back to article Brit firm to demo serious flying robo-saucer in 2009

A small British company developing a unique form of hovering aircraft says it will soon demonstrate a new and much more serious version of its technology. An electric GFS saucer in flight Saucer technology in action. GFS Projects of Peterborough was registered in 2002, following early efforts by former hovercraft engineer …


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  1. Luther Blissett

    Unmanned you say

    But you do not deny they could be aliened. Baby Greys I'd say from the size of the thing.

    Do they make good pilots at that age?

  2. Sam

    Obvious comment

    Want one!

    And how much bang does 5Kg give you?

  3. Solomon Grundy

    Two Stroke

    Great. Another toy "UAV" - made from off the shelf R/C airplane engines. No matter how amazing the flight capabilities are, the enemy will be able to hear this thing coming for blocks and blocks away.

    Raheim: Hey, Ackhmed, do you hear that noise? It sounds like a huge swarm of bees.

    Ackhmed: Yes, I hear it, but it's not bees. It's those craze Brits flying their radio controlled flying saucer.

    Raheim: What do we do?

    Ackhmed: We usually just go inside until the noise goes away, then we come out and snipe the infidels.

    Raheim: That's it, that will keep us safe?

    Ackhmed: Yes. That's all we have to do. We go inside until the sound is gone, and we're safe.

  4. Steven Raith

    "And how much bang does 5Kg give you"

    Enough for a small, belt fed machine gun/SMG/machine pistol and a few dozen rounds of ammo, I'd hope.

    Now *that* would be a cool remote controlled toy....

    Steven R

  5. Sarah Skelding

    Get the phrasebook ready folks

    "Klaatu barada nikto".

  6. Drew

    "scale the tech up to manned versions"

    It's already been done. The Canadian Avrocar was doing this in the 50's but, lacking todays electronics, was canned in the early 60's due to stability issues.

  7. Arthur Silver badge

    "And how much bang does 5Kg give you"

    If it's 5 kg of antimatter, annihilating with 5 kg of the saucer, 215 megatonnes equivalent.

    First catch your antimatter ....

  8. Louis Cowan

    Where's the steering wheel?

    A little bit bigger, a stool glued on top, and I'd have my ideal way of getting in to work in the morning

  9. Ru
    Black Helicopters

    Re: We go inside until the sound is gone, and we're safe.

    Unless of course you've just parked your little saucer on the roof of a building to get a nice viewpoint, and turned off the engine so as to a) be stealthy and b) save fuel.

    Assuming you can still pan and tilt any cameras it might have on it, you just have to wait til Achmed pops his head out again, and arrange some suitably excessive artillery fire to disourage him.

    Of course, you could try to take it out whilst it is still airborne, but you'd better hope it didn't catch a glimpse of you before you take it down...

  10. Simon
    Thumb Down

    2 stroke

    When I saw the headline I continued to read through to see if I could find the words:

    "Internal combustion"

    "2 Stroke"

    "Bloody noisy, the enemy will hear it from miles away and take pot-shots at it"

    Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! etc

  11. yeah, right.


    Or get the payload higher, add electric power, and switch to silent electric mode on final approach.

    Patent please!

  12. Webster Phreaky
    Jobs Horns


    ... says Stevie Gods of crAPPLE! Whoops, that's the kiss of death!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    you haven't been paying attention

    I, for one, welcome our saucer-flying overlords.

  14. Mike Powers

    But the sound never goes away...

    It never gets tired or bored or hungry. It never sleeps. It never makes a mistake. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!

  15. Nomen Publicus
    Black Helicopters


    How is this better than a helicopter?

  16. Richard Brown

    Proof of concept

    Maybe this is just a proof of concept for the aerodynamics, not a battle ready borg and if the MOD or DOD ante up some development money they will make it bigger, faster, quieter and more deadly. But right now they wanted the cheapest engine they could get find of so went for what was available off the shelf at the local model shop.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Let me say, as an escapee, they will be the most soul-destroyingly boring things you have ever encountered unless you've actually lived there.

    Peterborough taints all it touches

  18. Bounty


    nah, if it has a high enough altitude you may not hear it. Crafty ductwork etc. can help. Then from 1000 feet directly above the target, it powers off for "final approach." I'm sure even w/o exposives, it would leave a dent. And if a buzzing noise is enough to keep terrorists inside, then we just keep em buzy.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Anonymous Coward

    they're having a larf

    Peterborough! *Fen* Star, Geoff's Flying Saucers - come on you can't be serious - has anybody actually seen one of these in the flesh?

  21. Mike Powers


    Helicopters have blades whirling all about, ready to get tangled in trees and clotheslines and buildings and fleshbags, er, people. This thing is basically just a giant evil hairdryer--stuff might get sucked in but it'll get blown right back out again.

  22. Steven Raith
    Black Helicopters

    How is this better than a helicopter?

    Try hitting a helicopter with a small arms fire or a dumb RPG from 100 yards.

    Now try and repeat that trick with something that has 10% of it's visible profile.

    Also, have you priced Apaches and Hinds per hour lately [never mind the cost of losing one]? If you want cheap aerial recon/attack without the viewpoint restrictions of a satellite, or the size restrictions of a gunship [think inner city] this sort of thing is your bag I reckon. especially with 4kg of semtex and 1kg of ball bearings wrapped around it hanging from the bottom...never mind dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars of explosives from a multi-million pound fighter-bomber. We're heading for a recession, don't you know?

    And you can crash it through a fucking window and obliterate the contents of a room with minimum collateral damage - a cruise missile will fly through a window, but will take the building with it. I mean, come on, I could sit here all night and think of dozens of great uses for it!

    I'm not going to though, because the black helicopters will come and get me.

    Steven R

  23. Craig

    Small point

    This prototype has to adhere to aircraft regulations, thus the reason they're keeping it below 20kg. If they were given a development deal from whatever military source (UK or US) this would likely not apply.

    Thus they have something they can show off to civvies just in case the military doesn't pick it up, and they can show off the flight concept to the military in the hopes that they do.

  24. Bob

    the brits are way behind the canucks

    This seems old hat, you might want to check out the following:

    It's a small Canadian hi-tech development firm


  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Steven Raith

    > Try hitting a helicopter with a small arms fire or a dumb RPG from 100 yards.

    100 yards? I could hit a chopper throwing ROCKS at 100 yards ... Well, maybe not straight up ::grins::

    With my .308 I can hit gallon jugs at a kilometer; the 30-06 has no problem at a mile; my .416 Barrett can nail 'em at two kliks ... I'm not talking occasionally here, but better than nine out of ten. But that's stationary targets, and low wind.

    Something the size of an office trash can, not flying too erratically, at 100 yards? I could probably hit it every time with my 10 gauge double with #1 shot ... I'd be willing to bet real money that I could hit it with my 10mm Kimber 8 out of 10 at that distance ... But why bother using real fire-power, when my old Ruger 10/22 would do the job easily? It's not like th' cute l'il thang's going to be armored in any way.

    A "handloader" C, at least for this post ;-)

  26. Onionman

    Amazing how many experts there are in here

    Hitting a stationary 2ft wide target from 300m (1000ft) horizontally, lying down on a range with an SA-80 is not guaranteed until you're reasonably well-trained. The SA-80 is a very accurate weapon, and on a range you can see where your bullets are missing.

    An undertrained enemy hitting a 2-3ft target moving across the sky from 1000 ft below with an AK-47 would be miraculous.

    Mine's the one with the lepage gun (cf Catch-22) in the pocket.


  27. Peter Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Open Source the controls.

    If they can build some kind of mathematical model of how its flight is controlled and make that available I bet there will be a substantial amount of people willing to code guidance, even just for the hell of it (you'd need quality control, of course, but it would quite a cool thing to do).

    Offer 3 prizes:

    - to be named and included in press

    - get to see it work, personally

    - get one to play with (assuming you have friendly neighbours, which may not last after you've taken out their windows).

    Could lead to decent jobs for some people as well, just prepare for awkward questions when it flies off with your laptop still attached. No insurance will believe you (my laptop flew off with a flying saucer)..


  28. Parax
    Dead Vulture


    (Aircraft wings are also curved on top to make use of this effect, but in their case it is not the only factor in play - otherwise planes could never fly upside down.)

    is someone confusing Coander and Bernoulli?

    It's Bernouilli that is taught at schools that provides minimal lift from a wing coander provides the majority of the lift.

    It is Bernoulli that requires an aysemetric wing and only works one way up. (see Einstiens wing designs)

    Coander works perfectly with symmetric wings and works both ways up, Stunt planes with symmetric wings make use of coander only (angle of attack exaggerates curvature)

    To learn it all in 10 minutes see here: (including einstiens wing)

  29. Neil

    @Steven Raith

    "have you priced Apaches and Hinds per hour lately"

    Not LATELY, no...

    Obviously this Geoff guy is some kind of bodysnatcher alien, or he wouldn't be here 'inventing' flying saucers would he?

  30. graeme leggett Silver badge

    Personal flying transport at last

    I look forward to taking delivery of my own Mekon-of-Mekonta style hoverabout.

    Its only a matter of time....

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How is this better than reading the article?

    Honestly, I think the article mentioned at least 5 reasons alone that this is better - in certain situations, Duh - than a whirlybird.

    There seems to be this kind of "eh! common sense!" kneejerk reaction in El Reg these days: read the headline, look at the picture, adopt a "we didn't have those things in my day / the scouts / the TA / the village people" attitude. Like an occam's razor for the stupid.

    It's mind bogglingly obvious how *potentially* useful this is in a million different military applications. Naturally, it will never carry 6 fully equipped troops or a brace of rockets...

    And as for having a high noise profile...

    Can you name the military equipment that doesn't?

    Cos guns are so silent, tanks just *creep* along, helicopters and UAVs are just *discreet* and you can hardly hear units of four men carrying their big weapons and bags of bullets down the street.

    And battlezones... well since they've been unionised they've agreed to keep the noise below EU levels, to keep the dust and smoke to a minimum, and those wounded / attacking who shout or scream... well, after two verbal warnings and a written complaint they're out.


  32. Anonymous Coward

    @ A "handloader" C


    guess you are a candidate to be 'the second gunman on the grassy knoll' with a hit rate like that............

    think I'll need to bullet proof one................................

  33. Ian Stephenson
    Black Helicopters

    "And how much bang does 5Kg give you" - Redux

    Video camera, gps, wireless data, laser designator....

    About as much bang as any local squadron of typhoons/ artillery battery / apache choose to deliver really...

  34. Outcast

    Home City

    I live in Peterborough. (someone has to) I haven't seen any aboot.

    Gonna X post this on our local forum see if I can glean anymore info.

  35. Onionman

    You shooting God, you.

    "Something the size of an office trash can, not flying too erratically, at 100 yards? I could probably hit it every time with my 10 gauge double with #1 shot"

    And at 100 yards, you MIGHT get one pellet to hit if you're extremely lucky.


  36. Dave


    Looks like someone else needs a lesson or two in aero-dynamics: what keeps any plane in the air (unless it is tail-sitting) is the wing _moving through the air_

    Relativity is all well and good (works okay for a hovering helicopter) but in this case the wing will always be relatively stationery, so I suspect the main lift comes from the ingestion of air, with the expelled air being used mainly for stabilisation. (Kind of like a Harrier in reverse: a big fan sucking air downwards, and sideways facing vectored-thrust.)

  37. Bad Max

    It's not rocket science

    You can build one yourself (that weighs about a pound):

    The site includes plans (third link in log book)

  38. Mike Holden

    I really hope this is for real...

    ...because i'm always interseted in new ideas for physics to be put to good use, and I'm prepared, nay keen, to build a model for an experiment. But I've got a couple of concerns about the device, and slightly more concerns about Mr Naudin.

    Firstly, this video purporting to show the saucer with video camera capability ( looks suspiciously like it's hanging from a bit of string (you can see in the video that the impellor is hardly rotating at some points).

    Secondly, a quick look at the chap's website ( shows that amongst other projects are an attempt to build a craft with NO moving parts, using (I think) capacitance, plus a cold fusion reactor and "free energy from atomic hydrogen". So either this guy really is at the bleeding edge of sci-fi research, or....

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