US 3346216 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 10, 1967 I P. DESMARTVEAU AIRSHIP 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 20, 1965 INVENTOR 0 Paul DESHARTEAU AGENT Oct. 10, 1967 P. DE'SMARTEAU 3 9 AIRSHIP Filed July 20, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVEN TOR Paul DESIYARTEAU United States Patent 3,346,216 AIRSHIP Paul Desmarteau, 711 Le Laboureur Ava, Boucherville, Quebec, Canada Filed July 20, 1965, Ser. No. 473,432 Claims priority, application Canada, July 23, 1964, 907,907 13 Claims. (Cl. 24430) The present invention relates to a dirigible balloon, or airship, and, more particularly, to an airship of the type which is inflated with hot gases, to produce the required forces for the airship to be air-borne.
Airships of known type generally use a lighter than air gas for sustentating the same. These gases are generally expensive and often dangerous. Moreover, most airships built to date had rigid structures which necessitated accurate adjustment of the different constituting elements, which were expensive to manufacture compared to their dimensions and their bearing capacity, and were vulnerable to collisions and were affected by hurricanes and other atmospheric turbulences.
The general object of the present invention resides in the provision of a dirigible, or airship, which obviates the disadvantages mentioned hereinabove and which constitutes an important improvement in the building technique of dirigibles.
A more specific object of the present invention resides in the provision of a dirigible, or airship, which is inflated and air-borne by hot gases produced by the propulsion means.
Another object of the present invention resides in the provision of an airship of the character described, in which the propulsion means serve also as sustentation means.
Another object of the present invention resides in the provision of an airship of the character described, in which the propulsion means do not produce any torque on the airship structure.
Another object of the present invention resides in the provision of an airship of the character described, which can be built to any desired size, including very large sizes, because its construction is modular.
Another object of the invention resides in the provision of an airship of the character described, which is VI'j stable in its handling, which is relatively only slightly affected by atmospheric conditions, including hurricanes, because steering is produced by an orientable propulsion jet which is independent of the ambient atmosphere.
' Another object of the present invention resides in the provision of a dirigible of the character described, which is very economical to operate.
The foregoing and other important objects of the present invention will become more apparent during the following disclosure and by referring to the drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a partial side elevation and partial longitudinal section of the airship;
FIGURE 2 is a schematic transverse section of the airship in operating condition;
FIGURE 3 is a similar transverse section of the airship in its stopped condition;
FIGURE 4 is a partial section of the central duct showing the manner of attaching the duct to the cable system;
FIGURE 5 is a partial cross-section of the envelope, or membrane, showing one manner of attaching the same to the cable system;
FIGURE 6 is a longitudinal partial section, on an enlarged scale, of the bow of the airship; and
FIGURE 7 is an elevation, on a smaller scale, of the "ice gasstratifier which is located rearwardly of the turbo jet engine.
Referring more particularly to the drawings in which like reference characters indicate like elements throughout, the airship in accordance with the invention comprises a membrane, or envelope 1, which is gas-proof and in inflated condition, of elongated shape and generally elliptical, having a bow 2 and a stem 3.
Membrane 1 is made of a flexible material such as aluminum foil laminated with a synthetic resin, such as the plastic known under the registered trademark Tedlar, said trademark being owned by the DuPont Company, or other similar product.
The internal face of membrane 1 is lined with a heat insulating material 4, as shown in FIGURE 5. Membrane 1 is covered on its external surface by a net 5 having generally rectangular or elongated mesh and which is preferably constituted by bands having a high resistance to tension and adhering to membrane 1. The junction points of the bands making the netting 5 are attached to the outer ends of retaining cables 6 which extend through membrane 1 and through insulating material 4, radially inwardly of the envelope 1.
The retaining cables 6 are spacedly arranged along the circles defined by the corresponding transverse sections of the airship and over the entire length of the airship.
The inner ends of the retaining cables 6 lying in a common transverse plane are attached to a common cable 7 disposed iii the same transverse plane with respect to the airship and which form a nearly complete circle.
The majority of the several cables 7 are attached to and serve to suspend a nacelle 8 by means of cables 9.
A duct 10, of flexible material, is disposed longitudinally within membrane 1 and is c0-axial therewith and opens to the atmosphere at both ends to define at the bow 2 of the envelope an inlet 11, and at the stern 3 of the envelope an outlet 12.
Duct 11 is suspended within the envelope 1 by means of radial cables 13 which are attached to the common cables 7 at the junction of the latter with the retaining cables 6. Certain of the cables 13 are attached to cables 9 for suspending the nacelle 8.
The duct 11 is made of a flexible material, yet having a high resistance to heat and which has also a good coefficient of heat conduction. For an example, the material used may be a cobalt alloy, or a gold plating on a material having a high thermal resistance.
As shown in FIGURE 4, the inside face of duct 10 is provided with a netting, or grid, of bands 14 defining generally rectangular mesh, whereas the external face of duct 10 is also provided with bands 15 disposed opposite bands 14. Bands 14 and 15 adhere to the surfaces of the duct 10 by means of a suit-able adhesive, and the external bands 15 are attached to cables 13 by any desired means.
WVhen the pressure inside duct 10 is higher than the pressure inside the annular zone 25 defined by the exterior of duct 10 and the inside of envelope 1; that is, when the airship is in movement, duct 10 is inflated and has a cylindrical shape, as shown in FIGURE 2, whereas when the airship is stopped and the pressure inside duct 10 is lower than that of annular zone 25, duct 10 being made of flexible material becomes somewhat deflated between its points of attachment to suspension cables 13, as shown in FIGURE 3, but these cables 13 maintain the duct 10 in its co-axial position within the envelope 1.
For large airships, it is preferable to further provide a system of longitudinally and diagonally extending cables 16 and 17, as shown in FIGURE 1, and which are attached to the several retaining cables 6 at their junction with said cables.
Cables 16 and 17 serve also to overcome the longitudinal stresses produced on the envelope 1 by'the propulsion means.
The system of cables which holds membrane 1 and duct 10 is based on the same principle as the cable systems in the air-inflated shelters built in accordance with U8. Patent 3,123,085, of March 3, 1964, by the same inventor.
Because the netting 5 overlies membrane 1 and the knots or junction points of this netting are attached to retaining cables 6 which pass through membrane 1, the tensional stresses developed in the mesh of the netting 5 are relieved by cables 6 at relatively closely spaced points, thereby enabling to build an airship of very large size, both in diameter and in length, without having to use cables of large diameters, because the construction defines a modular system. 7
Moreover, netting 5 limits any tearing of the membrane to a very small area, that is to an area corresponding to the size of a mesh, and enables to use a membrane of relatively small thickness. in inlet 11 of duct is mounted a turbo jet engine 18 surrounded by two propeller systems driven by said turboengine 18: namely, a first propeller system 19 having two stages and a second propeller system 20 of a single stage. The propeller systems 10 and 20 rotate in inverse direction.
The turbo jet engine 18 may be of any desired type, depending on the purpose for which'the airship is used. It can have, for instance, any combination of one or more rotors, stages, speed, or direction of rotation.
The turbo jet engine 18 has an air inlet 22 and the air entering the engine is injected with a suitable fuel in a conventional manner. The hot gases discharged from the turbo jet engine 18 move through a flaring duct 23 and are discharged into the center of duct 10 by passing through a system of louvre blades 24 when the latter are open.
The hot gases can also be discharged into the annular zone 25 surrounding duct 10 and delimited by membrane 1 of the airship, as shown in FIGURE 6, by passing through a lateral conduit 26 which communicates with the rear'end of flared duct 23 and the zone 25 through opening 28 made in duct 10. The gasespass through lateral conduit 26 only when the system of louvre blades 27 disposed therein is in open position.
Propellers 19 and 20 driven by the turbo jet engine 18 produce compressed air which flows through duct 10 after having moved through an air stratifier 29, preferably of the beehive type, and within which extends the rear end of tube 23 and also the lateral conduit 26.
Stratifier 29 is shown in front elevation in FIGURE 7. It can be provided with a plurality of lateral conduits 26, if so desired.
Turbo jet engine 18 and the propellers 19 and 20' are preferably mounted in a restricted zone, or throat, of the duct 10 and this throat can be made of rigid walls 30 extending to the back of rotor propeller system 20, and also defining the nose or how of the airship.
The propellers '19 and 20 may have blades of the variable 'pitch type. The louvre systems 24 and 27 are controlled simultaneously in an inverse direction; that is, louvres 27 are open when louvres 24 are closed, and vice'versa. Moreover, the portion of the flared tube 23 which is disposed within stratifier 29, is provided with bafl'les 31, the front parts 32 of which are rigid and disposed in planes parallel to the axis of flared duct 23, and the back parts 33 of which are flexible and connected to a common control rod 34 actuated in a reciprocating axial movement by any desired motor means, such as an air cylinder 35 or other mechanism which operates in dependence with the means for actuating louvres 24 and 27.
In the position shown in FIGURE 6, bafiies 31 deflect the gas flow whereby the hot gases coming from turbo jet engine 18 are deflected laterally and enter lateral conduit 26 and, eventually, annular zone 25. Baifles 31 can take a straight position in which the back parts 33 are aligned with the front part 32 and in which, louvres 24 being open and louvres 27 being closed, the hot gases will be directly discharged in the center of duct 10.
In the normal position of the louvres, the duct 10 is fed with a mixture of hot gases and cold air, such that the temperature of the mixture can attain more than 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. These gases move through duct 10 over the entire length thereof and, in the stern zone of the airship, pass through another stratifier 36 to ensure laminar flow of the gases, and are discharged to the exterior at high speed by passing through an ejector nozzle 37 which can be tilted in any desired plane and which serve to steer the airship. Nozzle 37 has a smaller crosssectional areathan tube 10.
Burner nozzles 38 are preferably disposed along a transverse circle at the forward part of duct 10 in order to produce a flame within the duct to further increase the temperature of the gases therein and thereby to increase the speed of the airship, and also, if desired, the sustentation forces for the airship.
The bypass constituted by the lateral duct 26 serves to inject directly the hot gases into the annular zone 25 in order to control the temperature of the gases in said annular zone. V
Membrane 1 of the airship is provided at diflerent spaced zones, longitudinally of the airship and on the top and at the bottom thereof, with air inlet louvres 39 and air outlet louvres 40 which serve as valve means for closing the openings to control the temperature pressure of the gases within annular zone 25.
If necessary, air fans 41 are mounted in the annular zone 25 in order to prevent air stratification therein, said fans 41 being suspended by cables 42"attached to the cablesystem inside the membrane 1. Nacelle 8 can be provided with a landing gear, but, preferably, said nacelle 8 is made fluid-tight to serve as floatation means for alighting on water. Onthe ground, the airship can come very close to the ground and be anchored without the nacelle 8 touching the ground.
Duct 10 consists not only of a conduit for the discharge of gases under pressure which form a jet for propelling the airship, but also constitutes a heat exchange surface with the gases located in the annular zone 25. i
These last-named gases are thus heated and serve, due
to their lower atmospheric air density, to make the airship air-borne.
When the airship is'stopped' and turbo jet engine 18 is 'not operating, the air in the annular zone 25 is maintained at the desired high temperature by means of burner nozzles 38. When the airship is moving, turbo jet engine 1-8 operating, the burners 38 serve to increase the speed, if desired, and also to increase the temperature of the sustentating gases in the annular zone 25. However, when the ship is moving, the burners 38 can be turned off. If the temperature of the lifting air in zone 25 becomes too high for the manoeuvres to be effected, fresh air can be admitted into zone 25 by means of air inlet louvres 39. Air outlet louvres 40 serve to control the pressure within zone 25.
Lateral conduit 26 serves mainly to quickly feed hot gases in zone 25 in order to produce quick ascension of T the airship.
The airship can be made in any desired size and can travel at relatively great speed, compared to airships of conventional construction, because it is propelled by a pure jet system and because the propulsion means are disposed coaxially of the balloon and do not exert any torque thereon. For example, the airship in accordance with the invention can have a length of 2400 feet with,
a maximum diameter of 700 feet'and capable of travelling at 300 miles per hour with a turbo jet engine 18 developing 5000 HP. The gas temperature in the annular zone 25 can be maintained at about 700 degrees Fahrenheit. A large number of passengers or a great amount of merchandise can be carried in nacelle 8. The airship can be provided with winch means to serve as a load-lifting device.
During an extended stop, the turbo jet engine 18 can be used as a fan by driving the same by means of its starting electric motor in order to maintain the desired pressure inside zone 25.
While a preferred embodiment in accordance with the invention has been illustrated and described, it is understood that various modifications may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
What I claim is:
1. An airship comprising a gas-tight flexible envelope forming, when in inflated condition, an elongated balloon, a flexible tubular duct mounted longitudinally within said envelope, a restricted rigid inlet throat at the front end of said balloon, communicating with one end of said duct, a restricted discharge nozzle at the back of said balloon in communication with the other end of said duct, air moving and hot gas producing means mounted entirely in said throat of said duct and producing high velocity gases moving into and expanding within the remaining part of said duct and discharging at increased speed through said nozzle to propel said airship, said hot gases being in heat exchange relationship with the gases contained in an annular zone surrounding said duct and delimited by said envelope to heat said last-named gases, whereby said heated last-named gases cause said airship to become air-borne.
2. An airship as claimed in claim 1, wherein said duct is disposed co-axially of said envelope and said throat portion merges with the front end of said envelope.
3. An airship as claimed in claim 2, wherein said air moving and hot gas producing means consist of a turbo jet engine, and air propeller systems surrounding and driven by said turbo jet engine.
4. An airship as claimed in claim 1, said nozzle being tiltable in all planes to deflect the gases issuing therethrough and thus steer said airship.
5. An airship as claimed in claim 1, further including a retaining net overlying said envelope, retaining cables attached to said net at their outer ends, passing through said envelope and radially inwardly directed within said balloon, common cables forming longitudinally spaced circles attached to the inner ends of said retaining cables and a cable system suspending said duct within the inside of said common cables,
6. An airship as claimed in claim 5, further including a nacelle disposed underneath said envelope and suspended to said common cables.
7. An airship as claimed in claim 4, further including a by-pass conduit connecting the exhaust of said turbo jet engine with said annular zone and disposed immediately downstream from said engine in order to discharge hot gases within said annular zone.
8. An airship as claimed in claim 7, further including controlled gas-deflecting means mounted within said bypass conduit and within said duct for selectively discharging said hot gases within said duct or within said annular zone.
9. An airship as claimed in claim 1, further including fuel burners disposed within said duct, at spaced locations to produce a flame within said duct.
10. An airship as claimed in claim 1, further including gas inlet and outlet openings in said envelope and valve means for closing said openings.
11. An airship as claimed in claim 1, further including a heat-insulating layer adhering to the inner face of said envelope.
12. An airship as claimed in claim 1, further including air stratifiers disposed within said duct to produce a laminar gas flow therein.
13. An airship as claimed in claim 1, further including air fans disposed within said annular zone to prevent Stratification of the gases in said annular zone.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,882,387 10/ 1932 Lesh et a1. 24430 2,475,786 7/ 1949 Jordan 24430 3,185,411 5/1965 Gernbe 244-30 FOREIGN PATENTS 15,384 6/ 1910 Great Britain. 302,630 12/ 1928 Great Britain.
OTHER REFERENCES Arthur, Capt. L., Flight, volume LX, issue 2232, Nov. 2, 1951, p. 560.
MILTON BUCHLER, Primary Examiner. T. MAJOR, Assistant Examiner,