Mentioning René Couzinet’s Circular Planform, VTOL Aircraft (France)


1-Jan-2000 -  In reply to our FOIA request for the US Air Force Air Intelligence Digest (AID) article "The Flying Disc" mentioned in the Project Silver Bug report,  the Air Force Historical Research Agency informed us that this material had already been declassified and therefore was no longer a "record" under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.  We were offered a roll of 16mm microfilm for purchase which contained several years of Air Intelligence Digest issues including the desired material.

We went through the complete roll and found, in addition to the article we originally sought, a brief mention of a circular planform aircraft under development in France.  This material is reproduced below.  Wendy Connors of the Project Sign Research Center has kindly provided much better quality copies of the two photographs in the article than the images on the microfilm.

Additional information regarding this French aeronautical design pioneer may be viewed at:     (French language)

- Jim Klotz - CUFON SYSOP


The DIGEST  Air Intelligence
[Click Here to View AID cover]

February 1956  Volume 9  Number 2

Published by the Directorate of Intelligence  UNITED STATES AIR FORCE



Page 42


VTOL AIRCRAFT.  Here are two views of René Couzinet’s original design of a circular planform, vertical take-off-and-landing aircraft.  It is claimed that his improved version has undergone preliminary wind tunnel tests.  [CONFIDENTIAL]

Couzinet has improved his flying saucer

René Couzinet of France reportedly has improved his original design of a circular planform, vertical take-off-and-landing aircraft.  The reported specifications for the improved version are:

Span:  44.6 feet
Lifting surface area:  645.6 square feet
Six Lycoming engines (180 hp each): 1,080 hp
One turbojet (Marcel Dassault Viper): 1,639 pounds thrust
Empty weight: 9,900 pounds
Useful load:  19,800 pounds
Total weight:  27,700 pounds

According to the report, the modified version incorporates a principle of operation similar to that used in Couzinet’s original proposal, that is, two contra-rotating discs superimposed to annul gyroscopic effect.  The discs are supported by a fixed central section in which the cockpit, the engines, and landing gear are located.  There are now 50 adjustable vanes around the periphery of each disc instead of the 48 in the earlier proposal.

It is claimed that this improved version has already undergone preliminary wind tunnel tests, and is expected to be flown in April.  [CONFIDENTIAL]  End


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