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Патент USA US2404895

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July 30, 1946.
_
E. F. ZAP
2,404,895
VARIABLE WING CONSTRUCTION
Filed Jan. 19, 1942
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
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July 3o, 1946.
2,404,895
E. F. „ZAP
VARIABLE WING'` CONSTRUCTION
Flled Jan 19, 19212
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
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Patented July 30, 1946
2,404,895
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UNITED STATES PATENT oElElcEN
`
2,404,895
VARIABLE WING CONSTRUCTION
Edward F. Zap, Los Angeles, Calif.
Application January 19, 1942, Serial No. 427,237
8 Claims. (Cl. 244-42)
l
2
` The particular wing construction under con
point- of operation become unwieldy or develop
the wing and hence will involve no necessity for
My invention relates to the construction ci
openings through the rear spar. It is contem
airplane wings and more particularly relates to
plated that the means for >actuating and con
mounting and controlling relatively movable
trolling the aileron of the wing as well as the
parts of variable wings. By way of example, the
means for actuating andcontrolling the extensi
present invention will be described as directed
ble flap of the wing will be restricted to the wing
speciñcally to improvements on the structure
space rearward of the rear spar, neither mech
disclosed in my copending application Serial No.
anism interfering with the other.
.
352,516, entitled “Airplane wing construction,"
One ofthe problems in the described wing ar
and the present invention will therefore have the
objects set forth in that application. It will be 10 rangement‘is to provide in the confined rearward
space a structurally e?ñcient and thoroughly re
understood,A however, that the principles exem
liable mechanism for actuating and controlling
plified herein may-be applied to other types of
the iiap, such mechanism to bezfully effective at
wings and features of the new construction may
all positions of the flap. It is difficultA to design
be employed apart from the arrangement‘as a
whole.A
`
‘
sideration here is of the high- lift or variable lift
type that is changed in conñguration in accord
a mechanism or linkage that does not at some
unfavorable leverage. One of the objects is to
’ provide a mechanism that meets this problem and
yet is adapted to the peculiar space limitations of
a wing may be varied temporarily to provide rela 20 an airplane wing. In this aspect the invention
is characterized by a new combination of pulleys,
tively high` lift for take-oit and again may be
cables, and'guide means for flap actuation.
varied to provide both increased lift and in
A group of objects relating to the means for
creased drag for landing. Asset forth in said
movably mounting the ñap'in the wing includes
copending application the variable wing of the
present type has a hollow portion lying between 25 the following: to reduce` the number of movable
`the rearward spar and the trailing edge, and a I flap supports required in my earlier structure; to
simplify the construction of such movable sup
trailing flap is mounted in this hollow portion
ports; to avoid' loading such movable supports in
for extension and retraction rearwardly and
any manner tending to develop undesirable
downwardly from the wing. Preferably the ñap
is of curved conñguration and is mounted for 30 torques in the supports; to provide an arrange
movement outward alonga curved path from a «7; ment in- which the movable supports are efñ
ciently related to the rib structure of the wing
retracted position largely, if not entirely, inside
for transmitting loads thereto; and to provide
the wing, to various positions of extension. To
means for movablymounting the iiap on the mov
provide for an adequate range of flap movement
able supports in an efficient manner.
and yet require relatively little space for mount
The above and other objects of the invention
ing means, the ñap is movably or‘retractably y
will be apparent in my following detailed de
mounted on a support that is itself movably or
scription, taken with the'accompanying draw
retractably mounted on the wing. The range of
movement oi the flap in such a construction is the
ings.
'
range'of relative movement provided between the 40 In the drawings, which are to be considered as
flap and the support plus' the range of relative „ illustrative only:
.
movement provided between the support and the
Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic view of an airplane in
wing. The contemplated wing construction as
perspective showing the principal elements in the
set forth in said copending application also in
system for actuating and controlling the wing
cludes a novel aileron that is adapted to extend 45 flaps;
’
into or retract from the air stream above the t?
Fig. 2 is a fore-and-aft section through a wing
wing.
of the airplane, both the ñap and the aileron
One of th'e objects of the present improvement
is to provide compactness or efficient utilization
Fig. 3 is a similar view with theiiap and aileron
of space in an airplane wing and at the same 50
extended;
time to 'achieve eiiiciency and dependability in
Fig. 4 is an enlarged view partly in section
the mechanism for actuating and controlling the " "
with changing operating conditions. Thus, such
being retracted;
relatively movable parts of the wing. - An ar
.
`
`
.
_
taken as indicated by the line 4-4 of Fig. 2‘; ,
- Fig. 5 is a section on an enlarged scale _taken
rangement is sought that may be conñned en
tirely in the space rearward of the rear spar of 55 as indicated by the irregular line 5-_5 _of Fig, 2;
3
4
Fig. 6 is a section on an enlarged scale taken
as indicated by the line 6_6 of Fig. 2; and
Fig. '1 is a section on an enlarged scale taken
as indicated by the line 1-1 of Fig. 3.
The drawings show an airplane having a fuse
lage I6 and a pair of wings II, the framework of
walls 4I. Mounted on the face of each side wall
,
each wing including a rear spar I2 (Fig. 2) and a
number of ribs generally designated I3 (Figs. 5
and 6).
In each wing the rear spar I2 and the
various ribs I3 form what maybe termed hollow
portions or wing compartments I5. An aileron,
generally designated I6 is mounted in each wing
Il to move upward through an opening I1' (Fig.
3) in the upper skin I6 of the wing, and a flap
-generally designated 20 is mounted in the wing to
move rearward through an opening 2I in „the
trailing edge ofthe wing.
, _
_ A
4I is a suitable track or guide 46 of the same
curvature as the aileron panel, the track being
movably engaged by a forward pair of rollers 41
and 46 (Fig. 2) and a rearward pair of rollers 49
and 56 (Figs. 2 and 6). Each of the lower rollers
48 and 5i) may be plain, while each of the upper
rollers 41 and 49 may be flanged for engaging op
posite sides of an upper rib 52 formed in the track
or guide 46. The four rollers 41 to 50 are carried
.
by the trailing end of one of the movable nap
`~ supports 4i) (Fig. 6). In the particular construc
Ytion shown in-the drawings there are three flap
panels 36 on each side of the fuselage I Il. Two
15 intermediate support members 46 are between
Vsuccessive ñap panels each having two sets of
,y
Each of the ailerons I6 comprises a> plurality
of aileron panels 22 mounted in successive wing
rollers ¿I1-56 supporting two adjacent ñap pan
els, -while two support members 40 are at opposite
sides of the flap assembly each carrying a single
`compartments I5, the panels being connectedin 20 set of rollers 41-5Il. There is substantially no
a unitary manner by al common end plate or de
, ñecting plate 23. Each aileron panel 22 may be
of hollow construction with a l-ower wall 25 and
van upper curved wall 26. The upper wall 26 pro
vides what may be termed the curved effective
>surface of the panel. In the present arrange
ment it is contemplated that normally each of
tendency for the flap load to develop torque in i
the intermediate support members 40.
Fig. 6
shows one of the intermediate support members
46, and the side support members areof identical
construction except in having only a single set of
the rollers. It will be noted that each ñap panel
issupported in a stable manner by two spaced
the ailerons I6 will be sbstantially entirely inside
support members 40.
the corresponding wing II, with the deñecting
As indicated in Fig. 6 each support member 40
plate 23 substantially flush with the wing skin 30 may be of hollow metalconstruction square or
I8. For rolling control of the airplane each ailer
rectangular in cross section and each’of the'ribs
on I6 is movable upward in a curved path having
I3 of the wing structure may be hollow to enclose
one or more centers or axes of curvature lying
the corresponding support member. The hollow
above the wing and forward of the aileron. Since
rib I3 shown in Fig. 6, for example, comprises two
the wings I'I shown in Fig. 1 are of tapering plan
spaced plates 53. At the outer trailing end of
form, the aileron panels 22 may likewise be ta
each support member 40 is a suitable bracket 55
`
pered.
(Fig. 3) having spindles'äß for the rollers41-50,
Each of the aileron panels 22 may be mounted
each of the brackets being formed with a hollow
in the corresponding wing compartment I5 in any
shank 51 that extends into the support member
suitable manner providing for movement along 40 and is secured thereto, for example, by lwelding
the desired curved path. In the present arrange
58 applied through apertures in the Wall-of the .
ment a curved track or guide member 21 with an
support member.
l
-
outwardly extending flange 28 is mounted on the
sides of each aileron panel in moving engage- ri'
Each> of the support members 4I)v for the Hap
panels 36 may be slidingly mounted in the corre
ment .with four ro-llers 36 mounted on one of the 45 sponding hollow rib VI3 in any suitable manner.
wingiribsl I3. For actuation of the aileron I6
In the particular construction indicated in͑Figs.
each of the panels 22 may be provided with a
2 and 6 leach support member 40 is in rolling
small bracket plate 3l to which is p-ivotally con
engagement with a forward pair of rollers 6U and
nected one end of an adjustable operating rod 62, ' ` a rearward pair‘ of rollers 6I», eachiroller being
the other end of the operating rod being pivotally 50 flanged to engage opposite sides ofthe support
connected to an arm 33 on an operating shaft
35. .Any suitable mechanism may be employed
to control the aileron-operating shafts 35 in the
two Wings.
member thereby to confine the support ¿member
against lateral movement. . Each of the `rollers
66 and 6I may be mounted by aneedle >bearing
62 on an eccentric sleeve 63s the eccentric sleeve
' The flap 26 may comprise a'series of flap panels
being mounted in turn on a bolt 65,. A nut 66
36 that are individually mounted in successive 55 on` the bolt 65 may be loosened to permit rota
wing compartments I5, the various panels being
tion of the eccentric sleeve 63 so that the various
connected in a unitary manner by a common
rollers 60 and 6I (Fig. 2) may be readily adjusted
trailing member 31 having an air-deflecting sur
for snug fit against the support member 40. .
face 38. The flapv 2l) is curved incross-.sectional
It is apparent that the- described arrangement
configuration and since the wings l l are ta 60 for mounting the flap 2E) willpermit the flap to
pered in plan form the i’iap may have the o-verall
move from a retractedposition shown in Fig. 2
configuration of a longitudinal section of a trun
to an -extreme extended position shown in Fig. 3,
cated cone. The flap 20 may be adapted to move
and it will be noted that the 4relatively extensive
in a curved path concentric to the cross-sectional 65 range of movement on the part of the flap corre
configuration of the flap, the common axes“ rof the
sponds to the range of relative movement; pro
flap and the flap path being below the wing.
vided between the flap and the various> support
Each of the flap panels 36 is movably'm'ounted on
`members 46 plus the range of relative movement
two supp-ort- members 40 and the support mem
provided between the support members: 40 and
bers varein turn movably supported by' ribs I3 70 the airplane wing II. As indicated ’invFig 3,
in the wing. .
the inner end of each support member. 49 may
As indicated in Fig. 6, each flap'panel 36 has
-be provided with a stop 61 to ‘engage the forward
relatively thick side walls 4I, a lower wall or skin . . l pairof rollersiìll'for the ‘purpose of limiting the
42, and an vupper wall or skin `43 having a mar’- '
vóutiava‘rd ’movement of the>support member, vand
ginal portion 45 overhanging each of the side 75 each of the curved tracks or guides 46 may be
l"2,404,895
-iiap panelsiwill range over'operating paths of
`formed withlintegral stops 68 and 69 to cooperate
Adifferent lengths and the ’three pairs of cable
spools 10 and 1I for operating the three flap
panels will be correspondingly of `different di
with the rollers 41-5‘0 for cooperation with the
corresponding set of rollers ¿I1-_50. The pairs of
rollers ISU and 6I may be termed primary rolling
means andV the sets of rollers lil-50 may be
termed secondary rolling means.
The ñap 20 may be actuated by any suitable
ameters.
mechanism including the control arrangement
set forth in my previously mentioned copending
application Serial No. 352,516. The present con
struction, however, is characterized by the use of
pairs of cable spools 1li and 1| for each of the
iiap panels 3G, the pairs of spools being so ar
ranged that one spool plays out a flexible means
such as a cable 13 while the other spool winds
in the cable. The various pairs of cable spools
1|) and 1I in each wing may be mounted on a
flap-operating shaft 15 that is divided into sec
tions by universal joints 16. ‘ To operate the two
shafts 15 in the two wings of the airplane the
tween the rear spar I2 and the trailing edge of
the wing, none of the operating and controlling
mechanism extending through the spar. It will
be noted that the aileron and associated mech
11e
pilot may turn a crank 11 (Fig. 1) on a stub shaft
18 carrying a sheave 8B. An endless cable 8|
engaging the sheave Se passes under various idlers
82 and around a driven sheave 83 on a gear box
85. A suitable worm (not shown) and cooper 9.5
ating worm gear (not shown) in the box 85 drive
the two shafts 15.
`
--
Fig. 5 shows a section 85 of one of the flap
operating shafts 15 journaled in a bearing 81
inside one of the hollow ribs I3, the section of
shaft carrying a pair of cable spools 1E) and 1|
on opposite sides of the rib. Each of the cable
spools ‘Iíl and 'II has a screw 88 (Fig. 3) engaged
by a loop 90 on the end of the cable 'i3 and the
cable p-asses around the hub of the spool and `
through an aperture to the spool periphery. In
side the rib I3 below the shaft section 86 (Fig. 5)
a bracket 92 is mounted on a base 93 by one or
more bolts S5.
The bracket 92 carries a spindle
`
A feature of the present invention readily ap
parent in Figs. 2 and 3 is that both the means
for mounting and controlling the aileron` I6 and
the means for mounting and controlling the flap
20 are contained in the portion of each wing be
anism are complementary to the flap and asso
ciated mechanism in the sense that complemen
tary zones of the hollow portion of the Wing are
occupied by the two combinations.
`
Since the speciñc‘ arrangement describedhere
in for the purpose of disclosure suggests various
changes and substitutions under my basic con
cepts, I reserve the right to all such departures
from my description that properly lie within the
scope of the appended claims.
I claim as my invention:
1. In an aircraft, the combination of: a main
wing with a rear spar and spaced ribs forming
rearward wing compartments; a plurality of flap
panels mounted in said compartments, said flap
panels being interconnected at their rearward por
tions to form a unitary flap assembly; support
means at an end of said flap assembly; and inter
mediate support means between successive panels
in said ñap assembly, each of said support means
being mounted on one of said ribs for movement
between aretracted position largely inside the
wing and an extended position largely outside the
Wing, the panels of said flap assembly being
mounted on said side and intermediate support
55 extending through the rib and two vertical 40 means for fore-and-aft movement relative there
to and relative to the wing between positions
pulleys 91 and S8 are mounted on opposite ends
largely inside the wing with the support means
of the spindle. Finally, a substantially horizon
retracted and positions largely outside the wing
tal pulley |08 (Figs. 2 and 6) is mounted on a
with the support means extended, each of said
bracket IIiI near the trailing edge of the wing,
intermediate support means movably supporting
the bracket being secured by one or more bolts
two successive panels in the ñap assembly.
|62 to a base |63 lying inside the rib. The cable
2. In an aircraft, the combination set forth in
13 from the cable spool 1|) in Fig. 5 passes under
claim 1 in which the means for mounting each
the vertical pulley 91, around the horizontal pul
flap panel on a support means includes rolling
ley ISI), under the vertical pulley 98, and onto
the second cab-le spool 1|, rotation of the shaft 50 means carried by the support means and cooper
ating guide means carried by the panel in en
causing one spool to play out the cable 13 and
gagement with and guided by said rolling means.
the other spool to wind up the cable at a corre
3. In an aircraft, the combination of: a main
sponding rate.
wing with hollow ribs spaced to form rearward
For the purpose of operatively connecting a
flap panel 36 with a cable 13, the cable may be 55 wing compartments; a plurality of flap panels
mounted in said compartments, said flap panels
attached to a pivot member |95 (Figs. 2 and 5)
being interconnected at their rearward portions
that is movable along a track or guide |95, the
to form a unitary flap assembly; support means
track or guide H36 being mounted one one side
at an end of said flap assembly; intermediate
of the rib I3 to conform with the cable path be
tween the vertical pulley 98 and the horizontal 60 support means between successive panels in said
flap assembly, each of said support means being
pulley |00. One end of an adjustable link or
mounted in one of said hollow ribs for movement
operating rod Iûl (Fig. 5) is mounted on the
between a retracted position largely inside the
pivot member |55 and the other end of the op
rib and an extended position largely outside the
erating rod is pivotally connected to a stud |08
65 wing; and means mounting said panels on said
on a side wall 4I of the nap panel.
side support means and said intermediate support
It is apparent that rotation of the crank 11 by
means for fore-and-aft movement relative there
the pilot will cause the three operating cables 13
to and relative to the wing between positions
in each wing (Fig. 1) to shift the corresponding
largely inside the wing with the support means
pivot members |05 forward or rearward to cause
corresponding forward or rearward movement of 70 retracted and positions largely sutside the wing
with the support means extended, the adjacent
the panels 35 of the flap 2|). Since the wing is
sides of two of said panels being supported by
of tapered configuration >and since I prefer to
one of said intermediate support means.
have the nap 20 always extend the wing configu
4. In an aircraft, the combination of: a wing
ration at each wing station in proportion to the
chord of the wing itself at the station, the three 75 with a spar and spaced ribs, said ribs extending
2,404,895
longitudinally of the aircraft toadjacent _the
trailing- edge ¿of'said wing and with; saidA spar
formingcompartments closed at the bottom by
said wing and open at the trailing edge of vsaid
wing; a plurality of ñap panels, one of saidpanels
being mounted in each of said compartments and
said panels being interconnected» at _their rear
ward portions to form a unitary ñap assembly;
8,
tion ïto play _outtneñexible moans Vand vice versa;
>andçinearis‘including ¿apulley near said opening
Áto ¿guide said vñexible means inanoperating Path.
6. In an aircraft, thecombination of : k_a wing
with spaced ribs„said ribs extending longitudi
nally of the aircraft to „adjacent thetrailing edge
of said lwing andrforming compartments therein
end support means at an end ofl said assembly;
closedat the bottomA by said Wing _and having an
intermediate support means between adjacent of 10 opening-‘in the` trailing edge _of said wing; an
said panels; ymeans .mounting each of said end
aerodynamicmember mounted in each ofl said
and rintermediate' supportmeans on one of said
compartments for movement through said open
ribs forfore-and-aft movement relative tosaid
ing;Y a'ñexible means in eachof said comparte
associated rib; and means mounting said panels
ments operatively connected to one of said aero
on said end and> intermediate support means _for 15 dynamic members for » inducing fore-and-aft
fore-and-aft movement relative thereto,reach of
movement of said member; a shaft mounted on
said intermediatel support means supporting the
each of'said ribs; `a pair of spools mounted on
adjacent ends of adjacent panels.
each of said shafts, said spoolsof each pair» being
AV5. In an aircraft, the combination of: a wing
in adjacent of said compartments and said spools
with spaced ribs, said ribs> extending longitudi 20 being adapted to wind andunwind said ñexible
nally of the aircraft to adjacent the trailing edge
means; means to4 rotate one of the spools vin va
of saidwing and forming compartments therein
direction torwìnd in the flexible means and si
closed at the bottom by said _wing and having
an opening in the trailing edge of said wing; an
Ámultaneouslyto rotate the other spool in a direc
tionA to playout the flexible means and vice versa;
aerodynamic member mountedgin leach of said 25 `and means including a pulley near said opening
compartments for movement through. saidppen
to guide said ñexibie means in an oper-atingpath,
ing; _a ñexible meansvin veach'of said compart
said pulley being spaced fromsaid spools a dis
ments operatively connected to one of said aero
tanceat least equal to the extent of movement of
dynamic _ members for inducing fore-and-aft
the associated aerodynamic member.
.
movement of said member; Va shaft mounted on 30
'7. A combination according to claim 1 wherein
each of said ribs; a pair of spools mounted >on
said spaced ribs lie between said panels when
each o_f saidshafts, said spoolsof each pair being
said panels are in retracted position.
in adjacent of said compartments and said spools
8. A combination according to claim 3 wherein
being adapted to wind and unwind~ said iiexible
said hollow'spaced ribs lie between said panels
means; means to rotate one »of the spools in a
when said panels are in retracted position.
direction to wind in the flexible means‘and simul
EDWARD F. ZAR
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