#1441: Thrustum

Obsessive as I am about tracked vehicles (almost as much as helicopters and electric paramotors), today’s invention is a new form of trackless, cross-country vehicle drive.

The tracks on tractors, tanks etc would be replaced by a large number of conical drive elements (each heavily-textured to provide grip). Each cone (frustum) would have a hard rubber ring at its base. On the left side, this is shown as acting as a wheel, on the right side the cone is lowered into position for optimal grip on rough terrain.

This arrangement allows wheeled operation for high speed, manoeuvrability and low damage on roads. It also enables the vehicle, with lowered, conical wheels forming a drive strip on each side, to get nearly as good grip as with tracks, but with much less susceptibility to damage.

Each of the cones could be individually powered and independently sprung, raised and lowered.

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