Vehicle Launching Device.
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
A pneumatic system for launching aircraft is disclosed wherein an elongated frame having a pressurized interior chamber is volumetrically related and communicatively connected to a longitudinally-slotted cylinder supported within the frame so that expansion of air into the cylinder produces a desired thrust pressure therein that is equalized by the residual pressure external of the cylinder within the chamber. A piston member slidably contained within the cylinder is adapted to receive the compressed air and is connected to a shuttle for accelerating the aircraft to be launched. The shuttle is releasably restrained at the rearward end of the cylinder and is adapted to travel longitudinally through the slot which is dynamically sealed by a flexible strip as the shuttle passes through the slot to preserve thrust pressure within the cylinder. Means for braking the shuttle after launch include a hydraulic shock absorber connected to the frame at the forward end of the cylinder, and a longitudinal elastomeric member attached at one end thereof to the shock absorber within the cylinder. The elastomeric member is formed having a gradually reduced cross-sectional area from either end thereof so that upon impact by the moving shuttle, the longitudinal surface of the member expands against the inside of the cylinder to dissipate a portion of the kinetic energy therealong and provide sufficient dampening, in cooperation with the absorber, to effectively brake the shuttle near the forward end of the frame. Author
- Terminal Flight Facilities