"Propulseur" Hemisphere Drive
Mechanics and Handicraft 5 (9): 23, 73 (October 1938)
Hemisphere Drive Sphere
New French invention produces an entirely new system of drive which is remarkably flexible.
UNIQUE in the annals of automobile development is a new type of vehicle designed by a Frenchman, M. Lame, and demonstrated at the Lepine Exhibition. This tricycle type of automobile, powered with a three h.p. motor, was able to develop a maximum speed of 43 miles per hour. Its more modern version is shown on the cover of this issue.
With a 600 h.p. airplane engine, this machine could travel at incredible speeds.
As will be observed in the photographs, the motor operates a large hemispherical unit which makes contact with the surface of the road. When the hemisphere is set in a vertical position, there is no forward motion, but the moment it is inclined slightly, friction with the road drives the automobile forward and although the speed of the motor is maintained constantly, acceleration and deceleration depends entirely upon the peripheral surface which the hemisphere presents to the road. Thus, knowing the speed of the motor, only a simple calculation is required to determine the speed at which the automobile could be driven. Two factors of importance, not outlined by the inventor, but which must be considered, are the gyroscopic effect of the motor and bumps in the road.
One single lever shifts the angle of the hemisphere. One lever also is used to steer the auto in this experimental model.
French Patent # 899,395 ( 29 May 1945 )
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