Traction Dollies For Aircraft (cross Reference Art Collection Created In Companion Project) Patents (Class 180/904)
  • Patent number: 10166826
    Abstract: A universal hitch adapter system includes a universal hitch adapter with at least one force sensor operable to measure push-and-pull forces and coupled to a) one of a front end and a rear end of an aircraft tractor and b) an aircraft tow bar coupled to a nose gear of an aircraft. The system also including a memory; a user input interface operable to receive a user's selection of one of a plurality of aircrafts stored in the memory and a user's input associated with one of a shear pin; a processor operably configured to determine at least one shear pin breaking force threshold for each of the plurality of aircrafts based on the user's input; and an indicator operable to emit an alert as a result of the force sensor measuring a force that meets or exceeds the at least one shear pin breaking force threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2019
    Inventor: Roderick James Gray
  • Patent number: 10124911
    Abstract: A taxi tug includes a chassis, a motive power source, and an auxiliary power services system. The chassis has at least one drive wheel. The motive power source is operatively connected to the at least one drive wheel. The auxiliary power services system is disposed on the chassis and is configured to provide at least one of electric power, pneumatic power, and low pressure conditioned air to an aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: HAMILTON SUNDSTRAND CORPORATION
    Inventors: Jonathan Rheaume, Stephen E. Tongue, Thomas P. Filburn
  • Patent number: 9561697
    Abstract: A single point disconnect system useful for pushback of an aircraft using a tow bar and a vehicle includes a first sensor assembly that determines whether an angle of the tow bar respective to a surface of the vehicle to which the tow bar is coupled exceeds a threshold limit, a second sensor assembly that determines the direction of the wheels of the vehicle that are responsible for steering the vehicle, and an indicator panel. The indicator panel includes a first light module and a second light module that are coupled to the first sensor assembly and the second sensor assembly, respectively. The first light module emits light that indicates the angle of the tow bar respective to the surface of the vehicle and the second light module emits light that indicates the direction of the wheels of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2017
    Assignee: Delta Air Lines, Inc.
    Inventors: Curtis Schramm, Brian Ardrey, Casey Aycock, Jim Heinzel
  • Patent number: 8924040
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is disclosed for reversing an aircraft on the ground comprising driving the aircraft using at least one self-propelled undercarriage wheel. An apparatus for controlling at least one of speed and at least one direction of an aircraft having a self-propelled nosewheel, on the ground, is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a control arm; a control unit; means for transmitting information to said self-propelled nosewheel; means for receiving information at said self-propelled nosewheel; and means for controlling at least one of the speed and direction of said nosewheel; whereby airport ground staff can intuitively control the movements of said aircraft by holding said arm and moving it in the direction of required movement of said aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Inventors: Jonathan Sidney Edelson, Isaiah Watas Cox
  • Patent number: 8515594
    Abstract: An airplane tug for receiving a landing gear of an airplane. Tug comprises a chassis for receiving the landing gear, a propulsion arrangement for moving tug, force sensor(s) for measuring a force exerted by the chassis on the gear due to a speed differential between tug and airplane, and a controller for altering movement parameter(s) of tug for maintaining the force below a value. Propulsion arrangement comprises a variable angle swash plate hydraulic pump coupled to a variable angle swash plate hydraulic motor and to a bypass path valve such that fluid circulates between the pump and motor to activate the arrangement to increase the speed and/or traction force when bypass path is in a closed state, and the fluid circulates across the motor via the valve to reduce a rotational speed and/or traction force of the tug when the path is in an opened state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignee: Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.
    Inventors: Arie Perry, Ran Braier
  • Patent number: 8235152
    Abstract: A tow apparatus for moving an aircraft comprising a frame, a drive member, a contact wheel configured to engage with a nosewheel tire of an aircraft, a transmission portion, a shaft engageable with a nosewheel tire of an aircraft, and a torque arm rotatably supported by the frame. The transmission portion can be configured such that the drive wheels transfer and increase a rotational force produced by the drive member to the contact wheel. The shaft can be movable between a first position and a second position relative to the contact wheel so as to bring the contact wheel into contact with the nosewheel of the aircraft. The torque arm can substantially prevent the rotation of the tow apparatus relative to the nosewheel assembly of the aircraft when the torque arm is engaged with the nosewheel assembly of the aircraft. The drive member can have a portable power source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Redline Aviation, LLC
    Inventor: Linn Kastan
  • Patent number: 8181725
    Abstract: An aircraft tug includes a tow bar which extends from a chassis, the tow bar operable to autonomously attach with an aircraft main landing gear assembly and transfer electrical power therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Assignee: Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation
    Inventors: Michael J. Andres, Shin Katsumata
  • Patent number: 7918294
    Abstract: A powered load-moving tractor unit for moving a wheeled load comprises a tractor body with two powered ground-engaging tractor wheels steerable by a tiller and a draw bar for connecting the tractor body to the load through a releasable load hitch. To steer the load, the tractor body can be moved pivotally about a vertical axis relative to the draw bar. That vertical axis is defined by the two halves of a turntable mounted on the tractor body directly over the axis of rotation of the steerable ground-engaging wheels. The draw bar is rigidly connected over the top half of the turntable and extends down the front of the tractor body to the load hitch. The load hitch comprises telescopically inter-engageable elements on the draw bar and the load, and a latch mechanism that is remotely releasable from the end of the draw bar remote from the load hitch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2011
    Assignee: Nu-Star Material Handling Ltd.
    Inventors: Matthew Joseph Smith, Steve Mather
  • Patent number: 7506707
    Abstract: A guided vehicle relocation device has a frame. The frame has an opening to allow one or more wheels of a vehicle to enter an interior area of the frame. At least one drive mechanism is coupled to the frame. The drive mechanism engages the wheel of the vehicle, rotating the wheel of the vehicle to move the vehicle. A control panel is coupled to the frame and to the at least one drive mechanism. The control panel is used for controlling operation of the guided vehicle relocation device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Richard R. Trujillo, David L. Wagner, Peter D. McCowin, D. Bruce Thomas, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7464974
    Abstract: A quick-fold compact tow-bar which is especially suited to tow airplanes, such as single-engine Cessna airplanes. The disclosed foldable tow-bar can be unfolded to tow an airplane in an easy and safe manner and folded back to be stowed away in the luggage compartment of the airplane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2008
    Inventor: Sevgin Oktay
  • Patent number: 6945354
    Abstract: An aircraft handler (10) for use with an undercarriage of an aircraft, the handler being self-propelled and comprising a generally ā€œUā€ shaped body (11) having arms (12 & 13) linked by a bridge (14) at one end thereof with a pair of drive wheels (16 & 17) located one at the free end of each arm, with at least one wheel(15) located adjacent the bridge(14). A pair of clamping jaws (51) are mounted on the body (11) between the drive wheels (16 & 17) and the bridge (14)and jaws (51) have a lower profile than the arms (12 & 17). The drive wheel (16 & 17) are driven by DC electric motors powered by batteries stored in the arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2005
    Assignee: Douglas Equipment, LTD
    Inventor: Barry Ian Goff
  • Patent number: 6739822
    Abstract: A traction vehicle for moving a nose wheel of an aircraft comprises a wheel-mounted chassis including an engagement and hoisting device that can be raised and lowered. The engagement and hoisting device has a nose-wheel holder and a U-shaped stand having an opening facing the aircraft. The nose-wheel holder and the stand are shaped as two separate units and have co-operating journaling members arranged in a circular arc to provide rotational movement between the holder and the stand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: Kalmar Motor AB
    Inventor: Magnus Johansson
  • Patent number: 6675920
    Abstract: The invention relates to a towing vehicle for aircraft, comprising at least one operator's cabin which comprises control, elements for steering, accelerating and braking the towing vehicle, in addition to a coupling member for creating a detachable connection between the aircraft and the towing vehicle. The towing vehicle can be braked by hydraulic or pneumatic brakes 46, 46′ acting on at least two wheels of the vehicle, whereby the braking control element is configured as a brake pedal 10, 10′ which actuates the brakes 46, 46′ either directly or via a control circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Assignee: Schopf Maschinenbau GmbH
    Inventors: Helmut Diez, Klaus Philipp
  • Patent number: 6600992
    Abstract: The disclosure teaches an airport ground navigation system uses aircraft tugs and a system for centralized positive control of all aircraft ground movements. Specifically, the physical position of each tug and its associated aircraft is tracked and relayed to a central control system. The central control system handles routing, schedules and movement within the airport.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2003
    Assignee: Airborne Holding, LLC
    Inventor: John H. Dow
  • Publication number: 20030127255
    Abstract: An omni direction vehicle with a frame having a round surface about its perimeter with no apparatus mounted on the frame extending beyond the perimeter. Two independent drive wheels located on an axis through the center of the frame are mounted at the same distance from a central vertical axis through the frame. Each wheel is powered independently of the other and can rotate at variable speeds in either direction. The vehicle is capable of movement in any direction by rotating the axis of the drive wheels to a position which is perpendicular to the desired direction of travel. The vehicle can spin about its vertical axis such that the axis of the drive wheels can be oriented at any direction without changing the original footprint of the space that the frame occupies over the ground. Thus, the vehicle requires a zero turning radius and requires only the space it occupies to change its forward orientation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 20, 2003
    Publication date: July 10, 2003
    Inventor: Carl L. Hammonds
  • Publication number: 20030095854
    Abstract: An articulated tractor (10) for towing an aircraft comprising a front section (10A) including an engine means (18) and a rear section (10B) pivoted to the front section (10a), the rear section (10B) defining a nose wheel clamp means (34) for engaging and raising the nose wheel (36) of an aircraft. In another embodiment the clamping force applied to the nose wheel (36) by the nose wheel clamp means (34) is proportional to the mass of the nose wheel (32). Still in another embodiment the nose wheel clamp means (34) are provided with relief valve means to relieve if the raising force applied to the nose wheel (36) increases beyond a predetermined limit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2002
    Publication date: May 22, 2003
    Inventor: Rene Abela
  • Patent number: 6543790
    Abstract: A towbar for the towing of aircraft which will enable the user to attach the same to, selectively, the front nose wheel or the front wheel strut of an aircraft. The towbar includes a longitudinally extending towing bar with a vehicle attachment on one end thereof to facilitate attachment to a towing vehicle with the other end thereof provided with a pair of arms to engage the nose wheel or strut. The arms are openable and closeable for attachment to the wheel or strut and the mechanics for opening and closing are arranged within the longitudinal towing bar. The mechanism for opening and closing includes a slide moveable on the bar in a longitudinal direction and a structure for converting this longitudinal motion to rotational motion for rotating an arm control rod which, through a threaded end and threaded bearing will move one arm with respect to the other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Inventor: Raymond W. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6536709
    Abstract: A tug device for moving small aircraft having front wheels. A portable drill is connected to a drive wheel and a frame is removeably attached to the wheel. The frame has a generally u-shaped configuration with a fixed position trunion on one end for engagement with an aircraft. A rotating member is mounted on the frame with an engaging trunion for aircraft engagement. A control member moves the engaging trunion into engagement with the aircraft. Dolly wheels are used for freely moving the tug. A connector connects the frame and power column to position the trunions to engage an aircraft in at least one position. Preferred is to have the connector connect the frame and power column in a first position to engage the front axle of an aircraft and a second position to engage the front wheel strut of an aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Inventor: Arthur K. McVaugh
  • Patent number: 6450756
    Abstract: An aircraft towbar apparatus comprises a pair of tubular members having proximal ends coupled to a hitch assembly for attachment to a towing vehicle. Each tubular member includes a gripping member at a distal end for gripping an aircraft wheel assembly. The apparatus includes a wheel assembly intermediate proximal and distal ends which serves as a fulcrum for vertical positioning of the gripping members relative to an aircraft wheel assembly. A support handle extends from the distal end of one tubular member to enable a user to vertically position the gripping members. A scissor jack is connected to the tubular members and extends therebetween at a position spaced from the distal ends. An elongate handle bar is coupled to the scissor jack and extends to a crank handle adjacent the hitch assembly such that a user may rotatably actuate the scissor jack to vary the spacing between the tubular members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Inventors: Jack L. Stahancyk, Timothy E. Trapp
  • Publication number: 20020098069
    Abstract: An aircraft towbar apparatus comprises a pair of tubular members having proximal ends coupled to a hitch assembly for attachment to a towing vehicle. Each tubular member includes a gripping member at a distal end for gripping an aircraft wheel assembly. The apparatus includes a wheel assembly intermediate proximal and distal ends which serves as a fulcrum for vertical positioning of the gripping members relative to an aircraft wheel assembly. A support handle extends from the distal end of one tubular member to enable a user to vertically position the gripping members. A scissor jack is connected to the tubular members and extends therebetween at a position spaced from the distal ends. An elongate handle bar is coupled to the scissor jack and extends to a crank handle adjacent the hitch assembly such that a user may rotatably actuate the scissor jack to vary the spacing between the tubular members.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2001
    Publication date: July 25, 2002
    Inventors: Jack L. Stahancyk, Timothy E. Trapp
  • Patent number: 6352130
    Abstract: A towing apparatus capable of moving aircraft and other workpieces about an airfield or other workspace. The present invention includes a first frame which is rotatable relative to a second frame about a common substantially vertical axis. A wheel assembly is positioned within the first frame and driven by a motor which is also mounted on the first frame. A gripper assembly for engaging the aircraft or other workpiece is attached to the second frame. In this manner, the present invention provides for a towing of aircraft or other workpieces along an axis which is proximate the axis of the wheel assembly. Additionally, it provides for a low center of gravity significantly enhancing the stability and maneuverability of the present invention in a towing attitude or a non-towing attitude.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2002
    Inventors: John J. Klein, Alan J. Feltis
  • Patent number: 6305484
    Abstract: An automated aircraft towing vehicle system for use with aircraft is provided. When coupled to an aircraft the towing tractor vehicle facilitates the movement of the aircraft without the requirement for use of the aircraft's jet engines. The towing vehicle system comprises a towing tractor vehicle having remotely controllable steering, braking, and acceleration. The remote system controller is located in the aircraft being towed such that the pilot of the aircraft being towed is capable of controlling the starting, stopping and steering of the towing tractor vehicle. The towing tractor vehicle further includes a remotely controllable de-coupling means. When the aircraft is towed to the desired location, the decoupling of the aircraft from the towing tractor vehicle is controllable by the remote system controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2001
    Inventor: Edward L. Leblanc
  • Publication number: 20010006126
    Abstract: A towing apparatus is disclosed capable of moving aircraft and other workpieces about an airfield or other workspace. The present invention includes a first frame which is rotatable relative to a second frame about a common substantially vertical axis. A wheel assembly is positioned within the first frame and driven by a motor which is also mounted on the first frame. A gripper assembly for engaging the aircraft or other workpiece is attached to the second frame. In this manner, the present invention provides for the towing of aircraft or other workpieces along an axis which is proximate the axis of the wheel assembly. Additionally, it provides for a low center of gravity significantly enhancing the stability and maneuverability of the present invention in a towing attitude or a non-towing attitude.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2001
    Publication date: July 5, 2001
    Inventors: John J. Klein, Alan J. Feltis
  • Patent number: 6209671
    Abstract: A towing apparatus capable of moving aircraft and other workpieces about an airfield or other workspace. The present invention includes a first frame which is rotatable relative to a second frame about a common substantially vertical axis. A wheel assembly is positioned within the first frame and driven by a motor which is also mounted on the first frame. A gripper assembly for engaging the aircraft or other workpiece is attached to the second frame. In this manner, the present invention provides for the towing of aircraft or other workpieces along an axis which is proximate the axis of the wheel assembly. Additionally, it provides for a low center of gravity significantly enhancing the stability and maneuverability of the present invention in a towing attitude or a non-towing attitude.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2001
    Inventors: John J. Klein, Alan J. Feltis
  • Patent number: 6203263
    Abstract: A transport cradle for a skid-supported helicopter having a pair of laterally spaced and generally parallel support skids. The transport cradle has a main frame (10) supported by transport wheels (16) and a pair of laterally spaced elongate supports (11) extending generally parallel to each other and forming part of the frame. The supports are each intended to engage and to lift a respective helicopter skid after the cradle has been presented to a helicopter supported on the ground by its skids. The cradle also comprises devices (13) for adjusting the spacing apart of the supports to correspond with the spacing apart of the helicopter skids. The cradle also has clamping devices (14, 15) provided on each support and operative to engage and clamp the respective skid to the support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2001
    Inventor: Anthony Hancock
  • Patent number: 6176671
    Abstract: Apparatus for gripping, raising, orienting and transporting helicopters (102) in particular on decks (101a) of ships (101) provided with longitudinal rails (2) for guiding and constraining the apparatus, which comprises a cross-beam (1) movable in engagement on said rails (2) in a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis (X-X) of the ship, said cross-beam (1) having, mounted on it, a carriage (4) movable parallel to the cross-beam itself (1) and having, hinged with it, an arm (5) at the opposite ends of which the devices (7,8,8e) for gripping and raising the main wheels (102a) of the helicopter (102) are mounted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2001
    Assignee: Calzoni S.P.A.
    Inventor: Aurelio Ortelli
  • Patent number: 6112838
    Abstract: A towing apparatus is disclosed capable of moving aircraft and other workpieces about an airfield or other workspace. The present invention includes a first frame which is rotatable relative to a second frame about a common substantially vertical axis. A wheel assembly is positioned within the first frame and driven by a motor which is also mounted on the first frame. A gripper assembly for engaging the aircraft or other workpiece is attached to the second frame. In this manner, the present invention provides for the towing of aircraft or other workpieces along an axis which is proximate the axis of the wheel assembly. Additionally, it provides for a low center of gravity significantly enhancing the stability and maneuverability of the present invention in a towing attitude or a non-towing attitude.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2000
    Inventors: John J. Klein, Alan J. Feltis
  • Patent number: 5860785
    Abstract: In a towing vehicle (1) for manoeuvring aircraft (11) without a towbar, the chassis (5) of which vehicle has a fork-like receiving area (7) between the wheels (6) of a coaxial wheel suspension, in which receiving area there is arranged a retractable and extensible gripping and drawing-in device (9) which is fastened to a lifting blade (8) and by means of which the nosewheel (10) of an aircraft (11) can be gripped and drawn onto the lifting blade (8) which is pivotable relative to the chassis (5) both about a transverse axis and, for matching to oblique positions of a nosewheel (10) which has been received, about a longitudinal axis by means of two fluid piston-cylinder units (12) arranged symmetrically relative to one another between the chassis (5) and the lifting blade (8), the lifting blade (8) is coupled so as to be pivotable in all directions by means of a ball joint (25) which is fastened to the chassis (5) of the towing vehicle (1) and acts centrally on the back of the lifting blade (8).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: Goldhofer Fahrzeugwerk GmbH & Co.
    Inventor: Uwe Eberspacher
  • Patent number: 5806795
    Abstract: Apparatus for gripping, raising, orienting and transporting helicopters (2) in specially prepared areas or zones in particular on decks (1a) of ships (1), comprising a cross-piece (6) movable in a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis (X--X) of the ship in engagement with said rail (4), wherein the transverse arm (6b) of said cross-piece (6) has joined to it a substantially L-shaped frame (7; 107) and smaller arm (7a) movable relative to the cross-piece (6) in a transverse direction with respect to the longitudinal axis (X--X) itself through the action of associated actuating means (7c), the free end of said longitudinal arm (7a) of the frame (7) having rotationally attached to it a transverse member (9; 109) carrying at its opposite ends the devices (10) for gripping the main wheels of the helicopter (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: Riva Calzoni S.P.A.
    Inventor: Aurelio Ortelli
  • Patent number: 5701966
    Abstract: Self-propelled vehicle for ground handling of equipment supportable by a pair of skids engageable by a lifting element and a stabilizing element. The vehicle has a front chassis rotatably connected to a rear chassis for relative tilting movement in a plane transverse to a longitudinal vehicle axis. Each chassis is supported by a pair of independently driven omnidirectional wheels for movement of the vehicle over the ground in any azimuthal direction. Mounted on the rear chassis is a lift assembly of adjustable transverse width for engaging the skids with the lifting elements and lifting the equipment to an elevated position for transport over the ground. A stabilizer assembly of adjustable transverse width is also mounted on the rear chassis, but extends through and in front of the front chassis for engaging the skids with the stabilizing elements to prevent fore/aft teetering movement of the elevated equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 30, 1997
    Assignee: Air Tracks, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter Amico
  • Patent number: 5562388
    Abstract: A vehicle for transporting on the ground an aircraft that has front and rear undercarriage legs and wheels on at least the rear undercarriage legs. The vehicle comprises a rolling structure shaped and sized to support the aircraft with the front and rear undercarriage legs on corresponding cradles on the rolling structure. Structure (30, 34) is provided for raising and lowering the cradles. Mechanisms (44, 48, 58) are provided on only the cradles of the rear undercarriage legs, for encompassing and locking the wheels of the rear undercarriage legs without moving the plane horizontally. Each cradle (24) corresponding to a rear undercarriage leg comprises a base (44) against which the wheels on the rear undercarriage leg are applied. At least one mobile support bar (48) is adapted to be placed parallel to the base under the rear undercarriage wheels, this base (44) and bar (48) being disposed on opposite sides of a line (46) along which the rear undercarriage wheels bear on the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 8, 1996
    Assignee: Hydroland S.A.
    Inventors: Joel-Yves Le Gall, Bernard Rodier
  • Patent number: 5549436
    Abstract: Tractor (1) with driver's cab (2) at the rear, featuring a recess (3) in the front part of which the front steering wheels (4) of the aircraft are entering and are blocked by idle front rollers (28) which may be moved inwards or outwards and an idle rear roller (36) driven by hydraulic fluid powered pistons (31, 34). According to one solution, an apron (32) is mounted on the tractor framework (1) on which apron (32) the wheels (4) of the aircraft will rest. This apron is lifted and lowered by hydraulic fluid powered pistons (7) connected to the articulated upper arm (9) of each tractor wheel (6).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 27, 1996
    Assignee: Fresia S.p.A.
    Inventor: Mauro Fresia
  • Patent number: 5516252
    Abstract: An aircraft extending along a longitudinal aircraft axis and having a nose wheel pivotal about an upright wheel axis can be maneuvered by a tractor extending along a longitudinal tractor axis and adapted to engage the nose wheel of the aircraft. The tractor and aircraft axes can extend at an angle to each other that should not exceed a predetermined maximum turnout angle. A turnout protection system has structure on the aircraft that is directed generally perpendicular of the aircraft axis and that is only directed toward the tractor when the aircraft and tractor axes extend generally at the maximum turnout angle relative to each other. At least one electronic sensor on the tractor directed toward the aircraft detects the structure when the aircraft and tractor axes extend generally at the maximum turnout angle relative to each other. A controller on the tractor takes action, e.g.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1996
    Assignee: Krauss Maffei Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Erwin Francke, Peter Molzer
  • Patent number: 5511926
    Abstract: A self-propelled dolly for the movement of aircraft. The dolly includes a pair of laterally spaced apart first ground-engaging wheels. Each wheel is mounted about a portion of a split first axle mounted in a corresponding pair of spaced apart parallel members of a bifurcated chassis portion. The dolly also includes one or more second ground-engaging wheels that are mounted on a second chassis portion pivotally connected to the bifurcated chassis portion about a substantially vertical axis. The second ground-engaging wheels provide steering ability to the dolly and a handle extending from the second chassis portion permits an operator to control the dolly. A motor and drive train is operatively connected to at least one of the ground-engaging wheels. The bifurcated chassis portion is formed in two sections pivotally connected together about a lateral pivot axis at an intermediate location between the first and second wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 30, 1996
    Inventor: Frank Iles
  • Patent number: 5480274
    Abstract: An aircraft tug without draw tongue, with a chassis divided by means of an axially parallel buckling axle. The pickup device for the nose landing gear (nose wheels 27) of an aircraft is arranged within the fork-shaped recess of the chassis, which is formed by the lifting rockers. This pickup device includes a lifting platform, a pendulum tie-bar, telescopic arms with gripping arms, a push-out tie-bar, a crossbar, longitudinal swinging arms, and a pendulum pin. The pendulum tie-bar, the lifting platform with the telescopic arms, including the push-out tie-bar and the longitudinal swinging arms, are connected to the lifting rockers of the chassis rear part via coupling members. The pendulum tie-bar has a pendular mounting, and pendular movement of the lifting platform and of the pendulum tie-bar is guaranteed in conjunction with the pivotably mounted lifting platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 2, 1996
    Assignee: Man Gutehoffnungshutte
    Inventors: Wilhelm Franken, Gerhard Weigardt, Lars T. Michaelsen
  • Patent number: 5386737
    Abstract: Portable RCS versus azimuth measurement apparatus for an aircraft to be tested has a dolly attached to the aircraft at a location on a supporting surface. A nose wheel adapter mounted on the dolly temporarily replaces the nose wheel of the aircraft with a spare nose wheel. An electric motor on the dolly coupled to the spare nose wheel rotates the spare nose wheel. A beam structure has a first end removably affixable to the dolly and a spaced opposite second end extending under the axis of rotation of the aircraft and between the main landing wheels. A synchronizing gearbox, mounted on the second end of the beam structure at the axis of rotation of the aircraft, has an output shaft and senses rotation of the aircraft about the axis of rotation, sensed rotation of the aircraft being indicated by rotation of the output shaft. Rotation of the output shaft of the gearbox is restrained relative to the surface by an anchor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 7, 1995
    Assignee: Grumman Aerospace Corporation
    Inventors: Walter S. Soeder, John J. Proscia
  • Patent number: 5381987
    Abstract: A utility vehicle is shown for towing and servicing aircraft. The vehicle includes a frame and at least one tow hitch attached to the frame for towing an aircraft. An internal combustion engine is mounted on the frame within an enclosed interior and is connected by a power train to a pair of drive wheels for powering the vehicle. A heat recovery system within the enclosed interior receives warmed cooling air from the engine and products of combustion from the engine exhaust to route heated air to a flexible duct. The flexible duct is connected to an aircraft engine to be serviced in order to preheat the engine. The drive train of the vehicle includes a hydrostatic transmission and a differential gear box connected to the drive wheel axles. The hydrostatic transmission includes a self-centering servo mechanism for controlling the rate of speed change of the vehicle to prevent jerking an aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 17, 1995
    Inventor: William A. Carns
  • Patent number: 5338047
    Abstract: A device simply the alignment of a trailer tongue of a towed vehicle for coupling to the tow bar of a towing vehicle. The device includes a direction orientable wheeled body having a socket thereon to receive the lower end of a vertical tongue jack of the trailer whereby movement of the wheel of the device aligns the trailer tongue hitch socket with the hitch ball of a towing vehicle. Wheel movement is achieved by rotation of a gear in engagement with the wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 16, 1994
    Inventor: Glenn E. Knisley
  • Patent number: 5336037
    Abstract: A towing vehicle for maneuvering airplanes without draw tongue, has a chassis (5), which exhibits a fork-shaped receiver space between the wheels of one wheel axle, in which a gripping and retracting device (28, 68) is attached that can be retracted and extended and works together with a lifting device, by means of which the nose wheel (24) of the airplane can be grasped and pulled onto a scoop (14) that can be raised and lowered relative to the chassis. In it, only a single scoop (14) is present to support the nose wheel (24) in the area of the nose wheel load line of application to prevent clamping and deformation forces on the nose wheel (24) during the retraction procedure or during raising. The scoop can be tipped around a horizontal axle attached to the chassis and its tipped position relative to the chassis can be adjusted by control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 9, 1994
    Assignee: Goldhofer Fahrzeugwerk GmbH & Co.
    Inventors: Franz J. Curten, Michael Bammel
  • Patent number: 5314287
    Abstract: A tractor tows an aircraft with a landing gear having a nose wheel in accordance with a method for coupling the landing gear to the tractor. The tractor and the nose wheel are moved relative to each other on an apron until they contact each other. A shovel member of the tractor is coupled to the chassis of the tractor and movable within a recess of the chassis to be lowered to receive the nose wheel and raised to lift the nose wheel. The shovel member is slidable relative to the chassis and underneath the nose wheel so that it is located entirely between the nose wheel and the apron for receiving and at least partially supporting the nose wheel. The nose wheel is then immovably coupled to the shovel member. The shovel member is then raised to lift the nose wheel above the apron for towing the aircraft with the tractor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 24, 1994
    Assignee: Schopf Maschinenbau GmbH
    Inventor: Benno Wichert
  • Patent number: 5308212
    Abstract: An aircraft towing vehicle including a chassis formed with a recess receiving a towing device for securing a nose wheel of an aircraft and including a transversely tiltable bearing frame, a vertically displaceable and longitudinally swingable lifting cradle provided with a pair of telescopic traction arms having respective gripping devices on respective rearward ends, the arms being longitudinally displaceable and adapted to swing about respective transverse axes, bringing thereby the gripping devices upwardly to engage the circumference of the nose wheel above an axle thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 3, 1994
    Assignee: Krauss Maffei Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Jurgen Pollner, Gregor Trummer
  • Patent number: 5302074
    Abstract: A wheeled vehicle for transporting aircraft along the ground includes an engagement and hoisting unit supported by a vehicle chassis. The unit is brought into a position close to, but not touching, the nose wheels of the aircraft, both in front of and behind the contact points between the nose wheels and the ground. The unit is lifted by a cylinder acting between it and the chassis and makes contact with the treads of the nose wheels on both sides of the contact points, raising the nose wheels off the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 12, 1994
    Assignee: Kalmar Motor AB
    Inventor: Bo Elfstrom
  • Patent number: 5302075
    Abstract: An aircraft tug assembly is provided for moving an aircraft on the ground. The tug assembly includes a self-propelled chassis responsive to operator control. A cradle assembly is pivotally attached to a front portion of the chassis. The cradle assembly has an adjustable nosewheel receiving apparatus comprising two lateral arms adjustably engaged with a rear gate to define a nosewheel receiving corral therebetween, with the corral sizable to accommodate varying sized aircraft nosewheels. The chassis has a winch, or alternatively a telescoping arm, for pulling an aircraft nosewheel onto the cradle assembly and into the corral. An optional front gate may be used to enclose the nosewheel within the corral. Hydraulic actuators lift the cradle assembly with the nosewheel thereon so the tug assembly may move the aircraft without starting the aircraft engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 12, 1994
    Assignee: Eric W. Paulson
    Inventor: Robert A. Zschoche
  • Patent number: 5261778
    Abstract: An aircraft tug assembly is provided for moving an aircraft on the ground. The tug assembly includes a self-propelled chassis responsive to operator control. A cradle assembly is pivotally attached to a front portion of the chassis. The cradle assembly has an adjustable nosewheel receiving apparatus comprising two lateral arms adjustably engaged with a rear gate to define a nosewheel receiving corral therebetween, with the corral sizable to accommodate varying sized aircraft nosewheels. The chassis has a winch for pulling an aircraft nosewheel onto the cradle assembly and into the corral. An optional front gate may be used to enclose the nosewheel within the corral. Hydraulic actuators lift the cradle assembly with the nosewheel thereon so the tug assembly may move the aircraft without starting the aircraft engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1993
    Assignee: Eric W. Paulson
    Inventor: Robert A. Zschoche
  • Patent number: 5259572
    Abstract: A vehicle with its own traveling gear for towing an aircraft without draw tongue, has a U-shaped chassis frame recess that is open in the forward direction with a clamping and lifting device arranged therein for the nose wheels of an aircraft. The clamping and lifting device, which is oscillatingly suspended on the chassis frame 1, includes a pivoting and lifting ramp 8, as well as two parallel telescoping arms 10 arranged rigidly on the pivoting and lifting ramp 8, with telescoping cylinders 11 and with gripping arms 14, which can be pivoted in and whose nose wheel contact surfaces 18 are rigidly attached to the gripping arms 14, and of telescopingly adjustable holddown devices 12, 13, which are hinged to the support 7.FIG. 3 shows the clamping and lifting devices with the nose wheels 17 lifted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1993
    Assignee: Man Gutehoffnungshutte Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Wilhelm Franken, Ernest Kretschmann, Gerhard Weigardt, Heinrich Goris, Torsten L. Michaelsen, Dieter Pohe
  • Patent number: 5219033
    Abstract: An aircraft towing tractor has its acceleration limited to a predetermined limiting acceleration to reduce stresses upon the aircraft undercarriage by a computer-controlled regulator interposed between the gas pedal and the internal combustion engine. The regulator can also provide control of the speed increase of the engine below a predetermined limiting value thereof prior to control of the limiting acceleration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1993
    Assignee: Krauss Maffei AG
    Inventors: Jurgen Pollner, Gregor Trummer, Peter Molzer
  • Patent number: 5151004
    Abstract: A vehicle for conveying aircraft is disclosed which includes a carriage system capable of lifting, supporting and conveying an airplane. The system has alternately deployable primary and auxiliary sets of wheels mounted from the carriage chassis. The wheels of the auxiliary set are vertically displaceable relative to the primary set so that the carriage chassis can be alternatively supported by either. A mechanized steering system is provided for the primary set of wheels. A lifting system is provided to lift an airplane of interest between self-supported and carriage-supported dispositions, as required. An engine-driven hydraulic system is provided to operate the vehicle and power the wheel sets, lift mechanism and steering of the primary wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1992
    Assignee: Johnson Airspray, Inc.
    Inventor: Lindley C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 5151003
    Abstract: An aircraft tug assembly is provided for moving an aircraft on the ground. The tug assembly includes a self-propelled chassis responsive to operator control. A cradle assembly is pivotally attached to a front portion of the chassis. The cradle assembly has an adjustable nosewheel receiving apparatus comprising two lateral arms adjustably engaged with a rear gate to define a nosewheel receiving corral therebetween, with the corral sizable to accommodate varying sized aircraft nosewheels. The chassis has a winch for pulling an aircraft nosewheel onto the cradle assembly and into the corral. An optional front gate may be used to enclosed the nosewheel within the corral. Hydraulic actuators lift the cradle assembly with the nosewheel thereon so the tug assembly may move the aircraft without starting the aircraft engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1992
    Assignee: Eric W. Paulson
    Inventor: Robert A. Zschoche
  • Patent number: 5135346
    Abstract: A maneuverable, wheeled, steerable vehicle is used for transporting helicopters of the type having landing skids. Such helicopters typically have cross bars under the body proper, with downward-curving arms to the skids. The invention includes two mutually parallel booms which extend from the vehicle body parallel and close to the ground. One of the booms is laterally movable toward and away from the other boom, which is fixed to the vehicle frame. In use, the booms are laterally spaced; the vehicle then goes forward to slide the booms under the cross bars of the helicopter body. Lift bars attached to each boom then raise the helicopter up so that the vehicle can transport it. The booms include a gang of small, hydraulically swiveled steering wheels at the ends distal the vehicle. Each lift bar swings upward on double parallel pivot arms at either end of each boom. The pivot axes are horizontal. The arms are of equal length to keep the lift bars horizontal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1992
    Inventor: William W. Roach
  • Patent number: 5110067
    Abstract: The object of the invention is a transfer device that will grip double wheels of very different size, which is intended to move an aircraft (1) or other device equipped with double wheels on a base, which transfer device includes a fork-shaped frame and pairs of rollers (3, 4) attached to both forks (2), compression devices for them and devices to rotate the rollers, both pairs of which rollers (3, 4) being placed from the side in front and behind the wheel (6) of the device (1) to be moved. According to the invention the forks (2) are attached to the frame part (7) that connects them by means of parallelogram arms (5), which are adapted to provide the rollers (3, 4) with the lateral movement required when being placed around double wheels (6) and which transfer device includes operating devices (18) to turn the parallelogram arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1992
    Assignee: Tana-Jyra Ky
    Inventor: Matti Sinkkonen