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Found 1 result

  1. Monochromelody

    Tank neutral steer capability

    The neutral steer, or pivot steer, means the tank drive one track forward while the other track backward, to perform a turn-on-spot. The very first tank with neutral steer, believe it or not, is the German A7V in WWI. Here is the transmission of A7V. The transmission incorporate two independent gearbox, each connected to a 100-hp engine. The gearbox use clash gears to select speed, and bevel gear to select forward or reverse. It's easy to perform a neutral steer. Those tanks with electric transmission(St.Chamond, Porsche Tiger, etc.) can easily perform neutral steer, for their twin driving electric motors can rotate in opposite direction. And tanks with twin driving hydraulic motors(Panzer IV mit Hydrostatischem Antrieb) can neutral steer in a similar manner. As mentioned above, the simplest way to neutral steer is to have seperated gearboxes or sub-transmissions driving both tracks. US airborne tank M551 Sherridan and Ukraine T-84 Oplot are modern approach of this manner. Althought they neutral steer with tracks driving in different speed, thus they cannot pivot steer precisely on the central spot. The neutral steer capability is more common on dual-flow transmission. A dual-flow transmission, or “双流传动” in Chinese, means the power flow from engine into the transmission splitted into driving power flow and steering power flow, then they join together with mesh gears or planetaries. Control these power flows allows the driver to change speed and steer left or right. The dual-flow principle itself came up even earlier than the tank. The 1899 Vedovelli Priestley electric taxi equipped with double differential steering system, is capable of neutral steering. And the first tank with dual-flow transmission is the Schneider-Renault SRB, then evolved into the Char B1 heavy tank. The Char B1 tank's dual-flow principle is quite simple. The power splitted into two: the driving power flow into gearbox and drive the main differential; the steering power flow into the appareil Naëder, a hydrostatic pump-motor assembly, can rotate on different speed and direction. Char B1 can use appareil Naëder to control its hull howitzer precisly, this principle inspired the Swedish Strv 103 tank. And the US M1 Abrams tanks use a HSU(Hydrostatic Steering Unit) based on the same principle of appareil Naëder. (To be continued)
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