Archive for September, 2011

Before its time?

September 2, 2011

The Avrocar located in Dayton, Ohio, US | Atlas Obscura | Curious and Wondrous Travel Destinations

In flight-testing, the Avrocar proved to have unresolved thrust and stability problems. The saucer proved immensely difficult to fly with very sensitive controls, and one pilot likened flying it to “balancing on a beach ball.” Though the Avrocar was made to fly up to 190 km/h and it was believed with some modifications the project was salvageable, funding ran out and the project was canceled in September 1961.

Nowadays, when any geek who can follow directions can build a four-rotor helicopter with cheap microcontrollers that adjust the attitude 30 times a second, it seems that all those designs for flying stuff that was dangerously unstable would now be a piece of cake. Of course, I could be wrong.