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Publication numberUS3379163 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 23, 1968
Filing dateMar 10, 1967
Priority dateMar 10, 1967
Publication numberUS 3379163 A, US 3379163A, US-A-3379163, US3379163 A, US3379163A
InventorsWiethoff Roger H
Original AssigneeNavy Usa
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Means of launching torpedoes
US 3379163 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 23, 1968 R. H. wlETHoFF MEANS OF LAUNCHING TORPEDOES Filed March lO, 1967 bmi ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,379,163 MEANS OF LAUNCHING TORPEDOES Roger H. Wiethotf, Wayzata, Minn., assigner, by mesne assignments, to the United States of America as represented bythe Secretary of the Navy Filed Mar. 10, 1967, Ser. No. 623,189 3 Claims. (Cl. 114-238) ABSTRACT 0F THE DISCLOSURE A steam generating system for .propulsion energization of a torpedo launching tube incorporates a valved, deformable plastic hydrogen peroxide containing chamber and a reaction chamber containing a catalyst, together with an air operating pilot piston, a main driving piston and a tting for connection to pressurized air supply source for compression of the deformable hydrogen peroxide chamber to expel the solution contained therein through the valve and into the reaction chamber. A valve controlled feedback loop effects a self energization of the driving piston after initial actuation by the pressurized air. The system incorporates valve type control devices for effecting the desired parameters of operation required to launch a torpedo from a below-deck launching tube of a surface type naval vessel.

Background of the invention The invention relates to an energy conversion system for use with a surface vessel launching tube for submarine type torpedoes. More particularly, the inventive concept is directed to apparatus for the generation of pressurized steam from a predetermined volume of hydrogen peroxide by a controlled introduction thereof into a reaction chamber containing a catalyst for the reaction, and thereafter utilizing the kinetic energy of the pressurized steam as an instrumentality for the ejection of a torpedo from a torpedo launching tube.

The torpedo launching tube for which the instant energy system is intended is a reuseable single shot apparatus which is characterized by a capability for launching individual torpedoes of differing diameter dimensions at the same launching Velocity and with an acceptable degree of efficiency without introducing sacrifices in convenience and performance detrimental to the overall operation of the vessel incorporating the launching tube, such for example, as excessive Weight and/ or unwarranted space consumption,

The apparatus of the instant invention is well adapted for utilization on surface ty-pe naval vessels, when mounted below deck thereon, to provide a capability for launching individual submarine type torpedoes of more than one size and/ or performance character from the torpedo launching tube. The incorporation of the novel propulsion generator for launching torpedoes, such for example as a lighter weight nineteen inch diameter torpedo of the wire guided type or a heavier weight twenty-one inch diameter conventional, non-wire guided, torpedo from the same tube, at the same launching velocity, may be accomplished by adaptiny the propulsion system 0f this invention to a launching tube of the general character disclosed in U.S. Patent 3,106,905, which issued to lohn T. Gondek on Oct. 15, 1963, but utilizing the instant hydrogen peroxide generator as a source of pressurized steam for launching energy, in lieu of the air propulsion system of the Gondek patent. The improvement over the Gondek type air-driven system provides an increased versatility of operation and a capability for launching the more sophisticated and complex wire guided type torpedoes from a below deck location on a surface type naval vessel.

The torpedo launching tube of the aforementioned 3,379,153 Patented Apr. 23, 1968 rice Gondek patent is adapted for surface launching of conventional, non-wire guided type torpedoes. The development and fleet usage of wire guided torpedoes as launched from the submarine vessel carried torpedo launching tubes has indicated a desirability to provide a shipboard capability for launching wire guided torpedoes from surface vessel type below deck launching tubes. The incorporation of facilities for firing wire guided torpedoes from a surface vessel launching tube of a character intially intended for lauching twenty-one inch diameter torpedoes has dictated a necessity for providing a spacer arrangement and shock supports for a nineteen inch torpedo when it is to be launched from this type of torpedo tube. The required conversion further envisions a modified or improved launching propulsion system in order to obtain a desired uniform launching velocity for the individual torpedo to be red, regardless of the size of the torpedo utilized in the tube, i.e. a nineteen inch diameter torpedo or a twenty-one inch diameter torpedo. Certain details of the modifications of the structure of the housing portion of the launching tube form no part of the instant invention. They are preferably of a character disclosed in the copending application of Edward R. Betzold, Ser. No. 648,- 548, led June 22, i967, for Restraining Mechanism.

Additionally, modifications to the door structure of a torpedo launching tube of the character adapted for utilization of the instant hydrogen peroxide propulsion generator are disclosed in the copending application of Edward J. Keenan, Ser. No. 649,429, led June 23, 1967, for Wire Dispenser Housing and Door for Breech Feeding Torpedo Guidance Wire, which provides an increased versatility and capability for torpedo launchings from a surface type naval vessel.

As aforementioned, the torpedo tube of the Gondek patent supra is adapted for surface launching of conventional non-wire guided type torpedoes. The development and fleet useage of wire guided torpedoes as launched from submarine carried torpedo launchers has indicated desirability to provide `a shipboard capability for launching wire guided torpedoes as well as conventional torpedoes from surface vessel type below deck mounted launching tubes. The incorporation of wire handling facilities for firing wire guided torpedoes from a surface vessel launching tube has further dictated a desirability for an improved propulsion system for use in lieu of the air actuated propulsion system of the Gondek patent, The structure of the Gondek patent is such that the air used for propulsion energy in the launching of a torpedo is stored in a chamber formed between the walls of the housing portion of the torpedo tube. The instant hydrogen peroxide actuated steam generator is well adapted for utilization in launching tube apparatus wherein the structure of the tube does not provide facilities or chambers for storage of the pressurized gas utilized for propulsion of a tornedo from the torpedo tube.

Summary of the invention The instant invention is directed to a novel steam generator of a character adapted to be connected to a source of compressed air from a ship compressor for actuation of a piston utilized to compress a collapsible or volume changeable chamber to expel a solution of hydrogen peroxide therefrom into a catalyst chamber for generation of steam for ultimate introduction into a chamber in the launching tube behind a torpedo and for launching propulsion of a torpedo from the torpedo launching tube.

It is a feature of the instant invention to provide an improved propulsion energy system for launching a torpedo from a launching tube at a predetermined velocity which system is highly ecient, occupies a minimum of space and provides an optimum ratio of utilization of weight of apparatus to available energy.

One object of the invention resides in the provision of a novel steam generatingstructure adapted to be mounted on a torpedo launching tube for a surface vessel below deck torpedo launching capability for a surface vessel which provides high reliability and improved versatility over propulsion energy systems heretofore or now in general use.

It is another object of this invention to provide a generation system for energy to be utilized in discharging a torpedo from a torpedo launching tube, which system obviates requirements for having a plurality of chamber in the wall of the torpedo launching tube and extending longitudinally along the length of the tube for containing fluids such as air under pressure for use in propelling a torpedo.

It is an additional object of this invention to provide, in conjunction with a torpedo propulsion gas generating system, a mounting arrangement therefore which is adapted to be mounted contiguous to a control panel having a plurality of movable control elements thereon for controlling the various operational devices of the torpedo tube.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a propulsion system for tiring a torpedo from a torpedo tube of a character well adapted for utilization in a torpedo tube having provisions whereby torpedoes of differing diameter dimensions may be fired interchangeably without requiring modifications of the gas generation apparatus.

Other objects and many of the advantages of this invention would be apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

Brzef description of the drawings FIG. l is an elevation view of a torpedo launching tube .assembly incorporating a torpedo launching power generation system of the instant invention, and

FIG. 2 is an elevation view in vertical section of the hydrogen peroxide operated steam generator of the instant invention.

Referring to the drawings and more particularly to FIG. l, a below dack surface type torpedo launching tube is indicated generally at 10. The tube is adapted for mounting through the transom of the vessel is indicated at 11, with the muzzle door 12 of the launching tube disposed on the exterior of the transom 11, and the muzzle door interlock valve at 13 and the muzzle door operating mechanism 14 disposed adjacent to the interior side of the wall of the transom. The muzzle door 12 is automatically controlled and actuated for opening during a launching cycle and closing after torpedo ejection, in response to pneumatic and hydraulic energization as the case may be by the system controls for insuring proper sequencing of all functions occurring during torpedo tube loading and launching. The torpedo launching control panel is disposed at the breech end of the launching tube and is mounted on the upper surface thereof in adjacency to the steam generating system hereinafter to be described in greater detail. See Gondek supra for details of other system assemblies.

The breech end of the launching tube comprises a breech door 15 and the H2O2 operated steam generator for torpedo propulsion from the tube during launching. In the event it is desired to launch a wire guided torpedo, a wire dispenser housing 16 of the character disclosed in the copending application of E. I. Keenan, supra, is disposed adjacent to the breech door for feedthrough connection of the terminal end of the spooled wire stored therein with the terminal end of the wire which extends from the aft end of the torpedo. The conduit 17 which extends from the rear portion of the -breech door 15 to the wire dispensing housing 16 incorporates a telescopic section, not shown, for the purpose of faciliuiting the connecting of thc terminal ends of the two portions of the guidance wire. In operation of the system following the joining of the Wire ends, the telescoping portion is closed to provide a continuous conduit for the wire during torpedo launching and torpedo ight toward the target. The wire dispenser housing is releasably mounted for removal during torpedo tube loading. It is adapted for remounting prior to torpedo launching by positioning elements and latches associated therewith which are disclosed in greater detail as aforementioned in the copending application of E. J. Keenan supra. The details of the aforementioned vbreech and muzzle door mechanisms, the control panel and the wire dispenser facilities associated with the launching tube form no part of the instant invention.

The hydrogen peroxide operated steam generator 20 hereinafter referred to as the H2O2 generator is shown in greater detail in FIG. 2. The gas generator 20 is mounted on the tube wall 1S of the launching tube 10 by a plurality of support posts i9. The attachment may be by any suitable means such as machine bolts. One of the supports 22 is provided with an aperture 21 shown diagrammatically as incorporating a valve therein. It is in fluid communication between the gas generator 20 and the tube to provide a steam outlet from the generator and an inlet into the launching torpedo tube 10.

The housing assembly 23 comprises a plurality of chambers 24, 25, 26 and 27. The chamber 26 contains a Teflon bottle 28 for a hydrogen peroxide solution. A piston 29 disposed in chamber is actuated at one end thereof by an additional piston 31 for ultimate displacement of the hydrogen peroxide by disc 32.`The H2O2 is supplied as la measured amount and contained in the molded Teflon bottle 28 which is removably received in the chamber 26 of the steam generator 20. The base of the bottle is formed as a separate disc member 32 which is installed with an ogee interference t. An enlarged central portion carries =a porous plug 33 and a check valve 34 to provide for bleedsotf of gas while the bottle is in storage. The neck portion 35 of the bottle 28 is sealed by a stopper 36 also having an ogee interference fit. The steam generating end at catalyst chamber 27 of the housing 23 is provided with a removable cover assembly 37 which is held in place by an interrupted thread locking ring 38. The cover assembly 37 is adapted to receive an end piece 39 for support of the annulus-shaped catalyst element which is 'disposed at 40. In the assembled relationship of the apparatus, the end piece 39 is locked by a spring loaded detent 41. The hole at 42 in the center of the end piece `assembly 39 ts over the neck 35 of the Teon bottle 28. Radial. holes 43, from the center hole, function to pass the H2O2 from the interior of the bottle 28 to the catalyst chamber 27 and into contact with the catalyst 40. A spring loaded plunger 45, in the end cover 46, fits into a hole 44 in the bottle stopper 36.

The actuating end of the housing at chamber 25 contains a large displacing piston 31 with a rod portion 30 which. contacts the base end of the bottle 28, and moves to displace the disc 32. The rod diameter or disc 32 engaging portion 30 of piston 311 is slightly less than the inside diameter of the bottle. The cylinder end cap 48 incorporates a smaller, short stroke piston 49, which bears against the displacing piston 31. The piston 29 is air operated by virtue of a pipe or line 50 including a flow control valve 51 which, is interconnected between the steam chamber 27 and the chamber 25. A springloaded pressure regulating valve 53 is installed in the passage 21 between the steam chamber 27 and the torpedo tube 10.

In operation of the. system, in order to ready the tube for launching, the cover assembly 37 is removed by rotating handle 54 and a full bottle 28 of H2O2 is inserted into the chamber 26. A new catalyst element 4t) is installed and the cover 37 is lool-:ed in place by rotation of handle 54 to engage the interrupted thread portion 38. ln order to tire the torpedo, air under pressure, such for example, as at 100 p.s.i. is applied to the small piston 49 from line 55 to push the displacing piston 3-1 a short distance. rl`his force displaces the base 32 of the bottle by forcing pistons 311 and 29 inwardly and thus pushing the stopper 36 out into the neck portion of the bottle assembly 218. The uid displaced thereby, flows radially outwards through the catalyst element 4t), thereby releasing oxygen and converting the water, which is a by product of the reaction, into steam. This reaction raises the pressure in the steam chamber. The hot steam mixture therealter ows through valve 51 and the return line 5t) to add further emphasis in driving the displacing piston 29 into the bottle 23. When the pressure in the steam chamber is elevated to a value such for example as 220 p.s.i., the pressure valve S3 opens and the steam flows into the torpedo tube at 21. After the initial push from the air pistons 49 and 31 in chamber 24 the device is self-generating, the generating rate being controlled by the flow valve 51 in the return line Sti. After the torpedo is iired, the end cover 39 is removed, the empty bottle Z8 withdrawn and the stopper 36y expelled. The spent catalyst element 40 is removed and replaced in an assembly sequerice which is the inverse of the aforementioned disassembly sequence. Additionally, compressed air is introduced at 56 and applied to the rod-end of the displacing piston to force the piston back to the ready position for the next launching operation cycle, The other operating mechanisms are of the character illustrated in the Gondek patent. This portion of the system incorpora-tes an air-touid pressure intensifier comprising a large diameter two way air piston driving smaller rods which pump fluid to either side of the door operating piston. Pressure increase from air to fluid is approximately ten to one. Oriiices not shown with check valve bypasses also no-t shown but located in each Huid line, limit the speed of the door operating piston. A hand pump indicated at 57 is provided in the door closed line for use to close the door manually. The control panel not shown is generally similar to that shown in the Gondek patent for an air operated launching system but differs therefrom in that it is simplilied by the elimination of a high pressure relief valve, an air control valve and a high pressure interlock valve.

Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention 4are possible in the light of the above teachings. it is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specically described.

I claim:

.1. In combination with a torpedo launching tube of a 5 character incorporating .a housing, a muzzle door and a breech door for providing an enclosing chamber for a torpedo to be red, a hydrogen peroxide oper-ated steam generator for introducing steam under pressure to a location in the housing and behind the torpedo, for expulsion of the torpedo from the launching tube, said generator comprising;

a multichambered housing,

a first chamber .adapted for reception of a plastic bottle containing a hydrogen peroxide solution,

a second chamber for storage of a catalyst and adapted for fluid communication with said first chamber to receive hydrogen peroxide discharged from said first chamber to provide a steam producing reaction therein, and

means responsive to a predetermined and controlled actuation for elfecting deformation of said plastic bottle when disposed in said iirst chamber with a consequent liberation of H2O2 into s-aid reaction chamber for steam generation.

Z. The combination of structure of claim i further comprising a Teflon bottle for the containing of a solution of hydrogen peroxide.

3. The structure of claim 2 wherein the Tetlon bottle comprises;

a generally cylindrical housing portion,

a displaceable piston like disk disposed for longitudinal movement within said housing and normally closing one end of said housing,

a relief valve in said disc, and

a valve disposed in the end portion of said housing remote from the normal position of said disc.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS MILTON BUCHLER, Primary Examiner. T. M. BLX, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1985184 *Feb 21, 1933Dec 18, 1934Schneider & CieTorpedo tube
US2890843 *Dec 11, 1953Jun 16, 1959John S AttinelloBoundary layer control system for aircraft
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5009182 *Aug 15, 1990Apr 23, 1991The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavySubmarine torpedo tube shutterway launch mode adapter
US6418870May 31, 2000Jul 16, 2002Systems Engineering Associates CorporationTorpedo launch mechanism and method
US7451680 *Oct 20, 2006Nov 18, 2008The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavySubmarine steam generator missile ejection system
US7775148 *Jan 9, 2006Aug 17, 2010Mcdermott Patrick PMultivalve hypervelocity launcher (MHL)
US8286620 *May 26, 2010Oct 16, 2012Mark WillifordApparatus and method for adapting a pneumatic gun to fire from a fluid source
US8375879 *Feb 6, 2009Feb 19, 2013Babcock Integrated Technology LimitedPayload stowage unit
US20110083600 *Feb 6, 2009Apr 14, 2011Timothy James WhittenPayload Stowage Unit
US20110290227 *May 26, 2010Dec 1, 2011Mark WillifordApparatus and method for adapting a pneumatic gun to fire from a fluid source
U.S. Classification114/238, 60/39.48, 124/75, 124/31
International ClassificationF41F3/08, F41F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationF41F3/08
European ClassificationF41F3/08