|UFOs Explained –– and Unsolved
by Peter Fotis Kapnistos
(Copyright © 2009 Peter Fotis Kapnistos)
Posted: 15:45 August 23, 2009
Some modern UFO myths were produced by the German development of rocketry and jet aircraft, which led to the missile and space programs of the Soviet Union and the United States. UFO sightings during World War II, mainly those known as foo fighters, were thought to be enemy craft. German flying discs were said to be advanced aircraft or spacecraft developed during World War II. Some believe that German scientists continued to develop flying saucers in Antarctica.
1950 - Giuseppe Belluzzo, an Italian scientist and former Minister of National Economy under Mussolini, said flying discs were designed in Germany and Italy as early as 1942. Quoted in the Italian newspaper Il Giornale d'Italia, Belluzzo said some great power was launching discs to study them. That same year, German engineer Rudolf Schriever gave an interview to the German magazine Der Spiegel, saying he had designed an aircraft powered by a circular plane of turbine blades, 49 feet in diameter. His team at BMW's Prague works had developed the Nazi flying disc project until April 1945, when he fled Czechoslovakia.
1952 – A company called Avro Canada began to study designs for a supersonic circular wing fighter-bomber, subsidized by the Canadian government. The Canadian government soon abandoned the flying disc project as being too costly, but enough progress had been made to spark the interest of the U.S. government.
1953 - German engineer Georg Klein said that while Avro Canada announced it was developing a circular jet aircraft with an estimated speed of 1,500 mph (2,400 km/h), such flying disc designs had originally been developed during the Third Reich.
1954 - The first of two U.S. Air Force contracts totaling $1.9 million was awarded to Avro for further study. Avro chipped in $2.5 million and completed design studies and small-scale test on a vehicle designated the P.V. 704 (U.S. designation, System 606A). The 606A flying disc design was almost 30 feet in diameter with a maximum weight of 27,000 lbs and a design speed over 1,000 mph.
1958 - The U.S. Army also became interested in the Avro project. The Air Force agreed to redirect its effort as this could demonstrate the design features of the 606A concept in less time at a much lower price. The resulting craft was named Avrocar and given the Army designation VZ-9AV (VZ for vertical take-off reseach aircraft, 9 as it was the ninth in a series and AV for Avro). The Avrocar was a saucer-shaped disk 18 feet in diameter and 3 feet thick. It was designed to go 300 mph and able to fly to an altitude of 10,000 feet. It weighed 5,650 lbs and had separate cockpits for two crewmembers.
1959 - Two flying disc prototypes rolled out of the Avro factory. The first Avrocar was sent to NASA Ames, Moffett Field in California. It flew in 1961 and was used for wind tunnel testing. The second Avrocar prototype was said to be aerodynamically unstable.
1961 - The Avrocar flying disc program was allegedly terminated after a total of $10 million had been spent. The two prototypes were finally put on exhibit in the United States, one at the US Army Transportation Museum and the other at the Smithsonian.
1975 - Stealth aircraft became possible during the 1970s when Lockheed adopted a mathematical model developed by Russian scientist Petr Ufimtsev to predict the radar signature an aircraft made with flat panels, called facets. Engineers at Lockheed found that an airplane with faceted surfaces could have a very low radar signature because the surfaces would radiate almost all of the radar energy away from the receiver.
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