Written by Dabney B. on Monday, October 8th, 2012
The USAF had top-secret plans to build a flying saucer. No, I’m not joking — it turns out that conspiracy theorists may have been at least partially right all along.
The USAF recently declassified Cold War-era documents detailing their plan to construct an actual flying saucer. And it’s not just a normal plane shaped like a disc, either. This bad boy would have been able to pull off everything that you’d expect from an alien space ship, including hovering, vertical take-offs and landings, and top speeds of Mach 4. Combine that with modern-day laser technology and you’ve got a spacecraft that would look right at home in any classic science-fiction movie. Well… except for the gigantic “USAF” painted across the side of it.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the full blueprints, so it’s a bit difficult to glean how this aircraft would have operated. The accompanying declassified document gives us a basic idea: “It is concluded that the stabilization and control of the aircraft in the manner proposed – the propulsive jets are used to control the aircraft – is feasible and the aircraft can be designed to have satisfactory handling through the whole flight range from ground cushion take-off to supersonic flight at very high altitude.” It sounds similar to vector technology that you would find in a Harrier or an F-35. The flying saucer probably would have used its propulsive jets to create downward thrust.
These documents also fail to explain why the program was cancelled, though it’s possible that the price tag had something to do with it. The report estimated a total cost at around $3,168,000 ($26.6 million by today’s standards). There’s also a good chance that the ideas proved to be impractical. Military organizations have tried to build aircraft with hovering technology before, and they usually have trouble getting off the ground.
In any event, the USAF cut the program in 1960. Was that the end of America’s flying saucer program, or will we try to tackle it again with today’s hardware? If they ever manage to build one, the big question will be figuring out how to pilot it. Would a helicopter pilot be best suited for a flying saucer, or would a jet pilot be a better candidate? That would present the USAF with a difficult hurdle — one that Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. could help overcome. This military consulting firm has expert pilots on staff that can provide test and evaluation services, even for bizarre, experimental aircraft like the flying saucer. Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. will be the best bet until Martians decide to swing by Earth and give us a few piloting lessons.
If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.