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Publication numberUS3041748 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 3, 1962
Filing dateMay 19, 1961
Priority dateMay 19, 1961
Publication numberUS 3041748 A, US 3041748A, US-A-3041748, US3041748 A, US3041748A
InventorsWetzel Donald C
Original AssigneeCleveland Technical Ct Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Snow removal apparatus
US 3041748 A
Images(4)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 3, 1962 D. c. WETZEL sNow REMOVAL APPARATUS INVENTOR.

DOA/440 a. M67254 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 filed May 19, lQSl B 5mm, Sam mm a-Aww-M 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 D. C. WETZEL SNOW REMOVAL APPARATUS ii l? July 3, 1962 Filed May 19, 1961 July 3, 1952 D. c. WETZEL SNOW REMOVAL APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR.

a gala/440 6. #457254 Baum 21h Filed May 19, 1961 Array/ans July 3, 1962 D. c. WETZEL snow REMOVAL APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed May 19, 1961 INV EN TOR.

490M440 c M57264 BY 5m, mm Ham/122m know/84 United States tet Q 3,041,7 48 SNSW REMOVAL APPARATUS Donald C. Wetzel, Berea, Ohio, assignor, by mesne assignments, to Cleveland Technical Center, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, a corporation of Delaware Filed May 19, 1961, Ser. No. 111,252 17 Claims. (CI. 37-19) This invention relates to apparatus for removing snow or the like from the ground, and more particularly to such apparatus which readily and rapidlyremoves snow or the like by a stream of gases propelled at high velocity by the exhaust blast of a turbo-jet engine.

Snow, ice, slush and similar materials, herein for convenience referred to as snowcan cause considerable difliculties on railroad tracks, airport runways, roads, or other roadways for vehicles traveling over the ground. Railroad operations can be seriously hampered by do posits of snow in open country, or by relatively small amounts of snow, ice or slush if they freeze switches or their operating mechanisms in switchyards or elsewhere. Great efiorts are expended by the railroads to remove snow as rapidly as possible to maintain or resume operations, since operational delays or interruptions are costly to the railroads and cause inconvenience and expense to shippers, consignees, or passengers. In the aggregate, the nations railroads spend millions of dollars each year to remove snow. "Yet, despite such efforts and expenditures, removal of snow from railroad trackage and switchyards has not been as rapid and as eiiective as desired. The rotary snow plows ordinarily used in open country move relatively slowly, since their speed of travel is determined by the relatively limited capacity of the rotating snow blades to remove and throw the snow. In switchyards, various expedients such as power-driven brushes and scrapers or heating devices are used to remove ice or snow from tracks or switches, but these devices are usually quite slow in operation, are often not as effective as desired, and involve undesirably high costs of operation.

It is also important, and very difficult, to remove snow from airport runways efiectively and with necessary rapidity. With the advent of aircraft requiring high take-oil and landing speeds, even relatively small amounts of snow on airport runways can introduce substantial hazards in take-ofis and landings due to skidding or other factors tending to cause loss of aircraft control. Furthermore, slush or similar materials thrown up by the aircraft wheels occasionally tends to freeze on the wings and other parts of the aircraft in such manner and locations as to adversely efiect characteristics. To avoid such hazards, use of airport runways is prohibited if they have more than onehalf inch slush or more than three inches of snow as such on their surfaces. Consequently, great efforts are made to remove excess snow from runways as soon as possible in order to. eliminate hazards to safe operation and to prevent or minimize interruptions in service. However, the only practical means presently employed for removal of such material involves the use of power-driven scrapers and brushes, the capacities of which are so limited that a large number of them must be employed to clear the runways a reasonable time; this, of course, involves very substantial costs. Moreover, scrapers and brushes do not leave the runways as clean and dry as desired. The problem of removing snow from airport runways with the desired speed, effectiveness, and economy has not been satisfactorily solved to the best of my knowledge.

The problems encountered in clearing roads of snow are serious and of common knowledge. While in some respects these problems are not as serious as in railroad or airport operation, since the passage of trafiic on heavily traveled roads tends to keep them clear, heavy snowfalls 3,$4l,748 Fatented July 3, 1962 or icing often do cause severe traffic tie-up requiring expenditures of considerable labor and money to clear roads and restore trafiic. Usually power-driven scrapers and brushes are employed, which are not as effective in removing the snow as desired, and are characterized by high costs and slowness in operation.

It is an object of the present invention to provide apparatus for rapidly removing snow from roadways or other areas which overcomes the above problems and disadvantages of prior apparatus. Another object is the provision of apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to travel over the ground, a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at high velocity, the engine being mounted on the vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction of travel oi the vehicle, and a duct mounted. on the vehicle to receive the blast from the discharge conduit of the engine/the cross sectional area of the duct having a critical relationship to the cross sectional area of the discharge conduit such that ambient air is entrained into the duct by the blast discharging from the engine in a proportion which increases substantially the mass flow, and decreases substantially the velocity and temperature of the stream of gases discharging from the duct, so that the stream of gases rapidly, eliectively, safely and economically removes snow physically and by sub limation. Another object is the provision of such apparatus embodying a duct having a wide, shallow discharge portion, and flow divider means located nearthe inlet to the duct and extending transversely ofits discharge portion. A further object is the provision of such apparatus in which the duct is angularly movable to permit the stream of gases to be directed most efiectively for snow removal. Another object is to provide such apparatus in which the length of duct may be varied to increasethe effectiveness of snow removal.

Other objects of the invention will become a parent from the following description of three embodiments of the invention in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of a preferred embodiment of the invention, adapted to travel along a. railroad track to remove snow from the track and adjacent areas;

FIGURE 2 is a plan of the apparatus of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a side elevation to anenlarged scale of the front portion of the apparatus of FIGURES 1 and 2, showing the angularly adjustable variable length duct at the discharge end of the jet engine;

FIGURE 4 is a plan of the apparatus of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a cross section along line 5-5 of FIG- URE 3;

FIGURE 6 is a longitudinal sectional elevation along line 6-6 of FIGURE 4, but to an enlarged scale, showing the end of the jet engine discharge conduit and the inlet end of the duct, and how ambient air is entrained by the blast;

FIGURE 7 is a cross section along line 7-7 of FIG- URE 6;

FIGURE 8 is a side elevation of another type of apparatus embodying the invention, which apparatus is particularly advantageous for removal of snow from airport runways;

FIGURE 9 is a plan of the apparatus of FIGURE 8;

FIGURE 10 is a plan of the front portion of snow removal apparatus like that of FIGURES 8 and 9, em

bodying adifferent duct;

FIGURE 11 is a side elevation of the apparatus of FIGURE 10; and

FIGURE 12 is an end elevation from line 12 -l2 of FiGURE 10.

The apparatus of FIGURES l to 7 inclusive, comprises a wheeled vehicle generally indicated by reference numeral 1, supporting a jet engine 2 discharging into an angularly movable, variable length, duct 3. The vehicle also embodies a cab 4 containingthe means 5 and 6 for controlling the operations of the jet engine and the duct. The vehicle 1, which is a rail car, is shown as coupled to a tank car 7 from which the engine 2 receives its fuel through flexible tube 8. During snow removal, the apparatus and tank car are pushedin the direction indicated by the arrows at the bottoms of FIGURES 1 and 2, by a locomotive, not shown, coupled to the tank car. Preferably, electric power for starting the jet engine and for other power purposes is supplied to the apparatus from the locomotive through cables 9.

More specifically, the vehicle 1 comprises a floor structure 11 supported in the usual manner on conventional railroad car trucks 12 having wheels 13adapted to travel on the tracks 14. The floor structure 11 has fixed to it a rigid cradle 15 which carries the jet engine 2. The cradle comprises two spaced, parallel, longitudinal base beams 16, each of which is supported by and connected to the floor structure by resilient means 17. These connection means 17 may be conventional rubber mountings selected to dampen satisfactorily the vibrations occurring during vehicle movement in the ranges of frequency that are harmful to the engine. The cradle 15 includes upwardly extending members 18, 19, to which are connected the conventional mounting members of the engine to provide a three-point support.

Although various types of jet engines may be employed, that illustrated and indicated by reference numeral 2 preferably is an aircraft turbo-jet engine, such as a model I4719 axial flow turbo-jet engine manufactured by General Electric Company; this engine is rated as 5,200 pounds of thrust (5,200 HP.) at 8,000 r.p.m. at sea level. The illustrated engine includes an inlet conduit 21 into which ambient air isrdrawn during operation of the engine, and a discharge conduit or tail pipe 22 having an opening 23. (see FIGS. 6 and 7) through which the hot gases of the blast produced by the engine are discharged at high-velocities. The major portion of the engine, including its inlet conduit 21, is housed'in an enclosure 24 fixed to the floor structure of the vehicle and to the front of the cab 4; the discharge conduit 22 projects from the front of this enclosure. The enclosure is provided with side doors 25 providing access to the engine, and with openings 26, preferably screened, through which air can pass to theinlet conduit 21 of the engine, as shown by the broken arrows in FIGURE 2. The engine 2 is supplied with fuel through suitable conduit means 27 and the electrical power and the control signals are transmitted by suitable conductor means 28; the engine is controlled by suitable means 5. Since such fuel supply,

electrical power, and control means may be of known a conventional types, they require no further description.

As shown to advantage in FIGURES 3 to 6 inclusive, the duct 3 of the apparatus comprises an elongated outer duct member 31, and an elongated inner duct member 32 mounted in telescoping relation within member 31.

The illustrated outer duct member 31 is shown as cylindrical throughout a major portion of its length, and mounted with its rear or inlet opening 33 adjacent the discharge opening 23 of the jet engine so as to receive the entire blast of gases discharged from the engine. Preferably, the" inlet end of the outer duct memberis provided with a flared annular portion 30, shown to advan- 7 tage in FIGURES l, 3 and 6, which aids in entraining and providing streamline flow of ambient air into the duct member, as will be later described in more detail;

the amount ofentrainedair can beincreased by as much as 15% by use ofa 45 flared portion as shown. The outer duct member: 31 is mounted for substantial, although limited, angular movement in any direction relatively to the axis of the jet engine, as shown in FIGURES 1, 2 and 4. Theillustrated structure for accomplishing this comprises a generally horizontal T-shaped frame 34 4 (shown advantageously in FIGURE 4) formed of cross member 35 rigidly fixed to longitudinal leg member 36. The frame 34 is pivotally connected to the floor structure 11 of the car by pivot member 37 in the center of the cross member, and is guided for rotary movement around the pivot member by arcuate guide members 38, 39 and 40 fixed to the floor of the vehicle. Rigidly fixed to the cross member 35 of frame 34 are spaced upright members 42, braced by inclined members 43 fixed to the upright members and to the longitudinal member 36.

The outer duct member 31 is pivotally mounted at connections 44 on the upper portions of members 42.

The duct member 31 is adapted to be angularly moved in a vertical direction around pivots 44 by two hydraulic cylinders 45 pivotally connected at. their lower ends to cross bar 35a fixed to and forming a part of T-frame 34. The cylinders 45 have piston rods 46 the upper ends of which are pivotally connected to the sides of the duct member 31 at pivot points 47 removed from pivot points 44. The duct member 31'is also angularly movable in a horizontal direction by a hydraulic cylinder '48 pivotally connected at one end to the floor structure 11 and having a piston rod4? pivotally connected to the cross member 35 of T-frame 34 at a pivot point 50 spaced from pivot connection 37.

The inner telescoping duct member'32 preferably is of cylindrical shape throughout the major portion of its length and of such length that when retracted its rear or inlet opening 51 lies in substantially the same plane as the inlet opening of duct member 31 and its discharge portion 52 extends beyond the end of duct member 31 remote from its inlet end.

top and bottom walls 53 and outwardly flared side walls 54 to define a rectangular discharge opening of substantially the same cross sectional area as that of the cylindrical portion of duct member 32 and which discharges the gases in a generally fan-shaped streamwhich facilitates the snow-removing action.

Near its inlet end, the outer surface of the inner duct member 32 has a circumferential bead 55, while outer duct member 31 has a circumferential bead 56 on its inner.

which are rigidly fixed to an equal number of lugs 58 rigidly fixed to inner duct member 32 near its discharge end. The other ends of these rods 57 are slidably mounted V in cylindrical guide members 59 fixed, as by welding, to the exterior of outer duct member 31, as shown in FIGURES 3, 4 and 5. Member 32 is moved longitudinally within duct member 31 by a hydraulic cylinder 61 pivotally connected at one end to the, outside of the inlet end portion ofouter duct member 31, and having a piston" rod 62 connected tothe outer surface of the discharge end portion of inner ductmember 32.

Hydraulic fluid conduits 63, 64 and 65 communicate with the ends of. hydraulic cylinders 45, 48 and 61 and with hydraulic pump 66 driven by motor 67. The flow of fluid through these conduits is controlled by valve means 6 operated by control levers 68, 69,;to move the duct 3 to, any angular position within its limits of movement, and

to increase and decrease its length to any degree within" its limits of retraction and extension. The positions of the pivot connections 374-and 44 are so related that the duct 3 moves angularly about a pivot point on the axis of the discharge conduit22 of the engine, which usually is the axis of the engine, and which point also lies substantially. in the plane .of the discharge opening 23 of such conduit.

Preferably, the discharge portion 52 is shaped as shown with inwardly tapered in FIGURE 7, the cross sectional area of the minimum opening through the duct 3, corresponding to the cross sectional area of the inlet opening 51 of inner duct member 32, is larger than the internal cross sectional area of the discharge end of the discharge conduit 22 of the jet engine, which in the illustrated embodiment is the cross sectional area of the discharge opening 23 of such conduit. Such internal cross sectional area of the duct 3 should be from 1.5 to 2.5 times the internal cross sectional area of the discharge conduit; this relationship is critically important in insuring that ambient air is drawn, into the duct 3 by the engine blast at the proper quantity and rate to mix with and cool the blast substantially from its initially dangerously high temperatures, to slow the velocity of the blast from the extremely high velocities to usable high velocities, and to very substantially increase the mass flow of the gases discharged from the duct, so that the stream of gases will remove the snow entirely by the force exerted by this stream, with no melting of the snow. When the indicated areas are within this critical relative range, the blast is cooled sulficiently so that the snow is not melted by the gases emanating from the duct, which is advantageous since melting would disperse a spray of liquid which could refreeze and cause even greater difficulties than the original snow; and the speed of the blast is lowered by the entrained air sufliciently to prevent channeling or removal of snow from only a small localized area, and to prevent dangerously high velocities of gases or of pieces of ice or snow driven by the gases.

If the cross sectional area of the duct is smaller than that required by the lower limit of the above critical range, the amount of entrained air will be too small to lower the jet engine blast temperature and the velocity of the gases emanating from the duct suflieiently to eliminate the above dilficulties, and will not be large enough to increase the mass flow of the gases discharged from the duct suf ficiently to cause effective snow removal. On the other hand, if the cross sectional area of the duct is larger than that permitted by the upper limit of the critical range, the amount of air entrained will be excessive, and the velocity of the stream of gases discharged from the duct will be so greatly reduced that the mass flow of the gas stream will be actually lowered rather than raised, and the stream of gases will be inetfeetive to remove snow; in particular, the forces exerted by the stream of gases will be insutlicient to remove ice from crevices, as in switch apparatus. It has been found that snow removal and the other desired results are optimum when the cross sectional area of the duct opening is about twice as large as the cross sectional area of the discharge conduit of the jet engine.

In the illustrated embodiment, as is preferable, the duct 3 is angularly movable in all directions within the limits of about above and below the horizontal as shown in FIGURE 1, and about 30 on each side of such axis as shown in FIGURES 2. and 4. When the duct is positioned with its axis horizontal and parallel to that of the vehicle, and is contracted to its shortest length, its discharge end projects beyond the forward or leading end of the vehicle 1 so that the discharged stream of gases willv not be obstructed. The maximum extended length of the duct 3, which about twice its minimum length in the illustrated apparatus, is great enough to causethe discharge end of the duct to be located well beyond the end of the vehicle and close to the ground when the duct is deflected downwardly, as shown in FIGURE 1; this keeps the stream of gases well columnated until it nears the ground, after which the discharge portion 52 spreads the gases into an efiicient fan-shaped stream. By such means the gas stream may be directed and distributed for effective snow removal.

Preferably, as is shown in FIGURES 4 to 7 inclusive, there is fiow dividing means located near the inlet to the duct 3 to insure that the blast from the jet engine is distributed substantially uniformly across the internal cross section of the duct. This flow dividing means is a partition 7 0 extending diametrically across and longitudinally of the outlet portion of the discharge conduit 22. of the jet engine in the vicinity of the inlet to the duct 3. This partition is vertical, being disposed transversely of the fan-shaped outlet portion of the duct so that it causes the mixture of exhaust gases and entrained air to fill the cross section of the duct throughout its length, including the cross section of the elongated outlet opening in the duct. If the duct was not thus filled by gases, there would be peripheral zones of reduced pressure, into which air could be drawn through the outlet of the duct, with consequent considerable turbulence and loss of velocity of the gases in the stream. By preventing such undesirable actions, the flow dividing means increases the effectiveness of air entrainment, velocity and streamline flow of the gas stream, and efficiency of the snow removal operation. Preferably, the partition is of teardrop-shaped cross section located with its thin end facing the flow of gases, as shown in FIGURE 4, since this promotes nonturbulent flow of gases toward the peripheral portions of the duct as well as the other advantages mentioned above.

In'operation of the apparatus in FIGURES 1 to 7 inclusive, the vehicle is pushed in the direction of the arrows while the duct 3 in its extended, downwardly deflected position is moved augularly from side to side to remove snow from a path of desired width in which the rails are located. As a more specific example, in an apparatus of the type and proportions illustrated in which the cross sectional area of the discharge conduit 22 of the jet engine was 298 sq. in. and a cross sectional area of the opening through the duct 3 was 571 sq. in., the jet engine emitted a blast of gases having a temperature of l,275 F. at a velocity of 1,780 ft./sec. and a pressure of 25 p.s.i. Ambient air at a temperature of about F. was entrained into the duct by the blast, and the resulting mixture of gases emitted by the duct had a discharge velocity of 323 ft./sec. and a temperature of 325 F. A resulting dynamic pressure of 830 psi. was exerted on the snow and eifectively removed it without melting. The snow was removed primarily by the pressure and blowing action of the emitted gases, but a very substantial amount of snow was removed by sublimation. Although the gases emitted at the outlet of the duct had the above indicated elevated temperature, the cooling effects of the ambient air and the very short contact of the gases with the snow before it was blown or sublimed prevented harmful melting.

Although the speed of travel of the vehicle depends in part on the amount and kind of frozen material being removed, the speed and effectiveness of snow removal with the above described, apparatus are such that for a given set of snow conditions the vehicle can travel considerably faster than prior types of snow removal apparatus heretofore used while efiectively removing the snow, and the cost of snow removal per unit of area is substantially lower than heretofore possible on railroad trackage.

FIGURES 8 and 9 depict another form of apparatus embodying the invention, which is useful in the removal of snow from airport runways or similar areas. This apparatus comprises a vehicle, generally identified by the reference character 71, supporting a turbo-jet engine 72 discharging its blast through a duct 73. The apparatus is adapted to be connected to and pushed by the front end of a powered vehicle, such as a tank truck (not shown) which can also supply fuel for the jet engine. Direction of travel during operations is indicated by the arrows below FIGURES 8 and 9.

To facilitate pushing and directing of the apparatus in the desired path, two caster-type supporting wheels 74 are mounted in swiveling relation on the underside of the floor structure 75 of the vehicle. At its rear end, the apparatus also includes coupling means 76 by means of which it may be connected to the front bumper of the pushing vehicle.

The jet engine 72, which may be a turbo-jet engine of the same type as that of the previous embodiment, is supported at three points from floor structure 75 of the vehicle. A rigid cradle 77 engages the sides of the jet engine, and a separate supporting member 78 engages the bottom of the jet engine at the usual mounting brackets on the engine. The cradle 77 and supporting member 78are supported from the floor structure 75 by resilient connecting means 79 and 80 of conventional types which are selected to dampen satisfactorily the vibrations occurring during vehicle movement in the ranges of frequency that are harmful to the engine. The end of the engine having the air inlet 82 is located in a screened enclosure 83 for safety. The main portion of the engine is also enclosed in a housing 84, having top hinged doors 85 operable to allow access to the engine. The engine has a discharge conduit 86 with a discharge opening 87. Fuel is supplied to the engine by conduit means 88 and electrical power for starting and other purposes is supplied by conductor means 89. Other conductor means 91 is connected to a portable control panel in the cab of the pushing truck or some other suitable location, for controlling the operation of the engine.

The illustrated duct 73 is not of telescoping construction, but is otherwise similar to the duct 3 of the previous embodiment in that it has a rearwardly flared portion 92 at its inlet end to aid in entraining ambient air and causing streamline flow of gases through the duct, a discharge portion 93 at its other end having inwardly flared top and bottom walls and outwardly flared side walls to discharge the gases in a fan-shaped stream, and an intermediate portion 94 of cylindrical configuration, and in that the cross sectional areas of the duct 73 and discharge conduit 86 have the critical relationship described above. The duct 73 is mounted so it can angularly move about a pivot point lying substantially on the axis of the jet engine discharge conduit and in the plane of its discharge opening 87. The means for so mounting and moving the duct are similar to those described in the previous embodiment, and comprise a frame 95 mounted on floor structure 75 for pivotal movement from side to side about a vertical axis about which the frame is moved by hydraulic cylinder 96. Other hydraulic cylinders 97, connected to the frame and duct, angularly move the duct about a horizontal axis about which it is pivotally supported on frame 95. The hydraulic cylinders are operated and controlled from the cab of the pusher truck, by suitable conventional means not shown.

Preferably, as shown in FIGURES 8 and 9, this apparatus also includes a flow dividing means at the inlet of the duct, in the form of a partition 98 of teardrop cross section located with its thin end facing the flow of gases; the partition extends diametrically across and for a substantial length of the discharge conduit 86 of the jet engine, and is vertical so it extends in a direction transversely of the fan-shaped discharge end portion 93 of the duct. This flow dividing means, like the similar means of the preceding embodiment, acts to insure that the entire cross sectional area of the duct is filled with the gases throughout the length of the duct to increase gas flow, decrease turbulence, and increase snow removal efliciency.

Although this apparatus does not travel on rails and has no telescoping duct, its operation is essentially similar to that of the previous embodiment and hence requires no further description. It provides similar advantages of rapid efiective and economical snow removal from airports or similar areas.

FIGURES 10, 11 and 12 show the forward end or snow removal portion of apparatus like that of FIGURES 8 and 9, but embodying a modified form of duct. In these figures, as in FIGURES 8 and 9, the floor structure 75 of the vehicle 71 supports a turbo-jet engine 72 having 'a tailpipe or discharge conduit 86. The floor structure also supports, for pivotal movement about a vertical axis, a

duct 101 which dilfers somewhat from the duct 73 of FIGURES 8 and 9 Duct 101, which is preferably formed of sheet metal, has an inlet portion 102 having a circular inlet opening 103 surrounded by a flared annular portion 104 providing the same air entrainment benefits as previously described; the inlet opening merges smoothly with the remainder of the duct to form a discharge portion 105 having a rectangular, wide, shallow, horizontally extending outlet opening 106.

The side walls 107 of the duct are tapered outwardly from the inlet portion 102 to the discharge portion 105 of the duct, as shown in FIGURES l0 and 12, to define the Widely spaced sides of the discharge opening 196; and the top and bottom walls 108, 109 of the duct are tapered inwardly, and both inclined downwardly toward the discharge portion of the duct as shown in FIGURES 11 and 12, to define the closely spaced top and bottom walls of the discharge opening 106 and to locate the opening in relatively close proximity to the surface from which snow is to be removed. Preferably, the opening through the duct is so shaped that at any point along its length its cross sectional area transversely to the flow of gases through the duct is at least as large as the cross sectional area of the inlet opening 103. Between its top and bottom walls, the duct advantageously is provided with stiffening partitions 111 which extend inwardly for a substantial length of the duct and are located and spaced so that the cross sectional areas between the partitions are equal.

The duct 101 also includes a flow divider 112 taking the form of a portion of generally teardrop cross section disposed with its thin end facing the flow of gases. This partition is fixed inside of the inlet end portion of the duct and extends between the top and bottom walls of the duct in a vertical direction, so that it is located transversely of the discharge opening. The flow divider acts, as do the flow dividers of the previous embodiments, to direct the gases toward the side walls of the duct to insure that the entire cross sectional area of the opening through the duct is filled throughout the length of the duct and to prevent peripheral portions of lower pressure which could cause reverse flow of air into the duct from its discharge end with resulting turbulence, loss of velocity, and impairment of snow removal efliciency.

The duct 101 is supported from the floor structure 75 of the vehicle by means similar to that supporting the duct 73 of the embodiment of FIGURES 8 and 9. Such supporting means comprises a frame mounted on the floor structure 75 for pivotal movement from side to side about a vertical axis upon which the frame is moved by hydraulic cylinder 96. The frame 95 includes upright members 113, 114 which rigidly support the duct 101.

The duct 101 can thus be moved angnlarly about a vertical axis by suitable means controlling the hydraulic cylinder 96 so as to remove snow from a path directly in front and on each side of the vehicle, but is not movable about a horizontal axis since the downwardly directed shape of the duct renders this unnecessary.

Apparatus of the types described above are extremely effective in snow removal. For example, apparatus of the type described in FIGURES 1 to 7 has removed snow 13 feet deep from railroad trackage, at speeds, along the rails more than twice as fast as possible with conventional snow removal apparatus.

Apparatus of the type shown in FIGURES 8 to 12 inclusive has effectively removed one foot deep snow from airport runways at speeds between 35 to 40 mph, which is approximately twice the speed of snow removal possible with scrapers and brushes; moreover, the action was much more efiective since it resulted in removal of substantially all snow without the undesired residual layer resulting from conventional apparatus.

It appears that while most of the snow is removed by the pressure and blowing action of the mixture of gases discharged from the duct, a very substantial proportion of the snow, up to 30% or more, is removed by sublima-. tion of the snow directly into vapor. This greatly adds to the effectiveness of the snow removal.

From the foregoing, it is apparent that I have provided apparatus which overcomes the shortcomings of prior apparatus for removal of snow, and which efiectively, economically and safely removes snow at the desired high rates. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that changes or modifications other than those indicated may be made in the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof; for example, a duct similar to that of FIGURES l0, l1 and 12 may be employed in apparatus like that of FIGURES l to 7 inclusive; or a telescoping duct like that shown in the apparatus of FIGURES l to 7 may be employed in apparatuslike that of FIGURES S and 9. The essential characteristics of the invention are defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to travel along the ground; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction toward which the vehicle travels; and a duct, having an inlet and outlet, mounted on said vehicle with its inlet adjacent the discharge conduit of said engine, the internal cross sectional area of said duct being substantially from 1.5 to 2.5 times the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit of said engine, whereby ambient air is entrained into said duct by the blast discharging from said engine, to increase substantially the mass flow of the gases discharging from said duct.

2. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to travel along the mound; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction toward which said vehicle travels; and an elongated duct, having an inlet end and an outlet end, mounted on said vehicle with its inlet end adjacent. the discharge conduit of said engine, the internal cross sectional. area of said duct being substantially from 1.5 to 2.5 times the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit whereby ambient air is entrained into said duct by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substantially the mass flow of the stream of gases discharging from said duct, said duct being adjustably mounted relatively to said discharge conduit of said engine to permit change in the direction of the stream of gases discharging from said duct.

3. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to travel along the ground; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction toward which said vehicle travels; and an elongated duct, having an inlet end and an outlet end, mounted on said vehicle with its inlet end adjacent the discharge conduit of said engine, the internal cross section area of said duct being substantially from 1.5 to 2.5 times the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit, whereby ambient air is entrained into said duct by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substantially the mass flow of the stream of gases discharging from said duct, said duct being adjustably mounted relatively to said discharge conduit of said engine to permit change in the direction of the stream of gases d scharging from said duct and also being extensible in length.

4. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to travel along the ground; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction toward which said vehicle travels; an elongated duct, having an inlet and an outlet, mounted on said vehicle with its inlet adjacent the discharge conduit of said engine, the internal cross sectional area of said duct being sufficiently larger than the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit of said engine to cause ambient air to be entrained into said duct by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substantially the mass flow of thegases discharging from said duct; and flow dividing means adjacent the inlet of said duct to cause gases passing through said duct to fill substantially the entire internal cross section of said duct throughout substantially its entire length.

5. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to travel along the ground; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is. discharged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction toward which said vehicle travels; an elongated duct, having an inlet and an outlet, mounted on said vehicle with its inlet adjacent the discharge conduit of said engine, said duct having a flared portion at its inlet end tocausesubstantially streamline flow of air into said duct, the internal cross sectional area of said duct being sufiiciently larger than the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit of said engine to cause ambient air to be entrained into said duct by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substantially the mass flow of the stream of gases discharging from said duct; and. flow dividing means adjacent the inlet of said duct to cause gases passing through saidduct to fillsubstantially the entire internal cross section of said duct throughout substantially its entire length.

6. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to travel along the ground; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction toward which said vehicle travels; an elongated duct, having an inlet and an outlet, mounted on said vehicle with its inlet end adjacent the discharge conduit of said engine, an elongated, wide, shallow outlet opening at its outlet end to discharge a fan-shaped stream of gases, the internal cross sectional area of said duct being suliiciently larger than the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit of said engine to cause ambient air to be en.- trained by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substantially the mass flow of the stream of gases discharging from said d ct; and flow-dividing pmtition means located adjacent the inlet of said duct and extending transversely of the direction in which saidoutlet opening is elongated, to cause gases passing through said duct to fill substantially the entire cross section of said outlet opening.

7. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to travel along the. ground; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction to.- Ward which said vehicle travels; an elongated duct, having an inlet and an outlet, mounted on said vehicle with its inlet adjacent the discharge conduit of said engine, said duct having a flared portion at its inlet end to cause substantially streamline flow of air into said duct, and an elongated, wide, shallow outlet opening at its outlet end to discharge a fan=shaped stream of gases, the internal cross section area of said duct being sufficiently larger than the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit of said engine to cause ambient air to be en trained by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substanitally the mass flow of the stream of gases discharging from said duct; and flow-dividing partition means located adjacent the inlet of said duct and extending transversely of the direction in which said outlet opening is elongated, to cause gases passing through said 'duct to fill substantially the entire cross section of said outlet opening.

8. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle substantially its entiretlength.

7 its inlet end adjacent the adapted to travel along the ground; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction toward which said vehicle travels; and an elongated duct, having an inlet and an outlet, mounted on said vehicle with its inlet adjacent the discharge conduitof said engine, said duct having a flared portion at its inlet end to cause substantially streamline flow of air into said duct, the internal cross sectional area of saidduct being substantially from 1.5 to 2.5 times the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit of said engine, whereby ambient air is entrained into said duct by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substantially the mass flow of the stream of gases discharging from said duct.

9. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to travel along the ground; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at'high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction toward which said vehicle travels; and an elongated duct, having an inlet and an outlet, mounted on said vehicle with its inlet adjacent the discharge conduit of said engine, said duct having at its outlet end an elongated, wide, shallow outlet opening, the internal cross sectional area of said duct being substantially from 1.5 to 2.5 times the internal cross sectional area ofsaid discharge conduit of said engine, whereby ambient air is entrained by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substantially the mass flow of the stream of. gases discharging from said duct. t

10. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to travel along the ground; a jet engine having a: discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction toward whichsaid vehicle travels; and'an elongated duct, having an inlet and an outlet, mounted on said vehicle with its inlet adjacent the discharge conduitof said engine, said duct having at its inlet end a flared portion to cause substantially streamline flow of air into said duct and at its outlet end an elongated, wide, shallow outlet opening, the internal cross sectional area of said duct being substantially fromt 1.5 to 2.5 times the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit of-said engine, whereby ambient air is entrained by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substantially the mass flow of the stream of gases discharging from said duct. 7

11. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to traveltalong the ground; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle soits blast discharges in the direction toward which said vehicle travels; an elongated duct, having an inlet and outlet, mounted on'said vehicle with its inlet adjacent the discharge conduit of said engine, the internal cross sectional area of said duct being substantially from 1 .5 to 2.5 times. the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit of said engine, whereby ambient air isentrained into said duct by the blast discharging frorn said engine to increase substantially the mass fiow'oftthe gases discharging from said duct; and

now dividing meansadjacent'the inlet of said duct to through 'said duct to fill substantially 1 cause, gases passing the entire internal cross section of said duct throughout 12.Apparatus forremoving snow comprising" a vehicle adapted to travel along the ground; a jet engine havinga discharge conduitthrough which the engine blast is dis- 4 charged'at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blastidischarges in the direction toward which said vehicle travels;.an elongated duct, having an inlet and an outlet, mounted on said vehicle with discharge conduit of said engine, said duct having at its inlet end a flared portion to portion at its inlet end to diow of air into the peripheral portion of said duct, ama bient air being entrained the internal cross sectional area of said duct being subs stantially from 1.5 to 2.5 times the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit, whereby ambient air is entrained into said duct by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substantially the mass flow of the stream of gases discharging from said duct; and flow dividing means adjacent the inlet of said duct to cause entire internal cross section of said duct throughout substantially its entire length.

13. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle,

adapted to travel along the ground; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is dis= charged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction toward which said vehicle travels; an elongated duct, having an inlet and an outlet, mounted on said vehicle with its inlet adjacent the discharge conduit of said engine, said duct having an elongated, wide, shallow outlet opening at its outlet end to discharge a fan-shaped stream of gases, the internal cross sectional area of said duct being substan tially from 1.5 to 2.5 times the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit whereby ambient air is entrained by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substantially the mass flow of the stream of gases discharging from said duct; and flow-dividing partition means located adjacent the inlet of said duct and extending transversely of the direction in which said outlet opening is elongated, to cause gases passing through said duct to fill substantially the entire cross section of said outlet opening.

14. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to travel along the ground; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction toward which said vehicle travels; an elongated duct, having an inlet and an outlet, mounted on said vehicle with itsinlet adjacent the discharge conduit of said engine, said duct having at its inlet end a flared portion to cause substantially streamline flow of air into said duct, and at its outlet end an elongated, wide, shallow charge a fan-shaped stream of gases, the internal cross sectional area of said duct being substantially from 1.5 to'2.S times the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit, whereby ambient air is entrained by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substantially the mass fiow of the stream of gases discharging from said duct; and flow-dividing partition means located adjacent the inlet of said duct and extending transversely'of the direction in which said outlet opening is elongated, to cause gases passing through said duct to fill substantially the entire cross section of said outlet opening,

15. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle 7 adapted to travel along the ground; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said'vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction toward which said vehicle travels; an elongated duct, having an inlet adjacent the discharge conduit of said engine, the internal cross sectional area of said'duct being substantially from 1.5 to 2.5 times the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit, said duct having a flared cause substantially stream-line by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substantially the mass flow of the stream of gases discharging from said duct; and flow dividing partition means located within said duct near its inlet end to cause fill substantially the entire cross section of said duct throughout substantially its entire length.

16. The apparatus of claim 12, comprising means adjustably mounting said duct relatively tosaid discharge, '7

outlet opening to disgases passing. through said duct to 13 conduit of said engine to permit change in the position of the outlet of said duct.

17. Apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to travel along the ground; a jet engine having a discharge conduit through which the engine blast is discharged at high velocity, said engine being mounted on said vehicle so its blast discharges in the direction toward which said vehicle travels; and a duct, having an inlet and outlet, mounted on said vehicle with its inlet adjacent the discharge conduit of said engine, said duct having an internal cross sectional area about twice as great as the internal cross sectional area of said discharge conduit of said engine, whereby ambient air is entrained into said duct by the blast discharging from said engine to increase substantially the mass flow of the gases discharging from said duct.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Saxon Mar. 14, 1911 Wylie Aug. 13, 1957 OTHER REFERENCES

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3136488 *May 25, 1962Jun 9, 1964Bristol Sheet Metal CoAdjustable nozzle for jet snow melters
US3199506 *Feb 27, 1963Aug 10, 1965Bertin & CieDevice for clearing wide roads or runways covered with snow and ice
US3228125 *Jan 4, 1963Jan 11, 1966Gen Aeromation IncAirport and highway cleaning machines
US3308806 *Oct 20, 1965Mar 14, 1967Bertin & CieDevice for clearing wide snow- or icecovered runways, roads or the like
US3359969 *Jan 9, 1967Dec 26, 1967Bertin & CieDevice for clearing wide snow-or ice-covered runways, roads or the like
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US3847137 *Apr 2, 1973Nov 12, 1974Pages Holding SaMelting equipment for melting snow and ice
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US4043397 *Sep 22, 1975Aug 23, 1977Glowienke Richard AFire fighting equipment
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US4184274 *Jul 5, 1978Jan 22, 1980Vohl Paul EugeneEjection tube assembly for a snowblower
US5134266 *Oct 26, 1990Jul 28, 1992Peppard Dennis LMobile deicing apparatus
US5186394 *Sep 30, 1991Feb 16, 1993Nippon Thompson Co., Ltd.Remote controlled freely pivotal nozzle
US5642673 *Apr 8, 1996Jul 1, 1997Lucky, Sr.; Bobby D.Snow and ice melting device
US5930455 *Jun 24, 1998Jul 27, 1999Kanna; RalphAutomobile fog clearing system
US6189179 *Mar 30, 1999Feb 20, 2001Saturn Machine & Welding Co., Inc.Surface drying machine
US6488217Mar 1, 2001Dec 3, 2002Anthony A. DonastorgAnti-hydroplane system for tires
US6553693 *May 26, 2000Apr 29, 2003360Fiber Ltd.Snow removal apparatus and method of using same
USB380900 *Jul 19, 1973Jan 28, 1975 Title not available
Classifications
U.S. Classification37/202, 239/592, 126/271.20C, 15/415.1, 104/279, 239/587.5, 15/340.1, 15/405, 15/354
International ClassificationE01H5/10
Cooperative ClassificationE01H5/106
European ClassificationE01H5/10D