Patents Examined by Joseph F. Peters, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5636814
    Abstract: A clutch for an interior latch handle of a plug-type airplane door is described which decouples the handle from the latch-operating linkage so the handle will not be backdriven into the passenger space when the exterior latch handle is operated to open the door from outside the airplane. The clutch includes a probe mounted on the base of a handle mechanism assembly in line with the handle, and a pawl pivotally mounted in the handle and disposed to engage a lug splined to the handle shaft and torsionally coupled to the latch. When the handle is in its "home" or "closed" position, the probe engages a roller on the end of an arm connected to the pawl and rotates the pawl away from the lug so that the handle shaft will not backdrive the handle into the passenger space when the exterior latch handle is operated to unlatch the door. When the handle is moved away from the probe, the pawl engages the lug to establish two-way torsional coupling between the handle and the latch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 10, 1997
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: David A. Rollert
  • Patent number: 5448961
    Abstract: This is a user supported portable sail used to provide wind powered momentum for an individual on a moveable base. The invention involves the use of a balanced aerodynamic sail with the airfoil planes constructed in a way that allows the device to be used in more than one attitude. The invention also includes the use of clear panels for visibility, and the use of collapsable sections to render the device to a small portable and storable size. The support structure is provided with the means to allow it to be braced or stepped against a base and the shape itself is made to be infinitely and finely variable by the use of adjustable lines attached to the material and to the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 1992
    Date of Patent: September 12, 1995
    Inventor: Erik Ansteensen
  • Patent number: 5377610
    Abstract: A brake apparatus includes a plurality of brake plates mounted to lower end portions of gear shaft members to permit displacement and rotation of the brake plates from a first position orthogonally oriented relative to a stern plate of a sailboat to a second position in parallel relationship to the stern plate of the sailboat. A housing mounted to an interior surface of the sailboat adjacent an interior surface of the stern plate is arranged to house a control lever therewithin forwardly of a rudder control rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 3, 1995
    Inventor: Clarence F. Goebel
  • Patent number: 5337974
    Abstract: An aircraft wing pivot structure is described which provides a flexible ring attached to the aircraft wing at flexible wing attachment points by spherical bearings. The ring is attached to the fuselage of the aircraft by pins fixed to the fuselage and fittings partially enclosing sliding shoes formed at the bottom edge of the ring to allow rotation of the wing. The wing is locked in the flight position by retractable pins connected to the primary fuselage attachment fittings. The ring is a unitary stainless structure which accepts wing strains induced by flight loads by flexing at the wing attachment points. The use of a flexible ring eliminates truss-like members mounted on spherical bearings used in conventional designs. The elimination of a substantial number of components by the use of a flexible ring substantially reduces the weight of the aircraft and improves the reliability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 16, 1994
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: William E. Rumberger, Wayne S. Steffier
  • Patent number: 5327843
    Abstract: In a helm, throttle and directional control system for small craft, a safety device arranged to operate between an actuating member and an actuated member has such members coupled rotatively together by means of mechanical one-way coupling means wherein a resilient force holds the actuated member constantly biased to a locked position, and wherein the locking action is released by moving the actuating member against the resilient force, whereby motion can be transferred to the actuated member from the actuating member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 12, 1994
    Assignee: Ultraflex S.r.L.
    Inventor: Giorgio Gai
  • Patent number: 5320307
    Abstract: An aircraft engine thrust mount includes a pair of spaced apart thrust links pivotally joined at one end to an engine first frame and at opposite ends to a lever. A platform is fixedly joined to an aircraft pylon and includes first and second spaced apart clevises and a center clevis therebetween. The center clevis is pivotally joined to a center of the lever for carrying thrust force from the first frame through both thrust links and to the platform and pylon during normal operation. A pair of pins pivotally join the thrust links to the lever and extend through apertures in the platform first and second clevises to define predetermined gaps therebetween for allowing the lever to rotate relative to the platform center clevis up to a predetermined angular rotation. In a failure mode of operation the pins contact the platform first and second clevises for transmitting thereto either tension or compression thrust loads for providing an alternate failsafe loadpath.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 14, 1994
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Hahn M. Spofford, Thomas G. Wakeman, Donald L. Bellia, Thomas P. Joseph, Gregg H. Wilson, James E. Cencula, Frederick W. Tegarden, Michael H. Schneider
  • Patent number: 5318253
    Abstract: In a thin-walled structure being cleaned, there are generated converging waves of elastic deformation by virtue of synchronous excitation of single equal pulses along the contour of the surface being cleaned in the points opposite to one another. To effect this method use is made of an electromagnetic source (1) of mechanical pulses in combination with a waveguide (2) transmitting mechanical pulses to the structure (4) being cleaned and representing a ring (8) with a disk (9) designed to accommodate the source (1) and connected to this ring by jumpers (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 7, 1994
    Inventor: Igor A. Levin
  • Patent number: 5318254
    Abstract: An aircraft maintenance robot (20) for maintaining aircraft surfaces is described that includes a maintenance tool (228), for example a nozzle (78), conduits and a pump, which supply fluid to the maintenance tool, which sprays the fluid on aircraft surfaces; movable arm with rotatable hinges and wrists such that a manifold to which the maintenance tools are coupled may be positioned in response to control signals; and a processor which, after accounting for the position of the aircraft, the weather conditions, and the physical dimensions of the aircraft, generates the control signals used to position the maintenance tool such that, after positioning the aircraft, the maintenance operation may be performed without human intervention. The preferred embodiment of the present invention discloses the use of the maintenance robot (20) for deicing aircraft. A wide variety of interchangeable end effectors, however, may be used for a wide variety of applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 7, 1994
    Assignee: Conceptual Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: E. Craig Shaw, Marlee Payne-Shaw
  • Patent number: 5310136
    Abstract: During operation of an integrated fire and flight control (IFFC) system in a coupled aiming mode, the occurrence of a weapon (172), weapon mount (145) or sensor (146) reaching a constraint limit (210) indices a fade-in of a constraint limiting axis command signal (140) for a respective attitude axis as the aircraft attitude reference, replacing the flight control system attitude feedback error signal (111) for the respective attitude axis. The constraint limiting axis command signals provide the aircraft attitude reference only while the pilot manually depresses and holds an enable switch (920). The pilot command stick input (90) remains the primary input to the IFFC system to thereby provide override capability for pilot command maneuvers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 10, 1994
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Donald W. Fowler, Nicholas D. Lappos
  • Patent number: 5307753
    Abstract: A unit for cushioning and at least partially absorbing shock motions for use with marine or water equipment whereby wave and water motion is absorbed to eliminate shock wave effects. The unit includes a tension spring device extensible upon movement of the marine device for which cushioning is desired with the extension being to a limited amount and thereafter provide tight line or direct connection for uses such as retrieving an anchor or pulling in a moored boat. The unit is useable in anchoring boats and other objects in various desired positions where the desired effect is a smooth ride upon the water surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 3, 1994
    Inventors: Paul W. Besonen, Sr., Jeffrey L. Besonen
  • Patent number: 5305969
    Abstract: A latch lock mechanism (20) for opening and closing a translating motion-type aircraft door (22). The latch lock mechanism (20) of this invention includes a latch shaft (38) that is mounted to the door (22) by a set of follower bearings (98) that are axially offset from the shaft. The shaft (38) is rotated by a lift lock mechanism (44) that includes a lift lock cam (106) and a cam follower (108) that tracks the cam, and a door drive linkage (1 10) that is attached to the cam follower for rotating the latch shaft. The lift lock cam (106) is rotated by a handle shaft (42) that is actuated by a handle (40). When the handle (40) is rotated, the lift lock cam (106) is similarly rotated so as to cause the upward movement of the door drive linkage (110) in the rotation of the latch shaft (38).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 26, 1994
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Richard B. Odell, Leo W. Plude
  • Patent number: 5297761
    Abstract: An improved cockpit area for manned atmospheric or space vehicles includes a generally spherical, multi-axis G-compensating cockpit capsule which houses the crewmen, together with the appropriate operational and navigational instruments and the mechanisms necessary for controlling the vehicle and which is rotatably mounted in the vehicle and is controllable by the crewman to permit the crewman direct visual observation throughout virtually a full circle about the vehicle, without altering the course of the vehicle, together with a device for automatically rotating the capsule to minimize the effect of high G-forces on the crewmen, and an emergency mechanism for ejecting the capsule, with the crewmen therein, and for protecting the crewmen during and after descent and landing of the capsule.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 29, 1994
    Inventors: Robert T. Kendall, Jr., Robert T. Kendall, Sr.
  • Patent number: 5289998
    Abstract: A solar cell voltage regulating arrangement which is particularly advantageous for use in spacecraft includes a light valve such as a liquid crystal cell disposed before the solar cell, to thereby controllably vary the light transmission to the solar cell. A control arrangement varies the transmission of the liquid crystal to control the output voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 1, 1994
    Assignee: General Electric Co.
    Inventors: John D. Bingley, Patrick J. Callen
  • Patent number: 5288039
    Abstract: A closed shear flexible panel has upper and lower surfaces each having front ends which define a leading edge and rear edges which define a trailing edge. The rear edges are slideable longitudinally with respect to each other when a torsional force is applied to the panel or a linear force is applied to the rear edges to induce a spanwise gradient pitch in the panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 22, 1994
    Inventors: James D. DeLaurier, Jeremy M. Harris
  • Patent number: 5275357
    Abstract: An aircraft engine mount includes a frame fixedly joined in a gas turbine engine and a platform fixedly joined to an aircraft wing or tail pylon. A first beam is pivotally joined to the frame and the platform at first and second joints, respectively. The first beam is additionally joined to the platform at a third joint which allows longitudinal movement between the first beam and the platform at the third joint while preventing rotation of the first beam. A second beam is spaced from the first beam and is pivotally joined to the frame and platform at fourth and fifth joints, respectively, and is additionally joined to the platform at a sixth joint for allowing limited rotation of the second beam during normal operation while preventing rotation of the second beam upon a failure of the first beam to carry load.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 4, 1994
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Laurence Seelen, Thomas P. Joseph, James E. Cencula, Donald L. Bellia, Hahn M. Spofford
  • Patent number: 5271581
    Abstract: A window clip for attaching window panes to aircraft supporting structures comprises a clip body which has an outwardly bent flange at the bottom which applies pressure to the inner pane of an aircraft window and an inwardly bent u-shaped platform at the top. A hole is located in the platform portion for receiving a fastener to attach the clip to an underlying support. A spacer is optionally located on the fastener.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1993
    Inventor: Michael J. Irish
  • Patent number: 5271582
    Abstract: Multiple subsidiary small payloads are connected to standard mechanical and electrical interfaces provided by an expendable or recoverable modular mother satellite bus (MMSB) and launched into space as an assembly acting as a common carrier providing low unit launch costs for the attached subsidiary payloads and also providing a variety of electrical, pointing, and thermal control services for these payloads after reaching orbit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1993
    Assignee: Standard Space Platforms Corp.
    Inventors: Frederick W. Perkins, Phil Kananen
  • Patent number: 5269482
    Abstract: The protective enclosure for a space vehicle with a magnetic propulsion system includes an insulated Dewar vessel formed of walls of superconducting material surrounded and suspended by superconducting magnets. The superconducting walls shield the interior of the enclosure from external magnetic and electric fields, and the superconducting walls and corresponding magnetics act to cushion passengers or equipment within the enclosure from acceleration or gravitational forces. One or more accelerometers are preferably provided for sensing acceleration or gravity in each of the three orthogonal axes of the enclosure, and a control unit is also preferably provided for controlling the superconducting magnets of the enclosure responsive to output signals from the accelerometers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1993
    Inventor: Ernest J. Shearing
  • Patent number: 5267708
    Abstract: A head support apparatus for protecting the head of a subject positioned in a vehicle against the detrimental effects of acceleration. Generally, the invention comprises a beam housing attachable to a support device for supporting a subject's upper body while positioned in the vehicle. The beam housing has a side opening on each side thereof and a channel formed in the interior of the housing, extending from one side opening to the opposite side opening. Beam housing support is provided for rigidly supporting the beam housing to the support device within a y-z plane defined by the intersection of a y-axis and a z-axis, but allowing rotation about an x-axis. The x, y and z axes define an orthogonal coordinate system wherein the x-axis extends through the subject's face to the back of the head, the y-axis extends laterally from ear-to-ear, and the z-axis extends vertically from the top of the head through the subject's chin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1993
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corp.
    Inventors: Conrad B. Monson, Emily L. Howard, Steven L. Hecq, Curtis E. Thompson, William J. Adams
  • Patent number: 5263666
    Abstract: A spacecraft includes bipropellant and monopropellant engines or thrusters. The oxidizer-fuel mixture ratio of the bipropellant engine is not known exactly. The spacecraft is loaded with only sufficient oxidizer to achieve the velocity for transfer from an intermediate orbit to geosynchronous orbit if the mixture ratio is nominal. Therefore, more fuel can be loaded. If the bipropellant engine burn is nominal, there is no excess oxidizer when on-orbit and more fuel is available for stationkeeping. If the burn is oxidizer-rich, there is a velocity shortfall, which is made up by firing monopropellant engines. If the burn is oxidizer-lean, the geosynchronous orbit is achieved with a load of excess oxidizer, which must be moved during each stationkeeping maneuver. A net gain of stationkeeping time results in any of the three mixture ratio cases by comparison with loading of sufficient oxidizer for a full bipropellant burn under worst-case mixture conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1988
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1993
    Assignee: General Electric Co.
    Inventors: Susan M. Hubert, Keith Davies