Title:
Wing arrangement as well as a missile
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wing arrangement (10), which can be pushed onto a structure, such as a missile, and which includes a number of tubular segments (14) and a number of wings (16) which are arranged on the tubular segments (14). In order to allow the wing arrangement (10) to be pushed on over a missile, it includes structure for expandable connection of the tubular segments (14). Also provided is a missile having a wing arrangement (10) of that kind.



Inventors:
Fisch, Peter Gerd (Uberlingen, DE)
Stengele, Alexander (Stockach, DE)
Elsner, Gerd (Oberuhldingen, DE)
Application Number:
11/434712
Publication Date:
04/05/2007
Filing Date:
05/16/2006
Assignee:
Diehl BGT Defence GmbH & Co., KG (Uberlingen, DE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F42B10/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GREEN, RICHARD R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Leopold Presser, Scully, Scott, Murphy & Presser (Garden City, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A wing arrangement (10), which is pushable onto a structure, such as a missile, wherein said wing arrangement has a number of tubular segments (14) and a number of wings (16) which are arranged on the tubular segments (14), and includes means for expandable connection of the tubular segments (14).

2. A wing arrangement (10) according to claim 1, wherein the means for expandable connection is formed by wing parts.

3. A wing arrangement (10) according to claim 2, wherein the tubular segments (14) are each connected via two wing faces (18, 20) which form the wing (16), said wing faces point outwardly and meet one another at an angle.

4. A wing arrangement (10) according to claim 3, wherein reinforcing means are provided between the wing faces (18, 20).

5. A wing arrangement (10) according to claim 3 wherein apertures (24) for attachment of the wing arrangement to a missile are provided in the wing faces (18, 20), in the area of a root (22) of a wing (16).

6. A wing arrangement (10) according to claim 3, wherein the wing arrangement (10) is manufactured from sheet steel.

7. A wing arrangement (10) according to claim 1, wherein the wing arrangement (10) has a wall thickness which is less than 0.7 mm.

8. A missile incorporating a wing arrangement (10) according to claim 1.

9. A missile according to claim 8, wherein the wing arrangement (10) is adhesively bonded to said missile.

10. A missile according to claim 8, wherein said missile has a plurality of webs (26) fitted thereon, said wing arrangement (10) being attached to said webs.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1.Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a wing arrangement, which can be pushed onto a structure, such as a missile, and has a number of tubular segments and a number of wings which are arranged on the tubular segments, and to a missile having a wing arrangement of this kind.

It is known for missiles to be provided with wing arrangements in order to allow them to be steered and controlled better. Wing arrangements allow high lateral acceleration forces to be produced aerodynamically, allowing a missile to change direction quickly. In order not to adversely affect the agility of a missile, care must be taken to ensure that the wing arrangements do not lead to serious disturbances on the outer skin of the missile since this would increase the aerodynamic drag and, in some circumstances, the weight of the missile as well, and would thus reduce its maximum speed.

2. Discussion of Prior Art

U.S. Pat. No. 4,708,304 discloses an annular wing arrangement which, when a missile is fired from a launch container, is pushed over this missile as far as a radially symmetrical thickened area, which is located on the circumference of the missile. An annular wing arrangement such as this can disadvantageously be pushed only over missiles with a smooth external contour and a missile external diameter which does not exceed the internal diameter of the wing arrangement in the longitudinal direction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One object of the present invention is to specify a wing arrangement which can also be pushed onto missiles whose external diameter varies over their entire length and/or which have structurally dependent in homogeneities in the area of their outer skin. The invention is also based on the object of specifying a missile having a wing arrangement such as this.

The first-mentioned object is achieved by a wing arrangement, which can be pushed on and has a number of tubular segments and a number of wings which are arranged on the tubular segments, in which, according to the invention, means are provided for expandable connection of the tubular segments.

In a first step, the invention is based on the idea that annular clamping connections (so-called “belly bands”) with wings located on them could be suitable for being able to be lashed without any problems around any point on the circumference on the longitudinal axis of a missile, as, in this case, irregularities in the external contour—such as further wing arrangements or relevant measurement apparatuses which require a defined arrangement and alignment with respect to the missile geometry—and a varying external diameter of a missile need not be taken into account.

Clamping connections such as these are, however, not suitable for agile missiles since clamping screws which are always required for these clamping connections project into the flow around a flying missile. This increases the aerodynamic drag of a missile, and causes a deterioration in its flying characteristics. Furthermore, the stress which is exerted on the missile by firmly tightening the clamping screw after attachment of the clamping connection has a negative effect on the missile. This can result in cracks in the material, and in further damage associated with them, in this region, both in the case of the missile itself and in the case of the wing arrangement.

In a second step, the invention is based on the idea that direct fitting of individual wings to a missile admittedly overcomes the problems of external contour disturbance and varying missile external diameter, but is not suitable for highly manoeuvrable missiles since it makes it necessary to thicken the material of the wings in order to ensure a specific level of wing robustness to prevent the wings from breaking off. However, thickening of the material leads to an increase in the aerodynamic drag, and to an increase in the weight owing to the increase in volume of a wing associated with it, and this results in the deterioration in the manoeuvrability.

In a further step, the invention is finally based on the idea that a wing arrangement which can be pushed on and has a number of tubular segments and a number of wings which are arranged on the tubular segments, and which arrangement has means for expandable connection of the tubular segments, makes it possible to overcome different external diameters of a missile and disturbances in its external contour while nevertheless allowing a wing arrangement to be produced which rests on the missile.

The invention results in a wing arrangement which satisfies stringent requirements relating to the robustness of wings, and which furthermore allows fitting without any problems to a missile with a variable external diameter, while at the same time avoiding stress increases and aerodynamic drag increases in the process.

In one advantageous refinement of the invention, the means for expandable connection is formed by wing parts. In consequence, there is no need for additional areas which can be expanded. This means that little material is consumed and thus results in a weight advantage, and this has a positive effect on missiles, in the form of a greater overall range. Furthermore, this makes it possible to prevent any increase in the aerodynamic drag resulting from other expandable areas which—in the same way as the wing parts—would extend into the flow around a missile. The maximum speed and range of a missile can thus be increased.

A refinement such as this also makes it possible, for example, to design the wing arrangement to be integral, that is to say the wing arrangement can be manufactured from one piece. This makes it possible to save material and costly assembly processes.

In a further advantageous refinement of the invention, the tubular segments of the wing arrangement are each connected via two wing faces which form the wing, point outwards and meet one another at an angle. This refinement allows the wing tube to expand like a harmonica in the area of its wings and thus, for example, to be pushed without any problems over a missile with an external diameter which varies a plurality of times over its overall length. Other types of thickened areas on the outer skin of a missile can thus also be overcome without any problems. This is particularly important for missiles whose external diameter varies to a major extent because of integral attachment points, because they require a constant internal diameter, for example in the area of the missile motor.

Reinforcing means are expediently provided between the wing faces of the wing arrangement. This prevents the wings from bending, even when the wing arrangement is used at supersonic speeds. The operation of the wing arrangement is thus ensured over long distances, even at high speeds. The reinforcing means may, for example, be one or more ribs which are arranged in the longitudinal direction with respect to a missile. Alternatively, struts are also feasible, which are arranged in the lateral direction with respect to a missile. Furthermore, the area underneath the wing faces can also be filled with foam. A foam such as this is generally only very light in weight, which makes it worthwhile in particular to use a wing arrangement such as this for high-agility missiles which are intended to achieve ranges that are as long as possible. The reinforcing means may also have a honeycomb structure, in order to achieve further weight advantages and thus better flying characteristics of the wing arrangement.

It is particularly expedient for apertures for attachment to a missile to be provided in the wing faces of the wing arrangement, in the area of the root of a wing. This allows the wing arrangement to be fixed particularly well to a missile. Fixing such as this is necessary in order that the wing arrangement remains at a defined position on the circumference of a missile even at high missile speeds, so that it therefore does not result in any deterioration in the flying characteristics. By way of example, the wing arrangement can be screwed to a missile through the apertures. However, it is also feasible for the wing arrangement to be welded to a missile at these points, or to be attached to it by means of rivets or screws.

The wing arrangement is advantageously manufactured from sheet steel. Sheet steel provides the wing arrangement with high robustness and is also able to cope with high temperature and pressure loads without them resulting in adverse effects on the structure and operation of the wing arrangement. This is necessary in order to ensure a successful missile mission of a missile with a wing arrangement such as this. Further possible materials are aluminium, titanium and fibre composite materials, such as CFP (carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic), GFP (glass-fibre-reinforced plastic). Aluminium is a lightweight metal. A wing arrangement composed of a material such as this and a wing arrangement composed of fibre composite material have a particularly low weight, and this has a positive effect on the use of a wing arrangement such as this, in terms of the speed and range of the missiles. In addition, titanium is a lightweight material which is highly resistant to increased temperatures, thus allowing the wing arrangement to be used even in extreme environmental conditions. A wing arrangement such as this is also possible for operations in which stone strikes and dust erosion must be expected. It is also possible to produce the wing arrangement from a combination of these materials, in order to optimally exploit all of the advantages of an individual material.

The ribs or struts of the wing. arrangement are also expediently manufactured from sheet steel, aluminium, titanium, CFP or GFP. When choosing the material, care must be taken to determine the pressure, temperature and environmental loads to which the wing arrangement will be subject. In this case as well, a material combination is possible, depending on the application of the wing arrangement.

According to the invention, the second-mentioned object is achieved by a missile having a wing arrangement as described above. The wing arrangement may in this case be fitted to any desired points around the external diameter of the missile as a function of the maximum expansion capability of the wing arrangement, that is to say as a function of its capability to change its circumference. A missile such as this is a missile which is particularly agile and highly manoeuvrable owing to the configuration of the wing arrangement. This makes it possible to guarantee the success of missile missions which require particularly agile and high-speed missiles.

It is particularly expedient in this case for the wing arrangement to be adhesively bonded to the missile. This adhesive bonding ensures that clamping stresses of the wing arrangement on the external diameter and on the items inside the missile are kept particularly low. This prevents crack formation in the outer skin or in the pressure vessel and in the area of the propellant charge located therein in the missile and thus, in the worst case, even prevents the missile from bursting open during its mission.

It is also advantageous for the wing arrangement to be attached to the missile via a number of webs which are fitted to the missile. This allows the wing arrangement to be attached at a precisely defined position on the overall length of the missile in order in this way to achieve optimum flying characteristics for the missile.

In practice, the wing arrangement is attached to the webs via its apertures in the area of the root of its wings via connecting means such as screws, rivets or the like. This makes it possible to connect the wing arrangement to the missile in a particularly robust manner, preventing the wing arrangement from sliding during a missile operation, and thus contributing directly to the success of a missile mission.

The webs can in turn likewise be connected to the missile via connecting means. However, it is also feasible for the webs to be fitted to the missile itself by adhesive bonding, in order to keep the stresses which are exerted on the missile and can cause damage to it low. In this case, the webs may be manufactured from the same material as the outer skin of the missile itself. This is generally sheet steel. However, it is also feasible to manufacture the webs from titanium or aluminium.

The webs may be prefabricated sheet-metal strip in the form of washers. Owing to their fixed lateral size, this makes it possible to predetermine a defined distance between the two wing faces, which form a wing, in their root area. It is also. possible to use spring elements as webs, via which two wing faces which form a wing can be moved to a defined distance from one another, and can be held there, in their root area. A spring element such as this may, for example, be a U-shaped spring clip. The spring element may be formed from memory alloy, that is to say with a shape memory. The spring element need not necessarily be fitted to the missile but can also just be located between the two wing faces, at a distance from the missile. Webs such as these which are suitable for fitting to a missile make it possible to design a wing shape as desired for the specific application of the missile, within a certain range.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

One exemplary embodiment of the invention will be explained in more detail with reference to the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows, schematically, a wing arrangement and a pressure vessel of a missile, over which the wing arrangement can be pushed, and

FIG. 2 shows a wing arrangement fitted to a pressure vessel of a missile.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In this case, identical parts are annotated with the same reference numerals.

FIG. 1 shows a wing arrangement 10 which can be pushed over a pressure vessel 12 of a missile. The wing arrangement has four tubular segments 14, with a total of four wings 16. The wings 16 are formed by two wing faces 18, 20, which meet one another at an angle. The wing arrangement 10, which is manufactured from sheet steel, has apertures 24 in the area of the root 22 of its wings 16, in the. form of holes, by means of which the wing arrangement 10 is connected to the pressure vessel 12. For this purpose, the pressure vessel 12 has four webs 26 which are manufactured from sheet steel, although only three of these can be seen in the illustration. The webs are also manufactured from sheet steel and have apertures 28. The apertures 28 in the webs 26 are in this case provided with a thread, so that screws can be passed through the apertures 24 in the wings 16 and can be screwed to the apertures 28 in the webs. The webs 26 themselves are connected to the pressure vessel 12 by means of adhesive bonding. In order to increase the robustness of the wings 16 of the wing arrangement 10, they are reinforced with ribs 30 composed of sheet steel. The wing arrangement 10, which is composed of sheet steel, has a wall thickness of only 0.6 mm.

FIG. 2 of the drawing shows a wing arrangement 10 which has already been fitted to the pressure vessel 12 of a missile. For the sake of clarity, however, one of the four tubular segments 14 of the wing arrangement 10 is not illustrated. An adhesive layer, which cannot be seen in the drawing, is located between the tubular segments 14 and the outer skin 32 of the pressure vessel 12. This is used for further fixing of the wing arrangement 10 on the pressure vessel 12.

List of Reference Numerals

  • 10 wing arrangement
  • 12 pressure vessel
  • 14 tubular segment
  • 16 wing
  • 18 wing face
  • 20 wing face
  • 22 root
  • 24 aperture
  • 26 web
  • 28 aperture
  • 30 rib
  • 32 outer skin