By Michael Rhodes, National Archives
Recently declassified records from the Aeronautical Systems Division, USAF (RG 342 – Records of United States Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations) reveal some surprising, perhaps never-before-seen images:
The above illustration was discovered in the pages of a document titled “Project 1794, Final Development Summary Report” (d.1956) The caption reads “USAF Project 1794”. However, the Air Force had contracted the work out to a Canadian company, Avro Aircraft Limited in Ontario, to construct the disk-shaped craft. According to the same report, it was designed to be a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) plane designed to reach a top speed of Mach 4, with a ceiling of over 100,000 feet, and a range of over 1,000 nautical miles.
Curiously, these pictures bear a strong resemblance to ‘flying saucers’ in popular science fiction films made during the years these reports were created: 1956 and 1957.
Source: National Archives