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Патент USA US2403569

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July 9, 1946»
'M_ wA-rTER
Filed June 16, 1945
4 SÈeets-Sheet 1
Michael Waiter“
July 9, 1946.
2,403,569 l
> M. wAT'rER
AFiled June 16, 1945 ì
. ^ 4msheets-sheet 2
Michael Waiter.
. July 9,'1'946.
Filed June 16, 1943
4 Sheets-Sheet I5> y
‘Mic had Waiter
July 9, 1946.
M. wA'rTx-:R'
Filed June 16, 1943
4 sheets-sheet 4
Michaël Waiter.
Patented July 9, 1946
Michael _Watten Philadelphia, Pa., assigner to
Edward G. Budd- aManufacturing
corporation of Pennsyl
Philadelphia, Pa.,
Application June 16, 1943, SerialNo. 491,034
11 Claims.
(.Cl. 244-124)
This invention relates to fabricated metal
of Fig. 8.
structures, particularly to an improved construc
tion and method of assembly _of airfoils. and has
for an object the provision of improvements in‘
this art.
In the fabrication of skin-covered frame-sup
ported structures, such as airfoils, from sheet
metal, it is very desirable and economical to pre
pare sub-assemblies, which include portions of
the covering skin and 'associated parts, and to
unite these sub-assemblies to form larger sub
assemblies suitable for later forming unit groups.
In this way the manufacturing operations may
. `
ers, and rib elements, together with spar elements
spar elements near the trailing edge. The parts
faàëture and the most favorable inspection meth
are so formed and arranged as to afford easy and
The primary object of the present invention
is to provide a structure `of multi-part construc
tion in which the parts comprising sub-assembly> 20
units are so arranged as to afford maximum facil
ity for uniting such' parts as ribs, stringere, and
the like to the skin- sheets, and the subsequent
assembly and joinder of the sub-assembly units
to form the completed unit.
The invention is illustrated in connection with
an airfoil for aircraft, as for example, a wing,
aileron, 1in, rudder, stabilizer, elevator, or the
like; and speciñcally a tail fin in one embodiment
and a horizontal stabilizer fin in another.
According to the present invention, the airfoil,
certain forms of which are shown herein for
the purpose of illustration, is made in mating
parts such as half-shells which are later secured
together to form a final assembly unit. Each
near the nose or leading edge and provisions for
workers to secure the greatest speed of manu
parti-shell includes the skin, various skin stillen»
be Widely divided` among the greatest number of
view- of parts shown within the enclosed area Il
Another object is that of providing sub-as
sembly units, such as bi-partite units, in which
rapid iinal assembly, as for example by ther use
of spot welding tongs inserted from one open edge
of the airfoil.
Referring particularly to Figs. l and 4, the iin
illustrated herein comprises aleading edge or
nose section’ 29,' a. trailing section' 2|, a tip section
22, and a fuselage fairing section 23. The fairing
section may be formed as a separate sub-unit
which is attached later, hence the tail iin unit
will be considered as a complete „sub-unit with‘- .
out the fairing'- section. The fin includes a nose
spar structure 25 and a rear spar structure 2li.4
These are both indicated by dotted lines in Fig. 1.
assembly unit they afford a light Weight unit of 30k The nose spar structure is shown in Figs. 2 and
great strength capable of efficiently »transferring
3, but the rear spar is omitted in Fig. 3because
the various stresses encountered in use.
it is convenient to insert this from the trailing
the parts comprising the same are so related that
when associated and assembled together in a iinal
The above-mentioned and other objects and ad
vantages of the invention will be apparent from
edge after the half-shell sub-assemblies have
been secured together.
the following description of certain exemplary 3 e)
As indicated for the full fin in Fig. i and as
embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the
accompanying drawings, wherein:
Fig. 1 is a side elevation of an airplane tail iin y
embodying the invention;
shown for a representative portion of the iin in
Fig. 4, the airioil includes the thin gauge metal
skin 30 which is rigidiñed by parallel rib-like ele
ments which may-be of the-same or diiîerent
Fig. 2 is an enlarged horizontal section taken 40 types. As here shown, diiierent types of ribs are
employed. There are small stiiîeners or formers
on the line 2-2 of Fig. l; i
Fig. 3 is a pre-assembly‘view of the‘parts shown
in Fig. 2;
. Fig. 4 is an enlarged partial vertical section
taken on the line 4--4 of Fig. l ;
Fig. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective
View of parts shown within the enclosed area 5
of Fig. 2;
Fig. 6 is an enlarged vertical section of the fln
tip taken on the line 6_6 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 7 is an enlarged vertical section taken on
the line 1--1 of Figs. 1 and 2;`
Fig. 10 is an enlarged section taken on the line
||l--|0ofFig.8; and
‘ployed `but as thisl is similar in principle to the
other heavy ribs it need not be specifically illus
trated or described herein. Since it is not en
closed within the airfoil but is exposed at one
end it may even be made as a single piece welded
through outturned flanges to the assembly.
Fig. 8 is a section similar to Fig. 2 but showing
a modification in a horizontal-stabilizer fin;
Fig. 9 is an enlarged section taken on the line
9-9 of Figs. 8 and 11;
3l, open truss ribs 32, and full-web ribs 33.
Where the rudder hinge brackets- 35 are located
the heavy full-web rib construction 33 is em
ployed. At the base of the fin an especially 4
heavy bulkhead type of rib construction 35 is em
As shown in Fig. 1, the heavy ribs 32 rand 33
are continued into the nose portion 20 as rib
elements 40. Referring also to Fig. 2, skin stiiîen
ing stringers 4I, which are disposed transversely
of the rib elements 40 are also provided in the
nose section. At the leading edge of the nose
Fig. 11 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective 60 section the skin 3D is bent to-form stringere 42 ‘
whose flanges extend forward for welding after
the half-shells have otherwise been secured to
gether. Of course, the strengthening and con
necting elements 42 may be separate members
'attached to the skin, if desired. A nose skin sheet
AThe webs 45a of the tip ribs 45 (Fig. 6) are
similar to the webs 33a of the heavy ribs 33 and
the same reference numerals are used'for their y
parts, but the Abeads 64 and struts 66 may be
omitted. They may be reinforced on their outer
43 is secured~ to the leading edges of the main
edges by L-shaped stringers 60h which are welded
skin sheets after the final assembly operation to
thereto and to the skin. A reinforcing plate 45h
conceal the stringers 42 and complete the airfoil
is secured beneath one of the ribs 45. The skin
` contour of the finally assembled unit.
may be made in sections which are connected
As shown in Figs. 1 and 6, the ñn Vtip 22 is pro 10 by the plate 45h prior to assembly.
vided with ribs 45 which are parallel to the ribs
The nose spar 25 (Figs..2, 3, 5 and '1) comprises»
32, 33 of the main fin section 2|, which ribs 45
flanged channel chords 25a which are welded
have full webs like the ribs 33. The tip is also
through their backs tothe skin 3|), a strengthen
provided with parallel skin stiffening formers or
, ing plate 25h, if desired,_ being interposed between
stringers 46 arranged parallel to the ribs 45. In 15 each channel member and the skin. The skin
addition, the tip is provided -with-rib elements
may be made in sections which are connected by
41 which extend at right angles to the ribs 45, 46.
The rib elements 41 may be divided longitudi
nally to avoid the ribs 45 and laterally to leave
the plate 25h prior to assembly. The plates 25h
are wider than the backs of the channel chords
' 25a and the adjacent rib webs are suitably joggled
The skin may be 20 to receive the extended edges of the plate. A
~formed to provide nose stiiïening elements- 42
closure plate 14 is welded to the interior of each
and the nose may be covered by a closure sheet l channel chord 25a and with it- in effect forms a
43, as above described for the leading edge.
closed box spar chord on each side adjacent the
open spaces in the center.
A_s shown in Fig. 1, the fairing section 23 is
skin which vincreases the torsional resistance of
provided with ribs 43 which are parallel to and 25 the channel chords 25a. There is left inside each
lpreferably aligned with the ribs` 32, 33 of the
box chord thus formed a wider channel and at
main ñn section 2|.` The fairing section also
intervals therein there are secured cupped strut
includes a heavy base rib or bulkhead 50 for
elements 15 arrangedback to back and welded
anchorage to the fuselage, as by bolts 5|. _At the,
together through their overlapping portions in
leading-edge it is provided with vertical stiiîen
30 the iinal assembly, as at 16. The spar -strut ele
ing means 52 and at the rear with a spar element
53 which supplements the front spar 25 at the
1 lower end.
The ,fairing section in fully assem- /
bled condition is secured to the main iin assem
ments 15 are preferably aligned with the adja
cent rib element. The strut elements maybe
secured to the plate 14 before the plate is welded
to the channel member 25a; and the latter is
bly by screws 54.
35 welded to the backing plate 25h and preferably
As shown in Figs.. 2, 3 and 4,'_the full-webbed
also to the skin before the inner plate 14 is welded
ribs 3_3 are formed by flanged webs 33a which
in. The side walls of the channel member 25a
are welded to the skin at their outer edges, as
are welded tothe end flanges 13 and 11 of adja
along flanges 5|), and are welded together along
cent rib elements 40V and 33a. As thus formed,
their overlapping edges interiorly, as indicated
40 the _nose spar 25 is open between the ribs 32, 33
at 6|. 0n the inner edges the webs arev strength
éned by c marginal ñanges 63.
- to permit welding tongs to be'. inserted from the
rear openside to secure the nose webs 40a and
l' they are strengthened by'longitudinal beads 64
and by ñanges `surrounding lightening openings
the spar strut elements 15v together.
The rear spar 25 includes a. web 19 and’cap ,
65, (Fig. 5). Transversely the webs are stiil’ened 45 strips or chords 80 and 8| provided with rear
byilanged hat-shaped struts 56 which are ar
wardly extending flanges which may be welded
ranged on opposite sides of the ~webs and have 4
to the skin after the spar is set into position.
overlapping ends which are welded together when
An interposed plate 82 on each side reinforces
the webs are Joined along their overlapping edges.
the skin and may serve to Join twol skin sections
'I'he open ribs 32 comprise flanged webs 32a 50 together. Edge stringere 83 may be secured to
secured through outer flanges 60a' to the skin
sheets‘30 vand marginally flanged interiorly as
at 63a and interconnected at-intervals Vby hat
‘- section struts 35a' which are' spot welded thereto
and which> overlap ’_each other and are spot welded
' the skin after the spar has been secured for the
attachmentrof a rudder arch (not shown).
In Figs. '8 to 1l a modification is shown.
together, as at Ila, in the final assembly opera- '
tionfthe spacing of the struts 66d being some
welded together as at _ |-6|.
glglat’gomparable to that _of then struts 66 of the
As shown in Figs. 2 and 3, ythe nose rib elements
their front extended ends where‘ they are kwelded
together, as indicated at 33.A The webs are pro
vided with outer flanges 1l welded `to the skin '
They are strength- ‘
ened by interior flanges I 63, transverse .beads |64,
and Z-shaped stifi'eningstruts |66. The beads
y 40 are Iformed of two webs 43a which overlap at
34, front end flanges 1|_also welded to the skin,
the rib |33 4includes the webs |33a -which are
provided with outer flanges |60 welded to the skin
|30 and Í„inner overlapping portions which are
and ribs are disposed on opposite sides for the
respective webs so as to avoid obstructing ,the
overlapping faces of the webs which are to ~be
welded together.
The nose rib elements |40 comprise the webs
|40a which overlap at the front end for welding, ^
' interior flanges 12 in, their spaced-apart portions,
- as at |69. ,The webs Illia, each includes an outer
and rear flanges 13 which are welded tothe front
flange |10, a front end' ?ange |1|, strengthening
beads |12, and notches |13 lin the outer edge to
spar chords 25. y
The webs 41a of the vertical .ribs 41 of the tip
receive the skin stiiïening stringere |4|. Nose
(Fig. 6) aref very similar to the webs 44a of the 70 stringers |42 are Secured to the skin sheets and
- nose edge ribs 30 .and their parts are designated
after their forwardly exposed flanges 'are welded
by the 'same reference numerals.- The supple
together the space is covered by a closure sheet
mental web elements 41h are hanged on all edges,
|43. _ The nose section may be covered by sheets
as by cupping, and are secured through their'
| 30a which are non-integral witlî the main sheets
outer iianges to the skin 33. j
15 |30 and are overlapped and welded theretoat
«2,408,569 _
the spar, if desired. This construction is the one
either before or after the vmain assembiyis' vse
’ cured to the anchorage structure.
The structure-shown in the modiiication of
Figs. 8 to 11 is so similar to the first form that
no special explanation of the method of fabri
>flanged-channel or hat shape, as shown. , _The rib
cation is needed. It may be noticed, however,
webs |33a extend forwardly past the front spar _
that the second modiñcation makes it somewhat
location and are recessed as at |34 to span the
easier to assemble the nose section half-shells to
chords |25a. Reinforcing gussets |31, suitably
gether. A permissible variation in assembly pro
flanged, are provided at the rib recesses |34. At
cedure with either form, though requiring some
. the front end, the webs |33a are provided with 10 special welding tools and varied procedure in the
ilanges |11. Heavy channel-sectioned spar struts
ñrst- form, is to secure the two nose half-shells
|39 are welded to opposite sides of the respective
together before they are secured to the main sec
Spar chords |2511, are secured to the inner side
of each skin cover. These members are of
webs |330. at the front end, which struts are cut _ `
tion half-shells.
away at a bevel at the adjacent ends to permit
It is thus seen that the invention provides an
welding through the overlapping Webs in the final 15 improved airfoil lconstruction and an improved
assembly operation.
The characteristics of the structure hereby
method of >fabricating the same, all leading to
economy and speed of production thoroughness
provided are such that the fabrication of the
of inspection, and strength, lightness and de
airfoil is greatly facilitated. Each half is formed
pendability in use.` While spot welded connec-V
in a contoured form-fitting jig which is a replica 20 tions have beenv shown throughout, it is to be
of the shape of the corresponding part of the understood that riveted connections may be used
final airfoil. For example, considering the first
when desired.
embodiment of Figs. l. to '17, three skin sections
' While certain embodiments of- the~`invention
are welded together through the plates 25h (Figs.
have been described in detail for purposes of il
2, 3 and 5) and 45h (Fig. 6). An alternative step 25 lustration, it is to be understood that the inven
` here would- be to use a single sheet for each side
' tion may have various embodiments within the
and to weld the plates to it, These skin assem
limits of the prior art and the scope of the sub
blies are placed in form-fitting jigs and the
joined claims.`
shaped skin formers 3|, 4| and 48 Welded in.
What is claimed is:
The channel chords 25a, are then welded in place. 30
1. _A metallic construction comprising in com
The nose ribs 40, the main section ribs 32, 33
bination, two separately fabricated' parti-shells,
and the tip ribs 45y 4l are welded in place, and
‘each including a covering skin, fore rib elements,
the elements 40, 32, and 33 are welded to the
channel chords 25a. Next the channel, closure
plates 14 are welded into the widened space of
the channelchords 25a. The spar struts 'l5 may
' have already been attached to the plates 14. At
the outer edges they are welded with the closure
plates to the outwardly and upwardly extending
side iianges of the channel chords 25a. They are
aligned with their correspondingr rib elements.
The half-,shells arev placed -in a full airfoil jig,
aft rib elements having a junction with the fore '
rib elements, transverse spar chords at the junc
tion between the fore rib elements and -the aft
rib elements, and spar connecting strut elements
at thesaid junction, said rib elements and said
spar strut- elements being aligned for each `rib
-and the elements of the parti-shells being over
lapped in therfinal assembly ‘and secured to
gether through their overlapping portions by
shear elements inside the skin-covered assembly
thus- formed, the spar being open between its
elements and between the ribs from one end
gether. There is enough overlap in each rib and 45 strut
to the other in the assembly to‘provicle access in the spar struts 'l5 to provide for this. The
from the edge for connecting the fore rib ele
parts to be welded together are all in alignment,
ments, the spar strut elements and the aft rib
hence it is easy to make the welds by welding
elements, as by rib-straddling welding tongs
tongs inserted from the open rear edge. Bent
welding tongs are required for the tip ribs 41, so passed over an end of _a rib.
2. A metallic construction comprising in com
but since these ribs are open behind the nose
bination, two separately fabricated parti-shells
_ ends, it is easy to insert the welding tongs from
>each including a covering skin, nose ribs, >each
the rear.
including elements which overlap between their
The flanges of the nose strirgers`42 are spot
at their front ends and stand spacedapart
welded together from outside the assembly. 55 planes
at their rear ends when the ‘parti-shells are
and when properly clamped in position the juxta
posed overlapping rib elements are -welded to
' Thereafter, the nose skin sheetsdS are secured
over the connected nose stringere. They may be
secured wholly from the outside by screws en
assembled, main rib elements which overlap be
tween their planes along their length when the
parti-shells are connected, transverse spar chords
tered into'previously placed fittings or they may
at the junction of the nose and main ribs which
be welded on, as shown, working partly inside, 60' stand spaced apart when the parti-shells are
since this is still open from the rear. The pro
assembled, and spar connecting strutl elements
aligned with s_aidrib elements which overlap be
tween their planes when the parti-shellsv are
being constructed.
assembled, the overlapping portions of said rib
The rear spar 26 is inserted and secured from
elements and spar strut elements being con
cedure may be varied in accordance with the
relative chordal width of the particular airfoil
the rear after the airfoíl has been assembled.
The full width- of the rear end of the airfoil is
thus left open for the insertion of tools until therear spar is brought in. The. »edge stiffeners 93,
nected through their planes in the assembly.
3. AA metallic construction comprising in com
may be placed before the rear spar, the skin being
suñiciently flexible to permit the spar to be in
ing spaced ribs each formed of .plateylike part
ribs welded together through overlapping por
bination, a nose section including spaced ribs
formed of plate-likepart-ribs welded to
the hinge brackets 35, and the arch may be placed 70 each
gether through overlapping portions, and a metal
later.' As an alternativa-the edge stiffeners 83
skin covering on said ribs; a main section includ
serted past the stiffeners.
The fairing section( 23 is _also introduced later,
tions, and a metal skin covering on said main
Y 2,403,569
section ribs; and a transverse spar between said
`sections, said spar including spaced channel
shaped chords secured lbetween adjacent front
overlapping plate-like partsy secured together-_
`through their overlapping portions, and each
part of each lmain rib element being secured at
its leading end tothe adjacent stringerelement,
and main part-ribs on each side at the skin cov-~
erings, and spaced spar struts formed of strut
elements Welded together through overlapping
portions, said struts and ribs being aligned chord
Wise of the ribs and said spar being open between
said struts, and the main‘ section being open fromi
the trailing edge between the ribs, whereby the
and a channelled` metallic member rigidly secured '
` to each rib element part at the leading end
thereof, said channelled members overlapping
each other with and being secured together
through said rib element parts and extending sub
stantially between said opposed Stringer elements,V I
the nose rib elements being secured to the stringe:`
part-ribs and strut elements may be Welded to
_ gether inside from the trailing edge.
4. A metallic interiorly framed exterlorly cov
ered structure, comprising in combination, chord
8. In an airfoil having a nose portion, a main
portion, and a metallic Skin covering extending>
over the opposite sides of said portions, a pair oi
opposed spanwise -extending through-running
Wise extending nose ribs and main ribs and a
transverse spar between them, said sparl includ
ing channel-shaped chord elements .or cap ~strips
. channelled metallic Stringer elements secured to
having in section a back and spaced sides and
the inner surfaces of said covering, one at each
an open front secured to the skins through their
side between said nose and main portions, metal
backs leaving their open fronts facing each other, 20 lic main rib elements extending chordwise from
said chord elements having closing chordv plates
over theirinner 'open fronts, and spar strut ele
.said Stringer elements throughout substantially
the chordwise extent of said main portion, said
main rib elements each embodying overlapping
ments secured to said chord plates of each chord
element, said. strut elements being overlapped
and secured together in the overlap.
plate-like parts secured together through their
' - '_ .
overlapping portions, and each part of -each'main
rib element being secured at its leading end to
the adjacent Stringer element, and a channelled
_metallic member rigidly secured to eachrib ele
ment part at the leading end thereof, said chan
5. A metallic interiorly framed exteriorly cov
ered structure, comprising in combination, chord
wise extending-nose ribs 'and main ribs and a
mtransverse spar between them, said spar includ-v
ing channel-shaped chord elements or cap strips 30 nelled members overlapping eachother with and '
having in section a back and spaced sides and
being secured together-through said vribfelement
an open front secured to the skins through their
parts and extending substantially between said
backs leaving their open fronts facing ,each other,
said chord elements having closing chord plates
opposed Stringer elements, the nose rib elements'A
being secured to the Stringer ‘elements and to
over their inner open fronts, and >spar strut ele 35 the main» rib element parts.
ments secured to said chord plates of each chord y
9. A metallic structure comprising a ñrst and element, said strut elements being overlapped
second ‘spaced covering skins and havingvat least __
and secured together in the overlap, said spar
one open edge, laterally spaced rib members ex
strut elements having their overlapping surfaces
arranged transversely of the spar direction an
parallel to the rib direction.
tending in a first direction from said open edge
.40 and Lsecured to the iirst of said skins, comple
mentary spaced rib members extending from the
second skinand each generally _paralleling itsÁ
6. In an airfoil‘having a nose portion, a, main
portion, and a metallic skin covering extending
„ corresponding first mentioned rib member, means
over the opposite sides of said portions, a pair of
connecting said rib members, said means in
opposed spanwi'se ' extending through-running 45
cluding elements overlapping in planes parallel
channelled metallic stringer elements secured to
to said rib elements, a spar member secured to
the inner surfaces of said covering, one at each
theiìrst skin and extending in a direction trans
side'between said nose andmain portions, me
tallic main rib elements extending chordwise
from said Stringer elements throughout substan
tially the~ chordwise extent of said main portion,
verse to the first direction, a complementary v
f spar member secured to the second skin and ex- .
~tending generally parallel to the ñrst spar mem
ber, means connecting saidspar members, said
last-mentioned means. including' elements over-_
lapping in planes parallel to said rib elements,
their overlapping portions, and >each part of each
main rib element being secured at its leading end 55 whereby the _overlapping elements of the rib
member connectingvmeans and the overlapping
to the adjacent Stringer element," and a chan
elements of the spar member connecting means
nelled metallic member rigidly secured to each
are disposed in parallelism sc_as to be readily
rib element part at the leading end thereof, said
channelled members overlapping each other- with v secured together through said open edge of the
and being secured together through said rib ele 60
said main rib elements each embodying overlap
ling plate-like parts secured _together through
ment parts and extending substantially between
said opposed »Stringer elements.
'7. In an airfoil having a nose portion, a main
portion, and a metallic skin >covering extending
apart suf?ciently along the length of the spar
over the opposite sides of said portions, a. pair of ,65 members to provide working access between them.
opposed spanwise extending through-running
11. A metallic structure as set forth in claim
channelled metallic Stringer elements secured to
91 which includes rib members on both sides of
` . the inner surfaces of» said covering, one at each
the spar members, said connecting .elements of
side between said noseand main portions, me;
the _spar members being spaced apart suñlciently
tallic main rib elements extending chordwise 70 along the length of the spar members to provide
Afrom said Stringer elements throughout sub
working access between them.
stantially the chordwise extent of said main por
tion, _said main rib elements 'each embodying
10. A' metallic structure as set vforth in claim
i 9 further characterized by the fact that the con
hecting elements of the spar members are spaced
'menant wanna.
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