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Патент USA US3078950

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Feb. 26, 1963
Filed March 3, 1961
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United States Patent
Patented Feb. 26, 1963
Sylvan D. Rolle, Philadelphia, Pa., assignor to the United
States of America as represented by the Secretary of
the Army,
Filed Mar. 3, 1961, Ser. No. 93,276
5 Claims. (Cl. 180-7)
(Granted under Title 35, U.S. Code (1952), sec. 266)
The invention described herein may be manufactured
and used by or for the Government for governmental
purposes without the payment to me of any royalty
‘detailed description when considered in connection with
the accompanying drawings in which like reference nu
merals designate like parts throughout the ?gures and
FIG. 1 is a simplified diagrammatic view, partly in
vertical section, of an embodiment of the invention em
ploying a single ejector only;
FIG. 2 is a view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG.
1 looking up from the bottom, showing one of the col-‘
10 lapsing means partially extended; and
FIG. 3 is a modi?cation of the collapsing means of
FIG. 2, with details omitted.
Referring now to the drawings, there is shown gen
erally at 10 a ground e?ect machine having a support
This invention relates to vehicles which travel in close 15 platform 11 made of a strong pliable fabric. The plat
proximity to a sub-surface and are known as gas-cushion
form has a ?exible curtain 12 depending therearound
vehicles or ground e?ect machines. More particularly,
which is conveniently a resilient material such as rub
the invention concerns such vehicles which are motivated
ber, or optionally, may partake of a brush-like material,
by gas generating means and wherein the vehicle platform
functions to aid in retaining the pressure between
is made completely collapsible.
Heretofore, vehicles of the aforementioned type were
energized by motor-driven fans or air pumps. These
20 the platform and the sub-surface.
A hub 13, centrally
located of the platform 11 and rigidly secured thereto,
has a plurality of radially extending telescoping mem
bers 14 circumferentially spaced therearound for extend
ing the platform when ready for use. The telescoping
mechanical devices were so arranged that air, at a low
pressure of the order of a few pounds per square foot,
was permitted to be directed into the space below the 25 members are illustrated as being below the platform but,
vehicle platform and the sub-surface to maintain the
if desired, may be enclosed completely within the plat
vehicle a short distance above the sub-surface. A por
form fabric. The outer telescoping elements are con
tion of this air could then be controllably diverted to
nected to the platform fabric at 15 while the inner
nozzles adjustably mounted above or below the platform
elements are ‘secured to the hub at 16, both of which
to provide directed propulsion of the vehicle.
30 may be achieved by any well known methods.
Vehicles of this type possess serious disadvantages.
For example, they are bulky and cumbersome due to
the weight of the fan or pumping mechanism which
necessitates a heavy and rigid platform. Since the pri
mary objective in the design of these vehicles is to achieve
a high load transport per pound of fuel ratio, it is ap
parent that the ef?ciencies of such vehicles leave much
to be desired.
A further disadvantage of current ground e?ect ma
FIG. 2 clearly illustrates the collapsibility of my in
ventive device, it being apparent from the drawing that
when the lower left hand telescoping member is caused
to be fully extended, the platform will be in operable
condition, or as shown by the dotted lines.
Each set of telescoping tubes may optionally contain
an actuating cartridge therein, much like the Aircraft
Personnel Catapult or canopy remover, for extending
the tubes when the respective cartridges are fired. The
chines is their inability to operate satisfactorily under 40 Aircraft Personnel Catapult and canopy remover are de
severe arctic conditions which is attributable primarily
scribed in the September 1955 publication of Aeronauti
to the internal combustion engine‘ makeup. Again, these
cal Engineering Review in an article entitledFEscape
vehicles require considerable space when not in use.
From High-Speed Aircr‘af ” by R.
Frost. The tele~
The hovering performances of ground e?’ect machines
been found to
are improved when their dimensions are increased.
Brie?y, I am able to overcome these and other dis-~
advantages by employing a solid or liquid rocket-like
propellant in a gas generator as the energizing means
and an ejector, or a plurality of ejectors, cooperating
therewith for augmenting the propulsive and/ or lifting
thrust. Since there are no moving parts to my inven
tive device, the platform may adequately be fabricated
from a light-weight material and fully collapsible or
It is therefore a broad object of this invention to pro
vide an efficient ground effect machine.
Another object of the invention is to provide such a
be equally applicable to the peripheral jet type ground
effect machine.
An ejector 17 is mounted through the platform and
is illustrated concentrically disposed within hub 13 al
though it may desirably be positioned outside the hub.
It will be understood, of course, that a plurality of
ejectors will normally be employed in the practice of
my invention.
Ejector 17 is conventional, having a primary nozzle
(not shown) to which is supplied, through a high pres
sure passageway 18, a gas at a pressure of the order of
1000 psi. from a gas generator 20, suitably supported
The generator may con
tain a solid or liquid propellant which is actuated by a
or used ground effect machines.
mechanical or electric igniter 22. The ejector has the
A further object of the invention is to provide a ground 60 customary air inlet 23 through which ambient air is en
machine which is lighter in weight than currently known
effect machine, which, when fully collapsed, is a com
pact, light-weight structure, and yet capable of being
thus stored for long periods of time without requiring
inspection or suffering deterioration.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a
ground effect machine which is equally operable in mod
on platform 11 by a brace 21.
trained by the propellant gas to be exhausted downwardly
through the ejector diffuser at much lower temperatures
and pressures than that of the entering propellant gas.
Additionally, if the mixing process within the ejector is
is e?icient, i.e., the air is mixed with the propellant gas
in the ratio of about 10 to 1, the momentum of the
erate, arctic or tropic atmospheres and which can be
mixed streams will far exceed that of the propellant gas
readied for use in very short periods of time.
to provide increased thrust of the vehicle.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages 70 A portion of the propellant gas may be controllably
of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same
becomes better understood by reference to the following
diverted from passageway 18 into adjoining passageway
24 by means of valve 25, and then exhausted through
propulsion nozzle 26 to provide cruise performance to
the vehicle. The propulsion nozzle may similarly be
In comparison therewith, a present art machine capable
of similar transport, and using a gasoline engine with
fan and accessories, will weigh about 300 pounds ex
an ejector-type device, and is pivotally mounted at 27 to
clusive of any payload.
tube 18 by any well known methods for varying the
From the foregoing, it is apparent that through my
direction of thrust‘o'f the ‘machine.
inventive device, I have provided a unique ground effect
In the modi?cation of FIG. 3, the telescoping tubes
machine which is characterized by its extreme lightness
have been replaced by appendages 28 which are hinged
in weight, inherent reliability under severe atmospheric
at 29 to permit extension thereof as shown generally
conditions and its ability to be stored compactly for ex
at 30. The appendages are secured to the hub and plat
10 tended periods and yet be’ capable of being readied for
form analogous to telescoping members 14 of FIG. 2.
emergency use in the shortest intervals of time.
In the operation of my inventive vehicle, platform 11
I claim:
is allowed to become fully extended through the tele
1. In a collapsible light-weight ground effect machine,
scoping tube or appendage assembly and the gas gen
said machine being devoid of fans, pumping mechanisms,
erator'propellant ignited. The generator gas is fed into
the ejector through tube 18 and is mixed with the ‘air 15 engines and moving parts, the combination comprising
a pliable platform, a ?exible curtain peripherally de
entering the ejector air inlet 23, and thence discharged
pending from said platform, gas generating means sup
through the dilfuser. Since the ground effect machine
ported on the platform and containing a propellant, other
is capable of traveling over sub-surfaces including com
means for igniting said propellant, an ejector receiving
bustible terrain, such as dried grass and the like, the
ejector serves an added purpose of lowering the dis 20 gases generated by the propellant and having a diffuser
exhausting said gases to the underside of said platform,
charge temperature of the hot propellant gases to about
a propulsion nozzle mounted above the platform in com
200° F. These cooler discharged gases also aid in pre
municating relation with the generator, 2. central hub
venting the fabric platform from igniting, are less hazard
affixed to the platform, a plurality of spaced radially
ous to the vehicle operator, and in military maneuvers,
extensible members fastened to said hub, each of said
offer no undesirable'night-time signatures.
members having its outermost portion secured to a cor
< When the platform has been suf?ciently raised over
responding section of the platform periphery.
the sub-surface, a small quantity of the propellant gases
2. The device of claim 1 wherein each of said radially
may be controllably exhausted from the propulsion nozzle
extensible members comprises telescoping tubes for col
to provide directional thrust to. the vehicle.
By way of further explanation, the following example 30 lapsing the machine into a compact unit.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein each of said radially
is cited for the purpose of illustrating a typical ground
extensible members comprises hinged appendages for col
effect machine of the present invention, it being under
lapsing the machine into a compact unit.
stood that the invention is not to be considered as being
4. The device of claim 1 further characterized by a
limited to the speci?c variables selected. As it will be
control valve interposed between the gas generator and
apparent to those skilled in this art, a wide variety of
propellants, platform materials, etc., such as disclosed
hereinbefore may be employed in the device contemplated
Propellant-solid, nitroglycerine-nitrocellulose
Ejectors-one; single nozzle; di?user angle at 20“ using
Blowing Boundary Layer Control
Platform fabric—,reinforced “nylon”; when extended-—
' about 10 x 8 feet
Collapse’structure—4 telescoping tube assemblies, ex
posed underneath platform, cartridge actuated
Flexible, curtain—1/2" rubber ' ‘
propulsion nozzle.
5. The device of claim 4 further characterized by a
pivotal connection between said gas generator and con
trol valve, said connection providing directional thrust
40 to said machine.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
Morize _____________ __ Apr. 19, 1921
Bauer _______________ __. Dec. 29, 1931
Ritter et al. _________ __ May 12, 1959
A ground el‘r'ect machine made in accordance with 50
Publication: “Aviation Week”; July 6, 1959; pages 115
the afore-described conditions and having about 54
and 116.
pounds propellant, has been found adequate to propel
Publication: “Design News”; May 23, 1960; pages 6
a 400 pound payload about 5 miles at approximately 60
and 7.
mph. It should be noted that the entire device, ex
clusive of the payload, will weigh only about 1200 pounds.
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