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  Home > -Quick Reference DVD Guide >

Nuclear Space Ships, Avro Flying Saucers, Roswell Incidents & More
Photos from the Nuclear Space Ships, Avro Flying Saucers, Roswell Incidents & More DVD
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Nuclear Space Ships, Avro Flying Saucers
The Roswell Report & More

Six Fascinating Films!



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Nuclear Space Ships, Avro Flying Saucers, The Roswell Report & More Over 2 hours of six fascinating films that are “really out there!”

* Nuclear Propulsion in Space (1968, 25:00, Color) Today using a nuclear reactor to power a space ship may seem like pure science fiction, but in fact, the United States did in depth testing and development of nuclear powered space flight staring in the 1950s and its still considered a viable system for deep space exploration and interplanetary missions to this day. Successful prototype engines were developed and tested before the program was canceled due to competition for funding during the Vietnam War.

The chief advantage of nuclear propulsion over traditional systems like those used on the Saturn moon rockets is that nuclear engines ares approximately twice as efficient in generating forward propulsion carrying an equivalent weight of fuel. That doesn't make a significant difference in moon missions, but it's a game changer for long distance round trip missions to Mars and beyond.

This progress report was issued by NASA and Nuclear Energy Commission in 1968 and covers R&D programs going back to Los Alamos in the early 1950s, through full power testing at Jackass Flats in Nevada and later at a facility near Sacramento California in the 1960s. Testing was supervised by “The Space Nuclear Propulsion Office” (SNPO), primarily as the “NERVA” program. (“Nuclear Engines for Rocket Vehicle Applications”) You'll see everything from the theory of nuclear propulsion and its potential for space exploration, through the evolution of successive systems, to full power testing shown in vivid color.

* Flying Saucers from Canada: Design, Development and Testing of the VZ-9AV “Avrocar” Over an hour of very detailed “progress report” films produced in color by Avro Canada, submitted for review by the U.S.A.F. and U.S.Army.

Avrocar Progress Report: February 1st 1958- May 1st 1959 (20 minutes)
Avrocar Disc Flight Development Progress Report May 2nd 1959- April 12th 1960 (23 Minutes)
Avrocar Continuation Test Program and Terrain Test Program 1960-1961 (20 minutes)

From the US. Air Force Museum:

The Avrocar was the result of a Canadian effort to develop a supersonic, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) fighter-bomber in the early 1950s. However, its circular shape gave it the appearance of a “flying saucer” out of science fiction movies.

A.V. Roe (Avro) Aircraft Limited (later Avro Canada) based its design concept for the Avrocar on using the exhaust from turbojet engines to drive a circular “turborotor” which produced thrust. By directing this thrust downward, the turborotor would create a cushion of air (also known as “ground effect”) upon which the aircraft would float at low altitude. When the thrust was directed toward the rear, the aircraft would accelerate and gain altitude.

In 1952, the Canadian government provided initial funding but dropped the project when it became too expensive. Avro offered the project to the U.S. government, and the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force took it over in 1958. Each service had different requirements: the Army wanted to use it as a subsonic, all-terrain troop transport and reconnaissance craft, but the USAF wanted a VTOL aircraft that could hover below enemy radar then zoom up to supersonic speed. Avro’s designers believed they could satisfy both services, but these two sets of requirements differed too much.

Research data originally indicated that a circular wing might satisfy both the Army’s and Air Force’s requirements, and Avro built two small test vehicles to prove the concept. Designated the VZ-9AV Avrocar (“VZ” stood for “experimental vertical flight,” “9” for the ninth concept proposal, and “AV” for Avro).

Tests with scale models at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, indicated that the cushion of air under the Avrocar would become unstable just a few feet off the ground. The aircraft would be incapable of reaching supersonic speeds, but the testing went ahead to determine if a suitable aircraft could be developed for the Army. The first prototype was sent to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. There, wind tunnel tests proved that the aircraft had insufficient control for high speed flight and was aerodynamically unstable.

The second Avrocar prototype underwent flight tests that validated the wind tunnel tests. If it flew more than three feet above the ground, the Avrocar displayed uncontrollable pitch and roll motions, which the Avro engineers called "hubcapping." The Avrocar could only reach a maximum speed of 35 mph, and all attempts to end the hubcapping failed. The project was cancelled in December 1961.

* The Roswell Reports (1992 Color 25:00) The so called “Roswell Incidents” are perennial fodder for cable TV exposes. This is a concise film summary of the United States Air Force's 800+ page reports issued in the 1990s in response to “Roswell Incident” stories in New Mexico going back to 1947. UFO sightings, “Space Ship” crash sites, Area 51, secret bases, abductions, alien autopsies, the “red haired man” and more are covered. In every case, the Air Force gives a rational explanation or rebuttal to those sensational reports.

That's interesting in itself, but in fact, New Mexico and surrounding states were a hotbed of AeroSpace and military prototype testing and development during this time. Many reports of “Alien Activity,” were in fact generated by events like extreme high altitude parachute drops, weather balloons, reentry capsule tests, missile range testing and more, many of them “top secret” at the time, that could only be made public later.

So an added bonus in the report is a fascinating window on advanced Aerospace testing and the personnel who risked their lives doing it during the Cold War, much of which was either under reported or is now completely forgotten.

* Hiller “Flying Platform” Tests (1951-1959,Color,20:00) Although it never got past the prototype testing, Hiller's “Flying Platform” featuring an infantryman “flying” a small circular propeller driven platform beneath him, was a popular choice among scale modelers and in “Army Man” toy soldier sets in the 1950s and 60s because it was, well, really cool! These are color films were produced by Hiller to document prototype test flights.

From Wikipedia:” U.S. Army designation; earlier Army designation: HO-1) was a unique direct-lift rotor aircraft, using contra-rotating ducted fans for lift inside a platform upon which the single pilot shifted body weight for directional control. The platform was developed starting in 1953 under an Office of Naval Research (ONR) contract to Hiller Aircraft, and flew successfully beginning in 1955.”

For the in depth report see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiller_VZ-1_Pawnee


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