Patents Examined by Brian M O'Hara
  • Patent number: 11325699
    Abstract: A ducted fan assembly for generating thrust during edgewise forward flight. The ducted fan assembly includes a duct having an inlet with a leading portion and a diffuser with a trailing portion during the edgewise forward flight. A fan disposed within the duct is configured to rotate relative to the duct about a fan axis to generate an airflow through the duct from the inlet to the diffuser. An active flow control system includes a plurality of injectors including a first injector configured to inject pressurized air substantially tangential with the leading portion of the inlet and a second injector configured to inject pressurized air substantially tangential with the trailing portion of the diffuser such that when the injectors are injecting pressurized air, flow separation of the airflow at the leading portion of the inlet and the trailing portion of the diffuser is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2022
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel Bryan Robertson, Kirk Landon Groninga, Matthew Edward Louis
  • Patent number: 11319063
    Abstract: This disclosure describes a configuration of an unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”) that will facilitate extended flight duration. The UAV may have any number of lifting motors. For example, the UAV may include four lifting motors (also known as a quad-copter), eight lifting motors (also known as an octo-copter), etc. Likewise, to improve the efficiency of horizontal flight, the UAV also includes a pivot assembly that may rotate about an axis from a lifting position to a thrusting position. The pivot assembly may include two or more offset motors that generate a differential force that will cause the pivot assembly to rotate between the lifting position and the thrusting position without the need for any additional motors or gears.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2022
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Ricky Dean Welsh
  • Patent number: 11319062
    Abstract: A rotor system has a mast axis, a first rotor rotatable about the mast axis in a first direction and the first rotor has a first number of first rotor blades, and a second rotor rotatable about the mast axis in a second direction and the second rotor has a second number of second rotor blades that is different than the first number. The second direction is opposite the first direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2022
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventor: Alexander Dang Quang Truong
  • Patent number: 11312502
    Abstract: In one aspect the present subject matter is directed to a gas-electric propulsion system for an aircraft. The system may include a turbofan jet engine, an electric powered boundary layer ingestion fan that is coupled to a fuselage portion of the aircraft aft of the turbofan jet engine, and an electric generator that is electronically coupled to the turbofan jet engine and to the boundary layer ingestion fan. The electric generator converts rotational energy from the turbofan jet engine to electrical energy and provides at least a portion of the electrical energy to the boundary layer ingestion fan. In another aspect of the present subject matter, a method for propelling an aircraft via the gas-electric propulsion system is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Jeffrey Anthony Hamel, Kurt David Murrow
  • Patent number: 11312480
    Abstract: In an embodiment, a rotorcraft includes: a flight control computer configured to: receive a first sensor signal from a first aircraft sensor of the rotorcraft; receive a second sensor signal from a second aircraft sensor of the rotorcraft, the second aircraft sensor being different from the first aircraft sensor; combine the first sensor signal and the second sensor signal with a complementary filter to determine an estimated vertical speed of the rotorcraft; adjust flight control devices of the rotorcraft according to the estimated vertical speed of the rotorcraft, thereby changing flight characteristics of the rotorcraft; and reset the complementary filter in response to detecting the rotorcraft is grounded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Assignee: TEXTRON INNOVATIONS INC.
    Inventors: Luke Dafydd Gillett, Sung Kyun Kim, Robert Earl Worsham, II
  • Patent number: 11312487
    Abstract: An aircraft has an airframe with first and second wings having first and second pylons extending therebetween. A distributed propulsion system attached to the airframe includes at least first, second, third and fourth propulsion assemblies that are independently controlled by a flight control system. A pod assembly is coupled to the airframe. In a VTOL flight mode, the first and second propulsion assemblies are forward of the pod assembly and the third and fourth propulsion assemblies are aft of the pod assembly. In a forward flight mode, the first and second propulsion assemblies are below the pod assembly and the third and fourth propulsion assemblies are above the pod assembly. In both the VTOL and forward flight modes, the first and fourth propulsion assemblies generate thrust having a first direction while the second and third propulsion assemblies generate thrust having a second direction that is different from the first direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: John Richard McCullough, Paul K. Oldroyd
  • Patent number: 11305862
    Abstract: A joint joining an aircraft wing to an aircraft body employs a splice panel that is engaged in surface engagement with a skin panel on a side of the aircraft body and is engaged in surface engagement with a leg panel extending upwardly from the aircraft wing. A plurality of fasteners extend through the splice panel and the leg panel and extend through the splice panel and the skin panel. The plurality of fasteners attach the splice panel to the skin panel and attach the splice panel to the leg panel and thereby attach the skin panel to the leg panel. After fastener holes have been drilled through the splice panel and the leg panel to attach the splice panel to the leg panel, the splice panel can be removed from the leg panel. This provides easy access to the fastener holes drilled through the leg panel for deburring of the fastener holes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2022
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Mark R. McLaughlin, Jenny Young, Drew-Daniel T. Keefe, Charles B. Lockin, David H. Leibov
  • Patent number: 11299024
    Abstract: An arrangement of a structural element for an aerospace vehicle and a battery set. The structural element extends along a longitudinal direction and has a main web, a first flange and a second flange. The flanges extend away from the main web and are defined by flange edges extending along the longitudinal direction. The first flange, the second flange and the main web form a U-shaped profile defining a cavity. The battery set includes a baseplate and at least one battery on the baseplate. The structural element and the battery set are formed such that the baseplate can be releasably attached to the structural element. The baseplate extends between flange edges and the battery is received in the cavity when the battery set is mounted to the structural element. Further, an aerospace vehicle including such an arrangement, a structural element for an aerospace vehicle and a battery set are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2022
    Assignee: Airbus Operations GmbH
    Inventors: Peter Linde, Peter Rostek
  • Patent number: 11299287
    Abstract: Aspects relate to systems and methods for orienting a thrust propulsor in response to a failure event of a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. An exemplary system includes a plurality of lift propulsors mechanically connected to a VTOL aircraft, wherein each of the plurality of lift propulsors are configured to produce lift, a plurality of sensors, wherein at least a sensor is configured to detect a failure of at least a lift propulsor, and transmit a failure datum, a thrust propulsor mechanically attached to the VTOL aircraft with an orientable joint, wherein the thrust propulsor is configured to produce thrust and orient the thrust propulsor as a function of a thrust orientation datum, and a flight controller configured to receive the failure datum, generate a thrust orientation datum as a function of the failure datum, and transmit the thrust orientation datum to the orientable joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2021
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2022
    Assignee: BETA AIR, LLC
    Inventors: Nicholas Moy, Riley Griffin, Lochie Ferrier, Collin Freiheit
  • Patent number: 11292578
    Abstract: A monolithic skin for an aerodynamic structure is provided. The skin comprises a root end defining a root opening; a tip end opposite to the root end; a trailing-edge portion defining a slot opening extending from the root opening toward the tip end; a leading-edge portion extending spanwise from the root end to the tip end; and a middle portion extending between the trailing edge and the leading-edge portion and at least partially defining an open slot in fluid communication with the slot opening and root opening. The middle portion comprises an interior surface facing the open slot that is graded so that the middle portion decreases in thickness spanwise toward the root end. The middle portion also comprises a first integrated spar section extending from the interior surface to the tip end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Assignee: SPIRIT AEROSYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Scott Sellmeyer, Blaise Francis Bergmann, Darin Clay Wiley, Roger Edmund Kornfeld, Walter A. Chappelle, Aaron Rae Heitmann
  • Patent number: 11292599
    Abstract: Provided is a disc-shaped aircraft including a rotatable disc-shaped wing inclined downward from a center to an edge of the wing and including a through hole vertically penetrating through a center of the wing, a body provided in a space under the wing, a driving mechanism for providing rotary power to the wing, a connector including an end connected to a side of the wing forming the through hole, and another end connected to the driving mechanism to transmit rotary power to the wing, a main channel provided between the wing and the body to serve as a passage for a gas sucked into the through hole, an ejection hole provided between a lower end of the wing and the body to eject the gas flowing along the main channel, downward, and a flight controller for adjusting an ejection amount of the gas ejected from the ejection hole, by changing a shape of the main channel by adjusting a height of the wing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Inventor: Myung Joon Park
  • Patent number: 11286059
    Abstract: Various embodiments of the present disclosure provide a helicopter-mediated system and method for launching and retrieving an aircraft capable of long-distance efficient cruising flight from a small space without the use of a long runway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: Hood Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Andreas H. von Flotow, Corydon C. Roeseler, Daniel Reiss
  • Patent number: 11273919
    Abstract: In an embodiment, a system to deploy a plurality of parachutes includes a plurality of parachute canopies each packed in a canister, a plurality of rockets adapted to extract an associated canopy from the canister, and a controller. The controller is configured to determine that an aircraft is at least one of: in a hover mode of operation and a forward flight mode of operation. In response to the determination that the aircraft is in the hover mode of operation, the controller applies a hover deployment sequence including by instructing the plurality of parachutes to deploy substantially simultaneously. In response to the determination that the aircraft is in the forward mode of operation and above a threshold airspeed, the controller applies a forward deployment sequence including by instructing the plurality of parachutes to deploy in a predefined sequence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2022
    Assignee: Kitty Hawk Corporation
    Inventors: Craig Western, Amy Qian, Damon Vander Lind, Timothy Mattson, Eric Miller, Peter A. Swan
  • Patent number: 11273926
    Abstract: An en route fluid transmitting apparatus for transmitting a fluid from a transmitting entity to a probe of a receiving vehicle includes a funnel, a hose and a thrust producing device. Thrust producing device includes a main body that is rigidly attached to the funnel, and at least two rotors that are connected to the main body for producing thrust. The thrust producing device is adapted to move the funnel freely in any direction to a predetermined position relative to the probe where the funnel engages with the probe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2022
    Assignee: AIRBUS HELICOPTERS DEUTSCHLAND GMBH
    Inventors: Yann Le Cadet, Samuel Pellerin
  • Patent number: 11273924
    Abstract: In an embodiment, a system for air cooling in a wet environment includes a propeller coupled to a vehicle capable of at least one of: taking off from and landing on water. The system includes a battery configured to power the propeller, a float configured to hold the battery, and a flap in the float. The flap is configured to open in response to air pressure to permit airflow into the float to cool the battery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2022
    Assignee: Kitty Hawk Corporation
    Inventor: Dennis Young Kwon
  • Patent number: 11267577
    Abstract: An aircraft defining a longitudinal centerline and extending between a forward end and an aft end is provided. The aircraft includes a fuselage extending longitudinally between the forward end of the aircraft and the aft end of the aircraft; a primary wing assembly extending laterally outwardly with respect to the longitudinal centerline from a portion of the fuselage; a first engine mounted to the primary wing assembly; and a first engine wing assembly extending outward from the first engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2022
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Bhaskar Nanda Mondal, Arvind Namadevan, Shankar Jayaraman, Keith EJ Blodgett, Arnab Sen
  • Patent number: 11260953
    Abstract: A hypersonic aircraft includes one or more leading edge assemblies that are designed to cool the leading edge of certain portions of the hypersonic aircraft that are exposed to high thermal loads, such as extremely high temperatures and/or thermal gradients. Specifically, the leading edge assemblies may include an outer wall tapered to a leading edge or stagnation point. A coolant supply provides a flow of cooling fluid to a porous tip that is joined to the forward end of the outer wall and defines variable porosity and/or internal barriers to direct a flow of cooling fluid to the regions of the leading edge experiencing the highest thermal loading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2022
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Nicholas William Rathay, Brian Magann Rush, Narendra Digamber Joshi, Timothy John Sommerer, Gregory Alexander Natsui, Brian Gene Brzek, Douglas Carl Hofer
  • Patent number: 11254421
    Abstract: A deployable aircraft flotation system. The deployable aircraft flotation system includes a pair of flotation members. The pair of flotation members are positioned on opposing sides of a bottom surface of an aircraft body. Each flotation member of the pair of flotation members has an inner layer that is made of a first buoyant material, an outer layer that is made of a second buoyant material, and a middle layer between the inner layer and the outer layer that is made of a rigid material. The flotation members can be moved from a stowed position, where they are stored in housings, to a deployed position, where they emerge and are positioned on the bottom of the plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2022
    Inventor: Delano Christian
  • Patent number: 11254450
    Abstract: An aircraft includes a fuselage having an upper surface and a lower surface that define an airfoil shape in cross-section along a vertical plane such that horizontal movement of the fuselage through air produces a lift force in a vertical direction. The aircraft also includes a plurality of modules attached to the fuselage. Each module includes an upper jet engine directed above the upper surface of the fuselage and an opposed lower jet engine directed below the lower surface of the fuselage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2022
    Inventor: Charles Ronald Grigg
  • Patent number: 11254432
    Abstract: A storage compartment for the overhead region of a passenger cabin of a passenger aircraft has a carrier which can be mounted in the passenger aircraft, and a pivoting part for receiving a storage item. The pivoting part is mounted on the carrier so as to be pivotable about a pivot axis in a pivoting region between an open position and a closing position. The storage compartment further contains a closing force module. The closing force module contains a switching module by which the closing force module can be brought into an active state or into a passive state. In the active state, a greater closing moment is brought about in the direction of the closing position on the pivoting part by the closing force module, at least in a partial region of the pivoting region, than in the passive state. The closing force module is configured free from electricity with respect to the generation of the closing moment and/or with respect to the switching over between the active state and passive state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2022
    Assignee: Diehl Aviation Laupheim GmbH
    Inventors: Dirk Pfinder, Markus Rafler