STOL Tactical Aircraft Investigation. Volume VI. Air Cushion and Ground Mobility Study.
Final rept. 7 Jun 1971-31 Jan 1973
GENERAL DYNAMICS SAN DIEGO CA CONVAIR AEROSPACE DIV
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The tactical STOL transport design must consider forms of high flotation landing gear to operate effectively from unprepared fields. One configuration of particular interest is the Air Cushion Landing System ACLS which utilizes the ground effect principle to reduce ground overpressures. The configuration includes a rubber-nylon, torus-shaped trunk attached to the lower portion of the fuselage. Air is supplied to the trunk by turboshaft-driven fans. It is then exhausted through rows of holes along the trunk ground tangent. Aircraft weight is distributed over the cushion area providing the desired low ground pressure. After liftoff, the trunk is deflated and retracts into the side of fuselage by elastic action of the trunk material. Braking is accomplished by expanding inflatable pillows against the ground mobility and bleeding off cushion pressure. The cargo deliveryloading capability of the MST can be greatly expedited by incorporating an onboard ground mobility system in conjunction with conventional landing gear. After viewing various wheel drive systems pneumatic, electrical, hydraulic, a mechanical drive system is presented. A gas turbine APU is mounted to the shock strut over each bogie, driving the wheels through reversing gear, clutch and shafting.