US 3089588 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 14, 1963 c. v. CORRELL 3,
AERIAL WIRE PAYOUT SYSTEM AND WIRE MAGAZINE THEREFOR Filed July 27. 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVEN TOR. Cue n5 M Coeesu.
May 14, 1963 c. v. CORRELL 3,089,588
AERIAL WIRE PAYOUT SYSTEM AND WIRE MAGAZINE THEREFOR Filed July 27, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Z fiycf INVENTOR. Cue v5 I Caeeszz United States Patent 3,089,588 AERIAL WIRE PAYGUT SYSTEM AND WERE MAGAZINE THEREFOR Curtis V. Correll, 2.65 Kenneth Road, Glendale, Calif. Filed July 27, 1961, Ser. No. 127,278 4 Claims. (Cl. 20659) This invention relates to a system for paying out a length of Wire over a terrain and, particularly, to a wire payout system for use on land or air vehicles and to a unique wire magazine for containing and dispensing the wire to be payed out.
The present invention is intended primarily for military application in laying out, from a helicopter, for example, a long length of wire to be used for telephone communication between remotely located military ground units. For this reason, the invention will be described in connection with this particular application. It will become clear as the description proceeds, however, that the present payout system is susceptible of numerous other uses and applications. Accordingly, the invention should not be regarded as limited to the specific illustrative application disclosed herein. Also, the term wire used herein should be considered in its broadest sense as encompassing any type of wire, cable, etc.
One of the major difficulties in laying out a long length of military telephone wire from the air over a military terrain is breakage of the Wire. Thus, the telephone wire which is used for this purpose is quite hue and, therefore, prone to breaking under excessive strain. For this reason, a relatively steady strain, somewhat below the breakage strength of the wire, must be maintained in the Wire. Sudden slack in the wire must be avoided, for example, since the strain in the wire may exceed its breakage strength when the slack is taken up.
Another important requirement of aerial wire payout systems, especially for military use, is the ability to lay out in a single flight a long length of two or more separate wires. For example, it is not an uncommon military requirement that four wires, ten or more miles in length, be laid out over a military terrain in a single continuous flight. To be practical, of course, the aerial wire payout system must be economical both in its initial manufacture and its subsequent operation.
A general object of this invention is to provide a wire payout system which fulfills the above noted and other requirements of an eifective and eflicient wire payout system.
Another object of the invention is to provide a unique wire magazine for use in the present wire payout system.
Other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will become readily evident as the description proceeds.
Briefly, the objects of the invention are attained by providing a wire payout system in which the Wire is initially stored in magazines, each consisting of several separate magazne units arranged in a stack and cemented or otherwise bonded together. Each such magazine unit cornprises a body of molded frangible plastic or other frangible material formed at one side with a long groove, preferably a spiral groove. The grooved sides of the several magazine units face one end of the stack and the wire to be payed out is fitted in the magazine grooves, the wire passing from the groove in one magazine unit to the groove in the next unit through appropriately located holes in the frangible bodies of the units. A free end of the wire extends through a hole in the body of the magazine unit at the other end of the stack.
The wire magazine is placed in a payout tube which, in operation, is fixedly mounted, preferably in an upright position, in a helicopter or other aircraft. During a payout operation, a weight may be attached to the free end of the wire and then dropped to a selected point on the terrain across which the wire is to be laid or the free end may be otherwise fixed to the terrain. As the helicopter flies over the terrain, the wire is pulled through the back walls of the magazine units in succession. The frangible bodies of the units break up as the wire is unreeled and drop from the payout tube.
Additional wire magazines may be placed in the payout tube as the previous magazines run out. In this case, the wires of each new magazine are connected to the wires of the previous magazine so that :a continuous telephone communication line of great length may be laid out during a single flight.
A better understanding of the invention may be had from the following detailed description of a presently preferred embodiment thereof, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a transverse section through the fuselage of a helicopter having the present aerial payout system installed therein;
FIG. 1a is an enlarged view of the wire magazine which is used in the aerial payout system of FIG. 1;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged section taken along line 2-2 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged section taken along line 3-3 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective of a part of one magazine unit of the invention showing how wires are pulled through the back wall of the unit and the latter breaks up during payout of the wires;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged section taken along line 5-5 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged section taken along line 66 in FIG. 3; and
FIG. 7 illustrates, in diagrammatic fashion, the preferred way of winding Wire on the present wire magazine.
In these drawings, the numeral 10 denotes a wire magazine constructed in accordance with the invention, This magazine is made up of a group of individual, alternately arranged Wire magazine units 123a and 12b. FIG. 2 is a view of the back or normally bottom side of one of the magazine units 12a, while FIG. 3 is a view of the front or normally top side of one of the magazine units 12b. As will be explained, these units are mirror images of one another.
Magazine units 1201 and 12b will be seen to comprise a disc-shaped body 14. This body is made of a relatively thin, frangible material, such as a thin, frangible plastic, .clay, glass, etc. Any convenient process may be used in fabricating the magazine unit, such as die casting.
Body 14 includes a disc-like hack wall 16-, on the front side of which is integrally formed an upstanding rib means 18. This rib means defines at said one side of the magazine unit a long channel or groove 20 to contain the wire 22. to be payed out. The wire has been omitted from FIGS. 2 and 3 for the sake of clarity. Preferably, the
rib means 18 consists of a single rib which spirals inwardiy from the outer edge of the magazine unit, as shown, to provide the wire groove 20 with a continuous spinal configuration. It will become evident as the description proceeds, however, that other rib and groove configurations are possible. Back wall 16 of the magazine uni-ts 12a and 12b is preferably formed with a series of curved slots 23 in alignment with the wire groove 20. These slots are spaced, as shown, so as to leave solid spoke-like back Wall portions 16a. These slots are not absolutely essential and may be omitted if desired.
In the completed wire magazine 10, the individual magazine units 12a and 12b are alternately and coaxially arranged in a stack with the front or grooved sides of the units facing one end of the stack, i.e., the upper end of the stack as the latter is viewed in FIGS. 1 and 1a. The wire 22 to be payed out (actually consisting of two separate wires side by side, as shown) is fitted in the grooves 20 of the several magazine units, the latter having holes 24 adjacent the ends of their respective wire grooves 20 through which the wires 22 pass from the groove in one magazine unit to the groove in the next. Free ends 26 of the wires 22 extend through hole 24 in the frangible body of the lowermost magazine unit in FIGS. 1 and 1a. The opposite free ends 28 of the wires are exposed at the upper end of the magazine, as shown.
The several magazine units 12a and 1217 are bonded together by means of a suitable adhesive, for example, to form the unitary magazine structure 10. The magazine 10 may be dipped in a liquid plastic bath or otherwise provided with a suitable protective coating, as desired. In actual fabrication of the magazine 10, the wires 22 are first wound in the groove 20 in the lowermost magazine unit of FIGS. 1 and la and are then passed through a hole 24 in the second unit and wound in the groove 20 in the latter unit. The remaining units are wound in succession in this way. The units may be bonded to the previous units as they are wound or all of the units may be bonded together after winding, as desired.
Preferably some means are provided for retaining the wires 22 in the magazine grooves 20 since otherwise the Wires are prone to slipping out of the grooves during fabrication of the magazine. One convenient way of restraining the wires in the grooves is to enlarge or thicken the outer edge of the rib 18 of each magazine unit so as to form wire retaining shoulders 30 on the rib, as shown best in FIGS. and 6.
Referring now to FIG. 1, the numeral 32 denotes a military helicopter which is commonly used for laying telephone wires over a military terrain. Attached to the frame of this helicopter are one or more tubes 34 which hold the wire magazines of this invention while their wires 22 are being payed out over the terrain. Tube 34 is preferably vertically disposed and opens at its lower end through the underside of the helicopter. The lower end of the tube has an internal shoulder 36 to seat the outer periphery of the wire magazine 10 inserted in the tube.
In a typical wire laying operation between two remotely located military ground units, a wire magazine 10 is placed in the payout tube 34 and additional wire magazines are stored in the helicopter, depending on the length of wire to be laid. To the lower, free ends 26 of the wires 22 of the magazine in the tube is attached a weight 38. As the helicopter flies over one ground unit, the weight 38 is released to drop to the ground, and the helicopter flies along a desired course, which eventually passes over the second ground unit.
As the weight 38 drops to the ground and during the subsequent flight of the helicopter toward the second ground unit, the wires 22 of the wire magazine 10 in the payout tube 34 pull through the underside of its magazine units 12a and 12b in succession. That is to say, the wires pull first through the underside of the lowermost unit 12a of the magazine, then through the underside of the second unit, and so on. As the wires pull through the underside of each magazine unit, they cut or break through the lower or back wall 16 of the unit progressively from one end of the wire groove to the other. Because of the frangible quality of the material from which the magazine units are made, the latter break up or disintegrate as the wires pay out from the magazine. The broken pieces of the magazine merely drop from the payout tubes. Accordingly, the wire magazine gradually drops in the payout tube as the telephone wires unwind.
It has been found that each wire magazine may conveniently contain up to one mile or so of wire. If the total ground distance over which the telephone Wires are to extend exceeds the length of wire contained in each magazine, additional wire magazines are placed in the payout tube 34 as the previous magazines become hausted. The lower, free ends 26 of the wires 22 on each fresh wire magazine placed in the payout tube are joined to the upper, free ends 23 of the wires on the previous wire magazine. In this way, a continuous telephone line may be laid over any desired distance. In practice, however, telephone communication through wires of the type used in military aerial payout systems is limited to a maximum distance on the order of eleven miles because of the electrical resistance of the wires.
The free ends of the wires of successive Wire magazines rnay be joined in any convenient way. For example, the free ends may be simply spliced together by twisting. In the alternative, some type of quick Connect couplings may be attached to the wires.
As was preliminarily noted, one of the major difliculties encountered in an aerial wire payout system is breakage of the wire due to excessive strain. In the present aerial wire payout system, the relatively massive wire magazine 10 is not rotated or otherwise moved by the wires 22 as the latter pay out. Accordingly, the wire magazine 10 offers no rotational inertia or momentum which might create excessive or variable strain in the wires. Also, the frangible material of the magazine units is relatively thin (the thickness of back wall 16 is on the order of .020 inch and the thickness of the rib 18 is on the order of .050 inch) so that the resistance to cutting or pulling of the wires 22 through the material as the wires pay out imposes only a light strain on the wires far less than their breakage strength. The wires can, of course, unreel freely from the wire magazine 10 in the areas of the curved slots 23 in the magazine units 1211 and 12b.
The wire magazine 10 can be wound in several alternate ways which cause the wires 22 to unwind in different directions from the wire magazine during pay out. For example, the magazine can be wound so that the wires unwind from the center toward the outer edge or from the outer edge toward the center of each magazrne unit. In this case, the wires will extend from one end of the wire groove 20 in each magazine, radially' across the grooved or front side of that unit to the hole 24 at the opposite end of the wire groove in the fol lowing, ad acent magazine unit and through this hole into the latter groove. When the wire magazine 10 is wound in this way, then, free sections of wire, approximately equal in length to the radial dimension of the magazine units, extend between and radially across the pairs of adacent units. During pay out, the strain in the length of wire extending from the helicopter 32 to the ground is momentarily relieved upon unreeling of the wires to each of these radial wire sections. Accordingly, the length of wire extending to the ground becomes alternately slack and taut which is undesirable since the wires are prone to break under such alternating strain.
Preferably, the wire magazine 10 is wound so that the wires 22 extend from one end of the wire groove 20 in each magazine unit, through the hole 24 in the adjacent end of the wire groove in the following, adjacent magazine unit and thence into the adjacent end of the latter wire groove. FIG. 7 illustrates this method of windmg in diagrammatic fashion. When the wire magazine 10 is wound in this way, the free, radial sections of wire and the alternating strain created by the first method of winding are eliminated. During pay out from a wire magazine wound in this alternate way, the wires 22 unwind from the center toward the outer edge of one magazine, then from the outer edge toward the center of the following unit, then, again, from the center toward the outer edge of the next following unit, and so on. In other words, the wires unwind in one direction, say, from the outside toward the center, from all of the magazine units 12a and in the opposite direction from all of the alternate magazine units 12b.
It is evident that if the several magazine units 12a and 12b of the wire magazine were identical, so that all had clockwise inwardly spiraling wire grooves 20, like units 12a, say, then, the wires 22 would unwind in one circumferential direction, in a clockwise direction, for instance, from the units 12a and in a counterclockwise direction from each of the units 1212. In this case, the wire grooves 20 and ribs 18 or" the several magazine units would be aligned and the ribs of each unit would be bonded over substantially their entire length to the adjacent units. Accordingly, there would be a tendency for ribs 18 of the units to remain intact during unreeling of the wires from the magazine. This is undesirable since the wire magazine would then not break up or disintegrate during pay out to allow proper unreeling of the wires from the magazine. Moreover, the payout tube 34- might not be cleared of the magazine which would prevent proper placement of a fresh wire magazine in the tube.
The above problems are avoided by making the magazine units 12a and 12b mirror images of one another so that the wire grooves 20 in the units 12a spiral inwardly toward the center of the units as the grooves progress in a clockwise direction around the units, as the latter are viewed from the front. The wire grooves 24 in the units 12b spiral inwardly in a counterclockwise direction. When these magazine units are alternately located in the wire magazine 10, as shown in FIG. 1a, the wire groove in each unit crosses the ribs 18 of the adjacent units at several positions along their length. As a result, as the wires 22 unreel from the wire magazine 10 during pay out of the wires over a terrain, they periodically out through any portions of the ribs 18 of previous magazine units which may remain after unreeling of the wires from those units so as to assure complete break up or disintegration of the wire magazine in the payout tube. As explained earlier, the broken pieces of the magazine drop through the lower end of the payout tube. The wire is preferably wound on the magazine units, however, in such a way that during pay out, it continues to unwind in the same direction from all of the units, either clockwise or counterclockwise depending upon whether the twist in the wire is to be increased or decreased.
Clearly, therefore, the invention herein described and illustrated is fully capable of attaining the several ob jects and advantages preliminarily set forth.
What is claimed is:
1. A wire magazine for use in a wire payout system of the character described, comprising a plurality of separate magazine units, each including a generally discshaped body of relatively thin, frangible material formed at one side with an upstanding rib which spirals inwardly from the outer edge of the respective body and defines a spiral groove at said one side of the respective :body, said magazine units being generally coaxially arranged in a stack with the grooved sides of the several magazine units facing one end of the stack, a wire fitted in the grooves of the several magazine units, the body of each magazine unit having a hole adjacent one end of the groove in the respective magazine unit through which said Wire passes from the groove in one magazine unit to the groove in the adjacent magazine unit and the body of the magazine unit at the other end of said stack having a hole adjacent one end of the groove in the latter unit through which a free end of said wire extends, and means "bonding the adjacent magazine units together.
2. The subject matter of claim 1 wherein said holes are located so that said wire extends from one end of the groove in each magazine unit to the adjacent end of the groove in the adjacent magazine unit.
3. The subject matter of claim 1 wherein said bodies of the magazine units comprise a molded, frangible plastic material.
4. The subject matter of claim 1 wherein the grooves in adjacent units spiral in opposite directions.
References Qited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,495,174 Harmon May 27, 1924 2,200,721 Marinsky et al May 14, 1940 2,339,475 Hartsell et al J an. 18, 1944 2,436,402 Potter Feb. 24, 1948 2,490,837 Scott Dec. 13, 1949 2,552,594 Scott May 15, 1951 2,973,911 Rayburn Mar. 7, 1961