Patents Assigned to Textron, Inc.
  • Patent number: 11027821
    Abstract: A system and method for preventing a maximum asymmetric condition between pylon tilt angles due to a degraded pylon in a fly-by-wire tiltrotor aircraft during transitions between airplane mode and helicopter mode includes a conversion system for imparting movement on a right and left pylon. A flight control computer is operatively connected to a set of transducers for measuring pylon angles. The flight control computer is further connected to a set of actuators which are attached to each pylon. The flight control computer receives flight dynamics input from the set of transducers and/or the pilot and sends pylon command to the set of actuators. The conversion system measures the difference between the pylon angles during the transition and provides a pylon command adjustment if the difference exceeds a preset threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Brady Garrett Atkins, Michael David Trantham, Paul David Ruckel
  • Publication number: 20210163128
    Abstract: A system is provided for controlling the pitch of blades of a rotor, the system comprising an actuator for each blade, each actuator being configured for selective control of the pitch of an associated blade about a pitch axis. Sensors are configured for determining aerodynamic forces acting on the rotor, and a flight control system is configured to receive signals from the sensors and for operating the actuators in response to the signals to achieve a desired pitch-flap coupling value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 29, 2020
    Publication date: June 3, 2021
    Applicant: Bell Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Frank Bradley Stamps, Thomas C. Parham, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20210163127
    Abstract: An anti-torque assembly for a helicopter includes a plurality of fans pivotably mountable to a tail boom. The fans have fan blades rotatable about a fan axis. One or more of the fans is pivotable relative to the tail boom to a first configuration. The fan axes in the first configuration have an upright orientation and the fans are operable to one or both of pitch and roll the helicopter. Different fans are operable to generate thrust to provide anti-torque to the helicopter. A method of providing anti-torque and method of changing an attitude of a helicopter are also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 2, 2019
    Publication date: June 3, 2021
    Applicant: Bell Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Marc BUSTAMANTE, Thuvaragan SENTHILNATHAN
  • Patent number: 11022477
    Abstract: An exemplary liquid tank level measurement system includes a tank having a wall, an accelerometer attached to the wall and configured to measure a vibration in the wall, and an instrument electronically connected to the accelerometer, the instrument configured to communicate a liquid level condition responsive to a vibration measurement received from the accelerometer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventor: Eric Stephen Olson
  • Patent number: 11020910
    Abstract: The present invention includes methods of preparing a composite structure comprising: placing a first ply of a fibrous material with a curable material on a layup tool; adding one or more additional plies on the first ply, wherein each of the one or more additional plies has a perimeter that is different in size around the perimeter than a previous ply to form a taper; and curing the composite structure, wherein the curable material is selected to minimize, limit, control, or eliminate the outflow of the curable material along the perimeter of the composite structure during the curing step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON INC.
    Inventors: Amarjit Olenchery Kizhakkepat, Tyler Wayne Baldwin, Edward Wei-Yueh Lee
  • Patent number: 11022972
    Abstract: One embodiment is a navigation system for an aircraft including a positioning system to generate information related to a position of the aircraft, a group of cameras mounted to a body of the aircraft, each camera of the group of cameras to simultaneously capture images of a portion of an environment that surrounds the aircraft, and a processing component coupled to the positioning system and the group of cameras, the processing component to determine a current position of the aircraft based on the information related to the position of the aircraft and the images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: BELL TEXTRON INC.
    Inventors: Maurice D. Griffin, Aaron M. Hitchcock
  • Patent number: 11022213
    Abstract: An aircraft includes a variable-speed gearbox. The variable-speed gearbox includes a low-speed gear train and a high-speed gear train, each gear train of which is configured to selectively provide torque from an engine of the aircraft to a proprotor. The variable-speed gearbox also includes a hydraulic system configured to provide torque to the proprotor. The hydraulic system includes a hydraulic pump driven by the engine of the tiltrotor aircraft and a variable-displacement motor driven by a hydraulic fluid from the hydraulic pump.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Carlos Alexander Fenny, Frank Stamps
  • Patent number: 11018755
    Abstract: One embodiment is an apparatus comprising an aircraft and an aerial network communications system associated with the aircraft. The network communications system may comprise an antenna physically connected to an outside surface of the aircraft; and a transceiver electrically connected to the antenna. The aerial network communications system receives signals from and transmits signals to an unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”) via a communications network comprising a control station and a plurality of airborne network nodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: BELL TEXTRON INC.
    Inventor: Mark David Stoufflet
  • Patent number: 11014659
    Abstract: A method of selectively preventing flapping of a rotor hub includes providing a flapping lock proximate to a rotor hub and shaft assembly and moving the flapping lock from an unlocked position to a locked position, the flapping lock operable in the locked position to prevent at least some flapping movement of the rotor hub relative to the shaft, the flapping lock operable in the unlocked position to allow the at least some flapping movement of the rotor hub relative to the shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Troy Schank, Frank B. Stamps
  • Patent number: 11014655
    Abstract: A system and method for providing supplemental power includes: a motor-generator or a hydraulic pump-motor configured to attach to a transmission of an engine, a controller connected to the motor-generator or the hydraulic pump-motor, and a battery system or a hydraulic accumulator coupled to the motor-generator or the hydraulic pump-motor, respectively. During normal operation of the engine, the engine drives the transmission to rotate rotor blades connected to the transmission, and the motor-generator or the hydraulic pump-motor draws an energy from the transmission and store the energy in the battery system or the hydraulic accumulator, respectively. Upon a manual and/or an automatic control by the controller, the battery system or the hydraulic accumulator discharges the energy to the motor-generator or the hydraulic pump-motor, respectively, and the motor-generator or the hydraulic pump-motor provides the supplemental power to drive the transmission to rotate the rotor blades.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON INC.
    Inventors: Dudley E. Smith, Cory M. Hitte, Bryan Marshall, Carlos Alexander Fenny
  • Patent number: 11014656
    Abstract: The present invention includes a balancing system that includes a weight box, mounted substantially within the rotor-blade spar, flush with a rotor-blade spar outer surface, operably accessible from a rotor-blade tip, and retained within the rotor-blade spar by a weight-box retention pin, one or more weight-box contact surfaces bonded to a rotor-blade-spar inner surface, or a weight-box lip providing a bearing contact with an edge of a spar rotor-blade spar cutout; and a weight package attached to the weight box, the weight package including a weight-box cover, two or more weight guide-rods attached to the weight-box cover, wherein one of the two or more weight guide-rods is positioned forward of a pitch change axis or center of twist and wherein one of the two weight guide-rods is positioned aft of the pitch change axis or center of twist, and one or more balance weights mounted on the weight guide-rods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON INC.
    Inventors: Jared Mark Paulson, Bryan Marshall, Christopher E. Foskey
  • Publication number: 20210147043
    Abstract: An exemplary autonomous seabased resupply system includes an unmanned blob positioned in a water body, the blob containing fuel, a pump on the blob configured to pump the fuel through a conduit to a craft, and a ballast system operable to change a vertical position of the blob in the water body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 14, 2019
    Publication date: May 20, 2021
    Applicant: Bell Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey Paul NISSEN, Troy Cyril SCHANK, Peter Charles ROBICHAUX, Jason Paul HURST, Todd Christopher WORDEN
  • Patent number: 11008094
    Abstract: The present invention includes a passive hub flapping lock including stop wedges; frames coupled to the stop wedges; rods coupled to the frames, and each rod comprising a bracket; lever arms, each lever arm rotatably coupled to a pivot and coupled at a first lever arm end to one of the rods at the bracket of the rod; weight sets, each weight set coupled to a second lever arm end; and pivot torsion springs, each pivot torsion spring positioned at a pivot and biased to hold the flapping lock in an engaged position when stationary or at a rotational speed below a specified rotational speed; wherein the flapping lock is in an engaged position below the specified rotational speed and in a disengaged position above the specified rotational speed and the weight sets move outward, rotating the lever arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON INC.
    Inventor: Kyle Thomas Cravener
  • Patent number: 11009116
    Abstract: An exemplary passive oil system includes a reservoir housing configured in operation to rotate around a rotational axis, the reservoir housing defining a reservoir between a top wall, a bottom wall, innermost side, and an outer sidewall; and an outlet positioned adjacent the outer sidewall to discharge a lubrication fluid contained in the reservoir in response to the reservoir housing rotating around the rotational axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Eric Stephen Olson, David Bockmiller
  • Patent number: 11008102
    Abstract: In an embodiment, a maneuverable capture device includes a frame, a plurality of rotors secured to the frame, an attachment point disposed on the frame for securing a cable of a carrier aircraft to the frame, and an attachment feature configured to secure maneuverable capture device to a dock of a parasite aircraft. In an embodiment, a method of docking a maneuverable capture device with a parasite aircraft includes positioning a carrier aircraft above a parasite aircraft, releasing the maneuverable capture device attached to the carrier aircraft by a cable from the carrier aircraft, flying the maneuverable capture device to a dock of the parasite aircraft, and securing the maneuverable capture device to the dock of the parasite aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: Bell Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Michael John Ryan, Carlos Alexander Fenny, Joseph Scott Drennan, John Richard McCullough, Brett Rodney Zimmerman
  • Publication number: 20210139139
    Abstract: A duct for a ducted-rotor aircraft may include an internal structure and an aerodynamic exterior skin that is adhesively bonded to the internal structure. The skin may include a leading-edge portion disposed at an inlet of the duct and an inner portion disposed along an interior of the duct. The inner portion of the skin may be bonded to the internal structure with a first bondline of adhesive and the leading-edge portion of the skin may be bonded to the inner portion of the skin with a second bondline of adhesive. One or both of the first and second bondlines of adhesive may be of non-uniform thickness to take up tolerance stackups between the inner portion of the skin, the leading-edge portion of the skin, and the internal structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 8, 2019
    Publication date: May 13, 2021
    Applicant: Bell Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Karl Schroeder, Timothy Brian Carr, David G. Carlson, Kevin Stump, William Anthony Amante, Joseph Richard Carpenter, JR.
  • Patent number: D919547
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: BELL TEXTRON INC.
    Inventors: Joseph Richard Carpenter, Timothy Carr, Matthew E. Louis, Steve Michael Loveland
  • Patent number: D919548
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: BELL TEXTRON INC.
    Inventors: Joseph Richard Carpenter, Timothy Carr, Matthew E. Louis, Steve Michael Loveland
  • Patent number: D920213
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: BELL TEXTRON INC.
    Inventors: Joseph Richard Carpenter, Timothy Carr, Matthew E. Louis, Steve Michael Loveland
  • Patent number: D920216
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: BELL TEXTRON INC.
    Inventors: Joseph Richard Carpenter, Steve Michael Loveland, Allen Brittain