Patented Jan. 3~ 1928.

1,655,114

UNITEDST A TES PATENT OFFICE.

lnXOLA. TESLA, OJ' NEW YORE, N. Y.

APP A.B.A.Tt1S 1I'0R AlCBIAL TBAlfSPORTATIOli • .AppUcatloJl med October" 1927 •. Serial ](0. IU,.15.

This application is a continuation in part of my application Serial No. 499,518, filed September 9, 1921, and. is made pursuant to the rules of the Patent Office, its purpose being to describe and claim apparntus which I have invented for carrying into· practice

the method therein disclosed.' (' -.I)

Th· ti ists f t'f E-~ _m2V" •

: e mven Ion consi 0 a new ype 0 . ~

fiyin~ machine, designated "helicopter-

plane , which may be raised and lowered From those equations it is evident that a vertically .and driven .horizontally by the great thrust can be obtained with a comsame propelling devices and comprises: 11 paratively small amount of power simply by prime mover of iIDJ!roved design and 'an increasing-the aggregate mass of the partiairscrew, both especially adapted for the cles and reducing their velocities. But the purpose, means for tilting the machine in seemingly great gain thus secured is ot small the air, arrangements for controlling its value in aviation for t~e reason that a high operation in any position, a novel landing speed of travel is generally an essential regear and other constructive details, all of quirement which cannot be fulfilled except which will be hereinafter fully described. . by propelling the air at high velocity, and

The utility of the aeroplane as a means that obviously. implies a relatively small

of tran~ort is materially lessened and its thrust. . .

commerCIal. introduction ~~atly hampered' Another quality commonly attributed to owing to the inherent inability of the meeh- the helicopter is greatstabilio/, this being niUsm to readily rise and alight, which is an apparently & logical inference Judging from unavoidable consequence of the fact that the -the location' of the centers of gravity and required lifting f"ree can only be produced pressure, It will be found, though, that by a more or less rapitftranslatory move- contrary to this prevailing opinion the dement of the planes or foils. This indis- vice, while moving in any direction other pensable high velocity, imperilling life and . than up or down, has an equilibrium easily property, makes it. necessary to equip the disturbed and has, moreover, a pronounced.

machine with special appliances and provide tendency to oscillate. .

suitable facilities at the terminals of the In explanation of these and other peenroute, all ofwhich .entail numerous draw- liarities, assume the helicopter poised in still backs and difficulties of a serious nature. air. at a certain height, the ·axial . thrust T

More recently, professional attentionhns just equalling the 'weight, and let the axis of been turned to the helicopter which is devoid the propeller b~ inclined to form an ~lDll.'le of planes as distinct organs of support and, II WIth the horizontal, The chanee to the presumably, enables both vertical and hori- new position will have a two-fold. effect:

. zontal propulsion to be satisfactorily' aceom- the vertical thrust will. be diminished to

plished through the instrumentality of the T.,=T sine

pr~eller alone.· and at the same time there will be produced

The prospects of such a flying .machine a horizontal. thrust appear at first attractive, primarily because

it makes possible the carrying ot EI'eat Tb=T . cOSo.

weight with a relatively small expenditure Under the action of the unbalanced force of energy. This follows directry.from the of gravity, the machine will now fall along fundamental laws of fluid propulsion, laid a curveto a level below and if the inclination d.own by W. T. M. Rapkine more than fiftYQf the propeller as well as its speed of royears ago, in conformity 1rith which the tation remain unaltered during the descent, thrust isequnl to the iritegral-sum of the the forces T, T., and Th will continuously products of the masses and velocities of the increase in proportion to the density of the

projected air particlea; . symbolically expressed,

. T ... l:{mtl).

On the other hand, the kinetic energy of

the air set in motion ]s .

1,866,114

air until -the vertical component T. of the' at intervals only and performing its funcaxial thrust T becomes equal to thegravi- tions economically, ~tit will ~eadily absorb tational attraction. The extent of the drop energy, this .occasronmg a considerable waste will be govemed by the inclination of the of motive power and adding another to the

l'l'opcl)er axis and for a given angle it will titany disadvantages of the helicopter.

)e, theoretically, the same no matter at what " Let now the machine be possessed of a altifude the events take place, To "get· an certain degree of freedom, as will be the idea ot its magnitude suppose the' elevations case nonnal1y, and observe in the, first place of the upper and lower strata measured that the blades of the propeller themselves from SCIl level be Itl and h:~ respecti .. ely, ill constitute planes developm~ a reaction lind (J 2 the corresponding air densities and thrustJ the, pressure on the lower leading H =2(j~700 1('6t the height of" the "uniform' b~nde being greater than that exerted on the ubmlsphere," then as a consequonce : of" higher one oW'mg to the compression Qf the

Boyle's Law the relationwill exist ' air by the b!)dy of the machine and in-

a, creased densi~ m that region. This thrust

71.1 - ~ = H log. (f. tending to diminish the a!lgle "' ':Vill vary

1 during one, revolution, bemg maximum In a position when the line of symme~ of the 'two propeller blades and that of fltght nrc in the same vertical plane 'and minimum when the former is at right angles to it.

in order that the vertical component of the Nevertheless, if the horizontal speed is'great, axial 'thrust 'in the lower stratum should it may be considerable ~nd sufficient to quickjust supportfhe weight. Hence ly overcome the mertiaand gyroscopic re-

sistances all the more readily as the upper

H 1. H 1 1, blade operates to the same effect. Moreover,

1-'''2''' og. SUla ' this intermittent action partakes of the re-

Taking, in a special case, the angle 4%=60 generative gl!ality, the force increasing as degrees, then the angle diminishes up to a maximum for «=45 "degrees, and may also give. rise to

1 1 ' disturbing' resonant vibrations in the struc-

iUiia .... 0.866 II: L1547, and ture. As its axis is tilted mote and more,

h1-lt.=26,700Xloae 1.1541=3,840 feet. the vertical sustaining effort of the propel-

- ~ Ier correspondingly diminishes and the mll-

In reality the drop will be much greater chine will fall with a ra pidly increasinjo{ for the machine, upon reaching the lower velocity, which may finally exceed the horilayer with a high velocity relative to the zontal, when the reaction of the blades is

.medium, will be urged further down along directed upward so as to increase the angle the, curved path and the kinetic energy, in ex and thereby cause the machine to soar the vertical sense, possessed by the moving higher. Thus periodic oscillations. accommass must be annihilated before the fall is panied by ascents and descents, will be set arrested in a 'still denser air stratum. At up which may well be magnified. to an exthis point the upward thrust will be far in tent such as to bring about a complete overexcess of the opposed pull of the weizht turn and plunge to earth.

and the apparatus will rise with first incr~s- It is held by some experts that the heli,inel' and then diminishing speed to a height copter, because of its smaller body resistance, wfi'ich may ifproximate the original. From would be capable of a higher speed than the there it wi again fall and, so on, these aeroplane. This is an erroneous conclusion, operations being repeated during the for- contrary to the laws of propulsion. It must ward flight, the up and down excursions be borne in mind that in the former type, from, the main hOrizontal line gradually the motive power being the Same, a pater diminishing 'in magnitude. After a lapse mass of air inust be set in motion with a of time, ,determined by numerous influences, velocity smaller 'than in, the latter, eonsethese deviations sho~ld become insj~ificant quen~y it m~t be inferior. in. SPeed. .But and th~ p.ath descrlbed nea!ly rectilmear. - eyen 1£ the 'al~ were propelled ~ the direeBut, this IS next to impossible as can be tion of the aDS of the screw WIth the same readily shown, by.: pointing out another cu- speed V in both of them, while the aeroplane rious feature of. the helicopter. approximates-the sa~e, the helicopter can

In the foregoing; the aDS of the propeller never exceed the hOrIZontal component V wns supposed' to move always parallel to cos u which, under the theoretically most itself, which result mi~ht be accomplished economical conditions of operation, would by the use of an adjustable aileron. In only.: be O.7V, and this would be true no matthis coruiection it may be pointed out, how- ter how much its resistance is .reduced, ' ever, that such adeviee will not act in the Another very serious defect of this kind manner of a rudder, comin~ into £ull play of flying machine, 'from ~e practical point

1t is obvious tlmt T ,T ' l' ,(4 T .. "" T sin a:= sin (t D~ust be equalto' ~

1,61515,1140

a

of vi~wl is found in its inability of support- moment t<>f the screw. If, instead of one, ing itself in the air in case of ~ailureof the two propellers are used, either coaxially or motor, the projected area of the propeller otherwise disposed, the motors should reblades being inadequate for reducing. the volve in opposite directions. The seats 4, i, speed of the fall sufficiently· to aydid dis- 4 for the operator and passengers are susaster, and this is an almost fatal impediment . pended on trunnions lI, I) on wliich they can to its commercial use. turn through an angle of about 90 degrees,

From the preceding facts, which are ig- springs and cushions (not shown) being emnored in the technical publications on the ployed to insure and, limit their motion subject, it will be' clear that the successful through this angle. The ordinary devices solution of the problem is in a different di- for lateral and directional control 6, 6, 7, '7 rection. .. and 8, 8 are provided with mechanical con-

In an application of even date, referred to nections enabling the aviator to actuate them above, I have disclosed an invention which by hand or foot from his seat in any posimeets the present necessity in a simple man- tion.

ner and, briefly stated, consists in a novel Stated in a few words, the operation is as method of transporting bodies through the follows: At the start, .sufficient power is air according to which the machine is raised turned on by suitable means, also within and lowered solely by the propeller and sus- reach, and the machine rises verticany. in tained in lateral 1li~ht by planes.· the air to the desired height when it is grad-

My 'present application is based on .new ually tilted through manipulation of theeleand useful features and combinations of ap- vator devices and then proceeds more and paratus which I have devised for carrying more like an aeroplane, the sustaining force this method into practice.' of the -propeller being replaced by vertical

Full knowledge of these improvements reaction of the foils as the angle of incliwill. he readily gained by reference to the nation diminishes and horizontal velocity in: accompanying drawings in which creases, In' descending, the forward speed Fig~ 1 illustrates the machine in the start- is reduced and the machine righted again,

ing ~r landing position and . acting as a helicopter with the propeller

Fig. 2 in horizontal flight; .. supporting all the load. The turbine used

Fig. 3 is a plan view of the same with the is of great lightness and activity exception-

upper plane partly broken away and· ally qualified to perform such work for

Fig. 4 and Fig. 5· sectional views of con- which the present aviation motors are un-

structive details. suited. It is capable of carrying an extra-

The structure is composed of two planes or (.I,'dinarily great overload and running at foils 1; l.rigidly joined. Their length and excessive speed, and during the starling, distance apart may be such as to form a : landing and other relatively short opera. near-square for the sake of smallness andtions, not only can the necessary power be compactness. With the same object the tail easily developed! but this. can be accomis omitted or, -if used, it is retractable. In· plished without mcurring a serious loss of order to raise the ma.chine vertically a very efficiency. Owing to its extreme simplicity light and powerful prlmemover is necessary the motive apparatus is ver., reliable, but and as particularly suited for the purpose, should the power give out accidentally, landI employ, Ereferably, a turbine described ing can still be effected by volplaning. For in my U. S. Patent 1,061,206 of May 6, this purpose, in addition to wheels 9, 9 and 1913, which not only fulfills these require- 10, 10, wheels 11, 11 are employed, the latter ~ents but len~s itself especially to opera- b~ing mounted on' the forwrard end under tion at very high temperatures. Two such the lower plane and so that when the maturbines, designated 2, 2 together with. other chine rests on level wound, the propeller parts and accessories of the power plant, are shaft; will have the desired inclination which. bolted to the frame, being pIP ed with due is deemed best for rising in the manner of an regard to the centers of graVIty and pressure. aeroplane.· Such a "helicop~er-plane," conThe usual controlling means are provided structed and operated as described, unites . and, in addition fotliese, any of the known the advantllges of both types and seems to stabilizing devices ·may be embodied in ·the meet well the requirements Qf a small.commachine. At rest the planes are vertical, or pact, very speedy and safe craft for commernearl:r so, and likewise the shaft driving the cia I use.

propeller 3; which is. of a strength, size and The abnormal power requirements are pitch such as will enable it to lift the entire met by supplying more of the working fluid weight vertically and withstand safely f.he to the motors and driving them faster, or. stresses. Power is transmitted to the shaft running them at about the same speed and from the turbines throug-h gearing which- increasing the thrust by adjustment of the . may be of the single reduction type as ilhis- . pitch of the propeller, On account of sim-

trated, the turbines rotating in the same plicity and much ereater renze it is prefdirection a.r I neutralizing the gyroscopic arable to resort to the first method, in which

case the screw' should be designed to work incurred because windage and other losses most economically in horizontal ffi~ht, as are virtually absent, and, most of the- rot&.!Y its efficiency in the startin~ and landiJlg op- effort is due to the ~ripheral parts 'of tbe r , erations is of. comparatively·.man im- discs.' .As shown,in.tlie~, block 13 is portance. Instead of a smgltS"large .pro- in the position corresponding to minimum peller, as described, a nUinber,of small ones effort, the section of tlie inlet channel being can be used, when the turbine UiJ.jts::may.be about one-fifth of the' whole which is 00- connected advantageouSly in stages and tained when the block is pulled in its exthe gearing dispensed with. : The biplane treme position. indicated by the dotted line. ~ms to 'be particularly wellsuite4f~r the Owing to the increase of the coefficient of chief purpose contemplated, but the mven- contraction and counterpressure attendant tion is equally well applicable to monoplanes the enlargement of the inlet, the same should

and other types. , be made of ample section. " .

In order to secure the. best results I have, Figure 5 shows a different means for· atfound it indispensable to depart, in some taining the same purpose. In this case the respects, from the-usual design of my tur- motors operate like true' turbines, the workbines and embody in them certain construe- . ing' fluid being fully expanded, or nearly so, tive; features and means fo~ :varying the throug~ divergent exchang~ble no~zl~' as power developed from the mimmum neces- 15s havmg a throat of sufficient section for sary in horizontal flight to an amount ex- the- passage of fluid required during maxi- ' ceeding by far their rated performance, as inum performance. The exhaust opening is may be. ,required in the operations of ascent also correspondingly enl:aig~,. th~ug~ riot and descent, or spurt'S of speed,or m cOII\~ necessarily to the extent indicated in FIgure batting the fury of ,the elements. .Furthe~4. The power is varied! by meaua o! a. ,~ore, I so proportion 'and coordinate the throttle valve 16, as used in automobiles, fluid press.ure generator s~lpp.lying the pri- located in the conduit sup,plying the. air and mary energy, the propelliIi~.and the con- carbureted fuel to the llUld pressure genera-

. troll~ m. ~'. that fo-r:·alljr::~ttitudeor tor ~d, mechanically eonneeted to t~e con. working cQn~bon of tPe.'machille'the re- -trolling lever 14. This apparatus IS 'of ,8. quisite thrust'maybe/a~ost~antly pro~ clI.paci~y adequate to the m~um demand duced. and 'flccura~ly adJusted:..' b:y which I do not-mean that It IS necessarily

The un~erstanding'o~ these lDlprovemenfs much larger than required for normal perwill be la~ilitated by reference .to Fig. 4 . and formances, but is.' merely designed to supFig .. 5.{,Iil the.: first named the turbines ply the. working llui~ or, broadly stated, are intended to' operate as rotary ~Iigine:;l energy-whenever desired, at a rate greatly expanding tho gases in the rotor as we.ll exceeding the normal.' In Figure 3 this apas the infet nozzle ·or port 12, i;lte depth of paratus 18. diagrammatically indicated by which can be varied by shifting. a block 13, 17, and may tie anyone of a number of ~tting freely in a milled chimnel.·of .the cas- ~ell-known' t~, ,prod~c~g pressure by mg, through the medium of lever 14 con- mternal combustion of a suItable fuel or by trolled by the aviator. Thaorifice for the external' fi·ring of a steam boiler.' In the p~a~e of the .~lastic iluid .. is straight or latter. case, WIth <:<>n~t pr~re, the' 11.1'sh~htlY convertpng, 'so that a much smaller rangement shown m FIgure 4 IS best to emvelocity is obtained than with ali expandina ploy, while the plan illustrated in Figure nozzle, this enabling the best relation be~ 5 can be used to advan~e.Jwhen both prestweerrthe per!phernl speed of th~ r9tot and, sure . and qU!lDtity of fl~d are-varied,

that of the flwd to be readily attained, The . In operation for vertical ascent, the maperformance of such an engine at constant chine being in the attitude of Figure 1, the pressure of supply is, within wide limits; aviator will push forward lever 14 and supproportionate to the quantity of ~he work. ply ~.cient .primary .energr. to the mo~rs mg: medium passed through the inlet port for liftmg the machine With 'the desiredana it is practicable to carry, for indefinite velocity. When the objective elevation is intervals of ?me, an exceedingly great over- r~cheil rudders. 7, 7 are manipulated to inload, by which I mean up to three or even cline the machme at a certain angle, the four thnes' the normal. Exceptional aviator- simultaneously applying more pres~~~ and ruggedness of the motors being sure to the lever and augmen~ing t~~ fluid unpers,tive m vle'Yof centnfugal stresses supply to the motors thereby mcre~g the and critical speed, their weight need not. be propeller thrust in the vertical direction so'. appreciably increased as would be the case as to prevent the machine from descending. in other forms of prime movers in which, He continues these operations always cooras a rule, the weight is in nearly direct pro~ dinating the thrust developed 'with the portion to the power developed. ·To accom- changes in attitude of the machine until a plish my purpose I further provide com- certain angle of inclination is attained and mensurately larger inlet and outlet open- the machine is supported chiefly by reaction ings, No serious disadvantage is thereby of the planes. At this stage he begins to re-

1,666,114.

duce the pressure' on the lever and supply attitudes, and means for controlling the supof working fluid simultaneously decreasing ply of the fluid. to the motor in accordance the angle of inclination thus finally effect- with the inclination of the 'machine.

ing, by insensible steps, horizontal flight.: 2. In an aeroplane adapted for vertiCal

~t !i~ould be understood th!lt descent and and horizontal propulsion and chang~ fr?m alighting, as well as rising In the manner one to the other attitude, the combination

.of a true aeroplane may be accomplished as -'with means for tilting the machine in the usual .. In such case the motors will be oper- air and a system producing thrust approziated at their normal rated capacity. How- mately .parallel to the principal axis of the . ever, when excessive speed becomes neces- same and including a fluid pressure genersary, the effort of the motors may be instant- . ator having a capacity several times g'l'eater ly and greatly augmented by merely than normally required in horizontal flight, manipulating block 13 or valve 16 as de- . a. motor capable of carrying over-loads scribed, '. . adequate for support in all attitudes, and

Whenever it is desired to descend ver- means for. controlling the supply of the tically, the aviator will reverse the oper- fluid to the motor in accordance with the ations as applying to substantial vertical inclination of the machine.

ascent, which is to say, bring the machine 3 .. In an aeroplane adapted for vertical gradually into starting attitude, at the same and horizontal propulsion and change from -time increasing the ~up'ply of fluid to the one to the o~h~r attitude, th~ combination of motors and the vertical component of the means for tilting the machine in the air a propeller thrust, whil.e reduc~ng the hori- fluid p.r~ure generator capable of sUpplyzontal. FInally he WIll steadily reduce the mg fluid at a rate several times greater than fluid supply and the vertical thrust so as to required for horizontal flight, a prime mover descend to thelanding place at n. very low, consisting. of a rotor of plane spaced discs RQfe velocity. .'. with central openings and an enclosing cas-

In ~eprecedin~ I have described a flying ing with inlet and outlet orifices of a section machine characterlzed by a number of novel much greater than required for normal perconstru~tive and operative features ap.d formances respectively at the periphery and ~ell SUIted for meetrn~ a pressing nece~ty c~nter of the same, and ~eans for controlm the present state 01 th~ art The chief ling the supply of the fluid to the motor m improvements consist in first, adapting my accordance with the inclination of the maturbine motor for excessive overload with-' chine.

out appreciable mcrease of its weight, sec- 4. In an aeroplane adapted for vertical ond, providing .. large variable inlet ports and horizontal propulsion and chang~ from and correspondmg' exhaust openmgs, With one to the other attitude,' the combination the ?bjecl; of .meeting the abnormal power of means for tilting the mach~e in. the &:ir,. requirements in the starting, landing and a. thrust producing system having Its 'prmotli~1·short operations, and still ~reserving a cipal energy producing elements designed high . ~cienry in horizontal fli~ht; third, for normal load in horizontal flight but combining WIth the turbine a fluid pressure capable of. carrying over-loads adequate for generator of .adeqnate capacity with means support of the aeroplane in all attitudes, for control and, fourth, eI!lhodying these and m~ans. for controlling the ene~gr. .proand other features m a SUItable structure duced m said system In accordance WIth. the improved in various details. These may inclination of the machine.

be greatly varied and I wish it to be under- 5. In a flyin~ machine of the kind destood that I do not limit myself to the pre- scribed in combination with means for vercise arrangements illustrated and described. tical and lateral control of two wheel bases

I claim as my invention: at right angles to one another as set forth.

L In an aeroplane adapted for vertical 6. In a flyin~ machine of the kind de-

and horizontal.propulsion and change from scribed in combination with means for verone to the other attitude, the combination tical and lateral control of two wheel bases of means for tilting the machine in the air, at right angles to one another and having JL lluidpressure generator of a capacity sev- one or more wheels common to both.

era! times greater than normally required In testimony whereof I hereunto affix my in horizontal flight, & motor capable of car- signature.

ryi.ng overloads adequate for support in all . NIKOLA TESLA.

6

Certificate of Co):redion.

Patent No. 1,655,114.

Granted .Tanuary :\, Hl2R. to

It is hereby certified that (H'I'Or appears in the printed f;p(>.{'ifil~1 ion of the nhovenumbered patent requiring correction as follows: P8.I,re 1, after line 57, strike (lilt. the formula and insert instead

E=l:(~mv)j

and that the said Letters Patent should be read with this correction therein that

the .same may conform. to the record of the case in the Patent Office.' .

Signed and sealed this 20th day of March, A. D; 1928.

[SEAL.] . M.· J. MOORE,

Acting U0mrnA.8aio'Mr of Patents.

Jan.' 3, 1928.

N. TESLA

APPARATUS FOR AERIAL TRANSPORTATION

1,655,114

Filed Oct. '. 1927

2 Sheets-Sheet 1

II

FIG. I.

FI~. Z.

INVENTOR.

NlKOLA TESI..A.

~~z..

Jan. 3, 1928.

N.TESLA

APPARATUS FOR AERIAL TRANSPORTATION

1,655,114

Filed Oct. '. 1927

2 Sheets-Sheet 2

INVENTQR.

NIKOLA TE.5\"A.

~~

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