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Other emitting electrode constructions may also be used. For axample, emitting wires 640-444 may have suspended from them a plurality of short wires 680 as shown in FIGURE 9 (Sheet 3) which provide a point of discharge rather than a line of discharge to thereby in- 5 crease the efficiency of ionization. In FIGURE 9, only emitting wire 640 and its supporting masts 646 and 647 from the embodiment shown in FIGURES 6 and 7 are illustrated. It is to be understod that all of the emitting wires may be of similar construction to that illustrated in 10 FIGURE 9. Each of wires 680 is about I to 3 or more inches in length and separated at least one inch apart. The lower ends of wires 680 are kept at a uniform distance from the collecting grid. This construction may offer some pre-ionization, though measurements show this emit- 13 ting electrode construction to be about comparable to the use of plain wire as the emitting electrode.

FIGURE 10 (Sheet 4) illustrates an elevation view, and FIGURES 11 and 12 illustrate plan views of modified triangular and rectangular shaped Ionocrafts 10 respec- 20 lively. The craft of FIGURE 11 is triangular in configuration and is provided with emitting wires 12 suitably supported from masts 48 as illustrated. In practice additional emitting wires may be used. Collecting grid 14 extends over a large area beneath emitting wires 12 and 25 may be formed of crossed wires as diagrammatically illustrated.

The electromagnetic energy antenna carried by the foregoing Ionocraft embodiments may comprise a series of generally horizontal, parallel conducting elements or di- 30 poles 70 arranged along the basic side structure on which the wires 12 and 14 of the craft are attached. Dipoles 70 may be of differing length so that the antenna provided may receive or transmit several different frequencies. For frequencies of the order of 10 megacycles, for ex- 35 ample, several dipoles 72, 74 and 76 may be arranged as a tuned array, such as the yagi array, with one or more dipoles 72 serving as a director, dipole 74 serving as the main antenna element and dipole 76 serving as a reflector. Such antenna is highly directional and with an Ionocraft 40 of triangular configuration, the antenna may be used with signal transmission in three separate directions simultaneously.

The antenna wires 70-76 may be small diameter rods of a conductive material such as aluminum, supported 45 on lightweight rods or bars 78 of either a conducting or insulating material, as dictated by conventional antenna construction techniques. Additional antenna elements 80, 82 and 84 may be present as metal rods or wires separated electrically from the adjacent antenna elements by 50 insulators 86 of a suitable light material such as wood, plastic or the like, indicated on the drawing by spaces.

The various antenna elements 70-84 and insulators 84 may comprise a rigid frame forming the basic structure for the craft and inside of which the collecting grid 55 14 is supported and upon which the discharge electrodes 12 are mounted. The antenna elements 70-84 may be sucked vertically if desired to improve both the efficiency of the antenna and the rigidity of the basic structure. To the extent that the antenna elements may be galvanically 00 connected together without interfering with the operation of the antenna in its conventional manner, the antenna elements are preferably connected to the same D.C. potential as collecting grid 14. Thus, the antenna elements may also augment the operation of the Ionocraft by neu- 65 tralizing charged ions which provide the propelling force.

In the rectangular embodiment of FIGURE 12, the several antenna dipoles 90 have different lengths so as to be equal to one half the wave length X of the frequency being transmitted for an entire spectrum of frequencies having 70 different wave lengths Xlt X,, X, . . . Xn. Since the length of a side of the Ionocraft may be several hundred feet or greater, such construction is ideally suited for communication systems, whether operating with high or low frequencies. 75

With either of the configurations of FIGURE 11 or FIGURE 12. the view in elevation will be substantially as illustrated in FIGURE 10 where the particular antenna structure is indicated schematically and designated by reference numeral 92. A ground station antenna which is indicated diagrammatically at 94 on FIGURE 10 may be provided for directing the signals downwardly to the ground station. Antenna 94 may be of any desired conventional type and connected on the Ionocraft to the main antenna structure 92 by a suitable transmission line such as coaxial cable, twin lead lines or hollow pipe waveguide, depending upon the particular frequencies utilized. Amplifiers or frequency converters may also be provided in the transmission line where signal strength is weak. The amplifiers arid/or frequency converters may be powered by well known self-contained batteries or by the power supply unit for the Ionocraft (not shown).

Referring now to FIGURES 13 and 14 (Sheet 4). a further embodiment of the invention is illustrated which has a plurality of side sections, four of which are shown curved. The contour of the curves may be parabolic or of any other shape as is conventionally used for antennas in high frequency systems such as radar or the like. In this embodiment, an outside frame of lightweight rigid members 96, 98, 100 and 102 is provided to define the contour of the antenna shape. Lightweight wires or rods 104 extend between members 95 and 102 to serve as part of the antenna. Lightweight sheet metal of a material such as aluminum may be used in lieu of wires 104 for thp reflector surface if desired.

A plurality of horns 106 are illustrated in the drawings to effect simultaneous radar scanning through 360". By oscillating the illustrated Ionocraft about its vertical center line through an angle of only 45* on each side of a center position, complete 360* scanning may be effected. Alternatively, the Ionocraft may be routed continuously about its vertical center line and 360* scanning effected by one or more antennas. Such scanning may be effected by warped corners, reactive or propeller blasts of auxiliary power plant, or by auxiliary grids which are mounted for movement relative to the main lifting grid as will be described below. Scanning may be effected by other means as will become apparent from the following description. In lieu of or supplemental to some of the microwave antennas 106, antenna reflectors for infrared detectors may be carried on the Ionocraft. Such antennas serve to collect the infrared energy over a large area and focus such energy on a small infrared detector, and they may be of any conventional construction. The basic structure 10 between spaced antennas may contain such equipment to transmit via wireless signal channels to the ground sution through ground sution antenna 94, signals corresponding to the electromagnetic and radio frequency signals received.

Horizonul movement of the craft may be effected by the principles set forth in Serial No. 760,390 of Glenn E. Hagtn filed September 11, 1958, by tilting the craft downwardly in the forward direction whereby the ionic propulsion force provides a horizontal force component to cause the craft to move in a horizontal direction. Tilting of the craft may easily be effected through variation of the voltage between emitting electrodes 12 and collecting grid electrode 14. For example, by electrically separating the craft into four sections of subsUntially equal size as illustrated in FIGURE 15 (Sheet 6), the volUge applied to two of the adjacent sections can be reduced by adding resistance in series with the current path and this will cause the lift produced by these two sections to decrease relative to the lift produced by the two other sections. Thus, horizontal movement of the craft may easily be controlled from the ground station.

For manual control of the posture and flight movement of the craft of the present invention, it has been found desirable to provide a control stick assembly which functions similar to that familiar to persons flying other types of aircraft. The control stick must function in both the longitudinal and lateral directions simultaneously and independently. Variable control elements such as potentiometers and variable transformers (powerstats for instance ) may be used for control of the present invention. The posture of the craft may be controlled by dividing the collecting grid into three or more electrically separate regions as illustrated by the embodiment shown in FIGURES 6 and 7 and by individually varying the electrical potential to each of the separate regions. The potential may be increased to act as an elevator or may be decreased to act as a spoiler, and the voltage may be increased on one side while being simultaneously decreased on the other side to increase the effectiveness of the control.

Also, the emitting wires may be divided into three or more electrically separate regions and the electrical potential individually varied to each separate region. Again the potential may be increased or decreased, and may be s'multaneously increased in one region and decreased in tlie opposite region.

To change the voltage to an individual region of the craft, a separate power supply for each region may be provided and the variable control element for changing the output voltage may be adjusted to produce the desired voltage level. Where a single power supply is provided, variable resistances may be placed in the electrical conductors leading to the appropriate terminals on the craft. If the craft is normally airborne with resistance present in the conductors, then increased voltage can be supplied to one region of the craft by decreasing the resistance in the conductor connected to that region. A decreased voltage can be supplied similarly by increasing the amount of resistance, and combination of increased and decreased voltages may be supplied to opposite sides of the craft to increase response of the craft to the controls.

One of the more simple ways to utilize the power supplied to the craft, I prefer not to have extra resistance in the power supply circuit of the emitting wires during normal flight and to control the posture of the craft by individually adding resistance into the circuit connected to each individual region of the collector grid. Such method of control has been found to provide adequate control of the Ionocraft and a control stick assembly will be described which utilizes variable resistance elements which are conventionally known as potentiometers or rheostats.

In FIGURE 16 (Sheet 5) the collecting grid construction as shown in the preceding embodiments (see for example FIGURES 6 and 7 on Sheet 3) is illustrated with each of the four grid sections W, X, Y, and Z connected through a separate correspondingly designated potentiometer to one terminal of the power supply. The. emitting wires shown diagrammatically as waving lines are connected through a throttle control potentiometer, which is used to control the maximum voltage applied between the emitting wires and ail of the collecting grid sections. When this voltage exceeds a certain level but yet remains less than that which causes arcing, the craft will rise. The effect of potentiometers A, B, C and D is to con-trollably reduce the voltage between the emitting wires and any one or two specific grid sections to thereby reduce or subtract from the effectiveness of that portion of the craft in producing its lifting force. This then causes the. craft to tilt downwardly in the direction of whichever of'the grid sections has the reduced voltage.

Referring now to FIGURES 17 and 18 (Sheet 5) front and side elevations of the control stick are shown with the respective shafts of the four potentiometers labeled A, B, C and D. On each of these shafts spur gears (not shown) are provided to be driven by gear segments secured to the stick.

The control stick b mounted for pivotal movement about pin P having axis X and about pin Q having axis Y beneath, but in the same vertical plane as axis X. Pin Q is mounted with its ends in opposite side walls W of the control stick housing.

The entire stick assembly shown in FIGURES 17 and

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