BAE Systems worked with animators to show how the scrapped R&D projects might have looked had they been brought to life (you can see the animations at the end of this article).
The hypersonic aircraft – nicknamed Mustard (Multi-Unit Space Transport and Recovery Device) – would have been the world’s first reusable Space plane.
Developed in 1964, it was later dropped after the UK Government decided not to proceed with it, prompting designer Tom Smith to say there is ‘nothing worse than being right at the wrong time’.
Mustard’s ideas can be seen on contemporary projects such as the Virgin Galactic spaceship.
The ‘Jumping Jeep’ meanwhile, was an ambitious attempt to bring vertical take off and landing technology from planes to ground vehicles.
The concept, which would have involved 12 vertical lift fans attached to a 4×4 vehicle, was killed off in the mid-1960s when it was deemed too expensive.
Other designs unearthed include a fighter jet take-off platform, which would rise up from the ground, and a commercial passenger plane capable of vertical take-off and landing in densely populated cities.
The designs have been released to coincide with the opening of a new heritage centre at BAE Systems’ military aircraft factory in Warton, Lancashire.