Patents Examined by Galen Barefoot
  • Patent number: 8231083
    Abstract: A system and methods for airborne launch and recovery of aircraft. In one embodiment the system comprises a flexible tether configured to be towed behind an airborne mother ship. A drag device is secured to a distal end of the flexible tether to generate drag and maintain tension in the flexible tether. A reel associated with the mother ship anchors a proximal portion of the flexible tether and selectively lets out and takes up the flexible tether to adjust a length of the flexible tether. A capture mechanism associated with the aircraft engages the flexible tether to secure the aircraft to the flexible tether. In certain embodiments of the present methods, a flexible tether is deployed from an airborne mother ship. An aircraft translates forward and rearward along the flexible tether. Alternatively, the aircraft translates forward and rearward as the flexible tether taken up and let out from the mother ship. Prior to launch, the weight of the aircraft is transferred from the flexible tether to the wings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2012
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Aaron J. Kutzmann, Kevin R. Lutke, Zachary C. Hoisington
  • Patent number: 8220741
    Abstract: A method may be present for configuring an aircraft. A design may be identified for the aircraft. A passenger area may be configured using a set of synthetic aisles to meet a desired passenger density for the design.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Sergey D. Barmichev, David W. Eckert
  • Patent number: 8191821
    Abstract: An actuator comprising: two motors; an output member; and a harmonic gear comprising: an elliptical wave generator component; a flexible spline component which is coupled to the wave generator by a bearing and flexes to conform to the elliptical shape of the wave generator; and a circular spline component which surrounds and meshes with the flexible spline component. One of the harmonic gear components is coupled to the output member, and each of the other harmonic gear components is coupled to a respective one of the motors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2012
    Assignee: Airbus Operations Limited
    Inventor: Matthew John Knight
  • Patent number: 8186627
    Abstract: In order to control an attitude of a movable object having a flexible member (50) through an attitude maneuver, first, based on vibration of the flexible member at the time of the attitude maneuver, for example, a sampling function including no frequency components equal to or higher than a particular frequency is obtained. With the use of the sampling function, a control target value is created as a previously-frequency-shaping-type feedforward control law. Based on the control target value, attitude control data is created. The attitude control data can be used for the attitude maneuver with respect to the movable object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignees: NEC TOSHIBA Space Systems, Ltd., Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
    Inventors: Toshio Kamiya, Ken Maeda, Tatsuaki Hashimoto, Shinichiro Sakai
  • Patent number: 8181901
    Abstract: A hybrid helicopter (1) includes firstly an airframe provided with a fuselage (2) and a lift-producing surface (3), together with stabilizer surfaces (30, 35, 40), and secondly with a drive system constituted by: a mechanical interconnection system (15) between firstly a rotor (10) of radius (R) with collective pitch and cyclic pitch control of the blades (11) of the rotor (10), and secondly at least one propeller (6) with collective pitch control of the blades of the propeller (6); and at least one turbine engine (5) driving the mechanical interconnection system (15). The device is remarkable in that the outlet speeds of rotation of the at least one turbine engine (5), of the at least one propeller (6), of the rotor (10), and of the mechanical interconnection system (15) are mutually proportional, the proportionality ratio being constant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventor: Philippe Roesch
  • Patent number: 8172183
    Abstract: A baggage accommodation device for an aircraft, which device comprises a plurality of first rollers and a container, wherein the container comprises a base plate. The plurality of first rollers are arranged on the base plate, and the baggage accommodation device is designed such that it is sufficiently stable for said baggage accommodation device to be able to be moved into and out of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignees: Airbus S.A.S., Airbus Operations GmbH
    Inventors: Johann Erben, Elisabeth Masset-Bosc
  • Patent number: 8172180
    Abstract: A temperature monitoring arrangement for an electro-thermal ice protection system is provided for a slat of an aircraft wing, incorporating heater mats of composite material, wherein, in order to avoid or at least substantially reduce some of the problems associated with use of discrete temperature sensing elements, one or more optical fiber temperature sensors are embedded within the heater mats for sensing an overheating condition of each mat. Advantageously, a control system is used to monitor the temperature of the mats, and adjusts power supplied, or switches off power, in response to detection of an overheating condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: Bae Systems PLC
    Inventor: Andrew Julian Press
  • Patent number: 8172179
    Abstract: An aircraft wing box comprises a pair of half ribs (18, 20) joined to form a rib extending from an upper wing skin (12) to a lower wing skin (10). Each half rib (18) comprises a base (19) and a plurality of projections (4) that extend away from the base (19), the projections (4) defining a series of troughs (2a) and peaks (4a). Respective projections of one half rib (18) overlap with respective projections of the other half rib (20) thereby defining overlapping portions (3), the half ribs (18, 20) being joined in the regions of the overlapping portions (3). There may be projections (4) shaped such that the overlapping portion (3b) defined by the two projections is separated from the neutral axis N of the rib (18, 20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: Airbus Operations Limited
    Inventor: Tristan Crawford
  • Patent number: 8167231
    Abstract: A shielding arrangement for the lightning protection of electrical lines and components in an aircraft includes a protected installation space for receiving the lines that is arranged in the region of a floor framework, at least one delimiting surface of the installation space being provided at least in certain regions with an electrically conductive shielding, the at least one delimiting surface of the installation space being formed with at least one floor panel and a further delimiting surface of the installation space being formed with at least one ceiling panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Airbus Deutschland GmbH
    Inventors: Volker Leisten, Frank Falow, Holger Frauen
  • Patent number: 8162264
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method and an associated device for automatically jettisoning an external load (4) that is reversibly suspended from a release-hook (12) of an aircraft fuselage (2) by a sling (13), which method comprises: measuring the angle (?) between said sling (13) and a vertical axis in elevation of the aircraft; and activating automatic jettisoning when firstly said angle (?) exceeds an upper limit (LSUP), and secondly said sling (13) is directed towards the rear (4?) of the aircraft, thereby making it possible, optionally, to proceed with jettisoning said external load (4).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventor: Bernard Certain
  • Patent number: 8162254
    Abstract: An aircraft engine assembly including an engine, an engine mounting structure, and a nacelle surrounding the engine and including an air intake and fan cowls. The assembly further includes a cradle supporting the fan cowls, fixedly mounted on the mounting structure or else on an entity including a fan case and the air intake attached to the case. The engine assembly further includes a junction aerodynamic fairing including a first mounting mechanism mounted on the cradle, and including a second mounting mechanism mounted on the other of the elements from among the mounting structure and the entity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Airbus Operations SAS
    Inventor: Frederic Roche
  • Patent number: 8162259
    Abstract: An aircraft ejection seat includes a passive limb retention system. The limb retention system comprises a primary lanyard that forms a loop around the crewmember's footwell and a secondary lanyard that is releasably attached to a medial portion of the loop in the primary lanyard. Upon initiation, as the ejection seat is propelled out of the aircraft, the primary and secondary lanyards simultaneously close the lanyard loop around the crewmember's leg from both ends until the lanyard loop contacts the crewmember's leg. Once the lanyard loop is closed around the crewmember's leg, the secondary lanyard releases, allowing the primary lanyard to continue to tighten around the crewmember's leg until the shear fastener shears and the ejection seat exits the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: AMI Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey John Benjamin
  • Patent number: 8157213
    Abstract: A composite skin (11) with swept angle and dihedral for an aircraft mid-box lifting surface having a left side (5), a right side (7) and a central transition area (9) where both sides meet, that is designed and manufactured as a single part from left tip to right tip following a common ply structure for the whole part defined in relation to a single orientation rosette (25). The invention also refers to a composite aircraft mid-box lifting surface including an upper and lower panel with said composite skin (11).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2012
    Assignee: Airbus Espana, S.L.
    Inventors: Francisco de Paula Escobar Benavides, Daniel Claret Viros, Jose Cuenca Rincon
  • Patent number: 8152107
    Abstract: A method of applying sealant to a narrow, deep gap in a surface includes covering the gap to form a covered channel, inserting a flared end of a dispensing nozzle into the covered gap at a first location, and applying a vacuum to the covered gap at a second location while using the nozzle to inject the sealant into the gap at the first location. This method may be used to seal gaps between ablative elements of a heat shield.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Gordon R. Toombs
  • Patent number: 8152108
    Abstract: Apparatuses and methods for optimizing power generation of a solar array are disclosed. The bus voltage is regulated with a regulator controlled through one or more reference signals. When the power bus is being used by electrical systems that are tolerant of a higher variable voltage range, the bus voltage can be temporarily set higher by a commanded reference signal to allow additional solar array power to supply to the power bus. The peak power point may be identified through an established relationship with the solar array performance as a function of temperature, season and/or the age of the solar array. In addition, a reference signal controlled by one or more temperature sensors on the solar array may also modify the bus voltage set-point. Improved solar array power may be extracted from spacecraft beginning-of-life to end-of-life operations due to low insertion loss of a direct energy transfer scheme.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Craig H. Becker-Irvin, Winnie W. Choy
  • Patent number: 8141811
    Abstract: A shock wave in a gas is modified by emitting energy to form an extended path in the gas; heating gas along the path to form a volume of heated gas expanding outwardly from the path; and directing a path. The volume of heated gas passes through the shock wave and modifies the shock wave. This eliminates or reduces a pressure difference between gas on opposite sides of the shock wave. Electromagnetic, microwaves and/or electric discharge can be used to heat the gas along the path. This application has uses in reducing the drag on a body passing through the gas, noise reduction, controlling amount of gas into a propulsion system, and steering a body through the gas. An apparatus is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2012
    Inventor: Kevin Kremeyer
  • Patent number: 8136765
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for placing a satellite in an operational orbit. The satellite is equipped with its own satellite propulsion system as well as a detachable separate propulsion device. The satellite and separate propulsion device are launched into a transfer orbit by means of a space launcher. The separate propulsion device is controlled by a satellite. The satellite is transferred from the transfer orbit to an intermediate orbit by means of the separate propulsion device. The separate propulsion device is separated from the satellite in the intermediate orbit. The satellite then enters and operational orbit from the intermediate orbit by means of its own satellite propulsion system. The intermediate orbit is disposed between the transfer and operational orbits, and is in relatively close proximity to the operational orbit but is far enough away from the operational orbit to prevent possible interferences.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: Astrium SAS
    Inventors: Jean-Francois Geneste, Jean-Francois Poussin
  • Patent number: 8136757
    Abstract: A wing for an aircraft includes a non-balanced lift gradient because as a result of at least one propeller slipstream flowing onto the wing the induced drag of the wing is increased. To reduce the increased induced drag, the wing comprises a first region with a reduced local wing camber and/or reduced local twist, and a second region with an increased local wing camber and/or increased local twist. The first region is defined as a wing surface situated downstream of the propeller slipstream, upstream of which wing surface the blades of the propeller move upwards. The second region is defined as a wing surface situated downstream of the propeller slipstream, upstream of which wing surface the blades of the propeller move downwards.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: Airbus Operations GmbH
    Inventor: Roland Kelm
  • Patent number: 8128025
    Abstract: An aircraft including a space frame fuselage structure. A plurality of panels are connected with the structure and configured to form a skin over the structure. The panels are movable relative to one another so as to prevent loading of the structure from inducing loading in the skin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Blaine K. Rawdon, Robert E. Grip
  • Patent number: 8128031
    Abstract: A sail wing for a lightweight aircraft comprising a membrane; a front spar; and a tensioned rear wire attached to a trailing edge of the membrane, such that when the front spar is bent to match a curve of the tensioned trailing edge of the sail wing membrane, the sail wing membrane has substantially little or no twist, and results in substantially little or no induced drag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
    Inventor: Neil Thomas Boertlein