658. ACV Development at Bell Aerosystems


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J U Kordenbrock, B Chiappinell: 658. ACV Development at Bell Aerosystems. 1968.



A detailed discussion of air cushion vehicle design considerations is presented. Technical aspects of ACV operation are explained as well as the various types of air cushion arrangements. The structural design aspects are presented in detail and comparisons with aircraft and boats are made with respect to relative weights. A base pressure loading versus gross weight is used as the basis for this comparison, which shows air cushion vehicle structural efficiency much closer to aircraft than t oboats or ships.
Loads and criteria and weight estimation procedures are discussed. The weiqht growth trends of ACV’s Up to several hundred tons are presented on a theoretical basis using the square cube law and then compared with actual craft weights. Design considerations which would tend to reduce the high weight growth projections of very large craft are discussed in some depth.
The highly corrosive atmosphere in which ACV’s operate affects material selection, and brief comments upon various suitable materials are made.
Propulsion requirements of ACV’s are discussed,including selection of gas turbine or reciprocating engines. Thrust devices such as aircraft type propellers, water propellers, water-jets and low velocity plenum air are discussed.
One of the important elements of an ACV which has contributed to the successful development of practical craft is trunks, or skirts. Design aspects are discussed together with some of the shortcomings which are the subject of continuing research and development.
Development of specific air cushion vehicles at Bell Aerosystems is reviewed, starting with craft built since 1960. Current ACV’s such as the production SK-5, are described. Projected ACV’s which are under development are also described, with particular emphasis on the SK-10. The surface effect ship program activities are also of interest and this program will eventually lead to the development of a 4000-ton ship utilizing the captured air bubble principle. Bell activities in this area are presented. Other potential ACV activities in the future are briefly mentioned.


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