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Publication numberUS870430 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 5, 1907
Filing dateDec 9, 1902
Priority dateDec 9, 1902
Publication numberUS 870430 A, US 870430A, US-A-870430, US870430 A, US870430A
InventorsHenri Alphonse Herve
Original AssigneeHenri Alphonse Herve
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Captive balloon.
US 870430 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




PATENTED NOV. 5, 1907.



No. 870,430. l. PATENTBD NOV. 5, 1907.



4 sHBETssnnnT a.

No. 870,430. PATENTEDNOV. 5, 1907. H. A. HERVE.




.variation of the direction of HENRI ALPHONSE HERV, OF PARIS, FRANCE.


' Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented Nov. 5, 19,07.

Application led December 9. 1902. Serial No. 134,533.

To all 'whom it may concern:

Be it known that l, HENRI ALPHONSE HERVE, of

l Rue Hautefeuille, in the city of Paris, Republic of France, engineer, have invented' Improvements in Captive Balloons, ofwhich the following is a. full, clean'.

and exact description.

This invention relates to improvements in captive balloons, and has for its object toenable observations for military or scientific purposes to be made' underv a greater wind 'pressure or ata greater altitude fora given pressure of wind, while insuring greater stability of the car with a smaller tractive effort than in known systems of captive balloons under thel combined conditions of. strength and lightness necessary in such structureel My invention has for object;- lst. To reduce the Y normal resistance of the system. below that 'of ordinary captive balloons ofspherical-form or those in which asustaining reaction is provided as by aeroplanes or kite balloons;' 2nd. To increase the vertical and horizontal stability by the employmentofl a rudder, such as a plane or other surface, which temporarily and slightly increases the general resistancef or which has' a constant action. 3rd. To render the car unaffected by the variations in direction of thel traction. 4th. To dispense with all rigid structure or frame.

My improyed captive -balloon comprises the sustaining means viz, the hull or buoyant chamber and the' auxiliary `arrangement for steering and the sus`A pension and .towage systems of cords. The'sustaining .means consists of (l) an elongated dissymmetrcical -hull or bag having its section of greatest arearat the bow and having'continuous lines and ogival extremities and normallyoccupying a horizontal position whereby tof diminish resistance and reduce the deviating `moment; (2)V a self-steadyingsteering chamber attachcd at the rear end of the main portion of the hull of approximately cylindrical form and of reduced diameter for producingA a lateral steadying action in steering, without greatly assisting in sustaining the balloon, that is'to say, Without throwing sensibly towards the rear the center of buoyancy whereby a long leverage is obtained; (3) auxiliary steering surfaces or bags carried by the cylindrical steadying prolongation previously referred to, havingior object to considerably increase the steering properties oi the latter bymodifying the action of the fluid streams or currents upon its surface.

The cordage is composed ofthe car suspension system and a towage system always indeper'ident of the the tension of the cable and ofthe' Ythe car suspension cords."

Y auxiliary steering bags. tions' and Figan end The invention 'is illustrated by Way -of example in` the accompanying drawings in which Figurel represents a sidevelevation and 2 a rear view of the-improved`captive balloon. 3 is an vend View and Fig.' 3a apart side elevation of 'a' moditedformvof the 'steadying cylinder having four' Figs. 4 and 5 are sideeleva view'of the steadying cylinder provided with auxiliary sail-likey steering surfaces. Fig is an end view of the rear part'of the balloon showing a modification inthearrangement of the sail steadying surfaces. Fig. 8 is a detail in elevation and transverse section ofthe attachment for the C'arsuspension cords.. Fig. 9 isa -plan of the cross-piece for 10 is a plan showing the -points of attachment of the car.' Figs.. 1l and -12 respectively representa sidel and rear elevation of'a modified arrangement .ofballoon in which the towage system is placed externalh( ofthe suspension cords, and Fig.- 1 3 is a detail view of the towing distributer. The saine letters f reference indi'c'atethe same parts inail the figures. I Y,

In my improved balloon, the hull or chamber a is made of elongated form, the' axial length from the nose al to point a4 `(thepoint at which the lines of the hull would converge ii not provided with'a cylindrical eX'- tension) is equal togabout three times the diameter of the -major sectionof the hull. v'The front end of the The major section '5 is situate forward of a vertical line c passing through the center f gravity of the balloon, which arrangement besides its advantages as regards stability and low resistance, permits of the towage system passing in the forward direction clear of the suspension cordage as hereinafter specified. At the rear part ofthe hull a'is joined a cylindrical prolongation d the diameter of which is so calculated that its ascensional force will be sufficient to sustain `itself as well as the auxiliary arrangements, said cylindrical body does not sensibly contribute to the support of the car.

ln order-to diminish the general resistance of the hull to towage and to increase the resistance to iiexure of the prolongation d, it is of advantage to make the latter very slightly conical (1 30/ to 2). The length of the cylindrical `body d is equal to about two and a half times its mean diameter. The cylinder d terminates in the rear in an ogival rounded point so as to avoid this part of the hull becoming distorted and roducing less-disturbanceA of the air at the real-'of the balloon. The prolongation d permits of bringing at least to the point a2 or even beyond it, towards the rightI of 45 lateral pair may serve :fthe drawing the center of gravity of the steadying steer- 'ing surfaces hereinafter described and of thus obtaining a sufci'entleverage. Moreover it forms the means of making the stabilitating surfaces integral with the 5 buoyant hull a without the employment of any rigid nstructure. The stabilitating effect of the cylindrical prolongation dis increased by the addition of auxiliary chambers so disposed as to increase its resistance to thel wind in the transverse direction by increasing the deflection of the molecules of air in this direction, whence a better utilization of their .mls-viva. lThe cylindrical chamber d thais constitutes at the 'same time both a stabilitating device sion of the cordage and also a support for devices de- 1 5 signed to increase the effect ofthe steering `prolongation p and. in themselvesproduce an auxiliary steering or guiding eect. These auxiliary devices may either A consist of secondaryv cylindrical chambers or of saillike surfaces.

The steadying cylinder d may carry at its upper part as shown in Figs. l'andv 2, a small tubular chamber f terminating inogival ends, and of a length-approxivmately equal to thatof cylinder d and which is in' communication at g withl the buoyant chamber a. This secondary chamber f is secured upon the cylinder d bymeans of light cords 'h at a certain pressure, so as to obtain, a plane ofcontact. This secondary'chamber has for its object not only to increase the steering surface but-also to increaseits effect bythe presenceof'a longitudinal rentering cavity i formed on each sideN between the adjacent surfaces of `the chambers d and f. Another secondary chamber fl similar tothe upper one f may similarly be .attached to the extension d.

These. secondary chambers ma .communicate with .35'the interior .of lthe main cham er through openings g, g1 and they-are then supplied'with gas by the main chamber, or they may communicate withthe external air either directly or b ymeans of a displacer chamber d3 contained'withn the chamber a, the pressure within- AO these secondary chambers corresponding the'n to the power of the wind. Or the prolongation d may be provided as shown in Figs. 3 and 3**.with four such secondary chambers placed, two f at the upper part and two others f symmetrically at the lower part. Each i as a support for a sail-like surface M which owing to its extreme lateral position is particularly adapted to prevent yawing.- -ln this'case thel secondary cylinders f1 lare held in position upon the extension dby means of light cords lt. This arl'50 rangement may be employed' in combination with a double rudder composed of two sails m, the distance apart of which 'is maintained by the cross bar'q. v

The pneumatic I are distended independently of the rigging so that the functions of the surfaces will not be affected even when the tension of the rop'e becomes reduced, as for instance by the car resting on the-ground. l

Figs. 4 to 6 show a modification in which theaiixil- `iary sail-like surfaces are independently distended by `a rigid frame. The cylindrical extension'd carries at v each side a fixed sailj distended by a spar kof bamboo for example, and fixed tothe cylinder d tangentiallyv j to the -line jl', j2, the two spars 7c being held: parallel by means of .cords Z and being -either verticalas in Fig. 5A 6,5 orinclined as in Fig. 4. These sail' surfaces j may independent of all tenor sail-like surfaces above described employed in combination with one or more ofthe auxiliary chambers f. lt should be observed that the use l chamber d is provided on itsunder side with two sails tm 4which increase'the l area ofV the directive surfaces and spaced sufficiently apart so as not to blanket each other to any extent even v.during heavy lurches. The sails are of triangularforin andare distended in the following mannerz-A-'Each sail mis composed ofan assemblage of three. triangles having for their common vertex lthe 'point of yintersection m1 of the lines bisecting the angles of the whole-sail m whose sides form the basesl of the three smaller triangles, each of these elementary triangles being formed-I of widths perpendicular to said bases so that the outside v will b e straight withthe weft along the'edges and on the bias at the bisecting lines. i The stiffening of each point of attachment of theropes s.

the wind ofthe inward bellying ofthe sail which would sail isfurther insured by the distributing cords n at the In order to avoid the formation under the action of retard its st'eadying action and cause yawing,`the stiffi ness of the sail is considerably increased by making-it of two triangular sails m2 having bi-convex form, as shown in Fig, 7 each' composed by the connection of three triangles as hereinbefore described, and sewed duced by the interposition of a stretcher p as shown in following manner.

is obtained by its-connection with the cylindrical exaerostat with a view to prevent or to reduce the retardh irig influence of any flapping or shivering-movements which would prejudice the directive or steering action and also with regard to the other sail i'n order that ythe action of their twin surfaces should be identical. For

two sails is maintained by a-cross bar q (Fig. 2) Vwhile more the system of ropes s fixed tothe suspension cross frame of the car co-acts to prevent transverse iiexure of the whole arrangement'. transverse fiexure is considerably increased by making the sail distending system of two rope triangles joined A together at their apex produced by crossing two cables united at their point of intersection .s1 (see Fig. 2). This system of hull i longitudinal stability while the proportions ofits elon- H center.

permanence and regularity of form of the hull insured in the ordinary' manner by the addition of a small distender'or displace-r. The distender a? may therefore be put in communication with the exterior air bymeans the small dist-ender.

tical plane. v y A partition'or diaphragm perpendicular tothe axis edge to edge, the bi-convex or trussed form being pro.

tension d while the fixity of the apex of each sail should be determined in relation to .the general system ofthe 'this purpose the parallelism of the front edges of the also possesses horizontal stability or,

gated form insure a suitable position of the static meta' Long'pudinal stability also results from the of an injector nozzle, an automatic discharge valve' be ing' added in order tomaint-ain the desiredpressure in The centersiof g'avity of the disj tender and of the system as a whole arehin the same verf composed of 'a disk offabric maybe disposed in lthe- Fig. 7. The fixity of the'two sails m2 is insured in the The xity of the base of each sail crossed Vstay ropes r prevent any distortion, and filrther- 11o The resistancefof the sails to -v interior of the balloon, for example at the junction between it and the steadying cylinder, it' thoughtl desirable, to prevent the internal gases in certain cases.

scribed, the rigging essentially comprising the suspen-' sion gear and the towing gear.

For insuring permanence of the stability relatively to the three principal axes of equilibrium and particu larly the horizontal stability, it is essential that the center of gravity and the center of buoyancy should remain in 'the same vertical line and that the point of intersection I (center of-inertia) of this vertical line and of the directions of power and resistance should be invariable. As the liability `to deforma-tionV of suspension netting excludes its employment, vthe suspension cords are ,attached directly to theenvelop in the following manner: To the envelop is sewed as shown in Figs. l and 8, a band of fabric t band, to which are attached the terminal branches it. of the suspension cords, each of which passes around a small toggle pin v held .in the bight of a looped strap w between the two thicknesses of which is stitchedthe bandv t.

In order to distribute over the whole line of the seam to thebody of the balloon the strains exerted at the points of attachment of the suspension cords, the longitudinal intermediate band is made either of diagonal fabri or of two pieces of straight woven fabric cut on the bias cemented one on the other with the warps crossed. `The line of stitching :I: is double and preferably sinuous as shown.

ln order that the tensions may be equalized before reaching the line of stitching, the looped straps w do not extend the full width of the band t but for about 'two-thirds only of its breadth measuring from its lower edge; The band is reinforced at its lower edge by a fiat web t cut on the straight which prevents that part 45.

of the band from stretching'l orgetting out of shape under horizontal strains. The width of the band and the distance between consecutive loops are such that 4a certain number of diagonalthreads of the fabric of the band shall cross the lower part of one loop and that portion of the band situated above the next'loop. The band may. at its extremities where the strains are very oblique, be cut on the straight and the loops be diagonally disposed; l

Above therband t may extend transverse encircling bands of fabric connecting the port and starboard members of the band in order to lessenthe wear of thel envelop and the seams, if the envelop is made of` longitudinal strips. On the other hand if .the envelop is composed of transverse zones or even of panels, these encircling bands are not indispensable for balloons of very small capacity owing tothe considerable reduction in the resistance due to the form and horizontal attitude of this Atype of aerostat andthe light amount of the transverse tensions. For large balloons termed a distrib utin g the encircling bands are brought so close together as toiform a continuous jacket.

The suspension of the car is effected by mea-ns of eight cords y disposed in equal numbers on either side of the symmetrical plane; each set of four suspension.

cords situate on the same side being attached to two ends of a rigid spider or cross frame z (Figs. l and 9) extending diagonally of the plane -of the car. To avoid any oscillating movement ,of the car in a longitudinal plane rela-tively to the body of the balloon7 lthe cords' or ropes are so arranged,- the one with respectjto the others, that they l constitute triangles which oppose themselves to every oscillating motion of the car. To

each of the four ends-ofthe cross, two cords are attached, there beingtwo sets of cords symmetrically arranged relatively to a common longitudinal verticalV median plane. For this purpose at each end of the arms of the spiderY z-see FigMQ-are attached two suspension cords, twoseries of suspension cords being arranged symmetrically with reference to a longitudinal vertical median plane.

"llo-counteract any oscillating movement of the car in a transverse plane a complementary triangular arrangement of the cords or ropes may be effected as indicated in Fig. 2, by inea-ns of crossed suspension v cords y1 disposed either a transverse plane containing the 4vertical'passing through the center of gravity or slightly in rear of it and each connecting with the two extremities of the cross frame situated at the' opposite sides by means of a bifurcation extending from` the crossing point of thet-wo suspension cords;

'The car is suspended from the cross frame at each angle bymeans of a group of three suspension cords A (Fig. l0) this triangular arrangement sufticing to prevent any oscillatoryv movements of tors-ion of the lower suspension while it does not incommode the aeronauts.

The towing cable B exerts its act-ion on the aerostat by means of a distributer formed partly of fabric and partly articulated or formed of bridle ropesirunning round sheaves. The fabric portion of the distributer has for its object to furnish beyond the hull an invariable base of attachment for the ramitying ropes and to distribute the tension between said. baseand the line of attachment to thev balloon. The fabric portion of the distributorl is composed of strips of fabric ca -stitched together on lines c converging to the points D', which is the apex of the articulated distributer, and the strips c and c secured to the strips a2,` the strip c being horizontal and Athe strips c inclined upwardly and forwardly-see Fig. l3-. To this fabric portion of the distributer is secured the cords d of the bridle ropes, the pulleys over which the cords pass being shown at The distributer instead of being constructed of fabric -may be formed of lattice or network narrow webbing connected together at the crossing points so as tc be unchangeable in their relation to one another.

In order that the stability of the car may be as great as possible the mode of application to the aerial system of the traction strain should be such that the equilibrium of the aerostat in its plane of symmetry is obtained without compensating movement. lThis result is obtained by giving to the tractive resultant such a direction that it has a moment which is constantly m'l' relatively to the point of intersection I 'of the axis of.

be appliedat a singlepoint at the centerofinertia I by reason of the situation oi/this P01316 which is often within the hull and also for vident reasons oi safety.

On the other hand for reasons of Stability 'of orientation bi the hull the use ofa single fixed point oi attachment would deprive it of the powerful righting moment due to the articulation oi the distributer relatively to the I vertical axis.' l'tis therefore necessary to employ two lateral-points or preferably two lateral lines'ofv attachment c3, c", Fig. 2, connectedto thetow linel by two similar convergent distributers G, Gl-J ea'ch constructed, as hereinbefore described and constitutinga duplex disn tribnter. The rope systems oi the distribut er should not.

' under any normal' circumstances come in contact with 'the suspensory system; this condition and the condition i Y' tachment voi the tow line B) in the plane ofsymmetry' and to arrange the traction system `within thesuspenf of s'tabilityoi orientation conduce to giv e to the combined rope systems av transverse triangular form (Eig. 2) so as to insure the permanence oi the apex D (the point oi atsion system., Under' these conditions 'not only 'the suspension systemjbut the lcar itself is vmaintained out .oi c'ontact-with the movable-part ot the traction systeini i The arrangement of the traction` system outside o i the suspensin -systeni'is more difiicult to effect and;

does not constitute a very efiicient means ofl insuring stability` of orientation, butin such case the arrangement illustrated'in Figs. ll and. l2 might be adopted The fabric part C ofthe distributer enables the nio able portions of the articulated "distributer to bevarf ranged below the region where contact would be 'pre-v judicial and if the car be raised towards the aerostat by its dispensing with the external suspension attachments y shown in'lig. 2, and using only the suspension attachments y? as shown' in Figs. ll and 12,/'the traction system will -be sufficiently clear and as-a consequence a longitudinal axis of articulation of the lowersuspension system will'be at X. A cross connection at H would'serve to prevent the passage oi the traction system behind the car in maneuvering. The articulated distributer is so arranged as tov satisfy this characf teristic condition of my system,- vizJv the constant nullity of the moments relatively to the' center of in'- ertia inthe plane of symmetry.

Figs. l and `ll show a practical arrangement of my system of distributer. The tractive system comprises in this example thirty two points of attachment (16 atv each side) and four series oiarticulations. In the distributers Gj Gr2 the angle oi the running cords of veach of the triangular elements oi the upper series is very acute both with a view to satisfy the conditions of equilibrium and to bring as low as possible the first series of sheaves or pulleys which separates them still further from the suspensory system. Stops are'provided on all the running cords to prevent unreeving in case of breakage oi one oi the elementary cords.

The car L isjo the "construction, but it should be provided with a' ii are rail L1 (Fig. 1o) to protectthe hands oi the. aeronaut placed on the firent edge of thecar from Contact with they tow-rope should the latter 'rub against the car.

.".My improvedl system oi captive balloon may be `made oi any desired dimensionsand the accessory arrangements maybe .varied 'in accordance with the c ircumstances oi each application.

" Claims,

1. Araptive'balloon comprising a hull of elongated shape, a cylindrical'body being'a prolongation of the hull at the rear part without assisting in the general sustentation so as not to bringbaclrwards thecenter ot buoyancy and iliary cylindrical'bodies'arranged on the cylindrical prolongation with the purpose to increase the transverse resistance, lateral sail 'surfaces also mounted on the cylindrical prolongation, a suspension system, a towage system vindependent of the lformer and so arranged ,that the line of the sustaining' axis and of the axis of resistance.

2. Acaptive balloon, comprising an elongated hull havv ing a-pointed forward end and provided with a cylindrical extension at its rear end, a pair of auxiliary cylindrical bodies on each side of the extension of the hull` a sail-like surface extending between each` pair 'of said bodies, a sail on each'side o f the lower portion of the vsaid extensions, a series of suspension ropes connected with the hull, and a series of towing ropes also connected with the hull.

I Y3. Acaptiv balloon, comprising an elongated hull having an ogival front end and provided with a cylindrical extension at its rear end, 'themjor transverse axis of the hull b eingforwardV of. the center of gravity of the balloon, and cylindrical b odies secured upon the said' extension.

4. A captive balloon, comprising an elongated 'hull having an ogival front end and providedfwith a cylindrical extension at .its rear end, cylindrical bodies secured upon extension.

ing an ogival front end, and provided -,with a cylindrical extensionA at its rear end, cylindrical bodies secured upon the extension, sail-like surfaces at the sides of the extension, and sails secured to the extension below the sail-like surfaces. y

. 6.. Acaptive balloon, comprising an elongated hull llaving an ogival front end and'provicled with :1 cylindrical extension at its rear end,l cylindrical bodies secured upon the extension, sails secured to the sides of the extension, and triangular' sails secured to the extension below the rst named sails, said triangular sails extending below the extension and connected together. f

7. -A captive balloon, comprising an elongated hull having an ogivalfron't end and provided with a cylindrical extension at its rear end,cylindrical bodies secured upon the extension, sails at .the sides of the extension, sails secured to the extension below the first named sails, said last named sails extending below the. extension and connected together, suspension ropes secured to the sides of the hull, and towing' ropes secured to the hull between the` suspension ropes.

The foregoing specification of my improvements in captive balloons signed by me 'this 26th d'ay of November HENRI ALPHONSE HERV.




simply adapted to'insure the stability of orientation, aux-h of the tractive force will pass through the crossing point l the extension, and sail-like surfaces at the sides of said 5, A captive balloon,` comprising-:1n elongated hull havllOl

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3521836 *Aug 6, 1968Jul 28, 1970Arthur D Struble JrInflated buoyant wing
US4995572 *Jun 5, 1989Feb 26, 1991Piasecki Aircraft CorporationHigh altitude multi-stage data acquisition system and method of launching stratospheric altitude air-buoyant vehicles
US5115997 *Jan 12, 1990May 26, 1992Teledyne Industries, Inc.Surveillance balloon
Cooperative ClassificationB64B1/40