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Publication numberUS1351821 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 7, 1920
Filing dateNov 20, 1919
Priority dateNov 20, 1919
Publication numberUS 1351821 A, US 1351821A, US-A-1351821, US1351821 A, US1351821A
InventorsJohn F Wilkinson
Original AssigneeJohn F Wilkinson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 1351821 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




Patented Sept. @1920.


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Patentedsept. 7,1920.



APPLICATION FILED NOV. 20 19'9- 1,351,821 PatentedSept. 7, 1920.

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1,351,821. PatentedSept. 7,1920.


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Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented Sept. 7, 1920.

Application filed November 20, 1919. Serial No. 339,383.

' To all whom it may, concern:

operated to move vertically, horizontally,-

and in variously inclined paths, reversed or angled instantly in any desired direction, and provided with means to reduce the force of landing, even though disabled, to a negligible minimum.

The invention is embodied in a structure which includes a group of propellers, pref- .erably four, suitably mounted to rotate in the same plane, means for rotating some of said propellers in a given direction, and

-the others in the opposite direction, and

means for varying the angle. of said plane, so that it may be either horizontal or inclined. The structure preferably includes also a parachute attachment, adaptedto cooperate with the propellers in retarding the descent of the machine.

The invention is also embodied in the various improvements hereinafter described and claimed.

Of the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specificati 1,-

Figure 1 is a top plan view of a flying machine embodying the invention.

Fig. 2 is a rear elevation of the same. Figs. 2 and 2 are developments of portions of the two adjacent propellers, showing the positions of the blades when in operation.

Fig. 3 is a side elevation looking from the left in Fig. 1.

Fig. 4 is an enlarged section on line 4-4 of Fig. 1.

Fig. 5 is a plan view of the portion shown by Fig. 4.

Fig. 6 is an enlarged of Fig. 5.

Figs. 7, 8 and 9 are views of the propeller blades hereinafter described. I

Fig. 10 is a vertical section through the propeller driving and tilting meansherein after described.

'Fig, 11 is a side view of a 12, looking from the left.

section on line part of Fig.

'22, radiating from a common center.

Fig. '12 is a section on line 1212 of Fig. 10.

Fig. 13 is a sectional plan view on line 13-13 of Fig. 2.

Fig. 14 is a plan view of the parachute attachment hereinafter described.

Fig. 15 is an enlargement of a portion of Fig. 14.

Fig. 16 is an edge View of the parachute attachment.

. Fig. 17 is a section on line 17--17 of ig. 23 is a section on line 23-23 of- Fig. 22, and a plan View of parts below said line.

10, 10 and 11, 11 represent a group of .propellers arranged in the same plane, and

adapted to be rotated in the directions indicated by the arrows shown in Fig. 1. Each propeller includes a rim 12, 'a' hub 15,

spokes 14 extending radially from the hub 15 to the rim, truss rods 16, the inner ends of which are secured to the upper and lower portions of the hub, and the outer ends to the rim, as shown by Figs. 4, 5, and 6, and the propeller blades 31, hereinafter described.

Each hub is mounted on a tubular propeller shaft 17, and is preferably secured thereto by a pin 18. Each propeller. shaft 17 has at its lower end a bevel gear 19, secured by a pin 20. The gears 19 of the propeller shafts mesh with gears 21 on the outer ends of tubular power-transmitting shsafts gears 19 and 21 are inclosed in outer hous-q ings 23, which support suitable ball bearings 23 for the shafts 17 and 22, as shown by The power-transmitting shafts 22 are four innumber and are provided with gears 24 (Figs. 10 and 13) at their inner ends, meshing with a gear 25 secured to the upper end of a tubular driving-shaft section 26, which is perpendicular to the shafts. The

section26 has at its lower end a universal joint connection with an intermediate driving-shaft section 27, the latter being connectible by a clutch with a lower drivingshaft section 28 which is directly connected with the motor.

-It will be seen by reference to Fig. 13 that the gears 21 of two of the power-transmitting shafts 22 engage the outer peripheral portions of the gears 19 on two of the pro peller shafts, and that the gears 21 of the other power-transmitting shafts engage the inner peripheral portions of the gears 19 on the other two propeller shafts, this arrangement causing the rotation of the propeller shafts in the directions shown by the arrows in Fig. 1, the propellers 10 and 10 rotating in one direction, and the propellers 11 and 11 in the opposite direction. The propeller blades 31 are arranged as shown by Fig. 5, each blade being provided with ribs, or brackets 29, mounted to oscillate on the spokes 14. Said brackets include flanges 30 which are riveted to and reinforce the blades, the latter being of thin sheet metal. The blades 31 are fan-shaped, increasing in width from the hub toward the rim, and are hung upon the spokes 14, so that the rear edges of each blade project under the front edge of the next blade, as shown by Figs. 2 and 22". The front edge portions of the blades are inclined upward at an angle of substantially five degrees to the plane of the rear portions, as shown by Fig. 7, to provide space for the air to pass between the blades when the propellers are in action. The blades are so hung upon the spokes that the rear edges overbalance the front edges and when the propeller is at rest, the opening between the blades is increased, to permit an increased impact of the air when starting, as indicated by Figs. 7 and 8, in which the angle of the forward portion of the blade is substantially fifteen degrees to the plane of the dotted line ww in Fig. 7.

When the propellers are being rotated at a sufficient rate of speed, the forward part of the blade, being turned up a few degrees, displaces the air, inducing a downward current, thereby preventing air resistance against the under side of the rear part of the bladeof suflicient force to close the blade and thereby keep the air from passing between the blades.

The blades are arrested in the position shown in Figs. 7 and 8 by pins 32 inserted in the inner periphery of the rim, and in the paths of the blades. as shown by Figs. 5. 7 and 8. In Figs. 2 and 3, I have shown a car 33 which is suspended from a tubular casing 35 formed on a central housing 34.- said housing having fixed radiating tubular arms 36. preferably four in number, The outer ends of said arms are secured to the outer propeller shaft housings 23, and are sustained in position by truss-rods 37. The outer housings 23, the fixed radiating arms 36, and the central housing 34, constitu'te elements of a propeller-supporting frame from which the car is so suspended that it hangs vertically under all conditions, it being understood that in order to move the machine in any direction other than a vertical one, the said frame and propellers are to be tilted to an angle in any direction required.

The central housing 34 and the tubular casing 35, constitute elements of car-supporting means connecting the propellercarrying frame with the car, other elements of the car-supporting means being hereinafter described in connection with driving connections between the motor and the propellers.

37 (Figs. 10 and 11) represents a frame rigidly secured to the car and having a lower housing 38 in which is mounted on suitable ball bearings a lower driving-shaft section 28 connected with a motor 28, shown conventionally by Fig. 3. The shaft 28 has at its upper end the female member 39 of a friction clutch, the male member 40 of which is splined to the intermediate shaft 27, and may 'be manually moved, by any suitable means, into and out of engagement with the member 39. The shaft 27 has a cap 41 pinned thereto, which is provided with ears 42 (Figs. 10 and 11). A pin 43 engages said ears, which pin extends with ears 44, attached to the vertical shaft 26, as shown by Fig. 10, these parts constituting elements of a universal joint adapted to permit the tilting of the propeller-supporting frame in various directions.

For locking the propeller-supporting frame in any position desired, I provide the joint elements shown in Figs. 10 and 11, and including a segmental arm 46, secured to the base of the tubular casing 35, and having on its lower end an extension 47, as shown by Fig. 10. A dog 48 is pivoted at 49 to said arm, and is adapted to engage holes in a concavo-convex sector 50 fixed to the housing 38. The dog is movable by suitable means, such as a bell-crank lever 51 pivoted to the arm extension 47, and manually operable by an occupant of the car, and the connecting link 52 between the lever 51 and the dog 48.

The propeller blades 31 are adapted to be closed together by air pressure on their under sides when the machine is falling somewhat rapidly, so that the propellers constitute parachute members. The propellers are spaced apart, as shown by Fig. 1, so that they may be termed outer parachute members grouped around a central space. ln said space is located an inner parachute member,

in the same plane with the propellers, and

when the machine is descending rapidly.

Pins 59 limit the opening between the planes, as shown in Fig. 17. Y

I have shown in Figs. 20 and 23,inclusive, a simplified form of propeller, in which five blades are employed, suspended from spokes radiating from a polygonal hub 60. The inner ends of the spokes are inserted in the hub and secured thereto by pins 61 (Fig.

22), and the outer ends are provided with Washers 61 secured by screws 62, entering bushlngs 63 in the spokes, said Washers retaining the blades upon the spokes and permitting the blades to turn freely. Studs 64 are inserted in the hub to limit the swinging of the blades.

The rotation of some of the propellers in one direction, and of the others in opposite direction, prevents a spiral-movement when the machine is in operation.

The machine is preferably constructed entirely, of non-inflammable material, and the car is constructed to float in water.

The machine is capable of rising either sharply and quickly, and'of moving in any desired direction. The car is adapted to hang vertically, and swirl about and head in the direction of the advancing, movement of the propellers. The form of the car is such that air pressure on its body will cause it to turn like a weathervane, so that. the ma chine requires no steering means other than the propellers and the means for adjusting the same. I

The relative arrangement of the propellers and the car is such that the downward air currents caused by the rotation of the propellers do no impingeon the car sufliciently to retard its ascent. Should the motor fall to operate at any altitude, safe landing may be effected by the glide and reverse dip The car 33 is so constructed as to be lighter than water.

I claim:

1. A flying-machine comprising a propeller-carrying frame including a central hous-' ing, fixed tubular arms radiating therefrom in substantially the same plane, and outer housings fixed to the outer ends of said arms, a plurality of propeller shafts journaled' in said outer housings and substantially perpendicular to said arms, a plurality of propellers fixed to said shafts,and all 10- cated in, the same plane which is substantially parallel with the plane of said arms, a car, flexible connections between the car and said central housing, permitting the frame and propellers to stand in various planes relatively to the vertical axis of the car, and

means for rotating alternate propellers in one direction, and the other propellers in the opposite directi0n,to prevent a spiral movement of the machine. 7

2. A flying-machine comprising a car, a

motor thereon, a propeller-carrying frame,

including a central housing, a tubular casing fixed to and extending downwardly from said housing, tubular arms fixed to and radiating from said housing, in a plane at right angles to the tubular casing, and outer housings fixed to the outer ends of said arms, a plurality of propellers carried by said frame, and all arranged in the same plane,. car-supporting means connecting the frame with the car to support the car when the machine is elevated, said means includ- 1 ing relatively movable sections, and joint elements adjustably connecting said sections and permitting the frame to stand on a plane at right angles to the vertical axis of the car, and in planes variously inclined relav tively to said axis, and driving connections between the motor and the propellers, including universal joint elements permitting the driving connections to conform to flexures of the said car-supportingmeans, the said propeller-carrying frame, the said carsupporting means, and the said driving connections, radial power-transmitting shafts journaled in said tubular arms, a driving shaft journaled in said tubular casing, bevel gears connecting said driving shaft with the radial shafts, propeller shafts journaled in the outer housings and perpendicular to the radial shafts, and bevel gears connecting the propeller shafts with the radial shafts, the arrangement being such that some of the propellers are rotated in one direction, and others in the opposite direction.

3. A flying-machine substantially as specified by claim 2, the said car-supporting means comprising the said central'housing, the said tubular casing, a lower housing fixed to the car, and adjustable means for locking said tubular casin and lower housing together in different re ative positions.

4. A fiyingmachine substantially as specified by claim 2, the said car-supporting means and drivingconnections comprising the said central housing, the said tubularrelative positions, a plurality of drivingshaft sections including an upper section journaled in said tubular casing, a lower section journaled in the lower housing and directly connected with the motor, and an intermediate section journaled in the lower section, said lower and intermediate sections being provided with coacting clutch members whereby they may be separably connected, and the upper and intermediate sections being provided with universal joint members whereby they are flexibly connected.

5. A flying-machine comprising a car, a motor thereon, a propeller-carrying frame, a plurality of spaced apart propellers carried by said frame and all arranged in the same plane, each propeller being composed of a hub, a rim, radial spokes connecting the hub with the rim, and fan-shaped blades mounted to turn on the spokes to a limited extent to form variable air spaces between the blades, said blades being adapted to be closed together by air pressure on their under sides, so that the propellers constitute outer parachute members, car-supporting means. connecting said frame with the car, driving connections between the motor and the propellers, and an inner parachute member composed of a frame occupying the space between the propellers, and blades pivoted to said frame .and adapted to be closed together by air pressure on their under sides, said inner parachute member being in the same plane with the propellers.

In testimony whereof I have alfixed my signature.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3005603 *Sep 8, 1958Oct 24, 1961Gaskins ThomasHelicopter
US3064925 *Sep 15, 1960Nov 20, 1962Preston Dale RFlying machine
US3185410 *Oct 21, 1963May 25, 1965Smart Raymond CVertical lift aircraft
US3273653 *Oct 4, 1957Sep 20, 1966Frank W MclartyRotary wing aircraft
US4703906 *Jun 18, 1984Nov 3, 1987Karl EickmannAirborne craft with an inclinable upper structure
U.S. Classification244/17.15, 244/17.23, 416/120
International ClassificationB64C27/12, E01B3/36
Cooperative ClassificationB64C27/12, E01B3/36, B64C2700/6287
European ClassificationB64C27/12, E01B3/36