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Publication numberUS43449 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 5, 1864
Publication numberUS 43449 A, US 43449A, US-A-43449, US43449 A, US43449A
InventorsSolomon Andrews
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Improvement in aerostats
US 43449 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

s'. ANDREWS. AEROSTAT No. 43,449. Patented July 5,-1864.

7145 Noi'R/s PETERS cm, WASHINGTON, B4 c ballast and aeronaut in theicar.

go ahead on the ascending plane.





of Perth Amboy, in the county of Middlesex,

in the State of New J ersey', haveinvented a mode by which the air may benavi'gated,'an( l anew and useful-machine by which'it maybe done, which machine 1 call an Aereonf and I do hereby declare that the tbllowingis a full, clear, and exact description of the cons'tructionarnl operation of the same, reference being had to the annexed drawings, making a part of thi'sspecifieation.

In Figure 1 there are three aerostats oi a cylindrical form pointed at each end, joined together by a. membrane-or diaphragm at their longithdiaal equators, covered by a net from which t'ourrows ofeords extend to a longand narrow car suspended below the center, the It ascends and descends oninclined planes in the atmos- I)i l619,b GC1ll lSQ of its form or construction, whenever it is poised obliquely. The angles of inclination are produced by the position of theaeronaut in the car or th'e'removal of other weigh ts. and it is steered by a common rudder.

. To navigate the air with this vessel, itis only necessary to step to the rear end of the car,

thus elevating the bow tive to ten degrees,

and by throwing out a little ballast she will 7 When she has ascended as high as the aeronaut wishes to go,hc opens one of the valves and discharges some gas, at'the same time stepping toward the ib'rward end ot'rthc car, which will depress the bow, elevate the stern,,a'nd so change thc angle of inclination, when she will go ahead'on the descending plane. On a near approach to the earth .he has only to step to the middle or rear end of the car, and thus elevate the how. To stop her momentum at any rate ot' velocity, sail horizontally. for a short distance, or 't-hr'owout more ballast and go ahead again on the ascending planet. Haying forward motion,-sheis turned by the rudde'rjust like. a boat on the water. Stern way may also behad ifdesired. Before the ballast 'is exhausted come. down to ,a depot, replenish the wasted gas 'and ballast, and go on again.

One poundot'ascendingor descending power will give to-this vessel a forward movement of one mile per' hour, and each additional pound will increase herspeed inabout the. same' ratio, so that by ascending-ordescending with a powerot' two hundred pounds a speed of two hundred mi es per hour may be attained, and common varnished linen is strong enough to resistthe pressure on the bow at that rapid rate, it' brought to apoint and-held so bysomc inflexible frame-work; a 4 The foregoing I consider a full and eompre hensive description of ray-invention; but as aerial vessels have never before been directed in their'course by the will of man, I shall go more into detail, even at therisk of being verbose. I efl'ect locomotion in given direction by means of the form or construction of the aerostat, the motive power beingthe attraction of gravitation.

the specific gravity of-the aerostatand that of the atmospherein which it floats -I use to earth. by ascending-and descending on inclinedplanes in the atmosphere by means of disk thereto attached. I I

A balloon or spherical body lighter than an equal bulk of the atmosphere will ascendperstrated by the Messrs. Mont'golfier, otFrance. If currents prevail in the atmosphere, the balloon will of course move in the samedirection at. the same rate of-spe'ed. -lt' heavier than sci lid in the same way. But it made in any other shape and kept suspended by the center line of least resistance. Thus, it made in. a flattened and elongated form and kept in an oblique position, it will ascend or descend 1n meets with less resistance inthat direction, and this, produces a forward movement. It such anaerostatbe held perfectly horizontal,.it will move only-perpendicularly, (supposing no eurrent in the air.) because it finds no opposing forceto the direction of gravitation, and gravitation always acts perpendicuone portion of the aerostat by which I compel the aerostat tomove forward on a semi-horn the atmosphere'in any To be more explicit,.the difierence betweenpropel the aerostat over the surface oi. the r the shape or form of the aerostat itself, or, a

pendieulariy to the, horizon, as was demon the same bulk of'air it displaces, it will deof gravity in any oblique position it will ascend or descend, as the case maybe, on the the. plane of its longest axis, because it larly to the horizon. It is, then, by an opposing force or resistance to gravitat on onzontal line. The resistance on the top or bottom of'tlie aerostat produced by the air on a surface much larger thanthc end of it prevents so rapid a movement in a perpendicular direction, and so it slides along on the atmosphere just as a sled slides down the side ol' a hill by the force of gravitation, oras a air than'a convex or plane surface, 'conse-' quentlyiapid ascent and descent perpendicularly s prevented, and the power of ascent or descent is expended by forcing'the body to move obliquely upward or downward in the line of least resistance, the cylindroids sliding, as it were, on an atmospheric railway, the rail being formed of atmospheric air partially condensed by pressure into this longitudinal cavity when three cylindroids are placed side One by side, two such cavities are formed. cylindroid, being convex, is not sufficient to produce as much efl'ect. There should be two or more; The singlecylindroid may be improved, however, by the addition of a flange or membrane, extending along the sides like a birds wings or the guard of 'a steamboat, so as to produce more resisting-surface to the atmosphere, The addition of every cylindroid mat-he first one of equal dimensions adds one cavity, and a resisting surface equal to its length multiplied by its diameter. 30, after the first one, there is no loss of resistingsurt'ace from the convexity of the cylindroids.

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of my air-ship or aereon as she appeared on the 04th of September, 1865, on the ascending plane, having over two hundred pounds ascending-power, and describing a spiral circle upward not less than one and a half mile in circumference. She made twenty revolutions in fourteen and a half minutes, when she was lost to view in the upper strata of clouds,

ates. The weight in the car was about one .hundred and thirtypounds; the weight of the ears, flt'tyeightppunds. Fig. also a view of the ascending plane. Fig. 3 is a view on the descending plane; Fig. 4, a side or horizontal view- Fi 5 a rear view. on the )lane of the axis; Fig. 6, a front view on the plane of the axis; Fig. 7, a view of a wax aero sectional views, as perfectly as can be done.-

The outlines are all that can be shown, as nothing visible is contained within but the three valve-cords passing through from the top The first eleven revolutions were made in, seven minutes, the last three revolutions in three and a halt min-- tothc bottom of each cylindi oid The main car (1,1!1g. 1, was twelve feet loug,'thc bottom a curved line or are of a circle of thirty degrees, and its width iitteen inches; tic

upper part, made of illow-work, spreading a little toward the top. An inner car, 11, on runners,'like a sled, ot' the same curve as the bottom of the main car, three feet long and just wide enough to slide inside thcmain car,.

was secured in its place by a threefold tackle at-each end, the single rope passing over -tl|e top of the inner ear, thus connecting both tackles and holding the inner ear in any position -or place in the main car. The ballast was-placed incthe inner ear, whiclralsoserved for a seat. The object of placing the ballast in the inner car was to move it, it necessary,

toward either end of the main car, in order to change the inclination of the aerostat by changing its center of gravity. In ordinary cases the weight of the acrouant alone will be sufficient to produce this efiect. to change his place foreor aft for the purpose. By moving a less or greater distancei'rom the centerof the car he can give the acrostat an inclination of five, ten, or fifteen degrees, the latter being quite-sufficient for all ordinary purposes and seldom required. 1 found but one occasion to move the inner ear with the ballast from its central position,.and that was when she made her spiral flight, when l was not in the can. The angles of inclination may also be changed by hauling inithe cords from the bow end and slacking those on the stern end of the aerostat, and vice versa; also, by hauling a weight out from the car toward the bow or stern by means of a tackle or running rigging. V v

In all the figures the car is shown in its proper position, sixteen feet below the center of the aerostat; but whether that is the best distance of suspcnsionran only be known by further experiment.

Fig. 9 shows the cars on a larger scale; I), the inner ear. Short cleats are fastened on the bottom of the car, the runners of the inner They are to give the car straddling them. V aeronaut foot-hold, to walk to the upper end to change the angle of inclination of the acreon. I

The three cylindroids, Fig. 1, c, composing this air-vessel or aereon, were made of varnished linen, each one eighty feet long and thirteen feet in diameter. Forty-eight feet of their central portions were perfectly cylindrical. At the distance of sixteen feet from. each end they began to taper toa point. They were secured together at their longitudinal equators by membranous portions of the linen of which they were made.

membranous portions were left on the outer edge of the linen, overlapping about two' lllCllCS' 0DQ'Of the longitudinal seams of the two outside cylindroids; also on two opposite seams-of the middle cylindroid. 'lVhen the. cylindroids began to diverge from each other, membranes or diaphragms d, Fig. 1, of cam- He has only.

These frame above it.

cords of thirty each, or a total number of one 43.4w v v brie muslin, cut tofi-t the'cnrved lines formed by the sixteen feet points, were sewed fast to the two-inch membranes, and filled uplwith a flat surfaee,-the otherwise open spaces between them- A net of cotton twine (plainly seen in the figure) wasth-rown overthe whole,

extending from. end to end, and below-the eqnators on the outside cylindricalportions,

where it terminated in thirty points on each side for-the attachment of cords. .Bctween' thei cylindroids. the net was brought down to the membranes by long strips of light wood, two and a half inches wide in their Central port ons by three-eighths of an inch in'thick ncss, and diminishing in widthto' one inch at their ends., These strips of wood were placed curved sides of the sixteen-feet points of the 'cy lindroids, and two meeting each other at the front and rear ends of the middle cylindroid were fastened togetherat their endshy a brass plate bent over thei'r'ends and screwed on.

Two similar strips, e, were placed on the outside'eq uators of the twoouter cylindroids, and

wcre 'krpt lllt re by being passedthrough the meshesot'the net. These" joined the inside s rips of wood atthe front and rear ends of the outside eylindroids the same as the middle one before stated. wood or frame-work the net was secured on each side of t-l e s'xtren'feet points ofthe cylndroids, as seen atf, Fig. 1. In each of the six pointed ends of the three cylin'droids were conical pieces of cork, five inches diameter at their base, and the linen was tiedtightly over them. Through these corks strong cord passed out to secure the pointed endsof the cylindroids-to'the frame-work. Thirty cords passcddo-wn from the net'on the ou'tsidei of eachoutsidc cylindroid to the car below, one cord fromeach point ofthe net, as shown in the figure. Thirty cords were also passed up through each 'of the two inch membranes between the eylindroids twenty inches apart. They also passed through the net and were fastened to the longitudinal strips of wood or Thus there were four rows of hundred and twenty cords, passing down from the net to secure the car below. These cords are shown in all the figures of this machine.

\Vhen thestrips 'of wood or frame joined on the near end of the middle. e;.lindroid, they were allowed toextend past 61.011 0th 1: four inches, and were lockedtogether at their crossing. Here was screwed ona. top and bottom; plate of through them to supportthe rudder post. 9 on this four-inch extension of the frame. The rudder-post; rested by a. shoulder on the top plate, h, and the upper and lower ends were stayed bycords fastened to the frame on the To these strips of \Vt ight would passing down to the car.

brass, with suitable holesrear end'of'th-e niiddle eylindroi'd, about eight feet-from the. point. \Vhe're' the cords con nected with the ruddccpest,they-were fast ened to stifi'.picecs of leather, having-suitable holes in them for the rudder-post to turn in.

The-rudder i was, made ofeainbric muslin, triangular in. form,- kept extended by reeds or bamboo projecting from the rudder-post. '11: containedonlyserentcen square feet-of surface, and was abundantly large. It was con- ,trolled by cords or rudder-ropes passing through pulleys attached tothe frame near the ends of the outside cylindroids, and'thenee down to the rear end of the car, where they passed through other pulleys,on'e on each side,

andwere extended along the border of the car to the forward end, where they were secured-, leaving sufiieient slack for the motion of the rudder. The object of thiswas that therudder-ropes could be always reached by the aeronautwithont'changing his place in the car. The earnvassuspendetl on four rings or hoops, (shownvin the -tigure,) made of strong wood five inches in diameter and surrounded by rope. From these rings twenty-four cords passed down underneath theear, twelve at eachend. 'Theywere much stronger than the cords from the net. These cords were woven through the upper rim of the basket or willow-work and were secured also at the bottom of the car. The cords from the net were attachedto these rings or hoops,t'hirty to each ring, and these rings constituted two, or rather four, foci for the suspension of the car. In the side view, Fig. 4, tvWJ foi can be secn, as also in the'end vicws,'Figs. 5 and 6- tiii'ctly visible. The attachment of these cords to the rings was peculiar, and the result of experiments showed that the best plan was to cross them, as shown in the figure, every other cordon a s'idegoing to the most distant ring or focus on the same side. Thus if all the weight in the car were placed in the extreme end of the car it would hear equally on. thewhole length of the aerostat \vhilc'it'changed its center of gravity. In this casethe whole besuspended'by half the number of cords. Each of the three eylindroids were open' on the lower side or bottom, theyhaving tubes 7:,eleven feet long and one foot diameterat' their lower ends. These tubes were kept open by spiral steel hoops or coils. There were also three valves of ordinary construction for balloons, with openings tire inches square in the upper part of thelthrec cylindroids, one in each,

The cord of the center valve passed down throughthe center tube. Those of the two outside cylindroids were neither centra'lnor vertical over the said tubes, but a little aft and on theoutcrside of the centralline of the tops. *Eaeh of these valve-cords passed through the opposite side of tliecylindroid in a direct line to the car,

and where it passed out th'rough'the varnished light wood four inches linen thin pieces of but in Figs. 1 and 3 the fourare dis-:-

with vvalve-cords square were screwed together, one on the in wood, in their. center, was a piece of indiarubberor caoutchouc one. inch in diameter,- in which was the hole for the valve cord to pass through. These ya-lve cords were covered with tallow. where they operated in' these holes. lnthe bottomot' tlm. car was an angulometer made as follows: Between, the cleats on the bottom were longitudinal strips of wood placed three-quarters of an inch apart near thecentral line and as high as the top of the cleats. This constituted grooves between the cleats, in each one of which was placed a small ball or marble-such as boys play withand aseach of'these several marbles rolled froth their natural positions toward either end of-thcicarit was indicated whether the car had .an angle of inclination of five, ten, or fitteen degrees, the bottom of the car being a curved line or are of a circle of thirty degrees, rs before stated, and the angle of inclination of the aerostat being produced by the position of the aeronaut or the ballast in the elongated car. A common spherical balloon can be made'to travel by its construction, though it is the worst possible shape for locomotion. By making'an oblong disk or sail and suspending it below the balloon above the car, as shown at Fig. 5, it will, if sutficiently large, force the balloon even against the wind. Placed on the equator of the balloon itdoes not operate so well. The balloon takes ofl more than half the elfect of its sliding motion,

and also makes it very diflicult to preserve itsposition, requiringmuch greater weight below to hold it steady. The disk, sail, ortlat frame on the top will not answer. the purpose, as it makes it top-heavy. All the weight of an I nerostat must be kept as much as possible be low.

' Fig. 8 shows a twelvc-ieetdiameter balloon of this description which carried up seventeen pounds, including the weight of the disk orsail, and with three and one-halfpounds ascensivc power resisted a two-mile current or breeze. Toy balloons of ten inches diameter are made to moveacross a room on this plan -without any difficulty by using tissue paper for the disk or oblong sail.

In the balloon Fig. 8, the disk or'oblong sail is movable on an axis at the focal ring 1'. The cords which support it above pass through blocks suspended to the net, one of which is shown at S. The hauling-cords pass down from the lower side of the disk to' the car. The car may be made like-an ordinary basket, as the aeronautis stationa-ry. When elongated eylindroids are used, they should be filled with spheres or common balloons, making a compound aerostat, not only to divide the aerostatinto compartments for safety, but to enable the aeronaut to control the balancing ot',the machine. 'hen tilted, the gas in the. simple aerostat will rush to the upper end will collapsr the bottom ,andmalte it. heavy :or, it' -it be admitted to the inside, below, to

keep it full at all times,.it will act as deadweight just the same, for the air will not. quickly and readily mix with the hydrogen gas and so become generally ditt'used. With carbureted hydrogen it may do better. 1 have not tried it. I. had fifteen balloons of twelve feet diameter andsix balloons'ot' seven feet diameter made of cambric muslin to till my three cylindroids; Fig. 1. When I tried my tirst'" experiment, fourteen of them were-inflated in the two outside cylindroids. 1 afterward-tech them out and made my other eiperiments with the cylindroids alone, taking the risk and-oltaining onehundrcd and eighty pounds more ascensive power. From these experiments I come to the following conclusion, viz. The. best shape or t'ornrt'o'r practical purposes foreach simple acrostatwill be that wherein the greatest elongation can lc had and at. the same time preserve the bottom nearest to a perpendicular line extending through the center of gravity in any angle of inclination which may be required. As these 3211] never be made to coincide in all positions or-angles of inclination which may obtaimcxcept in a perfect sphcre, and as in the greaterless improved shapes will be made, to approximate the above rule. The best shape now known to me, and 1 know of nobody else who knows from experienceanything about it, is 1 that of Fig. 7, the diameterot' which is twofit'ths of its length. In this an angle of in clinatioirof fifteen degreesmay be had while thecenter ol' the bottom will not approach the ends nearer than one-fifth or one-sixth o t' I the length. Thus atmospheric air admitted through the open tubes below, It, and-resting on the bottom will neverbeentirelyouts-id e the said line, and consequently the aerostat will be securely held in any position which may be assumed by the aeronaut. Two of these will make aperfcct machine in its simplest form, each of them made-separately, pointed at the -bow end. and rounded at t] eother; each one covered by a separate net in the plainest and simplest manner, having about six points on each side for the attachment ofv cords, and to be well secured to the aerostat at both ends. This can be'done by passing net-work, or cords entirely around the aerostatsome few t'eetfrom each end. When inflated for use. the], must be brought to gethcr side by side, and thenet-work and cords will naturally hold them in that position.

A membrane or diaphragm attached to the two nets will connectthem together and till up the'otherwise open space between them.

Fig. 7, running I aerostats and extending a few feet beyond 'This membrane is made in two halves, onehalf attached to each net at the horizontal equator of the aerostat. Of course one edge of each half-membrane is a curved line, and the other edge ,is a straight line. The curved edges are attached to thenets. When brought together, the straight edges of the membranes are tied to a longitudinal strip of wood, iv, the. who1e length of the their ends. The straight edges of the membranes extend to the points of this longitudinal strip or bar of wood. To support the weight of this barof wood toward its ends,

' cords may connect it with'thetop of the nets.

The rudder has its seat on the stern end of this bar of wood. This membrane may be as wide as you please, provided you keep the aerosta'tsapart by some inflexible fixtures; but there is sufficient resisting-surface for all ordinary.purposes by allowing them to come in contact'at their sides in their. central portions. Theywillpress together and be flat-- rened there a few feet. If they be kept a little distance apart without adding too muchweight byfi'xtures, of course the machine will operatemuch better. The longitudinal bit! of wood may be made in parts, to be put together like a fishing-rod.

described is particularly designed as a waraerostat. It can be takenapart readily and each aerostat folded up scparatelygand the bar of wood in short pieces can be easily carried; It is highly probable, however, that the longitudinal bar may be dispensed with. I have never tried the experiment without some kind of extending frame-work, butin every experiment I have found that some part preyiously used was.unnccessary, and I am now satisfied thatall the frame-work really required is enough to keep the bowl points extended to resist the pressure of air in a rapid motion and to support the rudder. The aerostats will preserve their forms, whatever shape they be, if kept full, and they are kept full at all times by the admission of air mention this longitudinal This aereon justthrongh the open tnbeslat the bottom. I know that for an ordinary rate of speed no framework is necessary,except that .of the rudder itself.

The most importantfcaturein the construction of this machine,

as well as that of Fig. l; is the longitudinal cavity extending from end to end, formed by the junction of two cylindrical bodies, both onthe upper and under side, as hereinbefore stated. In the machine Fig. 1, there were double cavities and she slid, as it were, on two atmospheric rails. In the war-aerostat, Fig. 7 she will slide only on one atmospheric rail.

In my caveats for this invention, filed in the Patent ()fiice in 1849 and 1850, I did not cavity, not having then tried it; but I have found by experiment that it adds very materially to. its success.

I claim as my invention and cure by Letters Patent '1. The conversion of the perpendicular motion of a balloon or aerostat into a forward or horizontal motion by means of the construction or the form thereof, so as to make it as cend and descend on inclined planes in theatmo'sphere.

2. The arrangement beneath a balloon of an elliptical or oblong form to give it asemihorizontal motion or a. forward movement.

3. Constructing a balloon in the form of a. cyl d, as described.

4. The combination of two or more cylindroids, so as to produce a concavity between them for resisting-surface.

5. The changing of the inclination of the screen or aerostat by changing its center of gravity and the changing of the inclination of the disk or oblong sail, substantially as shown and described.

6. The arrangement of, an angulo meter in i the aerial car, substantially as described.




desire to so-

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2512824 *Aug 24, 1948Jun 27, 1950Coleman Brown GeorgeHeavier-than-air airship
US2865581 *Apr 16, 1956Dec 23, 1958Gen Mills IncBalloon gondola assembly
US3180588 *May 27, 1964Apr 27, 1965Aereon CorpRigid type lighter-than-air craft
US4850551 *Dec 14, 1987Jul 25, 1989Lockheed CorporationPropulsion system for a buoyant vehicle
US5348251 *Apr 5, 1993Sep 20, 1994Ferguson F DDirigible airship
US7328669Oct 18, 2004Feb 12, 2008Adams Phillip MBuoyancy-based, underwater propulsion system and method
US7740418Feb 11, 2008Jun 22, 2010Adams Phillip MBuoyancy-based, underwater propulsion system and method