We finally have the first absolutely 100 percent confirmed sighting of a fully functional flying saucer. Before you cancel your attempt to naruto run at Area 51 to find an alien version, we should probably mention that this particular flying saucer was created by humans.
A team of scientists and engineers in Romania has developed a first of its kind, hyper-maneuverable flying saucer. Demonstrating an ADIFO (All Direction Flying Object) prototype, the team says a full-scale model would create “a new and revolutionary flight paradigm", and fly like the UFOs depicted in fiction for decades.
At low altitudes and speeds, the saucer uses ducted fans, as you'd see in a normal quadrocopter. At higher speeds and altitudes, it uses jet engines loaded to the rear of the saucer. The vehicle also has lateral nozzles, which allow it to perform sudden verticle or horizontal movements at high speeds, much like flying saucers in sci-fi movies. They claim that by using all the methods of thrust simultaneously, ADIFO can perform unique maneuvers "superior to any known aircraft", including sudden stops at speed while maintaining altitude, and full maneuverability while flying upside down.
Romanian engineer Razvan Sabie and aerodynamicist Iosif Taposu, who are the minds behind the creation, say that – in a full-sized version of the aircraft – “the only limit to maneuverability is the pilot’s imagination.”
The team tested their design using this 4-foot prototype. ADIFO Aircraft / Vimeo.
"The ADIFO name comes from All Direction Flying Object. ADIFO is the first flying VTOL aircraft in the world, able to fly in all directions, under the same aerodynamic characteristics," the team writes alongside a video of their project, which is the result of more than two decades of work.
"Actually, ADIFO is a special circular wing with high flight performances. Let's say that it's the first 'flying saucer' in the world which really flies and it's designed to reach in the near future more and more high performances, pretty close to the performances described in the popular culture related to [this] kind of aircraft."
A full-scale version, the engineers say, will produce no shock wave on the disk's surface or sonic boom.
The team says that the aircraft has potential applications as an unmanned aerial vehicle, an unmanned combat drone, or even as a fighter aircraft, given its low signature on radar (on disk-shaped objects such as this, radar signals are weakened and mostly reflected away).
The next stage of development, Motherboard reports, will be more tests and simulations to confirm the disk's capabilities of flying at transonic and supersonic speeds.
Before you get excited and cancel your order for deadly conventional military drones (looking at you, America), there have been several attempts in the past to create flying saucers that have never really taken off, Motherboard reports, including the cool and retro-looking (but ultimately useless) craft from the US military in the video below.