Patents Examined by Galen L. Barefoot
  • Patent number: 6581870
    Abstract: In a method and apparatus for reducing pressure and temperature on the front of a missile at ultrasonic speed a spike with a spherical, ellipsoidal, or drop-shaped mounted is used on the front end. In contrast to conventional shapes, the sensitive nose of the missile is protected from damaging pressure and temperature, even at high angles of incidence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: LFK Lenkflugkoerpersysteme GmbH
    Inventors: Kay Runne, Julio Srulijes
  • Patent number: 6575401
    Abstract: A vertical-lift and horizontal flight aircraft, which can be operated in a horizontal flight mode, as soon as ground clearance is made. And, because of its unique design is very stable in flight, is very light, has a low drag resistance factor and is versatile in the configurations that can be made from a basic platform. The aircraft is primarily disk shaped with the aircraft body in the center surrounded by a lift assembly housing, an outer body lift surface and a propulsion thrust unit mounted aft of the central body compartment. The lift assembly housing is parallel with the aircraft body and contains an inner drive ring, with attached lift blades, facing inward toward the body compartment and an outer drive ring, with attached lift blades, facing outward toward the outer body lift surface. Electromagnetic motors power each drive ring. The inner and outer lift assemblies are composed of a drive ring; lift blades, a drive ring guide-way and electromagnetic motors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Inventor: Howard J. Carver
  • Patent number: 6576880
    Abstract: A flyer assembly is adapted for launching with, transit in, and deployment from an artillery shell having a central void region extending along a ballistic shell axis. The flyer assembly includes a jettisonable shroud and a flyer. The shroud extends along a shroud axis, and is positionable within the central void region with the shroud axis substantially parallel to the shell axis. The flyer is adapted to withstand a launch acceleration force along a flyer axis when in a first state, and to effect aerodynamic flight when in a second state. When in the first state, the flyer is positionable within the shroud with the flyer axis parallel to the shroud axis and the shell axis. The flyer includes a body member disposed about the flyer axis, and a foldable wing assembly mounted to the body member. The wing assembly is configurable in a folded state characterized by a plurality of nested wing segments when the flyer is in the first state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignee: The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard T. Martorana, Jamie Anderson, Simon Mark Spearing, Seth Kessler, Brent Appleby, Edward Bergmann, Sean George, Steven Jacobson, Donald Fyler, Mark Drela, Gregory Kirkos, William McFarland, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6568626
    Abstract: An Eyepiece-support arm assembly device on an aircraft. The device comprises flanges formed on the eyepiece-support arm and on a support attached to the aircraft, along with a retention belt (32) liable to be set to a locking status, wherein the arm is immobilised in relation to the support, a setting status, wherein the arm can be moved between a position for use and a retracted position, and a disassembly status allowing the assembly and disassembly of the eyepiece-support arm, without modifying the setting. The status is changed by operating levers (44, 46).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Matra Missiles
    Inventor: Bernard Fontaine
  • Patent number: 6568634
    Abstract: A wing-drive mechanism is described that permits, with proper control, movement of a wing about multiple wing trajectories. The wing-drive is capable of independent movement about three rotational degrees of movement; movement about a flap axis is independent of movement about a yaw axis, and both are independent of changes in the pitch of the wing. Methods of controlling the wing-drive mechanism to affect a desired wing trajectory include the use of a non-linear automated controller that generates input signals to the wing-drive mechanism by comparing actual and desired wing trajectories in real time. Specification of wing trajectories is preferably also accomplished in real time using an automated trajectory specification system, which can include a fuzzy logic processor or a neural network. A vehicle that derives controlled motion as a whole from the wing-drive mechanism is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Inventor: Michael J. C. Smith
  • Patent number: 6568630
    Abstract: A VTOL aircraft (or other vehicle such as a sea vehicle) includes a pair of elongated ducts on opposite sides of the vehicle body, and a plurality of powered propellers (or other propulsion units such as jet engines) mounted within and enclosed by each of the elongated ducts, such as to produce an upward lift force to the vehicle. Each of the elongated ducts has a short transverse dimension slightly larger than the diameter of the blades of each propeller enclosed thereby, and a large transverse dimension slightly larger than the sum of the diameters of the blades of all the propellers enclosed thereby.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Urban Aeronautics Ltd.
    Inventor: Rafi Yoeli
  • Patent number: 6565035
    Abstract: A system and method for providing an air curtain for impeding the entry of dust, dirt, debris, smoke, insects and other airborne particulate matter into an interior area of an aircraft without the need for disposing heavy, bulky and high power consuming blower assemblies above the opening in the aircraft. The invention comprises a pair of air intake ducts each having a fan disposed therein. The fans draw an ambient airflow into the air intake ducts. Pressurized air from a power unit associated with the aircraft, such as an engine or auxiliary power unit, is injected into the air intake ducts. This has the effect of significantly accelerating the airflow in the air intake ducts to a velocity suitable for forming an air curtain. The air intake ducts are coupled to a manifold having a length sufficient to substantially span the opening of an aircraft at which the air curtain is formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: John J. Kim, Won Wook Choi, Myles A. Rohrlick
  • Patent number: 6565039
    Abstract: A wing-drive mechanism is described that permits, with proper control, movement of a wing about multiple wing trajectories. The wing-drive is capable of independent movement about three rotational degrees of movement; movement about a flap axis is independent of movement about a yaw axis, and both are independent of changes in the pitch of the wing. Methods of controlling the wing-drive mechanism to affect a desired wing trajectory include the use of a non-linear automated controller that generates input signals to the wing-drive mechanism by comparing actual and desired wing trajectories in real time. Specification of wing trajectories is preferably also accomplished in real time using an automated trajectory specification system, which can include a fuzzy logic processor or a neural network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Inventor: Michael J. C. Smith
  • Patent number: 6554226
    Abstract: The skin of an airplane door conforms in use to a surrounding surface contour of an airplane fuselage. The skin is connected with a door frame which has supports arranged in a longitudinal direction of the fuselage and spaced with respect to one another in a circumferential direction. During flight the skin and door frame are exposed to a pressure load direction. To provide the skin of an airplane door with a clearly smaller dimension for the purpose of a light construction thereby avoid displacements on the skin, the skin and door frame are preformed against an in use pressure load direction. During the flight at cruising altitude, the door has essentially no displacements with respect to the surrounding surface contour of the fuselage, and thus essentially no displacements occur which could increase the flow resistance of the skin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH
    Inventors: Jens Bold, Guenther Klockow
  • Patent number: 6554227
    Abstract: A apparatus with releasably fastened transport units for carrying a useful load, such as persons or freight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Inventor: Dietmar Wolter
  • Patent number: 6548794
    Abstract: A dissolvable jet vane (22/30) is a composite structure, having a support frame (38), a plug leading edge (40) connected to the forward edge (42) of the frame (38), and an insulation layer (44) on the side walls of the support frame (38). The dissolvable jet vane materials withstand the pressure and thermal loads associated with missile steering during the first few seconds of rocket boost until the missile attains sufficient speed to use conventional external aerodynamic control fins for steering control. Once control passes to the external fins, the jet vanes rapidly and uniformly dissolve in the exhaust stream. The dissolvable jet vane provides a lightweight, reliable means of removing steering jet vanes from the exhaust stream of a solid rocket motor nozzle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Andrew B. Facciano, Paul Lehner, Wayne N. Anderson
  • Patent number: 6547184
    Abstract: An aircraft passenger cabin includes modular interior components selected from ceiling panels, wall panels, dado panels, window funnels, light covers, and baggage compartments or hat racks. At least one interior component is a standardized modular building block that can be used uniformly and interchangeably in different cabin configurations and sizes, in different aircraft types having different fuselage cross-sectional sizes and configurations. The interior components are modularly combined so as to be adapted to different passenger cabins in the various aircraft types. The multiplicity of distinct interior components among all aircraft types in the entire product range of an aircraft manufacturer is reduced, so that the piece count of each particular type of component is increased, and the manufacturing, installation, maintenance, replacement and inventorying costs are reduced. The time and cost for a new cabin design are reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Airbus Deutschland GmbH
    Inventor: Jan Nieberle
  • Patent number: 6547183
    Abstract: A moveable closet for storing articles in an aircraft includes a fixed outer housing and a moveable inner housing capable of being displaced from a loading position for articles to be placed within a storage compartment to a stowed position, which allows for additional cabin space during taxiing and flight. The storage compartment defined by the inner housing may be further sub-divided by shelves for storing articles of various sizes and may also be fitted with bars in order to accommodate hanging items. The moveable closet is capable of being accessed from a lengthwise extending aisle and therefore may be located directly adjacent a fixed structure on an aircraft such as a lavatory, galley, fixed closet, or the like. Once the storage compartment defined by the inner housing is loaded with articles, it is displaced into the outer housing to provide additional cabin space for passenger leg room or seating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Jeffrey D. Farnsworth
  • Patent number: 6547182
    Abstract: A solid rocket motor used as a booster rocket for a launch vehicle is provided with a mounting structure that permits attachment of the rocket motor to the vehicle in a manner that accommodates the expansion that the rocket undergoes during firing without risking disengagement of the rocket due to the shear forces caused by the expansion. The mounting structure includes a raised hub to which the thrust pin is attached, a series of aft-directed struts and a pair of transverse struts, all terminating in separate plates for bolting to the rocket motor case.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Aerojet-General Corporation
    Inventors: Jeffrey D. Gladstone, John Mouritsen
  • Patent number: 6543724
    Abstract: The invention is a micro-satellite assembly. In detail, the invention includes first and second flat structural members containing the satellite payload. First and second tubular elements connect first and second structural members such that they are in a spaced relationship. A plurality of solar panels are movably to the tubular elements between the first and second structural elements, movable from a stored position between the structural elements to an deployed position external of these structural members. A mechanism is provided for biasing the plurality of the solar panels to the deployed position. A second mechanism is used to releasably secure the plurality of solar panels in the stored position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: David M. Barnett
  • Patent number: 6543726
    Abstract: Contra-rotating members are used for straightening a fluid flow. The members may take the form of propellers, fans or impellers. The contra-rotation eliminates tangential flow components, and most importantly, eliminates cylindrical vortices. The present invention finds specific use in applications in which toroidal vortices are employed and/or generated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Vortex Holding Company
    Inventor: Lewis Illingworth
  • Patent number: 6543721
    Abstract: A stressed-skin component is made of metal including a skinplate and integrated stiffening profiles, which skin component apart from the required rigidity also provides adequate crack advance behaviour and retained strength behaviour. The stiffening profiles in the base area comprise a thicker region of a profile base thickness; the thicker region having a reduced connection thickness at the connection with the skinplate. The profile base thickness is at least twice the connection thickness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: EADS Deutschland GmbH
    Inventor: Frank Palm
  • Patent number: 6543719
    Abstract: A porous surface on an aircraft structure driven with oscillating positive and negative pressures is used as an active control device for attenuating negative aerodynamic interactions. The porous surfaces can be driven with positive and negative pressures either continuously or when predetermined flight conditions are present. The porous surfaces can be used on rotor blades to reduce BVI noise in descent flight conditions. The porous surfaces can be configured on rotor blades for affecting blade variable twist in accordance with various flight conditions, and can further be incorporated for reducing rotor hub vibrations as well. Porous surfaces placed on aerodynamic surfaces below the rotor blades of a tiltrotor aircraft can attenuate or eliminate download and fountain flow conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co.
    Inventors: Ahmed A. Hassan, Friedrich K. Straub, David B. Domzalski
  • Patent number: 6536713
    Abstract: A method of controlling the attitude of a vehicle in space relative to three reference axes, the method consisting: initially in adjusting the attitude of the vehicle in conventional manner to desired angles on the basis of a two-axis detector which points towards a reference heavenly body; and subsequently in adjusting the attitude of the vehicle about the third reference axis by using the speeds of rotation of the reaction wheels which reflect conservation of the total angular momentum of the vehicle to perform an angle measurement about the third axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Assignee: Agence Spatiale Europeenne
    Inventors: Francis Vandenbussche, Michel Philippe Janvier, Antonius Josephus Maria Van Overbeek, Antony Philip Holt
  • Patent number: 6536714
    Abstract: An elastically expandable hollow displacement element is secured to the rear surface of an aircraft wing slat. When the displacement element is contracted, the slat may be retracted onto the wing's leading edge. When the slat is extended, the displacement element is expanded to protrude convexly from the slat, thereby preventing vortex formation in the slat air gap and reducing aero-acoustic noise. A pressure control system for inflating and deflating the displacement element includes a bleed air line connected from the aircraft engine bleed air system to the displacement element, a shut-off valve and a pressure control valve interposed in series in the bleed air line, and a slat contour controller connected by respective signal lines to the valves, which control the quantity and the pressure of the bleed air supplied into the displacement element, for properly inflating the same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Assignee: Airbus Deutschland GmbH
    Inventors: Wolfgang Gleine, Knut Mau, Udo Carl