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Publication numberUS1549570 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date11 Aug 1925
Filing date8 Apr 1924
Priority date8 Apr 1924
Publication numberUS 1549570 A, US 1549570A, US-A-1549570, US1549570 A, US1549570A
InventorsBoothby Frederick L M
Original AssigneeBoothby Frederick L M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 1549570 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

F. L. M. BOOTHBY AIRSHIP n Filed April 8, 1924 2 Sheets-Sheet l Aug. 11. 1925. 1,549,570

l A 02 2 AT TATU dit' Patented Aug. 11, 192%.



Application led April 8,

To all 'whom t may concern: v

Be it known that I, FREDERICK LEWIS MAITLAND BooTHBY, a British subject, residing at Tilford, Surrey, England, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in and Relating to Airships, of which the following is a specification.

In connection with the piloting of airships it is necessary to counterbalance the reduction in the weight carried, due to the consumption of the liquid fuel used by the engines. It has been proposed to eliect this by releasing a proportionate amount of the infiating gas, which of course, reduces the lifting capacity tof the airship. Irl-connection with hydrogen inflated airships it has further been proposed to utilize the gas so released, by consuming it in the engines conjoint-ly with'the petrol.

Apart from the economy effected by this system of utilizing the gas, this utilization of hydrogen with petrol, by reducing the consumption of petrol enables the duration of the voyage to be extended," and notwithstanding that it allows of a cheaper and heavier fuel oil being used, produces a higher efficiency of the engine.

The present invention relates to systems of this type, but as obviously the system is limited to airships which contain a combustible gas, one of the objects of the invention is to use a sufiicient amount of combustible gas in an airship which otherwise is inflated with a non-inflammable gas, such as, for instance, helium.

According to one feature of the invention, therefore, this is effected by replacing a part of the non-infiammable iniating gas by hydrogen.

In its application. to airsliips in which thc inflation gas is contained inseparate bags or compartments, bags specially intended for the hydrogen .are arranged within or between some or all the bags containing the noninflammable inflating gas, and in such a manner that they are preferably completely enveloped in or surrounded by the said non-infiammable gas. The hydrogen containers are by preference located in the vicinity of the fuel and ballast carrying parts of t ie airship. l

ln airships generally, in which hydrogen is contained in separate bags or compartments, it is not desirable to draw the gas for consumption in the engine and for ballasting purposes, equally from each com- ,also serve for filling 1924. serial No. 705,113.


greater proportion may be taken from those which support the fuel and ballast.

The navigator will thus be enabled to alter the trim of the airship while in Hight; as, for example, when coming to a mooring mast or column, when it is desirable that the airship should be light forward, or for normal flight when maximum efliciency is obtained with the airship trimmed so as to be horizontal with neutral buoyancy.

Broadly such a control is attained by means of a system of pipes, comprisingI a main, from which valve or cock controlled branches lead on the one hand to the hydrogen containers and on the other hand to the engines, so thatA any one or more of the engine branches may simultaneously or alternately be placed in communication through the main with any one or more of the gas bag branches.

`incidentally the said pipe system may purposes or for equalizing the contents in the several gas bags.

The accompanying drawings illustrate diagrammatically arrangements embodying the invention as applied to various types of `.iirships Fig. 1 is a longitudinal section of an airship inflated by gas of theenon-inaminable character and adapted in accordance with and for the purposes of the invention, while Fig. 2 is a cross section of the same on the line Il-ll of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a cross section of a similarly vinflated airship in which the gas bags are surrounded by a further rotective chamber suitable for example to e filled with the non-inflammable exhaust gases from the engine, according to the method described in my patent application Serial No. 690,205.

Fig. 4, shows, in a similar view to Fig. l, a modified arrangement.

Fig. 5 is a longitudinal section of an airship inflated by hydrogen gas.

Fig. 6 a cross section of the same and Fig. 7 a cross section of an airship in which the hydrogen gas bags are surrounded by a space or chamber for non-inammable gas.

Figs. 8 and 9 show two arrangements of the control cocks, when not directly accessible, as for instance, in Vthe trunks between the air bags.

Fig. 10 shows an example of a safety device for preventing back tiring from the engine, while Fig. 11 shows an example of a seal or trap in the hydrogen supply pipe to the engine.

No framework or net over the airship has been shown in the drawings, in order to render them clear, but such of course may be used.

The type of airships shown in Figs. 1 to 3 is of the `kind which is inflated by gas of a non-combustible character, for example, helium, and adapted in accordance with and for the purposes of the invention to receive a. limited volume of hydrogen or other combustible gas.

In the arrangement shown in Figs. 1 and 2 gas bags or compartments A containing helium are enclosed in an outer cover B, and connected t0 atmosphere by means of relief valves A', automatically responding to excessive pressure in the bags and discharging the gas into the trunks A2.

In the interior of some (not necessarily all, as shown in Fig. 1) of the helium containers, so as to be completelysurrounded thereby, or between the helium containers, as shown in Fig. 4, are arranged gas bags D for the reception of hydrogen, such bags D having an aggregate capacity somewhat in excess of the volume required for counterbalancing the total initial load of liquid fuel carried by the airship. The capacity may be increased s as to allow release of the cheaper hydrogen gas for manoeuvring purposes instead ot' the costly helium.

Each of the hydrogen containers is connected to the atmosphere by means of a conduit D passing through the helium container A and the outer cover B, and provided with a manoeuvring valve D.

In order to prevent collapse of the hydrogen bags D their envelopes are supported, approximately to the extent of their upper ha ves, by stays a, as showndiagrammatically in Figures 2 and 3, as otherwise, when the hydrogen was withdrawn, the bags would collapse to the bottom of the containers A.

Each of the hydrogen containers is con nected by a valve or cock-controlled branch pipe 1, terminating approximately in' the centre of the ba to a main pipe 3, which is arranged in the Iteel E of the airship, andis connected by valve or cock-controlled branch pipes 4 to the engines located in the cabins F.

The main pipe 3 is provided at one end with. a union adapted to connect it to the hyateatro drogen producer or reservoir, but is normally shut by the stop cock of valve 3a.

A similar pipe system 5, 6 (Figure 2) may be provided for illing the helium bags A,

no connections to the engines being, however,

inflammable gas, for example, the exhaust gas from the engines supplied thereto by means of the pipe 7, and in accordance with the method and arrangement described in my patent application Serial No. 690,205, the main object of the exhaust gas in this instance being to keep the fabric moist.

Fig. 4 shows an arrangement in which the hydrogen bags D are only partly surrounded by the helium containing bags A, while Fig. 5 shows the'invention as applied to an airship in which the several gas bags A, arranged within the out-er cover B, are inflated with hydrogen.

A modification is here shown in Figure 5, in the arrangement of the pipe system. Instead of carrying the branch pipes (such as l in the preceding examples) vertically from below directly into each hydrogen bag, stand pipes 2 are here carried up vertically in the trunks A2 arrangedv between each pair of bags A, horizontal valve or cock controlled branch pipes 1 leading from the said stand-pipes 2 approximately to the centre of each ot'l the adjoining bags. The engines are connected to the main 3 by branch pipes 4, in a like manner as in the examples illustrated in Figs. 1 to 8.

In Fig. Z the hydrogen bags A are protected by a layer of noni.nlammable gas' (such as for instance the exhaust gas hereinbefore referred to in connection with Fig. 3) contained in the chamber C and supplied thereto through the pipe 7. In all other respects the arrangement is analogous to that illustrated in Figs. 4 and 5.

It is evident that the two arrangements of the branch pipes leading into the hydrogen bags shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 4 respectively are not restricted to the particular' type of airshi indicated in the drawings.

t is to be o served that the branch pippe 1 are arranged to reach well into the cent@ of the hydrogen bags, so .that in the event of air flowin up the tube into the bag and there cate iing fire, the flames would be clear of the fabric and no serious harm would be caused.

The whole -s stem of pipes must be constructed of su ciently strong material so as to prevent collapse, due': to the pressure ot' Maaate gas bags whennotl fully inthe time being at work, the latter will by` their suction draw ofi.' the hydrogen from the desired hydogen containers. The navigator is thus enabled to control the trim of the airship in the most efficient manner.

In order to use such a pipe system orinflating the hydrogen bags the cocks 4'L are turned oft', the cocks 1"L are turned on and the main 3 having been connected to the gas producer or reservoir the turning on of the main cock 3a allows the gas to flow to the several bags.

The inter-connection ot the several gas bags by means ot' the main 3 and the branch pipes 1 or 2 and 1, enables the volumes of gas in the several gas bags to be equalized, should one or more have leaked through damage, or it' such volumes have become unequal from other causes. This can be effected by opening the cocks 1a leading to the emptier compartments and to one or more of those from which it is desired to replenish them. By then causing the airship the less filled compartment or comparty ments.

In the case ot ail-ships which are protected by a layer of nonsinflammable gas, provided around the gas bags in a chamber such as C, (Figs. 3 and 7) the pipes to the gas bags may be led along the inert gas space.

'lhe cocks 1a (Figs. 4 to 6) arranged in the usual trunk A2 may be operated by means of" chains, wires or rods 8; or the fabric may he provided with a bay 9 allowingthe cock handle 1n to be gripped through the fabric 10, as shown in Fig. 8; .or the stein 'of such cock may pass through the fabric 10 and be held tight therein by glands 11 as shown in Fig. 9.

Fig. 10 shows a valve destined to be fitted into the pipe by which the hydrogen is supplied to the engine, and constructed with. a view to prevent back-firing from the engine into the gas bags. It consists of a thimble 12 made of porous porcelain, papier mache or other material which will readily permit the hydrogen gas but not air to percolate. This thimble 12 is fitted over the cud ot' the branch pipe 4 and 'toi-ms a chamber l in front thereof'. .fi cylindrical casing 14 protects the said thimble and connects the pipe 4 to the suction pipe 15 of' the engine. A metal .ap 1G slidably fits over, and is held hy a light spring li' in Contact with the head of the thimble 12. Its shouldered-ofi' slee-ve portion 16, of larger diameter, is slidable in the housing 14 over apertures 21 therein and is provided in its shoulder with apertures 18, which establish communication between the annular chamber 19 formed between the thimble 12 and thesleeve 16a and the chamber 20 surrounding the cap 16.

The suction of the engine automatically regulates, according to requirements and speed, the amount of gas drawn into the engine. By drawing the cap 16 against the spring 17 it regulates the exposed area of the porous thimble 12 through which the gas filters into the chamber 19 and proportionately uncovers the air inlets 21 in the housing 14 thereby producing a uniform mixture which is drawn ott' through the apertures 18.

An alternative simpler form of safety valve is illustrated in Fig. 11, which is Suit able for use when the gas is brought vertically rom below to the engine. It consists of an enlarged chamber 22 formed between the lgas supply pipe 4 and the suction pipe of the engine; in which chamber a light metal disc 23 of smaller diameter than the chamber, loosely rests over the inlet opening of the pipe 4. The disc 4 is lifted by the suction of the engine but its movement is limited by the pins 24 projecting from the wall into the chamber 22.

1 claim 1. A motor-driven airship comprising an outer covering, a series of gas bags within said covering, vertical trunks between said gas bags, engines for driving said airship, a series of branch pipes extending upwardly in said trunks and communicating with the interiors of said gas bags, controls for said pipes, a main pipe with which said branch pipes communicate and controllable connections between the main pipe and the engines substantially as described.

2. A motor-driven airship comprising an outer covering, a series of gas bags within said covering providing a tree space between the outer covering and the said gas bags, vertical trunks between said gas bags, engines for driving said airship, a series ot branch pipes extending upwardly in the trunks and communicating with the inte riors ot said gas bags, controls for said pipes, a main pipe with which said branch pipes communicate, a controllable connection between the main pipe and the engines, and means tor introducing exhaust gases from the engines into said space, substantially as described.

8. A motor-driven airship comprising an outer covering, a. series of gas bags within said covering, vertical trunks between said gas bags, a series of gas containers within said ras bags, engines tor driving` said airu ship, a series of branch pipes extending upwardly in said trunks and communicating with the interiors of said gas bags, controls for said pipes, a main pipe with which said branch pipes communicate and controllable connections between the main pipe and the engines substantially as described.

4;. An airship comprising a keel, engines thereon or attached to other parts of the airship, an outer envelope, a plurality of gas bags within the envelope, vertical trunks between the gas bags, smaller gas bags within or between some or all of the said gas bags, means for releasing the contents of the smaller gas bags, controllable means for supplying the contents of any one or more of the smaller bags to the engines and means for storing light fuel, substantially as described.

In testimony whereof I affix my signature.


Referenced by
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US4773617 *5 Mar 198727 Sep 1988Mccampbell Burton LLighter-than-air craft
US8033497 *2 Jun 200811 Oct 2011The Boeing CompanyHybrid thermal airship
US8505847 *18 Dec 201213 Aug 2013John CiampaLighter-than-air systems, methods, and kits for obtaining aerial images
US8622338 *16 Jul 20137 Jan 2014John CiampaLighter-than-air systems, methods, and kits for obtaining aerial images
US912666912 Dec 20138 Sep 2015John CiampaLighter-than-air systems, methods, and kits for obtaining aerial images
US20090314879 *2 Jun 200824 Dec 2009Kwok David WHybrid thermal airship
US20130119188 *16 May 2013John A. CiampaLighter-Than-Air Systems, Methods, and Kits for Obtaining Aerial Images
U.S. Classification244/97
International ClassificationB64B1/00, B64B1/60
Cooperative ClassificationB64B1/60
European ClassificationB64B1/60