Airplane Sustained Patents (Class 244/13)
  • Patent number: 10814975
    Abstract: A fixed-wing flying apparatus, aircraft, airplane or device is provided which is capable of stably gliding in more than one direction such as backwards, frontward or sideways. The device comprises a plurality of wings arranged around the center of area and defining a space therebetween. Each wing includes an outwardly protruding wall along an outer edge of the wing, which disrupts airflow over the wing flying in front so it is less effective than the wing flying behind, facilitating temporary or long term sustainable speed-seeking glide stability in more than one forward direction without any trim or center of gravity adjustment. The plurality of wings can include two wings, three wings forming a triangle, or four wings forming a square or rectangle. The aircraft can be unpowered, powered, free-flight or controlled. A one-front airplane can also be constructed with very relaxed yaw stability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2020
    Inventor: James Dean Zongker
  • Patent number: 10814989
    Abstract: An aircraft propulsion assembly, comprising a gas generator and two fans rotated by the gas generator and offset on either side of a vertical plane passing through the axis of said gas generator. The propulsion assembly comprises an air inlet sleeve comprising an inlet pipe oriented along a first axis that is substantially parallel and offset with respect to a longitudinal axis of the gas generator, the inlet pipe dividing into a supply pipe that is connected to an inlet opening of the gas generator and a discharge pipe configured such that particles ingested by the inlet pipe are discharged without entering the gas generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2020
    Assignee: SAFRAN AIRCRAFT ENGINES
    Inventors: Christian Sylvain Vessot, Bruno Albert Beutin, Philippe Gérard Chanez, Mathieu Patrick Jean-Louis Lallia
  • Patent number: 10807728
    Abstract: A solar powered aircraft including a modular main wing and a pair of relatively large modular winglets attached to the transverse end portions of the main wing. To collect solar radiation, including relatively low-angle radiation, solar panels are mounted to both the main wing and the winglets. In some embodiments, the aspect ratio of the main wing is relatively low, such as between 9 and 15, i.e., the main wing is relatively deep compared to its wing span. In some embodiments, the winglets are relatively long, such as in the range of 0.2 to 0.7 times the length of the main wing semi-span. In some embodiments, a truss-like spar passes through and helps support the wing and the winglets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2020
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Blaine Knight Rawdon, Aaron J. Kutzmann
  • Patent number: 10773786
    Abstract: An aircraft that comprises a body, a wing, and a strut. The wing is coupled to and extends from the body. The wing comprises a wing inboard end portion, a wing outboard end portion, opposite the wing inboard end portion, and an intermediate portion between the wing inboard end portion and the wing outboard end portion. The strut comprises a strut inboard end portion and a strut outboard end portion. The strut inboard end portion is coupled to and extends from the body and the strut outboard end portion is coupled to and extends from the intermediate portion of the wing. The strut outboard end portion of the strut is configured to generate a download acting on the strut outboard end portion of the strut when the aircraft is in flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Anthony J. Sclafani, Adam D. Grasch, Christopher K. Droney, Neal A. Harrison
  • Patent number: 10661884
    Abstract: An oblique wing aircraft designed for reduced surface area to volume ratio. The aircraft has an oblique wing comprising a forward swept wing segment and an aft swept wing segment. A center oblique airfoil section connects the forward and aft swept wing segments. The center oblique airfoil section has a larger chord near its centerline than the chords of either of the forward or aft swept wing segments. The chord of the center oblique airfoil section tapers down more rapidly than the forward or aft wing segments as the center oblique airfoil section extends outboard toward the forward and aft swept wings. Preferably, the aircraft is an all-wing aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Assignee: Advanced Product Development, LLC
    Inventor: William Randall McDonnell
  • Patent number: 10636314
    Abstract: Various embodiments include methods and aerial robotic vehicles that adjust a flight control parameter based on whether propeller guards are installed. An aerial robotic vehicle processor may determine whether a propeller guard is installed, set a flight parameter based on the determination, and control one or more motors of the aerial robotic vehicle using the flight parameter. When propeller guards are installed, the flight parameter may be set to a value appropriate for controlling the aerial robotic vehicle when the propeller guard is installed. The flight parameter may be one or more of control gains, drag profile control settings, a maximum rotor speed, maximum speed of the aerial robotic vehicle, maximum power usage, restrictions to select modes of operation, visual algorithm settings, or a flight plan. Data from one or more sensors and/or motor controllers may be used to determine the presence of a propeller guard.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Assignee: Qualcomm Incorporated
    Inventors: Michael Franco Taveira, Daniel Warren Mellinger, III
  • Patent number: 10604250
    Abstract: A hang glider control device may include a cross bar having a first end, a second end, a central region, a first central arm, and a second central arm. The first central arm and the second central arm may be coupled opposingly to the central region. The first end may be formed by a portion of the first central arm distal to the central region, and the second end may be formed by a portion of the second central arm distal to the central region. The first end of the cross bar may be configured to couple the cross bar to the first upright above the base tube, and the second end of the cross bar may be configured to couple the cross bar to the second upright above the base tube so that the crossbar may be generally parallel to the base tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Inventor: Burton James Fenison
  • Patent number: 10558225
    Abstract: An air vehicle configured to augment effective drag to change the rate of descent of the air vehicle in flight via propeller shaft rotation direction reversal, i.e., thrust reversal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2020
    Assignee: AEROVIRONMENT, INC.
    Inventors: Martyn Cowley, Matthew Todd Keennon
  • Patent number: 10472081
    Abstract: A cross flow fan to be incorporated into an aircraft fuselage comprises an ingestion fan rotor to be positioned in a tail section of an aircraft fuselage to reduce boundary layer air from a top surface of the fuselage and to drive the air away from the top surface, and a drive arrangement for the ingestion fan rotor. An aircraft is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Gabriel L. Suciu, Jesse M. Chandler, Wesley K. Lord
  • Patent number: 10399674
    Abstract: Systems and methods for countering an unmanned air vehicle are disclosed. Representative methods include directing an interceptor UAV toward a target UAV, and directing the interceptor UAV back to ground along a controlled flight path, for example, in response to an instruction not to engage with the target UAV, and/or in response to an unsuccessful engagement. Another representative method includes disabling the target UAV by deploying a disabling element (e.g., a net) from the interceptor UAV to contact the target UAV. Representative systems include a target acquisition system, a launch control system, and an engagement system carried by the interceptor UAV. In particular embodiments, the interceptor UAV can have a generally cylindrical fuselage, one or more fins carried by the fuselage, counter-rotating propellers carried by the fuselage, and a disabling system that is configured to disable the target UAV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2019
    Assignee: INSITU, INC.
    Inventor: Wayne Goodrich
  • Patent number: 10308346
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a solar-powered aircraft comprising a fixed wing panel, a motor driven propeller, a plurality of secondary wing panels, and a tail assembly having a first tail panel and a second tail panel. Each secondary wing panel being configured to rotate about a first longitudinal pivot axis extending from a distal end of the fixed wing panel through a central transverse portion of the secondary wing panel. The secondary wing panels may comprise an array of solar panels on its surface. The first tail panel comprises a second array of solar panels located on a surface of the first tail panel, the first tail panel being configured to rotate about a second longitudinal pivot axis through a central transverse portion of the first tail panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
    Inventors: Robert W. Parks, Francesco Giannini
  • Patent number: 10234252
    Abstract: The target marking device comprises a small-size flying unit, said flying unit being configured to fly at low height and to be guided with the aid of guidance commands, said flying unit being furnished with at least one sensor able to measure at least one parameter of the environment, a data transmission unit configured to emit at least data relating to measurements carried out by the sensor from the flying unit and to receive guidance orders at the flying unit, and at least one emitter able to emit position information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: MBDA FRANCE
    Inventors: Alexandre Kotenkoff, David Vigouroux, Antoine Vivares, Olivier Hebert, Arnaud Durantin
  • Patent number: 10232938
    Abstract: A heavy payload, autonomous UAV able to deliver supply by way of airdrop with more precision and at a lower cost. The UAV can be equipped with a movable wing system. The UAV can include a removable storage box. The UAV can be equipped with a drogue parachute for deploying the wings upon jettison of the UAV from a mothership. The UAV can be controlled remotely or it can operate autonomously. The UAV can include canard wings. The canard wings and the movable wings can include ailerons to effectuate flight control of the UAV. The UAV can be reusable or can be an expandable UAV. The UAV's wings can be configured to automatically separate from the UAV during the landing sequence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: W.Morrison Consulting Group, Inc.
    Inventor: William M. Yates
  • Patent number: 10148121
    Abstract: A solar power system comprising a solar panel, a load, and a battery pack group. The load comprising an electric motor operatively coupled with a propeller. The battery pack group comprises one or more voltage controllable battery packs, each of said one or more voltage controllable battery packs comprising a plurality of battery cells. The voltage controllable battery packs having a rigid printed circuit board electrically coupled with the plurality of battery cells, the rigid printed circuit board including an interconnect connector to electrically couple with a corresponding interconnect connector of a second voltage controllable battery pack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
    Inventor: Adam Scott Ehrmantraut
  • Patent number: 10106252
    Abstract: A collapsible flying device is provided having a housing including first and second housing sections forming an enclosure, and a motorized assembly that includes a drive motor and a drive shaft driven by the drive motor. The drive shaft matingly receives the first housing section and is coupled to the second housing section, wherein operation of the drive motor drives the drive shaft to move the first housing section from a closed position adjacent the second housing section to an open position spaced from the second housing section. A rotor hub is rotatingly driven by the drive motor. At least two rotor blades are coupled thereto and positioned within the enclosure in a collapsed position when the first housing section is in the closed position, and extend beyond the enclosure in an expanded position when the first housing section is in the open position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2018
    Assignee: SPIN MASTER LTD.
    Inventors: Daryl R. Tearne, Robert M. O'Brien, Charles Sink
  • Patent number: 10032125
    Abstract: Described is an airborne fulfillment center (“AFC”) and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAV”) to deliver items from the AFC to users. For example, the AFC may be an airship that remains at a high altitude (e.g., 45,000 feet) and UAVs with ordered items may be deployed from the AFC to deliver ordered items to user designated delivery locations. As the UAVs descend, they can navigate horizontally toward a user specified delivery location using little to no power, other than to stabilize the UAV and/or guide the direction of descent. Shuttles (smaller airships) may be used to replenish the AFC with inventory, UAVs, supplies, fuel, etc. Likewise, the shuttles may be utilized to transport workers to and from the AFC.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2018
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul William Berg, Scott Isaacs, Kelsey Lynn Blodgett
  • Patent number: 9902486
    Abstract: According to the invention there is provided a transition arrangement (10) for an aircraft for aiding stabilization of an aircraft between substantially vertical and horizontal flight of the aircraft, the transition arrangement (10) including an aerofoil (12) and mounting means for mounting the aerofoil rotatable between a leading (18) and/or a trailing edge (20) of an aircraft wing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Inventor: Christian Emmanuel Norden
  • Patent number: 9884682
    Abstract: An aircraft (1), in particular a passenger or cargo aircraft, with a fuselage (2), has a tandem wing arrangement and has at least two aero engines (5, 6) disposed on the upper surface of the rear wing (4). In this way the disadvantages of the known solutions of the prior art are avoided and an improved aircraft configuration with improved aerodynamics, namely clearly reduced induced drag, is provided. Moreover, the invention creates an environmentally friendly aircraft design which conserves resources, increasing the acceptance of such aircraft among the population.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: Airbus Defence and Space GMBH
    Inventors: Stefan Stuckl, Jan van Toor
  • Patent number: 9849983
    Abstract: An aerodynamically shaped, active towed body includes a fuselage curved along its vertical and horizontal longitudinal plane. The fuselage has a unit chamber and a load chamber. A transverse plane of the fuselage is triangular, two upper corners being located on an upper face of the fuselage and a lower corner being located on a lower face of the fuselage. Each of two wings is subdivided into a small and a large segment. The small segment points downwards and is attached to the fuselage in a region of the lower corner and the large segment points upwards and is attached to the small segment. Each of the small segments comprise an additional load chamber. The towed body further includes a tail fin, rudders that are each adjustable by the control device and a coupling for the towing cable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: ALFRED-WEGENER-INSTITUT HELMHOLTZ-ZENTRUM FUER POLAR-UND MEERESFORSCHUNG
    Inventors: Andreas Herber, Dirk Kalmbach, Ruediger Gerdes, Hans-Joerg Bayer
  • Patent number: 9830752
    Abstract: A method for detecting faults in a vehicle control system comprising functional units having an associated unique prime number label is provided. The method comprises calling each of the functional units, the call comprising a readable and updateable integer traversal value, and in case the functional unit is operating correctly, updating the traversal value to be the product of the value in the call and the label of the currently called functional unit, and in the case of a fault, not updating the traversal value. Further, the method comprises determining from the traversal value if any functional units are faulty by a comparison with an expected traversal value, and, in the case that the traversal value is not equivalent to the expected traversal value, determining which functional units are faulty by a unique prime factorization algorithm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: Ningbo Geely Automotive Research & Development Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Michael Palander
  • Patent number: 9764819
    Abstract: A span-loaded, highly flexible flying wing, having horizontal control surfaces mounted aft of the wing on extended beams to form local pitch-control devices. Each of five spanwise wing segments of the wing has one or more motors and photovoltaic arrays, and produces its own lift independent of the other wing segments, to minimize inter-segment loads. Wing dihedral is controlled by separately controlling the local pitch-control devices consisting of a control surface on a boom, such that inboard and outboard wing segment pitch changes relative to each other, and thus relative inboard and outboard lift is varied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Assignee: AeroVironment, Inc.
    Inventors: Greg T. Kendall, Derek L. Lisoski, Walter R. Morgan, John A. Griecci
  • Patent number: 9714079
    Abstract: A high-lift device includes a flap body which is provided at a rear portion of a main wing which generates a lift for the air vehicle such that the flap body is deployed with respect to the main wing and stowed in the main wing and extends along a wingspan direction of the main wing; and a gap increasing section provided at an end portion of the flap body in an extending direction of the flap body, to increase a gap between the rear portion of the main wing and a front portion of the flap body in a state in which the flap body is deployed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Assignees: THE SOCIETY OF JAPANESE AEROSPACE COMPANIES, KAWASAKI JUKOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kazuhide Isotani, Kenji Hayama
  • Patent number: 9656741
    Abstract: A system for controlling a high-lift device of an aircraft may include an interface for placement in a flight deck of an aircraft. The interface may include an edge control device for controlling a position of the high-lift device. The interface may be operable to select any of a plurality of control device positions. Each one of the plurality of control device positions may correspond to a different flight phase of the aircraft. The edge control device may be operable to engage, in response to a selection of a first control device position, a command mode for actuating the high-lift device in an automated manner based on the flight phase associated with the first control device position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Matthew A. Moser, Michael R. Finn, Adam Thoreen
  • Patent number: 9623969
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can operate both as a conventional multicopter with no wing attached, or, it can operate as a winged multicopter. The detachable wing design used in the invention provides versatility without compromising performance; the wing attachment receptacles add no weight to the wingless multicopter configuration because they also function as the leg receptacles. In one embodiment, the base multicopter configuration is a quad-copter with four propeller drives. Four tubular receptacles, two forward and two aft, provide attachment points for the vertical struts of a detachable rectangular shaped wing, these vertical struts also function as the legs of the multicopter. The wing is fabricated using lightweight struts and rip stop nylon fabric which can be easily folded into a compact shape using quick release pins. In another embodiment, the wing is fabricated using a foam core.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Inventor: Brian Dale Nelson
  • Patent number: 9440740
    Abstract: An oblique wing aircraft designed for reduced surface area to volume ratio. The aircraft has an oblique wing comprising a forward swept wing segment and an aft swept wing segment. A center oblique airfoil section connects the forward and aft swept wing segments. The center oblique airfoil section has a larger chord near its centerline than the chords of either of the forward or aft swept wing segments. The chord of the center oblique airfoil section tapers down more rapidly than the forward or aft wing segments as the center oblique airfoil section extends outboard toward the forward and aft swept wings. Preferably, the aircraft is an all-wing aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: Advanced Product Development, LLC
    Inventor: William Randall McDonnell
  • Patent number: 9381995
    Abstract: A pitch stabilizer with box configuration suitable for providing stability to a rotorcraft comprising a vertical mid-plane and a fuselage; the pitch stabilizer comprising one or two pitch stabilizing assemblies, with no more than one pitch stabilizing assembly on each side of the vertical mid-plane, wherein each pitch stabilizing assembly comprises upper pitch stabilizing means, lower pitch stabilizing means and a wing tip element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Assignee: Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GMBH
    Inventors: Sebastian Mores, Alessandro D'Alascio, Uwe Kiesewetter, Stefan Probst, Christian Wehle, Marius Bebesel
  • Patent number: 9308984
    Abstract: Flying device, in which there is a fuselage (2, 2?), wings (8, 9), which are connected to each other to form an essentially looped structure, elements (4, 5) for creating a flying force, and the desired elements (e.g., 7, 7?) for controlling the flying device (1). The wings (8, 9) of the flying device (1) form a unified totality detachable from the fuselage (2, 2?). A wing construction is also included.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2016
    Assignee: FLY NANO OY
    Inventor: Aki Suokas
  • Patent number: 9272784
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) comprising a plurality of propeller drives rigidly mounted to a foldable frame with the motor rotors aligned in a vertical direction to provide a means of vertical takeoffs and landings. The foldable frame mounts a sheet sail at an angle with the horizontal that provides lift during the forward motion and tilt of the UAV. In one embodiment the shape of the sheet sail and frame are triangular with one or two propeller drives being mounted in close proximity to each of the three vertices. In another embodiment, the shape of the sheet sail and frame are triangular with one or two propeller drives being mounted in close proximity to each of the three vertices, and one or two propeller drives being mount in close proximity to the trailing edge of the spine, in between the trailing edge propeller drives. In some embodiments, the frame spars may be comprised of carbon fiber rods and the sheet sail may be comprised of ripstop nylon fabric.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2016
    Inventor: Brian Dale Nelson
  • Patent number: 9272227
    Abstract: A flying toy spacecraft having one or more low pressure channels acting as the primary lift mechanism. Each of the low pressure channels has a bottom member, two sidewalls, and an optional top member. The interior of the channel can be fitted with an airfoil or a trailing reflexed edge. In embodiments having two or more low pressure channels, the channels are spaced apart, thereby forming an inverted channel that stabilizes the flying toy spacecraft against undesired yawing motions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2016
    Assignee: Tanous Works, LLC
    Inventor: Gregory David Tanous
  • Patent number: 9242713
    Abstract: An aerodynamic blunt aft body (10) of a helicopter fuselage with two strakes (7, 8) along an aft surface (9) and/or respective left hand and right hand side fuselage surfaces (5, 6). Each strake (7, 8) is defined by first and second intersection lines (3, 4) resulting from intersections of horizontal planes (z) with the surface of the aft surface (9) or the respective left hand and right hand side fuselage surfaces (7, 8). The strakes are defined by a two or three dimensional spline (12) from the surface (2) towards the aft surface (9) inside said first and second intersection lines (3, 4) and inside the bounding box (15).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
    Inventors: Alessandro D'Alascio, Sebastian Mores, Frederic Le Chuiton, Marius Bebesel, Qinyin Zhang
  • Patent number: 9221532
    Abstract: A flight-operable, truly modular aircraft has an aircraft core to which one or more of outer wings members, fuselage, cockpit, leading and trailing edge couplings, and empennage and tail sections can be removably coupled and/or replaced during the operating life span of the aircraft. In preferred embodiments the aircraft core houses the propulsive engines, avionics, at least 80% of the fuel, and all of the landing gear. The aircraft core is preferably constructed with curved forward and aft composite spars, that transfer loads across the center section, while accommodating a mid-wing configuration. The aircraft core preferably has a large central cavity dimensioned to interchangeably carry an ordnance launcher, a surveillance payload, electronic countermeasures, and other types of cargo. Contemplated aircraft can be quite large, for example having a wing span of at least 80 ft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Inventor: Abe Karem
  • Patent number: 9180956
    Abstract: The present disclosure is generally directed to an aircraft including an aircraft body having a number of body frame members on an outboard portion of the aircraft body, a wing assembly extending through a portion of the aircraft body. At least one pair of an attachment member and an attachment strap member are fixedly attached to an upper surface of the wing assembly proximate the portion of the aircraft body at a location of one of the number of body frame members. A number of fasteners fixedly attach the aircraft body via at least one body frame member to one attachment member and a corresponding attachment strap member, thereby securing the aircraft body to the wing assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Grant Brian Thomas, Chun-Liang Lin, Francis E. Andrews
  • Patent number: 9162761
    Abstract: A partially-inflated rigid-structure glider is a portable or collapsible gliding apparatus that a user can transport in a carrying case. The gliding apparatus includes a rigid yet collapsible frame, tension membranes over both on the wings and tail, and inflatable bladder, a pair of drogue brakes, and a left and right steering mechanism. The pair of drogue brakes is located on opposing sides of the gliding apparatus and create drag on its respective side in order to turn the gliding apparatus either left or right. The user can activate either drogue brake with the left and right steering mechanism, which are control lines attached to each drogue brake. The tension membranes are fitted over the frame so that the gliding apparatus has an airfoil shape in order to create lift with the wings and tail while the gliding apparatus is in flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Inventor: Christopher Paul Farbolin
  • Patent number: 9105970
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a balloon payload with communications and avionics on positioned on top. The payload may include a chassis and an avionics system coupled to the first chassis. The payload may also include a battery coupled to the first chassis and positioned below the avionics system. The payload may additionally include an air-to-ground communications antenna coupled to the first chassis and positioned below the battery portion and the avionics portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventor: Mitchell Joseph Heinrich
  • Publication number: 20150108269
    Abstract: A supersonic aircraft having unique structural, geometrical, electromagnetic, mechanical, thermal and aerodynamic configuration is described. Its design characteristics maximize aerodynamic performance, speed, efficiency, comfort and range in the operational affect of carrying passengers over long distances at very high flight speeds and Mach numbers, generally above Mach 4.0+. It has fully integrated-mated fuselage twin engine nacelle structures which reduce and stabilize wave drag, wherein engines sit forward of the sonic boom electrode swept aerospace but are integrated right through the sub-wing, the aero-spike and inlet just above the top surface of the central wing, and above and the major wing mating join, attached via a massive composite titanium keel structure, through the central wing box and fuselage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2013
    Publication date: April 23, 2015
    Inventor: Richard H. Lugg
  • Publication number: 20150102157
    Abstract: A VTOL aircraft includes at least one puller rotor and at least one pusher rotor. The VTOL aircraft, for example, may include three puller rotors and one pusher rotor. The combination of static puller and pusher rotors allows the rotors to remain in a fixed orientation (i.e., no moving mechanical axes are required) relative to the wings and fuselage of the VTOL aircraft, while being able to transition the aircraft from a substantially vertical flight path to a substantially horizontal flight path.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 14, 2014
    Publication date: April 16, 2015
    Inventors: Robert Godlasky, Nate Ogawa, Andrew Streett
  • Publication number: 20150102156
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a wing for an aircraft. The wing includes a main wing section extending from an inboard end to an outboard end along a lateral axis of the wing, the inboard end for connecting the main wing section to the aircraft. The wing also includes a wing tip having a proximal end and a distal end, the wing tip being rotatably mounted at the proximal end to the outboard end of the main wing section and arranged to freely rotate about a wing tip rotational centre with respect to the main wing section.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2013
    Publication date: April 16, 2015
    Inventor: Gabor Devenyi
  • Publication number: 20150097071
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus to harvest renewable energy are provided herein. In some embodiments, a wind-powered aircraft includes an airframe suitable for untethered flight in an open airspace; and an airborne kinetic energy conversion system attached to the airframe, the airborne kinetic energy conversion system comprising a turbine, a generator connected to the turbine, and an electrical storage means connected to the generator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2013
    Publication date: April 9, 2015
    Applicant: SUNLIGHT PHOTONICS INC.
    Inventor: SUNLIGHT PHOTONICS INC.
  • Patent number: 8949090
    Abstract: An apparatus for controlling the formation flight of a trailing aircraft relative to a vortex generated by a leading aircraft includes a position module, peak-seeking module, limiter module, and control module. The position module is configured to determine a position of the vortex relative to the trailing aircraft. The peak-seeking module is configured to determine a desired position of the trailing aircraft for providing desired vortex-induced aerodynamic benefits based on the position of the vortex relative to the trailing aircraft and a mapping function of an individual performance metric. The limiter module is configured to modify the desired position of the trailing aircraft to avoid unintended crossings of the trailing aircraft into the vortex. Finally, the control module is configured to control flight of the trailing aircraft based on one of the desired position of the trailing aircraft and modified desired position of the trailing aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Brian T. Whitehead, Stefan R. Bieniawski, David Halaas, Eugene Lavretsky
  • Patent number: 8905358
    Abstract: An unmanned air vehicle includes a body having front and rear sections with at least one pair of end plates connected to the body, wherein one end plate within the at least one pair of end plates is connected to the left side of the body and another end plate within the at least one pair of end plates is connected to the right side of the body, each end plate having upper and lower sections, wherein: a) the upper section is positioned above a mean line of the body; b) the lower section is positioned below the mean line of the body; and c) a ratio of the area of the upper section to the area of the lower section is less than 1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2014
    Assignee: Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.
    Inventor: Abraham Abershitz
  • Patent number: 8888035
    Abstract: A morphing aircraft that is achieves multi-modality location and camouflage for payload emplacement The morphing aircraft includes a substantially cylindrical fuselage including a shape configured as a packaging container with a first end and a second end A set of wings is coupled to the fuselage The set of wings includes a first position where the set of wings is extended outwards from the fuselage and a second position where the set of wings is retracted inwards towards the fuselage A tail is coupled to the second end of the cylindrical fuselage The tail includes a first position where the tail is extended outward from the fuselage and a second position where the tail is retracted inward towards the fuselage A propeller is mounted to the first end of the fuselage An engine is mechanically coupled to the propeller The engine is enclosed within the fuselage and powers the propeller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: University of Florida Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Charles Lind, Jr., Daniel Thurmond Grant, David Eaton
  • Publication number: 20140332620
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle, comprising: a fuselage having a first side board and a second side board spaced apart and connected by at least one transverse board; the first side board, the second side board, and the at least one transverse board being printed circuit boards; at least one of the first side board, the second side board, and the at least one transverse board having formed and mounted thereon conductive traces and at least one component, respectively, for controlling and monitoring the unmanned aerial vehicle; first and second wings mounted to the fuselage; and, a tail mounted to the fuselage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 13, 2013
    Publication date: November 13, 2014
    Applicant: WINEHAWK INC.
    Inventor: ERNEST EARON
  • Patent number: 8886402
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided for an actively variable shock absorbing system for actively controlling the load response characteristics of a shock absorbing strut. In one embodiment the shock absorbing system comprises a controllable valve adapted for actively varying a load response characteristic of the shock absorbing strut. The shock absorbing system further comprises an electronic control system comprising an input for receiving a signal from a sensor, an algorithm adapted to determine an optimal position for the controllable valve in view of the sensor signal, and an output for sending a control signal to the controllable valve to place the valve in the optimal position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Assignee: Armorworks Enterprises LLC
    Inventor: Ken-An Lou
  • Publication number: 20140319266
    Abstract: A microscale radio-controlled aerial micro-drone vehicle, having a fixed wing (as opposed to a rotary wing) having a propulsion device the vehicle including wheels for traveling on the ground, which are attached to the side ends of a section of the wing. The rotational axis Y1 of the wheels being located in front of the center of gravity of the micro-drone, the center of gravity of the micro-drone being located in front of the aerodynamic center of the micro-drone. The rotational axis Y1 of the wheels being aligned with the thrust axis of the propulsion device and the wheels are sized such that the radius D/2 thereof is greater than the distance between the rotational axis Y1 of the wheels and the trailing edge of the wing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 27, 2012
    Publication date: October 30, 2014
    Applicant: INSTITUT SUPERIEUR DE L'AERONAUTIQUE ET DE L'ESPACE
    Inventors: Jean-Marc Moschetta, Chinnapat Thipyopas
  • Publication number: 20140312165
    Abstract: A hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to determine various characteristics of ground surfaces. The UAV includes a lightweight and robust body/wing assembly, and is equipped with multiple consumer-grade digital cameras that are synchronized to acquire high-resolution images in different spectra. In one example, one camera acquires a visible spectrum image of the ground over which the UAV is flown, and another camera is modified to include one or more filters to acquire a similar near-infrared image. A camera mount/holder system facilitates acquisition of high-quality images without impacting the UAV's flight characteristics, as well as easy coupling and decoupling of the cameras to the UAV and safeguarding of the cameras upon landing. An intuitive user interface allows modestly trained individuals to operate the UAV and understand and use collected data, and image processing algorithms derive useful information regarding crop health and/or soil characteristics from the acquired images.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 17, 2014
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Inventor: Armen Mkrtchyan
  • Publication number: 20140312164
    Abstract: A portable unmanned aerial vehicle or aircraft, capable of being easily carried by a single individual by means of a mounting device, which can be fastened on a belt or strap. The aerial vehicle comprises a wing attached at one end to a fan or turbine assembly. The fan or turbine assembly may be electrically driven, with power supplied by one or more batteries. In flight, the fan or turbine assembly causes the aerial vehicle to rotate around its center-of-mass (COM), with lift provided by the wing as it rotates. A camera is located on the aircraft at or near the COM.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 18, 2013
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Inventors: JOSHUA M. GIBSON, SAGAR JASU PANARA
  • Publication number: 20140231578
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention relate to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and a method of use. The UAV may comprise a UAV platform designed around a sensor system. The UAV platform may adjust itself in order to stabilize the sensor system. The UAV platform may comprise front UAV wings, back UAV wings, and a payload chamber. The front UAV wings and back UAV wings may adjust themselves by rotating about a line approximately perpendicular to the UAV's flight line. The payload chamber may adjust itself by rotating about the UAV's flight line. The sensor system may be located in an optimal location on the UAV platform, for example, behind the nose as far back as the front UAV wings. The sensor system may comprise an infrared (IR) and a visible camera.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Publication date: August 21, 2014
    Applicant: BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration Inc.
    Inventor: BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration Inc.
  • Patent number: 8783617
    Abstract: An air vehicle fuselage adapted for transonic operation is disclosed. The fuselage has a body and a close-out. A lower surface of the body has a waterline value that varies along a fore-aft direction of the fuselage and is equal to a first waterline value at a forward end of the close-out and rise to a second waterline value at an aft end of the close-out. The lower surface has a drag-reduction blivet that includes a first region wherein the lower surface drops to a point comprising a third waterline value that is below the first waterline value and a first inward radius and then rises over a second region disposed aft of the first region wherein a second radius that is a minimum radius of the lower surface within the second region is greater than the first radius.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Michael W. Harbeck, Brian Quayle
  • Publication number: 20140191078
    Abstract: A system, an apparatus, and a method for an aerospace vehicle braking system for decelerating an aerospace vehicle on a landing surface. An arm is provided having a first portion connected to the aerospace vehicle and a second portion generally distal to the first portion. The second portion of the arm includes an engagement portion configured to engage the landing surface. The arm is movable between a first position, wherein the engagement portion is substantially disengaged from the landing surface, and a second position, wherein the engagement portion engages the landing surface with a force sufficient to significantly decelerate the aerospace vehicle. The engagement portion is configured to pivot with respect to the arm in response to the direction of travel of the aerospace vehicle upon the landing surface. An actuator is connected to the arm to selectively move the arm between the first position and the second position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 8, 2013
    Publication date: July 10, 2014
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: The Boeing Company
  • Patent number: 8688408
    Abstract: A method is provided to measure an aircraft under simulated flight-loads while the aircraft is not in flight. Simulated flight-loads may be applied to the aircraft, while the aircraft is not in flight, in order to substantially simulate flight pressure distribution loads the aircraft would experience during flight. A position of one or more portions of the aircraft may be measured, while the aircraft is under the simulated flight-loads, to determine an effect of the simulated flight-loads on the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Bob J Marsh, Kinson VanScotter