Canada's Flying Saucer
developments in aircraft design are well represented
in literature. For example, one can read about Canadian
efforts in the production of Lancaster bombers or in
the subsequent design of the CF-100 Canuck jet fighter.
Even the Avro Jetliner and the controversial Arrow
have been the subjects of books. Squirreled away in
Ottawa's National Archives of Canada though, are files
which detail aspects of our aviation history which
have not been extensively covered in the mainstream
literature but which are nevertheless a very real part
of our aviation heritage. These files discuss the Canadian
Government's involvement in the study of unidentified
flying objects (UF0s) and in the design and development
of an actual "flying saucer" for the United
States Air Force (USAF).
CIA had interrogated a number of former German soldiers
who claimed of having worked on saucer-like aircraft.
As it turned out, members of the RCAF and National
Research Council (NRC) had also interrogated some of
these German engineers about this strange work.
Avro engineer John Frost was project director for the Avrocar. Prior to that he was a project engineer on the CF- 100 jet fighter.
was made chief design engineer for Special Projects
A.V. Roe (SPAR). By 1952, not to be left behind in
the technological race for vertical take-off and
landing vehicles, he had coauthored two technical
reports for the design of a circular wing vehicle
or, flying saucer. Initially the vehicle was more
of a horseshoe or spade shape design. It was called
Project Y. It would sit on its tail at an angle,
with the pilot looking skyward, as he would if he
were in a rocket. He would land in a similar fashion.
This made take-off and landing rather difficult and
uncertain for the pilot.
designs caught the interest of Dr Omond Solandt,
then chairman of DRB and chair of Project Second
Storey, the flying saucer committee that had
been established as requested in 1950, by the minister
of national defence. Dr Solandt encouraged Frost
in his work and provided approximately $300,000 in
development funding. He also brought the project
to the attention of the British military, and Duncan
Sandys, Britain's minister of supply. The ministry
though had reservations about the project. Eventually,
Dr Solandt put Frost in touch with Gen D.C. Putt,
head of the USAF Air Research and Development Command.
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