding for the Avro 'flying saucer' project, 1953.

 
 Look maazine article about Avro Car

Above, an article in the June 1955 edition of LOOK Magazine, exposing the 'secret' AVRO project by the Canadians.

 
inspecting the Avro Car

      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.

artist concept of Avro Car -- troop movement artist concept of Avro Car -- supply operations artist concept of Avro Car -- artillery firing platform

 Variations on a theme . . .

    The 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 hoped. 

   During flight tests, the Avro Car reached speeds of 35 mph, but became increasingly unstable at altitudes of more than a few feet.

diagram of Avro Car
Engines: 3 - 920 lbs Continental YJ69-T-9-turbojets
Diameter:                              26 ft 10 in
Height:                                   5 ft 6 in
Weight:                                5,650 lbs

Where is the Flying Saucer today?

   The AVRO CAR - more popularly known as the Army's flying saucer - is not currently on display at Transportation Museum, Fort Eustis.

   We are 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.

   We 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.

   At present, we do not have a projected completion date for its restoration.

Avro car (flying saucer) test flight in Canada

 

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