Patents Examined by Galen L. Barefoot
  • Patent number: 6742745
    Abstract: This invention solves problems associated with prior-art soft-dock mechanisms by placing all active components of a soft-dock system on the chaser side of the mechanism, leaving the target side of the mechanism completely passive (i.e., requiring no power expenditure or self-actuated moving parts to operate). In particular, the active components are supported on the end of a flexible cable attached to the probe, or chaser, side of the device. These components act as a sort of spring-loaded “trap.” Once the end of the probe passes into a receptacle on the target side, the mechanism is triggered, engaging it in such a way that it can no longer be pulled out of the receptacle until it is reset.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: Michigan Aerospace Corporation
    Inventors: Pete Tchoryk, Jane Pavlich, Greg Ritter, Anthony B. Hays
  • Patent number: 6742742
    Abstract: Device and process for regulating the power of the engines of a rotary wing multi-engine aircraft. The regulating device (1) comprises, in addition to main regulating systems (2, 6) associated with the engines (M1, M2) of the aircraft, auxiliary regulating systems (12, 13) associated with said engines (M1, M2) and means (10, 11) for determining the speeds of rotation of the engines (M1, M2). Each auxiliary regulating system (12, 13) is capable of automatically adjusting the flow rate of fuel in such a way as to slave the speed of rotation of the associated engine, when its main regulating system has failed, to the speed of rotation of the other engine of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventor: Vincent Claudet
  • Patent number: 6736352
    Abstract: Aircraft windows and associated methods for installation. The windows can be installed in a passenger cabin of an aircraft and can include a frame that supports a pane assembly having a viewing area of at least 180 square inches. The viewing area can have a triangular shape, with the sides of the window aligned with none of the major axis of the aircraft. Alternatively, the window can have a longitudinally extended rectangular shape, a diamond shape or an elliptical shape. The window frame can have a divider portion that separates two window apertures, each of which carries a separate pane assembly. Adjacent windows can be closed out with a common bezel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Ralph Bladt, Joseph P. Condon, Richard Fraker, Domenic S. Giuntoli, Paul Mikulencak, William Quan, Michael A. Ritts, Ryon Christopher Warren
  • Patent number: 6732972
    Abstract: Method and apparatuse embodiments of the present invention are diclosed wherein wing-rotor configurations provide aerodynamically high lift-low drag capabilities and improvements over the prior art including increasing effective stall angles. In addition, wing-rotor-propeller configurations provide aerodynamically high lift-low drag and forward thrust capabilities and improvements over the prior art for all vehicles moving through gaseous fluids and particular including application for air vehicles and watercraft. Also, wing leading edge air blowing systems augment the example configurations for enhanced performance including substantially vertical take-off and landing of air vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Inventor: Frank S. Malvestuto, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6732977
    Abstract: A method for correcting spacecraft pointing errors. An orbit frequency distortion angle between a rate sensor and at least one attitude sensor is estimated. An estimated attitude of the spacecraft is adjusted to correct for the distortion angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Neil E. Goodzeit, Harald J. Weigl
  • Patent number: 6729575
    Abstract: The invention is a propulsion system for a V/STOL aircraft. In detail, the invention includes a turbo-fan engine having a fan section with a variable pitch fan, a compressor section, a combustion section, a turbine section, said turbine section having a low-pressure turbine portion coupled to and driving the fan section and a high-pressure turbine portion coupled to and driving the compressor section. The engine further having a selectable operating point wherein a portion of the power generatable by the low-pressure turbine at a selected operating power setting is extracted to drive the fan section. A turbine outlet duct is included for directing the turbine section exhaust gases. A first angular shaped nozzle section is co-incident with the turbine outlet duct for directing exhaust from the fan section. A second nozzle section mounted to the first angular shaped nozzle section between the fan section and the compressor section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: Paul Bevilaqua
  • Patent number: 6726147
    Abstract: The improved multi-function actuator (20) broadly includes; a first mechanism (21) capable of bi-directional displacement; a motor (22) operatively arranged to selectively displace the first mechanism through a first displacement range; a second mechanism (24) capable of uni-directional displacement from a first position to a second position; a spring (25) operatively arranged to urge the second mechanism to move from the first position to the second position; a release mechanism (26) operatively arranged to release the spring when the first mechanism is moved beyond the first displacement range; a third mechanism (27) capable of bi-directional displacement; and a clutch (28) operated by the release of the spring to selectively disconnect the motor from the first mechanism and to selectively connect the motor to the third mechanism; whereby the motor may be operated to selectively control either the first mechanism or the third mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Assignee: Moog Inc.
    Inventors: Richard J. Perini, James K. Riedel, Michael D. Wantuck
  • Patent number: 6726148
    Abstract: A method of shipping a disassembled miniature, unmanned aircraft capable of handling data, the aircraft having remote guidance, an onboard microprocessor for managing flight, wing area of at least eight hundred square inches, a wingspan of at least eight feet, and weighing under fifty-five pounds. The aircraft includes a data handling module. The aircraft is disassembled into separate components including at a minimum the wing, the fuselage, and the data handling module. The fuselage and possibly other lesser components are packed in a first shipping container. The wing is packed in a second shipping container. The data handling module is packed in a third shipping container. The first and second containers are shipped by overnight courier, while the third container is either shipped the same way or alternatively travels as unchecked luggage aboard a commercial airliner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Inventor: Ernest A. Carroll
  • Patent number: 6722610
    Abstract: A method, system, and computer program product for controlling a plurality of maneuverable wheels on a vehicle is provided. The method, system, and computer program product control a plurality of maneuverable wheels by providing a steering radius selection and a crab angle selection, generally through a steering control interface and a crab control interface. Also, the method, system, and computer program product control a plurality of maneuverable wheels on an aircraft in order to compensate for crosswind when landing the aircraft. This is generally accomplished via input from wind sensors and a navigation system. Additionally, the method, system, and computer program product controls a plurality of maneuverable wheels on an aircraft for compensating for a crosswind during takeoff of an aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Blaine K. Rawdon, Zachary C. Hoisington
  • Patent number: 6722612
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controlling passenger flow into and out of an aircraft. The apparatus can include a walkway elongated along a longitudinal axis and having a first portion and a second portion with the first portion configured to be positioned adjacent to an aircraft doorway. The walkway can have a width generally transverse to the longitudinal axis sized to accommodate at least two people walking abreast. A restriction can be coupled to the walkway and can extend along the longitudinal axis to divide the walkway into a first aisle and a second aisle with each aisle being elongated along the longitudinal axis and with the restriction at least restricting movement by people from the first aisle to the second aisle. The restriction can be moveable relative to the walkway between a stowed position and a deployed position and can include elements such as upright members, transverse handrails, and/or flexible planar sheets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Kazuhide Konya
  • Patent number: 6715717
    Abstract: A method and apparatus of creating vortices via vortex controllers, wherein the vortices are capable of entraining high-energy surrounding flow to induce a series of powerful longitudinal vortices that reattach separated flow by merging into single vortices along the undersurface of the afterbody to reenergize the fuselage boundary layer, thus preventing undersurface flow separation and reducing overall afterbody drag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2004
    Inventors: Charles J. Dixon, Arthur C. Hughes
  • Patent number: 6715716
    Abstract: An aircraft seat assembly 10 is provided including a plurality of aircraft seat elements 12. The aircraft seat assembly 10 includes a first aircraft seat element 18, having a first seat portion 16 and a first back portion 18. The first back portion 18 includes a lower back portion 22 and an upper back portion 24. The lower back portion 22 is rotatable between a raised position 26, wherein the lower back portion 22 is tangential with the upper back portion 24 to form a contiguous back rest 29, and a lowered position 28, wherein the lower back portion 22 is tangential with the first seat portion 16 to form an extended horizontal sleeping platform 32.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Kwun-Wing W. Cheung
  • Patent number: 6715713
    Abstract: An exchanger (10) intended for cooling air admitted into an air conditioning circuit of an aircraft is housed inside the rigid caisson of the strut by which a turboreactor is suspended from the wing unit. The exchanger comprises superposed hollow plates (12) forming air guides for the relatively cold air drawn off in the fan duct of the turboreactor. More precisely, this air is drawn off at the front, alternatively on both sides of the exchanger, via each of the plates (12). It is released behind and on the opposite side. The warm air intended for the air conditioning circuit circulates from front to back between the plates (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2004
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventor: Hervé Marche
  • Patent number: 6712315
    Abstract: A metallic structural component for an aircraft includes stiffening profile members integrally formed or connected onto a skin sheet. Each stiffening profile member includes a first part integrally connected to the skin sheet, and a second part non-integrally connected to the first part so as to form an internal boundary surface within the multi-part stiffening profile member. If a crack forms in the skin sheet and propagates into the first part of the stiffening profile member, the internal boundary surface resists the further propagation of the crack past this boundary surface. The crack propagation resistance is improved, the remaining strength of the structural component after formation of a crack is increased, and the overall structural component is light in weight. The outer contour of the stiffening profile member is not affected by the provision of the separate first and second parts or the internal boundary surface therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2004
    Assignee: Airbus Deutschland GmbH
    Inventors: Hans-Juergen Schmidt, Herwig Assler
  • Patent number: 6708922
    Abstract: A modular unit 129 for forming an airship 100 includes an elongate spine 106 intended to extend along a longitudinal axis of the airship 100. The spine 106 includes a number of interconnecting elements 108 each of which has connection means 182 for being joined in end to end relationship with an interconnecting element 108 of an adjacent modular unit 129. Buoyant support means in the form of gas bags 105 are fixed relative to the spine and are positioned within annular spaces 132 and 134. The invention also extends to an airship 100 which may be formed from a number of modular units 129 connected end to end and with a central spine 106 extending between outer extremities 116 and 118. A gondola 101 is located within a lower half of annular space 102 such that an outwardly facing surface is flush with an outer surface of the airship 100.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2004
    Assignee: Cherokee Ltd.
    Inventor: Jonathan Hamilton
  • Patent number: 6708929
    Abstract: This light aircraft crash avoidance system performs what previous such systems perform, but with much less system weight, much less cost and much less expenditure of electrical energy. In this system, air enters openings or windows in front of concentric tubing and leaves through openings facing vertically downward, thus giving lift to an aircraft's wing, where needed. Unlike other designs, this one requires no high-pressure air tanks to provide high pressure, high-velocity air to air valves. The valves depend upon the forward motion of the aircraft to provide high velocity air and lift. Two different prime movers are suggested for rotating the outer tubing for opening or closing the air valve, one being a d.c. motor and the other a rotary solenoid, as the simpler one to implement. The proposed design is for making any needed corrections to the aircraft's roll angle and for providing buoyancy to the entire aircraft when making a landing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2004
    Inventor: Edwin Zenith Gabriel
  • Patent number: 6708926
    Abstract: The present invention relates to self contained, modular integrated deployment and retrieval system for use with an aircraft such as a helicopter. The deployment and retrieval system comprises a support frame, a winch connected to the support frame, a tow cable wound around the winch, which tow cable is connected to the external load, and a support structure connected to the support frame. The support structure is axially movable relative to the support frame for moving the external load so as to control the center of gravity of the aircraft and so as to deploy and retrieve the external load.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2004
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventor: Frank H. Bonisch
  • Patent number: 6705573
    Abstract: A pod (34) containing sensors and/or targeting systems such as laser designators or range finders are hung on a cable (30) below an aircraft (12). The line (30) can be reeled in or out similar to towed decoys. This allows the aircraft (12) to operate above or in the cloud cover while the sensors/targeting equipment (34) are operating below the cloud cover to find the enemy forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2004
    Assignee: Advanced Aerospace Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: William R. McDonnell
  • Patent number: 6702230
    Abstract: A ballistic resistant flight deck door assembly for an aircraft is disclosed that also enables pressure equalization within the aircraft in the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure within the flight deck or cabin. The door assembly includes a door having a plurality of spaced apart panels of ballistic material and a honeycomb support panel. A ventilation area is formed in the door by a plurality of apertures in each of the ballistic panels that are arranged such that no two apertures of the two ballistic panels are perfectly aligned with each other. The blowout panel and ventilation area therefore allows airflow through the door to help equalize pressure within the flight deck in the event of a loss of depressurization of the flight deck without compromising the door's ability to provide ballistic protection for the occupants in the flight deck.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Sami Movsesian, Stephen A. Wiles, Dinanath Gharmalkar, Behrooz Afghani, Jerry D. Smets, Eisen Kaoru Inouye
  • Patent number: 6698685
    Abstract: A circular VTOL aircraft with a central vertically mounted jet or rocket engine 7, (or engines) having below vertical thrust vents 14 at cardinal points, together with a jet/rocket engine 20 (or engines) horizontally mounted on turntable pod 16 which is steerable through 360 degrees and centrally situated below the vertical engine (s). Alternatively the horizontal engine can be replaced by central thrust vent 36 delivering thrust from the vertical engine to vectored thrust nozzle 37 attached to the turntable. Thrust from the four vertical thrust vents is controlled by valves 21 giving VTOL thrust control as well as pitch and bank control. The horizontal engine provides acceleration and retro-thrust for horizontal flight and directional control through 360 degrees. The passenger cabin is situated in the main body of the aircraft. Fuel tanks are installed around the central engines. The flight-deck is situated at the top-centre of the craft above the engines, which are detachable for maintenance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2004
    Inventor: Eric Ronald Walmsley