Note: Within nine months of the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent in the European

Patent
Bulletin, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to that patent, in accordance with the
Implementing Regulations. Notice of opposition shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been
paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).
Printed by Jouve, 75001 PARIS (FR)
(19)
E
P
1

5
9
1

3
5
6
B
1
1ÌÎ111T11LT|111
(11) EP 1 591 356 B1
(12) EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION
(45) Date of publication and mention
of the grant of the patent:
24.12.2008 Bulletin 2008/52
(21) Application number: 05252627.4
(22) Date of filing: 27.04.2005
(51) Int Cl.:
B64B 1/62
(2006.01)
B64B 1/40
(2006.01)
B64B 1/06
(2006.01)
F04B 45/04
(2006.01)
(54) System for controlling the lift of an aircraft
Luftfahrzeugsauftriebs- Steuerungssystem
Système de contrôle de la force ascensionelle d’un aéronef
(84) Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR
HU IE IS IT LI LT LU MC NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR
(30) Priority: 27.04.2004 GB 0409314
02.06.2004 GB 0412220
16.06.2004 GB 0413437
(43) Date of publication of application:
02.11.2005 Bulletin 2005/44
(73) Proprietor: Handley, Alan Roy
Stourbridge DY8 4NX (GB)
(72) Inventor: Handley, Alan Roy
Stourbridge DY8 4NX (GB)
(74) Representative: Somervell, Thomas Richard
Marks & Clerk
Alpha Tower
Suffolk Street
Queensway
Birmingham
B1 1TT (GB)
(56) References cited:
WO-A-20/05081680 FR-A- 768 327
FR-A- 1 601 319 US-A- 5 368 067
US-A1- 2002 179 771
EP 1 591 356 B1
2
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
Description
[0001] The present invention relates to a system for
controlling the lift of an aircraft. More particularly it relates
to a system for a controlling lift in an airship or balloon
using a lighter- than air gas.
[0002] Airships have the potential to carry large quan-
tities of goods, or passengers. This potential is best re-
alized in a rigid- body airship, as opposed to the flexible
body airship or blimp, because of the structural demands
placed on the materials used.
[0003] Airships have a problem in landing and load-
carrying due to having a fixed displacement of air by light-
er than air gas. Due to the usage of fuel during a flight
the airship gets lighter and because it has a fixed dis-
placement the airship has to be powered down to earth
by the use of the engines. It then involves many ground
crew to stabilize and secure it. Similarly, for balloons (for
example hot-air balloons and Helium balloons) variables,
such as air temperature, make the landing very difficult
to control.
[0004] FR 1.601.319 is considered as the best prior
art as it discloses a system for controlling lift of an aircraft,
comprising: an inflatable compartment for containing a
gas which is lighter than air; a receiver for receiving and
storing the gas in a compressed condition; and means
for compressing the gas and transferring it from the in-
flatable compartment into the receiver thus reducing the
lift force on the aircraft.
[0005] It is an object of the present invention to provide
a system that alleviates these problems. A further object
is to provide a controlled take off, flight, and landing for
airships from ground level or other base without dispos-
ing of ballast. This would give airships the ability to load
and unload whilst on the ground or base station.
[0006] According to the present invention there is pro-
vided a system for controlling lift of an aircraft as defined
in claim 1 below.
[0007] The system preferably further comprises
means for expanding the gas and transferring it from the
receiver into the inflatable container thus increasing the
lift. A valve means may be provided for controlling the
transfer of the gas between the receiver and the inflatable
container. Preferably, the receiver is directly coupled to
the inflatable container via the valve means and the
means for compressing the gas, thereby providing a
closed system.
[0008] The receiver may be a fixed dimension recep-
tacle. Alternatively, the receiver may be an inflatable re-
ceptacle, the inflatable container being manufactured
from a material that is more easily inflatable than the re-
ceiver.
[0009] In another embodiment, the aircraft is a rigid-
body airship. The airship may comprise a metal shell,
preferably of Aluminium. A variable displacement com-
partment, containing air, may surround the inflatable con-
tainer. An opening may be provided in the rigid aircraft
for air to pass into and out of the variable displacement
compartment when the inflatable container is inflated and
deflated.
[0010] The system may employ a plurality of inflatable
containers and variable displacement compartments,
each inflatable container being housed within a respec-
tive variable displacement compartment.
[0011] The system may further comprise a fixed dis-
placement compartment containing a gas, which is lighter
than air. This compartment provides a fixed lift to over-
come the dead weight of the airship, with the variable
displacement compartments being used to vary the lift.
[0012] The gas is preferably an inert gas, more pref-
erably Helium.
[0013] The system of the invention is one in which the
amount of lift is controlled by varying the amount of Air
displaced by Helium (or other lighter than air gas). This
is made possible by, but not exclusively, the use of at
least part of the airship having compartments that have
fixed displacement and others that have variable dis-
placements.
[0014] In a related aspect, there is provided an aircraft
lift control diaphragm compressor, comprising: first and
second chambers having a common wall that comprises
a diaphragm; means for compressing a first gas in said
first chamber so as to displace said diaphragm towards
said second chamber and compress a second, lighter
than air, gas therein; and valve means for controlling
charging of said second chamber with said second gas
and discharging of said compressed second gas from
said second chamber.
[0015] Due to the size of the helium molecule being
far smaller than the constituents of air, it is difficult to
compress with standard piston compressors and so this
aspect of the invention concerns the application of the
diaphragm pump or compressor for use in airships and
balloons. The diaphragm pump or compressor has the
advantage that the unit is hermetically sealed from the
outside environment and therefore cannot let contami-
nants in or the helium out to atmosphere once fitted into
a closed loop system.
[0016] The means for compressing the first gas in the
first chamber may comprise a positive displacement
compressor, which may be a piston having a reciprocat-
ing motion, whereby the first gas in the first chamber is
decompressed by a return stroke of said piston, such that
the second chamber is charged and discharged as a re-
sult of movement of said diaphragm towards and away
from said second chamber during alternating strokes of
said piston in opposing directions.
[0017] In a preferred embodiment, the diaphragm is
constructed of metal. This is advantageous because He-
lium will not permeate through the metal as it would
through, say, a polymer material.
[0018] According to an embodiment of the present in-
vention, the airship comprises: the system of claim 1; a
shell for containing a lighter than air gas; a plurality of
variable displacement compartments within said shell,
each variable displacement compartment having an as-
1 2
EP 1 591 356 B1
3
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
sociated inflatable container therein, and associated
means for expanding the gas and transferring it from the
receiver into the inflatable container so as to increase
the lift; and at least one opening in said shell for allowing
air to pass into and out of each variable displacement
compartment.
[0019] Embodiments of the present invention will now
be described with reference to the accompanying draw-
ings, in which:
Figures 1 and 2 show two conditions of a helium
balloon;
Figure 3 is a sectional elevation of an airship; and
Figure 4 is a sectional elevation of a diaphragm
pump.
[0020] Referring to Figures 1 and 2, a Helium balloon
has an outer balloon envelope 1 and an inflatable receiver
2. A valve station 3 and a compressor 4 are suspended
underneath the balloon envelope 1. By the use of the
compressor 4, the lift gas can be transferred from the
balloon envelope 1 into the receiver 2. The receiver 2
could be an inflatable inner balloon (as shown in Figures
1 and 2) that requires pressure to inflate, or a fixed di-
mension receptacle (not shown).
One arrangement is to have the outer balloon envelope
1 manufactured from a suitable material that needs very
little pressure to inflate it, with the receiver 2 as a second
balloon either inside or outside the balloon envelope 1,
but for this illustration will be described as inside. The
receiver balloon 2 would be smaller and manufactured
from a material that would stretch upon inflation and
would require pressure to inflate it so as to reduce the
volume of the inflating gas. The receiver balloon 2 would
be directly coupled to the outer balloon 1 via the valve
station 3 and compressor 4 so as to complete a closed
loop system.
[0021] For pressure regulation, for example in re-
sponse to the heating of the outer balloon 1 contents by
the sun or air temperature, this can be controlled by the
transfer of the lift gas from the outer envelope 1 to the
inner balloon 2 or vice versa by the compressor 4 and
valves 3.
[0022] The compressor 4 could be driven directly, ei-
ther by an engine, or an electric motor powered from an
engine driven electric generator or battery or both The
control of the transfer of the lift gas could be manual or
by programmable controller via a key-pad or other sys-
tem.
[0023] The condition of the balloon shown in Figure 1
provides a reduced lift. Part of the lift gas has been trans-
ferred from the balloon envelope 1 into the receiver 2 and
is held under pressure reducing the displaced volume of
the balloon envelope 1. The condition shown in Figure 2
provides maximum lift. The lift gas has been transferred
from the receiver 2 into the balloon envelope 1. On trans-
fer the compression is removed and the gas expands to
give the balloon envelope 1 a much larger displacement
and therefore more lift.
[0024] By control of the amount of transfer the lift may
be varied to suit the requirements of the operator. This
principle of the invention could be used as a single unit
in a balloon (as shown in Figures 1 and 2) or as multiple
units in compartments of a multi compartment air ship
(as will be described in more detail below).
[0025] Referring to Figure 3, a rigid body airship 10,
has a metal body shell 12 formed of aluminium or light-
weight alloy. A load- bearing hold 14 is suspended un-
derneath the body shell 12.
[0026] C1, C2, C3 are fixed displacement compart-
ments containing a lighter-than-air gas such as Helium,
giving a combined lift just under the total weight of the
airship 10. R1, R2, R3, R4 are rear variable displacement
compartments. Inside each of the variable displacement
compartments R1, R2, R3 and R4 is an inflatable. R1X,
R2X, R3X, R4X are rear receivers with associated com-
pressors. F1, F2, F3, F4 are front variable displacement
compartments, each with an inflatables, and F1X, F2X,
F3X, F4X are the receivers with associated compressors.
[0027] Each of the variable displacement compart-
ments R1, R2, R3, R4, F1, F2, F3, F4 is provided with a
vent opening (not shown) through the shell 12 to allow
air displaced from compartment to escape to the sur-
roundings when the inflatable is inflated, and to allow air
from the surroundings to enter the compartment when
the inflatable is deflated. The vent openings are prefer-
ably sited on the underside of the shell 12 because any
Helium escaping from an inflatable, being lighter than air,
will rise towards the top of the compartment.
[0028] The fixed displacements C1 and C3 are provid-
ed to give sufficient lift to support the structure at each
end of the airship 10 to prevent cantilever loads to the
structure when the lift in the variable compartment is re-
duced or removed.
[0029] Helium gives a lift of 1 kilogram per cubic metre.
Therefore, by mathematical calculation of the volume of
compartments C1, C2, C3 with regard to the overall
weight of the airship, a suitable ship can be constructed.
Compartments F1, F2, F3, F4 and R1, R2, R3, R4 give
final lift to include passengers and cargo.
[0030] In the arrangement shown in Figure 3, the fixed
compartments C1, C2, C3 would have a lift force of an
amount slightly lower than the weight of the airship 10,
thus keeping the airship 10 firmly on the ground when
being loaded or out of use. The variable compartments
F1, F2, F3, F4, R1, R2, R3, R4 would have compressed
Helium (or other inert lighter than air gas) stored in the
receivers F1X, F2X, F3X, F4X, R1X, R2X, R3X, R4X.
Each variable compartment F1, F2, F3, F4, R1, R2, R3,
R4 has an inflatable fitted inside. Through the use of suit-
able valves the Helium (or other lighter than air gas)
would, in a controlled way, be transferred from a receiver
(for example R1X) to the associated inflatable. As infla-
tion takes place this would displace the air in that variable
3 4
EP 1 591 356 B1
4
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
displacement compartment (R1) and add to the lifting
force. By controlling which variable compartment was in-
flated or the amount of the inflation taking place then the
airship would rise in the air to a height required by the
controller.
[0031] Selecting the forward F1, F2, F3, F4 or rear R1,
R2, R3, R4 variable compartments for inflating would set
the pitch of the airship 10, as required. Adjustment of the
amount of inflation of selected compartments may be
used to set the trim for the airship 10 in flight. The trim
could also be maintained by transfer of Helium (or other
inert lighter than air gas) from one variable compartment
to another by way of the compressors and valves.
[0032] In order to land the airship 10, the Helium in the
variable compartments F1, F2, F3, F4, R1, R2, R3, R4
would be re-compressed into the receivers F1X, F2X,
F3X, F4X, R1X, R2X, R3X, R4X by the compressors,
deflating the inflatables and reducing the displacement
of the air, thereby reducing lift. By carefully controlling
the flow of Helium (or other inert lighter than air gas) from
inflatables to receivers F1X, F2X, F3X, F4X, R1X, R2X,
R3X, R4X a smooth descent to the landing area would
be achieved.
[0033] In this way the Helium (or other inert lighter than
air) gas is reused and is encapsulated in a closed loop
system.
[0034] The stored Helium (or other lighter than air gas)
in the receivers F1X, F2X, F3X, F4X, R1X, R2X, R3X,
R4X could also be used to top up the fixed displacement
compartments C1, C2, C3 as and if required.
[0035] It should be noted that in flight most of the com-
pressed receivers would be at a very low or zero pres-
sure.
[0036] It is within the scope of the invention to have all
compartments with variable displacement, but this would
depend on the practicalities of construction.
[0037] Figure 3 shows one arrangement of both fixed
and variable compartments but these could be changed
by position or quantity to suit particular design require-
ments.
[0038] The transfer valves and compressors could be
controlled by hand or an onboard Computer or Program-
mable Logic Controller or by other devices.
[0039] In order for the system described above to op-
erate effectively, a suitable compressor is required to
compress the lighter-than-air gas from the variable dis-
placement compartment into the receiver. Because the
helium molecule is far smaller than that of the constitu-
ents of air, it is difficult to compress with standard piston
compressors and so this aspect of the invention concerns
the application of the diaphragm pump or compressor for
use in airships and balloons. The diaphragm pump or
compressor has the advantage that the unit is hermeti-
cally sealed from the outside environment and therefore
cannot let contaminants in or the helium out to atmos-
phere once fitted into a closed loop system.
[0040] One such diaphragm unit will now be described
as an add-on module to a standard piston compressor.
With reference to Figure 4, a module A is fitted in place
of the cylinder head on a piston compressor 20, having
a cylinder B inside which a piston C reciprocates. A dia-
phragm D forms part of a wall separating a chamber F
in the module A, from the cylinder B. When the piston C
moves up, the air in the cylinder B compresses and de-
flects the diaphragm D, causing the helium in the cham-
ber F to be compressed. The helium is then forced
through a non-return valve E. On the down stroke of the
piston C, the air compression is removed and the dia-
phragm D returns to its normal position so that helium is
forced into the chamber F through another non-return
valve G by the outside pressure. It will be appreciated
that this return stroke may set up a negative pressure in
the chamber F so as to suck helium in through the non-
return valve G.
[0041] The diaphragm D itself is preferably formed of
a thin metal. This is preferable to other flexible materials,
such as polymers, because metals are much less per-
meable to helium.
[0042] It is within the scope of the application that the
diaphragm pump or compressor can be operated by any
of various means such as hydraulics or pneumatics by
hand lever or electric motor or engine driven units.
Claims
1. A system for controlling lift of an aircraft, comprising:
a plurality of inflatable containers, each for con-
taining a gas which is lighter than air;
a plurality of receivers (F1X- F4X, R1X-R4X)
each associated with a respective inflatable con-
tainer, each.receiver for receiving and storing
the gas in a compressed condition; and
a plurality of means, each associated with a re-
spective inflatable container and a respective re-
ceiver, for compressing the gas and transferring
it from the associated inflatable container into
the associated receiver thus reducing the lift
force on the aircraft, wherein each of the means
for compressing the gas comprises a diaphragm
compressor.
2. A system according to claim 1 further comprising a
plurality of means for expanding the gas and trans-
ferring it from one of the receivers (F1 X-F4X, R1X-
R4X) into the associated inflatable container thus
increasing the lift.
3. The system according to claim 2, further comprising
a valve means operable for controlling the transfer
of the gas between each receiver (F1 X-F4X, R1X-
R4X) and the associated inflatable container.
4. The system according to claim 3, wherein each re-
ceiver (F1 X-F4X, R1X-R4X) is directly coupled to
5 6
EP 1 591 356 B1
5
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
the associated inflatable container via the valve
means and the means for compressing the gas,
thereby providing a closed system.
5. The system according to any one of claims 1 to 4,
wherein the aircraft is an airship (10).
6. The system according to claim 5, wherein the aircraft
is a rigid-body airship (10).
7. The system according to claim 6, wherein the airship
(10) comprises a metal shell (12).
8. The system according to any one of claims 5 to 7,
further comprising a plurality of variable displace-
ment compartments (F1- F4, R1- R4) containing air,
the variable displacement compartments each sur-
rounding respective inflatable containers.
9. The system according to claim 8, further comprising
openings in said rigid aircraft (10) for air to pass into
and out of each variable displacement compartment
(F1-F4, R1-R4) when said associated inflatable con-
tainer is inflated and deflated.
10. The system according to claim 8 or claim 9, wherein
said variable displacement compartments (F1- F4,
R1-R4)are disposed at positions along the length of
said airship (10), and means are provided for adjust-
ment of the amount of inflation of selected inflatable
containers to set the pitch and/or trim of the airship.
11. The system according to claim 10, wherein said var-
iable displacement compartments (F1- F4, R1-R4)
comprise forward (F1-F4) and rear (R1- R4) variable
compartments disposed at positions along the length
of the airship (10).
12. The system according to any of claims 5 to 11,
wherein said means for compressing and transfer-
ring the gas is operable for adjusting the amount of
inflation of said containers to set the pitch and/or trim
of the airship (10).
13. The system according to any preceding claim, further
comprising a fixed displacement compartment (C1,
C2, C3) containing a gas which is lighter than air.
14. The system according to claim 13, comprising a plu-
rality of means for expanding the gas and transfer-
ring it from one of the receivers (F1 X-F4X, R1X-
R4X) into the associated inflatable container thus
increasing the lift and wherein said means for ex-
panding and transferring the gas is further operable
for transferring gas from the receiver into the fixed
displacement compartment (C1, C2, C3).
15. The system according to any preceding claim,
wherein power is provided to the means for com-
pressing the gas from one or more of an engine, an
engine driven electric generator, and a battery.
16. The system according to any preceding claim,
wherein the diaphragm compressor comprises a di-
aphragm unit activated under pressure from a pos-
itive displacement compressor.
17. The system according to any preceding claim,
wherein the gas is an inert gas.
18. The system according to claim 17, wherein the inert
gas is Helium.
19. A rigid body airship (10) comprising:
the system of claim 1;
a shell (12) for containing a lighter than air gas;
a plurality of variable displacement compart-
ments (F1- F4, R1- R4) within said shell, each
variable displacement compartment having said
associated inflatable containers therein, and as-
sociated means for expanding the gas and
transferring it from the receiver into the inflatable
container so as to increase the lift; and
at least one opening in said shell for allowing air
to pass into and out of each variable displace-
ment compartment,.
20. The rigid body airship (10) according to claim 19,
wherein the means for compressing the gas is op-
erable for adjusting the amount of inflation of each
inflatable container to set the pitch and/or trim of the
airship.
Patentansprüche
1. Luftfahrzeugauftriebs- Steuerungssystem, das auf-
weist:
eine Vielzahl von aufblasbaren Behältern, ein
jeder für das Aufnehmen eines Gases, das leich-
ter ist als Luft;
eine Vielzahl von Speichern (F1X-F4X, R1X-
R4X), ein jeder mit einem jeweiligen aufblasba-
ren Behälter verbunden, wobei ein jeder Spei-
cher für das Aufnehmen und Speichern des Ga-
ses in einem komprimierten Zustand vorhanden
ist; und
eine Vielzahl von Mitteln, die jeweils mit einem
entsprechenden aufblasbaren Behälter und ei-
nem entsprechenden Speicher für das Kompri-
mieren des Gases und Übertragen dieses vom
dazugehörenden aufblasbaren Behälter in den
dazugehörenden Speicher verbunden sind, wo-
durch die Auftriebskraft auf das Luftfahrzeug
7 8
EP 1 591 356 B1
6
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
verringert wird, wobei ein jedes der Mittel für das
Komprimieren des Gases einen Membrankom-
pressor aufweist.
2. System nach Anspruch 1, das außerdem eine Viel-
zahl von Mitteln für das Expandieren des Gases und
Übertragen dieses von einem der Speicher (F1X-
F4X, R1X-R4X) in den dazugehörenden aufblasba-
ren Behälter aufweist, wodurch der Auftrieb verstärkt
wird.
3. System nach Anspruch 2, das außerdem ein Ventil-
mittel aufweist, das für das Steuern der Übertragung
des Gases zwischen jedem Speicher (F1X- F4X,
R1X-R4X) und dem dazugehörenden aufblasbaren
Behälter betriebsfähig ist.
4. System nach Anspruch 3, bei dem jeder Speicher
(F1X- F4X, R1X-R4X) direkt mit dem dazugehören-
den aufblasbaren Behälter mittels des Ventilmittels
und des Mittels für das Komprimieren des Gases
gekoppelt ist, wodurch ein geschlossenes System
bereitgestellt wird.
5. System nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, bei dem
das Luftfahrzeug ein Luftschiff (10) ist.
6. System nach Anspruch 5, bei dem das Luftfahrzeug
ein Luftschiff (10) mit starrem Körper ist.
7. System nach Anspruch 6, bei dem das Luftschiff (10)
eine Metallaußenhülle (12) aufweist.
8. System nach einem der Ansprüche 5 bis 7, das au-
ßerdem eine Vielzahl von veränderlichen Verdrän-
gungskammern (F1- F4, R1-R4) aufweist, die Luft
enthalten, wobei die veränderlichen Verdrängungs-
kammern jeweils entsprechende aufblasbare Behäl-
ter umgeben.
9. System nach Anspruch 8, das außerdem Öffnungen
im starren Luftfahrzeug (10) aufweist, damit Luft in
jede veränderliche Verdrängungskammer (F1- F4,
R1-R4) hinein- und herausgelangen kann, wenn der
dazugehörende aufblasbare Behälter aufgeblasen
und abgelassen wird.
10. System nach Anspruch 8 oder Anspruch 9, bei dem
die veränderlichen Verdrängungskammern (F1- F4,
R1-R4) in Positionen entlang der Länge des Luft-
schiffes (10) angeordnet sind und Mittel für die Re-
gulierung des Aufblasgrades der ausgewählten auf-
blasbaren Behälter bereitgestellt werden, um die
Längsneigung und/oder Trimmung des Luftschiffes
einzustellen.
11. System nach Anspruch 10, bei dem die veränderli-
chen Verdrängungskammern (F1- F4, R1-R4) vorde-
re (F1- F4) und hintere (R1- R4) veränderliche Kam-
mern aufweisen, die in Positionen entlang der Länge
des Luftschiffes (10) angeordnet sind.
12. System nach einem der Ansprüche 5 bis 11, bei dem
das Mittel für das Komprimieren und Übertragen des
Gases für das Regulieren des Aufblasgrades der Be-
hälter betriebsfähig ist, um die Längsneigung und/
oder Trimmung des Luftschiffes (10) einzustellen.
13. System nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprü-
che, das außerdem eine unveränderliche Verdrän-
gungskammer (C1, C2, C3) aufweist, die Gas ent-
hält, das leichter ist als Luft.
14. System nach Anspruch 13, das eine Vielzahl von
Mitteln für das Expandieren des Gases und Übertra-
gen dieses von einem der Speicher (F1X-F4X, R1X-
R4X) in den dazugehörenden aufblasbaren Behälter
aufweist, wodurch der Auftrieb verstärkt wird, und
wobei das Mittel für das Expandieren und Übertra-
gen des Gases für das Übertragen des Gases vom
Speicher in die unveränderliche Verdrängungskam-
mer (C1, C2, C3) außerdem betriebsfähig ist.
15. System nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprü-
che, bei dem dem Mittel für das Komprimieren des
Gases eine Leistung von einem oder mehreren von
Motor, motorgetriebenen Stromerzeuger und Batte-
rie zur Verfügung gestellt wird.
16. System nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprü-
che, bei dem der Membrankompressor eine Mem-
braneinheit aufweist, die unter Druck von einem Ver-
dränger-Kompressor aktiviert wird.
17. System nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprü-
che, bei dem das Gas ein inertes Gas ist.
18. System nach Anspruch 17, bei dem das inerte Gas
Helium ist.
19. Luftschiff (10) mit starrem Körper, das aufweist:
das System nach Anspruch 1;
eine Außenhülle (12) für das Aufnehmen eines
Gases, das leichter ist als Luft;
eine Vielzahl von veränderlichen Verdrän-
gungskammern (F1-F4, R1- R4) innerhalb der
Außenhülle, wobei jede veränderliche Verdrän-
gungskammer darin die dazugehörenden auf-
blasbaren Behälter aufweist, und die dazugehö-
renden Mittel für das Expandieren des Gases
und Übertragen dieses vom Speicher in den auf-
blasbaren Behälter, um so den Auftrieb zu ver-
stärken; und
mindestens eine Öffnung in der Außenhülle, da-
mit Luft in jede veränderliche Verdrängungs-
9 10
EP 1 591 356 B1
7
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
kammer hinein- und herausgelangen kann.
20. Luftschiff (10) mit starren Körper nach Anspruch 19,
bei dem das Mittel für das Komprimieren des Gases
für das Regulieren des Aufblasgrades eines jeden
aufblasbaren Behälters betriebsfähig ist, um die
Längsneigung und/oder Trimmung des Luftschiffes
einzustellen.
Revendications
1. Système de contrôle de la force ascensionnelle d’un
aéronef, comprenant:
une pluralité de conteneurs gonflables dont cha-
cun est destiné à contenir un gaz plus léger que
l’air;
une pluralité de récipients (F1X-F4X, R1X-R4X)
dont chacun est associé à un conteneur gonfla-
ble respectif, chaque récipient étant destiné à
recevoir et stocker le gaz dans un état compri-
mé; et
une pluralité de moyens, dont chacun est asso-
cié à un conteneur gonflable respectif et un ré-
cipient respectif, pour comprimer le gaz et le
transférer du conteneur gonflable associé dans
le récipient associé, réduisant ainsi la force as-
censionnelle sur l’aéronef, dans lequel chacun
des moyens de compression de gaz comprend
un compresseur à diaphragme.
2. Système selon la revendication 1, comprenant, en
outre, une pluralité de moyens pour dilater le gaz et
le transférer de l’un des récipients (F1X-F4X, R1X-
R4X) dans le conteneur gonflable associé, augmen-
tant ainsi la force ascensionnelle.
3. Système selon la revendication 2, comprenant, en
outre, un moyen de soupape pouvant fonctionner
pour contrôler le transfert du gaz entre chaque réci-
pient (F1X-F4X, R1X-R4X) et le conteneur gonflable
associé.
4. Système selon la revendication 3, dans lequel cha-
que récipient (F1X-F4X, R1X-R4X) est directement
couplé au conteneur gonflable associé par le biais
du moyen de soupape et du moyen de compression
de gaz, fournissant ainsi un système fermé.
5. Système selon l’une quelconque des revendications
1 à 4, dans lequel l’aéronef est un dirigeable (10).
6. Système selon la revendication 5, dans lequel l’aé-
ronef est un dirigeable à carcasse rigide (10).
7. Système selon la revendication 6, dans lequel le di-
rigeable (10) comprend une coque métallique (12).
8. Système selon l’une quelconque des revendications
5 à 7, comprenant, en outre, une pluralité de com-
partiments à déplacement variable (F1-F4, R1-R4)
contenant de l’air, les compartiments à déplacement
variable entourant chacun des conteneurs gonfla-
bles respectifs.
9. Système selon la revendication 8, comprenant, en
outre, des ouvertures dans ledit aéronef rigide (10)
pour permettre à l’air d’entrer et sortir de chaque
compartiment à déplacement variable (F1- F4, R1-
R4) lorsque ledit conteneur gonflable associé est
gonflé et dégonflé.
10. Système selon la revendication 8 ou la revendication
9, dans lequel lesdits compartiments à déplacement
variable (F1-F4, R1- R4) sont disposés en des posi-
tions le long de la longueur dudit dirigeable (10) et
des moyens sont prévus pour ajuster le volume de
gonflage de conteneurs gonflables sélectionnés
pour régler le tangage et/ou l’assiette du dirigeable.
11. Système selon la revendication 10, dans lequel les-
dits compartiments à déplacement variable (F1- F4,
R1-R4) comprennent des compartiments variables
antérieurs (F1- F4) et postérieurs (R1- R4) disposés
en des positions le long de la longueur du dirigeable
(10).
12. Système selon l’une quelconque des revendications
5 à 11, dans lequel lesdits moyens de compression
et de transfert du gaz peuvent fonctionner pour ajus-
ter le volume de gonflage desdits conteneurs pour
régler le tangage et/ou l’assiette du dirigeable (10).
13. Système selon l’une quelconque des revendications
précédentes, comprenant, en outre, un comparti-
ment à déplacement fixe (C1, C2, C3) contenant un
gaz plus léger que l’air.
14. Système selon la revendication 13, comprenant une
pluralité de moyens pour dilater le gaz et le transférer
de l’un des récipients (F1X- F4X, R1X- R4X) dans le
conteneur gonflable associé, augmentant ainsi la
force ascensionnelle, et dans lequel lesdits moyens
pour dilater et transférer le gaz peuvent fonctionner,
en outre, pour transférer le gaz du récipient dans
ledit compartiment à déplacement fixe (C1, C2, C3).
15. Système selon l’une quelconque des revendications
précédentes, dans lequel de l’énergie est fournie aux
moyens de compression du gaz par un ou plusieurs
moyens parmi un moteur, un générateur électrique
actionné par un moteur et une batterie.
16. Système selon l’une quelconque des revendications
précédentes, dans lequel le compresseur à
diaphragme comprend une unité de diaphragme ac-
11 12
EP 1 591 356 B1
8
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
tionnée sous l’effet d’une pression fournie par un
compresseur à déplacement positif.
17. Système selon l’une quelconque des revendications
précédentes, dans lequel le gaz est un gaz inerte.
18. Système selon la revendication 17, dans lequel le
gaz inerte est l’hélium.
19. Dirigeable à carcasse rigide (10), comprenant:
le système de la revendication 1;
une coque (12) pour contenir un gaz plus léger
que l’air;
une pluralité de compartiments à déplacement
variable (F1- F4, R1-R4) à l’intérieur de ladite co-
que, chaque compartiment à déplacement va-
riable contenant lesdits conteneurs gonflables
associés, et des moyens associés pour dilater
le gaz et le transférer du récipient dans le con-
teneur gonflable de manière à augmenter la for-
ce ascensionnelle; et
au moins une ouverture dans ladite coque pour
permettre à l’air d’entrer et sortir de chaque com-
partiment à déplacement variable.
20. Dirigeable à carcasse rigide (10) selon la revendica-
tion 19, dans lequel les moyens de compression du
gaz peuvent fonctionner pour ajuster le volume de
gonflage de chaque conteneur gonflable pour régler
le tangage et/ou l’assiette du dirigeable.
13 14
EP 1 591 356 B1
9
EP 1 591 356 B1
10
EP 1 591 356 B1
11
EP 1 591 356 B1
12
REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION
This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader’s convenience only. It does not form part of the European
patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be
excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.
Patent documents cited in the description
• FR 1601319 [0004]