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Патент USA US3090463

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May 21, 1963PLENUM
Filed Sept. 29, 1958
w. A. CROWLEY -
CHAMBER TYPE GROUND EFFECT MACHINE WI
T3,090,455
SELF-PROPULSION AND STEERING MEANS
5 Sheets-Sheet 1
32 0m
@NW
INVENTOR.
WALTEK A. ([0 was)’
A 7 70 Km! 7:
May 21, 1963
w. A. CROWLEY
3,090,455
PLENUM CHAMBER TYPE GROUND EFFECT MACHINE WITH
SELF-PROPULSION AND STEERING MEANS
Filed Sept. 29, 1958
3 Sheets-Sheet 2
INVENTOR.
WALTER A L'J’bwlsy
,4 T rem/vars
May 21, 1963
w‘ A. CROWLEY
3 090,455
PLENUM CHAMBER TYPE GROUND EFFECT MACHINE WITH,
SELF-PROPULSION AND STEERING MEANS
Filed Sept. 29, 1958
5 Sheets-Sheet 3
INVENTOR.
WALTER A. CA’oWLé‘)’
‘,QMIMsYW
A 770107578
United States Patent 0
11
CC
1
2
FIG. 8 is-a top plan view of a “hydro-air” cargo sled
3,090,455
embodying the principles of the invention;
PLENUM CHAMBER TYPE GROUND EFFECT
MACHINE WITH SELF-PROPULSION AND
STEERING MEANS
Walter A. Crowley, Royal Oak, Mich, assignor, by mesne
assignments, to Carwil Enterprises, Incorporated, Day
tona Beach, Fla.
Filed Sept. 29, 1958, Ser. No. 763,919
20 Claims. (Cl. 180—7)
3,090,455
Patented May 21, 1963
FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of the structure il
lustrated in FIG. 8, taken along theline 9--§ thereof,
and looking in the direction of the arrows;
‘ FIG. 10 is an elevational sectional view of the struc
ture illustrated in FIG. 8, taken along the line 10-10
thereof, and looking in the direction of the arrows; and,
FIG. 11 is a top plan view of a “hydro-air” vehicle
10 similar to the vehicle shown in FIG. 5 but showing a
This invention relates generally to “hydro-air” vehicles,
modi?ed thrust means.
and, more particularly, to novel “hydro-air” vehicles
Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to
FIGS. 1 through 4, wherein is illustrated an actual work
ing embodiment of the invention, the numeral 10 gener
which travel on air cushions or air bearings over land or
water and are capable of being propelled at high rates
of speed.
15 ally illustrates the hollow bottomless body of the ve
It is the primary object of this invention to provide
hicle of this embodiment. The body 10‘ is provided with
a vehicle having a body provided with a hollow pres
a cockpit 11 having a seat 12 for the seating of passen
sure chamber on the bottom thereof which is down
gers and this cockpit is sealed to prevent loss of air pres
wardly open and which vehicle is provided with lift
sure under the vehicle. The rest of the body 10 func
means to maintain pressurized air inside of the cham
tions as an air pressure chamber. The body 10 may be
ber, whereby, the pressurized air raises the vehicle off the
made from any suitable material. In the illustrative
ground, or water, and the vehicle ?oats on the pres
working embodiment the body 10 comprises a welded
surized air or air cushion; and, wherein the vehicle has
frame made from one-half inch thin-wall steel tubing
horizontal propulsion and steering means for horizon
covered by a shroud or skin made from aluminum.
tally propelling and steering the vehicle.
25 Other suitable shroud materials which have been suc—
It is another object of this invention to provide a ve
cessfully used are ?berglass, canvas and cloth-‘backed
hicle of the class described, which is simple, lightweight
. plastic coverings.
and compact in construction, with very few moving parts,
The body 10 may be shaped as desired but in the
safe and simple to operate, economical of manufacture,
illustrative embodiment it is shown as being substan
and which provides a smooth, fast mode of transpor 30 tially rectangular in plan view with downwardly and
tation even over rough ground or rough water.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a
outwardly sloping sidewalls and with rounded‘ ends.
The illustrative working embodiment was made approxi
vehicle of the class described which may be made in
mately 15 feet long, 8 feet wide and 3 feet high. The
different embodiments, as for example, for commercial
side and end walls of the body 10‘ are shown as being
passenger or cargo use over land and/ or water; for mili 35 disposed at an acute angle to the horizontal plane of
tary use as tank or troop carriers; and, for family ve
the lower edge of the body as illustrated by the numerals
hicular purposes.
13 and 14, respectively. The angles 13 and 14 may vary
It is still another object of this invention to provide
but it has been found that these angles should be with
a vehicle of the class described which is self limiting
in the range of from 30 to 90 degrees for optimum
in altitude and which is possessed of excellent stability 40 working results. The bottom of the body 10 is open
in roll and pitch so that only yaw or steering control
is required.
Other objects, features and advantages of this inven
tion will be apparent from the following detailed de
scription and appended claims, reference being had to
the accompanying drawings forming a part of the speci?
as indicated by the numeral 15.
'
As shown in FIGS. 1 through 4, the hydro-air vehicle
further includes lift means generally indicated by the
numeral 16 and a propulsive power means forthrust
45
and steering purposes generally indicated by the numeral
17.
In the illustrative embodiment the lift means 16 is
cation wherein like reference numerals designate cor
responding parts of the several views.
shown as being disposed in the rear portion of the body
10. The lift means 16 comprises engine driven pressuriz
In the drawings:
ing means which illustratively includes an air pump hav
FIG. 1 is a top-plan view of a “hydro-air” vehicle 50 ing a suitable engine as 18 which is ?xedly mounted in
made in accordance with the principles of the invention;
the body 10 by any suitable means as by the braces 19.
The drive shaft 20 of the engine 18 is disposed vertically
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal elevational sectional view of
and extends upward-1y through the air inlet opening 21
the structure illustrated in FIG. 1, taken along the line
formed in the top wall of the body 10. Fixedly mount
2-2 thereof, and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 3 is a transverse elevational sectional view of 55 ed on the drive shaft 29 is an air pressurizing device
in the form of an air pump impeller 22, which is enclosed
by the protective screen 23. In the illustrative working
embodiment the pump impeller is a three bladed wood
rows;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, broken, side elevational view, 60 impeller with a ?xed pitch of 25 degrees, and the engine
18 is a 72 horsepower engine made by the McCulloch
with parts in section of the throttle control mechanism
Motors Corp, Model 4318A. It will be understood that
for the thrust engine employed in the embodiment of
any suitable engine may be used and that a jet engine
FIGS. 1 through 3;
could be used for pressurizing instead of the motor-pump
the structure illustrated in FIG. 1, taken along the line
3——3 thereof, and looking in the direction of the ar
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a second “hydro-air” ve
hicle made in accordance with the principles of the in
vention;
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the structure il
lustrated in FIG. 5, taken along the line 6—@ thereof,
and looking in the direction of the arrows;
means illustrated.
65
The lift engine 18 is provided with the usual auto
matic starter as 24 which is powered from a conventional
6 volt automotive type battery as 25 which also provides
ignition current. The battery 25, starter 24, and engine
18 are adapted to be operatively interconnected by the
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of a “hydro-air” tank 70 usual conductor cables as 26 so as to be operated from
carrier made in accordance with the principles of the
invention;
the control plate or board 27 disposed in the cockpit 11.
The vehicle carries a conventional fuel tank as 28 for
3,090,455
3
41
.
feeding fuel through a fuel line as 29 to the fuel pump
30. The engine 18 may be throttled and controlled
by a suitable cable as 31 from the control board 27.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3,-the body 10 may be pro
vided with pontoons as 32 which may be ?xedly mount
ed on each side of the body to permit the vehicle to
be landed on water. As shown in FIG. 1, the body 10
is preferably provided with steps as 33 on each side there
of to permit easy entrance to the cockpit 11. A wind
shield 34 is also provided across the front end of the 10
In use, the operator would ?rst start the lift motor 18‘
and the impeller 22 pumps in replacement air to main
tain the air pressure inside the chamber created by the
hollow body 10 at a pressure above atmospheric pres
sure.
The air pressure inside of the pressure chamber
raises the vehicle off the ground, or Water, and the air
escapes around the open lower perimeter 15 of the body
16. The vehicle is thusr?oating on the air pressure as
long as the average pressure times the average cross
section area exceeds the gross weight of the vehicle. The
cockpit 11.
propulsive thrust engine 39 is then actuated to provide
As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the propulsive thrust
power means 17 is swivelly mounted on the vertical post
35 which is ?xedly mounted on the front end of the ve
vehicle may be easily steered by merely swivelling the
movement to the vehicle.
It will be obvious, that the
thrust engine 39 as desired. The vehicle may be braked
A bracket 36 carrying the pin 37 is swivelly 15 by reversing the thrust, that is, by reversing the thrust
engine, by swivelling it around on the post 35. If de
mounted in the bearing means 38 on the upper end of
sired, the propellor for the thrust engine 39 may be of
the post 35. The thrust engine 39 is ?xedly mounted
hicle.
on the supporting bracket 36 and is provided with the
two-bladed propeller 40 which is enclosed in a protective
the reversible pitch type so as to be used as a brake,
or to back up, instead of turning the complete engine
around. The vehicle may also be braked by reducing
the speed of the engine 18 so as to decrease the lifting
action and cause friction between the lower edge of
power Kierkaefer engine is used. Although a propeller
the body 10 and the ground or water. The actual work
type thrust means has been illustrated, it will be under
ing embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 4 has
stood that a jet propulsion engine can be used for thrust
purposes.
'
25 safely and ef?ciently carried three adults.
An important advantage of the hydro-air vehicle of the
The thrust engine 39 is adapted to be swivelled for
present invention is its safeness in that it is self-limiting
steering purposes by means of the large pulley 42 which
in altitude. It is self-limiting in altitude from a few
is ?xedly connected to the lower end of the bracket 36
inches to a few feet, depending on the design, size, and
by any suitable means as by the bracket arms 43. As
best seen in FIG. 1, a nylon rope 44 is operatively en 30 horsepower of the particular model, due to the immediate
loss of lifting air pressure if the model is raised above its
gaged with the front end of the pulley 42 and this rope
equilibrium height from the ground or other surfaces
is also engaged with the pulleys 45 and 46 and the
over which it is hovering or traveling, thus while forming
steering pulley 47 . The pulley 47 is connected by means
of the shaft 48 to the steering wheel 49. The pulley . a gap with the surface. This self-limiting in altitude feature
or property prevents the vehicle from accidently, or
46 is spring mounted as by means of the spring 59 so
‘deliberately, climbing to a height from where anyone
as to provide a constant tension on the rope 44 to keep
screen '41. The thrust engine 39‘ may be of any suitable
type. In the illustrative working embodiment a 22 horse
it operatively engaged with the aforementioned pulleys.
could be injured by a rapid descent. A further safety
feature of the hydro-air vehicle is that the vehicle will
descend safely as the supporting pressure decreases if
that best results are provided with the thrust engine 39 40 the lift engine 18 is shut off or fails. Another feature of
the hydro-air vehicle is its simplicity of control. Due to
and steering means being located on the front end of
the support or lift dependance upon air pressure between
the vehicle to provide a pulling e?ect rather than a
pushing effect. With the thrust means located on the
the vehicle and the ground or other surfaces, the wide
It will be seen that the vehicle may be steered by the
aforementioned steering means and it has been found
front end of the vehicle, a more accurate control over
area over which the pressure is distributed gives the
vehicle excellent stability in roll and pitch control so that
the movement of the vehicle is provided. The steering
only ya-w or steering control is required.
means is adapted to swivel the thrust engine 39 approXi~
FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate a second type hydro-air vehicle
mately 179° in either direction from the position shown
made in accordance with the principles of the invention.
in FIG. 1.
The embodiment of FIGS. 5 and 6 is substantially similar
The thrust engine 39‘ is provided with the usual car
to the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 4 and the same
buretor 51 which is controlled by the push rod 52. The
reference numeral followed by the small letter “a” has
push rod v52 is slidably mounted in the tube 53 and
been used for the corresponding parts. A ?rst difference
which is carried on the bracket 36. The lower end of
between the instant embodiment and the ?rst disclosed
the push rod 52 is ?xedly connected to the ring 54 which
embodiment is that the shape has been changed. The
is further supported on other side thereof by means of
number 10a indicates the hollow body of the vehicle
the second push rod 55 which is slidably mounted
through the tube 56 which is ?xedly connected to the 55 which is substantially hemispherical in shape and open
bracket 36 at a point opposite to the tube 53. The push
at the bottom side thereof. In the instant embodiment the
lift means 16a is mounted centrally of the body 10a,
rod 52 is moved upwardly and downwardly to control
the carburetor by means of the arm 57 which is hingedly
with the thrust means 17:; located at what may be termed
the rear end of the vehicle and the steering wheel 49a
mounted as at 58 on a bracket 59 which in turn is
?xedly mounted on the bracket 60a supported between 60 located at the opposite or frontend of the vehicle. The
the post 35 and the body 10. It will be seen that the
embodiment of the FIGS. 5 and 6 would function in
arm 57 may function to move the push rod 52 upwardly
generally the same manner as the embodiment of FIGS.
and downwardly and permit the engine 39 to be swivelled
1 through 4. Two working models of the type shown
in FIGS. 5 and 6 have been made and successfully op
by means of the foot pedal 60 and the interconnecting 65 erated. The one model was 31 inches in diameter and
when equipped with a 1A0 horsepower lift engine was able
linkages 61, 62; and 63 and the tension springs 64 and
to support 38 pounds above the ground. The other model
65. The thrust engine 39 is adapted to be supplied
was 7 feet in diameter and lifted a gross weight of 300
with fuel from the fuel pump 30* which also supplies
the lift engine 18 by means of suitable ?exible conduits 70 pounds o? the ground with a lift engine of 4 horsepower.
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of a further embodi
as 66. The conduits 66 are adapted to permit the thrust
engine 39 to swivel about the axis of post 35. The igni
ment of the invention as speci?cally, of a tank or troop
carrying platform. The vehicle of FIG. 7 comprises the
tion system of the thrust engine 39 is also suitably con
nected by means of the conductors as 67 and 26 from
platform 93 which is adapted to carry cargo such as
the control board 27 to the battery 25.
75 tanks or troops and it is ?xedly connected at each end
on the post 35. The arm 57 is adapted to be operated
3,090,455
thereof to hollow bodies or cones 94 and 95.v The cones
94 and 95 are equipped with a lift means generally indi—
cated by the numerals ‘96 and 97 respectively, and with a
thrust means generally indicated by the numerals 98 and
99 respectively. The vehicle of FIG. 7 would be especially
useful for carrying troops, tanks and military equipment
across rivers, marshes and the like. The lift provided by
said hollow underside being in communication under said
body with the ‘atmosphere when the body is raised over
the surface to be traveled, and means ‘for vertically lift
ing, horizontally propelling and steering the vehicle, said
means including engine driven pressurizing means on the
vehicle and communicating with said hollow underside
for maintaining gas under pressure in said hollow under
the two cones 94 and 95 would be equal to the sum of
side and in cushion under said body for lifting the ve
the areas of the bottom of the two cones in square inches
hicle upward only in the region of ground effect and
times the average air pressure in pounds per square inches 10 supporting the vehicle into a horizontally idle hovering
which could be maintained inside the cones by the lift
position with said body forming with said surface said
means 96 and 57. Since the cones are essentially in con
perimetrical gas escape gap Which gap under given load
tact with the ground, the pressure required to lift the
on the vehicle has magnitude varying with gas pressure
vehicle plus its payload, will be equal to the gross weight
in pounds divided by the bottom area of the cones in
square inches. The platform 93 is preferably also a hollow
open bottomed structure which communicates with the
hollow cones 94 and 95 to provide additional compression
chamber space for additional lifting capacity.
then available in total from said engine driven pressur
izing means for lifting the vehicle in view of amounts
of said gas escaping from the hollow underside to the
atmosphere, and said ?rst mentioned means further in
cluding horizontal propulsion and steering means on the
vehicle for the vehicle to horizontally propel itself and
FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 illustrate a “hydro-air” cargo vehicle 20 be steered through vthe air above ‘said surface while supply
made in accordance with the principles of the invention.
of gas to said hollow underside and in cushion under said
The numeral 160 indicates the hollow body of the cargo
body is continued from said engine driven pressurizing
vehicle which maybe used as a cargo barge or sled and it
means to support said body above said surface in a peri
could be used in multiples or train fashion. The vehicle
inetrical lift gap forming relation to said surface.
of FIGS. 8, 9 and 10‘ is provided with a lift means 101 25
2. A vehicle as de?ned in claim 1, in which a plurality
and 102, and the vehicle further includes twin thrust and
of gas inlets communicate with the same space within
steering means 103 and 104. The aforementioned lift
said ‘hollow underside, and said engine driven pressuriz_
and thrust means are shown respectively as engine driven
ing means includes a plurality of gas pressurizing devices
impeller means and engine driven propeller means but
each in a corresponding one of said inlets for moving
it will be understood that they could be of any other 30 gas into said space through the corresponding said inlet,
suitable type, as for example, jet engine means or turbo
said devices having engines, each said engine being driv~
prop engine means. The lift means is mounted in the two
ingly connected with an apportioned number of said de
conical centrally disposed ducts 10-5 and 106 as shown
vices.
in FIG. 10. The deck area 107 would be used for cargo
‘3. A vehicle adapted .to be raised from a surface by
carrying space and a cabin as 108 is provided at the 35 gas pressure and travel and be steered at low altitude rep
forward end thereof. The spaces 10-9, 110 and 111
resented by a perimetrical gas escape gap relative to said
would be enclosed to provide bouyancy tanks available
for use as fuel tanks and the like. The space 112 would
form a second cabin in the aft end of the vehicle. The
space 113 under the cargo carrying deck 107 is in com
munication with the cones 105 and 106 to provide addi
tional compression chamber space for lift purposes.
FIG. 11 illustrates a further embodiment of the inven
tion which is similar to that of FIG. 5 but wherein the
surface, said vehicle including :a body having an upward
ly extending downwardly open hollow underside for gas,
said hollow underside being in communication under
said body with the atmosphere When the body is raised
over the surface to be traveled, and means for vertically
lifting, horizontally propelling and steering the vehicle,
said means including pressurizing means on the vehicle
and communicating with said hollow underside for main
thrust means is provided in a different manner. The 45 taining gas under pressure in said hollow underside and
numeral 11-i- indicates a hollow body identical to body
in cushion under said body for lifting the vehicle upward
10a of FIG. 5. The numeral 115 represents a lift means,
only in the region of ground effect and supporting the ve
numeral 116 represents the cockpit and control steering
hicle into a horizontally idle hovering position with said
wheel position, and, numerals 117, 113, 119 and 120
body forming with said surface said perimetrical gas es
represent suitable valves for bleeding o? air, in jets having
cape gap which gap under given load on the vehicle has
the horizontal rearward direction indicated by the arrows,
mavnitude varying with gas pressure then available in
from the compression chamber for steering and thrust
total from said pressurizing means for lifting the ve
purposes. By having openings and valves therefor as 117,
hicle in view of amounts of said gas escaping from the
118 and, 119 and 125, the lift means 115 may be utilized
hollow underside to the atmosphere, and said ?rst men
for both lift power purposes and thrust and steering
tioned means further including steering and horizontal
purposes.
The embodiments shown herein are merely illustrative
of the many types of vehicles which may be made in ac
cordance with the principles of the invention. For ex
ample, the vehicles which may be made in accordance with
the principles of the invention may include airplane car
riers, ocean crossing liners, ferry boats, landing craft,
missile launchers, and the like.
While it will be apparent that the preferred embodi
ments of the invention herein disclosed are well calculated
to ful?ll the objects above stated, it will be appreciated
that the invention is susceptible to modi?cation, variation
and change without departing from the proper scope or
fair meaning of the subjoined claims.
propulsion means on the vehicle for the vehicle to hori
zontally propel itself in selectively forward and reverse
directions through the air above said surface and be
steered and ‘braked while supply of gas to said hollow
underside and in cusion under said body is continued
from said pressurizing means to support ‘said body above
said surface in a perimetrical lift gap forming relation
to said surface.
4. A vehicle adapted to be raised from a surface by
gas pressure and travel and be streered at low altitude
represented by a perimetrical gas escape gap relative to
said surface, said vehicle including a body having an up
wardly extending downwardly open hollow underside for
gas, said hollow underside being in communication under
What I claim is:
70 said body with the atmosphere when the body is raised
1. A vehicle adapted to be raised from a surface by
over the surface to he traveled, and means for vertically
gas pressure and travel and be steered at low altitude rep
lifting, horizontally propelling and steering the vehicle,
resented by a perimetrical gas escape gap relative to said
said means including pressurizing means on the vehicle
surface, said vehicle including a body having an upwardly
and communicating with said hollow underside for main
extending downwardly open hollow underside for gas, 75 taining gas under pressure in said hollow underside and
3,090,455
8
in cushion under‘said body for lifting the vehicle upward
only in the region of ground effect and supporting the ve
hicle into a horizontally idle hovering position with said
body forming with said surface said perimetrieal gas
escape gap which gap under given load on the vehicle
has magnitude varying with gas pressure then available
in total from said pressurizing means for lifting the ve
hicle ‘in view of amounts of said gas escaping from the
vehicle in view of amounts of said gas escaping from the
hollow‘ underside to the atmosphere, means for throttling
said pressurizing means to vary the input of gas to said
hollow underside whereby ascent vertically to hovering
postion and ‘descent of the vehicle may be achieved, said
first mentioned means further including steering and hori
zontal propulsion means on the vehicle for the vehicle
to be steered and horizontally propel itself through the
air above said surface while supply of gas to said hollow
tioned means further including steering ‘and horizontal 10 underside and in cushion under said body is continued
from said pressurizing means to support said body above
thrust propulsion means swivelly mounted on the ve
said surface in a perirnetrical lift gap forming relation to
hicle for the vehicle to be steered and horizontally propel
said surface, and horizontal propulsion control means for
itself through the air 'above said surface while ‘supply
hollow underside to the atmosphere, and said ?rst men
of gas to said hollow underside and in cushion under said
body is continued from said pressurizing means to sup
port said body above said surface in a perimetrical lift
gap forming relation to said surface.
5. A vehicle as de?ned in claim 4, wherein said steer
controlling horizontal propulsion.
ing and horizontal thrust propulsion means is swive-lly
means for the Vehicle to be buoyed and remain a?oat on
mounted on the vehicle so as to be rotatable in either
water (and having an upwardly extending downwardly
direction of rotation to horizontally propel the vehicle
selectively in forward ‘and reverse directions and for the
vehicle to be steered.
6. A vehicle adapted to be raised from a surface by
open hollow underside for gas, said hollow underside
8. A vehicle adapted to be raised from the surface of
water by gas pressure and to travel in the air at low alti
tude represented by a perimetrical gas escape gap relative
to said surface, said vehicle including a body having
being in communication under said body with the atmos
phere when the body is raised over said surface to he
traveled, and means for vertically lifting, horizontally
gas pressure and travel and be steered at low altitude 25 propelling and steering the vehicle, the latter said means
including pressurizing means on the vehicle and com
represented by ‘a perimetrical gas escape gap relative to
said surface, said vehicle including a body having an
municating with said hollow underside for maintaining
upwardly extending downwardly open hollow underside
gas under pressure in said hollow underside and in cushion
under said body for lifting the vehicle upward only in
for gas, said hollow underside being in communication
under said body with the atmosphere when the ‘body is 30 the region of ground effect and supporting the vehicle in
a horizontally idle hovering position with said body form
raised over the surface to he traveled, and means for
ing with said surface of the Water said perimetrical gas
vertically lifting, horizontally propelling and steering the
escape gap which gap under given load on the vehicle
vehicle, said means including pressurizing means on the
has magnitude varying with gas pressure then available
vehicle and communicating with said hollow underside
in total from said pressurizing means for lifting the ve
for maintaining gas under pressure in said hollow under
hicle in view of ‘amounts of said gas escaping from the
side and in‘ cushion under said body for lifting the Vehicle
upward only in the region of ground effect and support
hollow underside to the atmosphere, control means on the
vehicle to vary the lifting effect of said pressurizing means
ing the vehicle into a horizontally idle hovering position
so that ascent of the vehicle vertically to hovering posi
with said body forming with said surface said perimetric'al
gas escape gap which gap under given load on the vehicle 40 tion and descent of the vehicle may be achieved, said
means for vertically lifting, horizontally propelling and
has magnitude varying with gas pressure then available
steering the vehicle further including steering and hori
in total from said pressurizin'g means for lifting the
zontal propulsion means on the vehicle for the vehicle
vehicle in view of amounts of said gas escaping from/the
to be steered and horizontally propel itself through the
hollow underside to the atmosphere, control means on
the vehicle to vary the lifting eifect of said pressurizing 45 air above the surface of the Water while supply of gas
to said hollow underside and in cushion under said body
means so that ascent of the vehicle vertically to hovering
is continued from said pressurizing means to support said
position and ‘descent of the Vehicle maybe achieved, said
body above said surface in a perimetrical lift gap form
first mentioned means further including steering and hori
ing relation to said surface, and horizontal propulsion
zontal propulsion means on the vehicle for the vehicle to
he steered and ‘horizontally propel itself through the air 50 control means for controlling horizontal propulsion.
9. A vehicle as de?ned in claim 8, wherein said means
above said surface while supply of gas to said hollow
for the vehicle to be buoyed and remain a?oat on water
underside and in cushion under said body is continued
7 includes pontoon means appended to said body to con
from said pressurizing means to support said body above
said surface in a perimetrical lift gap forming relation to
tact the water when the vehicle is brought down on ‘water.
said surface, and horizontal propulsion control means for
10. A vehicle adapted to be raised from a surface by
gas pressure and travel and be steered at low altitude
represented by a perimetrical gas escape gap relative to
controlling horizontal propulsion.
7. A vehicle adapted to be raised from a surface by gas
pressure and travel and 'be steered at low altitude repre
sented by a perimetrical gas escape gap relative to said
said surface, said vehicle including a body having an up
wardly extending downwardly open hollow underside for
surface, said vehicle including l3. body having ‘an upwardly 60 gas, said hollow underside being in communication un
der said body with the atmosphere when the body is
extending downwardly open hollow underside for gas,
raised over the surface to he traveled, and means for
said hollow underside ‘being in communication under said
vertically lifting, horizontally propelling and steering the
body with the atmosphere when the body is raised over
vehicle, said means including pressurizing means on the
the surface to be traveled, and means for vertically lifting,
vehicle and communicating with said hollow underside
horizontally propelling and steering the vehicle, said
‘for maintaining gas under pressure in said hollow under
means including pressurizin'g means on the vehicle and
side and in cushion under said body for lifting the ve
communicating with said hollow underside for maintain
hicle upward only in the region of vground effect and
ing gas under pressure'in said hollow underside and in
supporting the vehicle into a horizontally idle hovering
cushion under said body for lifting the vehicle upward
only in the region of ground effect and supporting the 70 position with said body forming with said surface said
perimetrical gas escape gap which gap under given load
vehicle into a horizontally idle hovering position with
on the vehicle has magnitude varying with gas pressure
said body forming with said surface said perimetrical
gas escape gap which gap under given load on the ve
then available in total from said pressurizing means for
lifting the vehicle in view of amounts of said gas es
hicle has magnitude varying with gas pressure ‘then avail~
able in total from said pressurizing means for lifting the 75 caping from the hollow underside to the atmosphere, and
3,090,455
said ?rst mentioned means further including horizontal
propulsion jet and steering jet means on'the vehicle for
the vehicle to horizontally jet propel itself through the
air above said surface and be jet steered while supply
of gas to said hollow underside and in cushion under
said body is continued from said pressurizing means to
support said body above said surface in a perimetrical lift
gap forming relation to said surface.
11. A vehicle adapted to be raised from a surface by
gas pressure and travel and be steered at low altitude
represented by a perimetrical gas escape gap relative to
said surface, said vehicle including a body having an up
wardly extending downwardly open hollow underside for
10
rality of upwardly extending downwardly open compres—
sion chambers for gas, said compression chambers be
ing in communication under said body with the atmos
phere when the body is raised over the surface to be
traveled, and means for vertically lifting, horizontally
propelling and steering the vehicle, said means includ-'
ing pressurizing means on the vehicle and communicat—
ing with said compression chambers for maintaining gas
under pressure in said chambers and in cushion under
said body for lifting the vehicle upward only in the re
gion of ground e?ect and supporting the vehicle in a
horizontally idle hovering position with said body ‘form
ing with said surface said perimetrical gas escape gap
gas, said hollow underside being in communication un
which gap under given load on the vehicle has magni
der said body with the atmosphere when the body is 15 tude varying with gas pressure then available in total
raised over the surface to he traveled, and means for
from said pressurizing means for lifting the vehicle in
vertically lifting, horizontally propelling and steering the
view of amounts of said gas escaping from the compres
vehicle, said means including pressurizing means on the
sion chambers to the atmosphere, and said ?rst men
vehicle and communicating with said hollow underside
tioned means further including steering and horizontal
for maintaining gas under pressure in said hollow under 20 propulsion means on the vehicle for the vehicle to be
side and in cushion under said body for lifting the ve
steered and horizontally propel itself through the air
hicle upward only in the region of ground effect and
above said surface while supply of gas to said compres~
supporting the vehicle into a horizontally idle hovering
sion chambers and in cushion under said body is con
position ‘with said body forming with said surface said
tinued from said pressurizing means to support said body
perimetrical gas escape gap which gap under given load
above said surface in a perimetrical lift gap form-ing re
on the ‘vehicle has magnitude varying with gas pressure
lation to said surface.
then available in total from said pressurizing means for
14. A vehicle as de?ned in claim 13, wherein said
lifting the vehicle in view of amounts of said gas es
compression chambers are in spaced apart positions lon
caping from the hollow underside to the atmosphere, and
gitudinally of said body.
said ?rst mentioned means further including steering and
15. A vehicle as de?ned in claim 13, wherein said plu
horizontal propulsion means on the vehicle and com
rality of compression chambers includes a pair of said
municating with said pressurizing means for delivering
chambers with one of said pair of chambers being lo
thrust of gas under pressure from said pressurizing means
cated at one end of said body and the other of said pair
to the vehicle for the vehicle to horizontally propel it
of chambers being located at the other end of said body,
self through the air above said surface ‘and be steered 35 and said body includes a platform between said pair of
while supply of gas to said hollow underside and in cush
compression chambers.
ion under said ‘body is continued from said pressurizing
16. A vehicle adapted to be raised from a surface by
means to support said body above said surface in a peri
gas pressure and travel and be steered at low altitude
metrical lift gap ‘forming relation to said surface.
represented by a perimetrical gas escape gap relative to
12. A vehicle adapted to be raised from a surface by 40 said surface, said vehicle including a body having an up
gas pressure and travel and be steered at low altitude
represented by a perimetrical gas escape gap relative to
said surface, said vehicle including a body having an up
wardly extending downwardly open hollow underside for
wardly extending downwardly open hollow underside for
gas, said hollow underside being in communication under
said body with the atmosphere when the body is raised
over the surface to be traveled, and means for vertically
gas, said hollow underside being in communication un
lifting, horizontally propelling and steering the vehicle,
der said body with the atmosphere when the body is
said means including pressurizing means on the vehicle
raised over the surface to be traveled, and means for
vertically lifting, horizontally propelling and steering the
and communicating with said hollow underside for main
taining gas under pressure in said hollow underside and
vehicle, said means including pressurizing means on the
in cushion under said body for lifting the vehicle upward
vehicle and communicating with said hollow underside
only in the region of ground effect and supporting the ve
for maintaining gas under pressure in said hollow under
hicle into a horizontally idle hovering position with said
side and in cushion under said body for lifting the ve
body forming with said surface said perimetrical gas
hicle upward only in the region of ground effect and
escape gap which gap under given load on the vehicle
supporting the vehicle into a horizontally idle hovering
has magnitude varying with gas pressure then available
position with said body forming with said surface said 55 in total from said pressurizing means for lifting the ve
perimetrical gas escape gap ‘which gap under given load
hicle in view of amounts of said gas escaping from the
on the vehicle has magnitude varying with gas pressure
hollow underside to the atmosphere, said ?rst mentioned
then available in total from said pressurizing means for
means further including steering and horizontal propul
lifting the vehicle in view of amounts of said gas es
sion means on the vehicle for steering and horizontally
caping from the hollow underside to the atmosphere, and 60 propelling the vehicle through the air above said surface
while the supply of gas to said hollow underside and in
said ?rst mentioned means further including steering and
cushion under said body is continued from said pressuriz_
horizontal propulsion means on the vehicle and com
municating with said hollow underside ‘for delivering
ing means to support said body above said surface in a
thrust of gas under pressure from said hollow underside
perimetrical lift gap ‘forming relation to said surface.
to the vehicle for the vehicle to horizontally propel itself 65
17. A vehicle as de?ned in claim 16, in which a plu
through the air above said surface and be steered while
rality of gas inlets to said hollow underside empty at
supply of gas to said hollow underside and in cushion
different locations into the same space within said hollow
under said body is continued from said pressurizing means
underside and communicate with said pressurizing means
to support said body above said surface in a perimetrical
70 for said pressurizing means to supply gas to said space
lift gap forming relation to said surface.
through said inlets.
13. A vehicle adapted to be raised from a surface by
18. A vehicle as de?ned in claim 16, in which a plu
gas pressure and travel and be steered at low altitude
rality of gas inlets to said hollow underside empty at
represented by a perimetrical gas escape gap relative to
different locations into the same space within said hollow
said surface, said vehicle including a body having a plu 75 underside and communicate with said pressurizing means,
3,090,455
11
12
and said pressurizing means includes ‘a plurality of gas
pressurizing devices each in a corresponding one of said
inlets for said pressurizing means to supply gas to said
space through said inlets.
,
‘19. A vehicle as de?ned in claim 16, in ‘which ‘a gas 5
inlet -to said hollow underside is downwardly directed
into said hollow underside and said pressurizing means
communicates with said inlet and supplies gas in a down
ward direction into said hollow underside through said 10
inlet.
20. A vehicle as de?ned in claim 16, in which a .plu
rality :of gas inlets communicate with the same space
within said hollow underside, and said pressurizing means
includes a plurality of .gas pressurizing devices each in a
1,621,625
1,698,482
Nicin ________________ .. Lian. 8, ‘1929
2,218,938
'Rinne __; ____ _.‘_ ______ .. Oct. 22, 1940
2,439,196
Wolf et al _____________ __ Apr. 6, 1948
2,444,318
2,511,979
2,738,845
Warner ______________ .._ June 29, 1948
Goddard _____________ _... June 20, ‘1950
'Bizjak ______________ _._ Mar. 20,1956
, 2,780,826
Coons et a1 ___________ __ Feb. 12, ‘1957
2,834,560
Werner et a1. _________ __ May 13, 1958
2,838,257
Wibault _____________ __ June 10, 1958
2,842,084
Williams ____ _.'_ ________ __ July 8, 1958
2,918,183
Petersen et-al __________ __ Dec. 22, 1959
corresponding one of said inlets vfor moving gas into said 15
space through the corresponding said inlet.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
,_ 936,395
,
Casey _________________ _ ‘Mar. 22, 1927
OTHER REFERENCES
Finish publication “Teknillinen Aikak-auslehti,” No. 2,
1942, ‘article entitled “Air Cushioned Surface Vehicle,”
pages 43 through 48.
‘Publication: “Popular Mechanics,” July 1957, pages
Worthington _'____;:. _____ __ Oct. 112, 1909 20' 74-78.
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