Patents Examined by Galen L. Barefoot
  • Patent number: 6666405
    Abstract: An adjustable weight ballast for lighter-than-air balloon with a predetermined lift is disclosed, comprising at least two individual weights. There is a first means on each individual weight for selectively attaching two or more weights to each other to form a composite weight having a total weight at least equal to the predetermined lift of the balloon, and a second means for tethering the lighter-than-air balloon to this composite weight, in which manner a ballast for a balloon can have its weight incrementally adjusted to an amount just greater than the balloon's predetermined lift to thus securely tether the balloon to a surface on which the composite weight is supported without significantly exceeding the lift of the balloon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2003
    Inventor: Michael S. Isaacs
  • Patent number: 6663047
    Abstract: There is provided an aircraft which can minimize its radar signature emission. Such aircraft comprises a fuselage having a lower fuselage portion. An internal fuselage cavity is defined within the lower fuselage portion and contains all landing gears and bombs therein. Moreover, a cavity-enclosing door is engaged to the lower fuselage portion. This specific cavity-enclosing door may form a closed position relative to the internal fuselage cavity to enclose all of the landing gears and bombs therein. In this respect, enclosure of all of the landing gears and bombs solely through the cavity-enclosing door may minimize the radar signature emission from the fuselage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman
    Inventor: Allen A. Arata
  • Patent number: 6659392
    Abstract: A standardized control panel for aircraft provides manually operable controls that are configured to activate an aircraft function if the requested aircraft function is installed on the aircraft or, are otherwise configured to activate a visual indicator if the requested aircraft function is absent from the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Mark L. Goldberg, Ken L. Snodgrass
  • Patent number: 6659399
    Abstract: An aircraft control surface actuator assembly 12 is provided, including a flight control surface 14. A mechanical drive mechanism 18 is in communication with the flight control surface 14. An actuator rod assembly 24 is mounted to the mechanical drive mechanism 18 and includes a first segment 26 having a first segment outer diameter 34 with a plurality of first segment outer threads 36. A second segment 38 has a split sleeve passage 50, a second segment inner diameter 40 with plurality of second segment inner threads 42, and a second segment outer diameter 44 a plurality of second segment outer threads 46. The second segment inner threads 42 engage the first segment outer threads 36. A third segment 52 includes a third segment split sleeve passage 60 as well as a plurality of third segment inner threads 58 engaging the second segment outer threads 46. Rotation of the second segment 38 causes the first segment 26 and third segment 52 to move in opposing lateral directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Joseph P. Bagnoli, Neal V. Huynh, Gordon Tylosky
  • Patent number: 6659404
    Abstract: An inflation system for inflating an inflatable evacuation slide includes an enclosure containing an uninflated, stored evacuation slide. The enclosure is sealed by means of a tightly fitting enclosure door that optionally includes a seal for excluding dirt and moisture. The system also includes a source of pressurized gas comprising a conventional pyrotechnic gas generator, stored pressurized gas, or hybrid inflator. The inflation system includes an overpressure relief vent, which vents inflation gas outside of the inflatable member in the event of an overpressure condition in the gas source. The overpressure relief vent includes a directional vent connected to a conduit. The conduit passes from the overpressure relief vent to an opening in the aircraft fuselage, which allows any vented gas to be safely directed away from the inflation system enclosure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Assignee: Goodrich Corporation
    Inventor: Lowell W. Roemke
  • Patent number: 6659397
    Abstract: An ornithopter with two set of opposed wings maintains powered flight by flapping each set of wings. To dampen vibration, each set of wings move 180 degrees out of phase. To further dampen vibration, the empennage and cockpit are articulated to move vertically in response to the movement of the wings. Changes of flight direction result from wing warping and changing the center of gravity of the ornithopter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Inventor: Richard Charron
  • Patent number: 6655633
    Abstract: Integrally stiffened and formed, load carrying structures comprising a plurality of elongated thin-walled tubes placed co-extensively in a complementary side-by-side fashion which together form a hollow structure having a desired external contour. Integral skins forming the external and internal surfaces of the structure cooperatively therewith. The structure can be formed with an underlying internal support member spanning the interior of the load carrying structure, thereby connecting opposite sides of the structure together. Also, each of the tubes are wound with fibers in controlled orientations generally paralleling the direction of the loads applied to the tubes to optimize the strength to weight ratio of the tubes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Inventor: W. Cullen Chapman, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6655636
    Abstract: A system is provided for slowing the speed of a product released into the air from an aircraft. A flexible material wrapped about a product includes a tethered portion thereof that is collapsible against the product prior to release thereof from the aircraft. The tethered portion expands to form an air drag device after the product is released from the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Elan Moritz, Helmut Portmann
  • Patent number: 6655634
    Abstract: An airplane door is swivellably disposed on a supporting arm, the supporting arm being swivellably disposed on an opening frame of a fuselage, and including a driving device for lifting and lowering the door and another driving device for swivelling the door and the supporting arm. During the movement of the lifting or lowering of the door, the transmission line of the driving device for the swivelling is uncoupled so that it is not unnecessarily mechanically stressed and a jamming of the transmission line therefore basically does not occur.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Assignee: Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH
    Inventors: Hannes Erben, Alexander Engleder
  • Patent number: 6655631
    Abstract: A vertical take-off and landing aircraft having a wing fitted, in the preferred embodiment, with two nacelles one port and one starboard, each nacelle having two tiltmotors in tandem, one forward and one aft of the wing. A conventional rudder and high set tailplane is fitted or, in another embodiment forward canards or in yet another embodiment the aircraft is a flying wing. Forward tiltmotors can be tilted up past the vertical and the aft pusher tiltmotors can be tilted down past the vertical so that the aircraft can maintain a steep descent with the propeller discs horizontal and a low angle of attack of the wing. Each engine is fitted with a two bladed variable pitch propeller that feathers to stop vertically, other embodiments have cyclic pitch propellers. The tiltmotors, have a sideways cant in the tilted positions to reduce engine side loads in translation. All the tiltmotors are equipped with emergency electric motors that can be used to shift the center of lift in hover and assist in gust control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Inventor: John Frederick Austen-Brown
  • Patent number: 6651932
    Abstract: The invention relates to a decompression unit for equalizing an explosive air pressure between pressurized areas of an aircraft, which have different air pressure conditions and are separated by a wall structure. An air chamber, whose shape alters by contraction (1), is located inside an exterior zone of the cabin (6) and is subjected to an ambient air pressure (p1), said chamber constituting the decompression unit in concrete terms. The wall of the air chamber (1) is perforated. The air chamber is mounted in the vicinity of the periphery of an air pressure equalization flap (2), which is fixed inside an air equalization cavity (9). Said air chamber is connected to a locking device (4), which likewise fixes the air pressure equalization flap in the air equalization cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2003
    Assignee: Aircabin GmbH
    Inventors: Robert Diehl, Joachim Barsch, Gordon Falk
  • Patent number: 6651930
    Abstract: Control system for a control surface (100) of an aircraft comprising at least one actuator (102, 104) of the control surface, connected to a hydraulic circuit and equipped with at least two power jacks (110) capable of operating in at least one activated mode and one deactivated mode. According to the invention, the system also comprises a control unit (114) capable of making a number of jacks operate in activated mode depending on the aircraft flight conditions. Application to aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2003
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Matra
    Inventors: Jean-Pierre Gautier, Cécile Peransin-Delage
  • Patent number: 6651929
    Abstract: A passive cooling system for an auxiliary power unit (APU) installation on an aircraft is provided. The system is for an auxiliary power unit having at least a compressor portion of a gas turbine engine and an oil cooler contained separately within a nacelle. The system includes the auxiliary power unit housed within the nacelle of the aircraft, an engine exhaust opening defined in the aft portion of the nacelle and communicating with the gas turbine engine, at least a first air inlet duct communicating with a second opening defined in said nacelle and with said compressor portion and the oil cooler is located within a second duct communicating with an opening other than the engine exhaust opening of said nacelle and with the engine exhaust opening. Exterior cooling air and engine exhaust ejected through said engine exhaust opening entrain cooling air through said second duct to said oil cooler, and thus provide engine oil cooling. An exhaust eductor is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2003
    Assignee: Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.
    Inventor: Luc Dionne
  • Patent number: 6648269
    Abstract: The flight control system includes a trim augmentation algorithm which advantageously provides two primary functions: direct augmentation of the rotor trim via on-axis stick input; and automatic cross-axis trim transfer as a function of the commanded yaw rate. In a first function of the present invention, when the aircraft is lagging the pilots commanded maneuver state the stick command is multiplied by a gain to direct the actual vehicle response toward said pilot commanded rate signal and improve the model following control laws. In a second function of the present invention, a cross-axis trim transfer function of the trim augmentation algorithm uses the commanded yaw rate to anticipate the trim change when the aircraft is rotating in winds. When a yaw maneuver is performed, the cross-axis trim transfer function automatically “stirs” the cyclic as the aircraft rotates about the yaw axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2003
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: Phillip Jeremy Gold, James B. Dryfoos, Roy Brewer
  • Patent number: 6644600
    Abstract: A system and method for providing variable motion-resisting loads for a side stick controller on an aircraft where the primary resistive load is provided by a mechanical spring mechanism which is augmented or supplemented by an electric servo motor and electric servo motor linkage system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2003
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas C. Olson, E. Bernard Hayes, M. Scott Ervin
  • Patent number: 6637699
    Abstract: An apparatus for controlling a trajectory of a projectile includes a planetary drive train, a yaw drive assembly engaged with the planetary drive train, and a pitch drive assembly engaged with the planetary drive train. The apparatus further includes a plurality of fin assemblies linked with the planetary drive train such that, as the planetary drive train is actuated by at least one of the yaw drive assembly and the pitch drive assembly, corresponding displacements are produced in the plurality of fin assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Johnny E. Banks, Brian C. Baker
  • Patent number: 6634599
    Abstract: An airborne store suspension and release arrangement includes two slender “Tee” hangers located one on either side of a vertical plane through the center of the store. Each hanger has a narrow strut portion mounted on the store by one end and an enlarged cross section portion at the other end of the narrow strut portion. The enlarged cross section portion of each hanger is clamped by releasable clamps mounted in a store carrying aircraft. The store and the aircraft are formed with surfaces which abut one another when the store is suspended from the aircraft and the enlarged cross section portions of the hangers are clamped by the clamps. The arrangement of the hangers, the clamps and the abutting surfaces establishes a couple in reaction to a rolling moment to which the store is subjected during maneuvering of the aircraft. Only one such a slender ‘Tee’ hanger is aligned with the geometrical center of the store in an alternative embodiment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Assignee: Flight Refuelling Limited
    Inventor: Dennis Griffin
  • Patent number: 6634597
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controlling aircraft airflow. An apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the invention can include an air scoop having an inlet and an outlet and configured to mount to the aircraft and be movable relative to at least a portion of the aircraft between a first position and a second position. The air scoop can be oriented to capture air when in the second position. The outlet can be configured to be coupled in fluid communication with a pressurized portion of the aircraft when the air scoop is in the second position to convey air from the inlet to the pressurized portion. The air scoop can be configured to significantly increase the drag of the aircraft from a first value when the air scoop is in the first position to a second value when the air scoop is in the second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Richard N. Johnson, Paul E. Nelson
  • Patent number: 6634595
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for controlling aircraft inlet air flow. The apparatus can include an external flow surface having a forward portion, and an engine inlet positioned at least proximate to the external flow surface and aft of the forward portion. The engine inlet can have an aperture and can be coupled with an engine inlet duct to an engine location. An auxiliary flow duct can be positioned at least proximate to the external flow surface and can include a first opening and a second opening spaced apart from the first opening. The first opening can be positioned to receive flow from the external flow surface during at least a first portion of an operating schedule of the propulsion system. The auxiliary flow duct can be configured to direct air to the engine location during at least a second portion of the operating schedule of the propulsion system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Joseph L. Koncsek, Steven L. McMahon, Myron L. Bultman, Michael L. Sangwin
  • Patent number: 6634600
    Abstract: A constellation of satellites comprising at least two satellites in the same orbit is used to measure atmospheric wind speeds by means of a spatial wind lidar; each satellite carries a Doppler lidar, with a fixed sight axis. The orbit is a polar or quasi-polar orbit, with an orbital altitude from 350 to 500 km. The sight angles and the distribution of the satellites in the orbit are chosen so that the tracks on the surface of the Earth of the sight axes of the satellites of the constellation are substantially coincident over half of the surface of the Earth and regularly distributed over the other half of the surface of the Earth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Assignee: Alcatel
    Inventors: Rodolphe Krawczyk, Jean-François Plantier