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Publication numberUS2972946 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 28, 1961
Filing dateJul 7, 1950
Priority dateJul 7, 1950
Publication numberUS 2972946 A, US 2972946A, US-A-2972946, US2972946 A, US2972946A
InventorsPoulter Thomas C
Original AssigneePoulter Thomas C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bomb cluster
US 2972946 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 28s 196i T. c. poum-ER BOMB CLUSTER Filed July 7, 1950 O. OK OO OO O u Q a n Q Q A n R 0 @o 1 o o o C O O\ /Q O\ M A @w t? o QG o o O f ,Q .2 mm Q #lll F L s ww m.

Q wm W om m. mm rl, QN l l IE. w /I om k Q u mw mm @Wmm m m. u@

Feb. 28, SS T. c. PoUL'n-:R

BOMB CLUSTER Filed July 7, 195o I N VEN TOR. was* ci IPof/ BY Q @Qa/MT.

A TTORA/E YS Feb. 28? i963 T, C PQULTER l 299272,94@

BOMB CLUSTER Filed July 7, 1950 l ,f1- a Pauw MMM,

INVENTOR ATTORNEYS Feb. 28, 1961 T. c. POULTER BOMB CLUSTER 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed July 7, 1950 INVENTOR. THOM 0 PULTER BY @/WW Feb. 28, 1961 T. c'. PoULTER BOMB CLUSTER 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed July 7, 1950 INVENT OR /f/Q @M Y C, @WW

ATTORNEYS BOMB CLUSTER Thomas C. Poulter, Palo Alto, Calif., assigner, by mesne assignments, to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy Filed July 7, 1950, Ser. No. 172,562

` 1 claim. (c1. 1oz-7.2)

The present invention relates generally to the scattering of bombs, projectiles, other missiles, or the like into a ldesired pattern after they have been released or projected as a cluster, and more particularly to an apparatus for scattering a cluster of missiles or the like in flight to describe a desired aerial pattern and to form a desired impact pattern upon an impact surface.

Achieving detonation of an airborn missile suiciently close to a submarine, for example, to have lethal effect is a timing problem in three dimensional space and in two media, air and water. Accuracy must be maintained both in the line of flight and across the line of flight so that detonation will occur Within lethal range whether the target is submerged or surfaced. Suflicient accuracy in the aircraft line of ight has been obtained by dropping a stick of depth charges or bombs or the like; however, this does not reduce the accuracy required at right angles to the line of flight.

The present invention is designed to minimize the above-mentioned problems by providing an apparatus which permits the releasing or launching of a cluster of missiles and subsequently propelling the several missiles from the cluster into a desired spatial pattern, which in the preferred embodiment of the present invention constitutes a circle substantially normally disposed to the line of ight thereof. Because of the horizontal flight component of these missiles or projectiles, the impact pattern formed by them upon a substantially horizontally disposed impact surface is substantially in the form of an oval, thereby decreasing the accuracy necessary for an effective attack in the direction along the line of flight and in the direction perpendicular to the line of flight.

It is therefore one object of the present invention to provide for the scattering of a cluster of missiles or projectiles or the like, while in light.

Another object of the present invention is to provide for the scattering of a cluster of missiles or projectiles or the like into a desired spatial pattern as, for example, a circle substantially normally disposed to the line of flight thereof, while in ilight.

Another object of the present inventionis to provide an electrical circuit for controlling the timing of the propulsion of a cluster of missiles or projectiles or the like into a scatter pattern, while in ight.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide for the arming of a cluster of missiles or projectiles or the like, while in flight, or to enable the jettisoning of such a cluster without arming, when desired.

. A still further object of the present invention is to provide a control circuit for the arming of impact controlled bombs, missiles, projectiles, or the like which eliminates a defective impact controlled switch from the detonator circuit to prevent premature tiring of the missile or the like, and which converts the armed missile to a dud after a desired time interval from its arming.

To enable a more complete understanding of the present invention, a detailed description thereof is made hereinjbelow in its specific application to bombs in conjunc- 2,972,946A Patented Feb. 28, 1961 Z tion with the accompanying drawings, in which like numerals refer to like or corresponding parts and wherein:

Fig. 1 is an isometric view of a bomb cluster frame embodying the principles of the present invention;

Fig. 2 is an isometric view of the cluster frame shown in Fig. 1 with a plurality of bombs aflixed thereto in readiness for operation;

Fig. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional View of Fig. 2 taken along the line 3 3;

Fig. 4 is a greatly enlarged perspective and partially sectional viewof a portion of the bomb cluster frame illustrating a means for propelling the bombs into the desired scatter pattern;

Fig. 5 is an enlarged detailed isometric view of a portion of the bomb cluster and frame;

Fig. 6 is a wiring diagram of a circuit for controlling the cluster scattering means and for controlling the arming of the bombs;

Fig. 7 is a perspective View of a scattered bomb cluster showing an aerial scatter pattern and indicating the impact pattern resulting therefrom; and

Figs. 8 and 9 diagrammatically illustrate two cluster arrangements of bombs and the aerial scatter pattern resulting therefrom.

ln its more general aspect, the embodiment of the present invention illustrated in the drawings comprises a bomb cluster frame illustrated in Fig. 1 and generally denoted by the numeral 10 having the central shaft 12, upon which, as is shown in Fig. 2, a plurality of bombs are clustered by means of the binding straps 19 and auxiliary straps 19a. Each binding strap 19 is provided with a strap rupturing explosive cap 25. The central shaft 12 of the frame 10 is provided with three separate explosion chambers, one of which is generally indicated by the numeral 20 and is shown in detail in Fig. 4, each o-f which is provided with a bomb scattering explosive charge 21 and with four outlet passages 22, extending radially from the explosion chamber to the periphery of shaft 12. Four bomb scattering propellers each comprising a bomb-engaging arbor 23 and piston 24, cooperate with each bomb scattering explosion chamber 20. The piston 24 of each propeller is inserted into one of the radially extending passages 22 and is preferably provided with` a sealing cap 26 of neoprene or other suitable material for snug engagement with the internal surface of the passage 22.

In the operation of the present device, the frame 1t) and i-ts cluster of bombs 11 are dropped from an attacking airplane, and in a determined -time thereafter the band-rupturing caps 25 and the scattering charges 21 are simultaneously tired. The caps 25 rupture the bands 19 while the scattering charges 21 force the propellers against the bombs .11, causing the bombs to rupture the auxiliary bands 19a and to scatter radially from the cluster frame 10, forming a pattern in accordance with the arrangement of bombs on the cluster frame and the direction of the forces exerted by the bomb scattering propellers.

Considering next the detailed structure of the cluster frame 10, and for this purpose referring to Fig. l, it comprises the central shaft 12 having three sets of radially extending positioning fins 13, 14 and 15. Each such set comprises two groups of tins, each group having four fins (except where the lins are displaced by the plates 41, 42, and 43) rotationally displaced from each other by 9 0", and each set is successively rotationally stepped from its preceding and/or succeeding set by 30. In addition, the central shaft 12 is provided with three pairs of axial bomb positioning rings 27, 28 and 29. The three groups of bomb scattering propellers, generally indicated in Fig. 1 by the numerals 16, 17y and 18, one group havingA are shown in Fig. 1 in their operational position on the central shaft 12 of the bomb cluster frame 10. There are also shown in Fig. 1 a control circuit housing 30, a radially extending support plate 41 therefor which takes the place of two corresponding fins of the twoV groups of set 14, and the two radially extending plates 42 and 43, each of which takes the place of two corresponding fins of the two groups of set 15 and whose purpose will be described below.

As indicated above, the band' rupturing. caps 25 and the bomb scattering charges 21 are all fired or exploded simultaneously, and in the preferred embodiment of the present invention this ignition is accomplished by the electrical control circuit illustrated as a portion of Fig. 6. This control circuit, generally indicated by the numeral 50, comprises the vibrator 51, the, step-up transformer 52, the diode rectifier 53, the double pole double throw switch 57, the double pole single throw switch 58, the time delay squibs 59 and 60, and the single pole single throw switches 68 and 69. This control circuit is contained in the control circuit housingA 30 mentioned above. Before the bomb cluster is dropped from the airplane,y the control circuit 50 is in the condition illustrated in the drawing of Fig. 6, a 24 volt D.C. potential being applied thereto from an airplane battery circuit or the like to operate through the vibrator 51 and condenser 54 connected thereacross upon the step-up transformer 52. The output of transformer 52 is applied asa plate voltage upon the diode rectifier 53, causing the cathode thereof, connected to ground through the resistor 56 and condensers 55 and 61 connected thereacross, to obtain a substantially steady positive potential somewhat more negative than the peak positive potential of the plate. With the double pole double throw switch 57 -in the position illustrated in the drawing, condensers 55 and 61 attain a charge in accordance lwith the potential carried by the cathode of tube 53.

After a suflicient period of time to permit maximum charging of condensers 55 and 61, the bomb cluster is dropped from the airplane, and by means to be described below, while the cluster is in flight the switch` 58 is caused to close and the switch 57 is throwninto its opposite position from that shown in the drawing. The closure of switch 58 energizes the time delay squibsV 59 and 60, which, after Ia determined lapse of time, cause the single pole single throw switches 68 and 69 to close, two squibs and two switches being here employed as a safety factor to prevent the accidental premature o-peration of one squib or closure of one switch from completing the circuit controlled thereby. The closure of switches 68 and 69 enables condenser 61 to discharge to ground through the bomb scattering charges 21 contained in the bomb s cattering explosion chamber and through the binding strap rupturing caps 2S carried on the binding straps 19, thus firing these charges and caps. The explosion of caps ruptures the three binding straps` 19, while the simultaneous explosion of the scattering'charges 21 causes the three sets of bomb scattering propellers, generally indicated by the numerals 16, 17 and 18, to push outwardly against the bombs 11, causing a rupturing of the auxiliary straps 19a and a scattering of the bombs 11 to form a pattern in -accordance with their distribution and positioning upon the cluster frame 10 and the direction of force exerted thereon by the scattering propellers.

One particular bomb which may be used with the present invention is that typefrequently referred to as a horn type, wherein the bomb is provided with a plurality of deformable horn-like extensionsV 60,'which are crushed upon impact with a solid object 'to close the bombs detonator circuit. A bombY arming circuit, generally iridicated by the numeral 70 and illustrated as a portion of Fig. 6, may be provided inV each bomb and operates in conjunction with the control circuit 50 for armingthe bomb while in flight. This circuit comprises a time delay squib 71, a charge receiving condenser 73, an arming condenser 74, a resistor 75 connecting these condensers, a resistor 76 connected across the arming condenser 74, a detonator charge 77, and an arming switch 78. As indicated in the preceding paragraph, in a period of time after the bomb cluster has been dropped from -the airplane, the double pole double throw switch 57 in circuit 50 is caused to assume the position opposite from that shown in the drawing, thus connecting the bomb arming circuit to the cathode of the rectifier tube 53 and condenser 55 through lead 80, thus energizing the squib 71, charging the condenser 73, and blowing the fuse 72. The potential carried by the cathode of tube 53, and condenser 55 is also applied through the'lead 80 and switch 78 to the horn contacts 81 contained in the horns 60. In the event that through faulty construction or accident a contact S1 is in engagement at this time with its horn 60, a circuit is completed through the horns to ground, and the corresponding fuse 79 of the faulty horn 60 is blown,

preventing the occurrence of a dud bomb from this cause as would otherwise resul-t, which will be apparent from subsequent considerations. After a determined lapse of time from the throwing of the double pole double throw switch 57, as determined by the characteristics of the time delay squib 71, the squib 71 throws the arming switch 73 into contact with the detonator chargey 77 to place his charge in series with the arming condenser 74.

The charge impressed upon the charge receiving condenser 73 is caused to slowly establish a. charge on the arming condenser 74 by a discharge thereof through the resistor 75. After the condenser 74 has attained a given potential sufcient to energize the detonator 77 and the bomb has been armed through operation of squib 71, the bomb is alive, and upon the crushing of any one of its horns 60 to engage its contact 81 contained therein, as would result from its impact against a solid object, a circuit from the condenser 74, through the detonator charge 77, the arming switch 78, and the appropriate contact 81 and its horn 66 is completed to ground, thereby firing the detonator 77 to explode the high explosive charge of the bomb. Thus, if a faulty horn were not removed from the detonator circuit, the bomb would become a dud through leakage of the electrical charge from condenser 73 through resistor 75, detonator charge 77, switch 78, contact 81, and faulty horn 60v to ground.

After the lapse of a determined period of time from the arming of the bomb, the bomb becomes a dud `due to the leakage of the charge on condenser 74 to ground through the resistor 76, until the charge remaining on the condenser 74 is insucient to re the detonator 77. Thus, there is provided a bomb arming circuit operating in conjunction with the bomb scattering control circuit which accomplishes the arming of the bombs in the cluster while in ight and converts the armed bomb to a dud in a determined period of time after arming. In addition, the bomb arming circuit insures against conversion of the bomb to a dud as would result from faulty construction of the horns. Also, due to the delay in the charging of arming condenser 74 through resistor 75, an insurance against premature detonation of the bomb is obtained despite a premature closing of the arming switch 78 and contact between a contact arm 81 and its horn 60 until a lapse of time, as determined by that necessary for the charging of condenser 74 to the necessary value, after release of the bomb from the airplane. Such a premature closure of the detonator circuit would, of course, result in a dud bomb because of the direct conduction of the electrical charge on condenser 73 to ground. The values and characteristics of the several elementscomprising the control and arming circuits indicated in Fig. 6 present one complete operative embodiment thereof. Lead a affords a connection between condenser 55 and the other bomb arming circuits of the several bombs in the cluster.

In order to effectuate the desired closing of switch 58 and throwing ofswitch 57 tor accomplish the desired operation of the control circuit 50 and bomb arming circuit 70, a pull-cord 86 (see Figs. 2 and 5) is provided having a desired length of slack stored in a pull-cord housing 87 mounted on the cluster frame and carried by either plate 42 or 43 mentioned above, such that when the free end of the pull-cord is affixed to a suitable hook or the like in the airplane and the bomb cluster and frame dropped therefrom, upon the cluster falling the distance provided by the pull-cord slack the pull-cord operates to throw the two switches 57 and 58 and then breaks free from the cluster, enabling the cluster to continue on its ight and to be operationally controlled by the energized control and bomb arming circuits. Since in the present embodiment of the control circuit, the 24 volt D.C. airplane battery supply must be applied to this control circuit until switch 58 is closed in order that squibs 59 and 60 may be energized, it is preferable that the pull-cord comprises a lead from the airplane battery circuit. As shown in Fig. 5, the pull-cord 86 comprises such a lead and includes the plug S5 adapted to be inserted in the 24 volt D C. airplane battery supply circuit. The major portion of the pull-cord is stored in the pull-cord housing 87 where the desired slack is contained. A ring 83 is clamped to the pull-cord 86 near the plug 85 for attaching the pull-cord to a xed hook or the like within the airplane. A safety lock 89 is aixed to the housing 87 to prevent the accidental. removal of the pull-cord slack therefrom. Before dropping the cluster of bombs the cotter pin 90 is pulled from this lock, enabling its ready removal from the housing and permitting the ready egress of the pull-cord slack therefrom. The other end of the pull-cord is provided with one half of a lead connector 91a, which forms an electrical union with the control circuit input leads 92 connected to the other half 91b of the lead connector. In addition, the plug 93 which is connected to the pull-cord substantially adjacent to its connector half 91a, enters a suitable socket in the control circuit housing 30 and is held in position therein by means of the cotter pin 94 and the shearing wire 95. Thus, with the plug 85 inserted in the 24 volt D C. airplane battery circuit, with the ring 88 affixed to a suitable hook or the like in the airplane, and` with the cotter pins 90 and 94 pulled, if the cluster is dropped from the airplane, the pull-cord slack runs free from its housing 87 until the cluster has fallen the distance of the slack length, whereupon the pull exerted thereby upon the plug 93 through connection 93a cuts the shearing wire 95 and pulls the plug 93 from its socket, which operates upon switches 57 and 58, causing the switch 58 of the control circuit to be closed and the switch 57 thereof to be thrown into the opposite position from that shown in Fig. 6. Upon the continued fall of the cluster, the slack in the leads 92 is drawn and the connection afforded thereto by the connector halves 91a and 91b is broken, setting the cluster free and establishing its operation under the control of the circuit 50 and the bomb arming circuit 70.

Also shown in Figs. l, 2, and 5 are the shackles 96 aihxed to the control circuit housing 30 for facilitating the handling of the bomb cluster and the dropping thereof from the airplane in the conventional manner ernployed for sticks of bombs and for the larger single bombs. Also, if desired, the shields 97 shown in Figs. 2 and 5 may be employed for protecting the horns of those bombs adjacent the shackles 96 and the control circuit housing 30. In addition, as shown in Fig. l, the bomb cluster frame is provided with a plurality of leads 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, and 105 supplying the connections from the control circuit 50 to the several bomb scattering charges 51 and to the several binding strap rupturing caps 25, leads 100, 102, and 104 being connected to the scattering charge connecting posts 110 (Fig. 4), and leads 99, 103, and 105 being connected to the binding strap rupturing caps 25.

If the bombs of the cluster are arranged on the cluster `frame in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention as shown in Fig. 2, i.e. arranged in three groups of four bombs, wherein the bombs of each group are each rotationally displaced from adjacent ybombs by 90 and in which the arrangement of each group is successively angularly rotated with respect to an adjacent group by 30, and if the direction of bomb scattering forces exerted by the propellers are normal to their respective bomb surfaces, then upon the explosion of the scattering charges and binding strap rupturing caps the twelve bombs are scattered into a substantially circular configuration disposed in the air substantially normally to the direction of ight of the bombs or the cluster. Upon their continued forw-ard travel and fall, because of their aerial displacement in the vertical direction, the points of impact of the bombs upon a substantially horizontal impact surface describes substantially the form of an oval, all as illustrated in Fig. 7 with the corresponding bombs and `impact points being correspondingly indicated. The dimensions of the oval so described will be a function of the airplane velocity, the airplane altitude, and the force of the scattering charges. Other scatter patterns than that hereinabove described may be obtained by the present invention by suitably arranging the bombs on the cluster frame and by applyingscatter forces thereto in suitable directions. Figs. 8 and 9 diagrammatically illustrate two such arrangements wherein in each figure part a representsthe arrangement for the forward group of bombs and the direction of scattering forces applied thereto, part b for the middle group of bombs, and part c for the rear group. Parts d of these two figures illustrate the aerial patterns which may be obtained'therefrom.

Thus, in operation, with the cluster of bombs arranged on the cluster frame as shown in Fig. 2, with the plug inserted in the 24 volt D.C. airplane battery circuit for a sufficient length of time to enable charging'of condensers 55 and 61, with the pull-out cord ring 88 aixed to a suitable hook or the like in the airplane, and with the cotter pins and 94 pulled from the safety plug 89 and the plug 93, respectively, the cluster is dropped. After the cluster has fallen a distance as determined by the length of slack of the pull-cord 86, the plug 93 is pulled from its receptacle in the control circuit housing 30 to close switch 58 -and to throw switch 57 into the opposite position from that shown in the drawings, thereby energizing the time delay squibs 59 and 60 and the time delay squib 71. Within a period of time thereafter, as determined by the squibs 59 and 60, the switches 68 and 69 are closed to simultaneously ignite the three scatter charges 21 and the three binding strap rupturing caps 25, forcing the bombs outwardly from the frame 10 in a direction as determined by the forces exerted on the bombs by their respective scattering propeller arbors 23 and the positioning of the bombs on the frame. The auxiliary binding straps 19a 'are ruptured by this force and the bombs scattered into the substantially circular aerial configuration previously described. Within a certain time interval after the throwing of switch 57 to the opposite position from that shown in the drawings, as determined by the time delay squib 71, each bomb is armed -by the throwing of switch 78 to its opposite position from that shown in the drawing. In a time interval after the charging of condenser 73, as determined by the values of condensers 73 and 74 and resistor 75, each bomb is made live by its condenser 74 attaining a suicient charge to fire its detonator 77 upon the crushing of any of its horns 60. However, the charge on condenser 74 leaks off to ground through the resistor 76 connected thereacross to a value insuicient to tire the detonator 77, thus converting the bomb to a dud within a period of time as determined. yby the values of condenser 74 and resistor 76. If it is desired to jettison the bombs unarmed and as duds, this may be accomplished -by disconnecting plug 85 from the airplane battery circuit a sufficient length of time to permit discharge of condensers 55 and 61 to ground through resistor 56 before dropping the cluster.

In addition to the above embodiment of the present invention, the cluster frame may be readily designed to provide a single explosion charge chamber extending to the three groups of bomb scattering propellers instead of the three separate chambers here described; the present invention may be employed with different type bombs than those here described; or more or less groupsk of bombs or more or less bombs per group may be employed than are here described. The foregoing detailed description of the present invention is therefore presented merely by way of example, and it is not intended to limit the scope thereof to the particular details thereof, for modification thereof will be apparent to one Skilled in the art from the teachings herein presented Within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the ap pended claim.

What is claimed is:

A missile cluster scattering and missile arming control circuit comprising two energy -storing condensers, means for charging said condensers, time delay means for connecting a first of said condensers to a missile Scattering means, energizing means for said time delay means, said first condenser when charged operating said missile scattering means in response to said time delay means, each missile of said cluster having impact responsive means for closing thev missiles detonator circuit, an arming switch, a charge receiving condenser, an arming condenser, a leakage resistor connecting said charge receiving and arming condensers, a drainage resistor connected across said arming condenser, and time delay means for actuating said arming switch, the second of said storing condensers When charged operating to energize said last mentioned time delay means and to charge said receiving condenser, said charge receiving condenser charging said arming condenser through said leakage resistor, said last mentioned time delay means operating to actuate said arming switch to place the missile detonating charge and the impact responsive means in electrical series With said arming condenser, said arming condenser firing said detonator charge in response to said impact responsive means, and said drainage resistor enabling said arming condenser to discharge in timed relationship to the charging thereof.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,278,578 Blackmore Sept. 10, 1918 1,311,780 Stone July 29, 1919 1,711,693 Ruhlemann May 7, 1929 1,791,606 Ruhlemann Feb. 10, 1931 2,346,494 Leland Apr. 11, 1944 2,447,941 Imber et al Aug. 24, 1948

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U.S. Classification102/393, 102/262, 89/1.51
International ClassificationF42B12/02, F42B12/58
Cooperative ClassificationF42B12/58
European ClassificationF42B12/58