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Lockheed ICBM Missile Launcher for Aircraft (1976)

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Donald McKelvy
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Inventors: Rollo G. Smethers, Jr.
Assignee: Lockheed Aircraft Corporation

Abstract:
A mechanism rapidly and repetitively launches missiles from inside an aircraft during flight. One or more missiles are carried and launched through a tube protruding through the front of the aircraft thus obviating the necessity for bomb bay or other sizeable, open doors. The aircraft interior can be used as a large accumulator so that pressurized internal air is utilized as the propellant when admitted to a breach. Thus, a "cold" launch is achieved negating the possibility of a "hang fire." Multiple missiles can be carried in revolving chambers which are capable of rapid rotation into firing position. The advantages of the system include the ability to launch at high aircraft altitudes and speeds with the missile moving toward target.

Patent number: 4040334
Filing date: Apr 20, 1976
Issue date: Aug 9, 1977

What is claimed:

1. A missile launcher for aircraft comprising:

at least one tube mounted internally of said aircraft and adapted to contain a missile to be ejected therefrom, each said missile tube being sized internally to the transverse dimension of the aft end of said missile and adapted to be disposed in axial alignment with an opening in the forward end of said aircraft;
a removable and replaceable closure associated with said opening;
a chamber at the aft end of said missile tube, the interior of which is in communication with the end of the adjacent missile tube aft of said missile therein;
a source of fluid under pressure in excess of that in said each adjacent missile tube forwardly of said missile;
a conduit connecting said chamber with said fluid source; and
a valve associated with said conduit to control the passage of said fluid from said source into the adjacent chamber.

2. The missile launcher of claim 1 including a seal between the adjacent surfaces of each said missile and the associated missile tube to prevent the passage of fluid therethrough.

3. The missile launcher of claim 1 including anti-friction means between the adjacent surfaces of each said missile and the associated missile tube.

4. The missile launcher of claim 1 wherein said closure includes a pair of power-actuated, abutting halves, each defined by surfaces which are contoured to conform with the adjacent aircraft external surface, and a fluid tight seal operative between all of the edges of each of said halves and the adjacent aircraft edge defining said opening.

5. The missile launcher of claim 1 where said source of fluid under pressure is the pressurized air within the interior of the aircraft.

6. The missile launcher of claim 1 including a control mechanism interconnecting said closure and said valve for the sequential operation thereof whereby said closure is removed from said opening, said valve actuates first to admit fluid to its adjacent chamber and then to stop fluid passage to its adjacent chamber when said closure is replaced over said opening.

7. The missile launcher of claim 1 wherein a plurality of said missile tubes are secured in a revolver mechanism mounted for rotation about its own axis, and including a launch tube secured to said aircraft in a position between said revolver mechanism and the closure aforesaid, said launch tube being axially aligned with each said missile tube at a predetermined point in the rotation of said revolver mechanism, and engagement means operative to secure said launch tube to each said missile tube in the axially aligned position aforesaid.

8. The missile launcher of claim 7 wherein a single said chamber is secured to said aircraft and disposed in axial alignment with said launch tube, and including engagement means operative to secure each said missile tube in the axially aligned position aforesaid to said single chamber.

9. The missile launcher of claim 7 including a control mechanism interconnecting said revolver mechanism, said engagement means, said closure and said valve for the sequential operation thereof whereby said revolver mechanism is rotated to dispose a missile tube in the axially aligned position aforesaid, said engagement means secures said missile tube thus positioned, said closure is removed from said opening and said valve actuates to admit fluid to its adjacent chamber aforesaid.

10. The missile launcher of claim 9 including a device located adjacent the forward end of said launch tube and actuated by the passage of a missile therethrough, and a connection between said device and said control mechanism for the sequential operation thereof whereby said valve and said closure are closed, and said engagement means releases said missile tube.

http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=KJosAAAAEBAJ
 

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