|Publication number||US3292721 A|
|Publication date||Dec 20, 1966|
|Filing date||Oct 2, 1963|
|Priority date||Oct 2, 1963|
|Publication number||US 3292721 A, US 3292721A, US-A-3292721, US3292721 A, US3292721A|
|Inventors||Dobson Franklin A|
|Original Assignee||Dobson Franklin A|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (10), Referenced by (15), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Dec. 20, 1966 Filed Oct. 2, 1963 F. A. DOBSON TOY AIR CAR 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 IN VEN TOR @fl/r/A z/A/ ,4 502mm F. A. DOBSON Dec. 20, 1966 TOY AIR CAR 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 2, 1963 INVENTOR. @AA/A l/A/ A 50550 Dec. 20, 1966 F. A. DOBSON 3,292,721
TOY AIR CAR Filed Oct. 2, 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR @AW/z/A/ 4 0mm arrow/5%:
Dec. 20, 1966 F. A. DOBSON 3,292,721
TOY AIR CAR Filed Oct. 2, 1965 v 5 Sheets-$heet 4 x Q X k F. A. DOBSQN Dec. 20, 1966 TOY AIR CAR 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Oct. 2, 1965 ZZZ.
INVENTOR rkm/x z/A/ ,4, 50550 v BY X I pr my Eva;
United States Patent M 3,22,721 TOY AIR CAR Franklin A. Dobson, 4518 Roxbury Road, Corona del Mar, Calif. 92525 Filed Oct. 2, 1963, Ser. No. 313,388 16 Claims. (Cl. 180-7) My invention relates to an improved air-cushion vehicle and particularly to a very light weight, low power vehicle in the toy vehicle category. By toy is meant that class of vehicles which can be used by both adults and children, but primarily for pleasure use and as a leisure time activity. Another example of such a toy vehicle is the well-known four wheel kart or go-kart.
Machines of the air cushion variety known presently in the art as air cushion, ground cushion or ground effect machines, include an air pressure chamber open to the ground plane. Air pumped into this chamber leaks out around its bottom edges and the increased pressure inside of the chamber lifts the vehicle slightly above the ground plane. After the vehicle is raised above the ground, only a small propulsive force is required to move the vehicle over the ground surface, since the cushion of air provides a very low frictional support. Such air cushion vehicles can be used over such diverse ground plane surfaces as land, fields, grass, swamps, beaches, water, and snow.
The air cushion principle furnishes an efiective method for creating a large liftfor a relatively small expenditure of power. For a given lifting area, the power required varies directly with the distance from the ground, and with the three-halves power of the total weight lifted per unit area.
For a given application, the available lifting area is generally limited by the maximum size of the vehicle which can be used. It therefore becomes of the utmost importance to keep the structural weight of the vehicle to a minimum. A significant teaching of my invention is how to construct in a very simple manner an air cushion vehicle which meets this requirement,
Another object of my invention is to provide a very efiicient blower system for an air cushion vehicle.
My invention further describes and illustrate an improved means for enabling air cushion vehicles to clear obstructions which are higher than the clear height of the vehicle above the ground plane.
A major source of difiiculty with existing air cushion machines has been the difficulty of achieving adequate control without the expenditure of excessive amounts of power. This problem has also been solved in a simple manner in my invention.
Other and further objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds.
Briefly, in accordance with a preferred form of the present invention, there is provided an air cushion vehicle having a light weight body formed by a light, rigid framework covered with a thin shroud of membrane. An inner cockpit within the body has an opening for the operator through the body top. The cockpit is streamlined with both sides converging at the front and rear ends, thereby serving to separate the two sides of the 'body and act as a splitter for the air flow from the intake fan.
Substantially the entire front end of the vehicle body is occupied by an air intake in which a motor driven fan is mounted in a sloping position. As described below, this location of the fan intake produces a side force when the machine is flying at an angle of yaw, this side force allowing the vehicle to be maneuvered in a comparatively short turning radiu without excessive Patented Dec. 20, 1966 side slip. Directional control, propulsion and braking are provided by flaps forming a portion of the upper rear right and left surfaces of the 'body. These flaps are pivotally mounted at their rear edges upon generally horizontal axes and are adapted to move in both the same and respectively opposite directions. When the flaps are moved into the body, a forward propulsive force is produced; contrariwise, when the flaps are moved out of the body, a braking propulsive force is achieved. The yaw control is obtained by differential movement of the flaps. Details of these and other features including a flexible skirt for increasing the effective ground clearance of the vehicle are described in the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an air cushion vehicle constructed in accordance with my invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the air cushion vehicle of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an elevation view of the air cushion vehicle with the shroud covering removed;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 1;
FIGS. 5(a), (b) and (c) are perspective views of the control flaps in respective propulsion, braking and directional control positions;
FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram illustrating the improved directional control afforded by air cushion vehicles constructed in accordance with my invention;
FIG. 7 is an elevation view of an alternative embodiment of my invention having an improved'flexible skirt for increasing the effective ground clearance of the air cushion vehicle;
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 88 1 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment adapted for landing on the water; and
FIGS. 10 and 11 are respective plan and elevation views illustrating the physical variables of the skirt and flap structures shown in FIGS. 7 and 8,
Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, a streamlined body 10 is formed by a light weight rigid framework 11 and a thin covering flexible shroud or membrane 12. The framework includes two arcuate bottom side members 13, 14; horizontal bottom cross members 15, 16, 17 (FIG. 2); a rear cross member or frame 18; and frontal bottom diagonal supports 19, 19'. These frame members, for example, may be formed of by .028 inch chrome-moly tubing. A streamlined cockpit 25 is supported upon the horizontal frame members 16,
Cockpit 25 includes respective side members 26, 27 which converge at the front and rear ends thereof. These sides taper vertically from the front of the cockpit toward the rear. The cockpit further includes a continuous floor 28 and an upper deck 29 having an opening 30 for the operator cut therein. The side and upper deck panels may be formed, for example, of /8 inch plywood and the floor of inch plywood. Front and rear bulkheads 31, 32 (FIG. 3) formed of /2 inch pine or spruce, for example, complete the cockpit. Other light weight materials such as aluminum or laminated fiberglass may also be employed for forming the cockpit 25.
The streamlined cockpit 25 serves the purposes of supporting the operator and housing the controls described below. Additionally, the cockpit acts as a splitter to the airflow produced by the fan, also described below. This configuration offers excellent lateral stability for the reason that the two separated sides tend to act independently of one another. Thus, as either side ap- 3 proaches the ground, its lift is increased, causing a righting moment.
Two skids 35, 36 are attached to the lower sides of the respective longitudinal frame members 13, 14 by bolts 37, and provide a bearing surface when the vehicle is resting on the ground.
A cylindrical ring 40'having a diameter of the order of the frontal width of the vehicle is supported in a sloping position between the horizontal frame member 15 and the upper portion of the cockpit body 25.
The shroud 12 and the structure to which it is attached are so designed that the shape of the shroud is maintained by the internal air pressure. Therefore, the shroud may be made either of flexible material or a very light rigid material. The shroud is supported when not internally pressurized by a light internal framework comprising, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, arcuately shaped body frame members 41, 41, 42, 42', 43,43 fastened from the bottom side members 13, 14 to the edges of cockpit sides 26, 27. This framework is completed by longitudinal members 44, 45 and 46 spanning the open sides.
Shroud member 12 preferably comprises a thin vinyl or other plastic material with reinforcing fibers for added strength and having a thickness of the order of .005 inch. As shown in FIG. 4, this covering is easily aflixed to the framework by double face adhesive tape 50 applied between the tubing members and the interior face of the plastic sheet material. As shown in FIG. 1, there is thus formed a body having a hollow underside providing a substantially air-tight air pressure chamber and having an air intake 51 formed by the cylindrical ring 40.
A motor driven fan assembly is mounted in a sloping position with respect to the ground surface in the air intake 51 by an inverted Y-shaped motor support 55 spanning the ring 40. Engine 56 supported thereon drives a propeller 57 aflixed to shaft 58 which has respective ends rotatably mounted in bearings 59, 60. Bearing 59 is affixed to the support 55 and bearing 60 is aflixed between the bottom of the frame 11 and the front of the cockpit 25 (FIG. 3). Power from the engine to the propeller may be transmitted by a chain drive comprising respective sprockets on the engine and shaft 58. For low power vehicles, engine 56 preferably comprises a karting type engine, a specific example being the Model 820L engine constructed by the West Bend Company of Hartford, Wisconsin. This engine is a two-cycle engine rated at 8 to 10 horsepower.
A safety screen 65 is mounted in the exterior of the air inlet 51 and a plurality of radial straightening vanes 66 are mounted in the interior thereof.
In a typical application, there are twelve tapered vanes 66 formed of sheet metal, with the chord of the vane about equal to the spacing. The sectionof the vanes is curved in a circular arc with the leading edge parallel to the direction of air flow as it leaves the fan (about 30 from the axial direction) and the trailing edges approximately parallel to the axial direction. These vanes remove the swirl from the air which is passed through the fan 57, thereby increasing the efliciency of the blower system and counteracting the torque of the fan. The
efficiency of the blower system is further assisted by cylindrical ring 40 which not only supports the engine and fan but also directs the air smoothly into the air intake 51.
A relatively large stabilizing vertical surface 75 is attached to the rear end of the vehicle (FIG. 1). A portion of this member forms a rudder flap 77 hinged at 76 for contributing to directional control of the vehicle. Thus, by Well-known aerodynamic principles, a side force component is produced when the rudder is pivoted with respect to the vehicles'longitudinal axis. Movement of flap 77 is obtained by depressing one or the other of the rudder pedals 78, 79 (FIGS. 2, 3). These pedals are hinged to the floor 28 of the cockpit and are respectively connected to opposite sides of the rudder 77 by cables 80, 81.
Movable flaps 90, 91 respectively form the upper rear right and left surface of the body 10. These flaps are respectively mounted along their rear edges by generally horizontal pivot axes 92, 93 and provide means for propelling, braking and controlling the direction of travel of the vehicle. These flaps have a neutral position substantially flush with the surface of the body '10 (FIG. .1) and respective lowered and raised positions as shown in FIGS. 5(a) and 5 (b). A preferred control means for these flaps comprises a control wheel 95 affixed to a shaft 96 supported for both rotational and translatory motion in journal bearings 97, 98 attached to the cockpit housing. An arm 99 is rigidly attached to the forward end of the shaft and has respective cables 100, 101 attached thereto. These cables respectively pass over fixed pulleys 102, 103 and 102, 103 mounted within the vehicle body and the cable ends are respectively affixed to the flaps 90, 91. The cables and 101 leave the arm 99 at angles of about 45 but in a plane parallel to the shaft 96. Forward propulsion is obtained by pushing the wheel.
95 forward, which causes both the flaps to be pulled down into the body 10 against the pressure therewithin. AS. shown in FIG. 5(a), the escape of air towards the rear. of
the vehicle provides a forward thrust.
When the wheel 95 is pulled back, a reverse thrust or braking force is produced by air escaping in a forward 1 direction. As shown in FIG. 5( b), in this condition with vehicle.
Directional control is obtained by turning the wheel. 95 1 for producing a differential effect wherein one of the flaps is deflected into the body 10 and the other of which isallowed to deflect out of the body as shown in FIG. 5 (c).
In this figure, the wheel has been turned to the right so. as to pull the left flap 91 down, giving a thrust in the forward 'direction while the right flap has been allowed to deflect out of the body, giving a thrust in the rearward direction. A side component force to the left is also produced by the unporting of the outer end of the raised flap 90. Unporting of the inner end of the raised flap 90 which would produce a side component force to the right is prevented by the partial end plate 105 or by a fixed end plate formed, for instance, by the vertical side of cockpit 25. End plate 105 of flap 90 and end plate106 of flap 91 vertically depend from the inner ends of the. respective flaps and block the flow of air at these flap ends when the flaps are in their raised condition. The forward thrust by the left flap and rearward and left side forces produced by the right flap combine to give a turning moment in the right-hand direction for the flap posi.
tions illustrated in FIG. 5(c). A turning moment in the left-hand direction is obtained when the flaps are in the.
respectively opposite positions (when the wheel 95 is turned to the left). Also, when the wheel 95 is pulled in fore or aft directions while rotated, differential forces are still produced which combine to give a turning moment in the desired direction.
Additional directional control is obtained by appropriate deflection of the rudder pedals 78, 79. A particular feature of my invention is that the flaps 90, 91 extend proximate the rudder as shown at 110, 111. Some of the air escaping from the flap is deflected off the rudder and enhances the turning moment. Thus, in the illustra-.
tion shown in FIG. 5 (0) wherein a turning moment in the right-hand direction is desired, the right rudder pedal 79 may be depressed for additional control whereupon air being exhausted from flap 91 will follow the rudder 77 creating a suction on the left-hand side to increase the right-hand turning moment. If desired, the rudder cables can be connected to the control wheel 95 so that it is moved with the flaps.
The sloping position of the fan in the air cushion vehicle described above provides excellent visibility for the operator. Another desirable safety feature of this fan position is that the occupants of the machine are not in its plane of rotation, A further advantage of the sloping position is that it offers a simple structural arrangement wherein the bottom of the fan support is supported by the tubular framework and the top by the cockpit housing.
Another significant feature of my invention is that the location of the fan intake at the front and facing forward produces a combination of lift and thrust thus increasing the efliciency of the vehicle. Also, because of the change in flow direction on entering the intake, a side force component is produced when the vehicle is moving at an angle of yaw. This side force component, together with the side force acting on the vertical tail 75, allows the vehicle to be maneuvered in a short turning radius without excessive side-slip.
A further understanding of the excellent directional control obtained in air cushion vehicles constructed in accordance with my invention may be obtained by reference to FIGS. 6(a)6 (c). In FIG. 6(a) the vehicle is illustrated in normal straight-line flight with the relative Wind V in line with the center line of the vehicle.
FIG. 6(b) illustrates the vehicle when a turn to the left has been initiated by deflecting the rudder to the left as shown, by differential movement of the rear flaps, or by both. This applies a counterclockwise moment to the vehicle, which causes it to begin to rotate in the counterclockwise direction.
In FIG. 6(c) (a short time after the positon shown in FIG. 6(b)), the vehicle has now rotated an appreciable amount in the desired direction, and the rudder and flaps have been returned almost to neutral, with just enough deflection to preserve the desired rate of rotation. The relative wind V is now coming from the right of the vehicle, and when it enters the fan intake it is forced to change direction to flow parallel to the vehicles centerline. At the point where direction change takes place that is, at the fan intake-a side force A is produced which pushes the nose of the vehicle in the correct direction. At the rear of the vehicle, another side force B is produced by the wind acting on the vertical surface. These two forces, acting in the same direction, but on opposite sides of the center of gravity, push the vehicle laterally around a curved path, giving the desired turn.
These two side forces are obtained so long as the direction of flight is nonparallel to the centerline of the vehicle.
The production of a suitable side force is a signficant feature of this invention. Thus, representative prior art air cushion vehicles produce only the side force B which, acting alone, has the principal effect of spinning these vehicles about their center of gravity. For this reason, air cushion vehicles have the reputation of being substantially uncontrollable. For example, several large air cushion vehicles presently being used require a turning radius of the order of half a mile. Contrariwise, the present invention has a turning radius of the order of 25 feet.
An additional embodiment of my invention shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 is designed to clear obstacles which are higher than the clear height which can be achieved between the bottom of the vehicle and the ground plane. Flexible skirts 125 depend from the right and left sides of the body. Flaps 127 and 131 are respectively hinged at the forward and rearward ends of the body 10. Respective ends of the skirts 125 are attached to ends of the flaps 127, 131. The internal pressure caused by the fan causes the flexible skirt to assume a cylindrical shape (shown by dotted lines in FIG. 8) whose elements are normal to the plane of the curved side members of the body frame 13, 14. The pressure is thus taken by horizontal hoop tension stresses in the skirt, and the loads resulting at the ends are applied to the flaps. The flaps, however, are pushed outwardly by the internal pressure within the flexible shroud 12. The flaps may be retained in position by a spring (not shown) which urges the flaps to the position shown in FIG. 7. In a preferred embodiment, however, the skirts and flaps are proportioned to maintain stable equilibrium by the internal air pressure within body 10 so that the skirts and flaps automatically return to their original position after being deflected on striking an obstacle.
The mathematical relationship determining flap and skirt equilibrium is derived as follows, in conjunction with the diagrams of FIGS. 10 and 11. In these figures, the front and rear flaps can be of different or identical length, except that the front flap slopes inwardly and the rear flap slopes outwardly. The total tension load L on a skirt of depth h for internal pressure p and radius of curvature r in a horizontal plane of the skirt is given by the equation This load may be considered to act at one-half the depth of flaps and at the angle B from a normal to the flap hinge line. Therefore, the moment M of both skirt loads on a given flap is M =2prh (cos B) /zh (2) As shown in FIG. 11, the width of each flap is h/cos A where A is the angle between the flap and the vertical, so that for an average flap length w, the total air load L acting on one flap is given by the equation L =pwh/cos A (3) The moment arm of this load about the flap hinge line is one-half the flap which width, so that the flap moment M resisting the skirt moment M is 7011) h 2 MF 2 cos A) (4) For flap and skirt equilibrium, i.e. in order to maintain the position shown in FIG. 7, moment M must equal moment M; giving the relationship W (COS A) 2r cos B (a) The system defined by Equation 5 is maintained stable by the internal air pressure. Thus, assume that either flap moves outward a small amount. The skirt is then forced to straighten out slightly i.e. the radius of curvature of the flap must increase, which causes the skirt moment M to increase. Since the flap moment M is independent of flap angle A, the skirt moment is then greater than the flap moment and the flap will return to its original position. Accordingly, the flexible skirts and movable flaps define the bottom periphery of the vehicle and have the effect of increasing the effective ground clearance of the vehicle, since they may be deflected upwardly by obstacles without damage to the vehicle.
In an alternate arrangement (not shown) the forward flap 127 may be eliminated by carrying the body side member and skirt around the front. When this is done, it is advantageous to shape the flap pattern of the forward portion of the skirt so that it slopes toward the rear and allows it to pass over obstacles more easily.
When the skirts and flaps of FIGS. 7 and 8 are used, the skids 35, 36 should be moved inboard and lowered enough so that the skirt and flaps do not take the main load when resting on the ground. This structure is shown in FIG. 8 (35', 36). In an alternative embodiment, retractable Wheels may be used, as also shown in FIG. 8.
An alternative embodiment of the air cushion vehicle as illustrated in FIG. 9 is adapted for landing on the water. Cylindrical floats 140 are attached to the longitudinal body frame members. Similar floats 141 may be attached to the front and rear of the body and serve the additional function of a protective bumper. The central cockpit 25 described above also assists in providing flotation.
Although exemplary embodiments of the invention have been disclosed and discussed, it will be understood that other applications of the invention are possible and that the embodiments disclosed may be subjected to various changes, modifications and substitutions without necessarily departing from the spirit of the invention.
1. An air cushion vehicle comprising a lightweight body having a hollow, downwardly generally open underside for providing an air pressure plenum chamber;
an air intake occupying substantially the entire forward end of said vehicle;
a motor-driven fan mounted in a sloping position in said air intake for maintaining air under pressure in said air pressure plenum chamber for (i) vertically lifting said vehicle, (ii) providing a horizontal thrust substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of said vehicle, and (iii) providing a side force component at the 'front of the vehicle when said vehicle is flying at an angle of yaw;
a central cockpit extending longitudinally in said air pressure chamber, said cockpit having a sharp leading edge in the path of the air flow produced by said fan so that the air pressure chamber is divided into two pressurized side-by-side cavities;
a vertical stabilizer mounted at the rear of said body, said stabilizer comprising a large vertical surface oriented generally parallel to the length of the vehicle and extending away from said body, and
first and second movable flaps located in respective openings in said air pressure plenum chamber on the left and right hand sides of the rear end of said body, said flaps being selectievly controlled from said central cockpit for propelling, braking and controlling the direction of travel of said vehicle.
2. An air cushion vehicle comprising lightweight body means having a hollow, downwardly generally open underside for providing an air pressure plenum chamber;
air intake means including an air intake and fan in the forward end of said plenum chamber for (i) vertically lifting said vehicle, (ii) providing a horizontal thrust substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of said vehicle, and (iii) providing a side force component at the front of the vehicle when said vehicle is flying at an angle of yaw;
central cockpit means extending longitudinally within said air pressure plenum chamber for splitting the air flow produced by said fan and dividing said chamher into two pressurized side-by-side cavities;
vertical stabilizer means mounted at the rear end of said body means for developing a side force at the rear of said vehicle;
said air intake means and said vertical stabilizer means developing a pair of side forces acting in substantially the same direction on opposite sides of the center of gravity of the vehicle when the vehicle is turned at an angle of yaw for maneuvering the vehicle in a short turning radius while inhibiting spin of the vehicle about its center of gravity.
3. The air cushion vehicle defined in claim 2 and wherein said central cockpit means comprises an inner housing mounted Within said light weight body in the path of the air flow from said fan having an opening for the operator at the top of said body, the exterior configuration of said housing in the path of said air flow being streamlined, said streamlined configuration including a pair of longitudinally disposed vertical sides respectively converging toward the front and rear ends of said vehicle to provide a sharp,
vertical leading edge in the path of the air flow.
4. The air cushion vehicle described in claim 2 com-:
prising a rigid light-weight structural assembly comprising a bottom framework, an inner cockpit housing, and a diagonal support member aflixed between the forward end of said bottom framework and the upper portion of the front end of said cockpit housing, said.
diagonal support member comprising in combination a cylindrical ring and a support bracket fastened be-.
tween the bottom and top of said ring, said cylindrical ring and said support bracket being mounted in said air intake for both directing the air smoothly into said air intake and for supporting said motor-driven fan.
5. The air cushion vehicle described in claim 2 wherein said air pressure chamber is formed by a framework of light weight tubing covered with a flexible mem- 8. The air cushion vehicle described in claim 6 wherein said flexible membrane comprises plastic sheet material,
with reinforcing fibers for added strength. 9. The air cushion vehicle described in claim 2 comprising flaps forming a portion of the upper rear right and left surfaces of said body and having portions extending proximate said vertical stabilizer for directing a flow of air from said air pressure chamber toward the ver-. tical surface of said stabilizer.
10. An air cushion vehicle comprising a light-weight body providing. an air pressure chamber,
an air intake located in the forward end of said ve-;
hicle, a motor driven fan mounted in said air intake, a stabilizing vertical surface mounted at the rear end of said body, at least a portion of which is adapted to pivotal movement for controlling the direction of travel of said vehicle,
means for propelling, braking, and controlling the direction of travel of said vehicle comprising only two movable flaps forming a portion of the upper rear 1 right and left surfaces of said body, said flaps being pivotally mounted upon generally horiozntal axes; and
means for moving said flaps in both the same and respectively opposite directions about their respective pivot axes to positions substantially within said body, flush with the surface of said body and substantially without said body.
11. An air cushion vehicle comprising an air pressure chamber,
an air intake,
means in said air intake for maintaining air'under pressure in said air pressure chamber,
means for propelling, braking and controlling the direction of travel of said vehicle comprising only two movable flaps formed in the surface of said body,
said flaps having a neutral position substantially flush with the surface of said body, and
means for (l) applying force to said flaps for deflecting said flaps against the force exerted by the air pressure therewithin, and (2) releasing said force so that said flaps are deflected out of said body by the force exerted by the air pressure therewithin. 12. The air cushion vehicle described in claim 11 a plastic sheet ma-.
wherein said means for applying force to said flaps compnses a control member mounted for both rotational and translational movement about a predetermined axis so that rotational movement of said control member deflects said flaps differentially and translational movement of said control member deflects said flaps in the same direction.
13. In an air cushion vehicle having a body with a hollow under side providing an air pressure chamber, an air intake and means in said air intake for maintaining air under pressure in said air pressure chamber;
flaps forming a portion of the upper rear right and left surfaces of said body, said flaps being pivotally mounted at their rear edges upon generally horizontal transverse axes, each flap having a lowered control position wherein the flap is inside said body, a neutral position wherein the flap is substantially flush with the surface of said body, and a raised, control portion wherein the fiap is substantially outside of said body.
14. The air cushion vehicle defined in claim wherein each of said flaps is open at its outer end thereby permitting a side thrust component in that direction when said flap is raised out of said body and being generally closed at their inner end thereby preventing a thrust component in the opposite transverse direction.
15. The air cushion vehicle defined in claim 14 wherein the inner ends of said flaps are closed by respective partial end plates at the inner ends of said flaps.
16. An air cushion vehicle comprising an inner streamlined cockpit housing having a pair of sides extending outwardly at their mid portion and joined together at their respective ends to form respective acute angles at the front and rear of said housing,
a light weight framework attached to said cockpit housing, said framework extending out from the sides and the front of said housing,
a cylindrical ring afiixed between the forward end of said framework and the upper front end of said cockpit housing whereby said ring is supported in a forwardly sloping position;
a thin, flexible shroud covering said framework with said ring being left open to form an air intake occupying substantially the entire forward end of said vehicle, said framework covered shroud forming an air pressure chamber having a downwardly, generally open underside for providing an air pressure plenum chamber,
a motor driven fan mounted in a sloping position in said air intake for maintaining air under pressure within the air pressure chamber provided by said framework covered shroud, said streamlined housing being longitudinally disposed in said air pressure chamber in the path of the air flow produced by said motor driven fan, and
a vertical stabilizer mounted at the rear end of said body for developing a side force at the rear of said vehicle, said stabilizer comprising a large vertical surface oriented generally parallel to the length of the vehicle and extending away from said body, a portion of said stabilizer being adapted for pivotal'movement for controlling the direction of travel of said vehicle.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,828,929 4/1958 Lippisch 24423 3,000,772 9/1961 Lunn 154-52.5 3,078,939 2/1963 Bollum 1807 3,088,536 5/1963 Chezem 1807 3,130,939 4/1964 Alper et a1. 1807 3,140,687 7/1964 Beardsley 1807 3,150,731 9/1964 Franklin et al 1807 3,159,228 12/1964 Byrne et al 1807 3,180,443 4/1965 Jones 1807 3,194,333 7/ 1965 Cockerell 1807 OTHER REFERENCES Design News, May 23, 1960, Ground Cushion Vehicle Balances With Single Engine, V. W. Wigotsky, p. 607.
Aviation Week, July 6, 1959, Curtiss-Wright Tests Air Car Prototype, E. J. Bulban, pp. 115116.
BENJAMIN HERSH, Primary Examiner.
A. HARRY LEVY, Examiner.
M. S. SALES, Assistant Examiner.
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|U.S. Classification||180/120, D12/5, 180/117|
|International Classification||B60V1/00, B60V1/04|