New Concept Explained...
What it has demonstrated after thirty hours in various flights:
1. Immediately restores an airplane from a spin, side slip, or even from an inverted position to normal flight at once.
2. Flies an airplane unaided, regardless of weather or visibility.
3. Follows any prescribed compass course unaided to within less than two degrees variation.
4. This device in a simplified form will steer a boat unaided on any compass course prescribed much closer that it is possible for a person to do.
5. It will replace the expensive and complicated "iron mike" in sea-going craft at 1% of the present cost.
6. The DeBeeson Automatic Control can be manufactured at a cost of around $100 allowing $50 for distribution, and will sell at from $500 to $1000.
The Mechanical Pilot
Howard F. Maish, T-68
Member, Professional Pilots Association
It is a known fact that the art of flying has only one hazard-blind flight. During the years Man, watching the flight of birds and insects, has bee striving to perfect a means of transportation that would equal theirs. Practically all the advancement in flying machines, aerodynamics and the industry in general, is in the art of flying. The proof of this is the fact that today an experienced pilot will take an old so-called obsolete ship and do things in acrobatics that a few years ago were impossible, for the reason that the ships were thought unfit.
Today, practically every conceivable maneuver of the bird has been perfected, except blind flight, and birds do not attempt that. But the mail must go through-time, over other means of travel, must be made. In order that this may be accomplished and, above all, the life of the pilots maintained in safety when they are surrounded by fog, a multitude of various instruments has been invented and perfected for the purpose of enabling the pilot to continue through the fog and he has before him a array of instruments that give him the position of his ship in relation to the horizon. It has been found, however, that about eighty percent of the pilots of today cannot fly blind by these instruments. Instruments do not eliminate the human element; many pilots become mentally fatigued and panicky and the result, as shown by statistics, is that at least ninety percent of the fatal accidents are due to human failure; not to ship failure. In other words, ninety per cent-pilot error; ten per cent-ship error.
It is therefore, plain to see that perfection of motors and planes is only a small part, there still exists human frailty-the fear of fog. The main stumbling block to aerial travel today is fog and all the principal instrument companies have been experimenting in mechanical flight. The Guggenheim Fund, after months of research and experiment, and the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars, finally reported to the world that, in their opinion, mechanical flight was the most feasible means of combating fog; in short, elimination of the human element. This has been done. An automatic control, known as the DeBeeson Robot has been perfected. More that thirty hours of actual flying with the Robot in full control of the ship has demonstrated the fact that this device will fly a ship within one-half of one degree perfect at all times, make perfect turns, prevent and recover from side slips, tail spins and stalls, and even recover a ship from an upside down position.
In working on this Robot, the first basic principle to attract the attention of George DeBeeson, the inventor, was that of the pendulum. Although he experimented with and perfected this, it could not be made reliable to any degree. This was due to the action of centrifugal force overcoming the effect of gravity in turns or acrobatics. While the device would fly an airplane for short periods under ideal conditions, the pendulum would oscillate in spite of damping, causing a violent rolling movement which, if not corrected, would increase rapidly to a very dangerous degree, losing altitude at a rate of as much as 800 feet per minute. This principle is still being worked on and recently $50,000 was appropriated for experimentation along this line in San Francisco.
The next principle worked on by Mr. DeBeeson was an electrical device, almost and exact duplicate of that which is claiming attention at the present time in other circles-almost three years after Mr. DeBeeson discarded it. It is reported that the same difficulties are being met with as Mr. DeBeeson encountered-violent over control, especially in lateral movement, due to weight, fire hazard and the complicated wiring of shunt coils and magnets, as well as the necessarily delicate construction, all of which made it highly impracticable for Mr. DeBeeson to continue along these lines. The soundness of his decision is verified by the enormous amount of capital which has been expended by others with almost no encouraging results.
Mr. DeBeeson next used a gyroscope with an elaborate system of pulsating energy which received its direction by longitudinal and lateral gyroscopes-the gyros taking up new positions in relation the ground when turned. After six years experimenting, the attempt is still being made to overcome this fault, but with no appreciable degree of success. By the way, the only robot pilot ever sold was turned over to the Navy at a cost of $15,000. While this device received a lot of publicity, it was highly impracticable, and would not fly an aeroplane for more than two or three minutes because the changing position of the gyroscopes rapidly caused a list, which, if not corrected, would be disastrous to the ship.
Needless to say, even after a stage of perfection was reached in all the before mentioned experiments, the controls were never operated with the smoothness and precision necessary for successful flight. Flying itself is highly professional, and perfection is acquired only after long and painstaking practice. It is the opinion of many experts that the greatest improvement in aeronautics is that of the art of flying itself. Safe to say,, the average student on his first solo flight is more a master of his craft than even Lincoln Beechy at the time he met his death. To copy or improve on the human hand has been striven for and worked toward with an outpouring of wealth and labor the world over but with absolutely no degree of success, and leading engineers of all the major companies recognize the fact that an entirely new principle must be discovered. Over a long period, Mr. DeBeeson used all the known principles, but finally discarded them, arriving at the same conclusion.
The Opposed Lobe Balance
About three years ago Mr. DeBeeson worked out the idea of the Opposed Lobe Balance, an idea unique in itself, and the fact that twenty-two basic claims are fully allowed by the government, fully covered by patents and patents pending, stamps it as entirely original. A sense of balance equal to that of the human mind is reproduced mechanically, giving a smoothness of control, regardless of visibility, which has been so long sought after in flight.
After the discovery of the opposed Lobe Balance System-which we will call the brain- it was necessary to create a muscle to operate the controls. To operate the muscle, a nerve system must be built up to connect the brain and muscle This covered almost two years of flying experimentation and consumed practically all of Mr. DeBeeson's private fortune-but SUCCESS was his.
Directing a positive clutch arrangement by using a low pressure vacuum system an even or variable flow of power was secured whereby the mere weight of a cigarette paper at the brain of the device will, through its muscle, develop a constant or variable pressure of from one to seventy-five pounds instantly on the controls as rapidly as necessary. In fact the device will operate any or all the controls as many as six hundred times per minute, coming back to neutral after each operation. The ruggedness of this device was demonstrated when the case was sealed and allowed to bounce about on the floor and rear seat of an automobile from Los Angles to New York City and return to Los Angeles. The device was then placed in an airplane and flown. Suffice it to say-the operation was perfect and no adjustments were necessary.
The brain or balance system, known as the Opposed Lobe Balance System, is mounted in such a way as to allow gravity to be the damper which gives the balance system all the good qualities of the pendulum and none of its faults. Gravity as the damper, prevents fluctuating and swinging from side to side. Damping liquid or other methods cause a lag which, in turn, allows the ship to over control. Compare the gyroscope system, which has been so long experimented with, revolving at a speed of forty thousand revolutions per minute, with the balance system which has no revolving parts; again, centrifugal force which makes the gyro oscillate, causing the ship to vary from normal flight, is one of the natural forces that acts favorably on the DeBeeson device, causing the ship to bank at the proper angle to prevent side slips. This balance system will also work accurately upside down, which is so necessary in order to bring a ship out of spins, also upside down positions.
This balance system in turn operates a low pressure system called the nerve system consisting of a very simple vacuum pump and equalizer which have no wearing parts. This pump and equalizer keep a constant vacuum on the nerve system, the impulses from the balance system actuating the mechanical part of the device that actually moves the controls. This mechanical system has many operations, varying in accordance with the impulses from the nerve system vacuum relay. In connection with the vacuum system there is a relay and set of little valves which regulate the return of the controls to neutral. This is one of the most important features of the device. After the ship has varied from normal flight, and the controls have moved and corrected the tip or variation, as the ship comes back to normal it is absolutely necessary that the controls are brought to neutral position at just the right time to prevent the ship from over controlling or going past center. This device brings the controls back to neutral with just as definite and accurate motion as does a pilot.
The mechanical part of the device which moves the control consists of a leverage system by which any amount of pressure necessary can be derived without interfering with the sensitive vacuum system. The fastest moving part in the mechanical system is sixty revolutions per minute-thus long life and dependability are assured.
The directional stability of the ship is centralled and controlled by a specially designed compass "DeBeeson Patent" which is attracted by the earth's flux only, and is not affected by local attractions, such as metal tubing, magnetos or running motors, as it needs no compensating pins. The lag, as we know it in ordinary needle compass companies, is eliminated, giving a positive direction, thus enabling the robot to hold a course of less than one degree variation. This is four times more accurate than it is possible for an experienced pilot to accomplish.
This compass has no needle or parallel lines, but an indicator points to zero when the ship is on its course; The hand moving to either left or right, not only indicates that the ship is off its course, but in what direction it is off.