Improvements in and in Means for Propelling and Steering Aerial Machines.

Abstract

25,444. Blunt, A. H. P. Nov. 21. AÙrial machines with aÙrostats.- Relates to aÙrial machines of the kind described in Specification No.1031,A.D.1903. The aÙrial machine is constructed with two somewhat cigar-shaped balloons A, Fig. 1, connected together at the ends in such a manner as to leave a space for the framework. The propelling- motor A', Fig. 2, and a car for the aeronaut are placed above the balloons, and a car for passengers is suspended below and connected to the upper car by a ladder. The machine is lifted partly by vertical screws I<2>, K<2>, and is propelled by screws U<2> in front and in rear of the balloons. Steering is effected by means of a screw or screws H<3>, the shafts of which are mounted in a frame I<3>, which can be turned at any angle to the main frame, and can also be adjusted nearer to, or farther away from, the balloon. The screws are all driven from a main shaft S<2>. The shafts of the propelling- screws U<2> are in line with this shaft and can be connected to it by means of clutches W<2>, Z<2>. The steering-screws H<3> are driven by rope gearing from the shaft of the leading propelling-screw. The shafts of the lifting-screws I<2>, K<2> are connected by a rope and pulleys, and are driven by a bevel-wheel R<2> and a movable bevel-wheel J<2> on the main shaft. At the rear of the machine is fitted a double vertical aeroplane A<3>, which can be opened out, as shown in dotted lines in Fig. 1, so as to retard the motion of the machine. Horizontal aeroplanes F<3>, G<3> are hinged to the top of the machine, and are connected to springs which allow their forward edges to move upwards, and also to cords by means of which their inclination can be controlled. The balloons may be made of canvas, leather, or the like, and may have an india-rubber lining, or be otherwise made airproof by combining the material with india-rubber or the like. They may be strengthened by embedded steel wires running both longitudinally and transversely. Each half of the balloon is covered by netting K, Fig. 4, attached to arched ribs G, which are fixed to the central framework and stayed longitudinally and transversely. The balloon is fitted with several vertical tubes L passing right through it, and through each of these tubes is passed a rod M, which supports the bottom of the balloon and is supported by a spring O, the tension of which is adjusted by a nut Q actuated by a belt and pulley. The rods M of the two halves of the balloon are stayed apart by bars S. When the pressure in the balloon is lowered, the envelope assumes the form shown in dotted lines. The aÙroplanes F<3>, G<3>, Fig. 2, instead of being connected to the framework, may be connected to the rods M, Fig. 4, in order that they may automatically reduce the volume of the balloon when they are exercising their greatest supporting power, thus making the balloon more rigid when travelling at a high speed, and facilitating descent when stationary. The balloon may be expanded by injecting steam into it when it is desired to rise, and may be made to contract again by admitting cold water or pumping gas out of it and compressing it into reservoirs C<2>, Fig. 5. The steam used for expanding the balloon may be the exhaust from the motor. It is admitted by pipes T. A valve for automatically shutting off steam when the pressure in the balloon reaches a certain limit is actuated by a piston in a cylinder connected to the balloon, the return motion being effected by a spring when pressure falls. The water of condensation collects in tubular reservoirs V. Cold water for contracting the balloon is injected through pipes A<6> by a pump X provided with bye-passes for putting it out of action. Gas is exhausted from the balloon through pipes H<30>, and is compressed into the reservoirs C<2> by another pump also provided with bye-pass valves. The gas can be re-admitted through pipes E<2> by means of valves D<2>. Each propeller consists of a number of vanes B<4>, Fig. 11, hinged to radial rods C<4>, which are pivoted to a central boss E<4>. The ends of the rods are connected together by stays fitted with adjustable connections, and are also connected by stays F<4> to collars G<4>, which can be adjusted along the shaft of the propeller to vary the angle which the vanes make with the shaft. The outer angles of the vanes are also connected by stays I<4> to a sliding collar K<4> under the control of a spring M<4>, which allows the vanes to vary their pitch according to the pressure upon them. The machine is supported by wheels A<4>, Fig. 2, when on the ground.

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