ADA-Avro Car-History
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The Avro VTOL Project
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The AV Roe Canada Avro Car was a top secret project under the control of engineer John Frost, and his "Special Projects Group" at Avro Canada in the 1950's. It was a project that was run independant of the principal Avro designers/engineers and was separated from the main facility, across the road at the Scheafer building under high security (now beside the IX Center at Pearson Int'l Airport).
The project was studying what was called the "Coanda Effect" and it's goal was to create high performance VTOL (verticle take off and landing) aircraft using this theory.
John Frost was an english engineer that had worked for de Havilland aircraft during the war and when coming to Avro Canada he took over the inital design work of the CF-100 (Canuck). It was working on this project he experienced professional conflicts with Avro Canada Chief Aerodynamacist Jim Chamberlin. After design flaws in the CF-100 wing spar, Frost was removed as CF-100 Project Designer in early 1952. FYI: the prototype CF-100 identification was FBD, the people at Avro joking referred to it as "Frost's Bad Design". A polish born engineer, Waclaw Czerwinski, redesigned the wing spar and eliminated the issue.
Frost then moved to his experimantal SPG and the group started the studies of a new engine design, which was to power his VTOL ground cushion aircraft in 1952. In 1953 his Project "Y" design was in mock up and his funding from the Defence Research Board dried up. His wooden spade shaped design cost $4,000.000.00.
The Avro Omega-2
His next project was the "Y-2" and his designs raised interest from the USAF and funding from Avro, allowed the SPG to continue and this new VTOL was known as Weapon Systems 606A The Avro funding paid for the construction of an engine test rig for the new "pancake shaped" engine design. The US Army also became interested in the Avrocar and joined in a joint venture with the USAF and the two forces funded the project with over $4,000.000 USD.
A new simplier design was adopted from the Special Project Group, and a "proof-of-concept" vehicle, the VZ-9-AV "Avrocar", was created.
Avro test pilot "Spud" Potocki flew the Avrocar at the Malton facility where it exhibited a "hubcapping" effect in flight and could not break ground effect. It flew approx 3ft off the ground at a speed of 20mph.
Only two Avrocars were built for a joint USAF/USArmy project study. After wind tunnel testing at NASA Ames Laboritory, stability and performance issues were found and before redesign the "flying saucer" project was cancelled in March 1961. Both Avrocars ownership reverted to the US government after Avro closure as they paid for the Avrocar prototypes.
Today the Avrocars can be seen at the National Museum of the US Air Force (Dayton OH.) and
The United States Army Transportation Museum.
National Museum of the US Air Force
Newly Restored!
The United States Army Transportation Museum.
Now, current status of our AVROCAR is that is has been taken off of exhibit for restoration and refubishment.
John Frost left Canada after the AV Roe Canada closure in 1962, and in 1964 he moved to New Zealand. There he joined the Civil Air Authority and later Air New Zealand.
Frost died from a heart attack in Auckland, New Zealand on 9 October 1979 at the age of 63.
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