Owls-'1946' ' ì 1. 'M_ L. DQNNELLAN ' AIRCRAFT PnoruLrsIoN DEvIcE Filed may 27.' 1943 A? ~ ~ n _ C ' 2,409,55‘2 -' s sheets-sheet z ¿las ` ' W* SQ@ Oct. 15, 1946. ` M. l.. DONNELLAN ' ` AIRCRAFT ' 75\' PRoPULsIoN 2,409,552 DEVICE Filed may 27. 1945> - ì „ _ ' _3 sheetsfsneet s ' 7/ . 70 72 Z,/ maag@ ' 9KB/YQ@ Patented Oct. 15, 1946 i 2,409,552 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,409,552 AIRCRAFT PROPULSION DEVICE .Maurice L. Dcnnellan, Ypsilanti, Mich. Application May 27, 1943, 'serial No. 488,763 2 Claims. (Cl. 244-463) `1 Y The present invention relates to an aeronautical take-off device and more 'particularly to a device which is adapted -to assist >in the take-off of ‘air 2 in the take-off device is transmitted -eñiciently directly to the wheels of the plane. ' Other objects or this invention will appear in the following description and appended claims, wing type is least efñcientvmechanically during 5 reference being had to the accompanying draw ings forming a part oi this speciiic'ation wherein its take-,off period. `At this time the weight oi like reference characters designate corresponding the’plane and‘its load is supported'by> the landing borne vehicles. An air borne vehicle of the rigid gear and the ground engaged wheels. In order to attain ñight speed'it is necessary to have the vehicle and its load rapidly accelerated in order to attain such speeds as to impart a lift to the wing. During .the Ytake-ofi period it usually -is necessary to move .the vehicle over a relatively.7 great distance which requires'the entire power output of the ymotors Vbecause of the excessive power demands during `thematic-off interval. As is known, .actual 4iiight -`of the -vehicle «when air borne requires A.considerably `less than the entire power out-put ofthe motors. parts of the several views. p ' Fig. 1 ‘is a view in side elevation showing‘a‘nï airplane 'with a take-oit device of the present invention connected therewith, parts of Vtheplane being broken away to show details of control mechanism used-with the present invention. Fig. 2 is a fragmentary top plan view taken substantially along the `line ïZ-Z in the direction of the arrows in Fig. 1. , ` - ‘ Fig. 3 is a top'plan View with sides‘broken away and- partially in section showing a take-oit device embodying the present invention. u _K Fig. 4 is ‘an enlarged >fragmentary side eleva It is, >thereforef amongftheobjects. of fthe .present 20 tion of the take-ofi device embodying the present invention: ' . - ` i ' _ l. To provide a~novel aeronautical take-01T de vice to `furnish additional -power »to the lplane during the take-offperiod. l ‘» 2. To provide a" novel aeronautical tal<e~oii de-‘ vice which maybe readily attached to the plane while-on the ground but Ywhich is‘detached from the plane as soon as take-off >speeds are attained and the plane becomes air borne. 3. To provide a novel take-off >device consisting of a vehicle havingground >engaged wheels which are power driven independently of the motors of the aircraft, thus `permitting relatively greater loads >in the aircraft while permitting a take-01T invention. ‘ “ ` Fig. 5 is an enlarged v‘sectional view'taken sub--` stantially along the linet5--5‘looking in the direc tionof the arrows in‘Fig. 3. _ Fig. Gis an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along-the line 6-5 looking vin the direction of the arrows in Fig. 3. Fig. '7 is an enlarged sectional detail of the attaching mechanism taken intheencircled area 1 of Fig. 4. . I Fig. `8 is a fragmentary plan view taken sub stantially along the line 8--~8 in the direction of the arrows of Fig. `3. . Fig.` 9 `is a fragmentary sectional view taken from a restricted area without requiring the use of additional motors on the planeitself. along the Vline 9-9 looking in the direction “of 4. To provide .a device :particularly adapted for Before explaining in detail the‘present inven-l handling and ‘maneuvering ground borne aircraft the arrows of Fig. 3. _ ` . ' tion, it is to be understood that the invention `is and in which the .powerlis eiliciently applied'di- 40 ' not limited in its application to the details of rectly to the ground contacting wheels'of the air craft. ' . ‘5. Tó provide Yan aeronautical .take-oil' device which will minimize the requirement of high‘lift construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the‘accompanying drawings, since the invene tion is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or vcarried out in various ways. Also` characteristics oi the wing and permitthe design ` 45 it is to >be understood that the phraseology -or oi" wings having relatively higher speed charac~ terminology employed herein is for the purpose teristios without increasing the dimensions re* of description `and not of limitation. duired inthe take-oir area. ` " ` p In the preferredembodiment of the presentin 6. To provide a novel aeronautical take-off de vention, I propose to utilize _a power driventake vice in which the horse power available for the 50 oiî device on each of the ground engaging land« take-01T `‘may be selectively increased as maybe ing wheels of the airplane and to synchronize required to' assure a proper take-oni within the their operation as will hereinafter `be more fully described. In order to simplify the drawings and space and time interval available. the Vdescription of the invention, it will be de ' 'l'. To provide a device to assist in the take-off of air borne vehicles, either of the power driven 55 scribed with reference to but one take-oit device arranged for‘driving one of the ground engaging or the motorless glider types` either singly or in wheels of the airplane, it being understood that multiples, such for example as in trains. the other units which engage they other ground 8. To provide a device adapted to supply aux-` engaging wheels of the airplane will ¿be .identical iliary power to a normallyair-borne vehicle dur ingthe take-ofi` and in which the power developed ‘60 in construction and operation with lthat >to be 2,409,552 u hereinafter described. It is also to be understood that it is within the scope of the present inven tion to utilize but a single take-olf device of the present invention and by the provision of a plu rality of spaced driving heads to drive more than one of the ground engaging wheels of the plane at one time. 4 .relation of the driving member 22 to the ground engaging wheel I2 of the plane may be varied so as to compensate for the camber and caster of the wheel I2. In this way an aligned meshing of the gear teeth on the member 22 with the ribbed por tions of the tread 36 on the wheel I2 is effected as shown in greater detail in Fig. 9. Referring to the drawings, and particularly to This provides a positive power drive from the Fig. 1, I0 designates an airplane of conventional member 22 to the wheel I2. design, which is provided with a landing gear I I In order to assure the accurate meshing of the which carries a plurality of ground engaging ribbed portion of the driving member 22 with the wheels I2, one of which only is shown in the draw ribbed portion of the tread 36, means are pro ings. A vertically pivoted rudder I3 is provided vided for removing accumulations of earth, stones, to control the movement of the plane horizontally, and the like or similar substances from the spaces the rudder being controlled by the pilot of the 15 between the resilient ribbed portions of the tread plane in accordance with conventional practice 36. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, and construction. I provide jets 46 of a high velocity fluid, such as The take-olf device of the present invention is water, which are supplied with such ñuid under indicated in general by the numeral I4 and is pressure through a fluid supply line 4I, which is provided with a pair of ground engaging drive 20 connected with a pressure pump 42 driven by a wheels I5, operatively connected and power driven motor 43, and supplied with the fluid from a iiuid by a suitable source of power I6, such for example supply tank 44. Where the tread of the tire I2 is as an internal combustion engine, a Diesel engine, of rubber and the driving member 22 has gear a gas-electric drive, or the like. The take-olf de teeth members also of rubber of suitable hardness vice I 4 is guided by manipulation of front steer 25 to transmit a drive from one member to the other, ing wheels or, preferably the single steering wheel the use of water either with or without a soapy I'I, which is mounted in forks I8 (see Fig. 6) which lubricant is preferred for this purpose as this also are pivotally connected as will be hereinafter lubricates the resilient gearing during the driv more fully described, with the frame I9. While ing engagement of the member 22 and the tread the single wheel has definite advantages as to 30 36. maneuverability, it is to be understood that a In order to assure a cleaning of the spaces be pair of steering wheels may be used in accord tween the ribbed portion of the tread 36, a rotary ance with any desired conventional design or con brush 45 is provided which contacts the tread 36 struction. and mechanically removes the greater part of Steering movement of the wheel I'I is effected the material accumulated between the ribbed by a manually controlled steering gear 2U, when portions of the tread so that the subsequent ñush the device is disconnected from the plane. When ing with the fluid under pressure is effective to connected with the plane, the take-on' device I4 clean thoroughly the spaces between the ribbed is guided by the steering arm 2 I. portions of the tread 36. If it is desired to cool Power is transmitted from the take-olf device 40 the tread 36 after the driving engagement with I4 to the plane wheel I2 by a power driven gear the member 22, a plurality of air jets 46 are pro member 22, which is connected by suitable gear vided for playing on the tread 36, and these jets ing with a power driven shaft 23, which is opera are supplied with air under pressure from an air tively connected for the transmission of driving supply line 41 which is operatively connected torque to the power source I6. The driven gear 45 with a compressed air tank 48 which is supplied member 22 is preferably a solid member provided with compressed air by an air compressor 49 with resilient gear teeth, as shown. If desired, however, it may have rigid gear teeth, or it may which is driven by a motor 50. If desired, however, either the fluid or the air or both may be dispensed with under :certain be a pneumatic tire member mounted on a wheel secured to an axle. As shown in Fig. 3 the power 50 operating conditions, and also may be reversed source I6 is connected with a transmission 24 having a power take-olf 25 which is connected as to their point of discharge relative to the tread 36 of the wheel I2. The transfer of power to drive the wheel I2 is effected through a power head which preferably through bevel gearing 26 to drive the shaft 23. «A shaft 21 is driven from the transmission 24 and transmits driving torque through a conventional 55 includes the resiliently toothed member 22, hav type of differential 28 to the power driven axle 29, ing ribs which mesh directly with the resilient which drives the ground engaging driving wheels rib construction on the tread 36. Alignment of I5. Control and shifting mechanism 30 is pro the driving member 22 relatively to the t‘read 36 vided for selectively declutching or driving the is facilitated and the member 22 is guided by wheels I5 and is controlled from a shift control .60 means of a circumferential rib 5I, which is pro 3| whichis placed adjacent the operator’s seat vided on the tire 36 and which extends vertically in the device. A shift control 32 also placed ad-above the plane of the angular ribs 52. A cen jacent the operator’s seat in the device controls tral cut-away or beveled portion 53 is preferably the selective declutching or driving of the power provided on the member 22 for engagement 0f take-off shaft 23 and the gear member 22. The the riib 5I. While the present drawings show the driving torque of the shaft 23 is transmitted use of but one power head on a take-olf device through bevel gears 33 to the member 22 and I4, it is to be understood that a plurality of spaced drives the ground engaging wheel I 2 of the plane. power heads may be provided, one adjacent each The driving member 22 is mounted on a shaft of the ground engaging wheels of the plane for carried by pivotally mounted arms 34 and 35, driving such wheels, or one or more adjacent which are provided with vertical adjusting mem each wheel. bers 34-A and 35-A by means of which either If a more positive drive is desired, a modified end of the shaft may be raised or lowered inde form of power head may be employed, such for pendently of the other end by the pivoting of the example as that shown in Fig. 4. As herevshown, arm 34 and 35. By this provision the angular 75 a spiral gear 60 is mounted on the wheel I2 and encanta 5 6 is l-driveniby a "toothed Lgear ‘6 I, iwhich >is carried in the .power ‘headportion .of ithefta'ke-.off device dog 'I2 in a withdrawn position ‘duringithe cou-` plingt'of'the device "I4 ‘to ‘the ‘sleeve "I0 -carried ¿by I4, asfa'substitute `forthe member y22. '~ Otherwise the construction ofthepower 'head ’and its op eration is "substantially the 'same as that previ the 'landing gear. ously described. A further vmodiiication is within the contem plation of the present invention and includes `a toothed `gear mounted on the wheel I2, .which maybe of any desired "type of gear design. A driven :gear 'is >mounted on a gear bracket with its :teeth in mesh with the‘teeth of 'the saidgear. This Iportion of 'the unit would remain on "the airplane "and ‘the ipower ihead >provided rin the take-off gear I4 would consist ionly of lasplined shaft which would mesh -with‘the said drive `»gear and would be 'selectively attached to or detached from driving relation with said 'gear as might be desired "in 'the operation of .the device. >As shown infFiggG, the steering wheel Il o‘fV the 20 ‘ power’take-off device ‘Iii of the present invention ’ Disconnection of the steering arm 2I is feffected by actuation .of the pivotally mounted 'control member T4 so asto `disengage fthe locking 'dog -12 from :theratchet teeth "I-3. This permits lth'e sleeve ilo to be "Ldra'wn awayffrom the end of the arm '§21 and disconnects the plane “and ithe take off device. .In Vvorder *to synchronize the operation Aof .the takeeoiîf >devices :I4 an electrical signalling system is 'provided which vis :controlled îfrom the plane and transmits `visible :signals to the operators fof the power ‘driven take-off units. An'electrically conductive `cable 80 is provided `on each take-off device and has ¿a quick-detachableplug 8| con nected with a .receptacle 82 carried on the ¿plane 'Ille .receptacles are electrically connected .by electrically -conductive 'cables 83 with a >control 84 .on ~the ïplane instrument `.panel and are con preferably‘is mounted‘in forks "I8 which are piv otally mounted in aibracket‘BZ which is ’secured nected> by .anelectrically `conductive cable `85 with the‘electricallswitch‘members 85 and 8l> disposed at its ends tothe frame I9. As shown ‘in Figs. 1 and '4, the‘steering gear :20 comprises a worm gear 63 vsecured kto‘the steering post 64 andro tated therewith. A‘toothed gear segment 65 is locked ‘to the stub‘shaft '66 Whichis secured to theiorks I6. Theïtoothe‘d'gear 65 meshes with the ‘worm Agear "63. Thus upon rotation .of the worin gear V63 the forks +8 are rotated `’and the respectively, one on each iside of the movable rudder I3. Wheel yI’I :is Adirected as may ’be desired. when fto ` ‘fgof’ When The control 8'4 ‘operates 'a “stop”-lamp¥signal 88 'and a “go”-'1a`mp'signal 89, which'a're provided on :the dash of each of the take-off vehicles (Fig. 8). Thus `the piloti‘of the plane, vby operation lof the control B4 can signal the operators of fea’ch of the take-off vehicles `I4‘whe‘n to “stop” and the take-oir device i4 :is'connected’with the plane as shown in Figs. 1, 3 and 4, the steering move ment of the wheel >I'I is controlled Foy the steer The switch members fB'B iandvS'I lare connected with an amber lamp signal'ßû to call fora retard~ ing of the "speed of 'the take-‘off »device I4 .and ing-arm -ZI Which‘controls `the movement ofthe with algreen signal'lamp SI to'fcall for ‘accelerat ing the spe'ed‘of >the take-off device I4. Theis'ig forks I8. . nais are synchronizedfi‘n such >a way in the take oíT .devices ’that when the plane’s rudder I3 ‘is tachably connected with the internally toothed 40 moved 'tto cause the plane to move to the right, anfamber signalLis’flashedV to the operator of the sleeve 'Iil -carried on a bracket 1 I secured to the The `arm 2l is provided with a forked end Äíi'I which >engages the forks I8. The `arm 2| is de vplane ~landing gear IVI. Angular movement of the landing `gear -I'i relative to the power take-oli device lâ causes a swinging-movementiof the »arm 2|, which effects a rotatio-nof the forks'and the movement of thesteering wheel I'I as may be required to direct the take-off device I4 in vsuch take-off Adevice "I'?l which is‘driving the right wheel and1aîgree`n Üshgnal is flashed tothe operator of the take-'off device I`4 on the left wheel. This results in a speeding up of the left vwheel with> relation'to the driving of the right wheel and this causes the `>plane to move tothe right. When movement to the `left is desired, the amber signal a direction as to Ymaintain an aligned driving lamp flashes in the take-off device I4 driving the relation with the wheel I2 of the airplane. 1f desired Aan over-running clutch of any conven 50 left wheel, andthe green signal ‘lamp flashes on the‘dash'o‘f the‘take-off devicevoperating on the tional design (not shown) may be provided lfor right wheel. This causes the Vplane to Vmove to connecting the forks I8 and the :stub-shaft Borso the‘left. . that movement of the forks AI8 -by the steering The ¿present application is related to my co arm~2I `would be accommodated by such a clutch and not be transmitted rearwardly through the 55 pending applications Serial Nos. Il83,6l2 and 483,613 ‘but `ciilîers :from ‘the device as shown in steering gear mechanism. said applications in that :in all embodiments of Theisteering arm 2I `also provides the means the :present invention a power drive is applied foredetachably connecting-the take-oit devicev I'4 directly to the vground engaging wheels of the with the landing gear II of the plane as shown in Figs. 4 and 7. VAs here shown Van internally 60 airplane .and the take-off fdevices I4 are but Van auxiliary power source. toothed sleeve "i0 is secured to a bracket 'II which ÍIf desired the power `driven wheels I5 of the is carried‘by the landing gear. As shown in Fig. '7 take-#off device r4 nmay he power driven by the the end of the arm 2I is `provided with a spring motor I6 during the driving of the wheel I2, but pressed ratchet locking dog 12, which `engages with ïratchet teeth ‘I3 which are "provided‘inside’ 65 thepre'ferred operation is to use’the `power driving ofthe wheels I5 ‘solely for the maneuvering of the sleeve lí! `and prevents an unintended dis the‘ltake-o?f devices *I4 intodriving position with connection of the plane andthe 'take-off device. relation’ to theiground ‘engaging wheels i2. .After A pivotally mounted4 control member 14 is ‘adapted the‘c'onnection of the device is effected by means to’controlfthe "locking'and unlocking of the dog of the «steering arm 2I,‘th‘e ‘drive tothe power 12 and the ratchet teeth 13. The control member driven wheels Miris disconnected by actuation of “I4 is‘c‘ontrolled by la' control rod 15, which extends thel'control Lmember‘ 31| ‘and 'the declutching mem into the cab of the take-o?f’device I4, and is man berlßll. `Pit:thevsarce time `the control `member ually actuated bythe operator of the take-«01T 312 is -actuated so .as 4to :provide a‘power drive `of device when it is desired to disconnect the take the driving member 22. Thus the take-«offidevic'e off Ldevice 'from the plane or >to hold the locking 2,409,552. 7 I4. is in‘ eiîect towed by the plane and all of the power from the power source I6 is transmitted> directly to the tread of the ground engaging wheels I2. ` If desired a plurality of connecting arms 2| may be provided to secure a more positive align ment of the power driving member carried by the power head of the take-ofi- device M with the tread portion of the ground engaging wheels I2 of the plane. If desired, however, the wheels I5 may be power driven and exert a push either on the wheels or 8 It is also to be understood that any desired number of driving members 22 may be employed for driving the wheel I2. The use of combina tions of two, four or six small driving wheels which may be located at spaced points on the tread of the wheel I2 is desirable under certain conditions. By the application of power to such small driving wheels, the larger wheel would be rotated evenly by power applied at such spaced 10 points and the take-off device I4 would be more deñnitely aligned therewith. The provision of the spaced driving wheels also would assure the transmission of the driving torque over a larger the axle of the landing gear of the'plane. This may be accomplished by the use of any suitable surface area than is the case where a single driv type of push rod, yoke or fork secured to the ing member is employed. take-ofi device i4 and having an end portion While I have shown conventional types of gear adapted for contacting a portion of the wheel mechanisms for the transmission of power from oraxle of the plane’s landing gear. the source of power IS to the various points for Also it is to be understood that various types power application, itis to be understood that any of mechanical connector and disconnector de 20 desired type of power transmitting device may vices may be used to provide the means for ac be employed instead of positive gear devices. For complishing the connection and disconnection of example the power unit I 6 may be connected with the steering arms 2l with the airplane. Also it a suitable hydraulic unit and the transmission is to be understood that other types of signalling of power to the various power driven portions of devices than those herein disclosed may be em 25 the device may be effected by suitable hydraulic ployed. For example, a suitable radio or tele power lines and torque converting devices. Also phonic connection may be established between the power unit IG may be directly connected with the'plane and the take-off devices which would an electric generating device and the power trans assure proper control of the take-ofi devices dur mitted by suitable electric wiring directly to elec ing the take-01T of the airplane. 30 tric motors which are located at the points where By the present invention it will be seen that power application is desired. All such means of means are provided to secure an effective and transmitting power are Within the purview and efficient transfer of driving torque directly to the scope of the present invention. ground engaging wheels of the plane from aux I claim: iliary power units not directly carried by the 35 1. A take-off device to assist in the horizontal plane. This provides a very eil'ìcient way in take-oil” movement of airplanes and comprising which to supply power to the plane so that the in combination a frame, a plurality of power plane and its load are rapidly accelerated to take driven wheels, a steerable wheel, a steering arm off speeds by the direct application of power to attached to said device for steering said steerable the ground engaging wheels. This additional 40 wheel, a power head, and a power source, means power is readily available without increasing ap for selectively driving said power driven wheels preciably the weight ofthe landing gear or of and said power head from said power sourcep the airplane and without requiring the use of means for effecting a positive driving connection permanently installed additional power units in ' between said power head and a landing wheel of the airplane. 45 an airplane, and comprising a power driven Devices of the present nature are particularly toothed gear member driven by the power source useful for the assisting in the take-olf of large and meshed in driving relation with gear tooth airplanes from restricted areas. The currently members provided on the landing wheel of an proposed “sea-dromes” which are floating steel airplane, and quick detachable means for selec landing ilelds anchored at suitable positions in 60 tively coupling and uncoupling said steering arm the ocean, are designed to facilitate the use of and the airplane landing gear. large cargo and passenger carrying planes for 2. A quickly detachable power driven take-oil trans-oceanic travel. Such “sea-dromes” are of device to assist in the horizontal take-off move necessity of limited dimension and devices such ment of an airplane, said device comprising a as that herein disclosed would be very useful in 55 frame, a plurality of power driven wheels secured assisting in the take-off of large heavily loaded at one end of said frame, a single steerable wheel planes from the restricted areas of such “sea mounted in a fork pivotally mounted on the oppo dromes.” While use of such devices on a “sea site end of said frame, a power source, a power drome” is a spectacular and timely instance of head mounted on said frame adjacent said steer uses for the device of the present invention, it is 60 ing wheel and lmeans for operatively connecting to be understood that the device is applicable said power driven wheels and said power head generally to assist in the take-off of large heavily loaded airplanes from any take-oil? area of re stricted dimensions. with said power source, means for effecting a positive driving connection between said power head and a landing wheel of an airplane, a steer It is also to be understood that one or more 65 ing arm connected with said fork, a quick detach of the steering arms 2| may be used either alone or in combination with a towing arm the function of which would be that of towing the take-off device I4 from the plane. Any desired combina able coupling on the airplane landing gear for selectively >coupling and uncoupling said arm and the airplane landing gear, said steering arm when coupled in said coupling being adapted to steer tion of steering arms and towing arms may be 70 said steerable wheel and maintain a predeter used within the contemplation of the present invention. Such a combination would be of par ticular value where a positive gear drive is em ployed for driving the ground engaging wheel of the airplane. mined alignment of said take-off device and the airplane landing wheel at all times during the take-ofi` movement of the airplane. MAURICE L. DONNELLAN.