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Nov. 13, 1962'
Filed Oct. 25. 1960
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
Nov. 13, 1962
Filed Oct. 25. 1960
mm hm
9L W
“nited itates
Robinson W. Brown, San Antonio, Tex., assignor to
Reynolds Metals Company, Richmond, Va, a corpora
tion of Delaware
Filed Oct. 25, 1960, Ser. No. 64,805
8 Claims. (Cl. 114—16.4)
This invention relates to safety devices for submarines
or like undersea craft, and more particularly to such a 10
Patented Nov. 13, 1962,
tion will become apparent from the following detailed
description taken in connection with the drawings, in
FIG. 1 is a side elevation illustrating in general manner
a submarine with which my invention may be associated.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vertical longitudinal section
through the lower portion of the submarine hull at the
keel area, showing in side elevation the jettisonable ballast
assembly and its relation to the hull.
FIG. 3 is a vertical transverse section taken on line
device for quickly releasing or jettisoning ballast from a
3——3 of FIG. 2.
submerged submarine in the event of emergency and/or
FIG. 4 is an enlarged vertical section of the cable sever
failure of the normal ascending gear to function, thereby
ing mechanism.
causing the submarine to rapidly rise to the surface.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary horizontal section through a
In undersea exploration and navigation, manned sub 15 part of the cable severing mechanism of FIG. 4, and
mersibles are often required to descend to extended depths,
illustrating the chisel thereof in top plan.
on the order of 10 to 15 thousand feet or more for the
Referring to FIG. 1, it) indicates a submarine having
observation and assimilation of scienti?c and oceano
a cylindrical hull portion 12 closed at its opposite ends by
graphic data for study and analysis. The risks of mal
hemispherical stern and bow members 15 and 16 respec
functioning or inoperative depth controls or ascending
tively. The hull is formed or constructed of high-strength
gear are always of prime concern in submarine craft and
aluminum alloy capable of withstanding deep sea pres
become of paramount importance at these extended
depths. Accordingly, it is a chief object of my invention
to provide a safety device of this character which is simple
sures and enabling the manned craft to submerge or de
scend to 15,000 feet or more for scienti?c exploration and
study. Extending aft of hemispherical stern member 15
in construction, foolproof in operation, and thoroughly 25 is a hull extension 14 carrying suitable stabilizing, diving
and navigational planes or equipment through which a
propulsion screw is extended and supported. The hemi
spherical bow member 16 may be provided with an en
It is a further object of my invention to provide a
solid ballast of elongated con?guration which is supported
trance hatch 18, and suitable viewing ports certain of
in depending relation from the submarine by a pair of 30 which are indicated at 17 and 19.
The submarine Iii further includes a downwardly pro
cables and wherein a simple and e?icient cable severing
jecting keel or understructure 24 illustrated in FIG. 3
mechanism is associated with each cable.
as being or" W-shaped cross-section to provide a pair of
' My invention further contemplates the provision of a
reliable in the event of the failure or malfunctioning of
the usual normal depth control mechanism.
cable severing mechanism having self-contained power 35 parallel ballast chambers for receiving permanent ballast
or ballast members 20, 22, Disposed intermediate said
chambers is a downwardly facing exterior cavity or cham
the main control panel within the submarine, to release
means which is or may be remotely controlled, as from
ber 26 wherein a larger solid and jettisonable emergency
ballast member 28 of generally elongated cigar shape and
a corollary to this object, I further provide a safety lock
ing means associated with each cable severing mechanism 40 integral construction is housed. Said solid jettisonable
ballast member 28 constitutes an element of the present
which may be readily positioned so that accidental or un
invention and is designed to be normally carried by the
intended actuation of the control means to release or
submarine in the housed position illustrated in FIG. 2
trigger the power means will fail to sever the cable or
by means of supporting cables 30, 32 secured at their
cables supporting the ballast when jettisoning thereof is
lower depending ends to the ballast member 28 in any
unnecessary or not desired, as when traveling surfaced
‘appropriate fashion as by welding, bolting, etc., each cable
or in tow. During or after descent to the desired depth
extending upwardly through the shell of the keel 24 and
level, the safety lock may be easily repositioned to arm
through apertures or bores 29 in hull 12 (FIG. 4)‘. The
or cock the cable severing mechanism, whereby operation
upper extremity of the cable 343 is securely gripped and
of the control means will effect the severing of the ballast
supporting cables and jettisoning of the ballast in an 50 held within a cable severing mechanism 34, while the
cable 3-2 is similarly secured to a like cable severing mech
emergency situation. Thus the lock means or interlock
anism 36, FIG. 2. As seen in this ?gure the cable sever
may be positioned as desired to “safety” or “armed”
ing mechanisms 34 ‘and 36 are each secured to the bottom
position in respect to the cable severing mechanism, as
interior of hull 12 beneath ?ooring 31.
conditions may dictate.
Since the cable ‘severing mechanisms 34, 36 are identi
It is a further important object of my invention to 55
cal in character, a description of the mechanism 36 as
provide a jettisonable ballast of the described character
viewed in detail in FIGS. 4 and 5, will suf?ce for both.
wherein the ballast is positioned with respect to the keel
Referring to FIG. 4, the cable severing mechanism 36 in
and to the cables attached thereto, so that should only one
cludes a rigid supporting frame 42 which is secured to
cable be severed, the moment effected by the resulting
downward swinging of one end of the ballast will impose 60 the hull 12 by means of bolts 44. Secured to the frame
or actuate the power means for severing the cable.
a load on the remaining unsevered cable which is greater
than the tensile strength of the cable so as to quickly
42 as by means of bolt 45 is a cable ‘housing 46 Which
or embedded.
ballast 28 transmitted thereto through ?tting 38, nut 40
and sleeve 48. A second counterbore 51 is provided in
latter is provided with a central bore 47 disposed in align—
ment with bore 29 to hull i2, and through which cable 32
snap the same and release the dangerously dangling
passes. The upper end of cable 32 is swaged within a
ballast member and thereby prevent improper trim of the
65 ?tting 38 having a threaded upper end. A nut 40 is
received upon the threaded end of the ?tting 38, said nut
It is a further important object of my invention to
transmitting the downward pull of cable 32 to a sleeve
provide a novel jettisonable ‘ballast device which in ad
48 disposed about the ?tting 38 and seated upon the
dition to the objects stated, is capable of being-employed
shoulder formed by a ?rst counterbore 49_ Accordingly
in the manner of a lever to free the submarine from a
mud or sand bank in which the vessel may become stuck 70 the cable housing 46 and frame 42 carry the load of the
These and other objects and advantages of my inven
the housing 46 surrounding the sleeve 48. Packing rings
the threaded hammer shank portion projecting rearwardly
55 and 56 are compressed between thrust rings 52, 54 and
54 within countermore 51 by means of an internally
shouldered cap 50 threadedly secured within a third
counterbore of the cable housing 46. Packing ring as
sembly 51—56 prevents the leakage into the submarine
of sea water passing upwardly through bores 29 and 47.
Hull 12 is provided with a counterbore about cable bore
29 for the reception of a lower reduced diameter portion
from the housing 64. Said nuts are threadedly adjusted
to the position illustrated in FIG. 4 so that adjustable nut
78 will engage cap member 73 on housing 64 to prevent
severance of the cable 32 when the cocked hammer is in
advertently triggered. The elongated heavy ballast mem
ber 28 is intended to be jettisoned only in the event of
emergency conditions while submerged, such as failure
in the hull 12 about the lower end of housing 46 for
reception therewithin of ‘a thrust ring 57, packing 58 and
follower ring 59. This lower sealing assembly is main
tained in leakproof relation to hull 12 and housing 46
rise rapidly to the surface. Accordingly as illustrated in
FIG. 4 the interlocked safety nuts 78, 79 stop travel
sealing assembly adjacent pressure nut 60a is similar to
the sealing assembly 57-59 in hull 12.
The lateral extension of cable housing 46 within which
pressure nut 60a is threaded is also exteriorly threaded to
receive thereon a generally cylindrical hammer ‘housing
64 having its outer end supported by and secured to an up
standing leg of frame 42. ‘Housing 64 is bored or con
tions of the cable severing mechanisms 34 and 36, suit
structed to provide a hammer chamber 65 and a smaller
chisel chamber 66, separated by a transverse wall 67
having a non-circular aperture for slidably receiving ‘a
closure 73 and nut 78 or between transverse cylinder
wall 67 and hammer disc '71. The recocking may be
performed by a crew member through the access hatch
13a in the submarine ?oor 31.
of the depth control planes, ?re, hull damage or the like,
of cable housing 46. A second counterbore is provided 10 or during testing procedures, to permit the submarine to
of the released hammer 70 before it can strike the chisel.
Thus while submarine 10 is traveling on the surface of
by means of a pressure nut 66 threaded onto the cable 15 the water or is in tow by a mother ship, accidental ac
housing 46 above follower ring 59.
tuation of latch 76 will fail to result in the severance of
Cable housing 46 is further provided with a lateral bore
cable 39 when safety nuts 78, 79 are threaded to their
61 intersecting cable bore 47 adjacent the ?tting 38 at
forward safety position on hammer 70. While the sub
substantially right angles thereto. Slidably received with
marine is submerged for exploration or other duties, nuts
in bore 61 is a chisel 62, the cylindrical shank of which is
78, 79 are threaded rearwardly on the hammer shank a
tapered and ?attened at 63 to provide a cutting edge
distance sufficient to permit full travel of the hammer
thereon disposed adjacent cable 32. The intermediate
to forcibly engage the chisel 62 and drive the latter against
portion of the chisel shank is received within a bore of a
and sever cable 32 when the hammer is released from
pressure nut 60a threaded within an enlarged lateral
the control station. When the vessel reascends to the
counterbore of cable housing 46, ‘and in addition to pro 25 surface, the nuts 78, 79 may be easily repositioned to said
viding a guiding support for the chisel 62, pressure nut
forward or safety position.
60a urges and maintains a sealing assembly in ?uid tight
To permit adjustment of the safety nuts 78, 79 as well
relation between the housing 46 and the chisel 62. The
as to permit inspection and/or adjustment of other por
chisel head 68 of corresponding configuration integrally
formed on chisel 62. A stop collar 69 on chisel 62 limits 40
its rearward movement through ‘apertured wall 67 into
hammer chamber 65.
It will be noted that non-circular chisel head 68 serves
as a key to prevent rotation of chisel 62 about its longi
tudinal axis, thereby assuring that the cutting edge there
of is at all times disposed in cutting relation to cable 32.
A hammer 70 is disposed within hammer chamber 65
‘and is located axially centrally of chamber 65 and guided
for reciprocating movement therein by an enlarged disc 71
on the forward end of the hammer ‘and having substan
tially the same diameter as chamber 65, and an apertured
closure cap ‘73 and through which the hammer 70 extends.
Con?ned between disc 71 and closure is a strong com
pression spring 72 constituting the power means for forci
bly driving or impelling hammer 70 against the chisel
head 68.
A sear or detent 75 and a latch 76 are em
ployed to retain hammer 70 in retracted or cocked posi
tion to hold spring 72 under compression as illustrated
in FIG. 4. Sear '75 is pivotally mounted upon hammer
housing 64 and has a downwardly projecting leg thereof
extending through an aperture 74 in the hammer housing
in restraining engagement with disc 71 of the hammer.
With the sear 75 in this position, the latch 76, also pivot
able access doors 1341 are provided in the ?ooring 31
(FIG. 2) adjacent the cable severing mechanisms.
Should the latch 76- accidentally release and impel the
hammer for the incomplete restricted stroke, the ham
mer may be easily restored to latched cocked position by
inserting a suitable jack tool between hammer cylinder
Should an emergency ascent become necessary while
submerged, panel controls connected to Bowden wires 77
are operated to disengage the latches 76, thereby per
mitting spring 72 on each cable severing mechanism to
release its stored energy, impelling hammer 70 into en
gagement with chisel 62 to sever the cables, thus permit
ting the submarine to quickly ascend to the surface. In
this connection it is noted that cable bore 47 opposite
chisel 62 is ?attened as at 80, FIG. 5, to provide an effi
cient anvil surface against which the cable will be severed.
Although the cable severing mechanisms are simple
and highly reliable in character, as an additional safety
feature of my invention, the ballast 28 will drop free
of the submarine and be jettisoned should only a single
cable 3%) or 32 be severed.
While the possibility of one of the cables remaining un
severed is remote, this condition would occur should
one of the two control means within the hull on the main
control panel be inadvertently overlooked by a crewman,
or should some unsuspected failure occur in the cable
severing mechanism adjacent the unsevered cable. As the
ballast member 28 is supported by two cables, each
cable supports substantially one-half the total weight of
the ballast. Further, as is apparent from FIG.2, the two
ally mounted upon housing 64, is swung to vertical posi
cables are secured to the ballast 28 substantially equi
tion as shown, whereby a laterally extending dog thereof 65 distantly on opposite sides of the midpoint of the ballast
engages and retains sear 75 in its normal horizontal
at locations approximately one-fourth of the ballast
hammer locking position. Latch 76 is connected by a
length from each end thereof. Accordingly it will be
suitable means, susch as a Bowden wire 77, to a control
seen that when only a single cable 30 or 32 is severed,
panel within the submarine. While the latches 76 of
the cable serving mechanism 34 and 36 may be con
trolled for simultaneous release, it is preferable to have
an independent release control for each latch 76, for
reasons appearing hereinafter.
the ballast will initially pivot or swing downwardly about
the remaining unsevered cable until the adjacent end of
The hammer 70 is provided with a safety device com
the ballast engages the keel 24 to establish a fulcrum
thereat, whereupon a multiplied force equal to substan
tially twice the normal undersea weight of the ballast or
four times the weight normally supported by the remain
prising a threaded nut 78 and lock nut 79 adjustable upon 75 ing cable will be applied thereto. The tensile strength
of the cables chosen to support the ballast 28 is so pro
portioned to the weight of the ballast that while either
cable will support a weight equal to substantially twice
of the hammer toward said chisel, said last mentioned
means being adjustable to prevent forcible engagement
of said hammer with said chisel in the event of accidental
its normal load, i.e. the weight of the ballast, the cables
actuation of said control means.
will break under an applied force approximately four
times the normal submerged load of the cable, i.e. twice
the weight of the ballast. Of course other proportions of
tensile strength to ballast weight may be selected as de
sired, the same being in great part a function of the shape
of the ballast 28 and the location thereon of supporting 10
cables 30 and 32.
Thus I have provided a ballast ar~
rangement which will drop free and be jettisoned should
only a single supporting cable be severed, thereby elimi
nating the apparent hazards that would result should the
ballast remain attached to the submarine by a single
cable, dangling down in the water creating undesirable
4. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said ballast mem
ber depends from said cables exteriorly of said sub~
marine, said cables each passing through the hull of the
submarine to an internal connection adjacent said cable
severing mechanism, and packing means cooperating with
said internal connection and said severing mechanism to
prevent leakage of water into said hull.
5. A jettisonable ballast assembly for submarines com
prising an elongated ballast member having a pair of
cables secured thereto at spaced localities longitudinally
thereof, a pair of cable severing mechanisms carried by
the submarine, each of said cable severing mechanisms
imbalance and improper trim effects with respect to the
including a cable housing, a chisel, and means for forcibly
impelling said chisel against said cable to sever the same,
said cable housing having a first bore for receiving one
Further, in the event of emergency, should a crewman 20 of said cables, means on said cable housing for securing
be unable to operate the panel controls of the severing
said one cable thereto, a second bore in said cable hous
mechanism within the submarine to actuate the jettison
ing intersecting said cable bore, said second bore having
able ballast controls because of ?re or other reasons,
a chisel slidably mounted therein, said chisel having a
cutting edge disposed adjacent said cable within said ?rst
access hatches 18a may be removed and the cable sever
ing mechanism 34- and 36 released by hand. Further 25 bore, and control means for actuating said chisel im
pelling means.
should chisel 62 fail to sever the cable when struck by
hammer 70, a crewman through access hatches 18a may
6. The assembly of claim 5 wherein said chisel im
strike the projecting shank of hammer '70 with a suitable
pelling means comprises a hammer mounted for move
implement or maul to effect severance of the associated
ment toward and away from said chisel, and a compressed
stability and navigation characteristics. Thus maximum
reliability of my jettisonable ballast assembly is assured.
It is this described breakaway feature of ballast 28 to
automatically snap or break an unsevered cable, that
permits the submarine to perform a mud release maneu
coil spring engaging said hammer, said control means
including a releasable sear to hold said hammer in re
tracted position away from said chisel to hold said coil
spring under compression to store energy therein, and
means for releasing said sear.
ver should the sumbarine become stuck in an under
water mudbank or sandbar wherein normal control and 35
7. The jettisonable ballast assembly of claim 6 where
maneuvering proceedures fail to extricate the submarine
therefrom. By way of example, assuming the forward
in said cable severing means further includes a safety
interlock for determining the extent of travel of said
keel portion or bow of the submarine to be stuck in a
hammer toward said chisel, said safety interlock com
prising an abutment adjustably secured to said hammer
mud bank, a single panel control within the hull may be
actuated to sever the rearmost ballast cable 30. The 40 cooperating with a ?xed abutment on said cable severing
severing of the single cable 30 imparts both buoyancy and
means, said adjustable abutment having a ?rst position
moment to the submarine, causing the stern to initially
on said hammer spaced from said ?xed abutment a dis
pivot or swing upwardly to free the vessel from the mud
tance less than that between said hammer and said chisel,
and having a second position on said hammer. spaced
bank in leverlike fashion. As'soon as the boat lifts from
the mud a short distance the leverage action on the ballast
from said ?rst abutment a distance greater than that be
28 comes into play as above described to snap the re
tween said hammer and said chisel.
maining cable 32, thereby jettisoning the ballast.
8. The jettisonable ballast member assembly of claim
It is thought that the invention and many of its at
1 wherein a pair of said cables is secured to said ballast
tendant advantages will be clearly apparent from the fore
member on opposite sides of the midpoint thereof, said
going description, and it is obvious that various changes 50 cables each having a tensile strength suf?cient to support
may be made in the elements and construction thereof
a load substantially equal to the weight of said ballast
without departing from the spirit and scope of the in
member and insufficient to support a load substantially in
excess thereof, each of said cables being secured to the
What is claimed is:
ballast member on opposite sides of the midpoint thereof
1. A jettisonable ballast assembly for submarines com
at points which are located substantially one-fourth the
prising an elongated ballast member secured to the sub
length of the ballast member, from each end thereof, the
marine by means of a plurality of cables connected there
location of said points being such that upon severance
between, cable severing means operably associated with
of one cable, said ballast member will swing on the un
each of said cables, said cable severing means compris
severed cable and cause the end of the .ballast member
ing a chisel having a cutting edge disposed in angular 60 adjacent said unsevered cable to engage against the sub
marine thus establishing said end as a fulcrum to apply
relation to said cable and including means for forcibly
a load substantially in excess of the weight of said ballast
impelling said chisel against the cable to sever the same,
and means for controllng actuation of said cable sever
member to said unsevered cable to snap the same and
jettison the ballast member.
ing means, whereby operation of said control means ef
fects severance of said cables to jettison said ballast
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
2. The jettisonable ballast assembly of claim 1 wherein
said chisel-impelling means comprises a hammer hav
ing spring means associated therewith for driving the
hammer forcibly against said chisel upon release of stored 70
spring energy, said control means including a releasable
sear for holding said spring means in operative position.
3. The jettisonable ballast assembly of claim 2 where
Barraja-Frauenfelder ____ Oct. 26, 1915
in means are provided for limiting the extent of travel
Dickerson ___________ __ Oct. 20, .1942
Peabody _____________ __ Nov. 6,
Hinsdale ____________ _._ Jan. 26,
Bennum ____________ __ May 17,
Lake _______________ __ May 29‘,
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