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April 8, 2022

Egg-Shaped Wheels Pull Through Mud Without Chains, 1949

Wheels with “corners” on them may seem useless, but a New York inventor believes such “flat” wheels may replace the track-type drive on military vehicles and tractors. Each driving unit is actually a pair of oval wheels synchronized with their long axles at right angles to each other.

This means that the point of one wheel and the flat part of the other are in contact with the ground at the same time. The wheels are mounted on a rocker arm attached to the axle, thus the wheel unit rocks up and down while the axle remains steady.

Tests in mud and deep ruts show that the wheels do not slip or bog down and, according to the inventor, John F. Kopszynski, they outperform continuous treads used on tanks and bulldozers. On smooth roads, the rocker arm enables the unit to travel up to 25 miles an hour with no unusual vibration. All parts are hermetically sealed and maintenance is simpler and cheaper than on tracked vehicles. Still not in production, the wheels are undergoing extensive tests.


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