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Light years ahead of its time: the British prototype of the experimental plane known as Project Y was designed, in Canada to take off and land vertically

The Sunday Times
March 26 2000
Revealed - Britain's 1950s flying saucer
Jonathan Leake, Science Editor
Saucerful of secrets: the disc-shaped AVRO plane was intended to fly at 2,500mph

It is the nearest the RAF got to a UFO. Recently discovered photographs taken at a secret laboratory in the 1950s reveal for the first time how close Britain came to developing a saucer-shaped stealth fighter after the second world war.
The pictures, taken at a research centre in Canada, show a revolutionary ultra-high-speed jet fighter designed by the British engineer John Frost. Aviation experts who studied the pictures last week said the jet incorporated some of the features on America's stealth fighter plane.

Work on the aircraft in the 1950s was code named Project Y. Frost and his team initially set out to build a disc-shaped machine with vertical takeoff, but ended with a sleek, arch-shaped aircraft.

"The pictures are a wonderful find," said David Windle, who has researched the history of Project Y. "It is technology that Britain just lost and it is a pity the project was abandoned. Who knows what would have happened if they had pursued it."



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