Nick Stasinos' NS-97 Flying Saucer project

Stargazer2006

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As early as the end of World War II, Northrop showed interest in fhe "flying saucer" design. A secret December 1947 memo indicates that a number of key people* were contacted in order to verify whether or not any such design at any time was contemplated or existed in the files of any German air research institute. All these people, contacted independently and at different times, were very insistent on the fact that "to their knowledge and belief no such design" had "ever existed nor was projected by any of the German air research institutions". While they agreed that "such a design would be highly practical and desirable", they did not "know anything about its possible realization now or in the past." Therefore, with no existing data available from the Germans, Northrop proceeded with its own research.

The NS-97 was one of the few disc-shaped aircraft projects to get beyond the drawing-board stage. It was the brainchild of Nick Stasinos, an engineering graduate of the Northrop Aeronautical Institute, shown left holding his model for press photographers on Nov. 11, 1950. Stasinos's disc had a revolving outer shell and held eight turbo-jet ports. The center of the disc stayed stationary, along with the cockpit for the pilot. Two main jets provided the push and the eight turbo-jets provided the spin. Though very aerodynamic in design, the NS-97 apparently wasn't intended to fly, and it probably never went past the model stage.

Although this is subject to controversy, the disc appears to have been in storage at some point at the "Ripley's Believe It or Not" museum in New York, City, which no longer exists; its current whereabouts are not known. Stasinos died of a heart attack in the early 1970's on one of the Los Angeles freeways. The original Stasinos photos are archived at the Project SIGN Research Center.

* The people contacted included: aircraft designer Walter Horten; Fraulein von der Groeben, former Secretary to Air Force General Udet ; Günter Heinrich, former office for research of the High Command of the Air Force in Berlin; Professor Betz, former chief of Aerodynamic Institute in Goettingen; and Eugen, former test pilot.

Sources:
http://www.destinationspace.net/ufo/connors/flyingdiscs.asp (BROKEN LINK)
http://www.laesieworks.com/ifo/lib/index-designs.html
http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Rec/rec.aviation.military/2007-04/msg01687.html

The real NS-97 (top) and an artist's version of the same picture for the 'Soucoupes Volantes' image series produced for the French company Biscottes d'Or in the 1950s (bottom).
 

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Orionblamblam

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I'm calling "hogwash" on most of this. It was designed by a *student* at the Northrop Aeronautical Institute, not at Northrop itsel. if the "saucer" was built, it was built as a small display model.
 

Avimimus

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I don't know about that. The Avrocar flew. I'm not so sure that this could do the same.
Still, it is interesting as a source of cold water to pour on Nazi UFOs whenever they appear.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Beware of citing Rob Arndt as a source for anything.

I'm going to rename the topic I think.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Renamed and moved topic. According to one of the links you include it didn't end up at the Ripley's Believe it or not. So I'd take everything with several handfuls of salt.
 

Orionblamblam

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overscan said:
Renamed and moved topic. According to one of the links you include it didn't end up at the Ripley's Believe it or not.

Well, it *might* have gone there. But I'd bet a dollar that the "saucer" was a model a foot wide or so, while the people looking for it are looking for something full-sized. A model of a flying saucer made by some college kid fifty years ago could easily be missed or even disposed out.

So I'd take everything with several handfuls of salt.

Always wise.
 

Stargazer2006

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Re: Northrop NS-97 Flying saucer project (1950)

Orionblamblam said:
I'm calling "hogwash" on most of this. It was designed by a *student* at the Northrop Aeronautical Institute, not at Northrop itsel. if the "saucer" was built, it was built as a small display model.
I never said this was a full-scale saucer... The article says it all: only a tiny model was built. I guess I should have added the picture mentioned in the article to avoid possible confusion... Here it is now.
As for the Northrop name, the project was presented as the Northrop NS-97 in all my sources. The filiation is certainly a loose one, and the "NS" in the designation stands for its designer's initials, NOT Northrop, but I made no secret of that either... it's pretty obvious!
 

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Matej

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No, it didn't fly. It just cut the grass!

But to compare the "flight" characteristics of this design with the Avrocar is adequate. Here is also the main problem the stability in air - even with the current technologies hardly achievable. Imagine its stability as the brick, lifted by the stream of air.
 

Bartosz

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Sources:
http://www.destinationspace.net/ufo/connors/flyingdiscs.asp (BROKEN LINK)
http://www.laesieworks.com/ifo/lib/index-designs.html
http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Rec/rec.aviation.military/2007-04/msg01687.html

The real NS-97 (top) and an artist's version of the same picture for the 'Soucoupes Volantes' image series produced for the French company Biscottes d'Or in the 1950s (bottom).
You provided very interesting information. Do you have information somewhere that was available in the two links that are no longer available? What interests me most is how we know that Northrop's employees checked the history of German work on saucers in 1947?
Greetings Bartosz
 

Justo Miranda

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In my opinion Northrop engineers were only interested in the design of some captured Horten flying wings.

All Northrop flying wings suffered controllability issues which were never fully corrected and several accidents: The N-9M-1 on May 19, 1943, the XP-56 on October 8, 1943, the MX-334 on November 10, 1943, the XP-79B on September 12, 1945 the YB-49 second prototype on June 5, 1948 and the YB-49 first prototype on March 14, 1950.

The Northrop’s had not been designed using the Horten bell-shaped lift distribution pattern theory, which guaranteed stability, and suffered controllability issues caused by the mittleren effekt (middle effect).

The Horten Brothers were questioned on May 9, 1945 by the U.S. Strategic Air Forces Intelligence in Europe staff (USSTAF A-2), in May 19-21 by Kenneth Wilkinson of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), in September-October 1945 by the RAE Tailless Advisory Committee and during March 1948 by the U.S. 970th Counter-intelligence Command.

In March 1945, the Horten family house in Bonn was inspected by the British-American Combined Objectives Sub-Committee (CIOS) intelligence team who recovered abundant documentation on the Horten sailplanes Ho I to Ho XII. On June 7, 1945, the Ho IIIf and the Ho IIIh sailplanes were inspected at Wiesbaden by sailplane experts of the B.N. Slingsby British manufacturer.

On April 12, 1945, the U.S. Third Army recovered parts of the Ho XVIII in Khala underground facilities and the Ho IX V3 prototype in GWF plant Friedrichroda two days later.

The Ho IV, Ho VII and parts of the Ho VIII were recovered in Göttingen by the U.S. 8th Armored Division, together with a complete set of plans. In August 1945, the Ho IX V3 prototype reached America and were displayed at Freeman Field AFB.

In October 1947, several sailplanes of the Ho IIL, Ho IIIf, Ho IIIh and Ho IV types were inspected by Northrop engineers at Hawthorne plant. But despite all the Allied efforts to obtain information from the Hortens they managed to preserve their secrets, including the most important of all, Stealth.
 

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martinbayer

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In my opinion Northrop engineers were only interested in the design of some captured Horten flying wings.

All Northrop flying wings suffered controllability issues which were never fully corrected and several accidents: The N-9M-1 on May 19, 1943, the XP-56 on October 8, 1943, the MX-334 on November 10, 1943, the XP-79B on September 12, 1945 the YB-49 second prototype on June 5, 1948 and the YB-49 first prototype on March 14, 1950.

The Northrop’s had not been designed using the Horten bell-shaped lift distribution pattern theory, which guaranteed stability, and suffered controllability issues caused by the mittleren effekt (middle effect).

The Horten Brothers were questioned on May 9, 1945 by the U.S. Strategic Air Forces Intelligence in Europe staff (USSTAF A-2), in May 19-21 by Kenneth Wilkinson of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), in September-October 1945 by the RAE Tailless Advisory Committee and during March 1948 by the U.S. 970th Counter-intelligence Command.

In March 1945, the Horten family house in Bonn was inspected by the British-American Combined Objectives Sub-Committee (CIOS) intelligence team who recovered abundant documentation on the Horten sailplanes Ho I to Ho XII. On June 7, 1945, the Ho IIIf and the Ho IIIh sailplanes were inspected at Wiesbaden by sailplane experts of the B.N. Slingsby British manufacturer.

On April 12, 1945, the U.S. Third Army recovered parts of the Ho XVIII in Khala underground facilities and the Ho IX V3 prototype in GWF plant Friedrichroda two days later.

The Ho IV, Ho VII and parts of the Ho VIII were recovered in Göttingen by the U.S. 8th Armored Division, together with a complete set of plans. In August 1945, the Ho IX V3 prototype reached America and were displayed at Freeman Field AFB.

In October 1947, several sailplanes of the Ho IIL, Ho IIIf, Ho IIIh and Ho IV types were inspected by Northrop engineers at Hawthorne plant. But despite all the Allied efforts to obtain information from the Hortens they managed to preserve their secrets, including the most important of all, Stealth.
You can add the 2019 N-9M crash to the Northrop flying wing accident list: http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2021/06/loss-of-control-in-flight-northrop-n-9m.html
 

edwest3

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The American Counter-Intelligence Corps in Germany was ordered to conduct a discreet search for information about German saucer designs, including locating a relative of the Horten brothers. The so-called "Dutch walk" problem was solved by Northrop by adding a compensating device he called 'Little Herbert.' Ted Coleman, who worked closely with Jack Northrop, wrote that the U.S. Air Force was prepared to buy Northrop flying wings for reconnaissance work but that never occurred since Northrop was being pressured to merge with another company in a way similar to Consolidated Aircraft and Vultee Aircraft merging to form Convair. Northrop refused and the aircraft were cut up.
 

Hydroman

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The yaw hunting was fixed by implementing a Honeywell yaw stability augmentation system (a predecessor to today's fly by wire). The crash that killed Glenn Edwards, Edwards over-g'd the aircraft trying to pull up from a high speed dive not realizing how fast a flying wing can accelerate, even though he was briefed regarding this characteristic. Also remember the Northrop's flying wings were controversial, political and ahead of their time. There were also false claims to the wings instability which were made up in order to make the plane and Northrop look bad. Stuart Symington also had his hands in the Consolidated cookie jar, hence terminating the B-49 and having them cut up just to get back at Jack Northrop. Northrop was cutting edge, Consolidated, run of the mill, they wanted Northrop's tech. The Horten's were ahead of there time as well, however, the German hiearchy embraced the technology where the US did not back then.
 
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