Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS1463498 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 31, 1923
Filing dateSep 24, 1918
Priority dateSep 24, 1918
Publication numberUS 1463498 A, US 1463498A, US-A-1463498, US1463498 A, US1463498A
InventorsNorman W Burgess
Original AssigneeNorman W Burgess
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Armor for gasoline tanks of aeroplanes and for other purposes
US 1463498 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 31, 1993 N. W. BURGESS ARMOR FOR GASOLINE TANKS OF AEROPLANES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Filed Sent. 24, 1918 Patented July 31, 1923.




Application filed September 24, 1918. Serial No. 255,518.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, NORMAN W. BURGESS, a citizen of the United States, residing at Lexington, in the county of Rockbridge and State of Virginia, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Armor for Gasoline Tanks of Aeroplanes and for Other Purposes, of which the following is a specification.

My invention relates to bullet proof armor. It has for its object to produce a type of armor that is particularly adapted for the protection of gasoline tanks carried by aeroplanes though it is adapted for a wide "ariety of other uses. The armor is relatively light and is intended for a protection against the fire of machine guns and small arms.

In the accompanying drawings Fig. 1 1s a view of a gasoline tank provided with my invention. Fig. 2 is a detail sectional view of a piece of armor embodying my inventlon.

In the drawings A designates the article to be protected, such as a gasoline tank, and B, the armor covering it. In practice this will be manufactured in shapes best suited to resist gun fire and the tanks will be shaped to fit the armor. Referring particularly to Fig. 2, 2 designates the outer shell of the armor, preferably formed of a plate of hard steel, curved so as to deflect a bullet strik ing it at an angle. This armor plate will be thin, preferably about of an inch in thickness. Another plate, 3, constitutes the inner shell or wall of the armor. This is adapted to lie against the surface of the tank or other article to be protected. It is preferably of hard steel and is curved so as to be concentric with the outer plate 2.

Just inside the plate 2 is a layer 4 of more or less resilient or yielding substance, such as comminuted cork, or unwoven fiber. A similar layer 5 lies just inside the metal plate 3. Between the layers of material, 4 and 5. are arranged metal balls 6. There should be several layers of these, preferably three, as shown, and they should be packed in the space between said layers as closely as they will lie; the balls, however, although in contact with each other, being free to turn individually.

They may be of any suitable hard metal, but when the armor is used as a protective covering for the gasoline tank of an aeroplane they are preferably made of aluminum in order to reduce the weight of the armor I as much as possible.

Should a bullet pierce the outer plate 2 and come into contact with one of the balls 6,-the chances are that the engagement will be at an angle. The balls are packed into the space between the layers 4 and 5 closely and are held in place so securely, that when one of them is struck by a bullet it will yield but little, but will rather rotate, deflecting the course of the bullet. Such deflection will cause the nose of the bullet to come into engagement with the adjacent ball which, rotating without much bodily movement, will again deflect the bullet; and this will proceed as the bullet comes into engagement with one ball after another, its speed and force being reduced and its course changed at each new contact, with the result that it may never reach the inner plate 3 at all, or if it does it will be with its speed and force so mu h reduced that it cannot penetrate the latter. Should the bullet strike one of the balls radially the ball might be broken, when the bullet would pass onto engage tangentially, or at an angle, with aball in the next row. to be thereby deflected, as has been described.

The thickness of the layers 4 and 5 should be at least equal to the length of a bullet the armor is supposed to protect against. The reason for this is that the bullet shall not be supported and guided by the armor plate 2 that it may have pierced at the moment its end comes into engagement with one of the balls 6, but rather shall be free (the layer 4 ofl'ering little resistance to the bullet being deflected laterally) to be deflected by engagement with one of the balls 6. In the manufacture of the armor the two plates 2 and 3, having secured to them the layers of material 4 and 5, are placed at approximately the desired distance apart and the space between the layers is filled with the balls 6. The plates are then forced toward each other until the layers 4 and 5 bear forcibly upon the balls of the outer rows, which are thereby crowded together and held securely in place. The resilient nature of the layers 4 and 5 permits the action just described. After the plates have been forced toward each other to the desired degree they are united by any suitable means such as the bolts 7 and the armor is complete.

As has been intimated the armor described is adapted to a great variety of uses. The dimensions of its several parts may be largely increased so that it may act as a dcjectiles that may strike it, only those making direct or approximately direct hits being able to puncture it. Those that do puncture will be so deflected and interfered with in their course by the resisting balls 6 that their force will be largely spent before reaching the inner plate 3. The deflection of the course of a projectile incident to its passage through the balls 6 will render it most improbable that it strike the plate 3 directly. Instead its angle of incidence will probably be such that it will be deflected and follow the surface of the plate on the inside, plowing through the layer 5, or being deflected back into the mass of balls 6.

The deflecting balls 6 are relatively large, that is to say, the diameter is considerably greater than is the thickness of the armor shell 2, as well as bein greater than the diameter of the projectile which it is intended to deflect. This elementof size is important, else the balls will not operate to deflect and change the course of the projectile.

What I claim is:

1. A projectile-resisting armor comprising a thin outer armor plate and a series of relatively large balls free to rotate and deflect such projectiles as may pass through the outer plate and an inner wall cooperating with the outer armor plate to hold the balls in place.

2. A projectile-resisting armor comprising individually rotate to deflect such projec-.

tiles as may pass through the outer armor plate.

3. A projectile-resisting armor comprising a set of relatively large loose balls arranged in a plurality of layers, outer and inner layers of resilient material between which the balls are arranged, for holding them in place, a thin projectile-resisting armor shell outside the outer layer of resilient material and an inner wall inside the inner layer of resilient material. I

4. A projectile-resisting armor comprising a'set of relatively large loose balls arranged in a plurality of layers, outer and inner layers of resilient'material between which the balls are arranged, for holding them in place, and hard projectile-resisting armor plates respectively covering said layers of resilient material, the plates being united to cause the balls to be closely confined between the said resilient layers.

5. A projectile-resisting armor comprising a thin outer plate of hard metal, a layer of resilient material inside the said plate, aseries of relatively large metal balls inside the said layer of resilient material, the balls being each free to individually rotate, the thickness of the resilient layer being greater than the thickness of the outer plate, and an inner wall co-operating with the outer plate to hold the intermediate parts of the armor in place.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2500158 *Jun 29, 1944Mar 14, 1950Celanese CorpSelf-sealing fuel container having a sealing layer composed of a textile fabric coated with a mixed cellulose ester
US2503537 *Aug 9, 1947Apr 11, 1950Youngblood James ASawproof grating bar
US2916179 *Dec 17, 1958Dec 8, 1959British Oxygen Co LtdThermally insulated storage vessels
US2928529 *Feb 13, 1958Mar 15, 1960Res Inst Of Temple UniversityStorage of explosive gases
US2994452 *Aug 2, 1954Aug 1, 1961Conch Int Methane LtdInsulated tank for liquefied hydrocarbons and the like with loose membranous lining therefor
US3431818 *Apr 26, 1965Mar 11, 1969Aerojet General CoLightweight protective armor plate
US3523057 *Oct 24, 1965Aug 4, 1970Schjeldahl Co G TBall and plastic armour plate
US3638589 *Feb 2, 1970Feb 1, 1972Diebold IncProtective door structure
US3705558 *Apr 24, 1963Dec 12, 1972Gen Motors CorpArmor
US4561362 *Jun 18, 1980Dec 31, 1985Wildermuth Wallace PMobile-immobile safe
US5500037 *Apr 13, 1994Mar 19, 1996Alhamad; Shaikh G. M. Y.Impact Absorber
US5866839 *Dec 26, 1995Feb 2, 1999Ohayon; ShalomFor protecting a tank having a turret
US6408734 *Mar 4, 1999Jun 25, 2002Michael CohenComposite armor panel
US6575075 *Aug 7, 2001Jun 10, 2003Michael CohenComposite armor panel
US6581504 *Dec 14, 2001Jun 24, 2003Paul CaronPassive armor for protection against shaped charges
US7827897 *Dec 20, 2005Nov 9, 2010Protaurius AktiebolagLight ballistic protection as building elements
US8096223 *Dec 31, 2008Jan 17, 2012Andrews Mark DMulti-layer composite armor and method
US8220378 *Jun 21, 2005Jul 17, 2012Specialty Products, Inc.Composite armor panel and method of manufacturing same
US8322267Jun 3, 2009Dec 4, 2012Triton Systems, Inc.Armor repair kit and methods related thereto
US8616113 *Aug 19, 2009Dec 31, 2013Kelly Space & Technology, Inc.Encapsulated ballistic protection system
US20120055937 *Aug 25, 2011Mar 8, 2012High Impact Technology, LlcDifferentially armored fuel tank structure and associated fabrication methodology
US20120174759 *Aug 19, 2009Jul 12, 2012Gallo Michael JEncapsulated ballistic protection system
WO2006087699A2 *Feb 8, 2006Aug 24, 2006Israeli ArieArmor assembly
U.S. Classification109/81, 89/36.2, 220/560.1, 109/80, 220/900, 114/13
International ClassificationB64D37/06
Cooperative ClassificationB64D37/06, Y02T50/44, B64D2700/6235, Y10S220/90
European ClassificationB64D37/06