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Title:
PROPELLER PUMP-TYPE HYDRAULIC PROPULSION DEVICE AND VESSEL EQUIPPED WITH SUCH A DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/002951
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
This invention relates to a hydraulic propulsion device of the propeller pump type (referred to throughout as a "propeller pump-type hydraulic propulsion device") especially for vessels as well as any vessels equipped with such a device. According to the invention, this propeller pump-type hydraulic propulsion device (3) is characteristic in that it comprises two stators (12) located in the hollow body (6) on either side of the hub (9) and the blades (10) of the rotor (8), each stator (12), composed of at least two fixed radial mounts (14) for maintaining the rotor (8) within the hollow body (6) and which are profiled to form fins and at least two flaps (20) positioned relative to the hydraulic rotor's (8) blades (10) and extending along the edges of the two fixed radial mounts (14), where the pivoting of these flaps (20) is able to be controlled. The invention is particularly applicable to surface vessels and immersed vessels.

Inventors:
MOSTERT, Maarten (16 rue Saint-Jacques, Résidence le Saint-Clément, Hyères, 83400, FR)
Application Number:
IB2018/001105
Publication Date:
January 03, 2019
Filing Date:
June 29, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CONSTRUCTIONS INDUSTRIELLE DE LA MEDITERRANEE - CNIM (35 rue de Bassano, Paris, Paris, 75008, FR)
International Classes:
B63H5/14; B63H5/16
Domestic Patent References:
WO1994020362A11994-09-15
Foreign References:
US3457891A1969-07-29
FR2869586A12005-11-04
US5252875A1993-10-12
FR2869586A12005-11-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEFEVRE-GROBOILLOT, David (Cabinet Weinstein, 176 avenue Charles de Gaulle, Neuilly sur Seine, 92200, FR)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Propeller pump-type hydraulic propulsion device (3) equipping a vessel ( 1 ), comprising a hollow outer body (6) forming a pipe that is open at both ends, a hydraulic rotor (8) mounted rotationally inside the hollow body (6) around an axis of symmetry (Χ-Χ' ) to the hollow body (6) and containing a hub (9) on which at least two spiral propeller blades (10) are mounted and extend as far as the inner peripheral surface (6a) of the hollow body (6), and characterised in that it comprises two stators (12) located in the hollow body (6) on each side of the hub (9) and hydraulic rotor (8) blades (10), each stator (12) containing at least two fixed radial mounts (14) for supporting the hydraulic rotor (8) inside the hollow body (6) and which are profiled to form fins and at least two flaps (20) positioned relative to the hydraulic rotor's (8) blades (10) and extending along the edges of the two fixed radial mounts (14), where the pivoting of these flaps (20) is able to be controlled.

2. Hydraulic propulsion device as claimed in claim 1 characterised in that the flaps (20) of the stators (20) positioned relative to the hydraulic rotor's (8) blades (10) are selectively oriented in a direction that achieves an efficient water flow through the hollow body (6) depending on the vessel (1) characteristics including its forward and reverse movement speed.

3. Hydraulic propulsion device as claimed in one of claims 1 or 2, characterised in that

the stators (12) comprise a front stator that is upstream when the vessel moves forward and downstream when the vessel moves backward and a back stator that is downstream when the vessel moves forward and upstream when the vessel moves backward,

during forward movement of the vessel (1), the flaps

(20) of the front stator are oriented towards the propeller blades (10) of the rotor (10) with an orientation angle close to the angle of the leading edge apparent incidence angle of said blades (10) , equal to said leading edge apparent incidence angle or comprised between plus and minus 4° of said angle, and, in a concomitant way, the flaps (20) of the back stator are oriented towards the propeller blades (10) of the rotor (10) with an orientation angle close to the apparent incidence angle of the trailing edges of said blades (10), equal to said trailing edge apparent incidence angle or comprised between plus and minus 4° of said angle, and

during reverse movement of the vessel (1), the flaps (20) of the front stator are oriented towards the propeller blades (10) of the rotor (10) with an orientation angle close to the angle of the leading edge apparent incidence angle of said blades (10), equal to said leading edge apparent incidence angle or comprised between plus and minus 5° of said angle, and, in a concomitant way, the flaps (20) of the back stator are oriented towards the propeller blades (10) of the rotor (10) with an orientation angle close to the apparent incidence angle of the trailing edges of said blades (10), equal to said trailing edge apparent incidence angle or comprised between plus and minus 5° of said angle.

4. Hydraulic propulsion device, as claimed in one of claims 1 to 3, characterised in that the flaps (20) of a stator have articulating hinges fixed along the length of the radial mounts (14) of said stator, and that their pivoting is controlled using control means comprising a gear (24) sliding in a groove (26) in an anticlockwise or clockwise direction, for a simultaneous setting of the flaps (20) according to a same angle.

5. Hydraulic propulsion device, as claimed in one of claims 1 to 3, characterised in that the means for pivoting the flaps (20) comprise a gear (24, 48, 58) that is able to slide into a radial groove (26, 50, 60) on the outside of the hollow body (6), and means for transforming (28 ; 52, 54, 56 ; 62) the sliding of this gear (24·) into the outer radial groove (26) at a set angle, into a simultaneous pivoting of the flaps (20) to the same angle.

6. Hydraulic propulsion device, as claimed in one of claims 1 to 5, characterised in that each hydraulic rotor

(8) blade (10) is made from a composite carbon fibre material.

7. Hydraulic propulsion device, as claimed in one of claims 1 to 6, characterised in that each hydraulic rotor (8) blade (10) has viscoelastic material incorporated into it, such as elastomeric material.

8. Hydraulic propulsion device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 7, characterised in that the means for pivoting the flaps (20) on the fixed radial mounts (14) located on the same side of the hydraulic rotor's (8) blades (10) comprise a gear (24) that is able to slide into a radial groove (26) on the outside of the hollow body (6) as well as at least some connecting assembly (28) for fixing the gear (24) relative to the flaps' (20) two pivot axles (22) relative to the fixed radial mounts (14), so that when sliding this gear (24) into the outer radial groove (26) at a set angle, it simultaneously sets the flaps (20) to the same angle.

9. Hydraulic propulsion device, as claimed in claim 8, characterised in that each connecting assembly (28) is a tiller.

10. Hydraulic propulsion device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 7, characterised in that the means for pivoting the flaps (20) on the fixed radial mounts (14) located on the same side of the hydraulic rotor's (8) blades (10) comprise an external gear (teeth on the outside) (48) that is able to slide into a radial groove (50) on the outside of the hollow body (6) and connecting assemblies for fixing the external gear (48) relative to the flaps' (20) two pivot axles (22) relative to the fixed radial mounts (14), so that when sliding this external gear (48) into the outer radial groove (50) at a set angle, it simultaneously sets the flaps (20) to the same angle

11. Hydraulic propulsion device as claimed in claim 10, characterised in that each connecting assembly comprises a gear wheel (52) that meshes with the external gear (48), a feed screw (54) that is part of another gear wheel (52) and that meshes with another gear wheel (56) that is fixed to one end of the pivoting axle (22) for the corresponding flap (20) . Gear wheel 26 is perpendicular to axle 22 and perpendicular to gear wheel 52.

12. Hydraulic propulsion device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 7, characterised in that the means for pivoting the flaps (20) on the fixed radial mounts (14) located on the same side of the hydraulic rotor's (8) blades (10) comprise a lateral gear (teeth on the side) (58) that is able to slide into a radial groove (60) on the outside of the hollow body (6) as well as at least two connecting assemblies (62) for fixing the lateral gear (58) relative to the flaps' (20) two pivot axles (22) relative to the fixed radial mounts (14), so that when sliding this lateral gear (58) into the outer radial groove (60) at a set angle, it simultaneously sets the flaps (20) to the same angle.

13. Hydraulic propulsion device as claimed in claim 8, characterised in that each connecting assembly comprises a gear wheel (62) that meshes with the external gear (58) and that is part of one end of the pivoting axle (22) for the corresponding flap (20).

14. Vessel (1) is characterised in so far as that it is equipped with at least one propulsion device (3) as defined above in one of claims 1 to 13 and which is mounted under the hull (2) of the vessel (1) and behind this vessel.

15. Vessel according to claim 14, characterised in that the means for pivoting the stators' (12) flaps (20) on either side of the hydraulic rotor's (8) blades (10) allow you to selectively orient the flaps (20) in a direction that achieves the most efficient water flow through the hollow body (6), depending on the vessel's (1) current characteristics, including its forward or reverse movement speed, its load and/or its engine power.

16. Vessel according to claim 14 or 15, characterised in that the means for pivoting the flaps (20) on each side of the hydraulic rotor's (8) blades (10) should include a hydraulic or pneumatic drive (38). The drive's cylinder (40) should be part of the hull (2) of the vessel (1) and the piston rod (44) should be part of the gear (24, 48 and 58) to allow the latter to slide into the outer radial groove (26,50 and 60) on the hollow body (6) when the drive (38) is engaged, in order to adjust the angle of the flaps (20) relative to the corresponding stator's (12) fixed mounts ( 14 ) .

17. Vessel according to claims 14 to 16, characterised in that the hydraulic rotor (8) is rotated by a lengthwise drive shaft (5) installed on the vessel (1), coupled to a propulsion engine, such as a thermal or electric engine.

18. . Vessel according to claims 14 to 17, characterised in that the propulsion device's hollow body

(6) is in the form of a wide nozzle and is fixed under the hull (2) of the vessel.

Description:
PROPELLER PUMP-TYPE HYDRAULIC PROPULSION DEVICE AND VESSEL EQUIPPED WITH SUCH A DEVICE

This invention relates to a hydraulic propulsion device of the propeller pump type (referred to hereafter as a "propeller pump-type hydraulic propulsion device") especially for vessels as well as any vessels equipped with such a device.

Document FR 2 869 586 discloses a propeller pump-type hydraulic propulsion device for vessels, comprising a nacelle suspended from a support bracket mounted under the hull of the vessel, a propeller with blades which forms the rotor for the propeller pump and which is installed in a wide nozzle located at the back of the nacelle, the propeller being rotationally integral to a drive shaft connected to an engine, and fins installed inside the nozzle upstream from the propeller which form a stator for the propeller pump.

The nacelle's support bracket is able to pivot in relation to the vessel's hull, mainly by 180° with respect to the normal/forward propulsion position in order to achieve a reverse propulsion position.

However, the design of this vessel propulsion system is extremely complex and costly and requires pivoting of the entire nacelle, stator and propeller assembly by 180° from the forward propulsion position to the reverse propulsion position.

The object of this invention is to overcome the above- mentioned disadvantages of such a propeller pump-type hydraulic propulsion device.

To this end, according to the invention, the propeller pump-type hydraulic propulsion device intended mainly for vessels, comprising a hollow outer body forming a pipe that is open at both ends, a hydraulic rotor mounted rotationally inside the hollow body around an axis of symmetry to the hollow body and containing a hub on which at least two spiral propeller blades are mounted and extend as far as the inner peripheral surface of the hollow body, is characterised in that it comprises two stators located in the hollow body on each side of the hub and hydraulic rotor blades, each stator containing at least two fixed radial mounts for supporting the hydraulic rotor inside the hollow body and which are profiled to form fins and at least two flaps positioned relative to the hydraulic rotor blades and extending along the edges of the two fixed radial mounts, where the pivoting of these flaps is able to be controlled.

Preferentially, the flaps of the stators positioned relative to the hydraulic rotor's blades are selectively oriented in a direction that achieves an efficient water flow through the hollow body depending on the vessel characteristics including its forward and reverse movement speed .

Preferentially, the stators comprise a front stator that is upstream when the vessel moves forward and downstream when the vessel moves backward and a back stator that is downstream when the vessel moves forward and upstream when the vessel moves backward,

during forward movement of the vessel, the flaps of the front stator are oriented towards the propeller blades of the rotor with an orientation angle close to the angle of the leading edge apparent incidence angle of said blades, equal to said ■ leading edge apparent incidence angle or comprised between plus and minus 4° of said angle, and, in a concomitant way, the flaps of the back stator are oriented towards the propeller blades of the rotor with an orientation angle close to the apparent incidence angle of the trailing edges of said blades, equal to said trailing edge apparent incidence angle or comprised between plus and minus 4° of said angle, and

during reverse movement of the vessel, the flaps of the front stator are oriented towards the propeller blades of the rotor with an orientation angle close to the angle of the leading edge apparent incidence angle of said blades, equal to said leading edge apparent incidence angle or comprised between plus and minus 5° of said angle, and, in a concomitant way, the flaps of the back stator are oriented towards the propeller blades of the rotor with an orientation angle close to the apparent incidence angle of the trailing edges of said blades (10) , equal to said trailing edge apparent incidence angle or comprised between plus and minus 5° of said angle.

Preferentially, the flaps of a stator have articulating hinges fixed along the length of the radial mounts of said stator, and their pivoting is controlled using control means comprising a gear sliding in a groove in an anticlockwise or clockwise direction, for a simultaneous setting of the flaps according to a same angle.

Preferentially, the means for pivoting the flaps comprise a gear that is able to slide into a radial groove on the outside of the hollow body, and means for transforming the sliding of this gear into the outer radial groove at a set angle, into a simultaneous pivoting of the flaps to the same angle.

Preferentially, each hydraulic rotor blade is made from a composite carbon fibre material.

Preferentially, each rotor has viscoelastic material, such as an elastomeric material, incorporated in it.

Configuration 1: The means for pivoting the flaps on the fixed radial mounts located on the same side of the hydraulic rotor blades comprise a gear that is able to slide into a radial groove on the outside of the hollow body as well as at least some connecting assembly for fixing the gear relative to the flaps' two pivot axles relative to the fixed radial mounts, so that when sliding this gear into the outer radial groove at a set angle, it simultaneously sets the flaps to the same angle.

Each connecting assembly is a tiller.

Configuration 2: The means for pivoting the flaps on the fixed radial mounts located on the same side of the hydraulic rotor blades comprise an external gear (teeth on the outside) that is able to slide into a radial groove on the outside of the hollow body as well as at least two connecting assemblies for fixing the external gear relative to the flaps' two pivot axles relative to the fixed radial mounts, so that when sliding this external gear into the outer radial groove at a set angle, it simultaneously sets the flaps to the same angle.

Each connecting assembly comprises a gearwheel meshing with the external gear, a feed, screw integral to the gear wheel and that meshes with another gear wheel fixed to one end of the pivoting axle for the corresponding flap.

Configuration 3: The means for pivoting the flaps on the fixed radial mounts located on the same side of the hydraulic rotor blades comprise a lateral gear (teeth on the side) that is able to slide into a radial groove on the outside of the hollow body as well as at least two connecting assemblies for fixing the lateral gear relative to the flaps' two pivot axles relative to the fixed radial mounts, so that when sliding this lateral gear into the outer radial groove at a set angle, it simultaneously sets the flaps to the same angle.

Each connecting assembly comprises a gear wheel that meshes with the lateral gear and that is fixed to one end of the pivoting axle for the corresponding flap.

This invention is also aimed at a vessel characterised in so far as that it is equipped with at least one propulsion device as defined above and which is mounted under the vessel's hull and behind the vessel.

Beneficially, the means for pivoting the stator flaps on either side of the hydraulic rotor blades allow you to selectively orient the flaps in a direction that achieves the most efficient water flow through the hollow body, depending on the vessel's current characteristics, including its forward or reverse movement speed, its load and/or its engine power.

Preferably, the means for pivoting the flaps on each side of the hydraulic rotor's blades should include a hydraulic or pneumatic drive. The drive cylinder should be part of the vessel's hull and the piston rod should be part of the gear to allow this gear to slide into the outer radial groove on the hollow body when the drive is engaged, in order to adjust the angle of the flaps relative to the corresponding stator' s fixed mounts.

The hydraulic rotor is rotated by a lengthwise drive shaft installed on the vessel, coupled to a propulsion engine, such as a thermal or electric engine.

The propulsion device' s hollow body is in the form of a wide nozzle and is fixed under the hull of the vessel.

The following explanation with its accompanying drawings will help in terms of understanding the invention as well as its other aims, characteristics, details and advantages. These drawings are given only as an example of the three construction/configuration options for this invention and in which:

- Figure 1 is a perspective view of a vessel equipped with a propeller pump-type propulsion device which conforms to the invention;

- Figure 2 is an enlarged view of the back part of the vessel showing the part highlighted by arrow II in fig. 1;

- Figure 3 is an enlarged perspective view of the inside of the invention's propeller pump-type propulsion device;

- Figure 4 is a perspective view of the propeller pump-type propulsion device showing the part highlighted by arrow IV of fig. 3;

- Figure 5 is a partial perspective view showing the part highlighted by arrow V of fig. 4 and represents part of the means, as described in configuration 1, allowing you to orient the stator' s flaps on the propeller pump-type propulsion device;

- Figure 6 is an enlarged partial perspective view representing one of the means of orienting a stator' s flap on the propeller pump-type propulsion device; - Figure 7 is an enlarged partial perspective view representing one of. the means in configuration 2 allowing you to orient a stator's flaps on the propeller pump-type propulsion device;

- Figure 8 is an enlarged partial perspective view representing one of the means in configuration 3 allowing you to orient a stator's flaps on the propeller pump-type propulsion device;

- Figure 9 is a lengthwise cross section of a blade containing viscoelastic material inside the propeller pump- type propulsion device.

- Figure 10 is a perspective view of the propeller pump-type propulsion device and corresponds to fig.3, when the vessel is travelling forward under set operating conditions for this vessel;

- Figure 11 is a perspective view of the propeller pump-type propulsion device and corresponds to fig.10. It shows the turbulence created by the propeller pump when the vessel is in forward motion outside the set operating conditions given in fig. 10;

- Figure 12 is a perspective view of the propeller pump corresponding to that shown in figs. 10 and 11 and showing the correction of the water flow inside the propeller pump in order to neutralise the turbulence created by the vessel's forward motion, as shown in fig. 11;

Figure 13 is a perspective view of what the propeller pump looks like when the vessel is in reverse, showing the turbulence created inside it;

- Figure 14 is a perspective view of the propeller pump from fig. 13 and shows the water flow being corrected inside it in order to neutralise the turbulence from fig. 13;

- Figures 15-1 and 15-2 are perspective views showing the water flow when the vessel is moving forward; - Figures 16-1 and 16-2 show, respectively, typical bronze and typical stainless steel or composite blade profiles; and

- Figure 17 is a diagram that depicts the lift/drag ratio for propellers made of various materials.

Referring firstly to figs. 1 and 2, reference numeral 1 designates a surface vessel, such as a container vessel, which has a hull 2, underneath and behind which is mounted a propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 conforming to the invention, and that has a rear rudder 4 in front of the latter .

However, the vessels on which the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 may be mounted also include other surface vessels such as, for example, ferries and passenger vessels, and surface military vessels, such as, for example, frigates, mine hunters or other military navigation vessels such as submarines. The vessels on which the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 may be mounted then also include any immersed vessel.

The propeller pump-type propulsion device can also equip specific propulsion systems, for example a pump-jet system.

As shown in fig. 2, the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 is coupled to a drive shaft 5 that extends along the length of the vessel 1 and which is coupled to the output shaft of a vessel's engine, for example, a thermal or electric engine, not represented here, inside the vessel 1.

The propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 is represented according to configuration 1 in figures 3-6 and 9-14.

With reference to these figures, the propeller pump- type propulsion device 3 comprises an outer hollow body 6 which is a duct that is open at both ends, and that is fixed to the hull 2 of the vessel 1 by means of a section of the bracket 7 that is part of the hull 2. The hollow body is in the form of a wide nozzle whose cross section decreases from the front to the rear of the vessel 1.

The propeller pump-type hydraulic propulsion device further comprises a hydraulic rotor 8 mounted rotationally in the hollow body 6 around an axis of symmetry X-X' with the hollow body 6.

The hydraulic rotor 8 comprises a hub 9 which has at least two blades 10 mounted on it, eight of them, for example. The blades 10 are spiral propeller blades and extend as far as the inner peripheral surface 6a of the hollow body6.

When the hydraulic rotor 8 turns in the direction indicated by arrow Fl on fig. 10, exerting thrust in the vessel's 1 direction of forward travel, as indicated by arrow AV, the water flow passing at a set rate through the hollow body 6 of the propulsion device 3 goes in the opposite direction, as symbolised by the various arrows in fig. 10. On the other hand, when the hydraulic rotor 8 turns in the opposite direction, as symbolised by arrow F2 in fig. 14, exerting thrust in the vessel's 1 direction of reverse travel, as symbolised by arrow AR, the water flow passing at a set rate through the hollow body 6 of the propulsion device 3 goes in the opposite direction to arrow AR, as symbolised by the arrows in fig. 14.

The propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 also comprises two stators 12 located in the hollow body 6 on either side of the hub 9 and the blades 10 of the hydraulic rotor8.

Each stator 12contains at least two fixed radial mounts 14, for example, eight of them, which would correspond to the number of blades 10 on the hydraulic rotor 8 and which are used to maintain the hydraulic rotor 8 inside the hollow body 6.

More specifically, the hub 9 of the hydraulic rotor 8 is positioned between two fixed sections 16 and 18 that are axially opposite, and which are each supported by the corresponding stator' s 12 mounts 14. Therefore, the mounts 14 for a stator 12 are on one hand radially part of the fixed section 16 as well as part of the internal surface 6a of the hollow body 6 while the fixed mounts 14 for the other stator 12 are radially part of the other fixed section 18 as well as the internal surface 6a of the hollow body 6. This means that the fixed sections 16 and 18 are held inside the hollow body (6) by the fixed mounts 14 of the two stators 12 co-axially to the axis of symmetry X-X' .

The rotation of the hydraulic rotor 8 is performed by the drive shaft 5 that passes through the fixed ends of 16 and 18 while being rotationally mounted in these by rolling bearings (not shown) and the hydraulic rotor' s 8 hub 9 is coupled rotationally to the drive shaft (5) by means of, for example, splines, the hub (9) being immobilised in translation between the two fixed end parts 16 and 18.

The radial mounts 14 of the two stators 12 are profiled to create fins and each stator also has flaps (20) that are also profiled into fins and mounted pivotally (the pivoting can be controlled) along the edges of the radial mounts 14 of this stator and positioned in relation to the hydraulic rotor's 8 blades 10.

The flaps 20 of the stators 20, that are positioned relative to the hydraulic rotor's 8 blades 10, are selectively oriented in a direction that achieves the most efficient water flow through the hollow body 6 depending on the vessel 1 characteristics including its forward and reverse movement speed.

The flaps 20 of a stator have articulating hinges fixed along the length of the radial mounts 14 of said stator, and that their pivoting is controlled using control means comprising a gear 24 sliding in a groove 26 in an anticlockwise or clockwise direction, for a simultaneous setting of the flaps 20 according to a same angle. Preferably, each flap 20 has an articulating hinge fixed along the length of the radial support's 14 edge, and the axle 22 for this hinge passes through the hinges of the mount 14 and the flap 20, and is part of the hinges for this flap so that the flap 20 can be pivoted relative to the mount 14.

Configuration 1: The means for pivoting the flaps 20 on the fixed radial mounts 14 located on the same side of the hydraulic rotor's 8 blades 10 comprise a gear 24 that is able to slide into a radial groove 26 on the outside of the hollow body 6 as well as at least some connecting assembly 28 for fixing the gear 24 relative to the flaps' 20 two pivot axles 22 relative to the fixed radial mounts 14, so that when sliding this gear 24 into the outer radial groove 26 at a set angle, it simultaneously sets the flaps 20 to the same angle.

Preferably, each connecting assembly 28 is a tiller located outside the hollow body 6 with one end being part of a protuberance 30 projecting from the gear 24 on the outside of the hollow body 6, and perpendicular to it. The other end is coupled to one end of the pivoting axle 22 which projects from the hollow body 6 through its peripheral side wall. More specifically, the end of the tiller 28 that is part of the protuberance 30 passes through an oblong hole 32 in the protuberance 30 and extends roughly parallel to the gear 24 and the opposite end of the tiller 28 is part of a bracket 34 which holds a square unit 36 that is part of the outer end of the pivoting axle 22. So, when the gear 24 slides into the groove 26 at a set angle, the tiller 28 is manoeuvred by the protuberance 30 to rotate the axle 22 in the same direction to a set angle value, which pivots the corresponding flap 20.

Sliding each gear 24 into the corresponding groove 26 is achieved by an external drive 38 positioned on a plane that roughly traverses and passes above the gear's 24 median plane of symmetry. This drive, which may be of the hydraulic or pneumatic type, has its cylinder integrally attached by means of a clevis 42, on part of the bracket 7 for the hollow body 6 under the vessel's 1 hull 2 and its piston rod 44 is attached by an articulated mount secured by a clevis 46 that is part of the gear 24; the clevis is attached externally to the gear. So, activating the drive 38 allows the gear 24 to slide into the corresponding groove 26 in an angular direction or in the other direction depending on which way the drive's 38 piston rod 44 is moving, in order to make the flaps 20 move at the same time in the same direction relative to the mounts 14.

Configuration 2 as shown in fig. 7: The means for pivoting the flaps 20 on the fixed radial mounts 14 located on the same side of the hydraulic rotor' s 8 blades 10 comprise an external gear (teeth on the outside) 48 that is able to slide into a radial groove 50 on the outside of the hollow body 6 and connecting assemblies for fixing the external gear 48 relative to the flaps' 20 two pivot axles 22 relative to the fixed radial mounts 14, so that when sliding this external gear 48 into the outer radial groove 50 at a set angle, it simultaneously sets the flaps 20 to the same angle.

Preferably, each connecting assembly comprises a gear wheel 52 that meshes with the external gear 48, a feed screw 54 that is part of another gear wheel 52 and that meshes with another gear wheel 56 that is fixed to one end of the pivoting axle 22 for the corresponding flap 20. Gear wheel 26 is perpendicular to axle 22 and perpendicular to gear wheel 52. Of course, the feed screw 54 is mounted to rotate relative to the hollow body 6 while being immobilised in translation relative to the latter in part of integral bracket 57 on the outside of the hollow body.

Each external gear 48 can be moved into groove 50 in an anticlockwise or clockwise direction by means of a drive, (not shown here) , identical to drive 38 which is used to slide gear 24 into groove 26. This drive is mounted between gear 48 and part of bracket 7 on the hollow body 6 on the hull 2 in the same way shown for each drive 38 in Configuration 1.

Therefore, when the drive causes external gear 48 to slide into groove 50 in either a clockwise or an anticlockwise direction, the gear wheels 52 are rotated which then rotates the feed screws 54 which in turn rotate the other gear wheels 56 in order to rotate the axles 22 for simultaneous pivoting of the flaps 20 relative to the mounts 14.

Configuration 3 as shown in fig. 8: The means of pivoting the flaps 20 on each stator' s mounts (14) comprise a lateral gear 58 (with teeth on one side) which is able to slide into an outer radial groove 60 on the hollow body 6, and assemblies 62 for fixing the lateral gear relative to the flaps' 20 two pivot axles 22 relative to each stator' s fixed radial mounts 14.

Preferably, the connecting assemblies 62 are composed of gear wheels that are respectively built into the ends of the axles 22 external to the hollow body 6, these axles pivoting the corresponding stator' s flaps. These gear wheels would extend perpendicular to gear 58 and mesh with this gear's lateral teeth.

As is the case for the two previous configurations, the sliding of each gear 58 into the corresponding groove 60 according to a set angle is activated by a drive. This drive is linked to gear 58 and bracket 7 for hollow body 6 in exactly the same way previously described in the other two configurations. It is therefore unnecessary to reiterate the details of this control drive's assembly structure.

Therefore, when the drive connected to gear 58 on each stator is activated, gear 58 slides into groove 60 in a direction and angle set by the drive and rotates gear wheels 62 and simultaneously pivots the flaps 20 relative to this stator' s mounts 14 to the corresponding angle.

Preferably, each hydraulic rotor 8 blade 10 should be made from a composite carbon fibre material. Using composite material for the blades 10 of the hydraulic rotor 8 dampens the noise and vibrations caused by the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3. Furthermore, the direction of the carbon fibre in the composite material allows the water pressure to be used to control how each blade 10 bends dependent on hydraulic rotor 8's rotational speed, and the power and/or forward speed of vessel 1. Thus, the twisting of hydraulic rotor 8's blades 10 may be controlled according to the rotor's rotational speed, and the power and/or forward speed of the vessel as well as the vessel's load. This means these blades 10 can be bent almost optimally to create a twist differential that allows these blades to perform optimally throughout various navigational conditions. The presence of carbon fibre in each composite material blade is also used to reduce the thickness of each blade's profile, thereby improving the efficiency of the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3. Finally, making the blades 10 from composite material means the mass of hydraulic rotor 8 is reduced considerably, and it also radically eliminates issues with corrosion and cavitation in the rotor blades.

Beneficially, as shown in fig. 9, a viscoelastic material 11, as well as elastomeric material, is incorporated into each of hydraulic rotor 8's blades (10). Incorporating viscoelastic material into the blades is used to attenuate noise and vibrations. In fact, incorporating viscoelastic material into each blade 10 between its two surfaces works on a tension-compression level, and the viscoelastic material operates under shear stress due to the difference in stiffness between the composite material of the blade and that of the viscoelastic material. In this way, waves passing through each blade meet with strong energy dissipation resulting in noise attenuation.

Figs. 10 to 12 should now be referred to in the following explanation about how the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 works when the vessel 1 is travelling forward in the direction of arrow AV.

Fig. 10 represents the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 in a configuration corresponding to the vessel' s set operating parameters, especially taking account of its forward speed, engine power and its load. In this configuration, hydraulic rotor 8 rotates at a corresponding rotation speed and the flaps 20 of the two stators 12 are in an angular position relative to the mounts 14 in conditions that don't create turbulence while the propeller pump-type propulsion device is in operation. Thus, the orientation of the two stators' 12 flaps 20 adapt so that the angles of the leading and trailing edges of the blades 10 match the vessel's speed of forward travel and the pump's rotation speed. This means the water flow passing through the hollow body 6 in order to generate thrust allows the vessel to travel forward with optimal efficiency without creating turbulence while the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 is in operation.

Fig. 11 represents the configuration for the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 used when the vessel 1 has different parameters to those shown in fig. 10, such as for example, a different load or when the sea is rougher and greater engine power is used for less forward speed, so the speed of hydraulic rotor 8's rotation is then adjusted as a result.

In such conditions, fig. 11 shows that the balance of water flow passing through hollow body 6 is disrupted by the fact that the position of the flaps 20 relative to each stator' s 12 mounts 14 is no longer adjusted to ensure the leading and trailing edges of the hydraulic rotor's 8 blades 10 match the change in the vessel's forward speed and this rotor's rotational speed. By changing the position of the flaps 20 controlled by the drives 38, the water flow passing through the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 can be rectified to optimal performance, while preventing it stalling through the device's enlarged range of use. By using the adjustable flaps of the stators upstream and downstream in terms of the direction of water flow, it is possible to prevent turbulence in the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 while this is operating out of its nominal conditions. Fig. 12 thus represents optimal correction to the water flow between the stator upstream, the hydraulic rotor's 8 blades 10 and the stator downstream without creating any turbulence inside the device.

Fig. 13 represents the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 at the point where the hydraulic rotor's 8 blades 10 reverse their direction to move the vessel 1 in reverse, which creates turbulence at the same time in the water flow through the hollow body 6. In fact, due to having reversed hydraulic rotor 8's direction of rotation, the leading and trailing edges of hydraulic rotor 8's blades 10 (which are now reversed) no longer work efficiently (to be efficient, the water flow around the blades 10 has to stay close to the blades' leading and trailing edges) .

Fig. 14 shows the configuration of the propeller • pump-type propulsion device 3 when the water flow through hollow body 6 has been rectified optimally as indicated by the corresponding arrows. More specifically, by orienting the two stators' 12 flaps 20 to an appropriate angle via use of the drives 38, it is possible to prevent the water flow stalling the stators and the hydraulic rotor' s 8 blades 10 and to keep maximum efficiency in terms of the trailing and leading edges of the blades 10 that are turning in the opposite direction. Thus, by changing the angles of the stators' 12 flaps 20, it is possible to prevent stalling while reversing the vessel as well as preventing turbulence inside the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3.

Of course, the drives 38 used to pivot the two stators' 12 flaps 20 are driven by a control unit, (not shown here) which is installed inside the vessel (1) and which receives the operational parameters for the vessel so that the drives can move the flaps to the appropriate position according to the vessel's operating conditions. This ensures the propeller pump-type propulsion device 3 is running at optimum efficiency.

By using a propeller pump-type propulsion device with two stators equipped with movable fins on either side of this device's hydraulic rotor, the efficiency of this device is improved not only during the vessel's forward travel, but also when the device's hydraulic rotor is engaged in reverse, even though the device's hollow body has a nozzle-style shape.

In the three configurations hereabove described, the means for pivoting the flaps 20 comprise a gear 24, 48, 58 that is able to slide into a radial groove 26, 50, 60 on the outside of the hollow body 6, and means for transforming 28; 52,54,56; 62 the sliding of this gear 24 into the outer radial groove 26 at a set angle, into a simultaneous pivoting of the flaps 20 to the same angle.

The presence of the radial groove 26, 50, 60 located on the outside of the hollow body 6 makes it possible to achieve the sliding of a gear 24, 48, 58 from the outside of the hollow body 6, for example by means of by an external drive 38, then facilitating the achievement of the sliding of the ring 24, 48, 58 and in both time the achievement of the simultaneous pivoting of the flaps 20.

As appearing, in particular, in Figs. 15-1 and 15-2, the stators 12 comprise a front stator that is upstream when the vessel moves forward and downstream when the vessel moves backward and a back stator that is downstream when the vessel moves forward and upstream when the vessel moves backward. During forward movement of the vessel 1, the flaps 20 of the front stator are oriented towards the propeller blades 10 of the rotor 10 with an orientation angle close to the angle of the leading edge apparent incidence angle of said blades 10, equal to said leading edge apparent incidence angle or comprised between plus and minus 4° of said angle, and, in a concomitant way, the flaps 20 of the back stator are oriented towards the propeller blades 10 of the rotor 10 with an orientation angle close to the apparent incidence angle of the trailing edges of said blades 10, equal to said trailing edge apparent incidence angle or comprised between plus and minus 4° of said angle. During reverse movement of the vessel 1, the flaps 20 of the front stator are oriented towards the propeller blades 10 of the rotor 10 with an orientation angle close to the angle of the leading edge apparent incidence angle of said blades 10, equal to said leading edge apparent incidence angle or comprised between plus and minus 5° of said angle, and, in a concomitant way, the flaps 20 of the back stator are oriented towards the propeller blades 10 of the rotor 10 with an orientation angle close to the apparent incidence angle of the trailing edges of said blades 10, equal to said trailing edge apparent incidence angle or comprised between plus and minus 5° of said angle. The apparent incidence angle of the leading or trailing edge of the blades is the sum of the upstream/downstream flow speed and the speed induced by the rotation of the propeller. The upstream/downstream flow direction is the inverse of the propellers axial speed and can also be defined as a vector subtraction of the velocity of the rotating movement of the propeller blades minus the velocity of the flow. The radial mounts of the front stator reduce the radial deformation of the upstream flow 55 the trailing edge flaps allow the upstream flow 55 to be directed to the propeller blades 10 within an angle close (< or equal to 4°) to the apparent incidence angle of the propeller blade under very different navigation conditions of the vessel (full speed, fully loaded heavy seas, unloaded slow steaming) and were the downstream stator has slats (leading edge flaps) that position themselves within a small angle (< or equal to 4°) of the trailing edge flow of the propeller to redirect the flow in a way to resolve the radial distortion of downstream flow 56 in a way that it becomes straight providing better overall efficiency to system, the propeller blades 10 which are normally designed to absorb incidence angles of much wider variety (up to plus/minus 15°) which imposes them to have a significant thickness (fig 15) associated a low lift / drag ratio which allows them to be built with materials having a low yield strength materials such as High tensile brass (Mn-Ni-Bronze, CU2 ) with a yield strength of 175 N/mm2, can now be designed with the lowest possible thickness in mind using materials like carbon-fibre or Martensitic stainless steel (13Cr 4Ni/13Cr 6Ni) with a minimum yield strength of 550 N/mm2 which is otherwise in the absence of the trailing edge flaps of the upstream stator and the leading edge slats of downstream stator only possible if the hydraulic rotor 8 is of variable pitch type design. Typical bronze and typical stainless steel or composite blade profiles are respectively shown in Figs. 16-1 and 16-2.

As appearing In Fig. 17, the lift/drag ratio . is simulated for propeller blades made of stainless steel or composite materials and propeller blades made of bronze, for various incidence angles. It appears that, for propeller blades made of stainless steel or composite materials,- the peak of the curve is obtained for incident angles that are around 4°. It will be then particularly advantageous to use propeller blades made of stainless steel or composite materials within devices according to the invention.

The, propeller pump-type propulsion device is particularly applicable, but not limited to surface vessels, such as, for example, container vessels whose standard propulsion devices are not sufficiently efficient when reversing the vessel, to the extent that sometimes they cannot be used in reverse.