No, this is not an early April Fool. Neither does it come with tiny green men inside, nor does it play synth music for the enjoyment of François Truffaut and Richard Dreyfuss. This is the GFS which, believe it or not, stands for Geoff's Flying Saucer, a floating mini-vessel that uses the Coanda effect to move in the air.

With that name you can be sure it's not a Lockheed-Martin project: instead, it was developed in a shed in the UK town of Peterborough. However, the US military have looked at it—and this time they won't bury it all in the Nevada desert, but plan to use it for military operations. All the details and obligatory blurry pictures after the jump.

Geoff Hatton is the 67-year-old who has been developing the battery-powered craft, which can take off vertically, land, fly and hover, ever since he came up with the idea at his dining room table one day. The saucers' technology, which is based on the Coanda effect, the idea that the flow of air will follow a curved surface rather than continue in a straight line, has led to both public and private investment.


"Because it has no exposed rotating parts, it can be flown through doorways and windows," said Geoff about his saucers, which range from 10 inches to 3 feet in diameter. "We have taken science fiction and turned it into science fact."

While Geoff sees the future of his flying machines as aids to either mountain rescue or land mine detection, or merely as sophisticated toys, no doubt the military have other things in mind— surveillance being the most likely, reports Defence News, irritating the enemy with an annoying buzz being the other.


Another flying saucer based on Geoff's design, made by Jean-Louis Naudin.

Geoff's secret underwater flying saucer base. Or maybe it's just a shed in an anonymous industrial zone somewhere in Britain.


Flying Saucer Is Out Of This World [Peterborough News via Wired]

Lots of pics and videos at Naudin's project page [The GFS-UAV project]