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Dokumentenidentifikation EP1442902 19.01.2006
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001442902
Titel Amphibisches Fahrzeug mit einer Einrichtung zum Einschränken von Spritzwasser
Anmelder Gibbs Technologies Ltd., Douglas, Isle of Man, GB
Erfinder Pease, Mathew Roger, Carmarthenshire, SA14 8UD, GB
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 602004000225
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IT, LI, LU, MC, NL, PT, RO, SE, SI
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 03.02.2004
EP-Aktenzeichen 042505719
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 04.08.2004
EP date of grant 14.12.2005
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 19.01.2006
IPC-Hauptklasse B60F 3/00(2006.01)A, F, I, ,  ,  ,   
IPC-Nebenklasse B63B 1/04(2006.01)A, L, I, ,  ,  ,      

Beschreibung[en]

The present invention relates to an amphibious vehicle with spray control means, and in particular to an amphibious vehicle with spray control means provided in a rear wheel arch or wherever a discontinuity occurs in an otherwise smooth hull or body.

When a watercraft, for example a speed boat, is driven over water, it will generate spray. Such spray can be disadvantageous. Other water users, such as swimmers or fishermen may suffer from the spray and any water skiers towed behind the craft may have their vision impaired. There are also environmental reasons to minimise spray; for example excess spray implies wasted energy.

Amphibious vehicles face difficulties not faced by watercraft in reducing spray. These problems arise from the presence of wheel arches defined in the vehicle hull. In the prior art (e.g. US-A-4958584) amphibious vehicles have been provided with panels which close the wheel arches when the vehicle travels on water. However, it has been found that the opening and closing mechanisms for such panels are prone to mechanical failure due to the ingress of dirt and also due to corrosion. Therefore it has been preferred to have wheel arches which are open on water. However, such wheel arches are substantial discontinuities in an otherwise smooth hull lower surface and therefore generate spray which would not be generated by a smooth boat hull.

The present invention provides an amphibious vehicle having a hull and at least one rear wheel arch provided in the hull at the rear thereof, wherein the at least one rear wheel arch has a recess defined in a rear surface thereof, the rear surface being the surface of the wheel arch nearest to the rear of the vehicle, the recess acting as spray control means when the amphibious vehicle is travelling on water by channelling in a desired direction spray generated by interaction of the wheel arch with the water over which the vehicle is travelling.

Preferably, at least two rear wheel arches are provided in the hull at the rear thereof. Preferably, the rear wheel arches are provided in opposite sides of the hull.

The use of recesses as spray control means reduces the spray displaced outwardly by the vehicle by directing the generated spray in a different direction. Preferably the recesses direct the spray under the rear of the vehicle. Preferably this is achieved by each recess being a recess formed in the bottom surface of the hull extending rearwardly from and opening onto the rear surface of the respective wheel arch.

It is advantageous that the recess provided in the bottom surface of the hull tapers rearwardly from a respective wheel arch. In one embodiment, each recess is substantially semi-circular in a transverse cross-section.

It is preferable that each recess has a mouth region adjacent the rear surface of the respective wheel arch and a spray rail extending around the mouth region. This spray rail prevents spray recirculation forwards into the wheel arch.

The use of substantially linear spray rails on boat hulls is known. In this case, however, the spray rail is formed as a convex rib curved tightly around the mouth of the recess, smoothly blending into the wheel arch as shown in the accompanying drawings.

Preferably, the rear surface of each rear wheel arch has an edge region which extends around each recess to define a lip of the recess, the edge region being at least in part curved to encourage flow of spray into the recess. Each rear wheel arch may extend transversely inwardly from an outer arched edge linking said wheel arch to the vehicle outer bodywork to an inboard surface lying inwardly of a vehicle wheel, and preferably the edge region extending around each recess is curved at least in the part thereof nearest the outer arched edge of the wheel arch. This is the critical area for encouraging flow of spray into the recess. Preferably the outer arched edge of each wheel arch is curved at least in part thereof in a direction extending transversely inwardly towards the inboard surface of the wheel arch.

Preferably the amphibious vehicle is provided with wheel extension and retraction means operable to move a rear wheel located in each rear wheel arch between a lowered position for road use of the vehicle and a raised position for use of the vehicle on water.

   A preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

  • Figure 1 is an underneath view of a first embodiment of amphibious vehicle according to the present invention;
  • Figure 2 is a perspective view of a part of the rear wheel arch of the amphibious vehicle of Figure 1;
  • Figure 3 is a vertical cross-section through a rear wheel arch of a second embodiment of amphibious vehicle according to the present invention; and
  • Figure 4 is an underneath view of a part of a third embodiment of amphibious vehicle according to the present invention.

Turning first to Figure 1, there can be seen in the figure an amphibious vehicle 10 having a hull 11 which defines a pair of front wheel arches 12 and 13 and a pair of rear wheel arches 14 and 15. In each wheel arch 12, 13, 14, 15 there is provided a road wheel 16, 17, 18 and 19. The road wheels 16, 17, 18, 19 are mounted on movable suspensions which are in turn provided with extension and retraction mechanisms which can move each road wheel between a lowered position, for road use of the vehicle, and an elevated and tilted position, for use of the vehicle on water. The road wheels 16, 17, 18, 19 are moved into the elevated position to reduce drag in water.

The amphibious vehicle shown is designed to plane in water, i.e. the front of the vehicle will lift up out of the water and only the rear of the vehicle will remain in the water. The vehicle has a planing surface defined at the rear of the vehicle, typically extending rearwardly from a point one third of the way along the length of the vehicle from bow to stern.

Disrupting the smooth and continuous planing surface are the two rear wheel arches 14 and 15. These give rise to the generation of a considerable amount of spray. With wheel arches designed in a manner conventional to automobiles, this spray is generally directed transversely outwardly. This is disadvantageous for an amphibious vehicle, for the reasons given above.

The present invention is provided with spray control means associated with each rear wheel arch. The spray control means comprises recesses 20 and 21 provided in the underside of the vehicle hull 11, each of which extends from a mouth 22, 23 opening onto a rear wheel arch 14, 15 and then tapers rearwardly to a point 29, 30. This can be most clearly seen in Figure 2 where the rear wheel arch 14 is shown (with the rear wheel 18 removed for purposes of illustration) and with the recess 20 shown tapering rearwardly from a mouth 22 opening in the rear surface 28 of the rear wheel arch 14. The rear surface 28 of the wheel arch is the surface which is closest to the rear end 24 of the vehicle.

Each of the recesses 20 and 21 will be identical in nature (but handed left and right) and for this reason only the recess 20 is shown in detail in Figure 2. The recess 20 is shaped in a substantially part conical fashion and tapers from the widest cross-section at the mouth 22 rearwardly to a point 30. The recesses 20 and 21 are open to the underneath of the vehicle and when the vehicle is planing on water, the recesses 20 and 21 direct spray generated by the wheel arches 14 and 15 therethrough and down under the back of the vehicle. This reduces the amount of spray which is displaced transversely by the wheel arches 14 and 15.

As mentioned above, each wheel 16, 17, 18, 19 is retractable and this can be seen most clearly in Figure 3. This figure shows a variation on the design previously described. In this figure the recess 20 is provided in the region of the mouth 22 with a spray rail 25 which extends around the mouth region. The spray rail 25 is designed to affect the flow of spray so that it does not recirculate forward into the wheel arch, thus encouraging the water in the spray to attach itself to the surface of the recess 20 to subsequently drop from the surface back into the water below the vehicle.

In Figure 4 there can be seen a further variation of the design described above in relation to Figures 1 and 2. In this design care is taken regarding the shape of the edge region defining the mouth 22 of the recess 20. The edge region is curved to provide a curved lip 26 to the mouth 22 in order to encourage the flow of spray into the recess 20. The lip 26 around the mouth 22 could be curved around the entirety of the mouth, but it is especially important for the lip 26 to be curved in the region of the mouth nearest to the outer arched edge 27 (see Figure 2) of the wheel arch 14.

By comparison, a typical road vehicle wheel arch would be folded inwards all around the arch with a small radius at its outer edge adjoining a portion which is flat in radial cross-section, parallel to the tyre tread, and spaced radially outwardly therefrom. Such an arch profile, while structurally convenient, allows spray to be deflected back towards the wheel and then into other directions.

The present invention in its various embodiments uses recesses defined in the rear surfaces of the rear wheel arches to control generation of spray by controlling the flow of spray and in particular the direction of flow of spray. Since the traditional wheel arch of an automobile does not have to consider a wheel in the retracted position, the traditional automobile arch does not have the same design requirements as the wheel arch for an amphibious vehicle. Instead, a traditional wheel arch is designed to cope with spray generated by the rolling of the wheel rather than spray generated by the interaction of a wheel arch with water.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Amphibienfahrzeug (10), das einen Rumpf (11) und zumindest einen hinteren Radkasten (14, 15) aufweist, der in dem Rumpf (11) an dessen hinterem Bereich vorgesehen ist, wobei der zumindest eine hintere Radkasten (14, 15) mit einer Ausnehmung (20, 21) versehen ist, die in einer hinteren Oberfläche (28) davon ausgebildet ist, wobei die hintere Oberfläche (28) die Oberfläche des Radkastens (14, 15) ist, die dem hinteren Bereich des Fahrzeugs (10) am nächsten liegt, wobei die Ausnehmung (20, 21) als Mittel zur Kontrolle von Spritzwasser dient, wenn sich das Amphibienfahrzeug (10) auf dem Wasser bewegt, dadurch daß Spritzwasser, das durch das Zusammenwirken des Radkastens (14, 15) mit dem Wasser, über das sich das Fahrzeug (10) bewegt, erzeugt wird, in einer gewünschten Richtung kanalisiert wird.
  2. Amphibienfahrzeug (10) nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß es zumindest zwei hintere Radkästen (14, 15) aufweist, die in dem Rumpf (11) an gegenüberliegenden Seiten des Rumpfs (11) an dessen hinterem Teil vorgesehen sind.
  3. Amphibienfahrzeug (10) nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Ausnehmung (20, 21) des oder jedes hinteren Radkastens (14, 15) das Spritzwasser unterhalb des hinteren Teils des Fahrzeugs (10) lenkt.
  4. Amphibienfahrzeug (10) nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Ausnehmung (20, 21) des oder jedes hinteren Radkastens (14, 15) eine Ausnehmung ist, die in der unteren Oberfläche des Rumpfs (11) ausgebildet ist und die sich ausgehend von der hinteren Oberfläche (28) eines jeweiligen Radkastens (14, 15) nach hinten erstreckt und auf dieser mündet.
  5. Amphibienfahrzeug (10) nach Anspruch 4, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß jede Ausnehmung (20, 21) ausgehend von einem jeweiligen Radkasten (14, 15) nach hinten zuläuft.
  6. Amphibienfahrzeug (10) nach Anspruch 4 oder 6, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Ausnehmung (20, 21) im Querschnitt im wesentlichen halbkreisförmig ist.
  7. Amphibienfahrzeug (10) nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Ausnehmung (20, 21) des oder jedes hinteren Radkastens (14, 15) einen Mündungsbereich (22) benachbart zu der hinteren Oberfläche (28) des jeweiligen hinteren Radkastens (14, 15) aufweist, sowie eine Spritzschiene (25), die sich zumindest teilweise um den Mündungsbereich (22) herum erstreckt.
  8. Amphibienfahrzeug (10) nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die hintere Oberfläche (28) des oder jedes hinteren Radkastens (14, 15) einen Kantenbereich aufweist, der sich um die Ausnehmung (20, 21) herum erstreckt, um einen Rand (26) der Ausnehmung (20, 21) zu bilden, wobei der Kantenbereich zumindest teilweise gekrümmt verläuft, um einen Strom von Spritzwasser in die Ausnehmung (20, 21) hinein zu unterstützen.
  9. Amphibienfahrzeug (10) nach Anspruch 8, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß sich der oder jeder hintere Radkasten (14, 15) in Querrichtung nach innen erstreckt, ausgehend von einer äußeren gebogenen Kante, die den genannten Radkasten (14, 15) mit der äußeren Karosserie des Fahrzeugs verbindet, bis zu einer inneren Oberfläche, die innerhalb eines Rades des Fahrzeugs liegt, wobei der Kantenbereich, der sich um jede Ausnehmung (20, 21) herum erstreckt, zumindest in dem Teil davon gebogen ist, der der äußeren gebogenen Kante des Radkastens zunächst liegt.
  10. Amphibienfahrzeug (10), nach Anspruch 9, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die äußere gebogene Kante des oder jedes hinteren Radkastens an zumindest einem Teil davon in einer Richtung gekrümmt ist, die sich in Querrichtung nach innen in Richtung auf die innere Oberfläche des Radkastens erstreckt.
  11. Amphibienfahrzeug (10) nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß der Rumpf (11) eine planierende Oberfläche aufweist, die zumindest teilweise durch eine Oberfläche des Rumpfs (11) festgelegt ist, die hinter dem oder jedem hinteren Radkasten (14,15) liegt.
  12. Amphibienfahrzeug (10) nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß ein hinteres Rad (18, 19) in dem oder jedem hinteren Radkasten (14, 15) vorgesehen ist, wobei das Fahrzeug ein Mittel zum Ausfahren und Einziehen eines Rades aufweist, welches betätigbar ist, um das hintere Rad (18, 19) zwischen einer abgesenkten Position zum Gebrauch des Fahrzeugs (10) auf der Straße und einer angehobenen Position zum Gebrauch des Fahrzeugs (10) auf dem Wasser zu bewegen.
Anspruch[en]
  1. An amphibious vehicle (10) having a hull (11) and at least one rear wheel arch (14,15) provided in the hull (11) at the rear thereof, characterised in that the at least one rear wheel arch (14,15) has a recess (20,21) defined in a rear surface (28) thereof, the rear surface (28) being the surface of the wheel arch (14,15) nearest to the rear of the vehicle (10), the recess (20,21) acting as spray control means when the amphibious vehicle (10) is travelling on water by channelling in a desired direction spray generated by interaction of the wheel arch (14,15) with the water over which the vehicle (10) is travelling.
  2. An amphibious vehicle (10) as claimed in claim 1 having at least two rear wheel arches (14,15) provided in the hull (11) on opposite sides of the hull (11) at the rear thereof.
  3. An amphibious vehicle (10) as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the recess (20,21) of the or each rear wheel arch (14,15) directs the spray underneath the rear of the vehicle (10).
  4. An amphibious vehicle (10) as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the recess (20,21) of the or each rear wheel arch (14,15) is a recess formed in the bottom surface of the hull (11) extending rearwardly from and opening onto the rear surface (28) of a respective wheel arch (14,15).
  5. An amphibious vehicle (10) as claimed in claim 4 wherein each recess (20,21) tapers rearwardly from a respective wheel arch (14,15).
  6. An amphibious vehicle (10) as claimed in claim 4 or claim 5 wherein the recess (20,21) is substantially semi-circular in a transverse cross-section.
  7. An amphibious vehicle (10) as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, the recess (20,21) of the or each rear wheel arch (14,15) having a mouth region (22) adjacent the rear surface (28) of the respective rear wheel arch (14,15) and a spray rail (25) extending at least partly around the mouth region (22).
  8. An amphibious vehicle (10) as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the rear surface (28) of the or each rear wheel arch (14,15) has an edge region which extends around the recess (20,21) to define a lip (26) of the recess (20,21), the edge region being at least in part curved to encourage flow of spray into the recess (20,21).
  9. An amphibious vehicle (10) as claimed in claim 8 wherein the or each rear wheel arch (14,15) extends transversely inwardly from an outer arched edge linking said wheel arch (14,15) to the vehicle outer bodywork to an inboard surface lying inwardly of a vehicle wheel and the edge region extending around each recess (20,21) is curved at least in the part thereof nearest the outer arched edge of the wheel arch.
  10. An amphibious vehicle (10) as claimed in claim 9 wherein the outer arched edge of the or each rear wheel arch is curved at least in part thereof in a direction extending transversely inwardly towards the inboard surface of the wheel arch.
  11. An amphibious vehicle (10) as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the hull (11) has a planing surface at least partly defined by a surface of the hull (11) lying rearward of the or each rear wheel arch (14,15).
  12. An amphibious vehicle (10) as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein a rear wheel (18,19) is provided in the or each rear wheel arch (14,15) and the vehicle (10) has wheel extension and retraction means operable to move the rear wheel (18,19) between a lowered position for road use of the vehicle (10) and a raised position for use of the vehicle (10) on water.
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Véhicule amphibie (10) comprenant une coque (I1) et au moins un passage de roue arrière (14. 15) ménagé à l'arrière de la coque (11),

    caractérisé en ce que

    le ou les passages de roue arrière (14, 15) possèdent un renfoncement (20, 21) défini dans une surface arrière (28), la surface arrière (28) étant la surface du passage de roue (14. 15) la plus proche de l'arrière du véhicule (10), le renfoncement (20, 21) faisant office de moyen de contrôle de projection d'eau lorsque le véhicule amphibie (10) se déplace sur l'eau, en canalisant dans une direction souhaitée la projection d'eau produite par l'interaction du passage de roue (14, 15) avec l'eau sur laquelle le véhicule (10) se déplace.
  2. Véhicule amphibie (10) selon la revendication 1, comprenant au moins deux passages de roue arrière (14, 15) ménagés dans la coque (11), sur des côtés opposés, à l'arrière de celle-ci.
  3. Véhicule amphibie (10) selon la revendication 1 ou 2,

    caractérisé en ce que

    le renfoncement (20, 21) du ou de chaque passage de roue arrière (14, 15) dirige la projection d'eau sous la partie arrière du véhicule (10).
  4. Véhicule amphibie (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes,

    caractérisé en ce que

    le renfoncement (20, 21) du ou de chaque passage de roue arrière (14, 15) est un renfoncement formé vers l'arrière dans la surface inférieure de la coque (11), et s'ouvrant sur la surface arrière (28) du passage de roue (14, 15) correspondant.
  5. Véhicule amphibie (10) selon la revendication 4,

    caractérisé en ce que

    chaque renfoncement (20, 21) s'amenuise vers l'arrière à partir du passage de roue (14, 15) correspondant.
  6. Véhicule amphibie (10) selon la revendication 4 ou 5,

    caractérisé en ce que

    le renfoncement (20. 21) est muni d'une section transversale sensiblement semi-circulaire.
  7. Véhicule amphibie (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes,

    caractérisé en ce que

    le renfoncement (20, 21) du ou de chaque passage de roue arrière (14, 15) possède une région d'embouchure (22) adjacente à la surface arrière (28) du passage de roue arrière (14, 15) correspondant et un rail de projection d'eau (25) qui s'étend au moins partiellement autour de la région d'embouchure (22).
  8. Véhicule amphibie (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes,

    caractérisé en ce que

    la surface arrière (28) du ou de chaque passage de roue arrière (14, 15) possède une région périphérique qui s'étend autour pour définir une lèvre (26) la région périphérique étant au moins en partie courbée pour favoriser l'écoulement de la projection d'eau dans le renfoncement (20, 21).
  9. Véhicule amphibie (10) selon la revendication 8,

    caractérisé en ce que

    le ou chaque passage de roue arrière (14, 15) s'étend transversalement, vers l'intérieur d'un bord voûté extérieur reliant le passage de roue (14, 15) à la caisse du véhicule, à une surface interrie se trouvant à l'intérieur d'une roue du véhicule, et une région périphérique s'étendant autour de chaque renfoncement (20, 21) est courbé au moins dans sa partie la plus proche du bord voûté extérieur du passage de roue.
  10. Véhicule amphibie (10) selon la revendication 9,

    caractérisé en ce que

    le bord voûté extérieur du ou de chaque passage de roue arrière (14, 15) est courbé au moins en partie dans une direction s'étendant transversalement vers l'intérieur, vers la surface interne du passage de roue.
  11. Véhicule amphibie (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes,

    caractérisé en ce que

    la coque (11) possède une surface plane au moins partiellement définie par une surface de la coque (11) se trouvant à l'arrière du ou de chaque passage de roue arrière (14, 15).
  12. Véhicule amphibie (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes,

    caractérisé en ce que

    une roue arrière (18, 19) est placée dans le ou chaque passage de roue arrière (14, 15) et le véhicule (10) possède un moyen de sortie et de rentrée utilisable pour déplacer la ou les roue(s) arrière (18, 19) entre une position abaissée pour l'utilisation du véhicule (10) sur route et une position relevée pour l'utilisation du véhicule (10) sur l'eau.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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