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Publication numberUS3006288 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 31, 1961
Filing dateSep 16, 1952
Priority dateSep 16, 1952
Publication numberUS 3006288 A, US 3006288A, US-A-3006288, US3006288 A, US3006288A
InventorsBrown Owen
Original AssigneeBrown Owen
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System for high-speed transport
US 3006288 A
Previous page
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 31, 1961 '0. BROWN SYSTEM FOR HIGH-SPEED TRANSPORT Filed Sept. 16, 1952 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.

Oct. 31, 1961 0. BROWN SYSTEM FOR HIGH-SPEED TRANSPORT 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 16, 1952 m m m w.

0. BROWN SYSTEM FOR HIGH-SPEED TRANSPORT Oct. 31, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Sept. 16, 1952 INVENTOR.

Oct. 31, 1961 0. BROWN 3,006,288

SYSTEM FOR HIGH-SPEED TRANSPORT Filed Sept. 16, 1952 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 iin :HEII. 2970' "Mm: 215 mm" ama. A

if 16. 5 if 12 jfy. 1.9. m.

Oct. 31, 1961 0. BROWN SYSTEM FOR HIGH-SPEED TRANSPORT 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Sept. 16, 1952 INVENTOR.

United States Patent 3,806,288 SYSTEM FOR HIGH-SPEED TRANSPORT Owen Brown, 50135015 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles 16, Calif. Filed Sept. 16, 1952, Ser. No. 309,915 24 Claims. (Cl. 104138) This invention comprehends a new form of transportation, including new types of carriers and novel means for the sustentation of said carriers in high speed travel.

In one embodiment it introduces a jet-propelled railroad train adapted to move at airplane speeds while positively supported and stabilized against the hazard of derailment; which hazard, throughout the history of modern railroading, has been directly responsible for the loss of a great many human lives and for sundry other casualties, not to mention the loss of invested capital along with the destruction of valuable equipment.

In another embodiment it includes surface carriers adapted for level, fully airborne travel and for very great distan as without benefit of wings or of any other conventional airfoil means, in accord with a newly evolved theorem for the aerodynamic flotation and movement of heavier-than air bodies.

A third modification relates to atomic reactors applied to the propulsion of railway trains.

In accordance with said first named version, especially, means are provided for minimizing the usual wheel-torail friction component in the form of wheel-gear which only intermittently contacts and thence withdraws from the track rails, while the wheelborne body is recurrently supported by retractable other wheel-gear operable in stand-by relation to said first named wheel-gear and vice versa.

In common with vehicular devices disclosed in my application called Intercooperative System for Airborne and Surface Carriers, filed November 1, 1946, under Serial No. 707,153, since maturing into Patent No. 2,639,- 107, and of which this application is a continuation in part, my railborne vehicles differ inherently from all current types of such carriers.

In short, whereas the latter are entirely dependent upon locomotion derived through wheel torque, implemented by shaft horsepower, my vehicular forms require no prime driver and driven members dependent upon frictional contact with the rails in order to efiiect draw-bar pull. instead, propulsion is accomplished primarily by means of thermal reaction type motors, or by reactor-energized power assemblies, such as hereinafter described.

According to my system, both the locomotive and trailer units of the aforesaid train are economically constructed from relatively light weight materials, embodying many of the approved principles of modern airplane design, and with the consequent elimination of much of the existing body weighting and the necessity for constructing trackage to largely eliminate gradients. My car units, moreover, may be even lighter than airplanes of like diameters and lengths, since devoid of bulky and cumbersome airfoils. And fatalities due to pilot errors, motor failures, collisions with mountains and other airplanes, et cetera, which are inherent in flyable transports are entirely avoided without sacrifice of speeds, if desired, comparable to those of fully airborne craft.

It is therefore easy to comprehend how, with such a system in operation, the transcontinental flow of traflic would be so greatly increased, per carrier unit in operation, that the financial outlay required to install the necessary facilities would be far more than compensated for, and such expense readily written off through amortization.

Means for safely decelerating and stopping the carriers is amply provided for; and sundry other features of the invention, including the specific objects thereof, will be made clear during a perusal of the more detailed description hereinafter in relation to the diferent drawing views, in which- FIG. 1, in side elevation, illustrates one possible carrier type which is entirely self-propelled, and supported by trackage of a novel type to be described.

FIG. 2, also side elevational, shows one class of locomotive adapted to travel a length of trackage similar to that seen in FIG. 1, with the first of a plurality of trailer cars entrained therewith; means for transferring cargo uni-ts to or from the respective carriers being also illustrated.

FIG. 3, in front elevation and partially schematic, is a view of the locomotive unit of FIG. 2 taken along the line A-A thereof, with elements of the so-called cage in combination.

Fit 4, in end elevation, shows a modified form of cage when viewed in cross section, a modified vehicular device therein, and loading and unloading means similar to that given in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a side view, featuring means for quickly discharging a demountable body-section containing incoming freight and replacing the same with a body section containing outgoing freight.

FIG. 6 illustrates the interchangeableness of the aforesaid body sections; that is, whereby a standard section such as was used on one of the carriers of FIGS. 1 to 5, for example, may on a different occasion be loaded to or unloaded from the airplane shown.

P16. 7 is a perspective view of typical mountain and valley terrain featuring (in the foreground) the locomotive of FIG. 2 pulling a trm'n of cars therebehind, and also (in the background) the phantom indication of a line of trackage and trestlework which extends upward from the valley floor, at a relatively steep grade, through the passes and canyons of a mountain range; an automatic interlocking signal system being indicated schematically.

FIG. 8 is the plan View of a turntable expressly adapted to the invention.

FIG. 9, in schematic section, illustrates a cut-out to be explained hereinafter.

FIG. 10, in side elevation, is a fragnental detail which illustrates the roller-skate action of the rolling gear there shown, and which gear may, by option, be applied to either of the vehicular carriers of FIGS. 1 to 5.

FIG. 11 is the diagrammatic plan view of apparatus adapted to lubricate the trackage of FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 shows a slightly variant form of rolling gear, and the schematic detail of wheel-lubricating mechanism in combination.

FIG. 13 is a fragment in partial section of one, only, rail member according to FIG. 10, for example, illustrating a yet more compact, more streamlined arrangement in structure with one generally indicated mode of extending and retracting the particular type of wheel dolly there indicated.

FIG. 14, in fragmental side elevation, shows one preferred form of aerodynamic braking device applicable to the invention.

FIG. 15 is a modification of the general type of carrier previously described as to both car and cage elements; being in side elevation and partially broken away.

FIG. 16 is front elevational, and shows the vehicle of FIG. 15 taken approximately long the line D-D thereof and featuring a proposed new form of powered locomotion to be later amplified.

FIG. 17 is a variant form of the structure of FIGS. 15 and 16.

FIG. 18 is a schematic frontal view featuring the carrier of FIG. 15 and/ or previously mentioned variations thereof, and means for decelerating the same electromagnetically.

FIG. 19, a side elevation, is a partially broken open view of a compression tube which may be employed as a means for finally decelerating and stopping the car of FIG. 15.

FIG. 20, in side elevation, illustrates a multistage arrangement of air-intake ducts for superstreamlined bodies which could be applied to the car of FIG. 15, for example.

FIG. 21 is the schematic front elevation of a carrier which features wheel gear designed for very hi h speed travel.

FIG. 22, a side view, is the fragmental detailpartially broken openof one of the wheel and rail composites of FIG. 21.

FIG. 23, in part schematic and partly broken open, illustrates one application of nuclear energy to the operation of a carrier type such as herein broadly proposed.

And FIG. 24, a skeletonized view, shows a further application of nuclear energy to the presently disclosed transportation system.

Like reference characters indicate parts of like structure and like function unless otherwise specifically designated.

Aerodynamic amt other factors Since the recent revolutionary advance in the development of jet propulsion power plants for aircraft-4nclusive of both true rocket types and heat engines of the reaction class which obtain their oxygen supply from atmospheric air--considerable thought has been directed to their possible practicable adaptation to railborne and other automotive vehicular forms. It will be unneces sary to review the major difficulties presented, since these are well known. But wherein such difiiculties are overcome, wholly or in part, by the present invention the same will be detailed in the course of the descriptive data herewithin.

Thus referring now to FIG. 1, attention is first directed to one relatively simple component of my over-all system in the form of car 1. While it is believed that so-called airstream motors-those fed, that is, from atmospheric air-will usually be preferred for vehicles of this class, I do not wish to exclude the possible use of true rocket power plants thereon, and especially wherein maximum speeds are contemplated. Only the trends and applications of future research (including atomic research and the improvement in present and potential motors and fuels) can ultimately determine such a matter; as see, for instance, the proposed atomic reactor powered carrier hereafter described in relation to FIGS. 23 and 24.

For present illustrative purposes, I show that the carrier 1 may have the generally indicated turbojet motor 2 in its tail 3; said motor being recognized as of the centrifugal type, Thus it could be of the order of those which are so well known in the art as the British Nene or the domestic l-40 model of General Electric Company; it being understood that such motors are undergoing constant improvement and may soon be superseded by more advanced designs.

It is known that the simpler impulse duct motor, such as first used in a practical way on German V-l' buzz bombs, is an etficient and economical unit at speeds which are necessary for the most effective ram action;

and inasmuch as it may be found advantageous to use motor 2 primarily for initial propulsion, I also provide the outboard motor 4 as optional equipment. It is rigidly mounted on the faired tow-strut 5 which protrudes upwardly through the cage 13. Other types of air-ram power are of course optional.

While any suitable mechanical or other type of braking devices 6, here seen in retractable contact with the upper rail 7, may be employed at very low speeds, reverse jet propulsion is believed to afiord the most effective means for retarding and stopping car 1. (But see later explanations of other types of braking apparatus with reference to FIGS. 14, 15, 18 and 19.)

Hence I show, also suggestively, that a small liquid fuel or other type of rocket motor may be located in the nose to blast, as and when required, through a forwardly disposed nozzle 8. Or, by option, an auxiliary smaller turbojet plant, constructed along the lines of General Electrics TG-lOO, and fed through a pair of air intakes 9, could blast through the lower nozzle 1t Reversed Jato rocketsnow under development for railroads in lieu of airbrakes-are another possible adaptation.

Motor 2, of course, is air fed through a duality of intake ducts 11, which are suitably faired to the tail end of the car body or fuselage. Details as to impellers, combustion chambers, turbine blading and other features are not here given, as these may vary in many minor particulars according to the type or types deemed most appropriate for such installationsa matter which may be readily determined by qualified specialists.

It is observed that fuselage 12 bears a close resemblance to the body of a cleanly streamlined, winglens airplane rather than to any prior type of railborne veicle. It will be particularly noted that air turbulence which, at high speeds, would be inevitable along the undersides of ordinarily railroad locomotive, car and coach bodies, is obviated in FIG. 1 by providing body surfaces to the weather which admit of little more than skin friction from the boundary layer-as in the case of airplanes. And this streamlined configuration is carried out to the smallest details, inclusive of the engineers cab and the so-called gaiters 14 which surround the supporting members of the bantarn size dolly Wheels 15. In accord with the outwardly disposed contours of the gaiters, the latter may be closed in except for apertures permitting protrusion of the actual wheels or wheel supports therethrough.

Obviously, for exceptionally high speed rail travel, such features are of primary consideration if drag coeflicients are to be reduced to a desirable minimum; as see also more detailed references hereafter to FIGS. 10, 12, 13 and 21.

Since it is an object to provide a railcar having the least possible parasitic drag and no induced drag in the usual sense, according to Well known aerodynamic principlesand particularly since ordinary lift factors are neither necessary nor desirablethe absence of Wings eliminates this major encumbrance so essential heretofore for the level sustentation of airborne carriers.

In a very real sense, therefore, carrier 1 may be said to be far more cleanly streamlined than an airplane, and to have a substantially smaller drag coeflicient.

The phantom 16, inclusive of the lower tank 17, indicates a fuel storage container for motor 2, inclusive of motor 4 and the optional reverse-thrusting motor in the nose. For improved streamlininghoWever, tank 16 could be enlarged as desired, and auxiliary container 17 eliminated, by merely lengthening the rear end of the fuselage adjacent tail section 3. Car 1 is observed to be supported within the cage 13 by a plurality of rails 18 along which the dolly wheels 15' are adapted to travel freely rollably. The exact number and placement of these rails may vary according to the variable types of trackage, and the latter would conform to the kind of rail car or cars employed. This feature will be further clarified in due course. In the case of car 1, however, a system of four rails is deemed most desirable for ordinary service.

To further explain this rail-and-wheel arrangement, and with reference momentarily to the sectional view of cage 19, FIG. 4, it is obvious that if it were not for the necessity of providing an upper slotway for the free movement of tow strut 5, supporting the motor 4 in FIG. 1, only a triality of rails 20 would be required to support the variant type of car 21, inclusive of a triality of dolly wheels 22. Cage 19, therefore, may be distinguished as being a closed cage, and could be like cage 13 in most particulars except as to the provision for accommodation of tow-strut 5, necessitating the addition of one more stabilizing rail therewithin.

Thus with reference now to the small drawing of FIG. 3, which relates more particularly to components to be later described relative to FIG. 2, it will be understood that cage 13 in FIG. 1 may be substantially identical with the lower bank, only, of cage 23, FIG. 3, having the elongate throat 24 but not including, necessarily, the upper decking 25 which is provided for a purpose to be later explained.

If it is desired to utilize a single line of trackage for cars and trains of a plurality of types, some requiring open cages and others not, it may be advisable to adopt 4'wheel standard carriages for all and to use closed cage 19if at allfr relatively short interurban runs by self-propelled cars having no upstanding tow-struts. Wherein a throat or slot such as lengthwise aperture 24 is provided for the accommodation of a tow-strut or struts, a more balanced arrangement appears to call for the two rather closely disposed upper rails shown in FIG. 3, at right and left of the tow strut, instead of the single upper rail 29 of FIG. 4. The other two lower, loadsupporting rails, however, may be similar to rails 26 and 27 of FIG. 4 (numeral 20 being thus reserved for the upper, only, of said triality).

The remainder of cage 13, in common with cages 19 and 23, may include annular supporting collars 23 at spaced intervals, and in FIG. 4 collars 28 are observed to be of trussed construction for greater rigidity. It is believed advisable to provide outside longitudinal bands 29, FIG. 1, in such number as required to insure maximum strength at all times, and in order to lessen the possibility of any weaknesses or looseness developing at some subsequent time under the stresses of continuous service. It is particularly desirable, moreover, that bands 29 shall be placed in alignment with the rails 18, as this allows for the inclusion of a spaced series of tie-bars 30 therebetween throughout the length of the trackagethus providing the necessary backing for rails 18 at all points intermediary of collars 28.

The cage is supported primarily at those areas wherein the collars rest, by preference, on suitable base members 31-especially see FIG. 4-and these in turn may be anchored in the concrete floor 32 by any satisfactory deadmen 33.

Lights 34 merely indic ate, in a general way, one means which may be employed as signal beacons comprising visual elements of an interlocking electric signal system. While such systems are many and often quite complex, they are old in the art of railroading and only mechanical skill and elementary designing will be required to apply the more adaptable thereof to the trackage lay-outs disclosed. The right and left insulators 35, carried on suitably positioned arms at predetermined intervals, show one way by which the right-of-way may be cleared of obstructive telegraph and telephone poles and wires; so that these need offer no hazard to glider tows where employed in the manner explained in said Patent No. 2.,- 639,107. Such arms may also be used for the relayed transmission of radio beams.

{is for wheels 15, FIG. 1, I do not limit these to the particular type shown, but it is believed that in the lower speed ranges satisfactory rolling gear may comprise two dollies 36, adjacent front and rear ends of the fuselage 12, each dolly having a pair of small centrally grooved wheels 15, similar to wheels 22 of FIG. 4, which latter exhibit has been partially broken open across the middle of gaiter 14a to present a clearer view of the optional construction.

Lower rail 26, in this illustration, which may be similar to upper rail 7 of FIG. 1, has a slightly high-round tractive surface adapted to be centrally contacted by the concaved grooving of wheels 22. This permits of something approaching a commonly so-called but apparently somewhat misnamed, an infinite-line contact therebetween-an advantageous feature for high speed travelbut presents slight tolerances on both sides'as take-ups, if and as required against the possibility of binding due to minor rocking movements or the rounding of long curves. The flanges of wheels 22, accordingly, may be flared slightly, as required, relative to rails 26 (or rails 7 in FIG. 1) as well as rails 28 and 27.

Needless to say, wheel assemblies will be provided with the most approved type of bearings, and each dolly cushion-mounted, by preference, so that shocks and vibrations can-be damped out automatically. Slight torsional movementsas on curves-can if required be corrected by swivelly mounting, say, one of each pair of wheels of each dolly, wherein dollies of this form are used. As later explained, a difierent arrangement is required relative to the wheel gear shown in FIGS. 10, 12 and 13 wherein very high speeds are contemplated.

While I indicate schematic damping elements 37, FIG. 4, these are engineering details which can best be worked out on the drafting boards. Numeral 38, FIG. 4, indicates a search-light, and the jet nozzle 8 of FIG. 1 may be replaced by a like searchlight on vehicle 1 in case that reverse propulsionif employedis to be through lower nozzle 10.

The phantom reversible propeller blades 39 in FIG. 4, preferably contro-rotating, indicate one possible form of aerodynamic braking in lieu of reverse-jet, for exampie, as well as of axuiliary thrust-power when not reversed, operable according to conventional prop-jet ideas. However, a possible draw-back to the employment of outboard radial blading might be the continuous pounding of the air slices flying off the blade tips and impinging directly against the continuous series of collars 28; thus possibly producing a throbbing sound at high subsonic speeds. One solution of such a difi'iculty would be to substantially enlarge the diameter of the cage, mounting the rails radially inwardly therefrom, so that the slices of air at the propeller tips would not pound against collars 28 but he turned backward to unit with the general slipstream.

Element 4%) is a support for an aerial wire 41; or the latter may be utilized as a beam-emitter to aid in the navigation of aircraft flying the same route at altitude.

Rail car 1, PEG. 1, may be used in desirable numbers on transcontinental runs, carrying either passengers or freight or both; but it is thought that special locomotive type vehicles, pulling a train of cars, are best suited to the longer runs; in which case carriers such as car 1 can be used only on the shorter routes. In either event, it may be desirable to provide the demountable body section 42, comprising passenger sub-section 43, as elected, and cargo sub-sections 44 and 45, details concerning which are reserved for later explanation with reference to both FIGS. 1 and 2 as well as to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6.

Jet-propelled locomotives According to the system herein, it is a relatively simple matter to build locomotives having engine units mounted entirely outboard, whereby the initial force of the efilux from the combustion chambers is directed well above the train of cars. Possible overheating can be overcome in ways which will be explained later.

Thus as one typical (and optional) version, the locomotive 46 in FIG. 2 supports the heavy duty turbojet motor 47 by means of tow strut 48. Motor 47, in this illustration, is of the so-called axial flow type, having multistage compressor 49, combustion chambers 50, turbine wheel 51, difiuser cone 52 and blast nozzle 53, as well as faired intakes 54. Such motors, which may be similar to the Westinghouse l9-B and the General Elec tric TG-l80, are well known and require no further detailed description. Motor 47 may be remote-controlled from the engineers cab, designated by the encircled C,

from whence are shown broken lines representing control hook-ups running through strut 48 to the starting motor, indicated by the encircled M, adjacent the nose of the housing of motor 47. Numeral 55 indicates a forwardly disposed exhaust nozzle for reverse braking action, as required, or in addition to other braking means.

One great advantage of the FIG. 2 arrangement is that the motor is entirely separate from the fuselage proper of locomotive 46, making it possible to utilize any required amount of the available interior body space for fuel storage. Hence, as indicated by the phantom figure of a storage tank 57, suflicient fuel could be carried in this manner for a full transcontinental run without having to stop for re-fueling. Such a fuel reservoir could be re-filled through any suitable inlet 58, and, by means of a fuel pump (not shown) the fuel could be conveyed to the individual fuel-injection nozzles (not shown) of motor 47 through conduit 59.

The lower Wheels, carried by dollies within gaiters 68 at front and back, are observed to contact lower rails 61 and to provide the main supports for locomotive 46, in cooperation with a pair of wheel-and-gaiter upper assemblies 62 in contact with right and left rails 63, as see also FIG. 3.

Cage 23, as earlier explained, is of similar construction to cage 13 of FIG. 1 but has also the upper decking 25 on which is carried a pair of right and left rails 64 for the auxiliary support of motor 47 (see also FIG. 2) substantially as indicated. Thus While strut 48 is the primary support for motor 47, the dolly wheels in contact with rails 64 serve as right and left stabilizers and vibration-dampeners, since each wheel assembly has means, such has schematic element 37 of FIG. 4, for absorbing all products of frictional contact which might produce an undesirable aggregate of vibrations or sounds.

Obviously, strut 48 rides freely through the throat 24, in the same manner as was explained in relation to tow strut 5 of FIG. 1. Since cage 23 has the portion 25 which must be strongly supported, it is provided that straps 65 or the like, extending from the lower base 31 may be partially conformed to the collars 28 and bolted or welded thereto approximately as shown, thus insuring a sturdy, rigid structure at all points and at all times. Any satisfactory other form of construction, however, may be employed.

Incidentally, while I show one type of fuel tank 57, which may be of any predetermined size and shape and may extend rearwardly at least as far as the fuel intake 58, it is believed that this traditional means for the refueling of self-propelled vehicles is not preferred. By contrast with the tedious method of pumping or'syphoning fuel from one large container into another, it is considered that in high speed services, especially, interchangeable tanks will be more economical and desirable. It is therefore provided that by option, and preferably, locomotive 46 may be rapidly refueled by removing one or more empty or nearly empty fuel tanks and immediately replacing it or them with at least one which is freshly filled. It would be simple to disconnect and reconnect such units before and after each replacement operation, and it is also evident that more than one procedure would be possible for accomplishing such a net result.

That is, by building a gate (not shown) into one section of the cage 23, affording access therethrough when open to locomotive 46, it becomes possible to remove one large or several smaller fuel tanks from one side of the same directly into a suitable truck or the like, and another tank or tanks will then be quickly loaded, normally, to the locomotive from another truck or the like at stand.- ard truck body level. Such a loading or unloading may, in fact, be effected merely by the correct positioning of rail 61, so that a gate therein would not be necessary, said rail itself serving as a lateral support for movements of the demountable fuel containers thereover at said truck body level.

Should a gate be deemed preferable, however, suitable retractable hydraulic jacks or the like may be used for the temporary support of the locomotive or other vehicle. Possibly a more preferred procedure is shown in FIGS. 2, 4 and 5, which same, because applicable to the rapid unloading and reloading of both cargo and passengers, as well as fuel supplies, will now be described in some detail.

Interchangeable load units Reverting again to FIG. 2, it is apparent that a predetermined length of the cage 23 is located at a station or yard, and is situated directly above a ramp or tunnelway 66 from which empty or nearly empty fuel tanks can be readily lowered onto dollies, conveyor devices, flat cars or motor truck-and-trailer units, and, thence, quickly replaced by similar loaded containers. Where the character of the terrain permits, the tunnelway can be eliminated and the cage built upon suitable supports at a desirable distance above ground level, as will be later referred to in connection with FIG. 5.

Tunnelway 66 is equipped with suitable means for lowering and raising the loaded and the empty fuel tanks to and from locomotive 46; and while such tanks may be in divisible sub-units, the illustration will be simplified by assuming that the depleted container 67 is a single unit and has just been lowered from the fuselage of locomotive 46 onto truck 68 and trailer unit 69 by means of hydraulically operable jacks 70. When this container has been removed from the position shown-jacks 70 being momentarily retracted another container filled with fuel is positioned underneath the locomotive, jacks 70 are again extended, and the container lifted from the truck andtrailer (or other suitable conveyance) through an aperture in the floor 32, and, thence, into its correct position of locked-in engagement with the locomotive.

Since the net result which is sought, and for which means are provided, is subject to various minor changes and deviations, I do not limit this disclosure to any particular form of demountable and replaceable unit, such as fuel tank 67 or comparable cargo and passenger body sections to be hereafter dealt with; and while such feature is believed new to the structure shown, some idea of the possible variables may be had by reference to a few patents which relate to comparable arrangements previously employed on aircraft: namely, domestic Patents 1,818,841; 2,075,042; 1,992,941; and 2,387,527; and German Patent 527,663. These, of course, merely indicate some of the possibilities; and in my new combination it is thought that Patent No. 2,387,587 to Henry T. Nagamatsu most nearly approximates desirable elements which may, by the required adaptation, be used for my express purposes. (That is, wherein loading and unloading is to be effected vertically, rather than laterally.)

To be more exact, the patent to Nagamatsu discloses a wholly removable fuselage section of an airplane, and

when the same, which constitutes a cargo load unit, is replaced and re-interlocked with the remainder of the plane, said removable section becomes an integral stress-receiving component of the fuselage, and its exterior an external portion of the streamlined airplane as a whole.

A like construction is seen in locomotive 46, where element 67 is used to replace a like fuselage section indicated generally by the double dotted-line phantom 67 Obviously, however, wherein such a demountable body section is to be used primarily for fueling and refueling purposes, suitable internal arrangementssuch as will occur hereafter to skilled design rsmay be made as required, inclusive of the necessary means for connecting up the fuel tank or tanks with said fuel pump. The latter may be located on the removable section itself or disposed elsewhere; and the same may be connectable and disconnectable with one or more lines leading to the fuel container or containers within said section 67.

it is unnecessary to give the various details whereby such sections can be rigidly interlocked with the remainder of locomotive 46, since the arrangement set out in the Nagamatsu patent may be followed with only such changes as will be dictated by the instant adaptation.

In general, the salient features of the hoist include jacks 7%) of FIGS. 2, and 6, oil reservoir tank 71, pipes "2, air compressor 73, air chamber 74, check valve 75 and air vent '76, which are self-explanatory. While detailed in FIG. 4 only, it is understood that elements 70 in other views are also operable by such means or their equivalent; said PEG. 4 also showing in general the mode of assembly between a body section 67 and trailer 69, said section having just been lowered to the cradle of the trailer through a suitable bay in the lower side of cage 19 and thence through the previously mentioned aperture in floor 32 along the path of travel indicated by lines 77.

Other demcumable sections Having described the re-fucling procedure, it will now be easier to convey a clear analogy between container 67 and comparable elements which may be employed in the speedy and expeditious loading and unloading of freight and/or passengers from other rolling stock. And this applies also to individual carriers such as car 1 of FIG. 1, for illustration, which may be equipped with the demountable and replaceable unit or units 42 as therein optionally segregated into sub-units 43, 44 and 45. Element 42 may be loaded to car 1 from below, in the manner described relative to fuel container 67, or sub-units 43, 44 and 45 could be loaded and unloaded from the side, according to the procedure mentioned earlier.

The arrangement in FIG. 5 may be employed wherever the terrain is suitable. Two options are shown and these fully envisioned, so far as airplanes only are concerned, in the concept of said Nagamatsu and said German Patent No. 527,663, issued June 20, 1931, to one Zaruba. That is, Nagamatsu discloses a method of loading and unloading from a tunnelway by means of hydraulic jacks while Zarnba operates entirely above ground level by means of a traveling overhead crane, similar to crane 78, which is only indicated briefly since the details of such an installation may be had by reference to said Patent No. 527,663.

FIG. 5, however, shows how either system may be employed to load or unload body units to or from a rail carrier 79 in the overhead location indicated, and, by option, both systems may be utilized, one for unloading and another for loading. The consolidated body unit 89 may, first, be lowered on jacks 70 to the truck or flat car 81, fitted with cradle 82 but having an opening or openings therein through which the jacks may be extended and thence retracted out of the way.

011 removal of body 80, body 83 may then be rolled quickly forward, directly below car 79, and jack 70 again employed to lift the same from holders on crane 78 and thereafter into interlocked engagement with the fuselage of car 79. Or the method of Zaruba, adapted as required to my different transportation system, can be followed. Tow car 84, incidentally, could be a tractor truck and vehicle 81 a trailer; or the latter could be a flat car adapted to travel a spur track and to be towed by a small locomotive (not shown) to a nearby industrial plant.

A proposed universal standard With reference, now, to both FIGS. 5 and 6, another important feature will be explained. As pointed out in the patent to Nagamatsu, the ordinary airplane such as now used for transporting the cargo is nothing more than a makeshift passenger airplane, and requires that the same be loaded through door openings of the airplane at the airport. Considerable time is consumed in arranging the load within the airplane, thereby keeping the airplane on the ground and out of operation longer than it should be if maximum efiiciency is to be had of a transportation system based on the use of airplanes.

It may be added that equally archaic systems are currently followed in the loading of ordinary railroad freight cars, with a consequent waste of time. I not only introduce, however, a new system whereby rail carriers may have rapidly interchangeable fuselage sections, but standard interchangeable units for both airborne and railborne carriers. The latter, incidentally, while especially applicable to the rail carriers herein are not necessarily limited thereto. Thus where local requirements may so dictate, such units may be adapted for switching onto suitable motor truck or truck-and-tr-ai'ler chassis; and they may be employed on flat cars or the like in the' manner explained or otherwise. In like manner, standard aircraft body units could be made interchangeable with existing railway car units.

'In brief, therefore, unit 8% of FIG. 5 is identified as being of exactly the same dimensioning as body 85 on airplane 86 of FIG. 6. And such a unit may be interchangeable on standard glider planes, such as described in said Patent No. 2,639,107. Moreover, consolidated bodies and may have the less than car-load subunits 87, 8S and 89 (see especially FIG. 6), and such sub-units, in turn, could be further sub-divided as elected.

With regard to trains of freight or passenger cars (similar to car 959 of FIG. 2, to be further referred to) any or all of these may have interchangeable bodies as described. An entire train may be unloaded and reloaded rapidly merely providing the required plurality of facilities, such as shown in FIGS. 2, 5 and other views.

Thus as the air age and the age of supersonic ground travel become coincidental, it will be possible, in accord with the present system and the one set forth in said Patent No. 2,639,107, to transship passengers or cargo from overseas limited planes or gliders to rapid and more economically operable rail carriers by the simple expedient of switching standard interchangeable body sections from one to another and vice versa for passengers or cargo to be flown overseas.

The overall system, therefore, as initially disclosed, contemplates a world-wide flow of traflic via land, sea and air, within standard interchangeable cargo units which, by international accord, need be no different structurally in one part of the system than in anothen Such standardization, to be sure, if carried into full effect, would place certain automatic and beneficial restrictions upon carrier sizes and designs.

Exhaust problems Other matters of structural and operational detail will arise in the minds of engineers and others; and certain of these will be considered briefly.

It is apparent that the blast from nozzle 53 will have little or no effect on the forwardmost of cars 90, since the superheated products of combustion will be sufficiently choked to form a relatively restricted pattern for a considerable distance aft. At the location where said gases begin to rapidly difiuse, moreover, and from that point rearward, it is evident that the initial intensity of the heat will have spent itself to a great extent before emanations therefrom wend downward to the cars farther back in the train. So far as the upper decking 25 of the cage is concerned, which would feel the first effect of such heat, no tangible injury thereto seems possible for the reason that locomotive 46 will be moving relative thereto and no one section of the cage would, in any event, be subjected to the diffused, tail-end portion of the blast except for the briefest fraction of a second as the train whips past;

Vith reference to cars 90, however, some of which will becontinuously below the wake of the constantly diffusing efflux, temperatures may'rise somewhat along their upper areas which, if not corrected, might present a problem comparable to that anticipated from the generation of heat by proposed supersonic aircraft, due to skin friction. Such a problem is susceptible of solution in well known Ways. Upper bank or deck 25 may, in addition, be roofed over with suitable insulation material except at the throat 24. 7

While the foregoing possible correctives are suggested, it is by no means certain they will be required. For illustration, and with reference especially to motor 47 and locomotive 4-6, including cars 90 therebehind: it is obvious that the respective noses of the outboard motor and the locomotive cab are continually penetrating cool air simultaneously, and at presumably very high speed. Boundary layers are automatically created over both the motor and the locomotive fuselage; but whereas the boundary layer against the motor is of short length and exceedingly brief duration (as regards the continually replenished areas thereof), the more elongate boundary layer along locomotive 46 and all of cars 90 extends rearward the length of the train.

This layer, and the downstream current immediately adjacent thereto, is the air being continually displaced by the moving bodies, and it is the pressure exerted by such air which produces skin friction. The air particles themselves, however, are subject to further displacement,

for, as the initial pressures are suddenly released-a process occurring continuously along the length of the bodiesthe so-called layer closest adjacent the boundary layer will undergo a process of continuous re-expansion outwardly, as said initial pressures are relieved. Such re-expansion, moreover, would exert an automatic pressure of its own upwardly against the flow of the more rarified, superheated gases from the jet tube, thus tending to deflect such gases constantly upwardly and outwardly away from a somewhat cylindrical zone or air-sleeve which surrounds the train proper from end to end.

1 he train, in short, would be continually throwing layers of. first pressurized and then suddenly de-pressurized air away from itself in all lateral directions. The ratified exhaust, on the contrary, and rearwardly from the area of initial diffusion, would be constantly drawing into itself free atmosphere from all sides. This action not only would produce an automatic dilution and rapid cooling of said gases but would cause the latter to cooperate with the aforesaid depressurized, re-expanding air being thrown upward continually along the entire length of the train-thus maintaining a protective, somewhat impervious wall of air around the train, and very considerably insulating its upper surfaces from the heat of the effiux.

Other operational details Tunnels, if possible, are to be avoided; and since my 7 system is not necessarily designed to entirely displace existing railroads for some time to come, most of the mountain ranges of continental North America may be I accommodate some existing transcontinental rail systems. let-propelled trains would normally approach the grades at high speed, and their momentum, reinforced by the application of reserve reaction power, should be adequate for the rapid coverage of such lengths of trackage.

If necessary, individual coaches 93 may be fitted with retractable motors, such as outboard motor 4 but proportional to the size of the coaches, and these out in on the mountain grades and cut out again when not needed for auxiliary thrust. The throat of the cage could be larger at such areas.

Symbols 94 and 94 indicate interlocking block signals, as mentioned earlier. Switches, sidings, cross-overs and the like can be Worked out by those best qualified for such details, and in FIGS. 8 and 9 certain ideas thereon are given suggestively. Thus, in FIG. 8, the turntable 95 is approached by trackage 96 and 97; and if carrier 1, for illustration, should enter the table from cage 96, it could be quickly switched therefrom to cage 97 at right angles thereto. Or it may be diverted to trackage entering at any predetermined oblique angle, as indicated by a line of cagework 98.

In FIG. 9 cage 99 represents a main line of trackage, and cage 100 a cut-out (that is, a short length of trackage which may serve as a temporary, movable siding). By mounting both the cut-out and an equal length of the main-line cage on a unitary base 191, so that the section 99 is usually in the position shown, and by providing a suitable arrangement of rollers 102 therebelow, it is possible to bring one or more cars to a standstill on the main line 99, and to then swing the unified sections to the left on rollers 1G2, whereby the cars are diverted to the phantom cage 99 position until another car or train of carssuch as a train T-has passed through the area of the cut-out; after which the operation may be repeated in reverse to re-divert the first named car or cars back to the main line of caging 99.

On single lengths of caging and trackage, it will be a simple matter to provide a turntable 95 at each terminal whereby to turn a single carrier 1, for illustration, around for each return trip. Trains including locomotive 46 and-coaches can be used on single trackage, and without having to provide looped terminals, as follows: the turntable of FIG. 8 or the cut-out of FIG. 9 is located just short of each terminal. When the entire train has passed through the cut-out, or over the turntable, a second locomotive, waiting in the cut-out or on trackage adjacent turntable 95, is first brought onto trackage 9'6 and. will be pointing in the required direction. This locomotive can be coupled to the rearmost of cars 90 by merely backing into the same, or by operating the first locomotive in reverse, before uncoupling the latter entirely from the train of cars; and, since cars 90 may be designed for two-way travel, it will be merely routine to reload the train and return it over the same trackage while the first locomotive 46 is undergoing any required servicing. Other options are obvious, which may include immediate re-use of the same locomotive.

For example, it will be presently assumed that carrier 1 of FIG. 8 is a locomotive such as the locomotive 46 of FIG. 2; that the same does not require a lengthy overhaul, and that, to avoid the expense of providing two such locomotives, it is to be reversed and recoupled for the return trip while the lately arrived coaches or freight cars are being unloaded and reloaded. One simple procedure is as follows:

The train will come to a stop before turntable 95, locomotive 46 will be uncoupled from the foremost of cars 90, at position 90 and said locomotive will then enter the table to the position of car 1. The table will be rotated and locomotive 46 will back oil? to position 46 The table will be returned to its original position and, with the use of any form of tender, or by auxiliary power means on one of the cars 90, the later will all move through the table for unloading, the rearmost of which amazes 13 will now be at position 90*. Whereupon, locomotive 46 will move from position 46 back to the turntable and will be turned around to face in the direction exactly opposite to the direction of car 1 in the drawing. Locomotive 46 can then back into the rearmost car of the train at position 90 can be coupled thereto, and, when the train has been reloaded, will be pointing in the required direction for the return run.

Anti-friction wheels Certain features of both carrier and cage have not been earlier referred to, since not required in the lower-to-mediurn speed ranges heretofore discussed. Further adaptations will now be considered, however, relative to speeds approaching or possibly surpassing the speed of sound.

One major obstacle to very-high-speed vehicular travel has to do with hearing limitations. Thus the question of high subsonic, transonic and supersonic ground speeds, as here contemplated, is closely related to friction components. Ordinarily the control component assumes an equally important role, as evidenced by the ill-starred Vallier-von Opel tests in Germany; but as the control feature is herein amply taken care of, attention will now be directed to the fragmental structure of FIG. 10.

Therein is introduced a type of wheel believed new to raiiborne bodies; and whereby overheating at exceptionally high speeds, for long durations, may be materially minimized. This is accomplished by providing a pinrality of wheels to a given carrier, on some of which it is wheelborne for only a part of the time and on others of which-in rotation, said carrier is wheelborne for another part of the time. This intermittent action of the wheels will readily be understood as comparable to the action of roller-skates.

And where, to mention another obvious but less favored adaptation, an overhead monorail might be utilized instead of cages 13 and 19, for illustration, the action of the monorail Wheels would be not greatly unlike those of existing European type except for the provision of a set of supplementary wheels; the latter intermittently engaging and disengaging themonorail in any preferred, retractable manner. Alternatively, upper and lower monorails well known in the prior art, may be similarly employed: one for primary support duty and the other primarily as a stabilizer rail.

Thus the vehicle 271which in other respects may be similar to the railborne devices previously disclosed bears the freely-rollable skate wheels 272; and these, 'as here shown, are carried within a complementary plurality of housings or gaiters 273. The exact type of wheel suspensions which will be preferred is an elemen- 'tary engineering detail, and the same may readily be determined in view of the data given. The operative principle employed with vacuum brakes, for instance, or on ordinary automotive Windshield Wipers, are among the means at hand. One such an arrangement, where applied to actual rail cars in articulated assemblies, and where detailed means are provided for frequently raising or lowering one plurality of car wheels into or out of direct contact with the support rails is disclosed in Patent No. 2,111,676 of March 22, 1938, to D. M. Ritchie, and has especial reference to patentees FIGS. 1 to 5; in view of which patent and the present disclosures, it will henceforth be but a matter of elementary engineering for skilled designers of the related art to provide whatever type of retracting and extending means would be preferred in a given case. Obviously, too, more than one option will readily occur hereafter to technicians of the art and it is understood that the structure or structures graphically shown herein (with particular regard to FIGS. l0, l2 and 13) are merely schematic and illustrative, and therefore subject to many variances.

Hence Wheels 272 may be carried from fixed hubs 274 in conjunction with the schematic shock-absorbers 275, which are specific to gaiters 273 and are provided to leicushion both normal and abnormal vibratory or other shocks, torsional strains and the like which may be encountered. It is provided, howeverespecially in order to better facilitate implementation of the roller-skate movement-th at the shock-absorbing component may be interpcsed between wheels 272 and gaiters 273, leaving the gaiter supports unencumbered for any required coaction with suitable means for intermittent movements relative to the rails 276. Or damping meansfor yet another option may be included in'both instances.

Gaiters 273 can have quite limited movements relative to rails 2'76, merely sufficient for satisfactory clearances; in which case the gaiters would nest within pockets defined by the phantom figures 277, or, if it is desired to fully retract the gaiters between each engagement of wheels 272 with rails 276, pockets 277 may be formed more deeply according to phantom 278.

It is obvious, in line with the general arrangement of FIG. 10, that one set of wheels 279 is adapted to be retracted simultaneously and automatically following each successive renewal of contact with said rails by the complementary set 286. The length of the intermissions between the rail contacts may be readily predetermined; and, if desired, the intermissions may be more frequent or less frequent according to the speed of carrier 271 at particular times. If the contacts are not timed too far apart, it is clear that each set of previously retracted wheels will return to the rails while still spinning; so that the inertia coefiicient may be of extremely minor significance.

In the medium speed ranges, it may be advisable to idle one of the sets of wheels for extended periods, intermittently; in which case there might be some advantage in pre-spinning the same before returning them into contact with rails 276. This feature is thought to be of much less importance here than in the case of nonmetallic, balloon-tired wheels on large aircraft; but if wheels 279 and 280 are to be pre-spun, the mechanism therefor may be readily provided. It is unnecessary to recite the details of mechanical elements adapted to such dutim, since comparable devices have long been proposed for use on airplanes. Among recently issued patents thereon may be mentioned Nos. 2,408,163 and 2,408,706.

it is obvious that carrier 271 will be fully railborne on one of the sets of wheels until after each return contact of the complementary set, and, needless to say, hearings will be of the most improved type and the lubrication factor given every due attention.

For example, intermittent lubrication may be squirted or otherwise applied directly to the wheel treads, by means of conventional force-feed devices operable in conjunction with suitable inboard lubricant reservoirs R FIG. 12; the latter having intake and outlet means as indicated, and including nozzles N and N adapted to intermittently direct adequate amounts of lubricant to the actual rims of the wheels after each retraction ther e 'bf, or as otherwise determined.

A means of applying lubrication first to the rails and thence to the wheel treads, whereby it would be unnecessary to carry the required additional lubricating oil on board of vehicle 271 for this purpose, consists in the provision of a spaced series of oil reservoirs R (see diagrammatic lay-out of FIG. 11) located adjacent the lower rails 276; said reservoirs feeding, as shown, to the spaced complementary series of remote-controlled retracting and applicator mechanisms 337 called dispensers, by means of force pumps 338 operable from meters 339. And reservoirs R may be replenished, in turn, from a more widely spaced series of main reservoirs R connected to pumps 340, the latter operable from motors 341 and adapted for two-Way delivery to particular contingents of the sub-reservoirs R through the pipe-line 342.

Among the various options available, the mechanisms 337 may, for illustration, have either fixed-position or extensible-retractable nozzles 343 adapted to point to rails 276 and to quickly squirt or spray requisite amounts of oil thereon a brief instant before the arrival of a car or train at'such areas. Actuation of motors 339 may be remotely efiected in any desirable manner; as by means of photoelectric cells 337 in cooperation with lamp 338, FIG. 4, except that inthe presently discussed arrangement the lamp would be normally carried aboard the carrier and cells 337' placed at spaced locations Within the cage, for actuation by the passing vehicle. Obviously, suitable hook-ups will be required from each of the cells to be actuated.

As to possible other options, the motors 339 may be connected by conductors 344 and 345 to the circuit closers 346; so that when the foremost wheel 347 of a car or a train rolled over spring-buttons 348 (or conformable to any equivalent arrangement), the lubricant dispensers 337 would be instantaneously actuated through motors M and pumps Por as otherwise predetermined. By employing some simple form of delayed action mechanism (not shown), the dispensers may be caused to cease operation without reference to any of the follower wheels behind wheel 347 until, by suitable automatic release means, the'different units of the apparatus would be successively redisposed for actuation again by the next vehicle to contact each of the buttons 348.

Naturally dispensers 337 would operate only briefly to economize lubricating oil, and if the nozzles are retractable the lubricant may be applied directly to the top of the rails with little waste. That is: the nozzles having operated and thence retracted instantaneously, the car wheels will have sped over each local area of the trackage before the lubricant has had time to drain off. By thus making it possible for the wheels to pick up and carry. the oil along substantial lengths of the trackage, it is evident that the latter may be kept well lubricated. If slower action is deemed sufficient, the oil may be gravity fed to the rails through the agency of a simple 'and/ or the wheel treads, in conjunction with the employment of intermittent skate wheels, makes possible sustained rail speeds hitherto unattainable. Means for corn tinuously cooling said treads, While not shown, is also an obvious possibility.

FIG. 12 indicates another of the possible wheel arrangements, it being apparent, in this version, that a full complement of skate wheels 281 and 282, on one side of a vehicle, are mounted within the single elongate gaiter 283. Each of the sets 281 and 282 are carried for retractive movements into and out of the gaiter substantially as indicated. Alternatively each of the small wheel trucks may be eXtensively-retractively carried direct from the body of the carrier 271 and the gaiter eliminated (as see later reference to FIG. 21).

FIG. 13, being a partial but modified abstraction from Patent No. 2,395,405 to Robt. H. Goddard, which deals with landing wheels for fully airborne rockets, indicates the similarity between the respective types of wheel gear. It is assumed, in short, that wheel 284, in this exhibit, may be one of the upper or so-called stabilizer wheels earlier described, and that rail 276 may be similar to one of the rails 276 of FIG. 10. Phantom 27 6 indicates an elongated rail to provide a Wider clearance, as may be required for the ready passage of the downstream air between the inner wall of the cage and the skin of the rail car. Wheel 284 is adapted to be fully retracted, if desired, within the skin of car 271 by means of the spring-and-bellows arrangement 285, in conjunction with other means for closing opening 286'. Such means are discussed fully in the patent, except that no rail component is disclosed in the Goddard arrangement.

While the cars herein will require sturdier wheel suspensions, the Goddard assembly could be utilized in part in my new combination.

F lyable surface cars A further form of rail carrier, in combination with a modified type of cage, will now be described; the same being designed for very high speed travel.

According to the law of Bernoulli, whenever the speed of a gas is increased, its pressure is decreased. As is well known, this is the aerodynamic principle involved in heavier-than-air flight by means of airfoils. Without essential contravention of this law, but notwithstanding commonly accepted interpretations of it, I conceive that Wingless, heavier-than-air bodies, having no airfoils in the generally understood meaning of the term, may travel for great distances in sustained level flight.

I suggest, moreover, that this may be done at very high speedsperhaps supersonic speedswithout benefit of physical contacts between said bodies and any naturally solid, permanently unyielding surfaces: such as tractional supports conventionally employed heretofore. Nothing but atmospheric air touches the bodies while so traveling.

In brief, it is conceived that surface vehicles may be self-propelled-fiown-through adaptable chutes, fiumes, sluices or the like, at exceedingly high speeds, Without touching the walls thereof but aerodynamically supported within spaced apart segments of the same, and spaced from said segments by respective cushions of momentarily entrapped and imprisoned air.

I am not aware of any prior visualization of such apparatus, nor have I been able to discover a previous application of the aerodynamic principle involved. The net efiect, however, could be compared in one respect to the imprisonment of a compact core of air within an automotive tire; the air core being so associated with the rim of the wheel as to hypothetically (but not actually, of course) sustain the weight of a heavy vehicle without benefit of an ordinary casing wall about said core.

Obviously, in the absence of air-confining means, the air cushion would be non-existent. A thoroughly serviceable equivalent of said tire wall, however, in the somewhat comparable structures shown herein, is supplied in the form of the aforesaid chutes; and instead of inert air under simple compression, I propose to create and momentarily maintain elongate cushions of high-velocity air interposed between the vehicular devices and the chutes. Each of said cushions becomes, therefore, a synthetic miniature super-hurricane under mechanical control.

Thus the vehicular bodies may be said to be floatably sustained on at least one such cushion, conveniently referred to hereafter as air bearing means, and stabilization eifected by cooperation with at least another thereof. By a further partial comparison with the automotive tire, it is as if, when a puncture occurred, enough'pressurized additional air automatically entered the tire to fully compensate for that which is escaping by reason of such puncture.

Without detailing the Bernoulli theorem or its well known application to airfoils, as is so often demonstrated by means of an airflow through the divergent-convergent mouth and throat of a Venturi tube (also Well known and understood), it is conceivedthat a substantially modified air condition may be created by first providing a Venturilike structure having large but brief front and rear entry and exit portions, and an exceptionally elongate semiannular throat portion; said throat portion having upper and lower, and/or right and left, partially closed wall means whereby atmospheric air may be rammed suddenly and continuously through the forwardly disposed mouth and thence briefly wedged and imprisoned for a distance between rapidly replaced segments of the respective walls of the elongate throat. As more particularly explained shortly, it is as though a Wingless airplane were to be self-propelled coaxially through the spaced apart wall segments of a divided Venturi tube, but one having an exceedingly elongate throat; or, for yet another purely hypothetical illustration, as though a self-propelled bullet was adapted to travel under its own power through an oversize gun barrel without ever touching the barrel.

Such a modified Venturi structure is disclosed in FIGS. 15 to 17 inclusive.

Referring first, therefore, to the vehicular device 291 of FIG. 15, it is apparent that the same is supported within a cage 292 of different configuration from those earlier depicted. In brief: in addition to right and left lower supporting rails 293, for engagement by the respective right and left lower sets of skate-wheels 279 and 280, and right and left upper rails 294 for engagement by the respective upper sets of stabilizer skate-Wheels 295 and 296, there are provided elongate sluices or chute members 297 at upper right and left sides of the cage, in this particular version, and a single similar chute member 298 in a centrally disposed lower position.

The chute members may be supported, as required, by longitudinal stringers 299 having suitable tie-bars connecting them at spaced intervals to the outer sides of the chute members, as indicated, and other means for supporting said stringers from annular collars 300. Or the lower chute 298 may be carried conveniently on tie-bars 301, anchored in the concrete floor 302. The chute members are normally horizontal to the ground therebelow, but wherein the terrain is not relatively level and gradients are steep as in mountainous regions, they may be inclined upwardly or downwardly over sufliciently long stretches of the right-of-way.

The abbreviated phantom 298 (FIG. 16) shows how one of the rail elements 293 may be in unified assembly with a chute member 298 in order to achieve lower construction costs.

Another view of the foregoing arrangement is seen in said FIG. 16, taken approximately along the line D-D of FIG. 15. The vehicle 291 therein is conveniently, but not necessarily, assumed to be cylindrical, and the other components are as numerically indicated. Aerodynamically speaking, it is apparent that the assembly of arcuate chute walls 297, together with lower wall 298, comprise the outer confines of a partial Venturi tube of a kind when viewed in relation to the moving body 291; the so-called frontal mouth of the same being readily identified as the inwardly tapering annular funnel formed around the pointed nose portion of car 291 (the space indicated generally at numeral 303 of FIG. 15), while the rearwardly disposed exit or nozzle of the hypothetical Venturi is indicated as the annular area 304 surrounding the tapered tail end of said car.

That is, reference is made to those continually changing frontal and rearward areas of said space lying within the respective arcuate confines of the chutes. The socalled throat, then-or throat segments-4s seen to be the relatively closely pinched and considerably elongate spacings intermediary of the chute elements 297, 297 and 298, FIG. 16, and the closest adjacent skin areas of car 291; said spacings being generally indicated by the dotted lines 305 305 and 306.

Obviously, therefore, with car 291 proceeding at high speed, those entire portions of the so-called downstream or boundary airas here more accurately defined-which do not have time to escape around the edges of the chute segments (the escaping air, only, being indicated by small arrow pointers in FIG. 16) are forced within the narrow channels 305 305 and 306. Furthermore, this particular component of the boundary stream, as car 291 attains greater and greater speed, will in due course com- 18 prise elongate currents of hard, high-velocity air impactedso as sayupon itself and hence under supercompression, notwithstanding the normal operation of Bernoullis law as to decreased pressures relative to increased speeds wherein ready escape and diffusion of the convergent, pent up air is possible.

It is conceived and maintained that respective cushions of hard captive air, in the form of bona fide hearings, will be created fully capable of floating the body 291 without involving any attack upon the air mass with orthodox airfoils.

While the analogy may not be carried to the point of comparing the inert, pressurized air within a tire wall to the swift current of the impacted airflow through the chutes, it is clear that buoyancy in both instances is made possible by means for confining pressurized air at specific areas for specific support duties. The weight of the carrier 291 is therefore comparable to the weight of the automotive vehicle, while certain areas of the carrier skin in co-action with the chute members are together comparable to all portions of an inflated tire wall.

In another way of speaking, the boundary air is subjected to greater than normal pressure and utilized as a body-sustaining means.

The aforesaid structure, to be sure, does more than support car 291 fioatingly, in consequence of the passage of air through chute segment 298 (as indicated by single entry and exit arrow-pointers in FIG. 15); it being also the function of the airstream, on entering the upper light and left throat areas and thence escaping rearwardly (see triple arrows at fore and aft), to stabilize the movement of said car relative to cage 292.

Thus the right and left upper spacings 305 and 305 FIG. 16, while shown as equidistant from the skin of car 291 relative to the lower spacing 306, may be prearranged in any manner required, as determined by windtunnel or other tests, for example, to assure correct stabilization and relative positioning.

Should there be a tendency for car 291 to lift up at the front, this action will be corrected in various ways. For illustration, car 291 is observed to carry an auxiliary ramjet type of motor 307; which motor is mounted to point slightly downward at its intake end, as shown. This would point the exhaust slightly upward, the variance from a true horizontal having but a negligible effect, if any, upon the car at low and medium speeds, when it may be propelled entirely by the tail motor (indicated only by the unnumbered exhaust therefrom) and supported and stabilized entirely by the dolly wheels. But at very high speed travel, and with motor 307 blasting at a predetermined optimum speed of the car, any required correction for nose-lift could be made in that manner and automatically. The chute members, too, may be widened or narrowed as required in order to obtain the desirable balance therebetween relative to car 291.

Returning, now, to the car and cage of FIG. 17:

Alternative devices In order to afford some form of emergency control, the midget rfins 308 and 3'08 are provided. These may be adapted for upward or downward movements as elevators, and electively retracted or extended as occasion demands. Their function is largely self-explanatory.

FIG. 17 presents other options. For example, it is therein indicated that the chutes 297 and 2.97 as well as chute 298 may be of a considerably reduced size for very high speed travel, and/ or that even the upper subchutes 309 and 309 and lower sub-chutes 310 and 310 in conjunction with upper skids 311 and lower skids 312, may be adequate for both the sustentation and stabilization of car 291 Upper intake ducts 213 and lower ducts 214 are optional air-scoops feeding to the respective upper and lower skids, which same may be curved under and backward ski-wise and may have side flanges along their frontal areas to receive, to enchannel, and thence to di- 19 rect the incoming compressed air into the troughs of the sub-chutes. The skids are preferably extensible to the positions shown and retractable to present outer contourings flush with the skin of car 291*. The ducts 213 and 214 may be left open in front but slotted back therefrom to meet justifying surfaces of the skids when thus extended to the airstream; as see phantoms 315. Phantoms 316 indicate that right and leftother faired intakes may be provided to cooperate with a rearwardly disposed set of skids, or to divert additional inducted air to other lower surfaces of skids 312, for example, through suitable orifices (not shown) venting outwardly thereto.

The tow-struts bearing motors 307 in both FIG. 16 and FIG. 17 have faired sidestrips 317 adapted to cooperate with longitudinal flanges 318 of the respective cages to assist stabilization. And to facilitate streamlining, strips 317 may be convexed to partly nest adjacent concaved flanges 318, in the manner exemplified by elements 312 and 310*.

As sufiiciently illustrated by wheels 295 and 279 of FIG. 16 (see also later reference to FIG. 21) in cooperation with rails 293 and rails 294, the rolling gear of both cars 291 and 291 are adapted to fully support the respective bodies until sufficient speed is attained for both sustentation and stabilization by air cushioning alone; whereupon said wheels may be partially or fully retracted according to options previously mentioned. By preference, the wheels may be so geared to air-speed indicator means, such as pitot-tube instrumentalities or the like (not shown) as to both extend and retract automatically at desirable stages of acceleration and deceleration.

In case of sudden emergency, as by failure of the wheel-extending means, for instance, car 291 would merely make a belly landing along chute 298; while in the case of car 291 a belly and/or skid landing under -similar circumstances could be made along chute 298 See later reference to Supersonic surface travel As for shock-waves, car 291 enjoys a pronounced advantage over fully airborne craft of the existing type in respect. It is well recognized that compressibility diificulty is primarily related to specific structural features of an airplane, which inherently presents an undesirably multiform rather than a single unified shock pattern to the air mass. Thus there develops a nose cone, as well as a so-called wing cone and tail cone, the respective so-called cones tending to impinge upon and entangle with one another and to buffet against the plane .body in the form of interferences and collisions, with resultant shock stalls. Car 291, however, has no wings and hence can have no aerodynamic difiiculty resulting therefrom. It need have no tail fins or the like, hence no like difficulties in that quarter. And since nose N FIG. 15, may be formed to remain well Within the so-called nose cone indicated at C at required high speeds, it can move with the theoretical minimum of compressibility resistance. In brief, when and if the skate-wheels are fully retracted, the frontal end of car 291 becomes all leading sedge, thus conforming to the most desirable aerodynamic pattern.

Obviously, while only a single vehicular body, the car 291 or car 291 is shown in any one of FIGS. 15, 16 and 17, the aerodynamic and other features disclosed are applicable to entire trains of locomotive and trailer units.

Deceleration means and modes Referring again to car 291, it is apparent that means for its deceleration must be provided; and while reversejet arrangements may be primarily employed, a plurality .of means for operation at various'stages of deceleration are believed desirable. Thus in addition to air-brakes 287*, FIG. 15, which are indicated for use in certain stages of deceleration, cooperative other braking elements are disclosed.

One of these is seen in the schematic view of FIG. 18, which is an obvious reorientation of major elements de picted in Patent No. 2,395,405 to said Robt. H. Goddard, but differently utilized in my fundamentally different structure. Hence within the cage 292, at suitably spaced intervals along the approaches to the terminals, a series of large electromagnetic rings 323 may be placed (supported, for example, from the collars 300) circumferentially with relation to the path of travel of car 291. Rings 323 have poles 324 extending inwardly as required, and each ring is so wound that said poles are alternately negative and positive; thereby producing magnetic lines of force 325 while crossing said path from one of said poles to another.

As also explained in the patent, the magnetic force of the rings may be increased (in this case) upon a close approach to a terminal station, either by closer spacing of the rings or by creation of stronger magnetic fields. It is apparent, therefore, that the structures consisting respectively of car 291 and cage 292 are converted into a giant size solenoid device, whereby the moving body becomes an armature and the cage, including said rings, the field.

The P-E cell 337' and lamp 338' of FIG. 4 illustrate one way by which automatic controls on one of the vellllClJlBI devices could be actuated; that is, upon passing through a particular area of the cagework. Thus the airbra-kes 287*, FIG. 15, could be caused to automatically open outward upon arrival at a section of the cage appreaching any terminal or intermediary depot. Such actuation, of course, may be initiated in sundry other ways which will now readily occur to designers of the related arts.

Braking means, as defined in relation to car 291 and previously described surface vehicles, are regarded as adequate under ordinary operating conditions. Under some emergency conditions, however, it is conceivable that a final, positively effectual braking component would be advantageous. By option, therefore, the tube 326 in FIG. 19 is a modified version of a comparable element called "landing tube in said Patent No. 2,395,405 to Goddard.

In the drawing herewith, tube 326 comprises the conformable shell 327 having, in this instance, the upper archway 328 for accommodation of motor 307. The inner tube structure includes trackage 329 and 330 for engagement by the various Wheels of the rail car, and, at its innermost terminal, by preference, there may be provided a relief valve 331, adjustable by handle 332. Secondary valve 333 and a so-called exhauster 334 may be similar to like features of said last mentioned patent, including a conical bumper device 335 held in position by a plurality of springs 336. The function of the bumper is to provide, if ever required, a final means of positively stopping the previously decelerated body.

Obviously, the broad equivalent of tube 326, in the version disclosed by Goddard, is limited to one-way interrupted travel; but should any advantage in doing so be demonstrated, the cage proper could be extended through the rear end of tube 327 and a suitable backdoor (not shown) provided for closure when the vehicle is to be stopped. Such a door could be opened, thereafter, to admit the vehicle into the continuated cage: as, for example, by a cut-out (not shown) having such a door at the beginning of one section thereof, and the other end left open in general accord with the dual design of the cut-out of FIG. 9.

Other modifications FIGS. 21 and 22 are worthy of especial attention since the type of wheel-gear therein-which has not previously been described-may have distinct advantages over those mentioned heretofore, wherein exceptionally high speeds are contemplated.

While wheels comparable to the ones here shown were first disclosed in the small views of FIGS. 16 and 17, it was deemed best to show only the wheel types (including gaiters, etc.) such as theretofore detailed in connection with car 391, which was discussed with direct reference to the skate-wheel versions of FIGS. and 12. At high surface speeds, however, even before retraction of the skate wheels or of both wheels and dollies following emergence into the areas of air-sustained flight through the chute members, it is desirable to reduce wheel drag to the minimum.

FIG. 21 indicates how this can be done, wherein carrier 349 may have lower disc Wheels 350 and similar stabilizer wheels 351. The same are seen to differ from the wheels earlier indicated, in that in this version the rails 352 and not the wheel treads are concaved. In fact, wheels 350 and 351 have the high-round treads 353 and are further streamlined by the angularly tapering disc portions 354, making possible a particularly sturdy wheel which can be produced economically in the form of a duality of light-weight disc-halves of pressed steel, Durel or the like, about which is fitted the tread 353 as a separate element of assembly.

The drawing does not indicate a particular type of wheel-suspension, as the same may conform to ideas earlier referred to; it being clear that these disc wheels can readily be utilized in assemblies such as shown in FIGS. 10 and 12. Moreover, in order to present the,

smallest practicable protuberances outside the fuselage, the heavy duty axles 355 may be inboard at all times; apertures having been formed in the fuselage skin which are barely sufiicient for freedom of rotation and for extensible and retractive movements relative to rails 352.

If desired, the reduction of outboard drag may be further minimized. For instance, the fuselage may be dimensioned as indicated by the larger broken line figure 356, so that little more than the treads will be exposed. And since these treads, while amply streamlined for subsonic travel, do not fully accord with latest theories of transonic, sonic and supersonic locomotion, it is provided that the rail car skin may be formed to provide suitable wheel guards 357, FIG. 22, having knife-like frontal edges 358, extending downward and rearward across the frontal side of the wheels substantially as shown. And inasmuch as rails 352 have the concave grooving 359, in this adaptation, it is possible to extend guards 357 still further downward and partially into the grooving, as shown by phantom 360--thus maximizing the over-all superstreamlining. The super-streamlined guards may of course be carried to the rear as far as desired, and, by preference, far enough on each sideabove and belowto include all the wheels of each in-line assembly. The guards could have closed in undersides with openings only suflicient to admit of the entry therethrough of each set of skate wheels which may be in contact with the rails at particular times. Thus the treads 353 would serve as skin-level closure means for these openings, very largely, in their retracted positions. Tow-strut 361 can also be formed with a sharply contoured leading edge 362 as indicated.

In this connection, while car 291 of FIG. has the conical nose N and any suitable propulsive means, it is possible that in the higher speed ranges it may be of advantage to provide more eifectual means for inducting a substantially larger volume of atmospheric air than would be possible, for example, through intake 307 of motor 307. In such case the air intake for any motor located in the carrier fuselage may be fed through a multi-stage arrangement of annular nose-ducts 363 of FIG. 20.

Thus the different layers of hard air strata 364, impinging first at and around tip 365, would be funneled back in the manner indicated by arrow pointers, and thrustresistance greatly minimized by the entry of substantial portions of such boundary strata through noseducts 363; each stepped-back duct scooping in so much of a progressively widening air cone as to minimize compressibility while greatly augmenting the oxygen supply. This multistage structure will tend to progressively decrease air-pressure from tip 365 to the greatest diameter of the leading edge or nose portion of the vehicle where such action is most required in order to accommodate the progressively larger body diameters. A somewhat similar result may be had relative to other surface areas by providing annular or semi annular other intake ducts, such as duct 366, along the exterior of the fuselage. Such a result could, if advisable, be facilitated by slightly reducing the diameter of the bodies at areas 367 immediately in front of each duct or intake 366.

Atomically driven surface vehicles Doubtless the adoption of nuclear energy for the propulsion of rail cars and the like awaits only the further development of reactor units, and the acquiescence in their use on the part of the respective transportation and allied interests.

No object is seen in any vainly hopeful effont to adapt reactor-turbine power plants to the existing railways, believed to be now passing through the first phase of a gradual, well-nigh complete obsolescence.

Present road beds would be incapable of withstanding the burden of very much faster moving trains, driven by obvious adaptations of reactor units to supply shaft horsepower at the traction surfaces. Therefore an eventual abandonment, largely, of the present system appears inevitable, regardless of the sacrifice in capital investments which would be entailed. The great and excessive over-weighting of existing locomotives, and of rolling stock in general, should and will be converted to payload.

Thus, in this continuation in part of my original application, I also deal briefly With certain prospective utilizations of nuclear power to vehicular devices such as herein disclosed.

With reference to FIG. 23, the locomotive 461is coupled to any given number of entrained cars all movable through cage 23' on rolling gear comprising lower support wheels 15" and upper stabilizer wheels 15 That is, except for obvious differences incorporated to accommodate the modified propulsion means, the respective cage and carrier elements conform in general to the versions heretofore disclosed.

It is conceived that in the first phase of the evolution of atomic power applied to surface carniers, the latter must, necessarily, represent a hybrid type wherein power plants, indicated quite generally by the turbo-reactor composite 368, supply torque through shaft 369 to the outboard propellers 370; which latter are here indicated as being of the contra-rotative type, having blade elements engineered for the maximum of solid thrust in proportion to their length. However, the tractor locomotive 46 may be supplemented by a pusher unit at the opposite end of the train, exemplified by locomotive 46" and outboard propellers 370' in FIG. 44.

Moreover, locomotives 46' and 46" may also be provided with underslung turbo-reactors 371 and 372 adapted to drive respective tractor and pusher blade assemblies 370 and 370* These outboard units are carried on struts 48 and 48 and are movable within the elongate subway 373, the upper surface level being indicated at 374. An elongate throat dimensioned to accommodate the tow-struts is assumed to be centrally disposed above the subway.

Since the noise produced by propellers 37? and 370 will be muffled and largely abated by its confinement primarily within said subway, it may be that the pro peller units should all be of the underslung type; and especially since this arrangement would permit of the inclusion of at least another locomotive of a fully streamlined configuration (when coupled fore and aft to the nearest adjacent coaches), and which may otherwise be similar in general structure to locomotives 46 and 46" in the FIG. 24 view and placed at any elected location in a train: it being understood that while the tractor locomotive in this view is not so numerically designated, it may, except for the aforesaid underslung features, be in accord with the locomotive 46' of FIG. 23. The front and back ends of such another locomotive could be joined up flush with said coaches in the manner indicated by the areas of joinery 375 and 376 of a typical car 90'.

Naturally in these simplified exhibits no effort is made to show the detailed mechanism of the power units; and the briefly indicated turbo-reactor combination of FIG. 23 does not include a fully constituted regenerative system for continuous re-use of the vaporizable matter which, it is presumed, is being or has been incorporated into the first of the turbo-reactor plants presently in process for use on experimental aircraft. Insofar as power units of this general order have been publicized to date, however, reference may be had to the article entitled A Scientist Previews the First Atomic Airplane, beginning on page 98 of Popular Science Monthly for October 1951, by Gerald Wendt. 'Therein the author sets forth his personal conclusions as to the probable first and subsequent nuclear engine types.

It should, therefore, be further emphasized that in FIG. 23 the assembly largely comprising the reactor unit 377 of the composite 368-which unit 377 is directly connected to the turbine element 378whereby the vaporizable matter passes immediately from the pile or reactor proper 379 to the turbine buckets through channels 380, represents an ideal condition, but not one anticipated in the early future without benefit of the aforesaid heatexchanger unit and other features of a presently practicable regenerative system; as see said article in Popular Science Monthly for such data therein as may apply to my presently modified structures.

It is also mentioned, in said article, that an ideal arrangement would be one wherein each turbine could be provided with its own reactor, mounted alongside it in the wing. Such a composite would be the most desirable one to house entirely within each of the outboard multi-motors 371 and 372; but until such assemblies become a working reality, it is a simple matter to mount the reactor 377 entirely inboard as shown in FIG. 23, the coaxial twin turbine units for tractor and pusher relations in the outboard housings, and to effect an indirect hookup therebetween by means of said heat-exchanger and other components of the regenerative system indicated merely by the phantom piping 381.

Element 382 represents a pump, and the ends of the aforesaid cadmium rods, as employed, are indicated by the row of circular devices shown inside the reactor in FIG. 43.

The embodiments of my invention, as herein presented, are subject to sundry changes, substitutions, etc., within the general scope of the disclosure; thus allowing considerable latitude for the exercise of mechanical skills and aptitudes for particular demands at particular times and for many individual preferences. But the true invention is not to be limited except by a correct interpretation and/ or adjudication of the hereinafter appended claims.

I now claim:

1. Elements in combination including: a body, bearing rolling gear thereon, to be propelled in high-speed travel; means, supported from terra firma, for the sustentation of said body in opposal to gravity, within the general confines of which means and relative to which it moves by self propulsion; self-propulsive means on the body, in outboard relation thereto, including at least one combustion chamber of the thermal jet reaction powered class; and a tow-strut interconnecting the respective body and outboard propulsion means; said sustentation means comprising an elongate openwork structure having a base portion and at least one rail element which is engaged by a rolling-gear member complementary thereto on said body;

said openwork structure being formed, in combination, with oppositely positioned auxiliary means defining an elongate throat portion centrally lengthwise thereof, and substantially centrally of the longitudinal axis of said body, through which said tow-stn1t moves in full clearance with respect to said auxiliary means.

2. As a new transportation facility, a so-called cage for high-speed carriers of the class driven by outboard motor units; said cage comprising, in combination: an elongate structure of openwork through which such carriers travel by self-propulsion, and a plurality of rail members interiorly of said cage and positioned for tractive contacts by rolling gear means complementary thereto on said carriers; said cage being formed, in structure, with oppositely positioned members defining an elongate throat portion, centrally lengthwise thereof, through which the outboard motor-supporting means moves in full clearance with respect to said members.

3. Elements in combination for receiving and decelerating a high-speed body, which comprise: isolated wall means forming and defining an elongate compression chamber having an opening at one end thereof, a portion of said wall means substantially closing the end opposite said opening, and a segment of rail trackage extending into the interior of said chamber through said opening, said trackage continuing anteriorly of the opening, and clear of said wall means, as a primary length thereof in a ,railway system; said chamber having an internal configuration and dimensioning which corresponds to the outer configuration of said body, and such that when the latter normally enters said chamber over said trackage at a known required rate of speed, a sufiicient amount of atmospheric compression will be thereby produced therein, by ram action, to aerodynamically retard and stop said body.

4. As a new class of terrestrial railborne carrier: a jetpropelled vehicular device capable of self-propulsive movement in an elected either of two diametrically opposite directions; said device having, as track-rail contacting means, at least a set of rolling gear on the lower side thereof, a first thermal jet reaction motor, housed interiorly thereof, with its exhaust nozzle facing rearwardly, and a second thermal jet reaction motor housed interiorly thereof and having its exhaust nozzle facing forwardly in a position to apply braking action to said vehicle in opposal to momentum previously imparted thereto by said first named motor.

5. The combination which includes: openwork means defining an elongate passageway, through which a highspeed body is adapted to travel; a streamlined body occupying a sectional portion of said passageway; self-propulsive means on said body; and aerodynamic braking devices thereon, extensible radially outwardly, retractively, therefrom; the outer casing wall of said body bearing a plurality of shallow recesses, within each of which one of said braking devices nests when in its idle position, its own external contour forming a segmental portion of the streamlined surface configuration of the thus constituted body entire.

6. As a new class of vehicle, characterized for highspeed travel tending to generate intense heat at the hearing surfaces of its rolling-gear, the combination wherein said vehicle carries a first set of rollable elements which serve intermittently as primary supporting means therefor and are intermittently retracted from the rolling-gear supporting means while said vehicle is in high-speed travel relative thereto; and wherein said vehicle has at least another set of rollable elements, reciprocally complementing said first set thereof, which are recurrently movable into contact with said rolling-gear supporting means, as the primary vehicular supports, incidental to each normally recurrent retraction of saidfirst named rollable elements and vice versa; means on said vehicle being operable to recurrently, non-simultaneously, extend and retract each of said first and said another sets of rollable elements to and from said rolling gear supporting means in reciprocally timed relations to one another.

7. As a new class of vehicle, characterized for highspeed travel tending to produce a detrimental amount of over-all frictional action between its rolling-gear and the tractive surfaces contacted thereby, the combination with the main vehicular body structure which includes: a first set of rollable elements which serve only intermittently as primary supporting means therefor, and are intermittently retracted from the rolling-gear supporting means while said vehicle is in high-speed travel relative thereto; at least another set of rollable elements reciprocally complementing said first set thereof as over-all frictionlessening means, which are recurrently movable into contact with said rolling-gear supporting means, as the primary vehicular supports, incidental to each normally recurrent retraction of said first named rollable elements and vice versa; means on said vehicle to recurrently, nonsimultaneously, extend and retract said first and said another set of the recited rollable elements; and means for the propulsion of said vehicle at speeds sufliciently great to bring into play the cooperative friction-lessening overall action of said first and said at least another set of rollable elements, with respect to one another and to said tractive surfaces.

8. As intercooperative elements of a new transportation system, the combination comprising: an elongate structure of openwork, which includes oppositely disposed subsidiary means defining a throat portion centrally lengthwise thereof; a vehicular body capable of high-speed movement self-propulsively through the interior confines of said openwork structure; a plurality of trackway members carried longitudinally thereof; a first retractable set of rollable elements on said body, serving only intermittently and temporarily as primary supporting means therefor with respect to said trackway members; at least another set of rollable elements reciprocally complementing said first set thereof, and which are recurrently movable into contact with said trackway members as the primary vehicular supports, incidental to each normally recurrent retraction of said first named rollable elements; means on said body to intermittently extend and retract said rollable elements; body-sustaining auxiliary means carried by said openwork structure, said auxiliary means comprising a plurality of elongate, substantially parallel chutes formed with respective inner wall surfaces corresponding in contour to the outer configuration of said body where normally adjacent thereto; and means on said body for its self-propulsion through said openwork structure at speeds sufiiciently great to bring into beneficial play the reciprocatory action of said rollable elements, respectively, on which the body travels during one phase of its movement, and, thence, at normally increased speeds sufiiciently greater to cause an air-bearing component to be formed between said chutes and said body capable per se of fully aerodynamially supporting it upon the thence normal retraction of both of said sets of rollable elements from said trackway members, said self-propulsion means including an outboard motor unit of the thermal reaction class and a tow-strut, movable freely through said throat portion of the openwork structure, interconnecting the respective motor unit and vehicular body.

9. In combination: a length of trackway; a vehicular body movably supported thereon; a first set of rollinggear on said body, mounted for intermittent contact with said trackway as the intermittent primary supporting means for said body; at least another set of rolling-gear, serving as intermittent other primary supporting means therefor relative to said trackway, and movable thereagainst in recurrent reciprocating relations with respect to said first named rolling-gear; and means to intermittently extend and retract the respectively recited sets of rolling gear at different intervals relative to one another.

10. The combination, with a heavier-than-air body capable of airborne sustentation, which includes self-propulsive means thereon, and body-sustaining ancillary means, cooperable with said propulsive means, in fully spaced apart relation to said body, at all times and at all points but relative to which ancillary means it travels while airborne; said body-sustaining means comprising at least one elongate air-enchanneling, chute-like member formed with an inner wall surface corresponding in contour to the outer configuration of said body where normally in proximity thereto; intermediary of which ancillary means and which body an air-bearing component is aerodynamically formed by coaction therebetween.

11. Elements in combination for supporting and decelerating a high-speed body which comprise: means defining an elongate passageway through the interior of which said body travels by self-propulsion; metallic trackway means within the passageway, and longitudinally thereof, for the support of said body while in motion therethrough; and body-retarding mechanism, including a spaced apart series of respective positively and negatively wired electromagnetic elements located along a particular length of said passageway, said elements forming a plurality of generally circumambient zones of electromagnetic force about the passageway of a combined intensity suificient to retard and decelerate said high-speed body.

12. In a new system of transportation, the combination which includes: a normally Wingless vehicle; undercarriage elements thereon comprising a plurality of wheels serving as the sole rollable primary body-supporting means therefor, said wheels being all of a recurrently retractable type; a length of trackway which is recurrently engaged by said Wheels as well as recurrently entirely disengaged thereby; and air-enchanneling means, which also comprises one means for the aerodynamic sustentation and lateral stabilization of said vehicle, relative to which enchanneling means, but out of all direct contact with which and with said trackway, said vehicle travels in substantially horizontal flight.

13. As a new system of transportation, the combination which includes: a Wingless, streamlined body; self-propulsion means thereon; and air-impacting-and-enchanneling means, comprising a plurality of elongate air-chute members in spaced apart relations to one another, adjacent said body but entirely spaced therefrom by only the thickness of an atmospheric boundary layer superinduced therebetween; said body being in Wingless, aerodynamical- 1y supported flight within the confines of both said airimpacting-and-enchanneling means and said at least one boundary layer when so superinduced.

14. The combination with a body, capable of airborne sustentation, which includes self-propulsive means thereon; and cooperative other body-sustaining means in plurality, comprising respective air-enchanneling devices called air-chutes; these airchutes being positioned in spaced apart relations to both the body and one another; and relative to which but free of any direct mechanical contacts therewith said body normally travels, as a fully airborne aerodyne, while so sustained.

15. In combination: a flya-ble but Wingless body of the heavier-than-air class; body sustaining means, which comprises air-enchanneling chute means corresponding in contour to the nearest adjacent surface portions of said body relative thereto, and positioned in a sufficiently closely spaced apart relationship to the body to normally entrap and maintain a fully body-sustaining air-bearing component therebetween; and means to propel said body relative to said chute means, at speeds such as to superinduce the formation of said body-sustaining air-bearing component, but out of any direct or indirect mechanical contact therewith.

16. In combination: a fiyable but Wingless body of the heavier-than-air'class; body sustaining means, which comprises air-enchanneling chute means corresponding in contour to the nearest adjacent surface portions of said body relative thereto, and positioned in a sufficiently closely spaced apart relationship to the body to normally entrap and maintain a fully body-sustaining air-bearing component therebetween; retractable rolling-gear on said body; body-sustaining auxiliary means, including at least one length of trackway located in a position to receive said rolling-gear when in its normally extended relation; means to propel said body relative to said chute means at speeds such as to superinduce the formation of said body-sustaining air-bearing component therebetween; and means to thence retract said rolling-gear from said trackway.

17. The combination, with a length of trackway, which includes a vehicular body capable of movement therealong; and at least a duality of separately suspended, reciprocally operable rollinggear elements on the body which are normally recurrently, non-simultaneously, extensible therefrom, each such element being retractable, in turn, from said trackway while another thereof is in its fully extended position in tractive contact therewith, as respective intermittent means for supporting said body with respect thereto; means on said body being operable to recurrently, non-simultaneously, extend or retract said separately suspended rolling gear elements.

18. The combination, with a streamlined, self-propelled body capable of sustentation freely movably in a fluid medium, which includes mechanical body sustaining-andconfining means in spaced apart relation therewith, and relative to which but out of actual surface to surface contact with which means, at all times, said body travels while so confined and sustained, said sustaining-and-coufining means comprising at least a duality of elongate fluid-enchanneling elements, structurally divided and operably separate from one another, and each thereof having an inner surface corresponding in contour, substantially, to the outer configuration of said body where normally adjacent thereto.

19. The combination, with a heavier-than-air body capable of airborne sustentation, which includes selfpropulsion means thereon, and aerodynamically operable body-sustaining ancillary means, cooperable with said propulsion means, in fully spaced apart relation to said body, at all times, but relative to which ancillary means it travels while airborne; said body-sustaining means comprising a plurality of elongate air-enchanneling elements which are structurally divided and longitudinally spaced from one another, and each thereof formed with its respective inner wall surface corresponding in contour, substantially, to the outer configuration of said body where normally adjacent thereto; intermediary of which ancillary means and which body an aerodynamically sustaining air-bearing component is formed by coaction therebetween.

20. In combination: a length of main vehicular trackway; a vehicular device which is primarily supported by said trackway and adapted to travel therealong at ultra high speeds; main trackway-contacting means on said device, said trackway-contacting means being in engagement with said trackway; a plurality of spaced apart lengths of auxiliary trackway; other means on said device in a position which enables it to engage said auxiliary trackway, and, in coaction with said first named main trackway and said main trackway-contacting means, to be maintained in stabilized travel therealong at said ultra high speeds; and means to normally operatively move at least one of the recited trackway-contacting means into and out of direct frictional contact with the trackway component corresponding thereto.

21. The combination of transportation elements which comprises: an elongate structure of openwork defining a passageway through which high-speed vehicles travel; at least a plurality of main supporting trackway members associated mechanically with said openwork structure; and a secondary structure, below said first named openwork one, defining another passageway through which outboard motor devices dependent from said vehicles may travel; a high-speed body occupying a sectional portion of the passageway defined by said first named structure of openwork; at least one outboard motor, dependent from said body, within the confines of said secondary structure; means interconnecting the respective high-speed body and said outboard motor; and a plurality of main supporting wheels on said body in contact with said main supporting trackway members.

22. In combination: at least one length of trackway, normally carried above terra firma and serving as means of primary support for vehicular bodies; at least another elongate means, supported from terra firma, to facilitate the lateral stabilization of such bodies when moving relative thereto in high speed travel; a main vehicular body primarily supported by said first at least one length of trackway, and operable for stabilizing contact with said at least another elongate means; undercarriage elements on said body adapted to rollably contact said first named trackage; means forming an elongate subway below said first trackway and generally directly therebelow, said subway-forming means having oppositely disposed upper elements defining a central throat portion thereof; at least one outboard propulsion motor dependent from said body and movable colongitudinally of and within the confines of said subway; and a towstrut, which moves freely through said throat portion, interconnecting the respective motor and vehicular body.

23. In combination: a length of trackway supported from and normally above terra firma; a main vehicular body on said trackway and movable therealong in highspeed travel; an undercarriage on said body for its primary support with respect to said trackway; means forming an elongate subway therebelow, said subway-forming means having oppositely disposed upper elements defining a central throat portion thereof; at least one outboard propulsion motor dependent from said body and movable colongitudinally of and within the confines of said subway; and a tow-strut, which moves freely through said throat portion, interconnecting the respective motor and vehicular body; said motor being of the circumferentially encased type, having outer housing wall means of a streamlined configuration in conformity with the aerodynamic standards currently followed, in general, in aircraft fuselage design.

24. In combination: a normally Wingless vehicle of the wheelborne type; a plurality of wheels thereon, said wheels being the only rollable means for the primary rollable support of said vehicle; at least one trackway on which said vehicle recurrently travels rollably; other means in structure for its aerodynamic sustentation and stabilization; and means for disengaging each and all of said wheels from said trackway preliminary to said vehicles normally fully airborne travel adjacent the trackway but frequently out of all direct mechanical contact therewith.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 448,571 Jacobs Mar. 17, 1891 870,591 Small Nov. 12, 1907 1,018,312 Gherassimofi Feb. 20, 1912 1,061,035 Batcheller May 6, 1913 1,238,276 Dickson Aug. 28, 1917 1,288,930 Laur Dec. 24, 1918 1,306,225 Humphrey June 10, 1919 1,418,008 Martin May 30, 1922 1,422,394 Wagner July 11, 1922 1,529,101 Wiesinger Mar. 10, 1925 1,629,767 Valdes May 24, 1927 1,637,776 Krukenberg Aug. 2, 1927 1,685,035 Robertson Sept. 18, 1928 1,905,218 Crago Apr. 25, 1933 2,111,676 Ritchie Mar. 22, 1938 2,170,917 Stern L Aug. 29, 1939 (Other references on following page) 29 UNITED STATES PATENTS Crawford et a1 Sept. 22, 1942 Rodman et a1 Aug. 8, 1944 Sullivan Jan. 16, 1945 Nagamatsu Oct. 23, 1945 Pope June 3, 1947 Watter Aug. 19, 1947 Belanger et a1 Aug. 30, 1949 30 Sullivan Dec. 4, 1951 Burnelli Nov. 4, 1952 FOREIGN PATENTS Austria Sept. 25, 1951 France Sept. 26, 1938 France May 12, 1952 Great Britain July 20, 1942 Great Britain Mar. 3, 1944

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U.S. Classification104/138.1, 104/124, 244/137.1, 104/23.1, 105/26.5, 104/23.2, 244/53.00B, 184/3.1, 105/66, 244/102.00R
International ClassificationB61B13/08
Cooperative ClassificationB61B13/08
European ClassificationB61B13/08