rexresearch.com


Edward H. LANIER

Vacuplane / Paraplane








Popular Science (January 1932): "Short Wing Vacuplane"
Popular Mechanics (1935): "Here Is An Airplane That Almost Flies Itself"
Popular Science (April 1935): "Inventor Tests New Suction Plane"
US Patent # 1,750,529: Aeroplane
USPatent # 1,779,005: Aeroplane
USPatent # 1,803,805: Aeroplane
USPatent # 1,813,627: Aeroplane
USPatent # 1,866,214: Aeroplane
USPatent # 1,913,809: Aeroplane
US Patent # 2,430,431: Airplane Wing Lift Modification
USP # 2,678,784: Airplane
USP # 3,326,500: Aircraft Lift-Increasing Device
USP # 3,995,794: Super-Short Take Off and Landing Apparatus
GB 1,181,991 / CA832316: Aircraft Lift-Increasing Device


USP # 1,549,122: Aeroplane

USP # 2,678,784
Airplane
EC:  B64C21/02  IPC: B64C21/02; B64C21/00
1954-05-18

USP # 3,326,500
Aircraft lift-increasing device
EC:  B64C23/00A  IPC: B64C23/00; B64C23/00
1967-06-20

USP # 3,995,794
Super-Short Take Off and Landing Apparatus
EC:  B64C15/02; B64C39/08  IPC: B64C15/02; B64C39/08; B64C15/00 (+2)
1976-12-07

Abstract --- An aircraft provided with airfoils of the non-rotating type that are configured and arranged to provide greater lift while at the same time offering stable flight at ultra-low airspeeds. The airfoils are arranged as a biplane and consist of a fixed wing and a movable wing which are designed so as to permit a much steeper takeoff and landing angle as well as offering more efficient flight at higher speeds with greater inherent safety.


Popular Science (January 1932)

"Short Wing Vacuplane Gets Lifting Power From Vacuum Cells"

The "Vacuplane", a strange new type of airplane, has made its appearance at the University of Miami, Florida. Its abbreviated wing, open at the top, is lined with hollow chambers or "suction cells". These are said to make its lifting power equal to a conventional plane of greater wingspan. Several planes of this type have been constructed under the direction of Prof. Fred H. Givens, head of the university's aviation department, following in general the original design of E. H. Lanier, Cincinnati inventor. More than 15 successful flights have been made. In the latest model, illustrated here, round "tip-loss boards" at the ends of the wing increase the lifting force by preventing the formation of air vortexes. Ailerons that control the plane's banking are mounted on the fuselage behind the propeller.


Popular Mechanics (1935), p. 917

"Here Is An Airplane That Almost Flies Itself"

Named by its designer, a research professor at the University of Miami, the "vacuplane", an airplane of unusual appearance has been successfully flown. Two types thus far have been developed, but both have the distinguishing features of extremely short span and a hollow airfoil with baffle fins replacing the usual top covering. The wing in horizontal section has a shape somewhat like that of a bird in flight, but is fitted at the end with disks to reduce the wing-tip vortex and to add to lateral control. The cabin of the ship is highly streamlined with resulting low resistance. Lateral balance in the earlier tests was obtained through "flipper" controls placed in the propeller slipstream, but the later type was equipped with ailerons. The hollow character of the wing, with its open and baffled top, is said to add greatly to the lifting power of the airfoil vacuum and allow the plane to take off and land at low speeds. Performance in the air was considered good enough to warrant the statement by the pilot that the plane virtually flew itself.



Popular Science (April 1935)

"Inventor Tests New Suction Plane"

A modified and improved design of his "vacuplane", differing markedly from its predecessors (P. S. M., Jan. '32), was recently demonstrated by its inventor, E. H. Lanier, at Miami, FL. This odd craft is provided with suction cells on its upper surface, which are said to increase the lift and reduce the required wing area. The new model weighs 360 pounds, is only 16 feet long, and is reported to have a speed of 96 mph. The plane is shown above with its inventor, at left, comparing notes with his pilot on the machine's performance.


US Patent # 1,750,529

Aeroplane

Edward H. Lanier
(March 11, 1930)

My invention relates to the art of aerial navigation and it particularly has to do with the heavier-than-air type of craft.

Primarily, the invention has for its object to provide an aeroplane that will, by its own fixed construction and design and without the pilot's aid, maintain an even keel while in flight and will volplane on an even lateral keel without the aid of a pilot or the motor.

Further, it is an object to provide a machine that will not nose dive, side slip or tail spin under ordinary circumstances, but should this happen, the machine will right itself without the pilot's aid.

A further object is to provide such a machine which adheres strictly to the same theory of flight, the same general construction, ailerons, rudder and elevators as used on present time planes.

Further, it is an object to provide an aeroplane of great inherent stability which will be particularly useful for aerial school student passenger flights around aerial fields, and will be especially useful to develop confidence in those afraid of the present high speed planes.

Other objects will in part be obvious and in part be pointed out hereinafter.

To the attainment of the aforesaid objects and ends, my invention consists in the novel features of construction, connection, and arrangement of parts, hereinafter more fully described, and then pointed out in the appended claims.

In the drawings:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of an aeroplane embodying my invention.

Figure 2 is a plan view of the same.

Figure 3 is a side elevation

Figure 4 is a front elevation of the same.

Figure 5 is a vertical longitudinal section of the same.

Figure 6 is a cross section on the line 6-6 of Figure 5.

Figure 7 is a side elevation of a modified embodiment of the invention.

Figure 8 is a front elevation thereof.

Figure 9 is a detail section on the line 9-9 of Figure 5.

In the drawings in which is disclosed a preferred embodiment of the invention, 1 represents the keel extending in a stream line and comprising the backbone of the vehicle. Located beneath the keel is a suitable cabin 2 which may contain the controls (not shown) for the various operating instrumentalities (engine, ailerons, elevators, rudders). The cabin has floor 3, a front wall 4 extending downwardly and rearwardly from the keel and of V-shape in horizontal section, thereby offering but little wind resistance, a rear wall 5 similar inform to the front wall, and side walls 2 which diverge downwardly from the keel to the floor.

Suitable landing gear is provided and comprises legs 6 diverging from keel 1, braces 8 extending from the front end of the cabin adjacent the floor downwardly and outwardly to the legs 6, wheels 9 mounted at the bottom of the legs, and a tail skid 13.

It will be noticed that the keel extends forwardly to overhang the cabin and the forward end is provided with an engine base 10 for the engine 11 which drives the propeller 12.

Above the keel is a fuselage composed of a suitably braced framework with walls covering the sides, ends and part of the top. The side walls are continuous from the front to the rear in stream lines and diverge upwardly from the keel. The fore part 18 of the side walls extends forwardly and upwardly above the cabin to constitute the sides of a nose whose front wall 24 inclines upwardly and forwardly from the keel adjacent the front of the cabin and rearwardly to comprise the short top wall 21. That portion of the fuselage body above the cabin is open at the top to constitute what I shall hereinafter term a vacuum chamber 20.

To the rear of the chamber 20 the fuselage body is closed by the side wall portions 19, a top wall 34, rear wall 44 and partition wall 43, the latter being inclined upwardly and rearwardly from the keel toward the top of the fuselage body.

Along the upper edge of the outer wall which extends along the sides of the chamber 20 are flanges 22 whose purpose is to deflect the air away from the upper side edges of the chamber 20 and prevent its curling over those edges into the chamber.

The fore end of the fuselage body is braced to the extended end of the keel and motor base by struts 23, and an air stream splitting and laterally diverging member 25 is provided between the base 10 and the surface 24.

Wigs 26 have spars 27 extending from the keel, the adjacent edges of the wings being spaced from the fuselage body and keel and are provided with vertical air channel vanes 29 for a purpose presently to be explained.

The wings are braced at 7 to the legs 6 of the landing gear and at 28 to the vanes 29 and to the fuselage frame.

The machine is provided with horizontal stabilizers 14, elevators 15, a vertical stabilizer 16 and rudder 17, all being of any approved construction.

Mounted on the fuselage and preferably on top thereof is a tailspin check vane 30 which is hinged at 31 and has a stop 32 to engage a fixed stop 33 when the vane opens up. The vane normally lies parallel to and in close juxtaposition to the fuselage body but it is spaced slightly therefrom by strips 36 of rubber, wood or other suitable material to prevent air suction under the same.

The vane may also be notched as a t 37 to straddle the adjacent stabilizer.

The top wall 34 of the fuselage body is slotted at 35 to receive the pivoted end of the vane 30 and brace rods 38 are pivoted to the vane and pass through ears 39 on the side walls of the fuselage so as to cooperate with the stops 32 and 33. the rods 38 have rubber bumpers 40 and stop nuts 41 as indicated.

The usual ailerons 42 may be provided on the wings.

In order to prevent rainwater form accumulating in the chamber 20, a suitable drain 45 is provided and in order not to break the vacuum in the chamber during the normal operation of the plane the drain 45 may be provided with a back check valve 46.

The wings 26 are preferably inclined upwardly from their inner toward their outer edges or tips as best shown in Figure 3.

The novel form of the fuselage body of the plane has a vacuum chamber in the front part, upwardly and outwardly inclined side walls longitudinally parallel with the stream line its full length, the air channel vanes attached to the inner ends of the wings longitudinally parallel with the central vertical longitudinal plane of the fuselage and no covering to the wings between the fuselage and air channel vanes, provides a construction which creates longitudinal air channels adjacent the middle of the machine when the machine is traveling on an even keel. When volplaning towards the earth, or should the machine go into a nosedive, the air currents will flow through the air channels more vertically. In either case this flow of air creates a powerful vacuum or upward pull in the vacuum chamber and in conjunction with the air pressure on the outside of the fuselage has great stabilizing effect.

Another important advantage of the vacuum chamber is that the vacuum chamber is located at the highest point, bringing the center of gravity in a vertical line directly beneath the vacuum chamber.

The arrangement of the wings at an angle with their outer end higher than in the center also has great stabilizing effect, especially as the adjacent ends of the wings are separated from the fuselage body and keel, which permits a current of air to pass through.

Wings which extend entirely across the wing span without a break in the center balance very delicately; an opening in the center, however, permits a current of air to pass through and greatly reduce the tendency of the wings to fight compression and get out of balance.

When the machine for any reason goes into a tailspin the tail vane opens. This vane is hinged at its forward end only and when the plane is in the forward flight it lies on the fuselage entirely neutral, and does not in any way affect the machine in flight, but should the machine stall and go into a spiral spin backwardly this vane will immediately open and throw the tail of the machine to the right or left, thus bringing the front of the machine down partially sideways and as it begins to volplane it will right itself. At the same time the tail vane will immediately close down on the fuselage body in its normal position.

While I have located this tail vane on the top of the fuselage body in a horizontal position, it could be located on the sides of the fuselage in a vertical position with the same mechanical construction.

The tail vane at this point of the fuselage will exert great force on account of the leverage; assuming the nose of the machine to be the fulcrum, pressure at the back will be very great and easily bring the tail to the right or left from the center of travel in falling. In a tail spin the machine does not fall in a true line with the center of gravity but spins around in a corkscrew fashion, the tail inscribing a circle. It is this motion that would cause air to get under the tail to the right or left of the line of fall, thus bringing the wings and front of the machine over on its side to a volplane.

As shown, the vane 30 is of greater width than that of the fuselage wall adjacent to which it flies.

In Figures 6 and 7 is shown a modification of the invention in which the fuselage and cabin structure are a part of the same body and the vacuum chamber is mounted above the cabin as a separate body. In this embodiment the cabin is indicated by 47, the rear portion of the fuselage by 48, the vacuum chamber by 49, the wings by 50, the air channel vanes by 51, the tail vane by 52, the engine by 53, the stabilizers by 54, the elevator by 55 and the rudder by 56.

It is to be noted that in both embodiments of the invention the width of the cabin is less than the space between the adjacent ends of the wings. This is of importance or the reason that if the machine is volplaning or settling the air currents will pass up vertically through the air passages along the side of the vacuum chamber to create a vacuum or area of low pressure over the chamber even though the burbling point has been reached on the top surface of the wings. In other words, when the plane is in forward motion, volplaning or settling down vertically, a vacuum will be formed in the air chamber. The wings only create a vacuum in the forward motion of the machine.

From the foregoing description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings it is thought the construction, operation and advantages of my invention will be clear to those skilled in the art, it being understood, however, that I do not limit myself to precise details of construction, changes in which may readily be made without departing from the scope of the invention and the spirit of the appended claims [not included here].


US Patent # 1,779,005
Aeroplane

Edward H. Lanier
(October 21, 1930)

My present invention which relates to the art of aerial navigation has for its primary object to improve the aeroplane which constitutes the subject matter of my Letters Patent # 1,750,529, issued march 11, 1930.

Further, it is an object to provide an aeroplane of a design and construction which is especially adapted for large machines of the commercial or passenger transport type and particularly to improve the lines, distribution of weight and propeller thrust.

Further, it is an object to provide an improved construction wherein adequate provision is made for visibility in front, sides and top of the cabin for the benefit of the pilot.

Further, it is an object to provide an aeroplane of the king disclosed in my patent aforesaid, in which provision is made for more flare at the top outer sides of the vacuum chamber in order to create greater lifting force vertically and more balancing force laterally, always bearing in mind a true streamline design longitudinally.

A further object is to provide a convex or angled up floor for the vacuum chamber which may also constitute the roof of the cabin, thereby at the same time providing for more head room in the cabin and enabling the air to be drawn out of the vacuum chamber more freely than when a flat floor for the vacuum chamber is used.

Further, it is an object of the invention to provide the vacuum chamber with a set of air buffers or partitions which may be rigid, or preferably, hinged so that they may be swung up to close the top of the vacuum chamber when desired, means being provided under control of the pilot for actuating the buffer-partitions at will to open or close the chamber.

Other objects will in part be obvious and in part be pointed out hereinafter.

To the attainment of the aforesaid object and ends, the invention still further resides in the novel details of construction, combination and arrangement of parts, all of which will be first fully described in the following detailed description, then be particularly pointed out in the appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, in which: ---

Figure 1 is a perspective view of an aeroplane embodying my invention.

Figure 2 is a side elevation of the same.

Figure 3 is a plan of the same, parts of the wings being broken away.

Figure 4 is a front elevation of the machine.

Figure 5 is a central longitudinal vertical section thereof.

Figure 6 is a detail cross section on the line 6-6 of Figure 5.

Figure 7 is an inverted plan showing the contour of the keel when viewed from below.

Figure 8 is a central vertical longitudinal section of a modification of the invention.

In the drawings, in which like numerals of reference indicate like parts in all of the figures, 1 represents the keel which has a forward extension 2 on which the motor is mounted. The landing gear is represented by 3 and the tail skid by 4. 5 is the usual vertical fin while 6 designates the rudders and 7 the horizontal stabilizers.

The fuselage includes the long runs 8 which are suitably braced transversely and 9 represents the wing beams which carry the wings 10, the latter being braced as at 11 as shown. The construction of the wings may be the same as in my patent hereinbefore mentioned.

The roof 13 of the cabin in this embodiment of the invention also constitutes the floor of the vacuum chamber that is located above the cabin. In the preferred embodiment of the invention herein illustrated, the cabin is built into the fore part of the fuselage, the after part 37 constituting the tail assembly.

The vacuum chamber which is located above the cabin has a front wall 14 and side walls 15, the outer surfaces 16 of which are flared outwardly and upwardly laterally from the cabin. The side walls of the vacuum chamber have their upper edges convexed as at 17. The rear wall 18 of the vacuum chamber is preferably slightly inclined upwardly and rearwardly from the floor 13.

The cabin 19 has side walls 20 which merge with the side walls of the vacuum chamber and it has a front wall 21 which constitutes the lower wall of the nose of the machine. This front wall 21 extends upwardly and forwardly from the floor of the cabin to the tip 22 of the nose, and from that tip there is an upwardly and rearwardly extended (preferably curved) wall 23, the rear edge 32 of which overlies the wall 14.

The front wall of the cabin is provided with windows 24 and the wall 23 is likewise provided with windows 25. As illustrated best in Figure 5 of the drawings there is a space left between the front wall 14 of the vacuum chamber and the tip 22 of the nose so that the pilot on the seat 39 may have vision through the windows 25 as well as through the windows 24 and will thus be able to see above as well as in front and below.

The cabin 19 is also provided with widows 27 in its sides and a door 28 for the usual purposes.

Air buffers 29 are mounted in the vacuum chamber and these air buffers may be held fixed in position or, preferably, they are hinged at 30 and are provided with heels 31 so that when the buffers are moved on the hinges upwardly the heel 31 of one buffer to the rear will overlie the free edge of the next buffer and thus enable the buffers to act as a closure for the top of the vacuum chamber when desired. The fore buffer 29, when in closed position, underlies the projection 32 of the wall 23, which projection acts also as a stop. The heel 31 of the rear buffer, when in the closed position, engages the upper edge of the wall 18 as a stop.

Suitable stops 33 on the floor of the vacuum chamber are provided to limit the downward movement of the buffers to their maximum working position where they function as air buffers or deflectors.

In order to operate the air buffers at the will of the pilot I may provide a winch 35 on which is wound an operating cable 36 that passes over suitably located idler pulleys 34 and is connected to the several buffer lugs 29a whereby when the winch 35 is turned in one direction the buffers 29 may be moved to the closed position (see dotted lines in Figure 5), and when moved in the other position they are brought to the position indicated in full lines I Figure 5.

It will be noted that the tail assembly is closed at the top as well as at the sides, bottom and rear end, the top closure being indicated by 38.

The motor or engine 40 is preferably located on the extension 2 of the keel while the propeller 41 is preferably mounted on a shaft projecting from the nose tip 22 and is driven from the motor 40 by a sprocket and chain drive 42.

In the modified form of the invention illustrated in Figure 8 the front portion 43 of the keel is substantially parallel to the long runs 8x while the rear portion 44 of the keel extends from the rear of the cabin upwardly and rearwardly. Furthermore in this embodiment the vacuum chamber has its nose 45 forwardly extended to overlie the motor 46 which is mounted to approximate alignment with the horizontal plane containing the long runs, the propeller 47 in this instance being directly mounted on the motor shaft.

The wings 10 of the aeroplane may be, as before intimated, of the same construction as in my patent aforesaid, and the channel vanes 48 are also provide to leave the air channels between those vanes and the sides of the fuselage and vacuum chamber.

It will be noted by reference to Figure 7 that the keel 1 is widest from the front end of the cabin and from the rear end it tapers toward the tip of the tail. Furthermore, the keel where it extends in front of the cabin is narrowed.

The cabin and vacuum chamber side walls are relatively parallel longitudinally and the air channel vanes are relatively parallel with th4 keel longitudinally to reduce drag to a minimum and allowing a free flow of air through the air channel to the tail assembly.

A large proportion of the weight of the entire plane is located at the lowest level below the wing lift and the vacuum chamber forces. The propeller thrust is approximately on a line with the wing supporting lift and the vacuum chamber forces.

In the preferred arrangement the engine is located on the keel and the propeller on the nose of the vacuum chamber and connected with the engine by a suitable power transmitting connection (either chain or shaft drive). While some power may be lost by this method of driving there is a distinct advantage in having the engine located at a low point of gravity and the propeller thrust on a line with the supporting wing lift and the vacuum chamber forces. However, the engine and propeller unit can be mounted on the nose of the plane if desired and if more than one engine is used the engines may be mounted to the right and left of the vertical center as is done in planes now in common use.

It will also be observed that by virtue of the construction shown and described, vision for the pilot is amply provided for by windows constructed of any suitable material and located to the right, left, front and above the pilot.

When the plane is moving at slow speed or the engine is throttled down, there is a tendency for the air to flow down into the vacuum chamber from above. The provision of the air buffers, however, causes this air to be deflected upwardly and rearwardly, thus preventing it from entering the vacuum chamber to any considerable extent. One or more buffers may be used though I prefer to use a plurality of them, particularly where they are of the hinged kind and are also employed for the purpose of closing the top of the vacuum chamber.

It will be noted that the buffers do not extend to the bottom of the vacuum chamber as this would create pockets and prevent a free easy suction of air from the chamber.

By building up the top longitudinal edges of the vacuum chamber side walls in oval form they prevent, in a very effective way, air currents from curling over into the vacuum chamber.

From the foregoing description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, it is thought that the construction, operation and advantages of my invention will be clear to those skilled in the art to which it relates.

What I claim is: --- [Claims not included here]


US Patent # 1,803,805
Aeroplane

Edward H. Lanier
(May 5, 1931)

My invention relates to the art of aerial navigation and it particularly has to do with the heavier-than-air type of craft.

The primary object of the invention is to produce great lateral and longitudinal stability in a plane by its own fixed construction, thus preventing side slips, spins or nose dives, but should these perchance happen, the plane will right itself into a volplane slowly descending to earth.

Other object will in part be obvious and in part be pointed out hereinafter.

To the attainment of the aforesaid objects and ends, the invention still further resides in the novel details of construction, combination and arrangement of parts, all of which will be first fully described in the following detailed description, then be particularly pointed out in the appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawing in which: ---

Figure 1 is a perspective view of an aeroplane embodying my invention.

Figure 2 is a side elevation of the same.

Figure 3 is a plan view of the same.

Figure 4 is a vertical cross section on the line 4-4 of Figure 3.

Figure 5 is a front elevation of the invention.

In the drawings in which like numerals of reference indicate like parts in all of the figures, 1 represents the fuselage which may be of any approved construction, and it contains in its fore part the cabin door for the passengers and crew, suitable doors 2 being provided for ingress and egress and suitable windows 3 being provided for vision.

An engine 4 is mounted on the nose of the fuselage and to its shaft is attached the usual propeller 5. 6 designates the front landing gear, 7 the tail skid, 8 the elevators, 9 the vertical fins and 10 the lateral steering rudders.

All of the aforesaid parts may be of any approved design and construction.

Extending laterally above the fuselage are the side wings 11, the inner ends of which are spaced apart and from the fuselage to leave vertical air channels between the ends of the winds and the fuselage, the ends of the wings providing vertical side walls 16. The wings are mounted on the fuselage by suitable cross beams and bracing 12 of any approved construction.

Running longitudinally above the fuselage and extending between it and a top wing 13 is a partition 14, the side walls of which curve laterally upward at 17 and merge with the bottom surfaces 18 of the top wing 13, the bottom surface 18 extending upwardly and outwardly from the center toward the sides of the wing, thereby defining a dihedral angle.

The front edge of the top wing is straight across at its top and curves downwardly and inwardly as at 15, thus providing for the front edgeof the top of the wing to overhang the front edge of the side walls and also to overhang the motor. The wings 11 also have their leading edge straight across the top, and their under surfaces incline upwardly and outwardly as at 19.

The top wind is designed with a high lift factor and of thick camber in the middle. Across the top of the wing the line is straight from tip to tip with a pronounced dihedral form on the underside, being thickest in the center and tapering upwardly at the wing tips. Also in plan view the top wing preferably has its side edges converging rearwardly as shown best in Figure 3.

It will be observed that the partition 14 runs longitudinally along the center of the fuselage midway between the adjacent ends of the side wings 11 and along the center of the top wing 13. This provides tow channels, one at each side of the fuselage, and prevents the air from one channel crossing the fuselage laterally, the partition separating the air in air channels, and producing pressure on the sides of the partition and the dihedral undersides of the top wing to insure lateral stability especially when aided with the low center of gravity. And the upward pull of the high lift wing.

By extending the nose of the top wing over the engine great leverage to lift the plane pout of a nosedive into a volplane is obtained.

The front end of the partition 14 is rounded to offer as little head resistance as possible.

It will also be noted from Figure 3 that the side wings along the chord are widest at their inner ends and narrowing toward the wing tips. The purpose of this is to produce the greatest lift near the center of gravity. By tapering the top wing from the front edge toward the back edge as shown in Figure 3, a greater lift of that wing is obtained forward and the lift is reduced at the rear end so as not to affect the tail of the plane.

From the foregoing it will be seen that while planes with a top wing will not ordinarily produce good results, yet by providing the partition between the adjacent ends of the side wings it becomes possible for the top wing effectively to function when the plane over-balances laterally. This combination of the side and top wings with the center partition and air channels produces almost positive lateral stability.

From the foregoing description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings it is thought the complete construction, operation and advantages of my invention will be clear to those skilled in the art to which it relates.

What I claim is: --- [claims not included here]


US Patent # 1,813,627
Aeroplane

Edward H. Lanier
(July 7, 1931)

My present invention relates to the art of aerial navigation, and particularly to aeroplanes of the kind disclosed in my Patents # 1,750,529, issued March 11, 1930 and # 1,779,005, issued October 21, 1930.

In the practical development of the aeroplanes disclosed in my said Letters Patent I have found by experiments and tests that the lifting power of the vacuum chamber exceeded my expectations, and I have further found that an aeroplane can be designed utilizing the principle of the vacuum chamber lift in which the wings can be wholly eliminated or reduced to dwarf wings, i.e., wings of little lifting power but of sufficient area to provide an aeroplane which has little or no wing area and yet possesses the principle advantages possessed by the planes of my patents aforesaid.

Further, it is an object to provide an aeroplane with a vacuum chamber having dihedral flares extended laterally sufficiently to serve in place of wings entirely or substantially.

Further, it is an object to provide such an aeroplane with dwarf wings, for example, which may extend at a level below that of the lateral flares so as to support the ailerons usually employed in aeroplanes.

Other objects will in part be obvious and in part be pointed out hereinafter.

To the attainment of the aforesaid objects and ends, the invention still further resides in the novel details of construction, combination and arrangement of parts, all of which will be first fully described in the following detailed description, then be particularly pointed out in the appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, in which: ---

Figure 1 is a perspective view of my present invention showing the same without the usual wings.

Figure 2 is a side elevation thereof.

Figure 3 is a front elevation thereof.

Figure 4 is a perspective view of my present invention showing the same provided with dwarf wings.\

In the drawings I have illustrated my invention as applied to an open cockpit type of plane, although it is obvious that the invention may also be applied to cabin types, as indicated in my patents aforesaid.

Referring now to the accompanying drawings, it will be observed that 1 represents the body of the aeroplane, which may be of any approved construction, the open cockpit type fuselage being illustrated for the purposes of this application.

The front landing gear is indicated by 2 and the tailskid by 3, while the usual tail rudders and elevators are indicated by the numeral 4. The propeller is indicated by the numeral 5. In open cockpit type machines there are openings provided at 6 and 7 for the passengers and aviator, these openings being provided with side ports, if desired, or the aviator may simply step over the top of the fuselage into the openings provided. All of the aforesaid structure may be of any approved type, or in lieu of the open cockpit type of fuselage the cabin type, such as indicated in my prior patents, may be used.

Extending upwardly along the top of the body is a fin or longitudinal structure 8,the side walls of which extend upwardly and laterally to merge with the under walls of the vacuum chamber that is located above the body 1 and united to it by the fin or longitudinal structure 8. At the front the fin 8 has an upwardly and forwardly inclined wall 9 from which extends upwardly and backwardly a wall 10, the walls 9 and 10 constituting a nose of the fin and vacuum chamber. The vacuum chamber includes the central major portion 12 and the lateral portions 13, the latter being contained in a part of the lateral flares 11. The spread across the lateral flares from side to side is sufficient so that the vacuum chamber structure, i.e.,, the structure supported by the fin or longitudinal body 8, may support the weight of the entire flare without the use of the ordinary wings now so commonly employed in aeroplanes.

The vacuum chamber may be3 provided with air buffers 15 for the same purpose as the air buffers 29 in my patent # 1,779,005.

When desired short or dwarf wings 16 may extend outwardly from the vacuum chamber sides and carry ailerons 17 for the usual purposes. Where the area of the vacuum chamber, including the spread across the flares, is sufficient to sustain the vehicle the dwarf wings 16 are made only large enough to act as supports for the ailerons 17. Furthermore the length of the ailerons from fore to aft is very much less than the length of the vacuum chamber, as will be seen by reference particularly to Figures 1 and 2.

In interpreting the scope of this invention and the claims hereunto appended, I desire it understood that the term "body" is not to be limited to any particular type of body, be it open cockpit or cabin type, or be it simply a blind fuselage with a cabin suspended beneath, the gist of the present invention being in the provision of the vacuum chamber of such area, design and construction that it will furnish the greater part, if not all, of the lifting power of the machine, making it possible to wholly eliminate the use of wings or to use only dwarf wings as described.

From the foregoing description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, it is thought that the complete construction, operation and advantages of my invention will be readily understood to those skilled in the art.

What I claim is: --- [Claims not included here]


US Patent # 1,866,214
Aeroplane

Edward H. Lanier
(July 5, 1932)

My present invention relates to the art of aerial navigation and particularly to aeroplanes of the kind disclosed in my Letter Patents 1,750,529 issued March 11, 1930, 1,803,805 issued may 5, 1931, and 1,813,627 issued July 7, 1931.

Primarily my present invention has for its objects to produce an aeroplane having a high degree of inherent stability, bringing closer the ratio of plane to pilot for safety; to provide one which needs less space for maneuvering, lass hanger room, one which can carry more useful load and has less production cost than the aeroplanes now commonly employed.

Further, it is an object to provide for the concentration of lift close in to the center of gravity, the concentrated directional forces merging in a common point over a low center of gravity to produce a high degree of automatic stability or balance.

Further, it is an object to provide an aeroplane in which the airfoil may be a conventional streamlined wing curve with slight modification, dihedral in form on the underside and air tight with the exception of an opening in the top surface to evacuate the air and produce low pressure within the airfoil (hereinafter termed "cellule"), creating relatively more lift than the conventional wing in one-half the span and thus concentrating the lifting forces close in to the center of gravity.

Other objects will in part be obvious and in part to be pointed out hereinafter.

To the attainment of the aforesaid object and ends, the invention still further resides in the novel details of construction, combination and arrangement of parts, all of which will be fully described in the following detailed description, then be particularly pointed out in the appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, in which: --

Figure 1 is a perspective view of my present aeroplane.

Figure 2 is a rear perspective view of the same.

Figure 3 is a plan view of the same.

Figure 4 is a central vertical longitudinal section of the same.

Figure 5 is a plan view of a modification of the invention.

Figure 6 is a plan view of another modification.

Figure 7 is a diagrammatic cross section illustrating the action of the air pressures, etc., in planes having a narrow opening in the top.

Figure 8 is a diagrammatic cross section illustrating the action of the air pressures, etc., in planes having wide openings in the top.

Figure 9 is a perspective view of a conventional aeroplane equipped with my invention.

In the drawings in which like numerals of reference indicate like parts in all of the figures, 1 represents the body proper of the aeroplane, which may be of any approved construction, 2 indicates the front landing gear, 3 the tail skid, 4 the usual rudders an elevators and 5 the usual motor driven propeller.

Extending upwardly from the body 1 is a vertical fin-like structure 6 which can be a part of the cabin in cabin-type planes if desired. This structure serves to connect the body with the airfoil. The vertical fin-like structure 6 is provided with an open chamber at the front, the forepart of which carries a transparent windshield 7 while the rear portion 8 may be used to enclose a vacuum chamber or pocket 20 that is in communication solely with the interior of the airfoil.

The bow of the fin-like structure 6 is curved upwardly and forwardly as at 9 while the stern is curved downwardly and rearwardly as at 10. The airfoil preferably consists of a central level (approximately horizontal) part 11 from which extend laterally upwardly intermediate parts 12 that terminate in tip parts 13, the latter extending approximately parallel to the central part 11. Ailerons 14 are provided on the laterally extended ends 13 of the airfoil and operated in the usual way.

The extreme lateral parts of the airfoil are preferably provided with tip boards 15 to prevent tip loss and tip drag.

The airfoil consists of a hollow or chambered body composed of a suitable framing and an air-tight envelope covering; the covering being intact on the lower surface of the airfoil but having an opening 16 in the top surface through which the air may be sucked from within the airfoil to evacuate its chamber.

18 designates the top covered part of the intermediate lateral extensions 12 of the airfoil while 19 indicates the top covering of the laterally extended ends or tips 13.

In the embodiment of the invention shown in Figure 9, which is a conventional type aeroplane consisting of the cabin 21 having the observation room 22 for the pilot and controls and having the conventional wing 23, I modify the construction by making the envelope of the wing of an air-tight covering and providing a transverse open slot 24 in the top as shown.

In Figures 7 an 8 I have indicated diagrammatically the direction of forces acting to lift the aeroplane. In those figures A indicates the bottom surfaces of the intermediate portions of the airfoil whose ration of lift approximates 33-1/3 % (the same as with conventional wings). B indicates the inside skin of the airfoil whose ratio of lift approximates 66-2/3 % (in the conventional wing its ratio is zero). C indicates the top surface of the airfoil whose ratio of lift approximates 66-2/3 %, the same as with conventional wings.

From these diagrammatic figures it will be observed that there is provided a higher degree of vacuum suction force within the airfoil; more efficiency, relatively, in the lift of the surface B as a whole; and more square feet exposed to lift surface B; and the open top area D allows suction to act on lower surface B, thereby increasing lower efficiency to 100%.

While in the first five figures of the drawings I have shown the fin-like structure 6 as provided with a rear chamber 8 in communication with the interior of the airfoil to serve as a vacuum pocket, it is evident that this chamber or vacuum pocket may be dispensed with if desired in order to give more cabin room, as its presence is not absolutely essential to a proper working of the machine, though it does help in increasing the lifting power in a measure.

I preferably provide air buffers 17 particularly where the airfoil is provided with large vents or openings in the top.

While in the drawings the airfoil is of octagon shape in top plan, it could be made in other forms as for example with a round outside diameter in the form of a disc, but as the geometric form is not material to the invention I do not wish to be understood as being limited to any particular form, be it octagon, circular or otherwise.

As heretofore intimated the airfoil is a streamlined wing curve with slight modifications, dihedral in form on the underside and airtight with the exception of an opening in the top surface of its envelope to evacuate the air and produce lower pressure within the airfoil.

By reference especially to the diagrammatic Figures 7 and 8, it will be noted that the suction forces that normally acted on the top surface C takes action on the lower surface b due to the fact that the opening D brings them in contact with the rarefaction by suction. This brings efficiency of the lower surface B up, due to the fact that in the normal wing the suction lift is exposed to the upper skin C of the wing only. It will be readily seen that the action of this force adds lift to the lower surface A over and above the pressure forces utilized in the ordinary section.

As vacuums and pressures distribute an equal poundage over every square inch of surface of a retainer, it will be readily seen that the much larger exposure that can be obtained in a cellule, gives a greater force value than can be obtained by the utilization of the upper surface C only, and when the exhaustion or rarefaction in proportion to the speed has taken place, the panel in its entirety conforms to the performance of the normal wing in regard to top surface exposed.

The vents in the top surface of the airfoil should be located over the center of lift and about one-third distance back of the entering edge in order to localize the center of pressure in a moderate range over the center of gravity. The vents can be a lateral slot or slots, round or oval or holes, whichever should prove the most efficient in practice.

In motion the suction lift forces on the inside bottom skin of the airfoil passing through the vents merge or concentrate directly over the center of lift (see Figure 8). Due to the narrow span of the airfoil the lift is concentrated close in and over the center of gravity producing inherent stability of a high degree, insuring maneuverability, bringing closer the ratio of plane and pilot, requiring less hanger space and being much cheaper and lighter to build than the conventional wing. Built up spars and ribs in the airfoil are not necessary but may be used if desired.

Structurally the airfoil can be built in three sections, the middle or center section, a part of the fuselage, and the two outer sections bolted or hinged to the center section, folding down, or the airfoil can be built independently of the fuselage. Such details of manufacture are within the mechanical ability of aeroplane engineers and therefore illustration of the same in this application is thought to be unnecessary.

It is important, however, that the fuselage and airfoil be connected longitudinally by a partition to prevent sideslip, such a partition as for instance the vertical fin-like structure 8.

The theory of getting additional lift from a given wing area is applicable to the conventional wing of today with few changes, simply by making the wing air-tight and supplying vents or openings in the top surface to evacuate the air, thus increasing the payload without an increase in structural weight (see Figure 9). Lift is also exerted on the inside bottom skin of the airfoil above the cabin which, on the conventional wing, is negligible. On planes with large cabins this additional lift would greatly increase payload.

From the foregoing description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, it is thought the complete construction, operation and advantages of my invention will be clear to those skilled in the art to which it relates.

[Claims not included here]


US Patent # 1,913,809
Aeroplane

Edward H. Lanier
(June 13, 1933)

My invention which relates to the Vacuplane type of heavier-than-air machines (see my Letters patent 1,750,529 issued march 11, 1930, 1,799,005 issued October 21, 1930 and 1,813,627 issued July 7, 1931) has for an object to provide a small practical low-priced plane with a high degree of inherent stability and lower landing speed than has heretofore been obtained, in order to place a plane within the reach (from the standpoint of first cost and maintenance) of the average person.

Further, it is an object to provide such a plane with either an open or covered cockpit as may be desired, the open cockpit being illustrated in the specific embodiment shown in the accompanying drawings.

Further, it is an object to provide an aeroplane of the type referred to in which there is a midsection composed of the central fuselage-nacelle flanked by two cellules, at the outer sides of which are located longitudinal vanes which are preferably constructed as a part of the midsection and are functionally a part of the midsection of the airfoil to prevent air filtering into the open cellules from the top covered surfaces of the right and left wings.

Further, it is an object of the invention to provide a plane, the rear ends of whose cellules as well as the tops are open, and one the rear part of whose fuselage is triangular in cross-section and covered so as to permit a smooth flow of air to the tail assembly.

Further, it is an object to provide an aeroplane of the type stated whose midsection has a nose or leading edge covered on the top, the space below the covered top of the nose aligning with the cellules being preferably in communication with the open portions or chambers of the cellules whereby the area of low pressure within the airfoil may be extended into the nose.

Further, it is an object to provide an aeroplane of the foregoing description in which the cockpit-nacelle is preferably in communication with the cellules at each side by means of a suitable opening in the side walls of the cockpit, the bottom surface of the cellules and the sides and the bottom walls of the nacelle below the cellules being covered with an airtight skin.

Other object will in part be obvious and in part be pointed out hereinafter.

To the attainment of the aforesaid objects and ends, the invention still further resides in the novel details of construction, combination, and arrangement of parts, all of which will be first fully described in the following detailed description, then be particularly pointed out in the appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, in which: ---

Figure 1 is a perspective view of an aeroplane embodying my invention looking down upon it from the rear.

Figure 2 is a side elevation thereof.

Figure 3 is a front elevation thereof.

Figure 4 is a central vertical longitudinal section of the invention.

Figure 5 is a cross-section on the line 5-5 of Figure 4 looking forwardly.

Figure 6 is a cross-section on the line 6-6 of Figure 4 looking rearwardly.

Figure 7 is a diagrammatic cross-section of the aeroplane, the wings being indicated in dotted lines.

Figure 8 is a diagram of the conventional wing section.

Figure 9 is a diagram of the Vacuplane airfoil showing the action of the air pressure in flight.

In the drawings in which like numerals of reference indicate like parts in all of the figures, 1 is the nacelle, 2 the fuselage frame and 3 the seat in the cockpit while 4 designates the back wall of the cockpit and 5 indicates the front wall thereof. The engine is indicated by 6 and the propeller by 7, it being understood that when the plane is used as a glider the engine and propeller will be omitted.

The machine is provided with the usual landing gear 8 and tailskid 29 as shown. The nose 9 of the nacelle, fuselage is provided with an upper covering 10. At each side of the central fuselage is a cellule 11 which extends at a dihedral angle to the fuselage, the cellule extending part-way along the tail portion 12 of the fuselage, the latter being composed of a frame triangular in cross-section and covered throughout.

Horizontal rudders 13 and vertical rudders 14 are provided at the tail end of the fuselage and those portions of the side wall of the fuselage which extend to the rear of the wing line along the tail 12 are covered, as at 15, to reduce air friction.

16 designates longitudinal vanes at the sides of the midsection, these vanes constituting a part of the mid-section and are for the purpose of preventing air from the top surfaces of the wings 26 from spilling over into the open tops of the cellules 11. The nose of the cellules 11 is covered at the top as at 17, the covering 17 and the covering 10 extending rearwardly to substantially the same distance, but leaving the major part of the cellules uncovered to the extreme rear thereof so that the cellules in this instance are in the nature of troughs, the front ends of which constitute the nose which is covered at the top, while the remainder of the top and the rear end is open.

Each cellule 11 is provided with lateral buffers 18 which are designed to conform to the curvature of the cellules and whose functions are the same as those of the buffers 29 disclosed in my patent # 1,779,005.

The cellules are cross-braced at the rear of the nose portions by walls or frames 19 preferably having the openings 20 to effect communication between the interior of the nose portions of the cellules and the open top chambered portions thereof. The longitudinal walls between the cockpit and the cellules are preferentially provided with openings 21 and 22 so that the area of low pressure may be extended into the cockpit chamber and nacelle. If desired, however, these openings 20 and 21 may be omitted, in which event they would be closed by suitable transparencies so that the aviator could look through the windows 23 in the bottom walls of the cellules for navigation purposes and in order to see his landing gear.

The rear wall 4 may also be provided with openings 24 communicating with the V-shaped channels formed between the covered longitudinal partition walls 15 and the inverted V walls of the tail 12. These pockets formed between 15 and 12 also constitute vacuum or suction chambers.

A suitable wind shield 25 is provided to protect the aviator.

The wings 26 extend laterally from the vanes 16 and may be built rigidly thereto or detachably or foldably secured thereto by methods now well known, which, however, do to per se constitute a part of the present invention. The wings 26 are also provided with the usual ailerons 27 and preferably, though not indispensably, wing tip boards 28 are provided for the usual purpose.

In order that the aviator may enter the cockpit conveniently a series of light skeleton steps are provided on one of the walls 15.

It will be seen that the mid-section of the plane, composed of the fuselage proper and the adjacent cellules, constitutes the center section of the airfoil and is so designed as practically to eliminate the possibility of a crash due to forced landing by materially reducing the landing speed. This result has been accomplished by increasing the lift through the effective removal of what is known as boundary layer --- a mass of air lying on the top surface of a conventional wing, resulting in serious down pressure and loss of lift. See Figure 8. Air deflected by the leading edge is thrown back over the wing in a stream. The movement of the stream over the upper surface creates an area of low pressure, into which the wing is drawn giving lift to the entire pane, but all of the air is not deflected. It is this air which creates the boundary layer and prevents the pressure over the upper surface from being nearly so low, as it should be and, therefore, decreases the tendency to lift.

Effective means for removing this boundary layer of down pressure is gained by omitting the top surface cover of the airfoil. With no covered top surface subject to down pressure, the boundary layer is dissipated or siphoned off by suction and lateral buffers and does not enter the area of low pressure within the airfoil (see Figure 9).

The mid-section as a lift and stabilizing unit bringing into play surface not heretofore used, increases and concentrates the lift over the center of gravity, and the dihedral form, with low pressure within and increased pressures on the outside walls, insures equilibrium (see Figure 7).

This plane is designed so as to reduce the quantity of materials, labor costs and weight to a minimum, without sacrificing quality or strength.

It may be made either as a single-seater or designed to carry more than one person.

In flight rain will not enter the area of the cellule and on the ground gravity permits the water to drain off. The open section of the airfoil is not subject to deterioration from moisture due to good air circulation and it also allows better inspection. The inside bottom skin of the cellules and nacelle can be sprayed with liquid rubber or any resilient waterproof dressing to preserve the skin.

A plane constructed in accordance with my invention to carry a single passenger can be made with a span of 14 feet, a length of 14 feet 9 inches, a height of 4 feet 6 inches and weigh when empty from 260 to 275 pounds. It may be driven by a 27 to 30 horsepower motor. Of course, if a plane to carry more than one person is desired it will be made proportionately larger. The gasoline tank may be carried in the bottom of the nacelle or located in the wings as preferred.

From the foregoing description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, it is thought the complete construction, operation and advantages of my invention will be clear to those skilled in the art to which it relates.

What I claim is: --- [Claims not included here]




US Patent # 2,430,431

Airplane Wing Lift Modification

( Cl. 244- 40 )

The present invention relates to means for increasing the lift and flying qualities of an airfoil and it particularly has for its object to provide means to increase greatly the lift of an airplane at slow speeds without increasing the wing area; to provide means by virtue of which quicker takeoffs, faster climbs, slower landing speeds and higher top speeds can be attained than by the present types of planes.

Another object of my invention is to provide a plane of the Lanier type with means by which the cellules may be provided with a top closure that can be put in place after the plane is in the air when it may become desirable to close the cellules.

A further object is to provide, what I may term, an artificial slip stream of air over the airfoil while the plane is at rest, during the take-off and landing, which will be particularly valuable not only in powered aircraft but in gliders also, as it may be set up independently of a driving propeller.

Other objects will in part be obvious and in part be pointed out hereinafter.

TO the attainment of the aforesaid objects and inds, the invention still further resides in the novel details of construction, combination and arrangement of parts, all of which will be first fully described in the following detailed description, and then be particularly pointed out in the appended claims, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which: ---

Figure 1 is a top plan view of an airplane of the Lanier type hereinbefore referred to.

Figure 2 is a detail section on the line 2-2 of Figure 1.

Figure 3 is a diagrammatic view of one method of utilizing my invention.

Figure 4 is a view similar to Figure 2, on a somewhat larger scale, showing how the invention, in one of its aspects, may be applied to airfoils having very shallow cellules.

Figure 5 is a view similar to Figure 4, but showing how a top for the cellule may be employed with means to lower and raise it as desired.

Figure 6 is a view similar to Figure 2, but omitting the air tubes or ducts, circular plate heaters being indicated within the cellule.

Figure 7 to 10 inclusive are detail cross-sectional views showing different outlets for the air tubes or ducts.

Figure 11 is a detail plan view of a wing having an airfoil of relatively large area and indicates several different forms of heaters that may be separately or collectively employed .

Figure 12 is a section of an airfoil similar to Figure 5, showing another modification of the top or cellule cover lifting mechanism.

Figure 13 is a sectional view of a further modification of the invention.

Figure 14 is a detail plan view of a cellule showing a modified means to close the top of the same.

Figure 15 is a section on the line 15-215 of Figure 14.

Figure 16 is a view similar to Figure 3 but showing a modification thereof.

Figure 17 is a view similar to Figure 4 but showing a modification wherein the air ducts or tubes lie on the top face of the airfoil.

Figure 18 is a view similar to Figure 17, showing a modification of the same.

In the accompanying drawings in which like numbers and letters of reference indicate like parts in all the figures, 1 is the body of the plane, 2 the wings, 3 the cellules or vacuum chambers, and 6 the spars.

The wings have closed bottoms, as at 4. The tops of the wings, except for the cellules, are closed as at 5, 5*. Following the contour of the top surfaces of the wings and crossing the cellules are streamlined air ducts 7 having rearwardly directed outlets which may be continuous slits 21a, Figure 7, a series of holes 21b, Figure 8, or any other suitable shapes, and the outlets of the ducts (7, 7x, 7y, 7z ( may have the cross-sectional form of either Figure 7, Figure 8, Figure 9, or Figure 10, as found most effective in practice.

In Figure 2 there is indicated a heater surface 20 on the bottom of the cellule. In Figure 5 the wall 16 has heating elements 20b. In Figure 6 the heating elements are individual members 20c. The heating elements may be of any approved kind and of desired shape or form. In Figure 11 three different forms of heating elements are indicated, namely: short rectangular heaters 20c, long rectangular heaters 20d, and individual circular heaters 20c; any style or all styles may be used as found most convenient.

The fluid for creating the artificial or auxiliary air streams via the tubes or ducts 7 may be obtained in any desired way. Preferably, I provide a tank 11 for storing compressed air, see Figures 3 and 16. The tank may be charged and kept charged in any suitable way, as for example by means of a motor or engine-driven compressor 13 which takes in air through an opening 14 in the body 1 and passes it through a back check valve 12 into the tank 11 from which it is delivered as required via a manually controlled valve 10 and ducts 9 and 8 to the ducts 7, see Figure 3. As shown in Figure 16, the ducts 7g have individual valves 10x to control the velocity of the gaseous fluid from each duct 7g so as to create a smooth high velocity flow over the entire surface.

Referring now to Figure 5, it will be seen that the cellule 3 is provided with a top 16 that can be raised into place or lowered to the bottom of the cellule, or located at any desired intermediate position. This top 16 has transverse grooves 15 to receive the ducts 7b when the top is closed.

Any suitable mechanism may be provided for mounting and for raising and lowering the top 16. For example, in Figure 5 I have, somewhat diagrammatically, shown cylinders, pivoted at 19, and having pistons (not shown) whose rods are connected to links 17 that are in turn connected with the floor of the cellule (bottom of the wing) and with the top 16 in such manner that when the pistons are forced out by fluid pressure in the cylinders (admitted thereto by suitable means, not shown, under control of the aviator) the links will raise the top into place, and conversely as the pistons recede the links will lower the top to the place desired.

In Figure 12 screw jacks 23, 24 are shown for lifting ad lowering the cover 16d, the jacks being operated by means of a worm shaft 25 and 26, the latter extending into the body 1d to a convenient place for operation by the aviator.

In the modification shown in Figure 13, the cellule top 16a is hinged, as at 27, at the aft end and may be raised and lowered by a cylinder and piston device 18e, or other suitable means.

In the modification shown in Figures 14 and 15 the cellule 3f extends to the aft edge of the wind or airfoil 2f and the cover is made in two major parts, one of which embodies the aft section 5xf which is hinged at 34 and is secured to a rotatable shaft which has a gear 35 meshing with a worm 36 on a shaft 37 that is operated by a hand wheel 38 located in the body of the airplane; the other part is composed of hinged shutters 28 on rods 29 which have gears 30 that mesh with worms 31 on worm shaft 32 that has a hand wheel 33 for operation by the aviator.

In Figures 4, 5, and 6 and in Figures 12 to 15 inclusive, those parts which correspond to like parts in Figures 1 and 2 bear the same reference numerals plus the index letter a (Fig. 4), b, (Fig 5), c (Fig 6), d (Fig 12), e (Fig 13, and f (Figs 14 and 15, respectively. In Fig 17 those parts which correspond to like parts in Fig 4 bear the same reference indicia plus the prime mark. In Fig 18 the parts which are the same as those in Fig 16 bear the same reference indicia as in Fig 4 plus the double prime mark, 20a’’ indicating heaters.

It is a well known fact in aerodynamics that as the velocity of air is increased over an airfoil, the pressure on the top surface will decrease; and naturally the lower the pressure on the top of the airfoil the higher the lift will be. Lift is produced on an airfoil by the forward motion of the airplane moving through the fluid (air) and causing a diversion of the airflow to produce a negative pressure on the top and a positive pressure on the underside of the airfoil. As the speed of the airplane decreases, so does the velocity of the airflow over the airfoil, The smoother the flow, the higher the velocity. The greater the velocity, the higher the lift.

In my invention lift is not totally dependent upon forward speed or motion of the airfoil moving through the air. With my invention embodied in an airplane, a considerable degree of negative pressure can be produced on top of the airfoil while the plane is at rest on the ground. This adds greatly to the quick lift of the plane as it starts over the ground and also enables the plane to land in a much smaller area than would be the case were my invention not used.

From the foregoing it may be readily seen that the result will be a plane of greater load carrying capacity. Reduced takeoff and landing speeds, etc. The boundary layer flow should be favorably influenced so as top reduce drag and increase the burble point. The speed should also be greatly increased due to the practicability of using an airfoil section with extremely low drag characteristics.

The streamlined tubes 7 may be made of steel, dural, wood-plastic, plastic, or like material. The number to be used in any given installation and the proper distances apart will be determined by tests well within te skills of the aviation engineer.

The compressed air flowing from the tubes of the airfoil rearwardly, creating a negative pressure on the topside of the airfoil over the cellules, thereby creating suction lift according to the degree of negative pressure created. The degree of negative pressure is dependent upon the velocity of the air or gas flowing from the tube outlets. In practice it is preferable that the velocity of the fluid issuing from ducts 7 be so equalized in each jet, as to make a smooth flow moving from fore to aft of the airfoil.

By heating the air in the cellules, or topside of the airfoils, the molecules of air are split, thus making the air lighter. This lighter air is easier to move by suction than heavy cool air, and a faster and greater reduction of the pressure on the top side of the airfoil is the result.

If desired, the jets and heat need not be operated excepts for takeoffs and landings.

My invention is adaptable to all shapes and aspect rations of wings.

The pressure to create the tube jet velocity may be made either by the use of a gas-mixing chamber and pressure valves connected to the tubes, or by using an air scoop in front of the plane, preferably at the front of the motor, or by the means hereinbefore referred to an illustrated in Fig 3. The compressed air in the tank will allow landings to take place without the main motor running.

From the foregoing description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, it is thought that the complete construction, operation and advantages of my invention will be clear to those skilled in the art.

What I claim is: --- [ Claims not included here ]




USP # 2,678,784

Airplane

EC:  B64C21/02  IPC: B64C21/02; B64C21/00
1954-05-18




USP # 3,326,500

Aircraft Lift-Increasing Device

EC:  B64C23/00A  IPC: B64C23/00; B64C23/00

1967-06-20




USP # 3,995,794

Super-Short Take Off and Landing Apparatus

EC:  B64C15/02; B64C39/08  IPC: B64C15/02; B64C39/08; B64C15/00 (+2)
1976-12-07

Abstract --- An aircraft provided with airfoils of the non-rotating type that are configured and arranged to provide greater lift while at the same time offering stable flight at ultra-low airspeeds. The airfoils are arranged as a biplane and consist of a fixed wing and a movable wing which are designed so as to permit a much steeper takeoff and landing angle as well as offering more efficient flight at higher speeds with greater inherent safety.

Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to aeronautics and more specifically to airfoils, of the so called biplane type, and their relationship and arrangement with respect to one another as distinguished from airfoil construction.

The design of an aircraft, particularly commercial and corporate types, which can safely operate in limited areas, such as city centers and suburban airports, has been and still is a goal of the aircraft industry. In this endeavor the industry has leaned towards a VTOL, vertical take off and landing, and STOL, short take off and landing, aircraft. The complexity of the VTOL type of aircraft together with its marginal safety and performance in certain flight areas, as well as its high cost, has resulted in directing the efforts of some manufacturers towards the STOL concept.

In the majority of instances a VTOL aircraft utilizes a rotary wing or a tilt-jet flow principle for propulsion, such as in the British Harrier type of aircraft. As distinguished from the foregoing a STOL aircraft employs lower wing and power loadings plus high lift devices, such as large slots and flaps to increase the lift characteristics of the aircraft and thus provide various degrees of STOL capability.

It is known that aspect ratio serves an important function in aircraft wing design. A high performance glider is made with a very high aspect ratio while a high aspect ratio is employed in high load cargo or passenger planes. The high aspect ratio provides less induced drag and a higher lift at a lower angle of attack while increasing the range of the aircraft. On the other hand the same type of aircraft having a very low aspect ratio wing would be relatively inefficient.

A very low aspect ratio wing of proper design gives high lift and drag at large landing angles. However its drag is low at low angles of attack as is its lift. A low aspect ratio wing is less efficient than a high aspect ratio wing for high load long range duties, but a low aspect ratio wing is very good for steep approach landings while its stall angle of attack is very high. Thus each type has its advantages and its disadvantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a STOL type of aircraft utilizing the principle of a biplane in conjunction with certain of the advantages of both a high aspect ratio wing and a low aspect ratio wing. The aircraft is provided with a variable movable upper wing and a fixed lower wing that is provided with circulation augmenters. The movable or variable upper wing is pivotally mounted upon suitable forward supports so the wing can change its angle of incidence in relation to the position of the lower fixed wing. The foregoing arrangement permits the upper wing to achieve, within reason and independent of the lower wing, any position or angle of attack that might be desired.

The present invention tends to increase the lift of the circulation augmented lower fixed wing on take-off and landing by the creation of a trough or channel effect of accelerated air flowing from the variable movable wing that is caused by the positive change of angle of attack of said movable wing. The lower fixed wing is of a high aspect ratio type while the movable upper wing is a low aspect ratio type. The adjustability of the upper wing enables same to be unloaded by decreasing its angle of attack so that said wing is capable of floating through a certain plus and minus range. Such an arrangement permits the upper wing to automatically seek the minimum drag cruise or high speed incidence positioned for various total aircraft loadings. In this manner most of the total aircraft lift is shifted to the fixed bottom high aspect ratio wing with its low induced drag and thereby increasing the wing loading of the lower wing. The upper wing thus functions mostly as a streamlined nacelle for the engines and for giving directional stability. This is important for smooth high speed flying.

One of the objects of the present invention is to provide an aircraft having a fixed large span lower wing and a movable or adjustable short span upper wing. The adjustability or movability of the upper wing in relation to the fixed lower wing tends to provide for optimum cruise and high speed characteristics plus optimum load carrying and super short take-off and landing at slow speed characteristics in a single aircraft. Thus the concept of the present invention will provide for an aircraft having a super-slow take-off and landing characteristics, plus an unusually high cruising speed per horsepower with high load capabilities, plus ultra safety.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of an aircraft embodying the wing design and arrangement of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the aircraft shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the aircraft shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of an aircraft constituting a modification of the wing design and arrangement of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the aircraft shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the aircraft shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of an aircraft constituting another modification of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a front elevational view of the aircraft shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the aircraft shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged detail view of a portion of the upper wing shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 11 is an enlarged front elevational view of the upper wing shown in FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawings there is shown in FIG. 1 an aircraft having a fuselage 10 with a vertical fin and rudder assembly 12. A horizontal stabilizer 13 is provided in the nose portion of the aircraft as distinguished from having same mounted in the conventional manner in the empennage. The fuselage 10 has mounted thereon a fixed bottom or lower high aspect ratio wing 14. A conventional nose wheel 16 is mounted on the lower surface of the forward portion of the fuselage 10 while the lower surface of the bottom wing 14 is provided with the conventional main landing gear and wheels 18.

The upper surface of the fuselage 10 is provided with a pair of vertically extending streamlined support members 20 that are disposed about mid-chordwise of the fixed lower wing 14. The support members 20 are each disposed at an acute angle with respect to a vertical plane through the fuselage 10 and lower wing 14 and are secured at their outer ends to the lower surface of an upper low aspect ratio wing 22. The outer ends of the support members 20 are secured to the upper wing 22 in such a manner as to permit the wing to move or pivot with respect to said supports, in the manner as shown in broken lines in FIG. 10, so that said movement provides for a variable incidence upper wing 22. The support members 20 are preferably streamlined and same are attached or hinged to the upper wing 22 near its center of lift.

The aft of trailing edge of the upper wing is provided with a single streamlined support 24 that is carried by the fuselage 10. The support 24 is capable of vertical movement or adjustment which may be occasioned by hydraulic means, such as a piston and cylinder structure of a suitable mechanical movement such as a vertically movable shaft. The movement or adjustment of the support 24 causes the upper wing 22 to pivot about or with respect to the forward support members 20 so that said wing can become variable and change its angle of incidence in relation to the lower fixed wing 14 and by the pivotal connection to the support members 20 the upper wing can achieve any position or angle of attack desired independent of the aircraft attitude.

The upper wing 22, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 11 is relatively thick and is of small span with rather large dihedral angles. This shape of the upper wing extends from the forward or leading edge to the trailing edge and is relatively true and consistent for both the top and bottom of the airfoil. A wing having this configuration of a deep chord and narrow span with large degrees of dihedral tends to give less drag at speeds corresponding to climb and cruise. Such a wing at high positive incidence angles tends to create a certain type of drag effect that is needed for ultra slow landings. An upper wing of the foregoing type or shape would not provide for a practical airplane without having a lower large span fixed wing 14 in combination therewith.

The direction of lift forces on said upper wing 22 is shown in FIG. 11 by broken line arrows that terminate in an apex which is the center line of the aircraft. This forms a stability factor that assumes considerable importance when the aircraft is travelling at ultra-slow speeds. The shape of the upper wing also provides for a trough effect on the upper surface which tends to protect against the loss of low pressure or partial vacuum on said surface. The upper wing 22 is provided with a pair of jet turbo-shaft engines 26 that are embedded in said upper wing and are provided with contra-rotating propellers 27. As shown in FIG. 3 the engines 26 are cross shafted by means of a central gear box 28 so if one engine should fail both of the propellers 27 would continue to operate from the remaining engine. The upper wing 22 is also provided on its leading edge with air intakes 29 for the turbo-shaft engines 26 and the exhaust from said engines may be directed to an exit on the trailing edge of said upper wing to further increase the lift characteristics of the aircraft. It is to be understood that in lieu of the jet turbo-shaft engines 26 that turbo prop engines could be employed.

The upper wing 22 is, by means of the adjustable support 24, adjusted to the desired angle of attack so that the angle of incidence of the variable incidence upper wing in relation to the lower fixed wing position will be set and locked in said position for short steep take-off or for steep approach and short landings. If the upper wing is thus set for take-off, then after the take-off a level flight attitude has been realized, the upper wing 22, through the adjustable support 24, may have its angle of attack decreased until said wing is unloaded which would be the condition for optimum high speed and cruise performance. Thus most of the total lift of the aircraft would then be shifted to the bottom high aspect ratio wing 14. The upper wing 22, through its pivotal connection to the forward supports 20 and the adjustable rear support 24, could be arranged to float through a range of possibly 4.degree. negative to a 4.degree. positive incidence range so that the upper wing would automatically seek the minimum drag cruise or high speed incidence position dependent upon the airfcraft loading.

Thus when the aircraft takes off and climbs to its designated altitude it is then prepared for traveling to its destination at cruising speed by unloading the top or upper wing. When the top wing is unloaded by the pilot through the support 24 the upper wing will automatically seek its lowest drag angle for a given aircraft cargo, passenger and fuel weight. At this time the upper wing can establish its minimum drag attitude in coordination with the fixed lower wing and the overall aircraft and thereby produce a highly efficient cruising speed for large variable passenger and cargo loads. When the upper wing 22 reaches the aforementioned conditions the pilot then through the adjustable support 24 is able to lock the wing in said position. When so locked most of the lift will be shifted to the lower wide span fixed wing 14 and its true wing loading will increase while the true wing loading of the upper narrow span wing 22 will decrease. In this unloaded condition the upper wing 22 is acting in the manner of a streamlined nacelle. When the aircraft subsequently approaches an airport for the purpose of landing to discharge passengers and cargo the upper wing is again adjusted by the pilot to the correct angle of attack for landing which of course changes the angle of incidence of the upper wing 22 with respect to the fixed lower wing 14. If after landing additional fuel or cargo is added or the passenger loading is changed the pilot will upon taking the aircraft off and climbing to his designated cruising altitude will upon reaching said altitude readjust the setting of the upper wing for minimum drag attitude after which said upper wing can be locked into position by the adjustable support 24.

There is shown in FIGS. 4 to 6 a modified version of the aircraft of FIG. 1 in that the upper wing 122 does not embody the center line of chord dihedral angles such as shown in FIG. 2. The upper wing 122 is provided with a pair of engines 126 which are positioned within suitable nacelles 128 to provide for a streamlining effect, although it is to be noted that the nacelles extend both above and below the wing. The engines 126 are provided with propellers 130 which may be of the high lift design in order to afford maximum lift to the aircraft in its short take-off procedure. In view of the high angle of attack at which the upper wing may safely operate, the lift of the propellers becomes a very sizeable factor as the air flow from the propellers flows over the low aspect ratio narrow span upper wing 22. The change or variance of the angle of attack of the upper wing 22 will result in the creation of a trough or channel effect with respect to the lower fixed wing 14 so that the lift of said lower wing will be further increased. In addition the slip-stream from the propellers 130 will further increase the acceleration of air moving through said trough or channel and thus increase the lift of the lower wing particularly at take-off and landing attitudes.

The aircraft shown in FIG. 7 through 9 is similar in most respects to the aircraft shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 as the upper wing 22 is provided with the same dihedral angles. The aircraft of FIGS. 7 through 9 is provided with a pair of jet engines 226 in the upper wing 22 which engines are positioned within suitable nacelles 32. The upper wing 22 substantially encompasses the engines 226 and the exhaust from said engines may be ducted to the trailing edge 34 of the wing 22 where suitable exits 36, FIG. 9, are provided.

As regards the upper wing support members 20, in the various forms as illustrated, it is important that the pivot points or rotation points of the upper wing on said supports be on the center of lift for a given airfoil section. This may readily vary with different airfoil sections from approximately 25% to 50% of the wing chord. The necessity of having the pivot point or points on the center of lift of the upper wing 22 becomes apparent when it is realized that the wing is unloaded and the aircraft is on automatic pilot if the attaching point is rearward or forward of the center of lift position the free floating upper wing, will at cruising speed, exert either a nose up or nose down pitching moment. Thus if the attaching or rotation point of the upper wing 22 with respect to the supports 20 is not on the center of lift of the wing, the wing will be fighting itself and the aircraft and this would defeat the automatic unloading factor of the present invention.

Although the foregoing description is necessarily of a detailed character, in order that the invention may be completely set forth, it is to be understood that the specific terminology is not intended to be restrictive or confining and that various rearrangements of parts and modifications of detail may be resorted to without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention as herein claimed.




GB 1,181,991
CA832316

Aircraft Lift-Increasing Device

EC:  B64C9/14B; B64C9/28; (+1)  IPC: B64C9/14; B64C9/28; B64C21/02 (+2)
1970-02-18

passage being converging from, and rising upwardly and rearwardly from an inlet on the lower aerofoil surface, the passage being defined by a fixed front wall and a rear wall 63 movable from a closed position, Fig. 1, in which both ends of the passage are closed, and a passage open position, Fig. 2, in which a lower portion 62 of the rear wall forms a scoop projecting below the lower surface of the aerofoil, there being a flap 74 pivoted on this lower portion which moves from a closed position flush with the aerofoil, Fig. 1, to an open position projecting below the scoop. Fig. 2. There may be a further flap 29 on the upper aerofoil surface, and a further converging passage 17 further forward on the aerofoil. The movable rear wall may comprise a flexible surface 63, 53 of which the upper part is pulled open by a link 66, 58, the lower part only being attached to ribs 64, 43 which pivot at 66, 56 to open the inlet of the passage. The scoop 62 and the flap 74, Fig. 4, both assist in increasing the airflow through the passage, where it is accelerated and then added to the boundary layer on the upper aerofoil surface. It is stated that an aircraft with wings of a cross-section as shown flew at 19 miles per hour without loss of height. Actuation,-The linkage may be controlled by torque tubes 19, 21 which in turn control either rods, as shown, or cables, and/or possibly hydraulic circuitry or electric servomotors. Actuation of torque tube 21 alone will move spoiler flap 29 only (by links 23 and 28), the compensatory mechanisms 24, 26 imparting no movements to arms 47, 69 until arms 46, 68 are moved by torque tube 19. Movement of torque tube 19 opens both the passages 17, 18, the throat of the front passage 17 being controlled by link 34, bellcrank 36 and link 58, and link 32, crank 33 and link 42 controlling the movement of rib 54 pivoting at 56, links 34, 37 transmitting control to similar linkages for the rear passage 18. As the front passage is opened crank 33 transmits via rod 44 a movement to arm 46 of the compensating mechanism 24. This transmits a portion of this movement to arm 47, the portion depending on the position of arm 31. Movement of arm 47 controls flap 57 by link 48, bellcrank 49 and link 51. The rear flap 74 is similarly controlled via compensating mechanism 26.




AU1856876
SUPER-SHORT TAKE OFF AND LANDING APPARATUS
EC:  B64C39/08  IPC: B64C39/08; B64C39/00; (IPC1-7): B64C3/06
1978-04-20

DE2645868
FLUGZEUG
EC:  B64C39/08; B64C39/12  IPC: B64C39/08; B64C39/12; B64C39/00 1978-04-13

MX143492
MEJORAS EN AVION PARA DESPEGUE Y ATERRIZAJE CORTOS
EC:   IPC: (IPC1-7): B64C1/02
1981-05-20

CA1054125
SUPER-SHORT TAKE OFF AND LANDING APPARATUS
EC:   IPC: B64C3/40; B64C9/00; B64C15/12
1979-05-08

CH487019
Tragflügel mit Hochauftriebseinrichtungen
EC:  B64C23/00A  IPC: B64C23/00; B64C23/00; (IPC1-7): B64C21/02
1970-03-15

FR1518502
Dispositif destinés à augmenter la portance de surfaces aérodynamiques
EC:  B64C21/02  IPC: B64C21/02; B64C21/00
1968-03-22

DE1013968
Tragflaeche fuer Flugzeuge mit mindestens....
EC:  B64C21/02  IPC: B64C21/02; B64C21/00
1957-08-14

CA528007
AIRPLANES
1956-07-17




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