Airship Gas Cell Construction And Arrangement Patents (Class 244/128)
  • Patent number: 10569853
    Abstract: The present invention is realized by apparatus and methods for harvesting, storing, and generating energy by permanently placing a large rigid buoyant platform high in the earth's atmosphere, above clouds, moisture, dust, and wind. Long, strong and light tethers can connect the buoyant structure to the ground which can hold it in position against wind forces. Weights suspended from the buoyant platform with cables are raised and lowered by electric winches to store and release gravitational potential energy. High voltage transmission lines electrically connect the platform to the earth's surface. Electrical energy from the high voltage transmission lines or from photovoltaic arrays on the platform can be stored as gravitational potential energy and subsequently released as electricity from generators driven from the stored gravitational potential energy and used on the platform or transmitted via the high voltage transmission lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: Stratosolar, Inc.
    Inventors: Edmund Joseph Kelly, Roger Arnold
  • Patent number: 10494076
    Abstract: A lighter-than-air aircraft is provided including a deballasting system, the deballasting system including: at least one tank containing a liquid; a system for pressurizing the liquid of the at least one tank; and at least one sprayer arranged so as to eject the liquid from the pressurization system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: FLYING WHALES
    Inventor: Hervé François Kuhlmann
  • Patent number: 10450047
    Abstract: A method of repairing an airship hull of an airship during flight and while the airship is untethered from the ground comprises detecting a breach in a gas barrier bordering an interior volume of the airship, the airship containing a lifting gas wherein the hull of the airship comprises an electrically conductive material and wherein the breach in the gas barrier is detected by detecting changes in an electrical conductivity of the electrically conductive material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: Stratospheric Airships, LLC
    Inventor: Stephen B. Heppe
  • Patent number: 10196123
    Abstract: A system for elevation control. The system comprises a substantially gastight envelope containing lifting gas wherein the envelope further comprises a plurality of envelope segments in fluid communication with one another. At least one tension cable connects at least two of the envelope segments. A control device including a motor adjusts the length of the tension cable to change the pressure within the envelope to thereby facilitate ascent and descent of the system. The control device causes the system to operate in ascent, descent, or vertically stationary modes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: THIN RED LINE AEROSPACE LTD
    Inventor: Maxim de Jong
  • Patent number: 9505480
    Abstract: An airship (1) comprising a flexible envelope (2), a wall (3) located inside the envelope, and a pumping device. The wall (3) extends longitudinally between the nose and the tail, thus separating the inside space of the envelope into a first space (E1) and a second space (E2), said second space being located on the periphery of the envelope between a first point (P1) and a second point (P2). The pumping device is adapted to inflate the second space so that the envelope assumes a second shape, and to deflate the second space so that the envelope assumes a first shape which is different from the second shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2016
    Assignee: A-NTE (AERO-NAUTIC TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING)
    Inventors: Baptiste Regas, Adrien Regas, Olivier Jozan
  • Patent number: 9327816
    Abstract: This disclosure relates to the use of an optimal altitude controller for super pressure aerostatic balloon in connection with a balloon network. The aerostatic balloon includes a bladder containing a gas that is lighter than the air present in the environment of the balloon. Additionally, the aerostatic balloon includes an envelope filled with air. A mass-changing unit configured to selectively add or remove air may control the amount of air in the envelope. Further, the balloon has a communication module configured to transmit data relating to a current balloon state, and receives data relating to a desired balloon state. Additionally, the balloon includes a processor configured to control the mass-changing unit based on the desired balloon state. The mass-changing unit of the aerostatic balloon may be powered by a renewable energy source, such as solar power. The mass-changing unit adds or removes air with an impeller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Johan Mathe, C. O. Lee Boyce, Jr., Keith Allen Bonawitz
  • Patent number: 9016301
    Abstract: A conduit protection system, comprising: a conduit for carrying a fluid; a sealed vessel surrounding the conduit along a protected zone of the conduit; and a valve moveable between a first position for obstructing fluid flow through the protected zone of the conduit and a second position for enabling fluid flow through the protected zone of the conduit, wherein the valve is biased to the first position, and wherein the valve is fluidically coupled to the sealed vessel such that a positive pressure within the sealed vessel is operable to move the valve to the second position against the bias. Also, a method for protecting a fluid carrying conduit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Airbus Operations Limited
    Inventors: Franklin Tichborne, Joseph K-W Lam, Simon Masters, David Parmenter
  • Patent number: 8973865
    Abstract: An airship system having a flexible envelope and at least one bladder positioned therein is described. The bladder(s) provide an impervious barrier between the gas within the bladder(s) and the air exterior to the bladder(s). The envelope includes longitudinal and hoops straps weaved together in a criss-cross manner. The envelope also includes rings positioned thereon that include truss members for receiving struts for removably coupling the airship to another airship. A tri-hull delta dirigible system is also described, comprising three airships coupled together using struts and arranged in an equilateral triangle formation. The tri-hull delta dirigible system has a similar lift capacity (volume) as a conventional large mono-hull dirigible, while minimizing the detrimental bending in the center of the conventional mono-hull dirigible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Irel Solutions Group Ltd.
    Inventors: William C. Schneider, Ozden O. Ochoa
  • Publication number: 20140353424
    Abstract: A balloon having a bladder positioned within a balloon envelope, a plate having a port, a housing secured to the plate, an impeller positioned within the housing, the port providing a passageway from an inside of the housing to an inside of the bladder, wherein a passive valve having a periphery is positioned over the port, a control system configured, upon receiving a signal to increase the amount of air within the bladder, to cause the passive valve to move from a first, closed position where a seal is provided by the engagement of the periphery of the passive valve and a periphery of the port to a second, open position where the periphery of the passive valve is disengaged from the periphery of the port to open the passageway between the housing and the bladder and to allow air to be forced into the bladder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2013
    Publication date: December 4, 2014
    Inventor: Daniel Ratner
  • Patent number: 8825232
    Abstract: Innovative new methods in connection with lighter-than-air (LTA) free floating platforms, of facilitating legal transmitter operation, platform flight termination when appropriate, environmentally acceptable landing, and recovery of these devices are provided. The new systems and methods relate to rise rate control, geo-location from a LTA platform including landed payload and ground-based vehicle locations, and steerable recovery systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Space Data Corporation
    Inventors: Gerald M. Knoblach, Eric A. Frische, Bruce Alan Barkley
  • Patent number: 8814084
    Abstract: A controllable buoyant system (10) includes a support structure having a sealed hollow enclosure (12) containing a first gas and surrounded by a second gas, either the first gas or the second gas being lighter than ambient air. The hollow enclosure is pre-filled with the first gas via a one-way valve that prevents the first gas escaping and an altitude sensor (14) generates an altitude signal indicative of a height of the support structure. A height transducer (17, 21, 61, 66, 67, 68) coupled to the hollow enclosure is responsive to the altitude signal for varying the buoyancy of the support structure. A controller (15) is coupled to the altitude sensor and to the height transducer and is responsive to the altitude signal and to at least one reference altitude signal for automatically controlling the height transducer in order to maintain the support structure buoyant at the preset altitude.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: New Create Ltd.
    Inventor: Oz Shenhar
  • Patent number: 8708276
    Abstract: A lighter than air emergency beacon platform as part of a hydrogen generation and filtration apparatus includes at least one power source having at least one activation switch. At least one reaction chamber is electrically connected to the at least one reaction chamber by at least one low-resistance electrical conductor. The reaction chamber is configured to house a hydrogen generating material. At least one flow disruption chamber is in fluid communication with the reaction chamber. The flow disruption chamber(s) are configured to provide fluid communication with the next flow disruption chamber in the direction of fluid flow. At least one inflatable housing is configured to carry payload and is in fluid communication with the flow disruption chambers. The inflatable housing is detached from a fill tube to lift the payload above terrain blocking line-of-sight signal communication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2014
    Assignee: The United States of America as Represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Michael L. Petersen, Thomas J. Groshens, Elsa J. Hennings
  • Publication number: 20140054421
    Abstract: The invention relates to an airship comprising a flexible envelope having at least one adjustment region provided with two longitudinal adjustment elements mounted in opposition and mobile in relation to each other between a maximum distancing position and a minimum distancing position, the two longitudinal adjustment elements being connected to each other by a group comprising a plurality of cables crossing the inner space of the envelope, each of the cables cooperating with a plurality or tightening points provided along each longitudinal element. The cables are connected to at least one tightening module that can exert a tightening or loosening action on the cables and thereby bring the longitudinal adjustment elements closer together or move them further away.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2012
    Publication date: February 27, 2014
    Applicant: VOLIRIS
    Inventor: Alain Bernard
  • Patent number: 8617687
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for manufacturing a composite structure. A filler material with a barrier material for a channel in the filler material is formed. A composite material and the filler material with the barrier material are laid up onto a tool in a shape of the composite structure. The composite material and the filler material in the shape of the composite structure are cured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Douglas A. McCarville, Juan C. Guzman, Daniel M. Rotter
  • Patent number: 8544797
    Abstract: A system for controlling the lift of an airship for carrying a cargo and a supply of fuel has a self supporting hull made of a flexible gas impermeable material. Air which is located in the hull is at an internal pressure which is greater than the atmospheric pressure of the air on the outside of the hull, and a bag filled with helium is located within the hull and is surrounded by the air in the hull. A heating means is provided to heat both the air and the helium. The bag located within the hull and surrounded by the air in the hull has enough helium in it at ambient temperature to lift all but the cargo and fuel in the airship, and the air and helium, when heated, provides increased buoyancy due to the increase of expansion of both heated gases to lift the airship with its fuel and cargo.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Inventor: Dale Clifford Kramer
  • Patent number: 8459589
    Abstract: An airship system, including an inflatable airship of predetermined volume adapted to be filled with gas and to rise to a predetermined altitude, said airship having a hull formed from an inflated flexible gas containment primary envelope, at least one lifting envelope located within the primary envelope for containing the lifting gas, where the lifting envelope will expand to substantially occupy the space of the primary envelope when the airship is at its predetermined high altitude, at least one secondary envelope located within the primary envelope, which can be inflated when said lifting envelope is at lower altitudes to fill the balance of the space of the primary envelope, and air handling means external to the primary envelope and communicating with the secondary envelope for filling and emptying the secondary envelope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Nicholas L. Barnes, Jonathan M. Peritt
  • Patent number: 8342442
    Abstract: An airship is disclosed in the form of a spherical hull having a venting duct extending diagonally therethrough from an entrance end at the forward facing surface of the hull to an exit end at the rearward facing surface of the hull. A propeller is disposed in the duct to direct an air flow through the duct for expulsion at the exit end and the exiting flow is vectored by a set of controllable louvers at the exit end. The expulsed airflow reduces drag normally associated with a spherical airship by disturbing the wake at the trailing surface of the airship. A mooring method and apparatus also is disclosed for minimizing wind induced loads on the airship, or indeed on any body such as a gas storage tank, by supporting the airship or other body a predetermined distance above the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Dancila LLC
    Inventor: Dragos-Stefan Dancila
  • Patent number: 8191819
    Abstract: A suspended load-bearing structure that is formed by pneumatic structural load-bearing elements comprising an elongate hollow body, compression bars, and traction elements. The hollow body is impinged upon by gases that are lighter than air. In a first embodiment, an individual suspended structural load-bearing element is used as a ridge beam of a large tent hall whose interior has no pillars. The roof is formed by a waterproof cover, the sides of which are stretched on pillars. The cover and the structural load-bearing element are anchored to the ground by means of anchoring ropes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2012
    Assignee: Prospective Concepts AG
    Inventor: Rolf Luchsinger
  • Publication number: 20120037748
    Abstract: An airship system having a flexible envelope and at least one bladder positioned therein is described. The bladder(s) provide an impervious barrier between the gas within the bladder(s) and the air exterior to the bladder(s). The envelope includes longitudinal and hoops straps weaved together in a criss-cross manner. The envelope also includes rings positioned thereon that include truss members for receiving struts for removably coupling the airship to another airship. A tri-hull delta dirigible system is also described, comprising three airships coupled together using struts and arranged in an equilateral triangle formation. The tri-hull delta dirigible system has a similar lift capacity (volume) as a conventional large mono-hull dirigible, while minimizing the detrimental bending in the center of the conventional mono-hull dirigible.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 5, 2011
    Publication date: February 16, 2012
    Inventors: William C. Schneider, Ozden O. Ochoa
  • Publication number: 20110108661
    Abstract: The invention relates to a segmented aerial vehicle with gasbags filled with an energy medium. It refers in particular to an aerial vehicle having interlinked gasbags and/or one big gasbag. This one gasbag or these interlinked gasbags are filled with an energy medium the specific weight of which is approximately the one of air. The energy medium of the gasbags provides energy to the eccentrically placed controllable engines fixed at the segments. The vector thrust produced by the engines and by the vehicle's envelope under excess compression provide sufficient dynamic lift to have the proposed invention fly in a stable and controllable way all in carrying a defined payload, Inside segmented interconnected airbags are placed interconnected segmented gasbags.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 28, 2008
    Publication date: May 12, 2011
    Inventor: Bernd-Helmut Kroeplin
  • Patent number: 7669796
    Abstract: A system and method for equalizing internal and external pressure on an enclosed vessel moving through a gas or fluid is described, thereby reducing hoop stresses imposed on the vessel by pressure differentials. The vessel is divided into multiple chambers, and the internal pressure of a chamber may be equalized with an external pressure proximate the chamber through the use of a valve or controllable vent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2010
    Inventor: Daniel Nachbar
  • Publication number: 20100025534
    Abstract: An envelope is disclosed for holding gas in a lighter-than-air aircraft. The envelope includes a shell having a leading edge, a trailing edge, an upper surface and a lower surface. The upper surface and the lower surface each extend between the leading edge and the trailing edge. The shell has an airfoil-shaped cross-section having a reflex camber quality.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2008
    Publication date: February 4, 2010
    Inventor: Adam N. Chu
  • Publication number: 20090321557
    Abstract: This invention relates to the field of buoyant aircraft and operation thereof, in particular, airships with improved stability. The present invention is directed to non-rigid, non-spherical airships having an envelope contained within the airship and at least one further envelope contained therein for holding a volume of lifting gas.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 26, 2009
    Publication date: December 31, 2009
    Inventor: Hokan S. Colting
  • Patent number: 7552893
    Abstract: This invention relates to the field of buoyant aircraft and operation thereof, in particular, airships with improved stability. The present invention is directed to non-rigid, non-spherical airships having an envelop contained within the airship and at least one further envelop contained therein for holding a volume of lifting gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2009
    Assignee: 21st Century Airship Technologies Inc.
    Inventor: Hokan S. Colting
  • Patent number: 7500637
    Abstract: An airship with a lifting gas cell system comprises an airship that contains a plurality of partitions and a plurality of diaphragms, wherein the partitions and diaphragms are configured to form a number of gas cells that contain a lifting gas such as helium, and a single air cell that contains air. As a result, during the ascent and descent of the airship the number of gas cells ensures that the lifting gas is uniformly distributed over the entire length of the airship, whereas the air cell allows a large amount of air to be retained during a descent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2009
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas L. Marimon, Gordon S. Schmidt, Dennis L. Carter
  • Patent number: 7487936
    Abstract: One embodiment of the invention provides an airship having an outer tube formed in the shape of a toroid and defining a central opening, a first compartment positioned within the outer tube and containing a first gas, and a second compartment positioned within the outer tube and containing a second gas. The airship may also include top and bottom covers further defining and enclosing the central opening, the central opening containing the second gas, and a controller that controls the flow of the first gas into and out of the first compartment to actively control the ascent and descent of the airship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2009
    Assignee: LTAS Holdings, LLC
    Inventor: George H. Heaven, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7097135
    Abstract: An airship (100) for conveyance through a fluid medium in a selected direction of travel. The airship includes a hull adapted to contain a lifting medium therein, wherein the hull (108) includes a first section having a width which varies along the selected direction of travel, the width increasing from a bow of the hull to a maximum width and decreasing from the maximum width to a tail section of the first section; and a second section coupled to the first section and having a width which varies along the selected direction of travel, the width increasing from a leading edge of the second section to a maximum width and decreasing from the maximum width to a stern of the hull.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2006
    Assignee: Windcrafter, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven Swearingen, Therin Laney
  • 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: 6877693
    Abstract: The invention concerns a lighter-than-air craft for transporting by air equipment and passengers, more particularly, it concerns an aircraft whereof the frame (1) made of light metal and erected vertically, contains and protects the passenger compartment (4) of the invention, and all the components of the invention which, by a mass-reducing assembly (2-8-9-11-19), uses light gas power for neutralizing the earth's gravitational pull. Electric motors actuating propellers (6-7) with multiple blades and powered by a mini-electric power unit (5) enable to counter the force of mean winds, so to lift the neutralized mass and control the aircraft movements. The aircraft wide external surfaces (11-12) are used as wing system, a sailboat keel being replaced by a gyroscope (10) stabilizing effect and by the thrust of the lateral propellers (6).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2005
    Inventor: Yves Barbarie
  • Patent number: 6837458
    Abstract: An airship (100) for conveyance through a fluid medium in a selected direction of travel. The airship includes a hull adapted to contain a lifting medium therein, wherein the hull (108) includes a first section having a width which varies along the selected direction of travel, the width increasing from a bow of the hull to a maximum width and decreasing from the maximum width to a tail section of the first section; and a second section coupled to the first section and having a width which varies along the selected direction of travel, the width increasing from a leading edge of the second section to a maximum width and decreasing from the maximum width to a stern of the hull.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2005
    Assignee: Windcrafter, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven Swearingen, Therin Laney
  • Patent number: 6811115
    Abstract: A method comprises: launching observation means configured to observe upper air environment immediately before launching an airship to acquire ambient air data on the actual conditions of the upper ambient air including altitude, pressure, wind direction, wind speed and temperature; determining an ascension profile for the airship by simulation using the ambient air data on the actual conditions of the ambient air; determining an initial quantity of Helium gas conforming to the actual conditions of the ambient air; and adjusting the quantity of Helium gas in the Helium room to the initial quantity of Helium gas to set an initial buoyancy. The method sets hull parameters for the hull of the airship to provide an ascension profile conforming to the actual conditions of the ambient air.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2004
    Assignee: Kawasaki Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Toyotoshi Kurose
  • Patent number: 6805319
    Abstract: The invention seeks to provide a dirigible balloon with an internal enclosure (V2) having a flexible wall (4) contained in an outer rigid enclosure (15) which is of aerodynamic shape. The internal enclosure (V2) contains helium and is provided with means (5, 6, 7, 8) enabling its volume to be modified. Thus, depending on the volume given to the internal enclosure (V2) of the dirigible balloon, landing, take-off, and altitude variation are easy to perform. The means for modifying the volume of the internal enclosure (V2) comprise a cable (8) connected to the internal enclosure (V2) by means of a set of pulleys (5, 6), and a winch (7) for reducing the length of the cable (8).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: Aerospace Adour Technology
    Inventor: Marc Senepart
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20040155149
    Abstract: A lighter-than-air ship using hydrogen or other gas as a lift gas with at least one hydrogen fuel cell aboard. The fuel cell can draw hydrogen fuel from the lift gas reservoir to produce electricity both for the ship's use and optionally for propulsion. The waste product of the fuel cell is water which can be used for the needs of a crew on the ship. The hydrogen lift gas chamber, which can be compartmentalized for lift control, can be surrounded by a safety jacket filled with an inert gas and contain optional hydrogen and/or oxygen sensors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 6, 2003
    Publication date: August 12, 2004
    Inventors: Vasilios Dossas, Clifford H. Kraft
  • Patent number: 6739549
    Abstract: A variable-lift device using a helium to fly. The device comprises a balloon (1) composed of an outer flexible envelope (3) supported by a rigid structure. The rigid structure comprises a plurality of hollow toruses (4) of inside volume that acts as a tank for storing helium under pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: Aerospace Adour Technology
    Inventor: Marc Senepart
  • Publication number: 20030111577
    Abstract: A membrane structure includes an airtight pressure-resistant gasbag and a shape maintaining mechanism which maintains the gasbag in a predetermined shape when the gasbag is in a fully inflated state. The gasbag includes a plurality of spindle-shaped gores of an airtight membrane material, adjacent gores joined together at edges, and a plurality of reinforcing ropes attached to joined sections of the edges, the reinforcing ropes extending along the edges, respectively. Each of the gores outwardly protrudes between two adjacent reinforcing ropes extending along the edges of the gore, respectively, without elongation of the airtight membrane material, when the gasbag is in the fully inflated state. Each protruding gore has a radius of curvature in a direction intersecting the two adjacent reinforcing ropes. The radius of curvature is smaller than a radius of the gasbag.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2002
    Publication date: June 19, 2003
    Applicant: Institute of Space and Astronautical Science
    Inventors: Noboyuki Yajima, Naoki Izutsu, Hideyuki Honda
  • Patent number: 6499693
    Abstract: To respond to internal threats to the aircraft, an incapacitating aerosol can be released into the cabin of the aircraft. The incapacitating aerosol prevents the hijackers or terrorists from accomplishing their goals. While the hijackers or terrorists are incapacitated, the pilot can land the aircraft at the first opportunity and let trained security forces, such as the police, board the aircraft and deal with the hijackers/terrorists.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2002
    Inventor: Ariel S. Rogson
  • Publication number: 20020130220
    Abstract: An improved airship that is uniquely constructed so as to be inexpensive yet easy to pilot and highly maneuverable includes an outer skin that defines a nose portion and a tail portion of the airship and an internal envelope. At least one gas bag is contained within the envelope. A gondola is secured to and positioned beneath the outer skin. Most advantageously, a propulsion mechanism is positioned proximate to the tail portion and is constructed and arranged to create propulsive thrust that is vectored so as to be substantially colinear with a centerline of the airship that extends through the nose portion and the tail portion of the airship. The airship also may include a ballonet-free internal pressurizing system that introduces outside air into a location between the outer skin and the gas bag when pressure at that location has reached a predetermined minimum pressure. As a result, the envelope is sufficiently pressurized to maintain its outer shape without use of a ballonet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2001
    Publication date: September 19, 2002
    Inventors: Bob Sparks, Richard Schriebmaier
  • Patent number: 6427943
    Abstract: A stratospheric airship capable of substantially and smoothly varying the volume of a buoyant gas is provided so as to allow the airship to stably ascend into the stratosphere and keep a station therein. A stratospheric airship includes a gas envelope defined by a ship hull, the gas envelope being divided by a diaphragm into a buoyant gas compartment containing a buoyant gas and an air compartment containing air, the stratospheric airship being allowed to ascend by varying the volume ratio between the buoyant gas and the air, wherein the periphery of the diaphragm is coupled to the ship hull generally at the midpoint along the vertical dimension thereof, and a central portion of the diaphragm is coupled to a suspension chord whose upper and lower ends are coupled respectively to the upper and lower surfaces of the ship hull. The sloshing phenomenon of the diaphragm is suppressed, whereby the change in the shape thereof is balanced, and thus there is no asymmetric distribution of the buoyant gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Fuji Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yoshio Yokomaku, Keiji Komatsu, Masaaki Sano, Junichi Kimura
  • Patent number: 5992795
    Abstract: A stratospheric balloon comprising on the one hand an external flexible envelope (1) having a natural shape and made of transparent synthetic material and presenting an air inlet and, on the other hand, an internal screen (2) made of visible and infrared energy collecting material and having the shape of a surface generated by a mobile generatrix parallel to the longitudinal symmetry axis of the external envelope. The internal shield is connected to the envelope (1) by attachments arranged at the upper part of the envelope at a distance from the longitudinal axis of the latter, and extending longitudinally freely inside the envelope (1) without contacting it.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales
    Inventor: Christian Tockert
  • Patent number: 5890676
    Abstract: A neutral buoyancy fuel bladder uses hydrogen and oxygen to power an airship. The neutral buoyancy fuel bladder includes a fuel cell, electrolyzer, and means for storing hydrogen, oxygen and water. The fuel cell uses the hydrogen and oxygen to create heat, water and current flow. An energy source transmits a beam to an energy receiving unit on the airship, and the energy from said beam is used to (1) power said airship, and (2) replenish the supply of hydrogen and oxygen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Inventors: Richard Coleman, Lathan Collins
  • Patent number: 5755402
    Abstract: An airship capable of vertical and horizontal flight and able to make right angle turns is preferably of nearly neutral buoyancy and comprises two gas bags, the lower of which is toroidal in shape and surrounds a centrally located engine that has a downwardly facing inlet. Upwardly directed thrust from the engine is redirected by a gate valve arrangement into a manifold of ducts, each of which passes between the upper and lower gas bags to a respective outlet or nozzle adjacent the periphery of the aircraft. To fly the aircraft, a pilot uses the cable-operated valve arrangement to manage the distribution of thrust from the engine into selected ones of the ducts to provide thrust in a desired direction. Preferred pilot operated controls comprise a foot pedal and a rotatable steering wheel mounted on a pedestal hingedly attached to the gondola of the aircraft for fore and aft pivoting motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Inventor: Roy Henry
  • Patent number: 5716693
    Abstract: A sandwich skin construction that is comprised of an internal structure comprising a plurality of cones disposed between two outer skins is disclosed. The interior contains a pressurized gas to give the resulting sandwich skin construction added strength over a similarly constructed non-pressurized structure of the same material with an equivalent mass. Various attributes of the cones can be adjusted, for example, size and angle, to optimize the performance of the sandwich skin construction to a variety of external stresses. Moreover, a method is provided for manufacturing the sandwich skin construction. The structure can be placed in a pressurized environment before attaching the outer skins.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 10, 1998
    Inventor: Douglas E. Pittman
  • Patent number: 5713536
    Abstract: An aerostat, including an aerostat hull and a single ballonet, attached to said aerostat hull, along an attachment line, the attachment line dividing a helium compartment formed by said aerostat hull into a forward helium compartment and an aft helium compartment, wherein a ratio of a volume of the forward helium compartment to volume of the aft helium compartment is equal to a ratio of a volume of the single ballonet forward of the attachment line to a volume of the single ballonet aft of the attachment line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 3, 1998
    Assignee: TCOM, L.P.
    Inventor: Bohus T. Bata
  • Patent number: 5697579
    Abstract: An airship has a flexible gas storage tube which forms a frame that maintains an inflated condition of an envelope of the airship permitting the envelope to be charged with hot air. A pump and valve are provided for supplying gas such as air, helium, and hydrogen to the gas storage tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 16, 1997
    Inventor: Masahiko Hayashi
  • Patent number: 5538203
    Abstract: The invention is a ballonet system for a lighter-than-air-vehicle, the vehicle having a lift producing gas bag and a longitudinal, vertical and lateral axis. In detail, the ballonet system includes a plurality of ballonets located within the gas bag positioned along the longitudinal axis and on each side of the vertical axis of the vehicle. Each of the ballonets include a flexible sheet joined at its periphery thereof to a portion of the wall of the gas bag. A ballonet pressurization system is coupled to each ballonet for pressurizing them with air that includes the portion of the wall of the gas bag forming the ballonet having a plurality of holes therethrough. A manifold having an inlet port is joined to the wall covering the holes therein and is adapted to diffuse the pressurized air entering therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 23, 1996
    Assignee: Lockheed Corporation
    Inventor: James A. Mellady
  • Patent number: 5333817
    Abstract: The invention is a ballonet system for a lighter-than-air-vehicle, the vehicle having a lift producing gasbag and a longitudinal, vertical and lateral axis. In detail, the ballonet system includes a plurality of ballonets located within the gasbag positioned along the longitudinal axis and on each side of the vertical axis of the vehicle. Each of the ballonets include a flexible sheet joined at its periphery thereof to a portion of the wall of the gasbag. A ballonet pressurization system is coupled to each ballonet for pressurizing them with air that includes the portion of the wall of the gasbag forming the ballonet having a plurality of holes therethrough. A manifold having an inlet port is joined to the wall covering the holes therein and is adapted to diffuse the pressurized air entering therein. Also included is at least one fan having an inlet port coupled to ambient atmosphere and an outlet port coupled to the inlet port of the manifold for providing pressurized air to the interior thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 2, 1994
    Assignee: Lockheed Corporation
    Inventors: John B. Kalisz, Mark H. Wexler
  • Patent number: 5251850
    Abstract: An apparatus for regulating the height of an airship, which includes a floating body of tube-like supporting gas containers and air bags. The air bags are disposed outside and between the supporting gas containers and connect the containers to each other. The apparatus includes at least one fan-compressor for high pressure and/or at least one fan-compressor for low pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1993
    Assignee: Bruno Wintzell
    Inventor: Torsten A. B. Noren
  • Patent number: 5076513
    Abstract: The invention relates to an aerostat of the double balloon type intended to travel in an autonomous and reversible manner between the ground of a planet having an atmosphere and a predetermined ceiling altitude. This aerostat is of the type comprising a first closed carrier balloon (1) for containing a gas lighter than the gas present in the atmosphere, and a solar hot air balloon (3) comprising a permanent opening (6) permitting its filling by the gas present in the atmosphere. According to the invention the solar hot air balloon is provided at its upper extremity with an opening defined by an annular border, and means for sealingly securing this annular border to the peripheral wall of the carrier balloon (1), such that said carrier balloon extends partially into the interior of the envelope of the hot air balloon (3).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 31, 1991
    Assignee: Centre Nationale d'Etudes Spatiales (C.N.E.S.)
    Inventors: Robert Regipa, Jacques Villaeys
  • Patent number: 5071090
    Abstract: An airship having improved controllability which comprises: an axial fluid pathway penetrating through a body of the airship in an axial direction, at least one radial fluid pathway crossing the axial fluid pathway and penetrating through the body in a radial direction, the axial fluid pathway and the radial fluid pathway forming a ventilating-thrusting tube having a rigid framework construction, propulsion means, thrust generating direction of which is adjustable, arranged in a crossing region of the axial fluid pathway and the radial fluid pathway, and a lift balloon arranged beside the ventilating-thrusting tube in such a manner that a gap is formed between the ventilating-thrusting tube and the lift balloon to allow air to flow through. This arrangement lowers a tendency of yawing due to a transverse wind. The airship has a semi-rigid and semi-flexible construction capable of making up for drawbacks of both rigid type and flexible type.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 10, 1991
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha HI Blidge
    Inventors: Masakatsu Takahashi, Ryotaro Takahashi, Kentaro Takahashi