Airship Steering by Tail-mounted Differential Thrust
Publication Date: 2005-Nov-02
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Methods for steering an airship by using two motors mounted on the tail are discussed.
A Method for Steering an Airship using 2 Fixed Position, Variable Thrust, Tail-Mounted Propellers Daniel Nachbar November 2, 2005
The following describes a means for steering an aircraft, particularly an airship, by using 2 motors mounted on the tail of the ship. The motors are mounted in a fixed location and at a fixed lateral angle. Straight flight is obtained by turning the propellers at the same speed and pitch, thus producing roughly the same amount of thrust. Steering is obtained by using different prop speeds and/or pitch to produce different amounts of thrust from each of the two propellers. This method of steering is particularly useful when using electric motors that can have their speeds readily and precisely controlled. This means can be used for a variety of vessels, but is particularly suited to airships. Any other sources of thrust such as jet engines can be used instead of propellers, so long as the thrust output can be varied individually.
Two approaches can be used for creating the moment arm necessary to turn the craft. The first is to offset the line of thrust of the propellers laterally with respect to the centerline of the craft. The second method is to angle of the line of thrust of the propeller laterally. These approaches can be used separately or together.
For instance, lateral offsetting alone would look like this (All drawings are Top View with proportions exaggerated for clarity):
Center of Rotation
Lines of Thrust