Air propulsion apparatus with windmill having multiple windmill blades to enhance performance

A vehicle driven by at least one motor driven propeller has a windmill apparatus with multiple pairs of blades to enhance power output, lift and propulsion. Several clutches are used to engage and disengage the windmill and the motor.

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Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a Continuation-in-Part of my prior applications, namely AIR PROPULSION DEVICES, Ser. No. 60/258,957, filed Dec. 29, 2000; and WINDMILL WITH MULTIPLE DOUBLE-ACTING PISTON/CYLINDER COMPRESSOR SYSTEM AND APPARATUS AND METHOD OF MOUNTING MULTIPLE WINDMILL BLADES TO ENHANCE PERFORMANCE, Ser. No. 09/990,855, filed Nov. 21, 2001; and includes the applications referenced therein, namely, WINDMILL WITH TWO PISTON COMPRESSOR SYSTEM, Ser. No. 60/252,772, filed Nov. 22, 2000; and APPARATUS AND METHOD OF MOUNTING MULTIPLE BLADES TO ENHANCE PERFORMANCE, Ser. No. 60/252,812, filed Nov. 22, 2000; the disclosures of all of which are incorporated herein by reference as if fully set forth.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Technical Field

[0003] This invention relates to improvements in devices powered by air, and more particularly, to vehicles propelled by motor driven propellers, augmented by a windmill; which additionally has multiple airfoils in a stack to enhance power output, lift and propulsion.

[0004] 2. Background Art

[0005] In the prior art, it is known to use air to power vehicles such as automobiles. Despite extensive knowledge of the desirability of such vehicles, there is not currently on the market for mass production and delivery to the general public any such device. Guy Negre, a French engineer, allegedly has several patents and has produced a number of prototypes. Reportedly, air would be stored in a carbon-fiber or fiberglass tank at very high pressure (4,351 pounds per square inch), then combined with warmer outside air in a cylinder to move a piston. It may be that the car would actually scrub the ambient air with an onboard carbon filter.

[0006] It is reported that around 1900, compressed air trams plied the streets of Paris. Reportedly, the trams made only short trips. Attempts to run cars or trucks on compressed air have foundered on the weight of the air tanks needed to obtain a minimally acceptable range of 100 miles or more.

[0007] Engineers who have looked at hybrid-powered vehicles have felt that compressed air compared unfavorably with batteries as a medium for storing energy and were inherently inefficient. It is noteworthy that the environmentalists feel that the car, rather than being pollution-free, would only be as clean to the environment as the plants that produce the electricity used in compressing the air to drive the vehicles. To that end, the proponents of compressed air vehicles state that environmentally complete clean hydro power or solar panels could be used to supply the electricity.

[0008] In the prior art, it was known to use windmills to compress and store compressed air. Such a system is shown in my prior art U.S. Pat. No. 6,132,181, issued Oct. 17, 2000, which discloses windmill structures and systems. Therein I disclose a number of ways of attaching the rotating shaft of a windmill to various mechanical means and compressors.

[0009] One of the problems that I have noted in my work with windmills is that there may be periods when the wind is either very slow or very fast for a sustained period of time. This can affect the usefulness of the windmill system in compressing and storing compressed air.

[0010] Further, in the prior art, it has been known to mount air foils in stacks, such as the wing arrangement in bi-planes and tri-planes. I have discovered that the performance of such arrangements may be enhanced depending on the mounting and relative positioning of the air foils.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] I have invented an air propelled vehicle with a windmill system which utilizes an improved airfoil arrangement comprising airfoils in combination which provide needed structural strength while causing windmill air flow enhancement which is greater than the sum of the individual air flows (under the same air flow conditions). In the preferred embodiment, the multiple pairs of blades are attached to multiple hubs on said windmill shaft. The blades in each pair of windmill blades are interconnected with braces.

[0012] My invention comprises an air propelled vehicle, comprising: an air propulsion means to propel said vehicle; said air propulsion means having a source of power, such as a motor, to drive the air propulsion means; a power transfer means, such as a shaft, engaging said source of power; and a first clutch means for engaging said power transfer means in a selected condition; a windmill means to provide enhanced propulsion to said vehicle when engaging said first clutch means in said selected condition. The vehicle described above further comprises a second clutch means coacting with said source of power to disengage said source of power from driving said propulsion means when said windmill means provides propulsion which exceeds that of the source of power. In one embodiment the air propulsion means comprises a propeller. In another embodiment, the air propulsion means comprises two propellers.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 is a schematic side view of the vehicle in accordance with one embodiment of my invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0014] FIG. 1 shows schematically a vehicle designated generally 100, such as, for example, a truck or car, which is propelled by an apparatus comprised of an engine, shown schematically at 102, in combination with a propeller, shown schematically at 104. The engine is fixedly attached to the frame 106 of the vehicle 100 in any suitable way, such as by means of the support structure 108. The device is designed such that when the engine is operating, it rotates the shaft 110 which in turn rotates the propeller 104, causing thrust to drive or propel the vehicle. Outboard of the engine and propeller apparatus, I have provided a windmill system apparatus which comprises a windmill designated generally 10 having a plurality of blades 12 mounted to a hubs 14 and 15 connected to the shaft 110 (preferably through a clutch means 120) which is journaled in bearings 18 mounted on beams 20 which are rigidly connected to the frame 106 supporting the entire structure.

[0015] A plurality of air foils or blades 12 are positioned radially with respect to one another. Each of the blades shown are predominantly flat, of uniform cross-section and have a lip at the downwind edge (as shown in my prior U.S. patents for air foils and windmill structures such as U.S. Pat. No. 6,132,181, issued Oct. 17, 2000). The blades are positioned with respect to one another such that the center of the central portion of one blade is spaced approximately 50% of the blade cord length from the center to the center of the central portion of the other blade.

[0016] I discovered that this arrangement provides for more air flow deflected in a downward direction.

[0017] In this arrangement, additional braces 17 and 19 may be provided for the purposes of stiffening.

[0018] A plurality of such blade arrangements are provided spaced radially from one another.

[0019] The outboard end of the shaft 110 may be connected for rotation to an additional propeller 112 to provide further thrust.

[0020] The windmill 10 engages the shaft 110 through a clutch means 120, which functions as follows: as long as the windmill is slower than the shaft 110 being driven by the propeller 104, it overrides the windmill and allows the propeller to turn without engaging the windmill. When the windmill 10 goes faster than the shaft 110, the clutch engages and the windmill assists in driving the power transfer means, that is, the shaft 110. A second clutch 140 disengages the source of power, that is, the motor and overrides it when there is enough power supplied by the windmill for vehicle propulsion, that is, the motor power source is cut off.

[0021] Once the aerodynamic lift of the windmill is input into the system, it is theorized that the system is getting energy from atmospheric pressure due to gravity.

[0022] It is also theorized that the optimum vehicle speed will be between 30 and 45 mph depending on the efficiency of the airfoil design in the windmill.

[0023] In the most preferred embodiment, I use multiple airfoils as shown in this and my prior applications noted above.

[0024] In a further embodiment of my invention, the additional propeller 112 is used to propel the vehicle.

[0025] This device draws power from atmospheric pressure and/or motion by gravity and wind and vehicle motion done by ordinary means to assist and ultimately take over vehicle propulsion driving power. It employs a windmill as supplementary drive power to a gas, electric, diesel or compressed air, or the like, source of primary power. This inputs partial and perhaps full takeover of the drive power after reaching the speed that makes possible over 100% of the propulsion power requirement.

[0026] In its optimum condition, the windmill power input may reach self-sustaining drive power. That is, it could provide all of the power input necessary to propel the vehicle.

[0027] It is theorized that the basis for this aerodynamic lift comes from gravity as an amplification of various inertial bases. Therefore, there is in some speed range less drag in making power than in using power.

Claims

1. An air propelled vehicle, comprising:

an air propulsion means to propel said vehicle;
said air propulsion means having a source of power to drive the air propulsion means;
a power transfer means engaging said source of power;
a first clutch means for engaging said power transfer means in a selected condition;
a windmill means to provide enhanced propulsion to said vehicle when engaging said first clutch means in said selected condition.

2. The vehicle described in claim 1 further comprising:

second clutch means coacting with said source of power to disengage said source of power from driving said propulsion means when said windmill means provides propulsion which exceeds that of the source of power.

3. The vehicle as in claim 1 further comprising multiple pairs of windmill blades mounted in said windmill means.

4. The vehicle of claim 3 wherein the multiple pairs of blades are attached to multiple hubs in said windmill means.

5. The vehicle of claim 3 wherein the blades in each pair of windmill blades are interconnected with braces.

6. The vehicle of claim 1 wherein the air propulsion means comprises a propeller.

7. The vehicle of claim 6 wherein the air propulsion means comprises two propellers.

8. The vehicle of claim 1 wherein the source of power is a motor.

9. The vehicle of claim 1 where the power transfer means is a shaft.

Patent History

Publication number: 20020061252
Type: Application
Filed: Dec 21, 2001
Publication Date: May 23, 2002
Inventor: Francis J. McCabe (Ottville, PA)
Application Number: 10026334

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Rotary Parallel Axis Type (417/336); Fluid Current Motor (417/334)
International Classification: F04B035/00;