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Publication numberUS1291687 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 14, 1919
Filing dateJul 21, 1916
Priority dateJul 21, 1916
Publication numberUS 1291687 A, US 1291687A, US-A-1291687, US1291687 A, US1291687A
InventorsJohn J Reynolds, Arthur H Jenkins
Original AssigneeJohn J Reynolds, Arthur H Jenkins
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dirigible balloon.
US 1291687 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




Patented Jan. 14, 1919' 4 SHEETS-SHEEI I.

v gn'uc'n 1 01:1):



Patented Jan. 14, 1919.




Patented Jan. 14,1919.

glwuenio'm afrozncq 1.]. REYNOLDS & A. H. JENKINS.



1,291,687, Patented Jan. 14, 1919 4 SHEETS-SHEET 4.



Specification of Letters Patent.

rammed Jan. 14, 191a.

To all whom it"mag concern:

Be it known that we, JOHN J. REYNOLDS and ARTHUR H. JENKINS, citizens of the United States, residing at Ruleville, in the county of Sunflower and State of M1ss1s-' sippi, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Dirigible Balloons, of

i which the following is a specification.

The invention has for an object to effect the simplification of propelling and controlling means of aerial craft, and aims particularly to simplify the connections between the I motor and a screw propeller. A further important object is to enable attention to be given to adjustment or repair of some of the cylinders of an internal combustion motor while other cylinders are in operation, enabling the propeller 'to be driven without interruption while adjustments are made. Another important object is to enable the construction of the propeller and engine as a unit, while at the same time enabling the use of the propeller as a steering and controlling device, either for guiding the craft,

or for assisting in its ascent or descent. It is'a further important object to enable the engineer to remain beside the engine in such a unit, during inclination and turning, and

also to enable such engineer to efi'ect the movement of the unit for the effect intended. It is a further purpose to give a desirable construction in driving connections between the engine and propeller; also to provide an efficient and desirable fuel feeding system.

It is an important pur ose of the invention to give a device of t is character particularly desirable for use in military craft,

whereby liabilityof complications in connecting the-steering mechanism and engine control will be eliminated as far as possible. Also, whereby rapid control and eiiicient power transmission may be attained.

Additional objects, advantages, and fea tures of invention will appear from the construction, arrangement and combination of parts hereinafter set forth, and shown in the drawings, wherein,

Figure 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment ofour invention, in the form of a dirigible balloon, although it 'is to be understood thattheinvention may be adapt-' ed to use with other crafts of different kinds.

Fig. 2 is a cross sectional View thereof,

Fig. 3 is a detail of a pumping device for use therewith, 4

Fig. 4 is a detail plan of an engine-propeller-steering unit,

Fig. 5 is a detail elevation thereof,

Fig. 6 is a fragmentary top view of the supportin frame for the engine units, with a portion broken away, and portions omitted,

Fig. 7 is a detail elevation of the pivot yokefor the engine units,

Fig. 8 is a detail of the engine unit steering control,

Fig. 9 is an elevation of a modified arrangement of steering control,

Fig. 10 is a detail plan view of the last named modification.

Thereis illustrated a craft including twin balloon elements 11, the gas envelo s and structural details of which may con orm to the best practice, means being provided, however, for attaching the load at 12 along the outer side of these balloon elements, and at 13 along their inner sides, there being six points of attachment indicated on each side of each balloon element, in the present instance. Suspended from the balloon ele- V ments intermediately thereof, there is a car 14 comprising a part of which is the long cylindrical reserve tank 15, which is utilized to form the principal rigid elements of the car. The supporting cables 16 are connected to suitable devices at 17 on the upper side of the tank, in a suitable manner to support the tank and car. Between the bal- Icons 11 there is constructed a plane element 18, extending for the major part of the length of the balloons, which are spaced apart principally by the structure of this plane element.

The balloons may be of the sectional type,

and in the present instance there are illuspressed within the tank, when taken from the balloons, or may be delivered from the tank to the balloons, as desired, a by-pass 19 and valve being indicated, and supply connections of ordinary kinds may be made phragm systennalthough any desired form of compressor suitable for the purpose may be used.

The car 14: may be of any suitable construction, in which the rigidity of the tank 15 is utilized, and cargo'carrying chambers 23 are suspended beneath the car as illus' trated, the details of the manner of supporting these chambers, and the manner of attaching the balloons 11 to the load forming the subject of separate applications of even date herewith.

Tanks for fuel and lubricating oil may be located at any convenient points in the car. these not being shown. A the forward end of the tank 15 there is mounted a base frame 24, upon which there is suitably mounted a combined engine, propeller, and steering unit, 25'. The frame 24 is formed with suitably broadened plates 26, adapted to be se- 'cured u on the forward end of the tank 15 as illustrated in Fig. 5, and is formed with branched arms 27, extending longitudinally of the craft and provided at their extremities with suitable bearings 28, in which there is mounted'a vertical shaft 29. The shaft 29 is hollow and provided with a suitable retaining hub or collar 31, at its lower end heneath the lower bearing 28. A yoke 30 on the shaft includes upwardly extending arms 32, having alined horizontal bearings 33 at their extremities through which there is mounted a suitable shaft 34, carrying a plat form 35 upon which engine units 36 are mounted. 1n the present instance, the platform is rectangular in shape and four units 36 are mounted thereon, adjacent respective corners of the platform, each unit being in the form. of a four cylinder internal combustion motor with its crank shaft arranged longitudinally of the platform. Mounted in a suitable manner centrally of the platform, there is a longitudinal propeller shaft 37, having a propeller 38 of approved form attached to the forward end thereof a distance in advance of the platform. Each engine unit is provided on the forward end of its crank shaft with a suitable automatic clutch operated sprocket 39, from which a silent chain 4.0 is extended to a suitable sprocket 4:1 on the shaft 37. In the present instance the shaft 37 is preferably mounted below the platform. The engine units are "provided with individual carbureters 42 and throttle controls 13, in order that anyone mains? throttle controls be individual for each engine unit, and in the present instance they are shown to be controlled in pairs by the levers 4-3. Any suitable means for cutting off the current for the ignition, or the fuel supply to each of the engine units may be employed, these details not being material. In thepresent case, in order to properly supply fuel to the engine, a familiar form of vacuum feed system is employed, consisting of a single auxiliary fuel tank 415, from the upper chamber of which the usual vacuum connections are made at 416 with the intake manifold 1-8 of each of the engine units, a suitable check valve 47 being incorporated in each branch of the vacuum duct, as shown.

A suitable seat -19 is mounted upon the platform contrally thereof, for the accom modation of an engineer, and a housing of any desirable kind 50 'is built around the platform, to protect the engineer from-the extreme cold ordinarily experienced at great altitudes. The fuel supply to the tank 45 is efiected by any well known duct construction, including the pipe 51' to the tank l5, this pipe 51 being shown in the present instance as leading downwardly through the platform 35,- adjacent its center, and the pipe extending inwardly toward the tank 15; any suitable swivel connections may be incorporated adjacent the axis of the shafts 29 and 34, if desired. By using coiled tubing, adjacent the engine, it is thought that the necessity for swivel connections will be obviated, in ordinary use, the range of movement of the platform 35 will not be excessive.

For thecontrol of the platform 35, to di root the propeller 38 in any direction, means are provided for inclining the platform and turning it, as desired. lln the present in-, stance, these include a guide rack 60, mounted uponthe upper arm of the base frame 24, and supplementary arms 61, extended from the outer end of the arm 27, at suitable intervals to support the guide member. The guide in the present instance is curved, extending preferably over three quarters of a circle horizontally, and is located principally at the inner side of the frame 24, as shown. A concentric medial slot 63 is formed in the upper side thereof, and below this slot Within the guide there are formed upper and lower bearing surfaces 64 and 65, in the form of segments ofa circle, in cross section, concentric with each other, there being left spaces 66 and 67, at

the inner and outer side of these bearing faces. In the space at the outer side, there is provided a rack 69, extending throughout the length of the guide, and concentric with the bearing faces 64 and 65. Engaged between the bearin surfaces 64 and 65, there is a ball element 0, having a circular series of spur teeth 71 thereon adapted to mesh with the rack 69, the teeth 71 being much less broad than the teeth 69, whereby rocking movement of the ball within the guide is permitted. A turning shaft 72 is fixed in the ball, extending upwardly through the slot 63, and through a slot 73 in the platform 35, for a suitable distance, being provided with a hand wheel 74 at the upper end. Engaged revolubly around the upper end of this shaft 72, there is a threa ed shaft 75, extendin equal distances above and below the plat orm 35 when the latter is horizontal, and held against reciprocation on the shaft 72 by means of collars '76, secured on the shaft 72. The shaft 75 is provided with a hand wheel 77 at its upper end, and is engaged by an interiorly threaded sleeve 78, having trunnions 79 at opposite 4 sides parallel to the shaft 34 pivoted in a a 82 as shown.

suitable manner on respective sides of the slot 73. The guide 60 in the present instance is formed in several arts, in order to facilitate assemblage, altliough various methods-of manufacturing may be followed. One side of the slot 63 is formed by a top piece 80, at the outer side, fixed upon abase 81 in which the lower bearing face 65 is formed, and on which the rack 69 is also shown to be formed, although the rack may be separate and attached, if desired. A side piece 82 is secured upon the base piece at the inner side, and forms the inner side of the slot 63, the bearing surface 64 at the upper side being formed on the pieces 80' and If desired, supplementary controlling means for the platform 35 may be provided, (Fig. 5) which may consist of a pulley 85, secured centrally upon the shaft 29, from which a cable 86 part1 wound on the pulley is extended rearward y, as shown, at each side, so that pulling upon one end of the cable will'turn the shaft 29 in one direction, rotating the engine units, and draft upon the opposite end Wlll cause opposite effect. For inclination of the platform 35, cables 87 (Figs. 5 and 7) are extended upwardly through the shaft 29 from its lower end, and then oppositely and outwardly, to respective end portions of the platform 35, to which they are attached, so that by operation of the cables in any well known manner the platform'may be. elevated at one end or the other.

It will beappar'ent that by operation of the handwlieel 74 and rotation of the ball 70 the gear portion 71 will drive the ball orbitally and as the force thus applied to the shaft 72 is exerted in a plane coincident with the axis of the trunnions 79, oscillation of the shaft is prevented and rotation of the upon a horizontal shaft 34 carried in upstanding arms 32' of a turn table 90. The engine and propeller unit thus form a device corresponding to those previously described and maybe similarly mounted upon the platform 35. The turn table 90 is mounted upon a suitable supporting frame 91 extended outwardly from any suitable stri cture of the air ship, and is provided at the peri hery'with worm gear teeth 92, with which t ere is meshed a suitable worm 93, mounted upon the frame 91 at the side, op erable by a shaft 94 extending inwardly over the frame 91, and provided with a hand wheel 95 at its inner end. The outer part of the frame 91 is offset upwardly, so that an engineer may conveniently stand upon the inner lower part of the frame 91 to opcrate the hand wheel 95. By this means the propeller'may be turned around a vertical axis to direct it in an desired direc- -tion. For the inclination of the platform 35, cables 96 are extended downwardly from opposite ends thereof and over suitable guide pulleys to a drum 97, upon which they are wound in opposite directions, the drum being operated by means of a hand wheel 98 located adjacent the hand wheel 95, so as to be conveniently operative at the same time, and by the same person. In order to prevent rotation of the turn-table from disturbing the cables 96 unduly, and to permit inclination of the platform 35 at any point in its horizontal rotation, the cables 96 are carried under pulleys 99, located on bracket arms 100 secured upon the turn table 92 at opposite sides, pulleys 101 being mounted adjacent the center of the turn table, over which the cables are carried, and extended downwardly through a suitable opening 102 in the center of the turn table. Pulleys 103. are mounted upon the lower side of the frame 91, around which the cables are extended rearwardly, to the drum 97 before mentioned.

What is claimed is 1. In an air craft, a main framework, a

nections between the propeller and. motor, and means operable from said platform 00- active between the main frame work and platform to incline and turn the platform. 2. In an air craft, a body structure to be propelled, a support thereon, an element mounted for rotation on a vertical axis thereon, a frame carried-by the last named element for pivotal movement on a horizontal axis, a motor unit on the. frame, a propeller carried thereby, operative connection between the motor unit and the propeller, a support for a navigator on said frame, means thereadjacent to control the motor unit, means to rotate the frame on a vertical axis, and means to move the frame pivotally on its horizontal axis, each of the two means last named including manual control means adjacent said support for a navigator on the frame.

3. A motor-propeller-steering unit for aero craft comprising a base frame, a support revoluble thereon upon a verticalaxis, a second frame pivoted thereupon for movement on a horizontal axis, a guide element on the base frame concentric with said vertical axis, a rack concentric therewith, a geared element engaged with the guide and rack, and including a shaft revolubly engaged with the second frame against oscillation relatively in the direction of rotation of said. support, separate means connected with the second frame to move the second 7 frame pivotally on said horizontal axis, a

motor on the second frame, a propeller thereon and operative connections between the propeller and motor.

4. A motor-propeller-steering unit for aero craft comprising a base frame, a sup port revoluble thereon upon a vertical axis, a second frame pivoted upon the support for movement on a horizontal axis, a guide element in the base frame concentric with said vertical axis, and including a concentric rack, a geared element engaged with the guide and rack for orbital movement, and

for oscillation in a lane coincident with said vertical axis, said geared element including a shaft extended to said second frame a hollow Worm shaft revoluble onthe first named shaft an interiorly threaded sleeve pivoted on the second frame for oscillation in said plane, said worm shaft being engaged therein, means to hold the tWo shafts against relative longitudinal movement, separate means to rotate each shaft, a motor on the second frame, a propeller carried thereby and connections between the propeller and motor.

5. In an aero craft, a platform mounted for oscillation in a vertical plane and for rotation on a vertical axis at all stages of its oscillation, a plurality of engine units mounted in fixed relation to the platform, a propeller revoluble on an axis fixed with respect to the engines, separate connections between each engine and the propeller constructed to permit stopping any unit while the propeller turns, separate controls for the said units, manuallycont-rolled means on the platform to rotate the platform on a vertical axis, and manually controlled means on the platform to move the platform for inclination as desired.

6. In a craft of the character described, a base frame, a vertical shaft rotatable therein having upstanding arms at opposite sides, a steering motor device pivoted thereon, a motor carried thereby, a propeller mounted thereon and connected with the motor in fixed axial relation, a rack element concentric with the vertical shaft, members above and below the rack concentric therewith having bearing faces spaced above and below the rack shaped to form sectors of a circle in cross section, the upper of the members being constructed to form a concentric slot throughout the length of the rack, a ball element slidably engaged between the said bearing faces, a gear element on the ball meshed with the rack, a shaft extended from the ball through said slot connected revolubly with the steering motor device, means to I rotate the shaft, and me'ans-coactive between the shaft and the steering motor device to draw or bear longitudinally onthe shaft at Will.

7. In an aero craft of the character described, a, body structure, including a main longitudinal hollow cylindrical reinforcement, a motor-propeller-steering unit mounted at one end thereof compnsing a base frame having plates conforming to and secured to the sides of the reinforcement, said frame rojecting, beyond the endof the reinforcement and having vertically spaced horizontal arms, a vertical shaft revolubly mounted therein, a yoke element carried at the upper end of the shaft and bearing on the base frame, a motor and propeller mounted in the yoke for oscillation in a vertical plane, means to turn said shaft, and means to oscillate themotor and propeller as a unit, for the purposes described.

In testimony whereof we have affixed our signatures in presence oftwo Witnesses.




Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3180590 *Jan 23, 1963Apr 27, 1965Aereon CorpPressurized airship
US4204656 *Jul 3, 1978May 27, 1980Seward Dewitt CAirship control system
US5906335 *Apr 10, 1997May 25, 1999Thompson; Mark N.Flight direction control system for blimps
US8245966Feb 4, 2010Aug 21, 201221St Century Airship Technologies Inc.Airship and vectored propeller drive therefor
US20050230526 *Jun 26, 2003Oct 20, 2005Christophe LoustaudaudineLighter-than-air aircraft comprising several balloons linked by a chassis
US20080035787 *Aug 8, 2006Feb 14, 2008Thompson Mark NLighter-than-air gas handling system and method
US20080179453 *Jan 26, 2007Jul 31, 2008Thompson Mark NModular airship system and method
US20100224722 *Feb 4, 2010Sep 9, 2010Colting Hokan SAirship and Vectored Propeller Drive Therefor
U.S. Classification244/51, 244/30
Cooperative ClassificationB64C9/00