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Publication numberUS3295789 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 3, 1967
Filing dateNov 4, 1963
Priority dateNov 4, 1963
Publication numberUS 3295789 A, US 3295789A, US-A-3295789, US3295789 A, US3295789A
InventorsHill Charlie R
Original AssigneeHill Charlie R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Airspace craft
US 3295789 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 3, 1967 c. R. HILL 3,295,789

AIRSPACE CRAFT Filed Nov. 4, 1963 INVENTOR. CHARLIE R HILL United States Patent 3,295,789 AIRSPACE CRAFT Charlie R. Hill, Cobb Qounty, Ga. (Dobbins Air Force Base, Ga. 3%60) Filed Nov. 4, H63, Ser. No. 321,220 8 Claims. (Cl. 2241) This invention relates to an air-space craft and particularly to the design of an outer space craft arranged for flight from ground to outer space and having further provision for the joining together in clusters of a plurality of identical space craft of the present configuration for the creation of a space station having individually removable space craft.

Itis likely that the continued exploration of outer space and even eventual flight to other places in outer space will require large manned stations outside the earths pull of gravity to be used as intermediate positions and for logistic or other reasons. The flying or launching of large space stations into outerspace beyond the pull of earths gravity is not presently feasible because of the difliculty involved in getting sufficient thrust or acceleration to place such a station in working order in a space position. It has been considered that such space stations are necessary and must be constructed piece-by-piece much like erecting a building structure on the ground. This entails many problems and much expense when one considers the effect of being beyond the pull of earths gravity but having to launch each piece or element of the structure through the pull of gravity. The present invention provides a space craft which together with similar space craft may be joined as self-maneuverable modules to form a space station structure.

Generally described, without restriction on the scope of my invention as defined in the appended claims, the instant'space craft is generally constructed in a triangular shape and, therefore, being symmetrical about a longitudinal plane vertically through the longitudinal center line of the craft. The craft is constructed similar to a wing section with a bubble or turret in the center serving as a central control and also as a space for operating personnel. The nacelles, which may accommodate any propulsion means, are located in each of the three corners of the triangular craft and each means is mounted whereby the thrust may be moved from a horizontal position with thrust extending rearwardly of the craft to a vertical position with thrust extending downwardly pushing the craft upwardly. Located along the edges of the craft between the three corner nacelles are individual propulsion units mounted nozzles or tubes or a propulsion system with deflection or other propulsion means movably mounted therein and extending from the edge of the craft. Each propulsion nozzle or tube or other propulsion means is adapted to move about its attached portion in the craft and thereby to circumscri-be a circular or other pattern about the attached end to change thrust direction. In the present embodiment there are five such individual propulsion units on each side of the craft which may be used for guiding and driving the craft in any direction. Since the craft is triangular it will fly in any direction depending upon the .thrust of the propulsion units. For outer space travel and exploration, the craft is provided with interlocking means on each edge for attaching to an identical craft of same construction whereby the craft may be clustered together locking their edges and any number of identical craft may be locked into a space station. In one form of the invention, vacuum devices are extended and pressed onto the surface of an adjacent craft and then evacuated to stick to the skin or surface of the craft thereby resiliently locking adjacent craft together. They are released 'by breaking the vacuum in the suction attachment.

An object of the present invention is to provide a triangular space craft with propulsion units mounted for movement on the corners andintermediate whereby utmost maneuverability is obtained.

A further object of this invention is to provide a space craft which may be attached to identical other space crafts to form the space station composed of a cluster of several identical of the present space craft.

A further object of the present invention resides in the use of propulsion units or means in each corner which may be moved from a horizontal to a vertical position and aiso in the use of intermediate propulsion units or engines mounted along the edges of a craft for flying readily in different directions.

Still another object of the present invention resides in the arrangement for attaching the adjacent edges of identical craft together whereby they may be locked temporarily to form a space station but are readily disengaged to allow individual craft to depart and to return or to be replaced by other identical craft.

Other and further objects and advantages of my invention will :become apparent upon reading the following specification takn in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a typical space craft constructed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one corner of the triangular craft shown in FIG. 1 and with the main corner propulsion unit rotated from horizontal to vertical.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a space station formed by clustering or attaching together ten identical space craft of the sort shown in FIG. 1 with their adjacent edges locked detachably together.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the space craft shown in FIG. 1 with dotted lines representing another main propulsion engine adjustment for circular motion.

FIG. 5 is a front elevation view of the craft shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a portion of the edge of the space craft shown in FIG. 1 illustrating the rotation of one of the fixed engines to describe a circular or other pattern and modified as to a detail.

FIG. 7 is a view of a propulsion unit mounting and means to position it.

The space craft of the present invention is designated generally by the reference numeral 10 and is a composite body somewhat of aircraft design similar to a wing section and arranged symmetrically about a longitudinal center line C-ll with three identical edges 12, 14, 1.6 having respective corners therebtween 18, 2t 22. Each corner has mounted thereat an individual propulsion unit or means 24. The unit 24 shown is a jet that is mounted on a nacelie.

It is to be understood at the outset that the areodynamic design of the surface of the craft, which is much like a wing section, is considered to be a matter within the knowledge of an expert aeronautical engineer. Therefore, the wing flow formula and details are not set forth and do not per se constitute any claimed invention herein. In is only required that the section of the thicknes of the craft it) be in accordance with good sound aeronautical design to produce satisfactory flow across the surface when the craft is moving in normal flying condition. Likewise, the particular construction of the craft as to materials used and the exact design of the structure of the body is not set forth in detail since this is a matter of aeronautical design well within the possession of qualified aeronautical engineers. Conventional materials presently known for outer space travel and for critical entry and re-entry problems may be utilized in the construction of the present craft. There is an upper skin or surface 28 covering the top of the craft and a bottom skin or surface 30 covering the bottom of the craft which is substantially planar and flat whereas the top 28 is curved somewhat as a wing flow section consistent with conventional aeronautical design. Plastic or Plexiglas bubble 34 covers a cockpit or compartment 36 formed within the center portion of the craft 10 and herein is located the seats and control for the pilot, co-pilot and other crew members. The size of the compartment 36 as well as the craft 10 itself is a matter of design and again is something well within the knowledge of an aeronautical engineer calculating the amount of propulsion as relates to the flow of the section.

Each propulsion unit 24 is mounted on a structural support 36 attached to the corner of the craft 10. Supports 36 are universal in mechanical arrangement having means both to allow vertical rotation of jet nacelles 38 as well as horizontal rotation as shown in FIG. 4. This is accomplished by providing a swivel where support 36 connects to the craft 10 and providing a rotating joint 40 where the jet nacelles 38 connects to the support 36. As shown in FIG. 2, each one of the jet nacelles 38 is capable of being rotated to a vertical position to cause the thrust 42 to direct itself downwardly. Likewise, the jet nacelles 38 may be returned to horizontal position causing the thrust 42 to direct itself rearwardly. Rearwardly as used herein refers to the direction to the rear of or opposite from the direction of the movement or intended movement of the craft 10.

Located within the body created by the skin 28 and the bottom 30 of craft 10 along each of the edges 12, 14, 16 is a plurality of individual propulsion means or engines 48 each comprising a nozzle or deflector or jet tube 50 extending outwardly but being retractable inwardly to a retracted position and having a nozzle end 52 from which is emitted a jet thrust. The end 60 of nozzle 50 is mounted on a swivel attached to the edge of the craft 10 and the tube or nozzle 50 is movable about the swivel to circumscribed a pattern substantially shown in FIG. 6 or any line of movement within that circular pattern as for instance diagonally across or along any diameter of the circle 62. With conventional provision for rotating the nozzles 50 or changing the propulsion thrust by means of deflectors, the thrust may be directed in any desired direction from straight up to straight down or forward to lend any combination of thrust desired by the pilot of the craft 10.

In the operation of the device for level, or what may be considered within the pull of earths gravity flight as accomplished by usual aircraft the engine 24 may be directed as desired for steering or propelling the aircraft in the desired direction and the supplemental or auxiliary engines or propulsion means 48 likewise may be adjusted to provide level flight and proper inclination as selected and controlled by the pilot.

When it becomes necessary to rise beyond the earths pull of gravity the engine jet nacelles 38 are rotated to a vertical position as shown in FIG. 2 and the individual nozzles are rotated to a down thrust position opposite from that shown in FIG. 6 and suitable thrust is obtained by propulsion derived from each engine to exceed the approximately 18,000 miles an hour at a height of from 40 to miles necessary to pass beyond the pull of earths gravity. Upon reaching the outer orbit or position, the craft may be directed as desired by the operator through the control of the engines 24 and 48 and then suitable rendezvous position may be arranged for the space station shown in FIG. 3.

Prior to describing the space station in FIG. 3, the aircraft 10 is provided with a space station, craft attaching arrangement consisting of a mechanical attachment device retractably mounted on each edge of the craft and having a latching portion 71 thereon which may be 4 engaged 'by operation by remote control by the pilot within the bubble 34 to hook or attach with identical finger or attachment member 71 on an identical craft 10 and pressure exerted therebetween to resiliently lock the craft together.

An alternative form is shown in FIG. 6 wherein suction cup devices 72 are mounted on sleeves 74 retractably fitted to the edge of the craft 10. By suitable power means provided Within the craft, these suction devices 72 are extended outwardly to engage the skin of an identical craft 10 and to be pushed thereagainst. The suction cups 72 may be manufactured from vinyl or rubber or other material which is resilient and which has suflicient strength to stand u under normal use. After engagement with the skin of an identical aircraft a vacuum motor or pump will evacuate the air from within the suction cup 72 thereby firmly attaching the cup 72 to the opposite aircraft 10. When it is desired to disengage the cup 72 it is only necessary to break the seal to allow air to flow into the suction cup 72.

Referring to the space station 100 shown in FIG. 3 a plurality of identical craft 10 have been brought to a rendezvous point and one end of each craft has been directed to a center mooring position M and the adjacent edges of identical craft 10 such as edge 16 on crafts 10a and edge 12 on 1012 and edge 12 on craft 10c and edge 16 on craft 10b with 10d and so on are locked together by one of the methods mentioned in connection with the description of FIG. 6.

According to FIG. 3, several craft 10 have been assembled in a cluster as a typical space station, each being joined to the adjacent identical craft 10 or module by a respective wing edge. It is apparent that such assembly can be readily built and expanded by the joining of the edges of adjoining craft 10. It is also to be recognized that the placement of the propulsion units 24 and the individual units 48 is such that all of these units or part of them may be used as part of an entire package or space station assembly to move the station from one location to another. Propulsion units 24, as seen in FIG. 7, have support 37 on a ball-and-socket and are controlled in vertical movement by cable and lever systems 82, 84 and in rotation 'by a rotatable rod 86. Propulsion means 48 are mounted and controlled in the same way in the edges 12, 14, 16.

While I have shown and described a particular embodiment of my invention, together with specific construction shape and details, this is by way of illustration only and is not to 'be considered as any sort of limitation on the scope of my invention as defined in the appended claims, since various modifications, eliminations, substitutions, changes, deviations, ramificatons, and departures may be made in the embodiment shown and described without departing from the claims.

I claim:

1. In a space station comprising a plurality of identical air-space craft of the character described:

(a) a space craft wing body having a top surface and a bottom surface,

(b) said craft being triangular in formation, and

having an apex at each of the three corners,

(c) each corner of the aircraft supporting a main propulsion thrust means thereon,

(d) each of said thrust means being mounted for movement for selectively changing thrust direction,

(e) said thrust means being capable of movement to enable the thrust to the directed in different directions according to the flight desired,

( f) and means on said craft for combining with craft of identical construction all clustered about the center location with respective adjacent, co-extensive edges engaged to form a space station in outer space having a center cluster of propulsion means at the adi e t P QQ of the aircraft.

2. In a space station comprising a plurality of identical space craft of the character described:

(a) a space craft body having a top surface and a bottom surface,

(b) said craft being triangular in formation, and having an apex at each of the three corners,

(c) a main propulsion means on said air-space craft,

(d) said means in (c) being mounted for movement, and having a thrust that is changeable in direction for maneuvering the craft,

(e) said means in (c) being capable .of movement to enable the propulsion thrust to be directed in different directions according to the flight desired,

(f) and means on said craft for combining craft of identical construction all clustered about a center location with respective co-extensive, adjacent edges engaged in outer space having a center cluster of propulsion [means comprising the propulsion means at the apex of each aircraft as a space station formed by individual craft.

3. In a space station comprising a plurality of identical air-space craft of the character described: 7

(a) a space craft body having a top surface and a bottom surface,

(b) said craft being triangular in formation, and having an apex, at each of the three corners,

(c) propulsion means on said craft at each of the three corners thereof,

((1) said propulsion means having thrust capable of movement to positions to enable the propulsion thrust to be directed in different directions according to the flight desired,

(e) and means on said craft for combining with craft of identical construction all clustered about a center location with respective, co-extensive, adjacent edges engaged to form a space station in outer space having a center cluster of propulsion means comprising all of the propulsion means of each adjacent apex of each adjacent aircraft and the other apices of some of the aircraft in the cluster also being clustered with other aircraft about another center cluster location, whereby a space station may be formed from any number of identical aircraft clustering about one center location and all engaged to extend and build onto other locations as well.

4. In an air-space craft of the character described:

(a) an air-space craft wing body having a top surface and a bottom surface,

(-b) said craft being triangular in formation,

(0) each corner of the aircraft having a main propulsion means thereon,

(d) each of said propulsion means in (c) being mounted for movement from a horizontal to a vertical position and also being mounted to rotate 360 in many different planes one plane at a time,

(e) said propulsion means being capable of movement to different positions to enable the propulsion to be directed in different directions according to the flight desired,

(f) secondary engine propulsion units mounted on each of the edges of said craft and each of said propulsion units having a propulsion thrust directed therefrom,

(g) and each of said propulsion units being adjustable thereon whereby the thrust from said units may circumscribe a selected pattern as controlled from with in the aircraft.

5. The device in claim 4 including means on the airspace craft adjacent the edges thereof for attachment to another identical space craft to form a cluster of such craft as an outer space station.

6. In an air-space craft of the character described:

(a) a space craft wing body having a top surface and a bottom surface,

(b) said craft being triangular in formation,

(c) each corner of the aircraft supporting a main propulsion engine thereon,

((1) each of said engines being mounted for movement from a horizontal to a vertical position and also being mounted to rotate 360 in many different planes one plane at a time,

(e) said engines being capable of movement to different positions to enable the propulsion to be directed in different directions according to the flight desired,

(f) secondary engine propulsion units mounted on each of the edges of said craft and each of said propulsion units having a propulsion nozzle extending therefrom,

(g) and each of said propulsion nozzles on said secondary units being attached to the edge and being movably mounted thereon whereby the ends of said nozzles may circumscribe a pattern as directed.

7. In a space station comprising a plurality of identical air-space craft of the character described:

(a) an air-space craft wing body having a top surface and a bottom surface,

(b) said craft being triangular in formation,

(c) each corner of the aircraft supporting a main propulsion engine thereon,

(d) each of said propulsion means in (c) being mounted for movement from a horizontal to a vertical position and also being mounted to rotate 360 in many different planes one plane at a time,

(e) said engines being capable of movement to dif ferent positions to enable the propulsion to be directed in different directions to the flight desired, desired,

(f) secondary engine propulsion units mounted on each of the edges of said craft and each of said propulsion units having a thrust therefrom,

(g) each of said thrusts from secondary units being adjustable as to direction,

(h) means on said craft for attaching to the craft of identical construction,

(i) said craft then being clustered together with identical craft along respective and adjacent sides thereof to form a space station which utilizes selectively the propulsion units of each of said craft in a combined propulsion arrangement.

8. In an air-space craft of the character described:

(a) a space craft body having a top surface and a bottom surface,

(b) said craft being triangular in formation,

(c) a main propulsion means on said air-space craft,

(d) said means :being adjustable to change the direction of propulsion,

(e) said means in (c) being capable of movement to different positions to enable the propulsion to be directed in different directions according to the flight desired,

(f) secondary engine propulsion means on Said craft,

(g) said secondary engine propulsion means being attached to the respective edges and including respective propulsion outlets movably mounted thereon whereby said respective propulsion outlets may circumscribe a pattern as directed,

(b) means on said craft for combining with craft of identical construction into a space station.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,926,868 3/1960 Taylor 24452 X 3,096,952 7/1963 Roppel 244-12 FOREIGN PATENTS 297,992 6/ 1932 Italy.

FERGUS S. MIDDLETON, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2926868 *Aug 7, 1956Mar 1, 1960Taylor Isadore AAircraft with tiltable jets
US3096952 *Apr 19, 1961Jul 9, 1963Roppel Clarence LVertical take off aircraft
IT297992B * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3420473 *Apr 11, 1966Jan 7, 1969Frederick G KrafftPowered and steerable lighter-than-air vehicle
US3572611 *Nov 22, 1968Mar 30, 1971Oulton Robert FSea-going vessels with separable modules
US4834325 *Mar 20, 1985May 30, 1989Space Industries, Inc.Modular spacecraft system
US4836470 *Jun 13, 1985Jun 6, 1989Criswell David RAerospace vehicle having multiple propulsion systems on a relatively rotatable flying wing
US6360994Feb 23, 2001Mar 26, 2002Don A. Hart & Associates, Inc.Configurable space launch system
US6446905 *Aug 30, 2000Sep 10, 2002The Aerospace CorporationJanus reusable spacecraft system
US6932302 *Dec 19, 2002Aug 23, 2005The Boeing CompanyReusable launch system
US7344111Jan 21, 2005Mar 18, 2008Janeke Charl EReversible space plane
US7690601 *Feb 25, 2008Apr 6, 2010Janeke Charl EReversible space plane
US8215589 *May 19, 2008Jul 10, 2012Janeke Charl EReversible space plane
US8505852 *Jul 5, 2012Aug 13, 2013Charl E. JanekeReversible space plane
US9586700Jun 11, 2015Mar 7, 2017Biosphere Aerospace, LlcSpace shuttle orbiter and return system
US20050072876 *Dec 26, 2002Apr 7, 2005Ducasse Ricardo AVariably angled propulsion/steering system
US20060006289 *Jan 21, 2005Jan 12, 2006Janeke Charl EReversable space plane
US20080217481 *May 19, 2008Sep 11, 2008Janeke Charl EReversible space plane
US20080272239 *Feb 25, 2008Nov 6, 2008Janeke Charl EReversible space plane
US20090294573 *May 23, 2007Dec 3, 2009Wilson Samuel BDual-Use Modular Propulsion surveillance Vehicle with Detachable Unmanned Airborne Vehicles
US20120037751 *Apr 26, 2010Feb 16, 2012University Of MiamiSupersonic flying wing
EP0196793A1 *Mar 5, 1986Oct 8, 1986Space Industries, Inc.Modular spacecraft system
WO2005072220A3 *Jan 21, 2005Oct 26, 2006Charl E JanekeReversable space plane
Classifications
U.S. Classification244/159.3, 244/1.00R, 244/171.2, 244/52, 244/159.4, 244/2
International ClassificationB64G1/00, B64G1/12, B64C29/00
Cooperative ClassificationB64G1/12, B64C29/0075
European ClassificationB64G1/12, B64C29/00B3E