Patents by Inventor Colton Gilliland

Colton Gilliland has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20200386305
    Abstract: A rotorcraft includes a fuselage with at least one rotor assembly coupled thereto. A drivetrain provides rotational energy to the rotor assembly. The drivetrain includes an engine and a gearbox having a gearbox housing. A gearbox cooling fin array including a plurality of cooling fins is bonded to the gearbox housing with a thermal interface material. The gearbox cooling fin array is configured to dissipate heat generated by the gearbox during operation of the rotorcraft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2019
    Publication date: December 10, 2020
    Applicant: Bell Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Colton Gilliland, Tyson T. Henry
  • Patent number: 10851896
    Abstract: Systems and methods include providing an aircraft with a fuselage and a wing assembly rotatable relative to the fuselage about a stow axis between a flight position and a stowed position. The aircraft includes a drive component having a retractable driveshaft that selectively engages the mid-wing gearbox via axially translatable motion along a rotation axis when the wing assembly is in the flight position. The mid-wing gearbox is misaligned with the retractable driveshaft when the wing assembly is in the stowed position. A seal is coupled to the drive component at a first end and the mid-wing gearbox at a second end and deploys in order to maintain a sealed connection between the drive component and the mid-wing gearbox when the wing assembly is transitioned between the flight position and the stowed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2020
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventor: Colton Gilliland
  • Patent number: 10814960
    Abstract: A dynamic rotor-phasing unit can phase rotors in-flight for dynamic rotor tuning and in an idle state for aircraft storage. The input and output shafts can be clocked (e.g., rotated) from 0 degrees apart to in excess of 360 degrees apart or from 0 degrees apart to 140 degrees apart. Such rotation can minimize the footprint of an aircraft for stowing purposes, as the rotor blades can be folded to fit within a smaller area without disconnecting the drive system. Additionally, the unit can allow tiltrotor blades to be clocked during flight, which can allow the live-tuning of the aircraft's rotor dynamics. A fail-safe rotary actuator can rotate a stationary planet carrier to clock the input shaft and the output shaft. Alternatively, an actuator can position a slider housing to clock the input shaft and the output shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2020
    Assignee: Bell Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Colton Gilliland, Tyson Henry
  • Patent number: 10781863
    Abstract: A locking mechanism for locking a driveshaft in cooperative engagement with an apparatus includes a drive portion coupled to the driveshaft and a driven portion coupled to the apparatus. The drive portion of the locking mechanism includes a housing with a first engagement portion, a ball cage with a plurality locking balls contained at least partially therein, and a chock biased away from the housing by a chock spring. The chock includes an outer wall configured to push the locking balls outward in a locked position and allow inward movement in an unlocked position. Movement of the chock, and therefore locking, is controlled by an actuator rod extending through a center of the locking mechanism. The driven portion includes a second engagement portion configured to cooperatively engage and receive torque from the first engagement portion, and a locking groove configured to receive a portion of each of the plurality of locking balls therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2020
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Colton Gilliland, Mark Alan Przybyla
  • Patent number: 10773794
    Abstract: A dynamic rotor-phasing unit can phase rotors in-flight for dynamic rotor tuning and in an idle state for aircraft storage. The input and output shafts can be clocked (e.g., rotated) from 0 degrees apart to in excess of 360 degrees apart or from 0 degrees apart to 140 degrees apart. Such rotation can minimize the footprint of an aircraft for stowing purposes, as the rotor blades can be folded to fit within a smaller area without disconnecting the drive system. Additionally, the unit can allow tiltrotor blades to be clocked during flight, which can allow the live-tuning of the aircraft's rotor dynamics. A fail-safe rotary actuator can rotate a stationary planet carrier to clock the input shaft and the output shaft. Alternatively, an actuator can position a slider housing to clock the input shaft and the output shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: Bell Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Colton Gilliland, Tyson Henry
  • Publication number: 20200223533
    Abstract: A dynamic rotor-phasing unit can phase rotors in-flight for dynamic rotor tuning and in an idle state for aircraft storage. The input and output shafts can be clocked (e.g., rotated) from 0 degrees apart to in excess of 360 degrees apart or from 0 degrees apart to 140 degrees apart. Such rotation can minimize the footprint of an aircraft for stowing purposes, as the rotor blades can be folded to fit within a smaller area without disconnecting the drive system. Additionally, the unit can allow tiltrotor blades to be clocked during flight, which can allow the live-tuning of the aircraft's rotor dynamics. A fail-safe rotary actuator can rotate a stationary planet carrier to clock the input shaft and the output shaft. Alternatively, an actuator can position a slider housing to clock the input shaft and the output shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 10, 2019
    Publication date: July 16, 2020
    Applicant: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Colton Gilliland, Tyson Henry
  • Publication number: 20200172260
    Abstract: Briefly, the disclosure relates to apparatuses and methods to form a gearbox enclosure comprising an external liner, an internal liner, and a variable porosity region disposed between the external liner and the internal liner. The variable porosity region may be configured to accommodate flow of the lubricant, thereby providing a capability to cool, for example, a lubricating fluid at an elevated temperature.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 3, 2018
    Publication date: June 4, 2020
    Inventors: Russell L. Mueller, Tyson Henry, Colton Gilliland
  • Publication number: 20200166119
    Abstract: Various implementations described herein are directed to an emergency lubrication system for a tiltrotor aircraft. The emergency lubrication system includes a pressurized material chamber, a lubrication chamber, a first valve between the pressurized material chamber and the lubrication chamber, a gearbox, and a second valve between the lubrication chamber and the gearbox. The first valve is configured to operate in a first mode when the emergency lubrication system is in a first configuration and a second mode when the emergency lubrication system is in a second configuration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 27, 2018
    Publication date: May 28, 2020
    Inventors: Douglas Robert Mueller, Colton Gilliland
  • Publication number: 20190389572
    Abstract: A tiltrotor aircraft includes a propulsion system with a fixed engine and a rotatable proprotor. The engine is located on the top surface of the wing of the tiltrotor aircraft, and the rotatable proprotor assembly is also mounted on the top surface of the wing. The engine and proprotor assembly are connected via a series of one or more gearboxes that route the engine output from the engine to the proprotor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 22, 2018
    Publication date: December 26, 2019
    Applicant: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Colton Gilliland, Jeffrey Williams, Michael E. Rinehart, James Kooiman, Mark Przybyla, Clegg Smith, Eric Stephen Olson, George Ryan Decker, David Russell Bockmiller
  • Publication number: 20190389571
    Abstract: A tiltrotor aircraft includes a propulsion system with a fixed engine and a rotatable proprotor. The engine is located below the wing of the tiltrotor aircraft, and the rotatable proprotor assembly is mounted on the top surface of the wing. The engine and proprotor assembly are connected via a series of one or more gearboxes that route the engine output from the engine to the proprotor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 21, 2018
    Publication date: December 26, 2019
    Applicant: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Colton Gilliland, Jeffrey Williams, Michael E. Rinehart, James Kooiman, Mark Przybyla, Clegg Smith, Eric Stephen Olson, George Ryan Decker, David Russell Bockmiller
  • Publication number: 20190344877
    Abstract: An embodiment of the present invention provides an aircraft that includes a fuselage and a rotatable wing disposed above the fuselage. At least one cross-wing driveshaft is disposed within the wing and is driven in rotation by a drive system connected to first and second engines that are located at respective sides of the fuselage beneath the wing. The drive system is so configured that one or both of the first engine and the second engine can drive the at least one cross-wing driveshaft in the event of failure of an engine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2018
    Publication date: November 14, 2019
    Inventors: Colton Gilliland, David Bockmiller
  • Publication number: 20190338810
    Abstract: A locking mechanism for locking a driveshaft in cooperative engagement with an apparatus includes a drive portion coupled to the driveshaft and a driven portion coupled to the apparatus. The drive portion of the locking mechanism includes a housing with a first engagement portion, a ball cage with a plurality locking balls contained at least partially therein, and a chock biased away from the housing by a chock spring. The chock includes an outer wall configured to push the locking balls outward in a locked position and allow inward movement in an unlocked position. Movement of the chock, and therefore locking, is controlled by an actuator rod extending through a center of the locking mechanism. The driven portion includes a second engagement portion configured to cooperatively engage and receive torque from the first engagement portion, and a locking groove configured to receive a portion of each of the plurality of locking balls therein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 6, 2018
    Publication date: November 7, 2019
    Applicant: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Colton Gilliland, Mark Alan Przybyla
  • Publication number: 20190323563
    Abstract: A driveshaft includes a first end, a second end, and a length extending from the first end to the second end. The driveshaft includes an engagement section at the first end configured to cooperatively engage and transfer torque to a gearbox. The driveshaft also includes a compressible section configured to selectively decrease the length of the driveshaft. The driveshaft being configured to transition between an engaged configuration, wherein the engagement portion is engaged with the gearbox, and a disengaged configuration, wherein the compressible section is compressed, and the engagement portion is disengaged from the apparatus.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2018
    Publication date: October 24, 2019
    Applicant: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Colton Gilliland, Russell L. Mueller
  • Publication number: 20190277392
    Abstract: A cam-locking system for use with a retractable driveshaft that includes a housing, a cam carrier located at least partially the housing, and a cam rotatably coupled to the cam carrier. Translation of the cam carrier along a central axis allows the cam to rotate into cooperative engagement with a catch recess on an interior surface of the housing, preventing the cam carrier from translating backwards, and thereby maintaining the retractable driveshaft in an engaged position. Further advancement of the cam carrier allows that cam to rotate into and unlocking gap in the interior surface of the housing, which enables the cam carrier to translate backwards along the central axis below the locked position, thereby disengaging the retractable driveshaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 8, 2018
    Publication date: September 12, 2019
    Applicant: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventor: Colton Gilliland
  • Publication number: 20190257425
    Abstract: Systems and methods include providing an aircraft with a fuselage and a wing assembly rotatable relative to the fuselage about a stow axis between a flight position and a stowed position. The aircraft includes a drive component having a retractable driveshaft that selectively engages the mid-wing gearbox via axially translatable motion along a rotation axis when the wing assembly is in the flight position. The mid-wing gearbox is misaligned with the retractable driveshaft when the wing assembly is in the stowed position. A seal is coupled to the drive component at a first end and the mid-wing gearbox at a second end and deploys in order to maintain a sealed connection between the drive component and the mid-wing gearbox when the wing assembly is transitioned between the flight position and the stowed position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 17, 2018
    Publication date: August 22, 2019
    Applicant: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventor: Colton Gilliland