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 numberUS2285789 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 9, 1942
Filing dateMar 1, 1940
Priority dateMar 1, 1940
Publication numberUS 2285789 A, US 2285789A, US-A-2285789, US2285789 A, US2285789A
InventorsWoolley Ace W
Original AssigneeWoolley Ace W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Airplane trap
US 2285789 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 1942- A. w. WOOLLEY 2,285,789

AIRPLANE TRAP Filed March 1, 1940 0= FIG. 8.



FIG. 9.

ATT NEY Patented June 9, 1942 par stars ears 3 Ciaims.

This invention relates to improvements in means for rendering inoperative and thus capturing and destroying airships or aeroplanes and will be referred to hereinafter as aeroplane traps.

The use of aeroplanes in warfare has become quite common and various means for capturing and destroying aeroplanes or for rendering them ineffective have been proposed.

It is the object of this invention to produce a very simple aeroplane trap that can be released from great heights and dropped into the path of approaching aeroplanes for the purpose of entangling the propellers, thereby rendering the same inefiective and forcing the aeroplanes to land.

This invention, briefly described, consists in a device which may be termed a trap or a bomb and which comprises a coil of resilient wire, such as piano wire, or ordinary steel wire, which coil is held from unwinding by suitable clamping means that can be readily released by a time responsive device. When the means holding the wire coiled is released, the resilient action of the wire will immediately cause the coils to unwind and to fall through the air in the form of a helical spiral. When a number of such devices are released above an approaching aeroplane or aeroplane squadron, the propellers of the approaching aeroplanes become entangled in such coils whereupon they lose their efficiency and cause the aeroplane to become unmanageable.

Having thus briefly described the objects of the invention, the latter will now be described with greater detail, and for this purpose referones will be had to the accompanying drawing in which one embodiment has been illustrated, and in which:

Figure 1 is a top plan View of a device embodying this invention;

Figure 2 is a section taken on line 22, Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a section taken on line 3-3, Figure 2 and shows the construction of the latch;

Figure 4 is a plan view of a band which serves to hold the coil of wire in position and shows by means of dotted lines the manner in which this band opens when the latch is released;

Figure 5 is a detail View showing a portion of the time responsive releasing mechanism;

Figure 6 is a plan View looking in the direction of arrow 5 in Figure 5;

Figure '7 is a section taken on line 1-7, Figure 6;

Figure 8 is a section similar to that shown in connected at M. A short distance inwardly from the end of part IS, a hole l5 is provided for the reception of the inwardly extending parts IE on the end of member l2. Short metal strips I! extend across the outer surface of the coil and these are held in place by the band which is shown in Figure 4. In order to keep the band from opening a bar is is positioned over the end of part l2 adjacent the hook portion l6 and this is connected by means of wires I9, 23 and 2| with eyelets 22 in the ends of the hinge pin that hold the parts l2 and I3 together. The two wires designated by reference numerals 29 and 2| are provided with loops 23 that encircle a round flanged nut 24 in the manner shown in Figures 5, 6 and 7. The flanged nut is made in two parts which are separable. The parts designated by reference numeral 25 is positioned beneath the part designated by reference numeral 25 and these parts are interlocked by projections and recesses 25. When the two parts 24 and 25 are assembled, the central opening is threaded and this permits them to be screwed onto a threaded shaft 21 that is rotated by means of a clock work and train of gears two of which have been shown as designated by reference numerals 28 and 29. A pointer 39 serves both as a lock for the timing mechanism and a means for adjusting the time it will take for the shaft 21 to rotate sufiiciently to release the part 24. When this part is released, the ends of wires 20 and 2| will separate, thereby permitting the bar l8 to fall away, whereupon the resilient properties of the band permitthe latter to separate as shown in Figure 4. As soon as the band has separated and the metal strips I! have been released, the wire will begin to unwind and if one end of the wire is held suspended by a parachute 3|, or equivalent means, the wire will unwind into a downwardly extending helical spiral like that shown in Figure 9. Since a great length of wire can be incorporated in a coil if desired, the helix formed thereby will be quite long and of considerable diameter which increases the probabilities of its being engaged by the propeller of an aeroplane.

The timing mechanism illustrated is a common alarm clock mechanism and has been designated by reference numeral 32. The specific construction of this mechanism has not been shown because a large variety of such timing elements can be substituted. Among others it is possible to employ a fuse or a powder train like that employed in connection with the timing of shells. Since it is evident that the invention does not reside in the particular timing element, the latter has been shown merely as an element of the combination. The parachute 3| can be folded and held against the surface of the coil somewhat in the manner shown in Figure 1. It is also possible to dispense with the parachute as the unwinding of the wire will cause the latter to assume a shape that produces a considerable retarding effect and such a spiral helix will not fall at the same rate as a solid body.

The method of employing the devices above described is as follows: Upon an alarm being given that hostile aeroplanes are approaching, aeroplanes loaded with large numbers of these devices climb to great heights so as to be above the approaching aeroplanes when the latter come in sight the occupants of the plane begin to release these wire bombs, but before they are released, the timing element is adjusted to release the holding band a certain number of seconds after the wire bomb has been launched into the air. The time is gauged so as to permit the Wires to uncoil before the enemy planes arrive. Since this wire can be very fine and the coils are spaced apart a considerable distance, they will be practically invisible to an approaching pilot and when large numbers of them are floating in the air, the chances of some propeller striking these coils is comparatively large. The parachutes, if such are employed, do not need to be very large and can be made of transparent material so as to be practically invisible to approaching pilots.

The specific embodiment shown is illustrative only and it is apparent that many specifically different means for holding the coil against unwinding and for releasing the same can be devised and applicant contemplates the substitution of mechanical equivalents for the elements shown, wherever other forms seem to be indicated.

Having described the invention what is claimed as new is:

1. An aerial bomb, comprising in combination, a resilient wire formed into a hollow coil, means attached to the coil for holding the wire in coiled position, said means comprising a resilient band encircling the coil, the ends of the band having cooperating latch elements, the band being biased to open position, means carried by the coil for holding the latch elements in operative engagement, means comprising a time responsive device positioned in the opening in the coil and operatively connected with the latch for normally retaining the latch in operative position, means for retaining the time responsive device inoperative, and means for releasing the timing device and for determining the time that will elapse between its release and the time the latch is released.

2. An aerial bomb, comprising in combination, a length of resilient wire formed into a hollow coil, means comprising a resilient band for encircling a portion of the coil to resist its tendency to unwind, one end of the band having an opening and the other a hook forming cooperating latching means, means comprising a trigger mechanism for holding the latch in operative position, means comprising a time responsive device positioned in the opening in the coil for operating the trigger and releasing the latch, and means for holding the time responsive device inoperative and for releasing it and determining its time element.

3. An aerial bomb comprising, in combination, a length of resilient wire formed into a hollow coil, means for resisting the tendency of the coil to unwind comprising a band formed from two flat resilient members having a hinged connection, the band sections being normally curved less than degrees, one of the free ends having an opening and the other end a hook adapted to enter the opening, a clock mechanism positioned in the opening in the coil, a wire retainer extending diametrically about the coil and over one of the free ends of the band for holding the band in latched position, and means operated by the clock mechanism for releasing the ends of the retainer to release the band whereby the wire coil can unwind.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4753400 *Feb 13, 1987Jun 28, 1988Pioneer Systems, IncorporatedShipboard air vehicle retrieval apparatus
US4903607 *Aug 2, 1988Feb 27, 1990Optelecom, Inc.Communication link winding and dispensing projectile
US5814753 *Jun 2, 1995Sep 29, 1998Daimler-Benz Aerospace AgDevice for the nonlethal combating of aircraft
U.S. Classification89/1.11, 102/504, 89/36.16
International ClassificationF41H11/04, F41H11/00
Cooperative ClassificationF41H11/04
European ClassificationF41H11/04