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Патент USA US2403899

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July 16, 1946.‘
Filed Oct. 6, 1941
' 2 Sheets-Sheet ,1
Patented July 16, 1946
Francis Du Pont Ammen, Los Angeles, Calif.
Application Gctobcr 6, 1941, Serial No. 413,741
4 Claims. (Cl. 170-160)
This invention relates to aircraft propellers,
and the general object of the invention is to pro-
described in the following speci?cation, while the
vide means for controlling at will, the pitch or
diameter of the propeller, for the purpose of im
appended claims.
In the drawings:
proving the maneuvering capabilities of such
Fig. 1 is a horizontal section through the pro
peller hub and shaft, the latter being shown par
tially in elevation. This view also shows the pro
craft. This quality is most advantageous in com~
bat aircraft or ?ghters that accompany bombers
in their ?ights, for protecting the same against
broad scope of the invention is pointed out in the
peller control mechanism at the rear of the pro
attack by the enemy’s intercepter craft.
peller shaft, and also indicates the drive from the
‘The invention is particularly applicable to air~ 10 motors to the propeller shaft.
‘ craft in which the propeller shaft is ‘driven by two
or more motors, and in which the pitch is nor
mally automatically controlled by running con
ditions of the engines or motors of the power
One of the objects of the invention is to pro,
vide control mechanism through the agency of
Fig. 2 is a vertical section taken about on the
line 2--2 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a vertical section taken about on the
line 3-3 of Fig. 1, further illustrating the con
15 trol mechanism at the rear of the propeller shaft,
and further illustrating the gears and the means
for indicating the pitch existing at the moment,
which the pitch or the diameter of the aircraft
and also the degree of ‘extension of the propeller
may be changed at will, by an operator on the
lades, that is, the present propeller diameter.
craft, and to accomplish this by temporarily dis 20 Fig. 4 is a. vertical section taken about on the
continuing the normal automatic pitch control
line 4-4 of Fig. 2, and particularly illustrating
of the propeller blades.
the automatic and the “at will” drives for the
A further object of the invention is to provide
pitch~control with the clutch means for using
means for changing the diameter of the propeller
either of the same.
at will, and for changing the pitch if desired, 25 Fig. 5 is a diagrammatic view illustrating means
without necessitating the employment of any
for arresting the outward movement of the blades
pressure-controlled devices such as hydraulic
at the limit of their outward movement.
cylinders or electro-magnetic means located at
Fig. 6 is a fragmentary view further illustrat
the propeller hub; also to accomplish this in a
ing the control lever and means carried by this
?ghter type of aircraft employing a hollow or tu 30 lever for automatically giving the desired direc
bular propeller shaft through which a gun can be
_ tion of adjusting orientation to a planetary ring
to change the pitch in the desired direction.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention,
In the drawings, I indicates the propeller shaft
means are employed extending along the pro
which is of tubular form, the rear end of which
peller shaft for changing the pitch of the blades, 35 carries a propeller hub 2 splined on the same at 3.
and, or, extending the same to alter the diameter
This hub carries one or more pairs of diametrical
of the propeller. And one of the objects is to
opposite propeller blades 4, each blade having a
provide a construction including a continuously
shank 5 mounted in the hub for radial shifting
driven control mechanism, in which slight shift
movement in and out. In order to accomplish
ing movements of a relatively ?xed part will 40 this and at the same time to provide for altering
effect desired changes in the pitch or diameter of
the pitch of the blades, each shank is connected
the propeller.
by a spline connection 6 to a sleeve 1 that is
A further object of the invention is to provide
mounted for slight rotation on its own axis in a
means associated with the control mechanism
socket 8 in the propeller hub. Each sleeve 1 is
for indicating the pitch, and also the degree to 45. rigid with a bevel gear 9 meshing with a bevel
which the blades are extended; also to provide
gear I U splined on an inner shaft II. This is the
automatic means for preventing the blades from
pitch control shaft, the rotation of which rela
being extended beyond a predetermined diameter.
tive to the propeller shaft I, will of course rotate
Further objects of the invention will appear
the sleeves and thereby rotate the blades on their
50 axes to change their pitch.
The invention consists in the novel parts and
Each blade shank ‘5 is formed with a thick web
combination of parts to be described hereinafter,
l2 threaded as a nut on a radial adjusting screw
all of which contribute to produce an efficient
l3, the inner end of which is mounted in a hear
ing [4 in the hub ofgear 9; and the adjusting
propeller pitch and diameter control.
' A preferred embodiment of‘the invention is 56 screw [3 is formed at its inner end into a bevel
gear i5 meshing with a bevel pinion l6 splined
diameter control shaft, the rotation of which rela
tive to the propeller shaft, will rotate the adjust
control shaft 36 and bevel gears 31 and 38, the
latter of which is normally clutched in through
the clutch members 39 and (it to drive the worm
shaft. In practice, the automatic control shaft
ing screws and adjust the blades in or out.
36 would be connected to any of the well known
Follower rings l8 threaded into the outer ends
of the sockets 8, hold the sleeves ‘l in the sockets.
The propeiler shaft is rotatably mounted in a
automatic pitch control elements, for example, the
hydraulic pressure controlled device shown in Pat
bearing it‘ in the nose of the nacelle or the nose
C. l/V. Lloyd. The clutch member 39 is illustrated
10 as integral with the sleeve or hub of the bevel
intermediate inner shaft ll.
This is the
of the fuselage.
In the present drawings, the propeller shaft l
is supposed to be located between two motors,
ent No. 2,232,683, granted February 25, 1%941, to
each motor driving a gear wheel 29. These gears
29 mesh with opposite sides of a gear wheel 2|
gear 38. When these clutch members are in en
gagement, any rotation of the automatic control
shaft 3% of the aircraft will impart slight but
positive and absolute adjusting movements to the
15 propeller blades to alter their pitch.
keyed or splined on the propeller shaft.
But if the clutch member 40 which is splined
At the inner end of the propeller shaft I pro
on the countershaft 35a, is moved down from its
vide a planetary gear mechanism through which
neutral position, to engage clutch member 4!
the pitch shaft l l and the diameter control shaft
which is rigid with bevel gear 42, then motion
may be controlled by automatic controls, and
this mechanism is so constructed that when de 20 can be transmitted to the worm from a slowly
rotating shaft G3 that is continuously driven
sired, the automatic controls can be inhibited and
through a reduction gear mechanism 44 which
the pitch and diameter of the propeller controlled
reduction gear mechanism is driven continuous
at will through hand-controlled power-driven
mechanism. This mechanism is preferably driven
off the propeller shaft, and will now be described. ~
The inner end of the propeller shaft l carries
a rigid sun gear 22 that meshes with, and drives
a planet gear 23 rolling around inside a ?xed in
1y by gears 45 and 46 from the propeller shaft I.
The reduction gear M drives two bevel gears 41
and 48 slowly in opposite directions.
A clutch
member consisting of a double bevel gear 49, is
splined for shifting movement along shaft 43.
This clutch gear 49 is normally in an intermediate
ternal gear 2d, and the shaft 25 of this gear is
carried in a planetary ring 26 that rotates on the 30 neutral position as shown in Fig. 1, and is shifted
to the proper bevel gear 41 or 48 through the
axis of the propeller shaft. This planetary ring
operation of either of two solenoids 50 and 5!,
23 carries the shaft 2'! of a second planet gear 23
the cores of which connect to the clutch lever 52
that meshes and rolls at its outer edge on a rela
that is yoked at its lower end to the hub of the
tively ?xed internal gear 29, and meshes at its
double bevel gear 49. An electric circuit illus
inner edge with a gear wheel 30 rigidly attached .
trated diagrammatically by wires 53 is closed
on the inner end of the diameter-control shaft ll.
through either of these solenoids by an auxil
The gear 28 is the same diameter as gear 23, and
iary switch lever 54 (see Figs. 4 and 6) that is
gear 35 is the same diameter as gear 22. Hence,
pivotally mounted on the clutch lever 55 that
as the planetary ring 26 rotates, the gear 28 will
shifts clutch member 40 already described. In
drive the gear 3% and the control shaft H at the
sulated contacts 56 on this auxiliary lever may
same speed as the propeller shaft. Under these
engage either contacts 51 or 58. This operates
circumstances, the distance of the blades 4 from
the electrically controlled clutch lever at 52 in
the propeller axis remains fixed, that is, they
the proper direction to give the desired direction
maintain a ?xed diameter for the propeller.
Through similar planetary mechanism the pitch
of rotation to the control shaft 43. After select
ing the desired direction of drive, the lever 55 is
control shaft ii is driven normally at the same
speed as the propeller shaft, thereby maintaining
then swung down to interclock clutch members 40
and 4!. The pitch of the propeller blades will
the pitch normally constant. This mechanism in
then gradually change in the desired direction. A
cludes a gear wheel 3! mounted on a shaft 32'
on the planetary ring 26, and meshing and rolling 50 pitch indicator scale 59 (see Figs. 2 and 3) may
be provided in the form of a thin plate or seg
at its outer edge on a, relatively ?xed internal gear
ment cooperating with a ?xed zero point 60 (see
32; and meshing at its inner edge with a driven
gear 33 rigid on the pitch shaft H. The gear 3|
Fig. 2) on a ?xed shield or plate 6| .
is of course of the same diameter as the gear 23;
and the gear
is the same diameter as the gear
The mechanism for controlling the propeller
diameter by rotating the relatively ?xed gear or
ring 2!! forward or back, is illustrated as com
Also the three internal gears 24, 2%, and 32
posed of similar elements and organization of
are of the same diameter. Evidently by orienting
parts as in the pitch control mechanism just de
the relatively fixed gears 29 and 32 forward or back
on the axis of the propeller shaft relative rotation
scribed. This would include a reduction gear
of the shafts ll’ or i i with respect to the propeller 60 mechanism 62 driven from gear 45 through gear
63, driving two bevel gears 64 and 65 at slow
shaft i can be effected, and this will accomplish
speed in opposite directions. Cooperating with
the desired adjustments of the propeller blades,
these bevel gears is a double bevel gear 66 nor
for pitch and diameter. This orientation of the ~
relatively ?xed gears 25 and 32 is a positive and
mally in the neutral position shown in Fig. 1, but
absolute rotation. These two relatively ?xed in 65 capable of being shifted by a clutch lever vIi‘!
ternal gears are provided with means enabling
that in turn is controlled by two solenoids 68
the same to be normally controlled constantly
connected into a circuit 69 corresponding to, and
having the same wiring as, circuit 53. An upper
by automatic controls of the aircraft, but this
means is so constructed that at any instant the
shaft 10 like the shaft 36, is provided, that would
automatic contro1 may be discontinued and con 70 be connected to automatic mechanism of the
trol at will substituted.
The pitch control gear or ring 32 has worm
aircraft, for controlling the propeller blades’ ra
dial adjustment for adjusting the propeller di
teeth Ell on its exterior (see Fig, 2) meshing with
There is also a lower shaft ‘H corre
sponding to. shaft 43. Through bevel gears '12
worm is normally controlled from an automatic 75 and 73, either of these shafts can drive a worm
a worm 35 carried on a counter shaft 35a.
shaft 14 through clutch-member '15, said shaft 14
_ the bevel gears l0 and 9_to the blade'sleeves 1.
carrying a worm 16 that meshes with the worm
This will rotate the blades 4 on their longitudi
nal axes and change their pitch.
When it is desired to inhibit the automatic
teeth 29a on the relatively ?xed gear 29, the
rotation of which will drive the “diameter” shaft
ll’ through planet gear 28 and gear 30.
A clutch lever 11 is provided similar to lever
55, that normally holds a clutch member 18 up
against clutch member 79 if it is desired to main
tain automatic diameter control. But when
clutch member 18 is moved into engagement with
clutch member 19a, then the worm 16 will be
driven. To determine the driving direction, the
lever ‘ET is provided with a direction-control
switch 80 actuated by a handle 8| pivoted on
lever'i? constructed like lever handle 54. These
levers 55 and '51 are mounted as illustrated in
Fig. 4, so as to‘ cooperate with a locking quadrant
82 with notches 83. Each lever would have a
bolt 84 to lock the same in any one of the‘ notches,
Although I have illustrated the mechanism
as provided with only one planet gear 23, it
should be understood that in a practical design,
in order to give better balance and ef?cient oper
ation, it would be preferable to employ three such
gears spaced 120° apart. This would also be
advisable as regards planet gears 28 and 3|.
As the planet gear 3| is located considerably
out of the plane of the planet ring 26, this ring
is provided with an integral o?’set bracket 85 to
give a good support for the pin or stubshaft 32
of planet gear 3|.
The relatively ?xed gear ring 29 for the diam—
eter control is provided with a scale 86 (see Fig.
3) to cooperate with the ?xed index point 60,
and this scale when in its neutral position (when
the blades are half way extended) would be
colored on the right with a color to contrast with
the color on the left.
In this way the scale will
indicate whether the blades have
or out off of neutral, as well as
amount they have been moved.
scale 86 is illustrated connected
been moved in
indicating the
Although this
directly to the
gear ring 29, in practice reduction gearing (not
illustrated), should be employed for driving this
scale because the ring 29 would have to make
> pitch control and change the pitch at will, the
clutch member 40 is moved against clutch mem—
ber 4| by operating lever 55. This lever is moved
by means of its handle 54 that closes. a circuit
through either of the solenoids 59 or 5| ‘to de
termine the direction of movement, to increase
or decrease the pitch. For one direction the drive
wouldbe from bevel'gear 47, and for the other,
from gear 48.
The change of propeller diameter is e?ected
through mechanism similar to that just referred
to, by moving the lever 10 to close clutch mem~
ber '15 against clutch member 19. The direction
of drive is controlled by the switch handle 8i (see
Fig. 1) cooperating with its two contacts to close
the circuit through either one of the solenoids
68 and 69. to shift the double bevel gear 66 into
contact with either one of the driving bevel gears
64 or 65. \This of course will drive worm 76 in the
proper direction to rotate the gear ring 29 for
. ward or backward with respect to the direction
of rotation of the propeller shaft, and this will
operate through planet gear 28 to rotate gear 30
and the diameter control shaft IT, to rotate the
screws I 3 in the proper direction to move the
blades out Or in. This drive should be slow
enough to prevent any possibility of its getting
out of control of the operator.
In effecting a pitch adjustment or a diameter
adjustment the amount of the adjustment is al
‘ ways in positive control and its amount is pro
portional to the amount of movement of the
shaft that effects the orientation of the rela
tively fixed gear of the planetary mechanism.
The indicator scales 59 and 86 (see Figs. 2 and
3) cooperating with the ?xed scale 6i, indicate
respectively, when the pitch and the propeller di
ameter are at neutral, and how far the same may
have been adjusted in either direction from the
neutral position.
In this speci?cation the pitch control and the
more than one complete revolution in imparting
the maximum in or out shift of the propeller
as independent of each other for the reason that
this would give a maximum effect in maneuver
In practice, a stop ring (not illustrated) should
ability of the aircraft, which is highly desirable
propeller diameter control have been described
be provided on the outer end of each blade socket 60 in military aircraft. It is obvious, however, that
to cooperate ‘with an annular shoulder on the
if desired, features of this invention can be em
blade shank, but I prefer to employ with such a
ployed with a propeller blade mounting in which
construction (for fear that the propeller shank
the pitch of the blade would change automati
might jam against it), an electrically controlled
cally as the shank of the blade moves in or out.
clutch 8"! on shaft ‘H (see Fig. 1). At the limit 55 This would be accomplished by giving pitch to
of outward movement of the blade shank an in
the splines 6 in a manner already old in this art.
sulated contact 38 upon it (see Fig. 5) will en
This arrangement might be desirable in aircraft
gage an insulated contact 89 and close a circuit
designed for commercial use, and would enable
90 through a solenoid 9!. This solenoid pulls
the propeller diameter and pitch both to be in
open the clutch 8'! and stops the drive to the 60 creased for stratosphere ?ying. The relatively
blade. The drive to the blade screw I3‘ should
small diameter would facilitate landing and
then. be reversed by operating lever 11 and its
would incidentally enable ground clearances to
handle switch 8i. As this is done, the clutch 81
be reduced, with the fuselage lying nearer to the
should be reclosed by hand, with a hand-lever
ground level forward.
(not illustrated).
The bearing I9 is illustrated merely as a, con
The mode of operation of the entire mecha
ventional bearing. In practice, a proper thrust
nism will now be brie?y stated:
Automatic pitch control from shaft 36 is nor
bearing would be located in this general location
to take the enormous thrust forces that would
mally maintained through clutch 39, 40 which is
be developed in ?ying.
normally closed. Any adjusting rotation of 70
Many other embodiments of the invention may
worm 35 through this medium, will cause an ad
be resorted to without departing from the spirit
justing orientation of ring 32, thereby impart
of the invention.
ing relative movement of inner shaft H forward
or back with respect to the propeller shaft I.
What I claim is:
_ 1. In a propeller apparatus for aircraft, the
This will impart the adjusting movement through 75 combination of a propeller shaft, a propeller hub
carried ‘thereby,
blades ,
movably ,
mounted on the hub, a planetary gear mechanism,
with means driven through the same for chang
ing the position of the said blades, a control shaft
for the planetary mechanism, driving mechanism
for the control shaft, an electrically controlled
device for enabling the driving mechanism to
rotate the control shaft in either direction, a
through the planetary gear ,mechanism by the
said orientation, for moving the blades to alter
their pitch, orienting means for adjustably ori
enting the said diameter-control gear forward
or back, means connecting the planetary gear
mechanism to the blades for extending the same
through the medium of the said orientation of
the diameter control gear, the said orienting
means being respectively located on opposite sides
hand-operated member and a clutch operated by
the hand-operated member for connecting up 10 of the propeller shaft; and a lever and clutch
corresponding to each of the orienting means
the control shaft to the planetary mechanism,
for connecting the same for actuation.
and a switch lever carried by said hand-operated
4. In a propeller apparatus for aircraft, the
member, with means associated with the switch
lever for closing a circut through said electrically
combination of a propeller shaft, a hub carried
controlled device for determining the direction 15 by said propeller shaft, blades mounted on the
hub with adjusting means for radially adjusting
in which the control shaft will be driven.
the'blades in the hub, a planetary gear mecha
2. In propeller apparatus for aircraft, the
nism including a control gear having teeth for
combination of a propeller shaft, a propeller hub
meshing with the planetary gear wheels of the
carried thereby, propeller blades movably
I mounted on the hub for regulating their pitch 20 mechanism and having worm teeth, a worm
meshing with said worm teeth for orienting the
and extensible radially from the hub, a planetary
control gear forward and back, means connected
gear mechanism adjacent the inner, end of the
to said adjusting means and controlled by the
shaft, said planetary gear mechanism including
control gear for radially adjusting the blades in
a relatively ?xed pitch-control gear and a rela
tively fixed diameter-control gear, orienting 26 the hub, a shaft adapted to be automatically con
trolled normally connected with the worm for
means for adjustably orienting the pitch-control
automatically controlling the adjusting move
gear forward or back, means actuated by the
ments imparted to the blades, means for e?ect
said orientation at the said planetary gear mech
ing the substitution of control means positively
anism for moving the blades ‘to alter their pitch,
means for adjustably orienting the said diameter 80 controlled at will of the operator for rotating the
said worm in either direction to radially adjust
control gear forward or back, and means con
the blades in the hub, a scale for indicating at
necting the planetary gear mechanism to the
all times the degree of extension of the blades,
blades for extending the same through the me
means for mounting said blades so as to be ro
dium of said orientation of the said diameter
control gear.
85 tatable about the blade axes to adjust the pitch
of said blades, said planetary gear mechanism in
3. In propeller apparatus for aircraft, the
cluding a second control gear for cooperating
combination of a propeller shaft, a propeller hub
with the panetary gears of the mechanism to ef
carried thereby, propeller blades movably
fect adjustments of the pitch of the blades, and
mounted on the hub for regulating their pitch
and extensible radially from the hub, a planetary 40 having worm teeth, a pitch worm meshing with
gear mechanism adjacent the inner end of the
the worm teeth of said second control gear; and
a shaft adapted to be driven by an automatically
shaft, said planetary gear mechanism including
a relatively ?xed pitch-control gear and a rela
controlled shaft for actuating the pitch worm
tively ?xed diameter-control gear, orienting
means for adjustably orienting the pitch-con
actuated I
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