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trode 14 is connected to the negative terminal of the power supply and the emitting wires 12 arc ekctricaily separated into four sections. \iz. left front LF, left rear LR. right front RF and right rear RR. h;ich of these sections is connected through variable impedances 130. 3 132. 134 and 136 lespccuvoly ot the elevator control unit and the variable impedanccs 138 and 140 of the aileron control unit to the positive terminal of the power supply. The ole\ator motor 142 drives the movable contacts on variaoie impedanccs 130. 132, 134 .ind 136 io and the aileron motor 144 controls in a similar manner values of the impedances 138 and 140. Each motor 142 and 144 may be driven by separate amplifiers 146 and 148 and pre-amp 150 in a manner as conventionally used in servo systems to position photocell unit 128 directly 13 in alignment with a source of clectromagnctic energy positioned on the ground.

Referring now to FIGURE 19 (Sheet 2), a craft having a ccntral cabin 160 and equipped with dihedral is-illustrated. The collecting grid 14 and emitting wire 12 20 construction may be similar to that described in connection with FIGURE 4 (Sheet 2) and be positioned on alternate sides of cabin 160. Beneath cabin 160. a suitable wheeled, skid or pontoon landing gear 162 may be provided. 23

Depending beneath frame members 164 and on opposite sides of cabin 160 are a pair of auxiliary grid assemblies 166 and 167 that arc mounted to be operable in a generally vertical plane. Each auxiliary grid assembly 166 and 167 is provided with laterally spaced emitting 30 wires 168 and a collecting grid within outer frame members 170 so that upon receipt of a suitable D.C. potential, a horizontal thrust is provided in the manner hereinbefore set forth.

Each auxiliary grid assembly 166 and 167 is mounted 33 on frame members 164 for independent rotational movement about substantially horizontal axes 172 and 173. With the emitting wires 168 of both auxiliary grid assemblies facing in the same direction, the craft will proceed in the direction toward the emitting wires. With 40 the emitting wires 168 of auxiliary grid assembly 167 facing in a rearward direction and emitting wires of grid assembly 166 facing in a forward direction as illustrated in FIGURE 19, the craft will revolve about an axis mid-way between the effective ccnters of the two grid assemblies. If the craft is simultaneously tilted in a cyclical manner, an effective radar antenna searching motion is provided which may include a large vertical angle as well as a 360* horizontal scanning operation.

Except where rotation of the craft for searching or 50 scanning operations is a principal purpose for the craft, the emitting wires 168 of each auxiliary grid assembly

166 and 167 are mounted to face in the same direction. When landing or taking off. which is always accomplished in a vertical direction, auxiliary grid assemblies 166 and 53

167 are preferably pivoted into a horizontal plane. This not only retracts them to prevent interference with landing operations, but also provides a multiple deck structure to give additional lift and control of stability. Horizontal speed may be controlled by varying the angle of auxiliary grid assemblies 166 and 167 with the vertical.

As shown in FIGURE 20 (Sheet 6), the Ionocraft may comprise several decks 180. 182 and 184 each of which is of similar construction to the single-decked craft shown in FIGURES 10-14 (Sheet 4). Each of the basic struc- G-tures 180. 182 and 184 may comprise different antenna types if desired. Several separate ground station antennas 186. 188 and 190 may be provided particularly where independent signals are transmitted and received by the several antennas of the Ionocraft. -q

In FIGURE 21 (Sheet 2). a multiple decked craft is illustrated which comprises a central cabin 200 from which two lifting grid assemblies 202 and 203 extend laterally on opposite sides which are equipped with dihedral. Above grid assemblies 202 and 203, one or more 73

pairs of similar grid assemblies 204 and 205 arc vjppo. vd by a suitable superstructure 208. The :,.:rnir.(: i*.cs 212 and 213 for auxiliary grid assemblies 210 and 211 in :hi> embodiment are substantially vertical and extend througn support members 214 and 215 to the upper grid assemblies 204 and 205 to provide added rigidity to the craft structure. Retractable antennas 220 and 221 may be provide«' beneath cabin 200 for establishing communication channels to the ground station (not shown).

In general, it makes little difference whether the cmiuing wires 12 are connected to the negative or to the positive terminal of the power supply. By tests, it has been de termined that with emitting wires 12 connected to the negative terminal, there is an improvement of about 5?c over that obtained when the emitting wires 12 are connected to a positive terminal.

In the multiple deck constructions, it is preferable to connect emitting wires 12 and collector grid wires 14 of the adjacent decks to opposite terminals of the high voltage generator as illustrated in FIGURE 20 (Sheet 6). thus making discharge or emitting wires 12 in alternate decks positive and the collector grids negative which is the reverse of the polarity shown in FIGURE 1. In that case, tilting is effected by varying either the negative or positive potential of the corresponding emitting electrode *ires and grid sections to provide a rolling movement longitudinally and laterally.

All the above mechanisms and procedures provided for manual control can be utilized for automatic control actuated by an automatic pilot director through suitable servo-mechanisms.

The tilting of the craft in the case of embodiments like those diagrammatically indicated in FIGURE 15 (Sheet 6) and 16 (Sheet 5) provides forward gliding movements much in the manner that a helicopter is propelled in a horizontal direction. Where other means are used: for horizontal propulsion, such for example the auxiliary grids shown in FIGURES 19 and 21 or in conjunction with propellers or jet" stream, then the tilting will be used to maintain a desirable posture in space. All these movements may be controlled automatically by conventional stabilizing and steering mechanisms borne by the craft or such movement may be accomplished from remote transmitting points either on the ground or from another airborne craft

The maximum size of crafts of the type here involved is theoretically unlimited, except for structural considerations, since the amount of lift provided increases continuously with area. It is thus contemplated that a particularly useful function of the craft of the present invention may be to serve as means for destruction through collision oncoming vehicles and missiles through air and space. Intercontinental as well as space missiles enter the atmosphere over a target area in predictable trajectories, the terminal end of which is a substantially vertical path. Thus, the large horizontal area of the craft of the present invention is particularly suitable for the purpose of protecting sensitive target areas such as large cities, naval task forces, troop concentrations and the like by its mere physical presence during hovering operations. By maneuvering the craft laterally it is possible to protect an area much larger than the area of the craft since present detection systems give identifying information of the target area about 15 minutes prior to arrival of the missile and the lateral movement of the craft may be effected at speeds of the order of 60 miles per hour, or more depending upon the horizontal propulsion system used. If the target area is vast, several Ionocraft could be maintained aloft to assure collision with oncoming missiles.

While the craft may be powered through conductors extending from ground or ship towers or via microwave power transmissions, it is contemplated that lightweight power plants such as gas turbines or the like, be used to drive suitable high voltage generators which are aboard the craft. As shown in FIGURE 22 (Sheet 6). turbine 230 may be so mounted that its exhaust is directed vertically

13 14

downwardly to provide additional lifting force while pro- means for applying a high D.C. potential between ¿aid viding"shaft rotation for producing the electrical power electrodes and said grid to cause air to move from said for the Ionocraft. Turbine 230 is here shown to be electrodes toward said grids to provide a propulsion force mounted for pivotal movement about the axis of shaft for said flying apparatus, and antenna means for use with

232 which is driven by a tilt motor 234 to change the direc- 5 radio frequency energy signals, »aid antenna comprising tion of the exhaust gases from vertical toward a horizontal a plurality of elements which serve also as part of s»«:d direction. The entire tilt motor 234, shaft 232- and tur- structure for the flying apparatus by being connected elec-

bine 230 assembly may be mounted to be rotated in azi- trically to one terminal of said high D.C. potential to muth by azimuth motor 236 driving annular ring gear assist in providing propulsion force for said apparatus.

238. Thus, in emergency operations where maximum 10 2. In combination with flying apparatus composed of a horizontal speeds are desired, motors 234 and 236 may be structure supporting discharge electrodes for causing ad-

controlled to advance the craft at higher velocities. jacent air molecules to become electrically charged spaced

Other types of convention airborne power plants, such from a grid of electrical conducting means for neutralizing as turbine propeller combinations, may also be utilized for the charge on electrically charged molecules whose charge providing additional lift and aiding in maneuvering in the 15 was caused by said discharge electrode and means for atmosphere. The turbine of FIGURE 15 may be pro- applying a high D.C. potential between said electrodes vided with a reverse thrust device or such propellers may and said grid to provide a propulsion force for said Hying have a reversible pitch, and steering may be accomplished apparatus, an antenna for use with radio frequency energy by rudders or vanes located in the jet stream of the tur- signals, said antenna comprising a plurality of elements bine. Also, high voltage generation by radio-active iso- 20 which serve also as part of said structure for the flying topes is another method of obtaining the necessary high apparatus by being connected electrically to one terminal voltage energy or a primary source of ionization for the of said high D.C. potential to assist in providing propul propulsion and sustenance of the Ionocraft. sion force for said apparatus, and the flying apparatus

It is also contemplated that this craft may be supplied structure having a configuration such that at least one side with electrical power transmitted to the Ionocraft while 25 has a length greater than one-half the wave length of the in flight by microwaves. It has been demonstrated 80% radio frequency energy transmitted by the antenna, of the. energy emitted from a ground station microwave 3, The combination as defined in claim 2 wherein said antenna array can be collected in the form of heat by air- antenna comprises a plurality of conductive elements borne vehicles. In this case, such heat may be readily having differing lengths whereby said antenna is tuned converted into high voltage by conventional means such 30 to different frequencies of radio frequency energy, as turbines operating high voltage generators, suitable 4. The combination as defined in claim 2 wherein said thermocouples and vibrator-transformer convenors or the antenna comprises elements which serve as part of the like. The use of high power microwave amplifiers, such mechanical structure of the neutralizing grid, as Amplitrons (Raytheon Co.), for power transmission 5. In combination with flying apparatus composed of a via microwaves can provide the requisite power for a 35 structure supporting discharge electrodes for causing ad-

craft of this type. Therefore, it may be not essential that jacent air molecules to become electrically charged spaced a self contained power unit be carried by the craft for from a grid of electrical conducting means for neutral-

special uses. izing the charge on electrically charged molecules whose

In the preferred form of the craft adapted for military charge was caused by said discharge electrode and means purposes, directional detecting apparatus such as radar 40 for applying a high D.C. potential between said electrodes or infrared equipment will be carried by the craft to en- and said grid to provide a propulsion forcc for said flying able an antenna on the craft to lock-on any target object apparatus, said flying apparatus having on a plurality of in air and space for the purpose of guiding the craft into different sides thereof antenna means for directional trans-

the path of such oncoming target object. An Ionocraft of mission of radio frequency signal energy, the length of sufficient lift capacity may carry its own computers to a side being greater than one-half the wave length of the process the electromagnetic information to provide the 45 signal energy being transmitted, and means for effecting necessary impulses to the controls of the propulsive means a scanning movement of said antenna means by rotating to place the craft in the path of collision. Such craft said flying apparatus about a vertical axis, may also be guided from the surface of the earth or from 6. In combination: flying apparatus comprising a struc-

an airborne vehicle in flight, by remote control means ture supporting discharge electrodes for causing adjacent to accomplish the collision with an oncoming object. 50 air molecules to become electrically charged spaced from

Explosives may be carricd by the Ionocraft for destroy- a grid of electrical conducting means for neutralizing ing such oncoming objects if the mass of the Ionocraft the charge on electrically charged molecules whose charge is inadequate for destructive purposes. Such explosives was caused by said discharge electrode and means for may be of any known type and adapted to be detonated applying a high D.C. potential between said electrodes either upon impact or by proximity fuses where desired. 55 and said grid to provide a propulsion force for said flying Other types of countermeasures or defensive devices for apparatus; said apparatus being divided electrically inio causing premature explosions of the warhead of a missile different sections with separate circuits individual to each may be carried by the Ionocraft as occasions arise. of said sections for connecting said D.C. potential to the

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms electrodes of the respective section; means including high-

without departing from the spirit or essential character- 60 ly directional radiant energy sensitive means on said fly-

istics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore ing apparatus for receiving energy from an electromag-

to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not re- netic energy source at a control station, mounted on said strictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by apparatus for generating control voltages; and circuit the appended claims rather than by the foregoing descrip- means for connecting said control voltages to impedance tion, and all changes which come within the meaning and 65 varying means to reduce the voltage to various ones of range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended the sections of said apparatus to cause said apparatus to to be embraced therein. assume a position determined by the energy source at

What is claimed and desired to be secured by United said control station. „

States Letters Patent is: 7. A system and apparatus for effecting destruction of

1. In combination with flying apparatus composed of 70 flying vehicles including a flying apparatus composed of a a structure supporting discharge electrodes for causing large area structure supporting discharge electrodes for adjacent air molecules to become electrically charged causing adjacent air molecules to become electrically spaced from a grid of electrical conducting me«n* for charged spaced from a grid of electrical conducting means neutralizing the charge on electrically charged molecules which neutralize the charge on electrically charged mole-

whose charge was caused by said discharge electrode and 75 cules whose charge was caused by said discharge electrode

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