Patents Assigned to McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
  • Patent number: 6821090
    Abstract: An active control device is disclosed comprising an array of actively controlled oscillating air jets disposed on an aircraft structure. In a preferred embodiment, the device senses parameters associated with incipient unsteady aerodynamic excitation, such as free stream gusts, shed wakes in rotor and turbomachinery flows, or oscillatory motion of trailing edge control surfaces such as ailerons. These parameters are provided as input signals to a processor. Based on the input signals, the processor generates output signals that are used to operate the air jet array in a manner counteractive to the unsteady forcing. The air jet array can be used on numerous aircraft structures, including rotor blades, wings, engine inlets, engine exhausts, blunt surfaces and nozzles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2004
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventors: Ahmed A. Hassan, Brian K. Hamilton, Hieu T. Ngo
  • Patent number: 6484214
    Abstract: A method for acquiring and assembling software components at execution time into a client program, where the components may be acquired from remote networked servers is disclosed. The acquired components are assembled according to knowledge represented within one or more acquired mediating components. A mediating component implements knowledge of an object model. A mediating component uses its implemented object model knowledge, acquired component class information and polymorphism to assemble components into an interacting program at execution time. The interactions or abstract relationships between components in the object model may be implemented by the mediating component as direct invocations or indirect events or software bus exchanges. The acquired components may establish communications with remote servers. The acquired components may also present a user interface representing data to be exchanged with the remote servers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2002
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventor: Amy Sundermier
  • Patent number: 6375779
    Abstract: A lightweight, three dimensional structural article having low radar reflectivity characteristics and good mechanical properties is fabricated from a syntactic foam core having a structural outer skin. A syntactic foam sealing adhesive film is applied to the surface of syntactic foam core and under the outer skin to both seal the foam core and adhere the outer skin. The syntactic foam sealing adhesive is formulated to provide a uniform layer and to reduce the fabrication time and labor while improving the overall radar absorbing characteristics of the structural article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2002
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventors: James L. Melquist, Walter Phillips, Paul L. Kuhl
  • Patent number: 6350513
    Abstract: A lightweight, three dimensional structural article having low radar reflectivity characteristics and good mechanical properties is fabricated from a syntactic foam core having a structural outer skin. A syntactic foam sealing adhesive film is applied to the surface of syntactic foam core and under the outer skin to both seal the foam core and adhere the outer skin. The syntactic foam sealing adhesive is formulated to provide a uniform layer and to reduce the fabrication time and labor while improving the overall radar absorbing characteristics of the structural article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2002
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventors: James L. Melquist, Walter Phillips, Paul L. Kuhl
  • Patent number: 6217983
    Abstract: An R-foam having a surface with an electrically resistive ink layer that is continuous and an electrically conductive ink layer that is in a predetermined pattern. The resulting surface is thereby electrically modified to have a predetermined resistive taper across it according to a predetermined resistivity curve. The method of manufacturing the R-foam involves printing the ink layers to the surface in a predetermined pattern that results in the predetermined resistivity curve. The ink layers may be applied using silk screening, stamping, and ink jet printing techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventors: Shahriar Alam, Thomas A. Hunter, Michael J. Valle
  • Patent number: 6193464
    Abstract: The present invention comprises a feedback-controlled braking apparatus that applies a modulated braking force that smoothly decelerates a rotating shaft such that it comes to rest at a precise location. According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention the rotor hub of a rotor/wing aircraft is coupled to a hydraulically actuated friction brake, such as a conventional disk brake. The disk brake caliper is supplied with fluid pressure from an electrically actuated servo valve which, in turn, is controlled by an electronic controller. A sensor monitors the angular position and velocity of the rotor main shaft. The velocity and position information is provided to the controller, which modulates the brake pressure as required to bring the rotor to a stop at exactly the right orientation relative to the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company,
    Inventors: Daniel A. Nyhus, Stephen S. Osder
  • Patent number: 6170779
    Abstract: The present invention comprises an apparatus for locking the pitch axes of the rotor blades of a rotor/wing aircraft so as to form a rigid wing. In one embodiment of the present invention the rotor blades of a rotor/wing aircraft are locked to each other to form a rigid wing assembly having a common pitch axis. This wing assembly is then locked in position about its pitch axis by means of a pitch lock apparatus that engages the lower end of the pitch link of the rotor blade that is oriented at the leading edge of the fixed wing. In another embodiment each rotor is independently locked about its respective pitch axis by means of two separate pitch lock apparatus. By locking the rotor blades into a rigid assembly by means of an independent rigid pitch lock apparatus, it is possible to provide a rotor/wing aircraft having a fixed wing with more predictable and controllable response to aerodynamic forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventor: Daniel A. Nyhus
  • Patent number: 6168142
    Abstract: A hydraulic damper assembly has a barrel-piston assembly and a spring assembly. The barrel-piston assembly has a barrel with a top portion having an open end, and a piston extending through the open end. The piston has a bottom portion that is located inside the barrel. The piston and the barrel also define an annular space in which is a barrel shoulder and a piston shoulder. The barrel shoulder radially extends into the annular space from the barrel top portion. The piston shoulder radially extends into the annular space from the piston bottom portion. The spring assembly is disposed in the annular space between the barrel shoulder and the piston shoulder. When the piston is extended from the barrel, the shoulders compress the spring assembly and, thereby, reduce the amount of force required to compress the piston which enables the damper to be charged to a higher nitrogen pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventors: Akif O. Bolukbasi, Paul Saliba, Lowell Pester
  • Patent number: 6161799
    Abstract: The present invention comprises an apparatus for locking both rotor blades of a rotor/wing aircraft at a common point to form a rigid wing having a uniform bilateral aerodynamic response. In one embodiment of the present invention the rotor blades of a rotor/wing aircraft are locked together to form a rigid wing assembly. This is accomplished by locking the blades together by a locking mechanism that engages when the rotor speed drops below a certain threshold. With the rotor blades locked together, the wing assembly can then be locked in position with the appropriate pitch angle simply by securing the pitch link of the rotor blade that is oriented at the leading edge of the fixed wing. In another embodiment of the invention the blades are locked directly to the rotor by two locking mechanisms that engage the hub directly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2000
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventor: Daniel A. Nyhus
  • Patent number: 6146253
    Abstract: A precision grinding apparatus includes a grinding worm for precision grinding a case-hardened face gear. A shaper is first placed into contact with a face gear, to thereby shape a surface of the face gear into a plurality of face gear teeth. The shaper is then removed, and the face gear is case hardened. The grinding worm is disposed in a normal orientation to the case-hardened face gear and includes a spiral tooth extending along a perimeter of the grinding worm. The spiral tooth of the grinding worm is adapted to contact and precision grind the case-hardened gear. A dressing tool includes a protrusion for contacting the spiral tooth of the grinding worm, as the spiral tooth contacts and precision grinds the case-hardened face gear. The dressing tool thus maintains the shape of the grinding worm to within a desired tolerance range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventors: Faydor L. Litvin, Yih-Jen Chen, Gregory F. Heath, Vijay J. Sheth, Ningxin Chen
  • Patent number: 6135713
    Abstract: An actively controlled helicopter rotor blade includes a trailing edge flap actuated by a fast-acting actuator. A lightweight, rugged, fast-acting actuator suitable for use as the flap actuator comprises a pair of column actuators composed of a smart material such as piezoelectric, magnetostrictive, shape memory alloy or other material that exhibits a shape change when subjected to an external stimulus. Each of the column actuators is composed of multiple piezoelectric ceramic actuator elements bonded together to form the individual columns. Each of the column actuators engages the base of an actuator tube that, in turn, is urged against the column actuators by a tension member. Differential voltage applied to the columns causes a differential elongation of the column actuators, which causes the actuator tube to pivot about an axis proximal the tips of the column actuators. The movement of the actuator tube is coupled by a linkage to the rotor blade flap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2000
    Assignee: The McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventors: David B. Domzalski, Friedrich K. Straub, Dennis K. Kennedy
  • Patent number: 6131849
    Abstract: An articulating and telescoping duct is provided for use in a helicopter reaction drive flow path for ducting the exhaust and/or bypass gases from the aircraft engine into the flow ducts of the rotor blades. In a preferred embodiment the telescoping duct comprises a tubular member having a bead formed at each end. Each of the beads has an outside surface formed into a spherically curved sector that is centered radially about the axis of the tubular member. The receiving duct at one end comprises a complementary spherical bore that seals against and retains the spherical outside surface of the tubular member while permitting the tubular member to articulate relative to the receiving duct. The receiving duct at the other end comprises a complementary cylindrical bore that seals against the spherical outside surface of the tubular member while permitting the tubular member both to articulate relative to and telescope in and out of the cylindrical bore.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventor: Daniel A. Nyhus
  • Patent number: 6092990
    Abstract: An active control system for reducing blade-vortex-interaction (BVI) noise generated by a rotor blade. The active control system includes a pressure sensor assembly, a device for changing a lift generated by the rotor blade, and a controller for activating the device upon a detected change in air pressure by the sensor assembly. The sensor assembly is disposed in close proximity to the rotor blade, and is adapted to detect a change in air pressure on a surface of the rotor blade near a leading edge of the rotor blade. The device is adapted to be activated by the controller, to thereby change a lift of the rotor blade. The controller activates the device to change a lift of the rotor blade in order to introduce a compensating pressure onto the surface of the rotor blade. This compensating pressure attenuates the magnitude of the change of air pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2000
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventors: Ahmed A. Hassan, Friedrich K. Straub, David B. Domzalski
  • Patent number: 6005513
    Abstract: A portable three-dimensional position and velocity data archiving system for use with an aircraft during flight testing and evaluations. The system includes a ground based system and an airborne system. Each system includes a GPS receiver electrically connected with a GPS antenna for receiving and interpreting GPS signals transmitted from a GPS satellite constellation. Each system also includes a radio communication device for transferring position and velocity data as well as error correction data and guidance cues between the ground and airborne systems. The portable system acquires, processes, archives, and provides precise three-dimensional position and velocity data for the aircraft in real time. Information regarding aircraft position, direction, velocity, acceleration and any correction needs referenced to a selected coordinate system is immediately presented to a vehicle piloting crew on analog as well as digital indicators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1999
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventor: W. Mark Hardesty
  • Patent number: 5951252
    Abstract: A flap lock device for restraining the flapping movement of a main rotor blade assembly on a helicopter. The flap lock device includes an first elongate frame member which extends between a first end and a second end and second elongate frame member which also extends between a first end and a second end. A pivot connection pivotally connects the first end of the first frame member with the first end of the second frame member. An outwardly facing contact pad is coupled to each of the frame members and adapted for contact with various positions on the helicopter. An actuating device interconnects the first and second frame members and is used to forcibly move the contact pads outwardly and into contact with the helicopter. The flap lock device is installed between the main rotor blade assembly and the main rotor assembly to forcibly maintain the main rotor blade assembly against the droop stop mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventor: Neal W. Muylaert
  • Patent number: 5951608
    Abstract: The disclosed flight control system includes a rotor blade speed monitor for monitoring the rotor blade speed of the jet powered tri-mode aircraft and for outputting a rotor blade speed command. The flight control system also includes an aircraft attitude controller for controlling the aircraft attitude of the jet powered tri-mode aircraft. Weighted rotor blade attitude stabilization commands and weighted aero surface attitude stabilization commands are output from the aircraft attitude controller to distribute power, control, and lift between the rotor blade and the aero surfaces. Relative weights of the weighted rotor blade attitude stabilization commands decrease with increasing aircraft travelling velocities, and relative weights of the weighted aero surface attitude stabilization commands increase with increasing velocities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventor: Stephen S. Osder
  • Patent number: 5938404
    Abstract: An active control device for use on an aerodynamic structure is provided. The aerodynamic structure includes an outer aerodynamic skin and an interior volume, wherein the outer aerodynamic skin surrounds the interior volume. The active control device includes at least one aperture disposed on the outer aerodynamic skin and a diaphragm disposed in the interior volume of the aerodynamic structure. The at least one aperture connects the outer aerodynamic skin to the interior volume, and the diaphragm in the interior volume is movable between a first position and a second position. Movement of the diaphragm from the first position to the second position pushes air through the at least one aperture and out of the interior volume. Movement of the diaphragm from the second position to the first position draws air through the at least one aperture and into the interior volume. The diaphragm may be circular, or may be oval-shaped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventors: David B. Domzalski, Ahmed A. Hassan, Dennis K. Kennedy
  • Patent number: 5934875
    Abstract: A helicopter's main rotor blades are removably attached to a hub, which is rotatably mounted on a mast. The base of the mast is attached to the helicopter's body by unthreaded, expandable bushing bolts. When inserted, the bolts' centerlines lie in a plane which perpendicularly intersects the axial centerline of the mast. The mast is hollow and encases a drive shaft. Splines at one end of the drive shaft removably engage splines on the engine transmission. The hub has a removal fitting for engaging an end of the drive shaft. When the mast is detached and pulled apart from the helicopter body for storage, the removal fitting forces the drive shaft splines to disengage from the tnansmission splines, and keeps the drive shaft inside the mast while the mast is being removed. The main rotor blades' pitch is controlled by a plurality of pitch control linkages. Each linkage is comprised of a first part connected to the mast and a second part connected to the helicopter body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventor: Robert E. Head
  • Patent number: 5934608
    Abstract: The bi-directional air flow deflector of the present invention efficiently deflects air to the left opening and the right opening, and minimizes any vertical components of force which may be generated. The air flow vector exiting from each of the openings comprises a dominant horizontal force vector rather than a large component of force in the vertical direction. Vertical components of force may be added, if desired. The bi-directional air flow deflector provides reduced transmission torque requirements, and generally comprises a relatively small number of moving parts. A single moving part may be used to deflect air to either the left opening or the right opening, and this single moving part is not exposed to the outside environment and, accordingly, will generally provide reliable functionality. The bi-directional air flow deflector of the present invention is simple in design, comprises a small number of relatively easy to manufacture parts, and can be used to retrofit existing direct jet thrusters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventor: Gregory E. Dockter
  • Patent number: 5915649
    Abstract: A roadable helicopter according to various aspects of the present invention comprises a vehicle that drives like a conventional car in its road configuration, and converts to fly like a helicopter in its flight configuration. The operator of the helicopter only needs to press a button to initiate the conversion from one configuration to the other. To facilitate the flight configuration, the helicopter is preferably equipped with a dual, coaxial counterrotating rotor system to provide lift, propulsion, and control in the flight configuration. In the road configuration, however, the rotor system automatically folds into a rotor bay formed in the rear of the helicopter. The roadable helicopter may also include an automatic control/stability/navigation system that permits fully automatic flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 29, 1999
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventor: Robert E. Head