US 2372804 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 3, 1945. v. N. VERTZINSKY ANTIAIRCRAFT MINE Filed July 1, 1941 '2 Sheets-Sheet 1 April 3, 1945. v. N. VERTZINSKY 2,372,804
ANTIAIRCRAFT MINE Filed July 1, 1941 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Patented Apr. 3, 1945 omen STATES smear OFFICE ANTIAIiZZST MINE I w r Application July 1, 1941, Serial No. 400,601
This invention relates to aerial mines for use as weapons against aircraft, and it has, as a broad object, to rapidly provide efiective air mines and effective apparatus for establishing fields of such mines in the air.
A more specific object is to provide an aerial mine that is subject to detonation by contact with an airplane in the air, but is substantially-immune to detonation from impact with the ground, and during handling.
Another object is to provide a practicable method and apparatus for rapidly creating aerial mine fields without the use of ground artillery, and at altitudes above that at which ground artillery is effective.
A feature of the invention is a bomb or aerial torpedo containing aerial mines and adapted to be dropped from an airplane, the bomb having a detonating means for firing it in the air to distribute its load of mines in a predetermined, desired pattern.
Another feature is a detonating device for use in a bomb of the type referred to, which is con" trolled by barometric pressure to detonate at a desired elevation, irrespective of the elevation from which the bomb is dropped.
Still another feature of the invention is a bomb detonator that is relatively safe during handling, and after falling to the grOllnd, should it fail to detonate in the air as intended.
Another feature of the invention is a detonator 'for a mine-laying bomb so designed that it will detonate only when the bomb is in vertical position, to thereby secure a desired distribution of the mines.
Briefly, my invention includes aerial mines adapted to be suspended on parachutes so that they fall slowly through a space where enemy airplanes may be present, with an aerial bomb adapted to carry a large number of such mines and distribute them in fields. The bomb is intended to be dropped from an airplane at an elevation above that at which the mine field is to be laid. It falls rapidly and invisibly, and is adapted to discharge its mines in a desired pattern when it reaches the elevation where the mine field is to be established.
The invention will now be more fully explained by describing in detail a particular embodiment thereof, with reference to the drawings, in which Fig. 1 is an elevation View of a mine-carrying aerial bomb, in accordance with the invention;
Fig. 2 is a vertical section through the main body of the bomb shown in Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a horizontal section through the bomb;
Fig. 4 is a plan view of the bomb'with the top cap removed; a p I Fig. 5 is a schematic diagram of the electri detonating circuit for the bomb;
Fig. 6 is a longitudinal section through one of the mines of the bomb in Fig. 2; p
Fig. 7 is an elevation View ofone of the mines as it appears when suspended in the air from its parachute; and
Fig. 8 is a diagram illustratingone manner of using the invention as a weapon against enemy airplanes.
Referring, first, to Fig. 1, the bomb H3 therein disclosed comprises a'main body portion H having, a nose cap l2on the lower end thereof for promoting straight travel and having on its rear end a rear cap [3 to whichtail vanes M are attached. A cylindrical shell or band l5 may be provided at the upper ends of the vanes i l to protect a windmill l6 positioned therewithin. The windmill is mounted on a shaft I! (Fig. 2),
projecting through a tubular sleeve l8 positioned at the axis of the bomb, which is also the line of intersection of the vanes M. The windmill l6 actuates a centrifugal device 19 positioned within the rear cap l3, for preventing detonation of the bomb unless the windmill is rotating in I excess of a predetermined speed.
The main body I l of the bomb contains a large number of radial bores or barrels 20 containing mines 2|, which are discharged horizontally in various directions when the bomb is detonated. Each barrel 20, as shown, has an outer cylindrical portion and an inner conical portion. Each mine 2| is shaped to fill the cylindrical portion and extend partway into the conical portion. The inner part of the conical portion of each barrel contains an explosive charge 22, which, when detonated, blows the mine out of the barrel. The inner end of each barrel communicates, through the perforations in a perforated sleeve 23, with a detonating charge 24 contained within the sleeve, so that when the charge 24 explodes it fires all of the charges 22 to discharge the mines 2|. The detonating charge 24 is exploded by an electrical fuse 25 positioned therein and con nected by wires 26 to detonating apparatus within the rear cap l3, which apparatus will be described later.
As shown in Figs. 2 and 3, the main body I! of the bomb is formed of vertically stacked sections 21, each of which may be a casting and each of which contains one tier of barrels 28 containing mines 2|. The different sections 27 are maintained in alignment by the perforated central sleeve 23, and are held together by nuts 23, which are threaded onto the opposite ends of the sleeve, and bear against upper and lower plates 29 and 30, respectively. The rear cap I3 is detachably secured to the rear plate 29 as by screws 3|, and the cap I2 may be similarly secured to the front plate 30. The front cap I2 may be empty, but it, may have reinforcing walls or flanges 32 therewithin to give it sufficient strength.
The explosive charges 22 are preferably of the same strength in all of the barrels of each section 21, so that all the mines 2! in each section are projected with the same force to the same distance, and the lateral recoil forces balance each otherand do not produce any resultant lateral deflection of the mine. However, it is desirable to make the explosive charges 22 in different sections of different strengths, so that the mines 2| in the different tiers or sections, will be projected different distances from the tropedo and a better distribution of the mines will be effected. I
The main body I I preferably includes an out-er covering or skin 33 of some thin, sheet material,
which covers the outer ends of the barrels 2 5 and normally retains the mines in place in the barrel. However, this skin 33 is sufficiently thin and weak so that it is readily ruptured by the mines when they are discharged.
It is to be understood that it is not essential of which must be closed. The detonator may .1.
consist of a short length 35 (Fig. 5) of very fine wire, capable of being heated to incandescence by current from the dry cell 34.
The three switches referred to are actuated by (1) an altimeter control switch 35; (2) a levelling switch 31; and (3), a centrifugally controlled switch 38, respectively.
Th altimeter control switch 35 includes the needle 39 of an altimeter and a manually controlled switch contact 40 may be of conventional construction and is not disclosed in Fig. 1 but is contained within a casing indicated at 4 I. This casing has an electrical connection with the plate 29 and the main frame of the bomb. The manually movable switch con- :1"
tact 40 extends into the path of movement of the altimeter needle 39 and is supported on a shaft 42, which is coaxial with the shaft of the altimeter needle 39 but positioned thereabove. The switch contact 40 is insulatingly supported on the shaft 42, as by insulation 44, so that the contact 40 is insulated from the frame of the bomb. The
shaft 42 is rotatably supported in the cover 45v of the case of switch 35 and extends up through a transparent dial 45 visible through an opening 4'! in the rear cap I3. The transparent dial 46 has altimeter graduations on it in proper cooperative position with respect to the altimeter needle 39, and a pointer 48 on the shaft 42 extends immediately below the dial 46 so as to make it possible to set the switch contact 40 in any desired position with respect to the dial. This setting may be accomplished by a removable key 49 adapted to fit on the squared end 50 of the shaft 42.
The altimeter itself It will be obvious that the circuit is completed through the switch 36 when the altimeter needle 39 contacts the manually adjusted switch contact 40. This closure is produced during the descent of the bomb when it reaches the elevation corresponding to the setting of the contact 40. The contact 40 is always positioned below the pointer 39. Thus when the needle 33 is in zero position, as when the bomb is on the ground at sea level, the movable contact 40 would be positioned below the zero mark on the dial. The contact 40 is set only shortly before the bomb is discharged from the airplane. Thus suppose the mine field is to be created at an elevation of 30,000 feet by dropping the bomb from an airplane at 35,000 feet. The operator leaves the contact 40 in its initial position below the zero mark on the dial until he has reached an elevation substantially above 30,000 feet. Thereafter the shaft 42 is turned to position the indicator 48 at 30,000 feet. This can be done without contacting the needle 39 because the latter is in a higher position. After the bomb has been dropped, the needle 39 gradually moves back toward zero position as the bomb loses elevation, and when it reaches the 30,000 foot level, for which it was set, the needle 39 will contact the contact 40 and complete the circuit for detonating the bomb, provided, of course, that the other two switches mentioned are also closed.
The leveling switch 31 is provided for the purpose of opening the circuit and preventing the release of the mines unless the bomb is in vertical position. It consists of two horizontally extending tubes 5| and 52, respectively (Fig. 4), positioned at right angles to each other and both lying in a plane normal to the longitudinal axis of the bomb. The tubes 5| and 52 are partly filled with mercury and have metallic end caps 54 which complete the circuit through the mercury when the bomb is in vertical position. However, if the bomb is tilted substantially off vertical position, the mercury in tube 5I or tube 52 will flow into one end of the tube and leave the contact at the other end, thereby interrupting the detonating circuit.
The centrifugally actuated switch 38 includes a spring contact 55 (Fig. 2) mounted on a stationary insulating support 56 which cooperates with a contact 51 insulatingly mounted on a slide 60, one end of which projects into an annular groove 6| in the collar 58 of the centrifugal device I9. As previously mentioned, this device I9 is mounted on the shaft I! which is rotated by the windmill I6 when the bomb is falling freel and has acquired substantial velocity. As the velocity of the shaft II. increases, the governor balls 62 move outwardly and upwardly against th tension of return springs 59 to raise the collar 58 and swing the slide 60 to carry the contact 5! against the stationary contact 55.
The battery 34 is mounted on a sleeve extending inwardly from the rear shell I3 and open at its outer end. The battery 34 is simply inserted into the sleeve 65 as far as it will go, causing the center terminal 66 of the battery to press against a contact spring 61 which is connected to the contact spring 55, previously mentioned. The battery is retained in position by an ordinary sliding door 58. When it is desired to change batteries, the door 68 is slid away from the opening therebelow, whereupon the spring 61 presses the battery 34 outwardly a suflicient distance to enable it to be grasped by the operator.
It is desirable to insert the battery 34 as the last operation in preparing the bomb, since the bomb is safe without the battery. The insertion of the battery is a very simple and quickly-performed operation.
The mines 2! can be of various types of construction, some of which are disclosed in'my copending application Serial No. 399,003, filed June 20, 1941.
In general, each mine comprises a mine-body 70 (Fig. '7), a parachute ll connected to the mine body ill by shroud lines 72, and a wire 73 con design the mines that they are detonated by tension applied between the wires 73 and the shroud lines 72. A tension sufficient to detonate the mines results if either the shroud lines 72, the wire 13 or the mine body JG is contacted by a rapidly moving object, such as an airplane.
Referring to Fig. 6, the mine body 79 comprises an open top container l containing the main explosive charge 16 and having a top 7'? frictionally engaging the container. The shroud lines 12 are connected to rings l8 on the container top 77, so that when the parachute is in the extended condition shown in Fig. 7, it support the body 'lil through the top '57. The wire 13 is secured to a cap Bil screwed onto the lower, threaded end of a tube 81 which extends up through the center of the container l5 and through an aperture 82 in a recessed portion 83 of the top 17. The tube 8! contains a detonating material 84, such as fulminate of mercury, which explodes when broken. The upper end of the tube 8! has secured thereto a head 8 la which fits within the recess'portion 33 of the lid but may be spaced a short distance from the bottom wall of the recess,
As shown in Figs. 2 and 6, the parachute 1! may be folded against the upper end of the mine body l8 and the weight M may be placed in front of the parachute, the assembly being held in place by the outer skin 33 (Fig. 2) of the bomb. When the mine is blown out of its barrel 20, the parachute H and balls "I i are released, and the mine assumes the condition shown in Fig. '7. Under these circumstances, the weight M is connected through the cap 89 with the lower end of the detonating tube Bl, but no tension is applied to the tube, because the shroud lines '12 are connected to the cap 7'! which is frictionally engaged with the container J5.
However, if the mine body, the wire 73, or the shroud lines It is struck by a rapidly moving body, such as an airplane, the tension is immediately increased to a value sufiicient to tear the cap Ti off the container 75, carrying the upper portion of the tube 8| with it. The tube 81 may be weakened near its center, as indicated at 89, so that it will be ruptured at that point. The rupture detonates the material 84 which in turn detonates the main charge it.
If the mine falls to the ground without being struck by an airplane, it is relatively safe, because only a, substantial tensile strain, applied between the container 75 and the cap 17, can tear the cap loose and thereby break the deto-nating tube 8!,
As an example, one manner of using the invention is illustrated in Fig; 8, in which a group of enemy planes 85-is intercepted by mines laid by an airplane 86 flying at a higher elevation and in advance of the planes 85. The plane '86 has dropped three bombs Ill, in accordance with the invention. The first bomb has burst and scat tered its mines slightly above and in front of the planes 85. The second and third bombs have not yet exploded but are set to explode and distribute their mines at spaced intervals along the path of the enemy airplanes 85.-
My bombs may be released in various ways to create different types of aerial mine fields. As an example, a number of bombs may be dropped simultaneously, but set to explode at different elevations so as to create a mine field of substantial vertical extent. a
An important feature of the present invention is that mine fields can be quickly established in any location where they would be useful, because they do not require surface artillery for their use. Thus my fields might be established over enemy airdromes, deep in enemy territory, to hamper the use of the airdrome by the enemy.
It may be desirable in some instances to interconnect some of the mines in the bomb with wires, so as to form a net more apt to be struck by an enemy airplane.
An important feature of the invention is the fact that it makes possible rapid creation of aerial mine fields in any desired location so that the enemy cannot prepare in advance against them.
The expression parachute mine as used in the claims, defines a mine having a parachute connected thereto for causing the mine to slow the descent of the mine through the air. Furthermore, where the'expression in folded condition is used in the claims to describe a parachute mine, it means that the parachute is collapsed into a small space closely adjacent the mine.
Many variations from the exact constructions shown and described will occur to those skilled in the art, and the invention is, therefore, to be limited only to the extent set forth in the ap pended claims.
1. An aerial mine comprising a body member containing an explosive charge and a detonating element, said detonating element extending longitudinally of the body member and being adapted to detonate in response to tensile disruption thereof, a parachute, means connecting said parachute to the upper end of said detonating element, means connecting the lower end of said detonating element to said body member, whereby said detonating element is disrupted and detonated in response to abnormal tensile force between said body member and said parachute.
2. An aerial mine comprising a. body member containing an explosive charge and a detonating element, a parachute, means for permanently connecting said parachute to the upper end of said detonating element and yieldably connecting it to said body member, means connecting the lower end of said detonating element to said body member, said detonating element detonating in response to tensile disruption and being subject to tensile disruption by predetermined tensile force between said parachute and said body member.
3. An aerial mine comprising in combination:
a body member containing an explosive charge and a detonating element that detonates in response to tensile disruption, a cap yieldably retained on said body member, means connecting said detonating element between said cap and said body member, whereby it is disrupted in response to pulling away of said cap, and a parachute con nected to said cap.
4. An aerial mine comprising a body member containing an explosive charge, a detonating element for detonating said charge, a parachute, means for normally supporting said body member from said parachute, a weight, filamentary means connecting said weight to the lower end of said detonating element, and means connecting the upper end of said detonating element to said parachute, said detonating element detonating in response to tensile disruption thereof, and. being disruptable in response to tension between said -mines from said barrels during descent of said body member through the air, and means operative during descent to detonate the said explosive means.
6. Apparatus as described in claim 5, in which said body member has a longitudinal axis and said barrels project radially from said axis.
VLADIMIRAS Ni VERTZINSKY.