Airship Skin Construction Patents (Class 244/126)
  • Patent number: 10476140
    Abstract: A method for repair of a multifunctional wideband array includes processes and operations of assessing electrical and structural impairment to the multifunctional wideband array; cutting an opening in a superstrate of the multifunctional wideband array to expose an impaired backskin section of a lower electronics assembly of the multifunctional wideband array; replacing the impaired backskin section with a replacement backskin section; and repairing the opening in the superstrate. A system of multifunctional wideband array repair includes a core having longitudinal core strips and transverse core strips; a backskin having electronics connected to the core and providing electrical functionality enabling the core cells of the core to function as a phased array antenna aperture; a number of splice clips connecting longitudinal core strips to longitudinal repair core strips; and a section of the backskin electrically connected and structurally bonded to the repair core strips.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Manny S. Urcia, Andrew S. Niederschulte, Alec Adams
  • Patent number: 10144496
    Abstract: An atmospheric balloon includes an upper apex and a lower apex and a balloon membrane. The balloon membrane includes a plurality of balloon gores. The balloon gores extend between the upper and lower apexes. One or more of the balloon gores includes upper straight line gore edges and lower straight line gore edges. The upper and lower straight line gore edges are coupled along one or more corresponding upper and lower straight line gore edges of adjacent balloon gores of the plurality of balloon gores. The one or more balloon gores are formed with cutting the gore material along a straight line cutting edge to form the upper and lower straight line gore edges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: Raven Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Scott Smith, Michael William Zimmerman
  • Patent number: 9580162
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses are disclosed for altitude control of a high-altitude balloon. A bladder or ballonet is provided within an envelope of a balloon. The bladder is tubular-shaped, is inflatable, and is foldable for insertion into the balloon prior to performing a final seam on the balloon. To stabilize the bladder, the bladder may be attachable to one or more interior surfaces of the envelope with one or more ropes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventor: Kevin Roach
  • Patent number: 9573670
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses are disclosed for a self-stabilizing ballonet. A bladder or ballonet is provided within an envelope of a balloon. The bladder includes a spheroid body comprising an equator, a top pole, a bottom pole, and an axis crossing through the top pole and the bottom pole. The distance between two poles may be less than the equatorial distance. The bladder is sized and shaped for insertion into an envelope of a balloon and is inflatable to provide altitude control for the balloon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2017
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventor: Kevin Roach
  • Patent number: 9511844
    Abstract: Example embodiments may facilitate altitude control by a balloon in a balloon network. An example method involves: (a) operating a balloon in a first mode, wherein the balloon includes an envelope and a fuel cell, (b) while the balloon is operating in the first mode: (i) drawing ambient air from outside the envelope into the envelope through a first opening, (ii) using solar energy to heat the air in the envelope such that a buoyancy of the balloon is increased, and (iii) releasing air from inside the envelope to outside the envelope through a second opening such that the buoyancy of the balloon is decreased; (c) transitioning to operating the balloon in a second mode; and while operating the balloon in the second mode, using a portion of power generated by the fuel cell to heat the air in the envelope such that the buoyancy of the balloon is increased.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventor: Richard Wayne DeVaul
  • Patent number: 9234305
    Abstract: The invention relates to a reinforcing textile thread (82) for an inflatable sail, such as a rigging sail or a flight sail, including a plurality of filaments which are agglutinated so as to form an elongate unitary body (820), and a binder (822) which ensures the cohesion among at least some of the filaments (821) of the unitary body (820), and which consists of a coating material. In order to guarantee an effective, directed reinforcement effect within an inflatable sail without limiting the lifespan of said sail, the unitary body has, in the cross-section thereof, an oblong outline, wherein the ratio of the maximum width (e) of said outline, which corresponds to a thickness of the unitary body, to the maximum length (l) of said outline, which corresponds to a width of the unitary body, is less than 0.06, a plurality of filaments (821) being arranged in series over the thickness of the unitary body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 12, 2016
    Assignee: PORCHER INDUSTRIES
    Inventors: Laurence Pollet, Cécile Roibet, Sébastien Feraudet
  • Patent number: 8986816
    Abstract: A method and apparatus comprising a layer of material having a decorative graphic and an electrically conductive material in the layer of material. The layer of material is configured to be attached to a surface of an aircraft. The electrically conductive material is configured to cause a current from an atmospheric electrostatic discharge contacting the layer of material to spread out in a desired amount within the layer of material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Edward Zielinski, James T. Iwamoto
  • Patent number: 8733697
    Abstract: A balloon that includes an envelope with a gas contained within the envelope, as well as a payload connected to the envelope wherein the envelope has a first portion that has a first absorptive or reflective property with respect to allowing solar energy to be transferred to the gas within the envelope, and a second portion that has a second absorptive or reflective property with respect to allowing solar energy to be transferred to the gas within the envelope where the second absorptive or reflective property is different than the first absorptive or reflective property, and wherein the envelope is rotatable to allow a preferred ratio of the first and second portions of the envelope to be positioned facing the sun.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Wayne DeVaul, Eric Teller, Clifford L Biffle, Josh Weaver
  • Patent number: 8722272
    Abstract: A fuel cell system module for use in an aircraft includes at least one fuel cell system component. The fuel cell system module is connectable modularly to a fuselage section of the aircraft. A housing element of the fuel cell system module is designed to form a section of an outer skin of the aircraft when the fuel cell system module is in the state connected to the fuselage section of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Airbus Operations GmbH
    Inventors: Andreas Westenberger, Oliver Thomaschweski, Julika Bleil
  • Publication number: 20140021298
    Abstract: An air vehicle has a gas-filled hull (1) of flexible sheet material. Strakes (7) extend along an exterior of the hull, each strake comprising a gas-filled tube (10) of flexible sheet material. A rigid board (12) may project outwardly from the gas-filled tube (10) and away from the vehicle. A further layer of flexible sheet material (13) may extend from one side of the strake (7) over the board (12) to another side of the strake, to provide a strake (7) generally triangular in cross section.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2013
    Publication date: January 23, 2014
    Inventor: Michael DURHAM
  • Patent number: 8596572
    Abstract: A solar powered radiometric lift device operable to generate sustained lift is disclosed. A hot surface powered by solar energy and a colder surface are utilized to generate a pressure differential via free molecular momentum exchange. An insulating space may be situated between the hot surface and the colder surface, and formed into channels allowing thermal transpiration. The solar powered radiometric lift device is operable to provide sufficient lift for a geostationary stratospheric platform. Embodiments of the solar powered radiometric lift device are further operable to provide station keeping thrust and controllability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: David Kirshman, David A. Deamer, Maurice P. Bianchi
  • Publication number: 20130126675
    Abstract: A system for airship hull reinforcement and in-situ repair includes a sensor for detecting a leak in the airship hull of a lighter-than-air airship and a repair mechanism inside lighter-than-air airship for dispensing repair material to seal the leak. A durable airship hull includes an inner gas barrier, an outer gas barrier, and a microlattice layer sandwiched between the inner gas barrier and the outer gas barrier.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 14, 2012
    Publication date: May 23, 2013
    Applicant: STRATOSPHERIC AIRSHIPS, LLC
    Inventor: Stratospheric Airships, LLC
  • Patent number: 8426007
    Abstract: A laminate of metal layers and plastic bonding layers situated between the metal layers includes two external metal layers extending substantially continuously and at least one internal metal layer. At least one of the internal metal layers has at least one opening, and at the position of the opening the other metal layers and plastic bonding layers are bonded together to the form of a packet of lower thickness. The relatively thick parts of the laminate can be used for the transfer of forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Fokker Aerostructures B.V.
    Inventors: Abdoel Faziel Rajabali, Max Arjan Markestein
  • Patent number: 8277938
    Abstract: A part of composite material having a wedge between two zones, the second zone being shorter than the first zone, whose structure includes from its outer surface to its inner surface: a first section formed from at least two continuous sheets extending parallel to its outer surface, the gradient of the wedge being between 20% and 50%; a wedge in the shape of a triangular prism with its larger surface dimensioned in such a way that it forms a wedge having a gradient of less than 20%; a second section formed by a plurality of continuous sheets extending parallel to the surface bounded by the first section with the wedge placed upon it. The invention also relates to a process for manufacture of the part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Airbus Operations S.L.
    Inventors: Vicente Martinez Valdegrama, Jose Luis Lozano Garcia, Jose Orencio Granado Macarrilla
  • Publication number: 20120244779
    Abstract: The present invention enhances the optical features of aerostats. The invention utilizes a barrier film having at least one layer containing optically enhancing elements. Aerostats formed from the barrier film possess unique aesthetic features.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 2, 2010
    Publication date: September 27, 2012
    Inventors: Jeffrey Jacob Cernohous, Neil R. Granlund, Kent Kaske, Adam R. Pawloski
  • Patent number: 8152093
    Abstract: Various laminate structures and methods of making laminate structures are provided. In one embodiment, a laminate structure includes a base layer, a metallized layer comprising an electronic/embedded device which is adhered to the base layer. A coating layer which is adhered to the conductive layer, and a non-metallic dichroic layer adhered to the coating layer. In another embodiment, the non-metallic dichroic layer directly contacts the electronic/embedded devices of the conductive layer. The laminate structures herein can be used in the hull of the air vehicles to communicate with satellites and ground based receiving stations, for example. The electronic/embedded devices of the laminate structures provide a low weight solution to transmitting and receiving data within an air vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Paul E. Liggett, Thomas M. Whiteleather
  • Patent number: 8084114
    Abstract: A composite member with a reinforced rampdown or taper has a composite noodle bonded to an end of a core to fill the taper.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Douglas L. Grose, Marc J. Piehl, Douglas A. Frisch, Joseph L. Sweetin, Gary J. Peffers
  • Patent number: 8057618
    Abstract: A method and a device for manufacturing hollow components out of a composite material, such as sections of an airplane fuselage, that include a skin and possibly strengthening elements. The method may include inserting a multi-articulated arm fitted with a fiber placement head inside a female mold of elongated shape. The female mold includes a longitudinal slit. A support for the multi-articulated arm is received through the slit. The method may also include applying fibers to the inner molding surface of the female mold using the placement head to form the composite material skin, by displacement of the application head using the multi-articulated arm and relative displacement in translation of the support for the multi-articulated arm along said longitudinal slit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Assignee: Coriolis Composites
    Inventor: Alexander Hamlyn
  • Patent number: 7997532
    Abstract: A system for generating power from sunlight collected substantially above the earth's surface comprises an airborne platform which supports an apparatus to collect sunlight, an apparatus to convert sunlight to electricity, and an apparatus to transmit the electricity to a selected location on the earth's surface. The airborne platform collects solar energy above the clouds and transmits the energy to a receiving station on the ground via a microwave transmission system, avoiding possible attenuating effects of clouds and pollution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2011
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Brian J. Tillotson
  • Patent number: 7913948
    Abstract: The high-altitude balloon has a skin made of nearly evacuated electrostatically inflated cells which provide thermal insulation to minimize heat loss from the gas in the balloon, while transmitting heat from the sun to heat the gas. The lower surface of the balloon is reflective to microwave or laser beams. A stable array of the balloons is maintained at a high altitude and is used to facilitate communications in a world-wide communications system. Ascent of the balloon is well controlled and weight is minimized by starting with lighter-than-air gases in liquid form, releasing a lifting gas into the craft, and then using the empty containers to store the remaining gas when the balloon is aloft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2011
    Inventor: David R. Porter
  • Patent number: 7878453
    Abstract: A power-generating laminate for an airship comprises a base fabric layer, a barrier layer disposed upon the fabric layer, an inner metal film layer disposed upon the barrier layer, a piezoelectric/pyroelectric layer disposed upon the inner metal layer, an outer metal layer disposed upon the piezoelectric/pyroelectric layer, and a cover layer disposed upon the outer metal layer. The power-generating laminate forms a gas-impervious envelope to maintain lifting gas and air therein, and is configured such that when the envelope is subjected to structural strain or experiences changes in temperature, power is generated, which is used to supply power to the various electrical systems aboard the airship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2011
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: Paul E. Liggett
  • Patent number: 7841562
    Abstract: A load patch for attaching concentrated loads to a flexible inflated structure such as a high-altitude airship is stiff in the direction of the applied load so as to carry the load, and is attached to the inflated structure for a very short distance through T-tape so as to minimize strain concentration in the inflated structure due to the stretching of the inflated structure. Since the load patch must be attached for a long length transverse to the load to distribute the applied load, it is transversely compliant to minimize strain concentration in the inflated structure due to stretching of the inflated structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2010
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Jonathan Peritt, Dennis L. Carter
  • Publication number: 20100180972
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a lifting pipe which is used in a manganese nodule mining system including a collection device for collecting deep-sea manganese nodules and a lifting pump and which has a structure in which dimples are formed on the surface of the lifting pipe so as to reduce drag so that the lifting pipe is less influenced by flows of ocean current. The dimpled lifting pipe includes dimples that are formed on the outer circumferential surface of the dimpled lifting pipe, so that turbulent flows are generated, thereby reducing drag caused by ocean currents of a deep sea.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2009
    Publication date: July 22, 2010
    Applicant: Korea Institute of Geoscience And Mineral Resources
    Inventors: Chi-Ho YOON, Jong-Myung PARK, Yong-Chan PARK
  • Patent number: 7722701
    Abstract: The subject of the invention is method and envelope structure for handling gas diffusion of airships and other balloons to significantly decrease, respectively fully eliminate envelope diffusion of gases through envelopes of airships and other balloons. During the method according to the invention the gases diffused through the envelope (8, 9) of airships and other balloons are collected into a separator space (2). These gases are separated from the mixture of this separator space by physical and/or chemical action and forwarded back to their sources. The invention is further an envelope structure for handling gas diffusion of airships and other balloons for applying methods according to the invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2010
    Inventor: Imre Nehez
  • Publication number: 20100102164
    Abstract: A system for efficiently transporting hydrogen from where it can be economically made to where it is most needed using specially designed airships. Technologies such as geothermal, wind, solar, wave tidal or hydropower can be used to generate electricity in-situ or very near to the primary energy sources. This electricity can then be used to produce hydrogen directly from water through various methods known in the art. Hydrogen can be delivered from the place where it is produced to the place where it is needed using an airship in which the hydrogen gas can also be used for generating lift, providing propulsion energy and serving ancillary needs. In other embodiments of the invention, the airship of the present invention can be used to dramatically reduce the cost of transportation of freight, the cost of passenger transportation, and to save on the area required for landing at the points of loading/unloading and embarkation/debarkation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2008
    Publication date: April 29, 2010
    Inventor: Rinaldo Brutoco
  • Publication number: 20090260702
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method for manufacturing a solid body having a superhydrophobic surface structure formed by using a surface treatment of a metal body, a replication process, and a polymer sticking phenomenon to increase efficiency of fluid transfer and prevent foreign materials from being accumulated in the tube, and a superhydrophobic fluid transfer tube using the method. The superhydrophobic fluid transfer tube includes a fluid guider and a solid body provided on a fluid contact surface of the fluid guider and has micrometer-scaled unevenness and nanometer-scaled protrusions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2007
    Publication date: October 22, 2009
    Applicant: POSTECH ACADEMY-INDUSTRY FOUNDATION
    Inventors: Dong-Hyun Kim, Sang-Min Lee, Il-Sin Bae, Dong-Seob Kim, Duk-Hyun Choi, Chang-Woo Lee, Ji-Hoon Jeon, Seong-Ho Son, Tae-Chul Moon, Woon-Bong Hwang, Joon-Won Kim, Hyun-Chul Park, Kun-Hong Lee
  • Publication number: 20090189015
    Abstract: The invention relates to an unmanned aircraft for telecommunicative or other scientific purposes, which is stationed in determined height, in particular in the stratosphere. The aircraft comprises a gas-filled balloon (11) carrying a platform (10) and means for maintaining the platform position relative to the ground. The balloon (11) carrying the platform (10) is disposed in the interior of an external balloon (12) of aerodynamical shape, particularly in the stratosphere. At least one low or high pressure insulation chamber (20; 20?; 20?) filled with a medium is arranged between them and encircles the inner balloon (11). The medium used in the insulation chamber is a gas having a low thermal conductivity. The negative effects of the temperature differences are largely compensated so that the inner balloon can be produced from a lighter and cheaper material, thereby increasing durably its longevity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 1, 2006
    Publication date: July 30, 2009
    Inventor: Kamal Alavi
  • Patent number: 7566489
    Abstract: A shock-absorbing structure component has two cover layers and an intermediate layer that is arranged between them. The intermediate layer extends in an alternating form between the cover layers, with the material of the intermediate layer being selected such that it has a higher capacity elongation prior to breaking than that of the outer cover layer. The energy of an impact can thus be absorbed as the intermediate layer is stretched into a bag shape and the inner cover layer breaks off progressively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2009
    Assignee: EADS Deutschland GmbH
    Inventor: Peter Starke
  • Publication number: 20090039199
    Abstract: A method of forming an exterior surface protective structure (12) for an aircraft (10) includes uniting a loaded surfacer (52) having a carrier (51) to a hybrid prepreg substrate (32). The prepreg substrate (32) includes a carbon fabric (44) with an integral conductive component (48) having conductivity with in a metal conductivity range and is united to a base substrate (30). The loaded surfacer (52) and the prepreg substrate (32) are cured, which includes interfacially adhering matter between the loaded surfacer (52) and the prepreg substrate (32). A protective fabric system (12) for an exterior (14) of an aircraft (10) includes the base substrate (30). The hybrid prepreg substrate (32) is coupled to the base substrate (30). The loaded surfacer (52) with the carrier (51) is interfacially adhered to the prepreg substrate (32).
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 14, 2008
    Publication date: February 12, 2009
    Applicant: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventor: Arlene McKeeman Brown
  • Publication number: 20090032643
    Abstract: A method of forming an exterior surface protective structure (12) for an aircraft (10) includes uniting a loaded surfacer (52) having a carrier (51) to a hybrid prepreg substrate (32). The prepreg substrate (32) includes a carbon fabric (44) with an integral conductive component (48) having conductivity with in a metal conductivity range and is united to a base substrate (30). The loaded surfacer (52) and the prepreg substrate (32) are cured, which includes interfacially adhering matter between the loaded surfacer (52) and the prepreg substrate (32). A protective fabric system (12) for an exterior (14) of an aircraft (10) includes the base substrate (30). The hybrid prepreg substrate (32) is coupled to the base substrate (30). The loaded surfacer (52) with the carrier (51) is interfacially adhered to the prepreg substrate (32).
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2008
    Publication date: February 5, 2009
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Arlene McKeeman Brown
  • Patent number: 7438261
    Abstract: The high-altitude balloon has a skin made of nearly evacuated electrostatically inflated cells which provide thermal insulation to minimize heat loss from the gas in the balloon, while transmitting heat from the sun to heat the gas. The lower surface of the balloon is reflective to microwave or laser beams. A stable array of the balloons is maintained at a high altitude and is used to facilitate communications in a world-wide communications system. Ascent of the balloon is well controlled and weight is minimized by starting with lighter-than-air gases in liquid form, releasing a lifting gas into the craft, and then using the empty containers to store the remaining gas when the balloon is aloft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2008
    Inventor: David R. Porter
  • Patent number: 7275720
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for thermal protection is provided. A thermal protection apparatus includes a porous layer attached to an inner structural member requiring thermal protection. The porous layer serves as both a cooling air plenum and a transpiring medium. The porous layer may include a low strength ceramic foam layer. Thermal protection may be achieved by flowing cooling air the length of the porous layer. The voids in the porous layer may be sized to less than 50 ?m, producing uniquely efficient thermal protection due to micro-fluidic effects in the air flowing through the layer. A semi-permeable layer may be attached to the outer surface of the porous layer. The semi-permeable layer may prevent erosion of the porous layer and may transform the porous layer into a plenum by making the majority of the cooling air flow the length of the porous layer before exiting through small holes drilled or punched through the semi-permeable layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2007
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: William W. Behrens, Andrew R. Tucker, Gayl J. Miller
  • Patent number: 7138028
    Abstract: A method for forming complexly shaped composite laminate assemblies. A pair of dry fiber preforms are placed on a tool with a thin film adhesive layer therebetween. A vacuum bag encloses the preforms and the adhesive layer. The preforms are heated to a temperature sufficient to cause the adhesive to become viscous and to wet several plys of each of the preforms. The preforms are then allowed to cool slightly before resin is infused via a vacuum source through each of the preforms to thoroughly wet each of the preforms. The resulting joint formed at the bond line of the two preforms is stronger than what would be formed simply by adhering two otherwise completely formed preforms together because the dry fiber preforms, in connection with the heating of the preforms, allow wetting of several plys of each of the preforms at the joint area, rather than just the surface ply of each preform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2006
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Steven J. Burpo, Terry A. Sewell, John C. Waldrop, III
  • Patent number: 7073749
    Abstract: An airship deployment system comprises an airship of unique shape having laminar flow over this shape to enable low power propulsion, capable remote control, comprising an inflatable body; a propeller assembly for station keeping and repositioning said airship and capable of being folded into a compacted position and unfolded into an operational position; and a payload, comprising gas for inflating said inflatable body; and means for transferring data between said airship and a remote location; and a missile for carrying said airship in a compacted state to a predetermined location and altitude, and releasing said airship at said predetermined location and altitude. When said airship is released from said missile said inflatable body is inflated and said propeller assembly is unfolded into said operational position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2006
    Assignee: The Johns Hopkins University
    Inventors: Jerry A. Krill, Michael W. Roth, Frederick W. Riedel, Matthew R. Feinstein, William T. Mason, III, Margaret Ann Darrin, Rafal P. Szczepanowski, Vincent F. Neradka
  • Patent number: 6986929
    Abstract: A structural panel comprised of a composite preform having an electrically conductive stitching. The stitching forms an electrically conductive grid-like network on the structural panel to better dissipate electrical energy received in a lightning strike throughout at least a portion of the thickness of the composite preform. Advantageously, the electrically conductive stitching is applied to the composite preform during the primary manufacturing process, rather than in a subsequent manufacturing step, to thereby help reduce the overall manufacturing cost of the structural panel. In one alternative embodiment a non-conductive polymer stitching is also applied throughout the entire thickness of the composite preform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2006
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Thomas Karl Tsotsis
  • Patent number: 6964723
    Abstract: A method for applying pressure to the area of a composite part masked by a secondary feature comprises the steps of positioning a pressure augmentation strip in contact with the masked area, securing a pressure transfer wedge on each of two sides of the secondary feature, such that pressure is transferred to the pressure augmentation strip during co-curing/co-bonding, and co-curing/co-bonding the composite part and the secondary feature. When the area between the composite part and the secondary feature is fairly large, the method can comprise the further steps of positioning a sine wave spring between the pressure augmentation strip and the secondary feature, injecting a structural paste adhesive into the voids around the sine wave spring, and curing the structural paste.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2005
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: William E. Lindsay, John R. Peeler
  • Patent number: 6929221
    Abstract: An improved ram air canopy is disclosed having a top skin formed of a plurality of substantially rectangular top skin pieces. Each top skin piece has areas of reduced width at predetermined locations. The areas of reduced width result in a specific tension pattern of the top skin so as to reduce distortion. The increased tension pattern of the top skin better maintains the modeled desired airfoil shape of the canopy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2005
    Assignee: Atair Aerospace Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel Preston
  • Patent number: 6848651
    Abstract: An electro-hydraulic thrust reverser lock actuation system includes a hydraulic fluid source and a lock actuator assembly that is configured to selectively pressurize the hydraulic fluid. The lock actuator assembly is adapted to receive a lock control signal and, in response, pressurize the hydraulic fluid in the hydraulic fluid source. One or more lock assemblies are in fluid communication with the hydraulic fluid source and are configured, in response to the hydraulic fluid pressurization, to move to one of a locked or an unlocked position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2005
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Donald J. Christensen
  • Patent number: 6793180
    Abstract: A system and method for constructing an airship hull is described, comprising a plurality of flexible members disposed lengthwise about the perimeter of the airship skin. The flexible members can be held in place in sleeves on the skin of the airship. The ends of the flexible members are drawn toward one another by tensioning means, causing the members to bow outwardly from a central axis and providing a rigid structure for the skin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Inventors: Daniel Nachbar, John A. Fabel
  • Patent number: 6794012
    Abstract: A structural panel comprised of a composite preform having an electrically conductive stitching. The stitching forms an electrically conductive grid-like network on the structural panel to better dissipate electrical energy received in a lightning strike throughout at least a portion of the thickness of the composite preform. Advantageously, the electrically conductive stitching is applied to the composite preform during the primary manufacturing process, rather than in a subsequent manufacturing step, to thereby help reduce the overall manufacturing cost of the structural panel. In one alternative embodiment a non-conductive polymer stitching is also applied throughout the entire thickness of the composite preform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Thomas Karl Tsotsis
  • Publication number: 20040094669
    Abstract: Optimised method for assemblling two substantially flat parts.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2002
    Publication date: May 20, 2004
    Inventors: Konan Koffi, Jacques Huet, Eric Bouchet
  • Patent number: 6735866
    Abstract: Method for manufacturing elements made from composite material using the co-bonding technique, in which uncured elements (preformed beams (2)) are bonded onto another cured element (the skin (3)) with multiple thickness changes, using a rigid tooling made of invar used for support and positioning during the curing process. Each element is made with preimpregnated material using automated tape laying. The preform of the beams (J-section) is obtained by hot forming of flat laminates. The final curing and bonding to the precured skin (co-bonding) is performed using a direct vacuum bag in an autoclave. A flat development of the vacuum bag is performed, it is traced with a numerical control machine and it is made prior to being placed on the tool. For large surfaces with difficult access the final adjustment is performed with the tool and the part in a vertical position, due to the ergonomic difficulties involved in working on certain areas of same. The invention is applicable to the field of aeronautics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2004
    Assignee: Airbus Espana, S.L.
    Inventors: Pedro Nogueroles Vi{overscore (n)}es, Aquilino Garcia Garcia, Carlos Cerezo Pancorbo
  • Patent number: 6722611
    Abstract: An aircraft body structure is disclosed and has a skeleton frame including a plurality of interconnected frame elements. A skin layer is affixed to at least a portion of the frame elements. The skin layer has an exterior surface and an opposite interior surface. A composite reinforcing layer is affixed to at least a substantial portion of the interior surface of the skin layer. The composite reinforcing layer has a reinforcing material combined with a non-flammable polymer foam material in a variety of different manners.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Inventors: Kuang-Hsi Wu, Milton J. Torres
  • Publication number: 20030230673
    Abstract: Sealing method, used inside a hollow structure (1) with a bonding material (11) of the mastic type, comprising the following steps:
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2003
    Publication date: December 18, 2003
    Applicant: SUNAERO
    Inventor: Bruno Comoglio
  • Patent number: 6474595
    Abstract: An electrical energy depletion/collection system including a mobile airborne trigger platform; a mobile host platform; an electrical interconnection between the trigger platform and the host platform; and an electrical energy storage subsystem resident on at least one of the mobile airborne trigger platform and the mobile host platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2002
    Assignee: Harnessing Energy/Storm Reduction, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Herman
  • Patent number: 6450450
    Abstract: Provided is a fabrication that is simple to make and cost effective in optimizing performance for moderately extended high velocity missions of high performance airborne vehicles. To counter rapid thermal loading while providing a relatively low cost structure, a laminate, in a preferred embodiment an intermediate modulus carbon fiber laminated as fabric layers in a resin matrix, is stitched through with glass fiber material. This laminate is then cured and formed as a section of skin of a supersonic missile, enabling extended supersonic operation, nominally some minutes after the laminate's Tg has been reached or exceeded. Additionally, an airframe and airframe members constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention are disclosed. Compared to existing materials, it reduces cost and weight, increases thermal stability, and maximizes internal payload.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Frank D. MacDonald, Patrick B. Stickler, Ryon C. Warren, Chun-Hua Kathy Chuang
  • Patent number: 6432507
    Abstract: Lightning protection utilizing lightweight electrically conductive coatings with a conductance of approximately 220 to 350 mhos per square co-cured or secondarily bonded to the outer surface of thin skin composite structure. Selection of either 2 to 3 ounces per square yard or aluminum mesh of 1 to 1.5 ounces per square yard, depending on corrosion compatibility, satisfy the conductance requirement and has shown superior lightning protection over heavier weight conductive coatings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Rowan O. Brick, Cathleen A. Meyer
  • Patent number: 6302357
    Abstract: This invention relates to a pressure stabilized inflated air transport vehicle having means for limiting crack propagation in the hull envelope whereby leakage of the gas in the haul due to the crack will not exceed the gas pressure maintaining means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2001
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: John B. Kalisz
  • Patent number: 6290176
    Abstract: The present invention describes a dual suspension catenary system which includes aspects of both an internal catenary system and an external catenary system. The dual suspension catenary system of the present invention retains and expands upon the advantages of the internal and external catenary systems, such as larger payload suspension and envelope integrity while decreasing the disadvantages (e.g., envelope breach and aesthetics).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2001
    Assignee: Airship Management Services, Inc.
    Inventors: John Hankinson, John Bewley, Richard Hankinson, George Spyrou
  • Publication number: 20010015043
    Abstract: A structural panel component, such as an aircraft fuselage shell component, includes a single integral part having longitudinal and crosswise stiffening elements integrally arranged on a skin sheet. This integral component has been formed by a high speed milling chip removal process applied to a solid plate-shaped semi-finished starting material. The skin sheet has areas of differing thicknesses, and the height, thickness, and spacing of the stiffening elements varies as needed, depending on the local loading conditions that will prevail on the finished structural component. The configuration of the component can be optimized to minimize the weight while satisfying all load strength requirements. The manufacturing method is very simple and economical.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 22, 2001
    Publication date: August 23, 2001
    Inventors: Hartmut Brenneis, Walter Zink