Patexia. Research
Patent No. US 04899954
Issue Date Feb 13, 1990
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Patent 04899954 - Ground-air-water craft > Claims

  • 1. A land, air and water ("LAW") craft having a center of gravity and comprising, in combination: (a) a fuselage having a front end, a rear end, and a passenger compartment therebetween, said fuselage defining a central, longitudinal and vertical plane between said front and rear ends; (b) a box-type, main wing connected to said fuselage and extending outwardly, on both sides of said fuselage, approximately equal distances from said longitudinal plane, said main wing including (i) an upper main wing and a lower main wing which are substantially horizontal and have substantially the same wingspan, between opposite lateral ends, said lower main wing extending from a leading edge, which is rearward of the driver's position in said passenger compartment, to a trailing edge which substantially coincides, in longitudinal position, with said rear end of said fuselage, said upper main wing having a leading edge which is forward of said leading edge of said lower main wing; and (ii) a right side member and a left side member, each side member extending substantially vertically and connected between said lateral ends of said upper and lower main wings on a respective right and left side of said craft; (c) a control wing connected to said fuselage and extending outwardly, on both sides of said fuselage, approximately equal distances from said longitudinal plane, said control wing and said main wing being located, with respect to each other, such that their centers of lift are on opposite sides of said center of gravity as viewed in the direction of said longitudinal plane; (d) front wheel means mounted on said craft forward of said center of gravity; (e) rear wheel means mounted on said craft to the rear of said center of gravity and beneath said lower main wing at such longitudinal position that it prevents said lower main wing from contacting the ground when said craft is flying at an extreme upward pitch; (f) prime mover means mounted on said craft; (g) air propelling means mounted on said craft between said two side members and above said lower main wing; and (h) first coupling means for selectively coupling said prime mover means to: (i) at least one of said wheel means, and (ii) said air propelling means.
    • 2. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein passengers located in said passenger compartment and said prime mover means both have respective centers of gravity of their own, and wherein said centers of gravity of said passengers, on one hand, and said prime mover means, on the other, are located on opposite sides of said center of gravity of said craft as viewed in the direction of said longitudinal plane.
      • 3. The LAW craft defined in claim 2, wherein said center of gravity of said prime mover means is located to the rear of said center of gravity of said craft.
    • 4. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein the centers of lift of said control wing and said main wing are located, respectively, in front of, and to the rear of said center of gravity of said craft.
      • 23. The LAW craft defined in claim 4, wherein said air propelling means are mounted to the rear of said center of gravity.
    • 5. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein said first coupling means include hydraulic pump means mechanically coupled to said prime mover means and hydraulic drive motor means, hydraulically coupled to said hydraulic pump means and mechanically coupled to at least one of said wheel means, for driving said at least one wheel means.
      • 6. The LAW craft defined in claim 5, wherein said hydraulic drive motor means include a separate hydraulic drive motor disposed adjacent, and mechanically coupled to each of said front wheel means and said rear wheel means.
      • 7. The LAW craft defined in claim 5, wherein said hydraulic drive motor means include a separate hydraulic drive motor disposed adjacent, and mechanically coupled to each individual wheel of said at least one wheel means.
    • 8. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein said first coupling means include electric generator means, mechanically coupled to said prime mover means, and electric drive motor means, electrically coupled to said electric generator means and mechanically coupled to at least one of said wheel means, for driving said at least one wheel means.
      • 9. The LAW craft defined in claim 8, wherein said electric drive motor means include a separate electric drive motor disposed adjacent, and mechanically coupled to each of said front wheel means and said rear wheel means.
      • 10. The LAW craft defined in claim 8, wherein said electric drive motor means include a separate electric drive motor disposed adjacent, and mechanically coupled to each individual wheel of said at least one wheel means.
    • 11. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, further comprising at least one fuel tank located in said upper wing.
    • 12. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein said control wing is pivotable about its longitudinal axis, the right and left sides of said control wing being pivotable together to control the pitch of said craft, and pivotable in opposite directions to control the roll of said craft.
    • 13. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, further comprising movable control surfaces disposed on the trailing edges of said control wing on both sides of said fuselage.
    • 14. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, further comprising movable control surfaces disposed on the trailing edges of at least one of said upper main wing and said lower main wing on both sides of said fuselage.
      • 15. The LAW craft defined in claim 14, wherein said control surfaces include flap means for controlling the lift of said at least one upper main wing and lower main wing.
    • 16. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, further comprising movable control surfaces disposed on the trailing edges of each of said wings on both sides of said fuselage.
      • 17. The LAW craft defined in claim 16, wherein said control surfaces include flap means for controlling the lift of each of said wings.
    • 18. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, further comprising movable air spoiler means disposed on the upper surface of said control wing on both sides of said fuselage.
      • 21. The LAW craft defined in claim 18, wherein said air spoiler means are located at approximately the 0.3 chord point, as viewed from the trailing edge of said control wing, said chord being an imaginary line drawn from the leading edge to the trailing edge of said control wing.
    • 19. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, further comprising movable air spoiler means disposed on the upper surface of at least one of said upper main wing and said lower main wing on both sides of said fuselage.
      • 22. The LAW craft defined in claim 19, wherein said air spoiler means are located at approximately the 0.3 chord point, as viewed from the trailing edge of said at least one upper main wing and lower main wing, said chord being an imaginary line drawn from the leading edge to the trailing edge of the respective wing.
    • 20. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, further comprising movable air spoiler means disposed on the upper surface of each of said wings on both sides of said fuselage.
    • 24. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein at least one of said front wheel and rear wheel means are retractable.
    • 25. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein said front wheel means include two front wheels spaced laterally on opposite sides of said longitudinal plane and wherein said rear wheel means include a single rear wheel disposed in said longitudinal plane.
      • 26. The LAW craft defined in claim 25, wherein said rear wheel means is steerable.
    • 27. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein at least the bottom portion of said fuselage is watertight and includes a hydroplane bottom surface which affords a reduced resistance to water when said craft is propelled across a water surface.
      • 28. The LAW craft defined in claim 27, further comprising water propelling means mounted on said craft for driving said craft forward when said fuselage is resting on a water surface and second coupling means for selectively coupling said prime mover means to said water propelling means.
        • 29. The LAW craft defined in claim 28, wherein said second coupling means includes a hydraulic pump means, mechanically coupled to said prime mover means, and hydraulic drive motor means, hydraulically coupled to said hydraulic pump means and mechanically coupled to said water propelling means.
        • 30. The LAW craft defined in claim 28, wherein said second coupling means include electric pump means, mechanically coupled to said prime mover means, and electric drive motor means, electrically coupled to said electric pump means and mechanically coupled to said water propelling means.
    • 31. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein said front wheel means and said rear wheel means each include a single road wheel, and wherein said craft further comprises balancing wheel means mounted on said craft substantially laterally in line with or to the rear of said center of gravity, said balancing wheel means including two road wheels disposed on opposite sides of said longitudinal plane.
    • 32. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein both said upper and lower main wings are mounted on said fuselage.
      • 33. The LAW craft defined in claim 32, wherein the trailing edge of said upper main wing substantially coincides, in longitudinal position, to the leading edge of said lower main wing.
        • 34. The LAW craft defined in claim 33, wherein said air propelling means has a central longitudinal axis which is oriented substantially in the plane of said upper main wing.
          • 35. The LAW craft defined in claim 34, wherein said air propelling means is disposed rearward of said upper main wing.
    • 36. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein said first coupling means couples said prime mover means to said rear wheel means and to said air propelling means.
    • 37. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein said right side member and said left side member each have a downward and rearward sloping front edge, to provide a streamlined surface for impinging air and water.
      • 38. The LAW craft defined in claim 37, wherein said leading edge of each right side member and left side member extends downwardly from a forwardmost point, which is at least as far forward as the leading edge of said upper main wing, to a lower, more rearward point, which is at least as far forward as the leading edge of said lower main wing.
    • 39. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein said right side member and said left side member each extend above the upper surface of said upper main wing.
    • 40. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein said right side member and said left side member each extend below the lower surface of said lower main wing.
    • 41. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein said right side member and said left side member each have a trailing edge which is articulated to serve as a rudder.
      • 42. The LAW craft defined in claim 41, wherein said articulated trailing edges of said right side member and said left side member are located rearward of said air propelling means.
    • 43. The LAW craft defined in claim 1, wherein said fuselage has a length, between said front end and said rear end, which is less than approximately 25 feet; wherein said upper main wing and said lower main wing each have a wingspan which is less than approximately 10 feet; and wherein said control wing has a wingspan which is less than approximately 10 feet.
      • 44. The LAW craft defined in claim 43, wherein said fuselage length is in the range of 10 to 25 feet; and wherein said upper main wing and said lower main wing each have a wingspan in the range of 5 to 10 feet.