US 3366347 A
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" an-30,1968 HOULEZ-LW'WERE 3,36
LIFTING DEVICE EMPLOYING AERODYNAMIC LIFT Filed Dec. 7, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet l 1953 J. SOULEZLARIVIERE 3,366,347
LIFTING DEVICE EMPLOYING AERODYNAMIC LIFT 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. '7, 1965 Jan. 30, 1968 J SOULEZ-LARIVIERE 3,366,347
LIFTING DEVICE EMPLOYING AERODYNAMIC LIFT Filed Dec. 7, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet s United States Patent 3,366,347 LIFTING DEVICE EMPLOYING AERODYNAMIC LIFT Jean Soulez-Lariviere, La-Celle-Saint-Cloud-Yvelines,
France, assignor to Nerd-Aviation Societe Nationale de Constructions Aeronautiques, Paris, France, a joint-stock company of France Filed Dec. 7, 1965, Ser. No. 512,119 Claims priority, application France, Dec. 9, 1964, 98,058 8 Claims. (Cl. 244-23) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A T-shaped lifting device of openwork type construction girders with completely faired air-screws and propulsion units which are located at one of the girder extremities so as to rotate about a common longitudinal axis of said girder. Three retractable under-carriage legs are located at girder extremities.
The present invention relates to a lifting device employing aerodynamic lift, and more particularly to a tripod lifting device which is completely faired.
Up to the present time, lifting devices have been proposed which have the essential function of lifting from the ground a generally heavy and bulky load, but these devices most frequently employ, for reasons of efiiciency, a propulsion device which is derived from the helicopter, and this device usually comprises a large lifting screw.
The free extremity of this air-screw rotor presents a certain amount of danger for the personnel in charge of the handling operations in the event of an error of operation, but in particular it is risky for the air-screw itself in the case of movement of the apparatus over an area encumbered with equipment or natural obstacles.
The danger thus inherent in the air-screw cannot be completely eliminated, due to the fact that it is diflicult by fairing to protect an air-screw effectively which has the dimensions of a helicopter rotor, with respect to possible obstacles.
Furthermore, even if this were possible, this fairing would deprive the pilot of the machine of a substantial part of his visibility. Now, the pilots station should have a perfectly unrestricted view so as to enable the pilot to carry out easily the necessary operations, both close to the ground and during flight.
The object of the present invention is a lifting device with completely faired air-screws, eliminating all danger, both for the air-screw blades and for the personnel in charge of the lifting operations on the ground, and which, by virtue of a particular arrangement of its control station, provides a perfectly clear panoramic view for the purpose of manoeuvres on the ground and during flight, under particularly ditficult conditions.
A lifting device according to the invention has the following characteristics:
A propulsion unit comprising a number of faired airscrews is arranged at each extremity of a first girder, each unit being capable of pivoting about a common longitudinal axis of the said first girder, which is coupled rigidly and perpendicularly at its central points to a second girder which forms a T-structure with the first girder.
The air-screws are arranged inside each of the two units in such manner that their thrusts are oriented in the same direction, the axes of rotations of the air-screws being parallel to each other and located at equal distance and perpendicularly to the said common rotational axis of the said units.
Rotary power and thrust generators, turbo-propulsion units for example, are mounted alongside each other in the interior of each main unit, the axes of rotation of the said generators being located in such manner as to intersect the said common pivotal axis and to remain parallel to the axes of the air-screws, the residual reaction thrust having the same sense and direction as the thrust of the air-screws.
The structures of the first girder and the second girder are of openwork cross-bracing.
A single central mechanical coupling is provided between the generators and the air-screws.
Three retractable under-carriage legs of considerable height, two of which are located forward, close to the extremities of the transverse girder, and the third at the free extremity of the longitudinal girder, carry wheels elastically coupled to the said legs, the two front wheels being driving and steering wheels.
A control cabin is arranged between the rear leg and the longitudinal girder, the field of vision being open in all directions, towards the front, to the sides, upwards and downwards, and a control station permitting action to be effected by differential and overall variation on the pitch of the air-screws and on the speeds of the turbo-prop engines.
The fairing of the air-screws is arranged so as to house the whole of the fuel.
It comprises the additional devices and apparatus usually employed on similar machines, in particular a lifting hook operated by a winch, the cable being located immediately below the centre of gravity of the machine and in the vertical plane of the said common pivotal axis.
The arrangement of the under-carriage legs is such that the supporting points of the two front legs on the ground are located in front of and towards the exterior of the articulation points, so as to ensure a maximum passage track and on the other hand the largest possible base of lift on the ground.
Other characteristic features and advantages of the invention will be brought out from the description given below, reference being made to the accompanying drawings which give by way of example a form of construction of a lifting device according to the invention.
In these drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tripod lifting device with aerodynamic lift, in the operating position on the ground;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one of the aerodynamic units of the machine shown in FIG. I;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the machine of FIG. 1 in flight, without load, and with the under-carriage legs retracted.
In accordance with a preferred form of embodiment of the invention, the triangulated lattice structure of a lifting device with three legs comprises (see FIG. 1) on the one hand a transverse girder 1a having its line of orientation y y' intersected perpendicularly at O by a plane of symmetry defined by the orthogonal axes y y' and Z and 2' and each receiving at its extremities a propulsion set 2d and 2g, which can pivot in the direction of the arrow about y y while their axis of symmetry can occupy indifferently all the positions comprised between two adjacent orientations, one parallel to the axis x x' and the other parallel to the axis Z0, 1' and further a longitudinal girder 112 having the line of orientation x x rigidly coupled to the cross-girder 1a and receiving at its free extremity a control cabin 3. The assembly is completed by two under-carriage front legs 4g, 4d, pivoted about the axes x x and x parallel and symmetrically disposed with respect to x x and by a rear under-carriage leg 5 articulated about an axis y y' parallel to y y' These three legs can be folded back in flight in the directions of the arrows f f so as to come into the position shown in FIG. 3. The front legs are inclined so as to move the supporting points B and B towards the front and towards the exterior of the vertical line of the fixing points, so as to increase on the one hand the surface of passageway under the machine and on the other hand the sides of the lifting triangle zx/3-[3'. A hook 6 and a winch 7 located close to O are provided for hooking the load 10, the trimming of which can be completed by slings 3.
In FIG. 2, there is shown the left-hand propulsion group 2g of the machine, but it is simple to deduce from this the right-hand propulsion set 2d, which is symmetrical to it. A single central transmission shaft 11a, located on the axis y y' receives the rotary movement of the shafts of the turbines of the prop units 12a, 12b (left-hand) and 12c, 12d (right-hand) and transmits this motion to the air-screws 13a, 13b (left-hand) and 13c, 13d (right-hand), through the intermediary of the gearboxes 14g (left-hand) and 14d (right-hand). Pivots 15g (left-hand) and 15d (right-hand), having their axes in y y' enable the propulsion units to be pivoted, for
example in the direction 1, and ensure their coupling to the girder 1a. In the same way, the transmission of the differential pitch controls 16 and the overall pitch 17 of the air-screws, together with that of the control 18 for the speed of the turbo-prop engines is effected in the zones 19 by means of rotating joint devises or other similar apparatus which are usually employed for similar cases. A special arrangement of the fairings 20g (left-hand) and 20d (right-hand) provides the housing of the fuel 21.
For the purpose of simplifying the description, the usual and normal circuits (lubrication, temperature and the like) have deliberately been omitted from the drawings since these are Well known by those skilled in the art and are applied in this case in conformity with industrial practice.
The conditions required for the equilibrium of the machine are obtained when the resultants of the thrusts of the air-screws in their various inclinations pass through the axis y y' and when the centre of gravity is situated at equal distances from the said resultants and under the axis 1Y0, y'a- In order to understand how the machine previously described can be manoeuvred, there are recalled below the conditions of equilibrium which are necessary in order to carry out a vertical take-off, a stationary flight, and a longitudinal movement in flight of the said machine.
For vertical take-off, the upward movement takes place when the general resultant of the thrust reactions is greater than and in the opposite direction to the force of gravity, all the forces being vertical.
Stationary flight is obtained when the general resultant of the thrust reactions with the force of gravity is zero.
Flight in longitudinal movement if obtained by simultaneous inclination to the vertical of the two resultants of the thrust reactions of each propulsion group. This inclination has the effect of creating a non-vertical common resultant, for example longitudinal, resulting from the combination of the force of gravity with the said resultants.
The usual actions of piloting about the axes of pitching, yawing and rolling are obtained by a differential or simultaneous inclination to the vertical of the resultants of the thrust reactions of each group, associated or not with a differential or simultaneous variation of thrust of the air. screws of each propulsion group.
All the operations which produce the above actions are obtained simply by the differential or overall variation of the pitch of each air-screw and also by the differential or overall variation of the speed of the turbo-prop engines. The controls for these operations are quite conventional for the type used to control propeller pitch and engine speed. Control means 100 regulates the pitch of air-screw or propeller 13a and control means 161 regulates the pitch of air-screw or propeller 13b. The two symmetrical propellers in right-hand propulsion set 2d are regulated by another pair of similar control means. The speed of all four turbo-propulsion sets is regulated by a single control means 102, for instance by a foot pedal (not shown). For simultaneously controlling the inclination with respect to the vertical of the axis of symmetry of each of the propulsion groups, a pilot acts simultaneously on control means 101 and the complementary control means to the opposite propulsion group or on control means 100 and its complementary control means to the opposite propulsion group. The speed of all engines is regulated by the single control means 102.
A typical example of an operation which the machine is capable of effecting consists of a rapid convoying with no load, followed by repeated transfers of heavy or bulky loads 10. In FIG. 3, which shows the machine during convoying without load, the legs 4g, 4d and 5 have been raised by means of suitable hydraulic jacks in order to reduce the aerodynamic drag. Similarly, it can be seen from FIG. 3 that the axes of symmetry of the propulsion groups have been inclined to the vertical, in order to permit of lifting, together with propulsion, which is carried out in horizontal flight. It is quite certain that this inclination can varied, depending on whether the machine is unladenor whether it carries a load, by virtue of the variation of the forces produced and of the effect of air resistance on the load. Y
A lifting device with aerodynamic lift according to the invention offers the following advantages:
By virtue of its faired air-screws, it permits of the approach without danger to obstacles (masts, trees, etc.) which are generally encountered during work entrusted to this type of machine.
In the case of particularly heavy or bulky freight being handled, it has available a large carrying capacity due to the effectiveness of the groups of faired air-screws and by virtue of the arrangement of the structural members permiting a wide and high passageway with a considerable free depth.
The visibility of the pilots station is excellent and gives a simultaneous view of the loading and the operating controls, together with the whole of the machine and of the devices which control its manoeuvres.
i The construction is simplified as a result of the absence of the usual failings such as fuselage, wings and tail unit.
Safety of operation during service is satisfactory by virtue of the mechanical coupling of all the generators with all the air-screws. A failure occurring on one or more generators always leaves a certain total power available, in fact proportional to the number of generators which remain in operation.
The lifting device described above has been given by way of example and in order to explain clearly the advantages Which may be derived from the invention. It will be understood that any modification may be made to the invention in accordance with its scope, for example by modifying the number or the relative positions of the airscrews or power generators, the method of securing the load, or by applying the utilization of the machine to the lifting of a load from a position in stationary flight, or alternatively for the movement of a load suspended from the extremity of the cable.
1. A lifting device comprising means for lifting from the ground and moving with complete safety during flight a heavy and bulky load, said means comprising a structure, a plurality of completely faired air-screws, a piloting device in which the visibility of the pilot is substantially ensured in all directions, and a hoisting device, said air-screws divided into two propulsion groups respectively at the two extremities of a first transverse girder of lattice construction, said piloting device comprising a cabin at the free extremity of a second longitudinal girder of lattice construction, the other extremity of which is rigidly fixed to the centre of the first said transverse girder, the assembly of the two girders having the form of a T.
2. A lifting device as claimed in claim 1, in which each of said propulsion groups is adapted to rotate about a common axis of rotation along the first said girder, and comprises at least two air-screws wholly encased by a common hood on their periphery, and at least two turboprop propulsion units, said two air-screws having their individual axes of rotation parallel and disposed on each side of said common axis of rotation, and the axes of symmetry of said two propulsion groups passing through said common axis of rotation.
3. A lifting device as claimed in claim 2, in which the piloting device comprises, for each propulsion group, a control means for the overall air-screw pitch for the whole of the group and a control means for the differential airscrew pitch between the air-screws symmetrically arranged on each side of said common axis of rotation.
4. A lifting device as claimed in claim 3, in which the piloting device comprises means for simultaneously controlling the inclination with respect to the vertical of the axis of symmetry of each of the propulsion groups, means for difierentially controlling, one with respect to the other, the individual inclination of the two axes of symmetry of the two groups with respect to the vertical, means for controlling the speeds of the turbo-propulsion units, and means for transmitting orders from the cabin to the mobile propulsion groups, passing through the zone of said common axis of rotation.
5. A lifting device as claimed in claim 4, comprising a common transmission shaft centered on said common axis of rotation and transmitting the total power of all the turbo-propulsion units of the two sets to two gearboxes located respectively on each group, said gear-boxes each transmitting their movement to the two air-screws of the group.
6. A lifting device comprising means for lifting from the ground and moving with complete safety in flight a heavy and bulky load, said means comprising a structure, a plurality of completely-faked air-screws, a piloting device from which the visibility of the pilot is substantially ensured in all directions, and a lifting device, in which the air-screws are divided into two propulsion groups respectively at the two extremities of a first transverse girder of lattice construction, the piloting device comprising a cabin at the free extremity of a second longitudinal girder of lattice construction, the other extremity of which is rigidly fixed to the centre of said first transverse girder, the assembly of the two girders having the form of a T and comprising three supporting legs located respectively at each extremity of the arms of the T, said legs carrying pivoted wheels and being foldable into a retracted position by means of an articulation in the plane of the T when the machine is convoying without load.
7. A lifting device comprising means for lifting from the ground and moving with complete safety in flight a heavy and bulky load, said means comprising a structure, a plurality of completely-faired air-screws, a piloting device from which the visibility of the pilot is substantially ensured from all directions, said air-screws divided into two propulsion groups respectively at the two extremities of a first transverse girder of lattice construction, the piloting device comprising a cabin at the free extremity of a second longitudinal girder of lattice construction, the other extremity of which is rigidly fixed to the centre of said first transverse girder, the assembly of the two girders having the form of a T and comprising three supporting legs located respectively at each extremity of the arms of the T, said legs carrying pivoted wheels and being foldable into a retracted position by means of an articulation in the plane of the T when the machine is convoying without load, the legs located at the extremities of said first girder being situated at the front of the machine and their wheels being displaced in front of the vertical plane containing their respective articulations, while the leg located at the free extremity of said transverse girder is displaced to the rear of the vertical plane of its articulation, this arrangement having the effect of providing simultaneously the largest possible base of the triangular support and the widest possible passage between said three legs.
8. A lifting device as claimed in claim 1, in which each of said propulsion groups is adapted to rotate about a common axis of rotation along the first said girder, and said hoisting device further comprising a winch, a cable and a hook located substantially in the vertical line of the centre of gravity of the lifting device and in the vertical plane of said common axis of rotation.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,997,258 8/1961 Purpura 244-23 3,170,530 2/1965 Black 7 3,176,939 4/1965 Mard 244l37 OTHER REFERENCES Life magazine, June 18, 1956, p. 109.
MILTON BUCHLER, Primary Examiner. T. BUCKMAN, Assistant Examiner.