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Publication numberUS3448864 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 10, 1969
Filing dateMay 27, 1965
Priority dateMay 27, 1965
Publication numberUS 3448864 A, US 3448864A, US-A-3448864, US3448864 A, US3448864A
InventorsWarren T Fenn, Eugene A Schott, Donald B Tschudy
Original AssigneeGoodyear Aerospace Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tethering system for an elongated lighter-than-air balloon
US 3448864 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 10, 1969 w. T. FENN ET AL 3,448,864

Filed May 27, 1965 Sheet of4 INVENTORS WARREN 7. FEN/V EUGENE A. SCI-I077 DONALD E. SCHUDY A TORNEY' TETHERING SYSTEM FOR AN ELONGATED LIGHTER-THAN-AIR BALLOON Filed May 27, 19 65 Sheet INVENTOR. WARREN TI FENN EUGENE A. SCHOTT BY DONALD B .SCHUDY ATTORNEY June 10, 1969 w. TQFENN ET AL TETHERING SYSTEM FOR AN ELONGATED LIGHTER- Fflled May 27, 1965 THAN-AIR BALLOON INVENTOR. WARREN 7. FENN ATTORNEY June 10, 1969 "W.T.,FENN'ETAL 3,448,864

TETHERING SYSTEM FOR AN ELONGATED LIGHTER-.THAN-AIR BALLOON Filed May 27, 1965 Sheet 4 of 4 R/EAR TETHER CABLE FORWARD TETHER CQBLE INVENTOR. WARREN 7. FENN EUGENE A. SCHOTT BY DONALD TSCHUDY ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,448,864 TETHERING SYSTEM FOR AN ELONGATED LIGHTER-THAN-AIR BALLOON Warren T. Fenn, Tallmadge, Eugene A. Schott, Akron, and Donald B. Tschudy, Canton, Ohio, assignors to Goodyear Aerospace Corporation, Akron, Ohio, a corporation of Delaware Filed May 27, 1965, Ser. No. 459,295 Int. Cl. B64b 1/50; B64c 31/06 US. Cl. 21271 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to a tethering system for an elongated lighter than air balloon, and more particularly to a unique tethering system which may adjustably control the angle of attack and lift capacity of a dynamic lift type balloon configuration with improvements in obtaining movements of the balloon relative to the earth, and to prevent possible fouling thereof upon yawing movement.

US. Patent No. 3,151,821 defines a V-shaped configuration for tethered balloons, and is assigned to the same assignee. Utilization of this balloon for carrying loads has brought a need for an improvement in a conventional tethering system, so as to provide a controllable angle of attack to the balloon to thereby properly control the lift capacity thereof. Further, a need to prevent fouling of the tethering apparatus upon yaw movement of the balloon soon became apparent in combination with the novel controllable angle of attack tethering system. Since the balloon was adapted for moving loads over the ground, it became necessary to incorporate with the tethering system, a unique system to aflect movement of the balloon over the ground without changing the angle of attack or causing undue load stresses on any particular portion of the tethering system. This invetntion meets the needs of a unique tethering system for a V-shaped configuration of a tethered balloon.

- Therefore, it is the general object of the present invention to meet the needs of tethering a V-shaped lighter than air balloon by providing a two cable tethering sys-- tem wherein the forward cable is substantially fixed with relation to the ground, but the rearward cable is movable with relation to the ground dependent upon the load carried by the balloon, so that as a load is applied, the rearward portion of the balloon is pulled downwardly increasing the angle of attack, and when the load is removed, the rearward end moves back to its normal position A further object of the invention is to provide a tethering system utilizing a forward and after cable tethering where the forward cable is held in substantially fixed relation to the ground, but the rearward cable is adjustable in this position to thereby control the angle of attack at which the balloon flies as it may be moved essentially parallel with relation to the ground.

A further object of the invention is to provide a two cable tethering system for a V-shaped lighter than air balloon wherein each cable may be independently swiveled with relation to each other so that yaw movement 3,448,864 Patented June 10, 1969 of the balloon, even greater than 360, will not foul the dual cable tethering system.

A further object of the invention is to provide a dual cable tethering system for a V-shaped lighter than air balloon adapted to move loads over the ground whereby a double main line butt rigging arrangement is related to the front balloon tether cable and a load carrying cable so that as the balloon is moved and the load raised, the front balloon tether cable is out to thereby raise the load and change the angle of attack of the balloon with the power required then being a function of the difference in the tension of the cable raising the load and the tension of the front balloon tether cable.

The aforesaid objects of the invention and other objects which will become apparent as the description proceeds are achieved by providing in a tethering system for a V-shaped lighter than air balloon the combination of forward cable means affixed to the forward end of the balloon and having an end extending downwardly there from, rearward cable means affixed to the rearward end of the balloon and having an end extending downwardly therefrom, means operatively and flexibly connecting the cable ends in spaced relation, separate supporting cable means operatively connected to each of the ends of the cable means and each having an end extending downwardly therefrom, carrying means having a hole therethrough operatively aflixed at the end of the supporting cable means connected to the forward cable means, the other supporting cable slidably received through the hole in the carrying means, drive means to move and guide the carrying means in a substantially horizontal path to eifect movement of the balloon, and load means operatively affixed to the ends of the other supporting cable whereby the rearward end of the balloon is lowered to increase the angle of attack and lift capacity thereof.

For a better understanding of the invention, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a partially broken away, schematic view of one embodiment of the two cable suspension system for an elongated lighter than air balloon:

FIGURE 2 is a reduced size schematic view of the balloon system of FIGURE 1 showing how the angle of attack thereof may be increased by decreasing the relative length of the rearward suspension cable;

FIGURE 3 is a schematic view, similar to FIGURE 2,

, showing how the angle of attack may be decreased by increasing the relative length of the rearward suspension cab e;

FIGURE 4 is a broken away, enlarged view of another arrangement to effectively control the relative length of the rearward suspension cable when the balloon is in a loaded condition;

FIGURE 5 is a broken away schematic enlargement of a swivel system that might be incorporated in the double suspension tethering system of FIGURE 1 to prevent entanglement during yawing movement of the balloon; and

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged, broken away, schematic illustration of a butt rigging which might be utilized to provide a raising of a load together with paying out of a forward tether cable at the same time that the butt rigging is being moved essentially parallel to the ground.

While it should be understood that a tethering system of this type might be utilized with a V-shaped lighter than air balloon for practically any purpose, this particular tethering system was designed to transport logs over the ground, and hence ithas been so illustrated and will be so described.

With reference to the form of the invention illustrated in FIGURE 1 of the drawings, the numeral 1 indicates generally a V-shaped configuration of a lighter than air tethered "balloon which is tethered at its forward end on each side by a plurality of tether cables 2, and .at its rearward end on each side by another plurality of tether cables 3. The forward cables 2 terminate at a point 4 from which extends a single forward suspension cable comprised of an upper portion 51) and a lower portion 5a. In a similar manner, the after tethering cables 3 terminate at point 6 into a single rearward suspension cable composed of an upper portion 712 and a lower portion 7a. The portions 5a and 5b of the forward suspension cable and 7a and 7b of the rearward suspension cable are connected at points 8 and 9, respectively, by a limiting or connecting cable 10. Normally, the invention contemplates that the cable will be pivotally mounted at points 8 and 9 to allow freedom for a change of the geometric relationship of the cables involved as the length of cable 7a is increased or decreased with respect to cable 5a as more fully described hereinafter. However, to overcome pitching and bucking of the balloon when a load is picked up as more fully set forth hereinafter, the cable 10 might be elastic to effect a resilient snubbing action between the forward and rearward suspension cables.

In order to provide relative movement to the ground and thereby make use of the balloon 1, a butt rigging 11 is provided. The rigging 11 is connected on one end by a pay-out line 12 and on the other by a haul-back line 13. Each line 12 and 13 is connected to a respective winch 14 and 15. The lower portion 5a of the forward suspension cable is connected directly to the rigging 11 at an upwardly extending tab 16. The lower portion 7a of the after suspension cable passes through an opening 17 in the rigging .11 and is slidable therein. The lower portion 7a of the after suspension cable is connected directly to a supporting swivel 18, onto a tab 19 thereof. A limit or stop cable 20 is connected from a tab 21 on the bottom of the rigging 11 to a tab 22 on the swivel 18, so as to prevent movement of the swivel 18 too great .a distance from the rigging 11. A load carrying choker cable 23 is connected from the tab 24 on the bottom of the swivel 18. A log 25 is shown carried by one extension 26 of the choker cable 23. Another extension 27 of the choker cable 23 is shown as being empty.

Thus, it is seen that the after or rearward suspension cable 7a passes freely through the hole 17 in the rigging 11 while the lower portion of the forward suspension cable 5a is operatively afiixed thereto on the tab 16. This means that as a load, represented by the log 25, is added to the choker cable 23, the lower portion 7a of the after suspension cable is slidably moved downwardly through the hole .17 causing an increase in the angle of attack of the balloon 1. This further causes a resultant increase in the lift thereof when the balloon is moved in a direction indicated by the arrow 30 by the winches 14 and 15 moving the rigging 11 through the pay-out line 12 and haul-back line 13. It should be noted that the winches 14 and 15 will normally be mounted on the ground, and that no other suspension for the rigging 11 will be necessary since the buoyant support qualities of the balloon 1 will lift the pay-out line 12 and haulback line 13 well clear of the ground to affect an in-flight movement of the log 25, if desired, or at least a lifting of one end of the log 25 off the ground and a dragging movement thereof. It should be noted also, with respect to FIGURE 1, that the limit or stop cable 20 has some slack as at 31 so that if more weight were added to the choker cable 23, the rearward suspension cable 7a would be extended further to thus increase the angle of attack of the balloon 1 to a greater degree.

FIGURE 2 illustrates a balloon 1 having a greater load 25a thereon so that the balloon or lower portion of the rearward suspension cable 7a is extended to substantially its furthest reach so that a stop or limiter cable 20a is at its extended position, and it can be seen that the angle of atack of the balloon 1 has been substantially increased over the balloon 1 of FIGURE 1. Conversely, FIGURE 3 illustrates a balloon 1 which has no load thereon so that the lower portion of the after suspension cable 7 is in what could be called the maximum upper position causing a maximum slack 31a in a stop or limiter cable 20a. It can be seen that the angle of attack of the balloon 1 is substantially decreased, compared to the balloons of FIGURES l and 2. It is anticipated that the angle of attack of the balloon for normal tethered flight will be about 2 as seen in FIGURE 3, and that this angle of flight will provide a maximum survival potential in winds of up to 60 miles per hour. For maximum loading, the angle of attack of the balloon may be increased to perhaps 30 as seen in FIGURE 2 so as to provide greater lift for a given wind velocity. A medium loading may cause an angle of attack of about 10 as seen in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 4 illustrates a system to control the angle of attack of a balloon by simply making a stop or limit cable 40 attached to a butt rigging 41 adjusta-bly secured .at any of a plurality of points, indicated generally by the numeral 42, on a rearward suspension cable 43. As in FIGURE 1, the suspension cable 43 passes through a hole 44 in the rigging 41. A forward suspension cable 45 is fixedly attached to a tab 46 on the rigging 41. A similar pay-out line 47 and haul-back line 48 may be provided. The rearward susepnsion cable 43 may attach to a swivel 49 to which is connected a choker cable 50 for carrying a log 51. Thus, it is seen that the adjustable stop or limit cable 40 may be set to provide a controlled angle of attack since it will normally stop the rearward suspension cable 43 from downward movement long before the complete load of the log 51 is taken up thereby. Thus, this limit cable 40 also helps divide the load to both the forward suspension cable 45 and the rearward suspension cable 43. For example, in the illustration of FIGURE 1, substantially all the load of the log 25 is carried by the rearward suspension cables 7a, since the stop or limited cable 20 is slack, as at 31.

FIGURE 5 illustrates a swivel system to eliminate yaw problems in a V-balloon of the type illustrated in FIG- URES 1 through 3. A hollow swivel indicated generally by numeral 61 comprises an inside member 61b having an elongated hole through the axis thereof which is mounted in rotatable relationship to an outer housing 61a by suitable means such as bearings 61c. In this situation, a forward suspension cable 60 passes down and is connected to the inside member 61:: of the hollow swivel 61 with the other portion of the forward suspension cable 62 then connected from the bottom of the outside member 61aof the hollow swivel 61 and to a tab 63 on a butt rigging 64. A rearward suspension cable '65 passes through the hole through the axis of the inside member 61b of the hollow swivel 61 and continues downward a spaced distance to a conventional swivel 66. A bottom portion 67 of the rearward suspension cable connects from the bottom of the swivel 66 and passes through a hole 68 in the rigging 64 for attachment to a load (not shown) as explained above. A pay-out cable 69 and haul-in cable 70 may be provided. Thus, it is seen that the rearward suspension cable 65 will be free to turn inside the hollow swivel 61 while also being free to turn on its own swivel 66 so that a balloon (not shown) attached to the cables 60 and 65, may weathervane or yaw more than 360 without tangling or fouling the suspension system in any way.

FIGURE 6 illustrates a butt rigging, indicated generally by the numeral which is designed to utilize a main line cable 81 in conjunction with a load cable 82, a forward tether and control cable 83', a rearward tether cable 84 and a haul-back line 85. In this situation, a substantially conventional drum 86 mounted on a frame 87 of the rigging 80 supports main line cable 81. The drum 86 rotates a shaft mounted sprocket 88 which in turn drives a second drum 89 to which the load carrying tated in the same direction. This lifts the load which is attached to cable 82 and simultaneously pays out the forward tether cable 83 as indicated by the arrows on the cables. This makes the tether cable 83 relatively longer than the tether cable 84 and thereby produces an increased angle of attack of the balloon. Thus, the balloons lifting capability is automatically increased as a log is lifted by the rigging 80. It is believed that this particular butt rigging will provide a reduction in the amount of power required to raise a load and change the angle of attack of a carrying balloon as the power required is then a function of the difference in the tension of the cable raising the log and the tension in the forward tether cable. Once the stop 90 engages the top roller of a pair of forward rollers 95, the maximum permissible angle of attack will have been established and there will be no more movement of the drum 86. The location of stop 90 on cable 81 is selected to provide the optimum angle of attack for the load to be lifted. A limiter cable or safety cable 96 might connect to the rigging 80 and the cable 83 as illustrated to act as a final stop if the stop 90 falls to function properly.

Thus, it is seen that the objects of the invention have been achieved by providing a twin cable suspension system for a V-shaped lighter than air balloon to aifect carrying of loads over the earths terrain. It is anticipated that this system having suitable pay-out and haul-back Winches located on the ground will be able to selectively adjust the angle of attack and lift capacity of the balloon. Specific swivel apparatus are provided to prevent fouling of the suspension system upon yawing of the balloon.The connecting cable 10 might be elastic to provide a resilient elastic snubbing action between the suspension cables thereby tending to eliminate pitching of the balloon when a load is applied. A main line cable operating in combination with a specific butt rigging may be used to simultaneously pick up a load and adjust the forward tether cable and the angle of attack of the balloon.

Although in accordance with the patent statutes, only one best known embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described in detail, it is to be particularly understood that the invention is not limited thereto or thereby, but that various modifications may still fall within the objects of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A tethering system air balloon which comprises a forward tether cable having one end connected to the front of the balloon, a rearward tether cable having one end connected to the rear of the balloon, a butt rigging having a hole therethrough fixedly connected to the other end of the forward tether 6O on the upper portion 5 for an elongated lighter than 55 cable with the rearward tether cable slidably passing [mtg/2 aid /1; mm to now said 1211!! [$4 1)]; relaf/Ve f0 fie gin/11a 1mm in coma/.2 law in in after end of the rearward tether cable, which includes a hollow swivel connected to the forward tether cable before it connects to the butt rigging, the rearward tether cable passing in a sliding relationship through the hollow swivel and connecting to a separate swivel before passing through the hole in the butt rigging whereby the balloon can yaw more than 360 without fouling the tether cables.

2. In a bridle tethering system for an elongated lighter than air balloon, the combination of a forward tethering cable connected to the forward portion of the balloon,

a rearward tethering cable connected to the rearward portion of the balloon,

an inextensible flexible length of cable connecting the forward and rearward tethering cables,

a butt rigging operatively connected to tethering cable, roller means rotatably mounted by the butt rigging having the forward tethering cable passed therearound and downwardly from the butt rigging,

means to connect a load to the extended end of the downwardly extending end of the forward tethering cable and means to selectively rotate the roller means whereby the downwardly extended end of the forward tethering cable is drawn toward the butt rigging while the end connecting to the balloon is payed out to increase the angle of attack and lift capacity of the balloon.

3. A combination according to claim 2 where the forward tether cable is connected to a hollow swivel before it passes around the roller means in the butt rigging, and where the rearward tether cable passes in a sliding relationship through the hollow swivel and connects to a separate swivel before connecting to the butt rigging whereby the balloon can yaw more than 360 without fouling the tether cables.

4. A combination according to claim 2 where a stop cable has one end operatively affixed to the butt rigging and the other end operatively affixed to the forward tether cable thereby limiting the maximum upward movement thereof and controlling the angle of attack to the balloon caused by the roller means moving a load operatively connected to the other end of the forward tether cable upwardly toward the butt rigging.

the rearward References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,270,895 9/1966 Stewart 212-71 EVON C. BLUNK, Primary Examiner. H. C. HORNSBY, Assistant Examiner.

US. Cl. XJR.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3270895 *Apr 22, 1965Sep 6, 1966Stewart Faye HAerial logging system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3706385 *Nov 25, 1970Dec 19, 1972Bohemia Lumber Co IncAerial logging system
US3865251 *Feb 22, 1974Feb 11, 1975Formac Int IncSystem and method for balloon yarding and otherwise transporting objects between two locations
US3866858 *Aug 8, 1973Feb 18, 1975Raymond Lee Organization IncAerial photographic mapping apparatus
US4055316 *Apr 7, 1976Oct 25, 1977John Lester ChipperMethod and equipment for aerial transport
US4125233 *May 4, 1977Nov 14, 1978Raven Industries, Inc.Tethered aerodynamic balloon with integral fins
US4640474 *Aug 5, 1985Feb 3, 1987Manseth Robert AMethod and apparatus for aerially transporting loads
US5080302 *Sep 5, 1990Jan 14, 1992Hoke Sherman DMethod and apparatus for aerially transporting loads
US6502789 *Feb 1, 2001Jan 7, 2003Raymond PotvinFlexible kite
US6792872Dec 26, 2002Sep 21, 2004Joseph M. ValdespinoBalloon car and aerial trolley system
US6866230 *Jun 4, 2003Mar 15, 2005Dennis Lee KucmerowskiApparatus for and method of flying two-line steerable kites
US7017860 *Jun 3, 2003Mar 28, 2006Arnaud BalluControl and fixing device for the sail of a kite
US7210896 *Oct 27, 2005May 1, 2007Rolls-Royce PlcElectrical power generation assembly
US7287724 *Jun 21, 2005Oct 30, 2007Aeroballoon Usa, Inc.Tether system for balloon ride
US20110116905 *Mar 9, 2009May 19, 2011Cl Cargolifter Gmbh & Co. Kg A.A.Method and apparatus for transporting elongated, cumbersome loads
US20120286089 *May 9, 2011Nov 15, 2012Safe, Inc.Strain reduction on a balloon system in extreme weather conditions
WO2006104888A1 *Mar 24, 2006Oct 5, 2006Aeroballoon Usa IncTether system for balloon ride
Classifications
U.S. Classification212/71, 244/153.00R, 244/33, 104/22
International ClassificationB64B1/40
Cooperative ClassificationB64B1/40
European ClassificationB64B1/40