We introduced you some of the weirdest aircraft of the 20th century before, but now it's time to talk about Earth's fleets of flying saucers. Check out these vehicles and concepts that show how we've been building UFOs all along.
VZ-9 Avrocar, a VTOL aircraft developed by the Canadian Avro Aircraft, introduced in 1958
Only two of them were built for the U.S. Army. It had serious stability problems and the project was cancelled in September 1961.
A patent for a ferris wheel-like flying machine by Friedrich Alexander Jone, June 14, 1898
The Umbrella Plane or the McCormick-Romme plane, 1911
The famous aircraft builder Chance Vought built the first ever disc-form aircraft, the umbrellaplane, in 1911. It flew several times at Chicago's Cicero Field, according to contemporary sources.
Nemeth Circle Aircraft or Roundwing, 1934
The aircraft with a circular wing on top of the fuselage was designed by an aeronautical engineer named Stephen Paul Nemeth.
Vought-Zimmerman V-173, the "Flying Pancake", designed by Charles H. Zimmerman for the US Navy during WWII
The first flight was on 23 November 1942, and it had almost 200 more (in 131.8 hours) to 31 March 1947, when the experimental test aircraft was retired.
Sack AS-6, the Luftwaffe's only flying saucer, designed by Arthur Sack, 1944
Most of the parts came from a wrecked Messerschmitt Bf 109b and the engine from a Messerschmitt Bf 108. After some unsuccessful takeoff runs in 1944, the AS-6 was broken up to salvage the wood.
The Northrop NS-97 concept, designed by Nick Stasinos, 1950
Couzinet RC360 Aerodyne, by the French designer René Couzinet, 1952
Avro Project 1794, 1956
You can read the 117-page declassified document about the concept here.
Saucer-Shaped Aircraft, invented by Constantin P. Lent, 1957
Avro Weapons Systems 606A (WS-606A), late 1950s
A Patent of a Fluid Sustained Aircraft, by Leonor Zalles Freeland, 1963
The Dynafan by the Astro Kinetics Corporation, 1963
The British Rail flying saucer, designed by Charles Osmond Frederick, patented in 1970, granted in 1973
The inventor wanted to use this saucer as a large passenger craft for interplanetary travel. It was to be powered by controlled thermonuclear fusion reaction, using laser beams.
The Russian Flying Saucer, the EKIP or Tarielka, a series of experimental Soviet aircrafts built by Lev Nikolaevich Schukin between 1978 and 1996
The first tests were successful, but after the fall of the Soviet Union the funding of the project was stopped. Schukin and few other scientists could continue the project until 1996, when it was finally ended.
A 300 ton version could carrying 100 tons of passengers and cargo, according to Schukin.
The Thermoplan, under development in Russia since the late 1980s
The main section is filled with helium, and the other is filled with air that can be heated or cooled.
The project was cancelled in the 1990s, but it was revived by the company Lokomosky under the name Locomoskyner.
Disc-Shaped Submersible Aircraft, patented by Gennady Ploshkin, 1997
The unmanned Fenstar 50, by the British firm GFS (Geoff's Flying Saucers), 2002
It has an internal combustion engine and works by blowing air over its top.
(via Aviation Week)
Moller M200X, M200G Volantor (recently renamed to M200 Neuera), designed by Paul Moller
The M200 Neuera uses eight computer-controlled fans to hover up to 10 ft (3 m ) above the ground. Moller is attempting to build a successful flying car since 1974.