Patents Examined by Galen L. Barefoot
  • Patent number: 6981674
    Abstract: A system and method for a Space Elevator using a transport tether shaped into double catenary with one catenary below synchronous orbit altitude and the second catenary above synchronous orbit altitude and while also forming a harmonic oscillator using a combination of gravitational and centripetal forces with the zero crossing of the harmonic oscillator at an altitude of approximately one half synchronous orbit altitude of attached elevator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2006
    Inventor: James G. Dempsey
  • Patent number: 6824109
    Abstract: The invention utilizes a computer-controlled moving band, typically on an airplane, to increase the apparent speed and therefore the lift of any body moving through a fluid. The invention will allow greater precision of control. One benefit is that take-offs and landings can be carried at reduced speeds and with greater loads. This control will also adjust boundary layer to adjust drag thereby allowing more flexibility in wing design.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: E-Win Corporation
    Inventor: Theodore Garver
  • Patent number: 6808144
    Abstract: A parafoil recovery system capable of autonomously controlling the descent profile of a payload to a recovery area and maneuvering the parafoil to execute a soft landing in the recovery area is disclosed. A descent profile management system determines wind speed and direction, altitude, heading, and position of the payload based on sensor input. The descent profile management system also determines a gliding flight path profile from the launch point to the desired recovery area. A flare and stall maneuver is executed at the end of the landing sequence by braking the parafoil to slow the vertical descent speed and groundspeed for a soft landing. The pitch attitude of the payload can be adjusted by the descent profile management system to prevent nose-first impact with the ground. The parafoil canopy is released from the payload upon touchdown to prevent the canopy from dragging the payload on the ground after landing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: Lockheed-Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Leland M. Nicolai, William R. Ramsey, Jr., Douglas J. Robinson
  • Patent number: 6805319
    Abstract: The invention seeks to provide a dirigible balloon with an internal enclosure (V2) having a flexible wall (4) contained in an outer rigid enclosure (15) which is of aerodynamic shape. The internal enclosure (V2) contains helium and is provided with means (5, 6, 7, 8) enabling its volume to be modified. Thus, depending on the volume given to the internal enclosure (V2) of the dirigible balloon, landing, take-off, and altitude variation are easy to perform. The means for modifying the volume of the internal enclosure (V2) comprise a cable (8) connected to the internal enclosure (V2) by means of a set of pulleys (5, 6), and a winch (7) for reducing the length of the cable (8).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: Aerospace Adour Technology
    Inventor: Marc Senepart
  • Patent number: 6796526
    Abstract: Apparatus for providing actuation power to an aircraft flight control surface. The apparatus includes a first actuator and a second actuator, where the second actuator has a bypass mode and an assist mode. The mode of the second actuator is determined by a load on the first actuator. When the second actuator is in the bypass mode, the first actuator provides the actuation power for the aircraft flight control surface. But, when the second actuator is in the assist mode, both the first and second actuators provide the actuation power for the aircraft flight control surface. Accordingly, the apparatus allows the flight control surface to be operated in a more efficient manner with less hydraulic flow being required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Wilfred Earl Boehringer
  • Patent number: 6793171
    Abstract: A method for flying an aircraft includes flying the aircraft at a first approximately level position and changing the flight of the aircraft from the first approximately level position to a climbing position. The method includes changing the flight of the aircraft from the climbing position to a second approximately level position to achieve a weightless state during the change to the second approximately level position and rolling the aircraft during the weightless state using one or more rolling control surfaces of the aircraft to establish a bank for a turn without creating adverse yaw. The aircraft does not include a deflectable spoiler, fin or rudder to counter adverse yaw. The rolling control surfaces of the aircraft may comprise elevons of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Corporation
    Inventor: Walter D. Clark
  • Patent number: 6793177
    Abstract: A vehicle traveling through an environmental media such as air experiences drag. The drag is actively modulated by energy beams which may either increase or decrease the drag. The energy beams may provide either a chemical, acoustic or electromagnetic energy at a transition region between turbulent and laminar flows or at the leading edge of a laminar flow or in the direction of a crosswind in order to facilitate the respective increase or decrease in drag. If the vehicle is a sailing ship, areas of the sails are selectively roughened or widened to enhance the thrust derived from the wind. Furthermore, the keel or hull of the sailing ship may be modified to improve the hydrodynamic characteristics of the sailing ship. If the vehicle is an automobile, the tires or road surface may be selectively heated to improve the traction of the automobile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: The Bonutti 2003 Trust-A
    Inventor: Peter M. Bonutti
  • Patent number: 6783096
    Abstract: A disclosed vertical lift flying craft includes a lift unit that, during operation, develops a force including an upward component. A payload unit suspends from the lift unit. The payload unit suspends from the lift unit in such a way as to impart lateral stability while remaining capable of horizontal flight, without incurring the adverse effects of a downward pitching moment. In addition to a lift unit and a payload unit, the vertical lift flying craft includes a pair of bearings and a suspension structure, which cooperate to suspend the payload unit from the lift unit. Other systems and methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2004
    Inventor: G. Douglas Baldwin
  • Patent number: 6772977
    Abstract: Transport aircraft, such as a transonic transport aircraft, having fuselages with multipurpose lower decks. In one embodiment, the fuselage is an “area-ruled” fuselage having a first fuselage portion, a second fuselage portion positioned aft of the first fuselage portion and at least proximate to a wing, and a third fuselage portion positioned aft of the second fuselage portion. The first fuselage portion can have a first dimension, the second fuselage portion can have a second dimension less than the first dimension, and the third fuselage portion can have a third dimension greater than the second dimension. The fuselage can further include an upper deck extending at least within the first and second fuselage portions, and a lower deck extending within the first fuselage portion. The upper deck can include a first passenger portion and the lower deck can include a second passenger portion, a cargo portion, or a second passenger portion and a cargo portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Paul W. Dees, Mithra M.K.V. Sankrithi
  • Patent number: 6772979
    Abstract: Method and device for reducing the vibratory motions of the fuselage of an aircraft. According to the invention, accelerometers (9, 10) are mounted on engines (M1, M4) of the aircraft (1) and, with the aid of the accelerometric measurements thus obtained and of the aeroelastic model of said aircraft, control commands (dZ, dY) to be applied to the ailerons (M1 to M4) so as to counteract the oscillations of said engines are determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventors: Fran├žois Kubica, Christophe Le Garrec
  • Patent number: 6769646
    Abstract: An aircraft includes a cover wall without a door so that passengers cannot go back and forth between a flight deck and a cabin. A device for indicating urgent closing is provided in one of the flight deck and cabin, and a closing control part which closes information machines and equipment so that information regarding activity of the passengers in the cabin does not transmit to the flight deck when the urgent closing indication means indicates an urgent closing state. A device for communicating outside of the aircraft is provided at the cabin, allowing communication with the outside, so that suicidal-explosion terrorism can be prevented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2004
    Assignee: Katsunuma Rikuso Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Masaru Komiyama
  • Patent number: 6769644
    Abstract: A tail boom saddle for use with a helicopter. The helicopter has a fuselage, a main rotor assembly extending out from a forward section of the fuselage, and a plurality of main rotor blades operatively coupled to the main rotor assembly. A tail boom section of the fuselage includes a first frame member, a second frame member longitudinally spaced from the first frame member, a plurality of longerons extending between and intersecting with the first and second frame members, and a tail boom outer skin surrounding the frame members and longerons. The main rotor blades, are movable to a stowed position in which the main rotor blades extend generally rearwardly of the main rotor assembly. The tail boom saddle comprises upper and lower saddle portions adapted to exert clamping forces against the tail boom outer skin. The tail boom saddle is adapted and configured to at least assist in maintaining the main rotor blades in the stowed position. The upper saddle portion includes first and second support beams.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Neal W. Muylaert, Kenneth R. MacGregor, Jr., Kevin L. Venisnik
  • Patent number: 6766981
    Abstract: Disposed on each wing of an aircraft adjacent the wing tip is at least one deflector mechanism for twisting the wings as part of a control system for alleviating a gust load on the wing. The wing twisting is performed in conjunction with a vertical motion sensor, a sensor signal processor, and a deflector controller. The vertical motion sensor measures the vertical motion of the wing tip in response to the gust load on the wing and generates a sensor output signal. A sensor signal processor generates a deflector control signal in response to the sensor output signal. The deflector control signal represents the duration and degree of the deflector mechanism movement effective to counteract an increase in bending moment on the wing due to a gust load on the wing. A deflector controller regulates the deflector mechanism movement in response to the deflector control signal such that the deflector mechanism is alternately deployed and retracted into and out of the airstream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2004
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Corporation
    Inventor: John A. Volk
  • Patent number: 6766986
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controlling passenger flow on an aircraft. The aircraft can include a fuselage having a passenger doorway, a door moveable relative to the doorway between an open position and a closed position, and an entry region positioned within the fuselage adjacent to the passageway doorway. The entry region can have a width configured to accommodate at least two people walking abreast. A plurality of seats are positioned within the fuselage and arranged along a first aisle having a first aisle axis and a second aisle having a second aisle axis, with the second aisle axis spaced apart transversely from the first aisle axis and with each aisle being accessible from the entry region. A restriction can be positioned in the entry region at least proximate to the passenger doorway, with the restriction dividing the entry region into a first portion accessible to the first aisle and a second portion accessible to the second aisle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Kazuhide Konya
  • Patent number: 6764045
    Abstract: An aircraft engine thrust reverser includes a bi-fold door having a first panel pivotally attached to a nacelle and a second panel hingedly connected to the first panel. The second panel is slidingly received within a pair of tracks disposed within the nacelle. A compression link provides mechanical communication between the second panel and an efflux control assembly such that the bi-fold door is hingedly openable when slidingly urged along the tracks when the compression link responds to the efflux control assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Joe E. Sternberger
  • Patent number: 6761335
    Abstract: A coupling apparatus and method of attaching a booster rocket motor to a core rocket vehicle and transferring thrust load therebetween. The coupling apparatus includes a load transfer structure configured for substantial point load attachment to the core rocket vehicle and at least one load acceptance structure for load-distributing attachment to the booster rocket motor. A variable cross section structural member couples the at least one load acceptance structure and the load transfer structure and may include a varied transverse cross section I-beam. The cross section of the I-beam may be varied according to height, width or thickness of one or more of its members as it extends between the load acceptance and load transfer structures. One or more of such apparatus may be used to couple a single booster rocket motor to a core rocket vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2004
    Assignee: Alliant Techsystems Inc.
    Inventors: Jerry B. Goodro, Thomas W. Higgs
  • Patent number: 6758439
    Abstract: Aircraft engine nacelles and methods for structurally attaching them to aircraft structures, such as aircraft wings. In one embodiment, an aircraft engine nacelle is attached to a wing between a trailing edge region of the wing and an aft deck region of the wing. In one aspect of this embodiment, the engine nacelle includes a forward portion having first and second structural attach points offset from each other in a first direction at least generally perpendicular to a central axis of the engine nacelle. The first and second structural attach points can be configured to fixedly attach the engine nacelle to the wing at least proximate to the trailing edge region. In another aspect of this embodiment, the engine nacelle includes a side portion having at least a third structural attach point offset from the first and second structural attach points in a second direction at least generally parallel to the central axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Kenneth M. Harrison, Donald T. Powell, James R. Schnelz, Brett D. Whitmer
  • Patent number: 6755375
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for controlling aircraft devices with multiple actuators. An apparatus in accordance with one embodiment of the invention includes a first actuator coupled to a first power system having a first probability of failure, the first actuator being coupleable to at least one moveable component of an aircraft system. The apparatus can further include a second actuator coupled to a second power system having a second probability of failure less than the first. The second actuator can be operatively coupled to the first actuator and can be coupleable to the at least one moveable component, for example, to operate simultaneously with the first actuator. A second force applied by the second actuator can be less than a first force applied by the first actuator. Accordingly, the second power source can be reduced in size by virtue of the reduced probability of failure for the first power system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Arun K. Trikha
  • Patent number: 6749154
    Abstract: An aircraft advertising system comprises an aircraft. The aircraft is generally very long with respect to its width and height. A support beam is provided. The support beam has a coupling end and a free end. The coupling end has a pivot pin. In this manner the collapse of the beam is allowed for take off and landing of the aircraft. Also provided is a sign of a durable fabric material. The sign is adapted to display indicia. The sign has a top edge, a bottom edge, a front edge, a rear edge and a pair of faces on either side. The top edge is coupled to the bottom portion of the body of the aircraft. The front edge is coupled to the support beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Inventor: Don Scott Johnson
  • Patent number: 6745982
    Abstract: A rate of change in pressure identifies a rapid decompression event in an aircraft, and automatically unlatches a door to allow rapid equalization of pressure throughout the aircraft, allowing for use of doors with greater structural integrity then in current use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Assignee: Northwest Aerospace Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael G. Lehmann