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Spaceship-like 'Avrocar' among odd aircraft in new museum hangar


The National Museum of the United States Air Force will open its new 224,000-square-foot fourth building on Wednesday, June 8. In the days leading up to the opening, the Dayton Daily News will feature notable aircraft that will be on display in the new building.

Not all experimental aircraft are successful. Even if they look like spaceships.

In the late 1950s, the Canadian government canceled plans to pursue creation of an aircraft that could hover over the ground below radar then fly upward at supersonic speeds. The U.S. Army and Air Force took over the project in 1958 and asked that the aircraft be able to fly in any terrain for transport or obervsation and also be able to jump from hovering to very fast speeds.

Other notable aircraft in the new building
» Meet the Air Force Museum's supersonic, exotic bomber
» A look inside the POW savior Hanoi Taxi

The result was the Avrocar, named for the A.V. Row Aircraft Limited company that produced it. Its immediate impression on people: It looks like an alien vessel.

"It literally is a flying saucer," said museum curator Jeff Duford.

The Avrocar, whose program was canceled in 1961 when tests showed it couldn't perform as desired, is one of several out of the ordinary aircraft that will be on display in the National Museum of the United States Air Force's new fourth building, which opens on June 8.

They include the Tacit Blue, a plane developed in secret to test against advanced radar systems that proved curved surfaces could be included on stealth aircraft.



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