Helicopter Or Auto-rotating Wing Sustained, I.e., Gyroplanes Patents (Class 244/17.11)
  • Patent number: 11661185
    Abstract: A propulsion system for providing propulsion of an aircraft includes a plurality of electric motors coupled with a rotor of the aircraft to drive the rotor and a propulsion motor control. The propulsion motor control includes at least one processor electrically connected with at least one electric motor to actuate the at least one electric motor and at least one battery electrically connected with the at least one processor and at least one electric motor to provide power to the at least one processor and the at least one electric motor. The propulsion motor control actuates the plurality of electric motors based on a desired torque level to drive the rotor to provide propulsion of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2021
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2023
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Guy Bernard, Jeffrey Epp, William K. Heironimus
  • Patent number: 11655022
    Abstract: The present invention includes an a plurality of first variable speed motors mounted on a tail boom of the helicopter; one or more fixed pitch blades attached to each of the plurality of first variable speed motors; and wherein a speed of one or more of the plurality of first variable speed motors is varied to provide an anti-torque thrust.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2021
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2023
    Assignee: TEXTRON INNOVATIONS INC.
    Inventors: Carlos Fenny, Thomas Dewey Parsons, Erik John Oltheten
  • Patent number: 11649051
    Abstract: A rotary wing vehicle includes a body structure having an elongated tubular backbone or core, and a counter-rotating coaxial rotor system having rotors with each rotor having a separate motor to drive the rotors about a common rotor axis of rotation. The rotor system is used to move the rotary wing vehicle in directional flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2023
    Inventors: Paul E. Arlton, David J. Arlton
  • Patent number: 11649049
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for transporting items between locations includes a frame and a propulsion system coupled to the frame, the propulsion system including at least one transmission and at least one motor. The UAV also includes a load support area of the frame, the load support area comprising at least one of a different material than the frame or structural supports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2023
    Inventor: Justin Wesley Green
  • Patent number: 11624420
    Abstract: An isolation system and method are disclosed. The isolation system includes a beam that includes a first end and a second end. The isolation system may include at least one clamping block comprising first elastomeric material, and the first end may be coupled with the first elastomeric material by the at least one clamping block. An end condition of the buckling beam may be varied based on compression stiffening of the first elastomeric material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2022
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2023
    Inventors: David W. Shahan, Geoffrey P. McKnight, Sloan P. Smith, Christopher P. Henry, Christopher B. Churchill, Andrew C. Keefe
  • Patent number: 11618555
    Abstract: A load balancing system for a system of rotating elements such as a helicopter rotor or an airplane propeller. The load balancing system includes two or more balancing tubes rotationally attached to blades or props on the system of rotating elements. The balancing tubes are slightly curved and enclose a hollow space containing a quantity of weighted fluid such as mercury. During operation of the system of rotating elements, the weighted fluid disperses throughout the hollow space in the balancing tubes so as to counter any imbalance in the system of rotating elements. Centrifugal forces will cause different dispersal of the weighted fluid throughout the hollow space depending on the overall pulling or pushing forces resulting from any imbalance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2021
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2023
    Inventor: Christopher L. Gamble
  • Patent number: 11608164
    Abstract: A tilting system for a propeller of an aerial vehicle, may include a propeller provided in front of the opening portion of the housing and configured to be selectively tilted with respect to the housing; a link assembly provided in the internal space of the housing, a first end portion of which is connected to the housing and a second end portion of which is connected to the propeller, and configured to tilt up or tilt down the propeller as the link assembly is extended from the housing or retracted into the housing; and an actuator coupled to the link assembly and configured to provide power for extension or retraction to the link assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2021
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2023
    Assignees: Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Corporation
    Inventors: Jae Young Choi, Sang Hyun Jung, Chung Sik Yim, Kyu Hoon Cho
  • Patent number: 11591085
    Abstract: An aerial vehicle is programmed or configured to respond to reports of events or conditions within spaces of a facility. The aerial vehicle travels to a location of a reported event or condition and captures data using onboard sensors. The aerial vehicle independently determines whether the reported event or condition is occurring, or is otherwise properly addressed by resources that are available at the location, using images or other data captured by the onboard sensors. Alternatively, the aerial vehicle transmits a request for additional resources to be provided at the location, where necessary. A map of the location generated based on images or other data captured by the onboard sensors may be utilized for any purpose, such as to make one or more recommendations of products that are appropriate for use at the facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2022
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2023
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Jordan Anthony Metzner, Michael Edward James Paterson, Benjamin Wild, James Wyatt Siminoff
  • Patent number: 11591069
    Abstract: A system for retaining a folded proprotor blade in flight. The system includes a rotary actuator mechanism operable to generate torque via a shaft that rotates about an axis generally parallel to a chordwise direction of the folded proprotor blade, a pair of clamping arms movable in a direction generally parallel to a beamwise direction of the folded proprotor blade, a pair of linkage arms interoperably responsive to the rotary actuator mechanism and coupled between the rotary actuator mechanism and the pair of clamping arms, and a first guide rod extending between the pair of clamping arms in the direction generally parallel to the beamwise direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2021
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2023
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventor: Kyle Thomas Cravener
  • Patent number: 11591973
    Abstract: A aircraft gas turbine engine and operation method, the engine including: a staged combustion system having pilot and main fuel injectors, and operates in a pilot-only range wherein fuel delivers to pilot fuel injectors, and a pilot-and-main operation range wherein fuel is delivered to at least the main fuel injectors. The engine further includes a fuel delivery regulator to pilot and main fuel injectors, which receives fuel from a first and second source containing fuels each with different characteristics. The staged combustion system switches between pilot-only and pilot-and-main range operation when in steady cruise mode, the mode defining a boundary between first and second engine cruise operation range. The fuel delivery regulator delivers fuel to pilot fuel injectors during at least part of the first engine cruise operation with different fuel characteristics from fuel delivered to one or both pilot and main fuel injectors the second engine cruise operation range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2022
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2023
    Assignee: ROLLS-ROYCE plc
    Inventors: Peter Swann, Christopher P Madden, Craig W Bemment
  • Patent number: 11591964
    Abstract: An oil cooling system for an aircraft engine, a bypass valve and an associate method of cooling aircraft engine oil are provided. The oil cooling system includes a heat exchanger having an inlet and an outlet. The inlet is in fluid communication with a first oil conduit to receive a first oil flow from the first oil conduit. The heat exchanger facilitates heat transfer from the first oil flow to another fluid. A flow restrictor defining a constriction is operatively disposed to restrict the first oil flow through the heat exchanger. A second oil conduit receives the first oil flow from the heat exchanger. A bypass oil passage provides fluid communication between the first oil conduit and the second oil conduit to allow a second oil flow received from the first oil conduit to flow to the second oil conduit and bypass the heat exchanger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2021
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2023
    Assignee: PRATT & WHITNEY CANADA CORP.
    Inventors: Andrew Walz, Ritchie Domingo
  • Patent number: 11577825
    Abstract: A vibration attenuator for a rotor of an aircraft has a housing adapted for rotation with the rotor about an axis. A first ring is rotatably carried within the housing on a first bearing, a first weight being coupled to the first ring for rotation therewith relative to the housing about the axis. A second ring is rotatably carried by the first ring on a second bearing, a second weight being coupled to the second ring for rotation therewith relative to the housing and to the first ring. A first motor is configured for rotating the first ring relative to the housing, and a second motor is configured for rotating the second ring relative to the housing and to the first ring. The first and second motors are operated to rotate the weights within the housing and position the weights relative to each other for attenuating vibrations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2023
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Frank Bradley Stamps, David Heverly
  • Patent number: 11577855
    Abstract: Flight equipment according to an embodiment of the present invention includes: an aerial vehicle having a body and at least one rotor held on the body; a plurality of supporters mounted to the aerial vehicle and supporting a protective member stretched therebetween so as to surround an outside of the body; a support information detection unit configured to detect support information indicating a support state of the protective member; and a mounting state determiner configured to determine whether the support state of the protective member is suitable or unsuitable, based on a value detected by the support information detection unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2023
    Assignee: Rakuten Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenichi Lee, Takayoshi Inuma
  • Patent number: 11535110
    Abstract: An electric aircraft charging connector, including a set of pins, a sensor, a controller, and a locking mechanism. The set of pins may include an AC pin, the AC pin configured to supply AC power to a charging port and/or a DC pin, the DC pin configured to supply DC power to the charging port. The sensor can detect power flow from the pins to the charging port. The controller is communicatively connected to the sensor and configured to receive a signal from the sensor and send a locking signal to a locking mechanism. The locking mechanism is communicatively connected to the controller, having an engaged state wherein the charging connector is mechanically coupled to the charging port and a disengaged state wherein the charging connector is mechanically uncoupled form the charging port, the locking mechanism configured to receive a locking signal from the controller and enter the engaged state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2021
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2022
    Assignee: BETA AIR, LLC
    Inventor: Herman Wiegman
  • Patent number: 11524766
    Abstract: An unmanned rotorcraft includes an airframe, rotor blades that are coupled to the airframe for rotation therewith, a propulsion unit having a propeller, and an actuator that is coupled to the airframe and adapted to temporarily reorient the propulsion unit such that an axis of the propeller moves out of alignment with an axis of the rotor blades. Rotation of the propeller causes counter-rotation of the airframe and rotor blades. The rotor blades and blades of the propeller are adapted to deploy from collapsed positions when flight of the rotorcraft is initiated. A method of operation by the rotorcraft includes, when it is determined that a current heading does not correspond to a determined flight path, causing the actuator to temporarily reorient the propulsion unit in accordance with an angular orientation of the actuator relative to the current heading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2022
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventor: Kip Gregory Campbell
  • Patent number: 11498672
    Abstract: An exemplary clamp system for securing a proprotor blade in a stowed position includes a clamp having a pair of opposing pads operable between an open position to receive a portion of a proprotor blade between the pair of opposing pads and a closed position to grip the portion of the proprotor blade with the pair of opposing pads and a rotary actuator in connection with the clamp to operate the clamp between the open and the closed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2022
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher Edward Foskey
  • Patent number: 11485245
    Abstract: An electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle is positioned to be in a charging position on the ground, wherein the eVTOL vehicle is capable of performing vertical take-offs and landings. The battery is charged while in the charging position on the ground using a wind turbine that includes the rotor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2021
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2022
    Assignee: Kitty Hawk Corporation
    Inventors: Sebastian Thrun, Benjamin Otto Berry
  • Patent number: 11485487
    Abstract: A rotorcraft, and, more particularly, to a rotorcraft with a fuselage having a center line, at least one main rotor that generates vortices during operation, and a stabilizer wing, whereby the stabilizer wing has a planform that reduces the unsteady aerodynamic loads caused by the wake of the at least one main rotor. In particular, the stabilizer wing may be provided with a left wing tip, a right wing tip, a quarter chord line with a non-zero curvature, such that an interaction between the vortices generated by the at least one main rotor and the quarter chord line is spread out over time, a leading edge that is arc-shaped, and a trailing edge that is arc-shaped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2022
    Assignee: AIRBUS HELICOPTERS DEUTSCHLAND GMBH
    Inventors: Martin Embacher, Tobias Ries, Christian Eckert, Thomas Kneisch
  • Patent number: 11472540
    Abstract: A vibration suppression unit for an aircraft comprising a mass having a center of mass, a first rotor, a second rotor, a first coupling between the first rotor and the mass, a second coupling between the second rotor and the mass, the first and second couplings having first and second coupling centers offset perpendicularly from a central axis of rotation by different radial distances and offset in axially from the center of mass with respect to the central axis by different axial distances, the first and second coupling centers having a selectively variable displacement angle defined by the angle between lines extending between the central axis of rotation and the first coupling center and the second coupling center, respectively, wherein the first rotor and the second rotor are controllable to produce a vibration control force vector having a controllable magnitude and frequency about the central axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2022
    Assignee: Moog Inc.
    Inventor: John Kopp
  • Patent number: 11465729
    Abstract: A method for constructing at least two fleets of aircraft of different families for which each aircraft has a front part comprising windows, a framing of the windows and a windshield front fairing, comprising, for each aircraft, constructing a module composed of the framing of all of the windows allowing outward visibility from the cockpit and of the windshield front fairing whose form is identical and constant for all the aircraft of the fleets and independent of a form of the fuselages thereof, and constructing a section of fuselage of which at least a part of an edge of the fuselage is of a form identical to an edge of the module, such that the module can be assembled directly with the contiguous fuselage section, whatever the aircraft of the fleets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2022
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS SAS
    Inventors: Pascal Chaumel, Didier Reynes, Jean-Paul Dourel
  • Patent number: 11448376
    Abstract: An illumination pattern changing apparatus is provided. The apparatus includes a stationary plate, a rotary plate disposed spaced apart from the stationary plate, the rotary plate configured to be rotatable, and a light source module including a light source configured to irradiate light, and a plurality of optical fibers configured to emit the light when the light is irradiated, wherein a first end of each optical fiber is connected to the stationary plate and a second end of each optical fiber is connected to the rotary plate to form an illumination pattern, and the illumination pattern is changed when the rotary plate is rotated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2021
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2022
    Assignees: Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Corporatoin
    Inventors: Byoung Suk Ahn, Jung Wook Lim, Ki Hong Lee, Sung Ho Park, Seung Sik Han, Ji Yeon Kim, Jin Hee Yu
  • Patent number: 11401046
    Abstract: A drone includes a drone chassis, a plurality of motors attached to the drone chassis, and a plurality of propellers coupled to the plurality of motors, the plurality of propellers extending above the drone chassis. A net assembly is mounted to the drone chassis. The net assembly extends above the plurality of propellers. The net assembly includes a frame and one or more portions of netting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2022
    Assignee: Performance Drone Works LLC
    Inventors: Ryan Gury, Florent Arnoux, Michael Dornisch, Max Tubman, Brendan Sullivan, Tom O'Donnell
  • Patent number: 11341858
    Abstract: A passenger drone includes a processing device communicatively coupled to the flight components, cameras, radar, and wireless interfaces; and memory storing instructions that, when executed, cause the processing device to receive notifications from an air traffic control system via the one or more wireless interfaces, the notifications related to previously detected obstructions in a flight path associated with a flight plan of the passenger drone, wherein the previously detected obstructions include objects at or near ground level; monitor proximate airspace with at least one of the one or more cameras and radar; detect an obstruction based on monitoring the proximate airspace, wherein the detected obstruction includes one or more objects at or near ground level in the flight path; alter the flight plan, to be carried out by the flight components, if required, based on the detected obstruction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2022
    Assignee: Metal Raptor, LLC
    Inventor: Lee Priest
  • Patent number: 11319061
    Abstract: A rotor for an aircraft is described that comprises: a hub rotatable about an axis and, in turn, comprising a plurality of blades; a mast connectable to a drive member of the aircraft and connected to the hub to drive the hub in rotation about the axis; and damping means to dampen the transmission of vibrations to the mast in a plane orthogonal to the axis; the damping means comprising at least a first mass and a second mass that can eccentrically rotate about the axis with a first and a second speed of rotation, respectively; the first mass and second mass are operatively connected to the mast to generate, respectively, a first and a second damping force on the mast having a main component in a direction radial to the axis; the rotor comprises a transmission unit, which is interposed between the mast and the first and second masses so as to drive the first and second masses in rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2022
    Assignee: LEONARDO S.P.A.
    Inventors: Attilio Colombo, Luigi Bottasso, Paolo Pisani, Andrea Favarotto, Dario Colombo, Federico Montagna, Roberto Regonini, Francesco Braghin, Simone Cinquemani
  • Patent number: 11313455
    Abstract: In some examples, an aircraft gearbox comprises a housing, a barrier, a rotatable drive system component, a set of gears, and a lubrication system. The barrier separates a first compartment and a second compartment within the housing. Each of the rotatable drive system component and the set of gears operable to rotate based on torque received from an engine. The rotatable drive system component is located in the first compartment. The set of gears is located in the second compartment. The lubrication system comprises a first lubrication subsystem and a second lubrication subsystem, which are, at least in part, independent from one another. The first lubrication subsystem is operable to lubricate the rotatable drive system component in the first compartment. The second lubrication subsystem is operable to lubricate the set of gears in the second compartment. The barrier inhibits lubricant from passing between the first compartment and the second compartment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventor: Russell L. Mueller
  • Patent number: 11312256
    Abstract: A propulsion and non-propulsive electrical generation system for an aircraft having at least one turbomachine and at least two pairs of rotors, the rotors of the same pair of rotors being symmetrically opposite on the aircraft with respect to the same center of symmetry, at least four motors each driving a rotor, at least one generator coupled to a turbomachine, an even number of power lines and at most equal to the number of rotors, each power line having at least one propulsion branch coupled to a motor, a battery coupled at the output to the propulsion branch, and an AC-DC converter coupled between an output of a generator and the propulsion branch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Assignee: SAFRAN ELECTRICAL & POWER
    Inventors: Garance Vinson, Florent Nierlich, Jean-Pierre Garcia
  • Patent number: 11293778
    Abstract: An attitude sensor system with automatic bias correction having a primary attitude sensor wherein the primary attitude sensor comprises at least one accelerometer and an auxiliary sensor system configured to automatically estimate a bias of the accelerometer of the primary attitude sensor such that the resulting error is removed from an output of the attitude sensor system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Assignee: TIAX LLC
    Inventors: Thomas Kotwal, Michael Jacob Rutberg, Matthew Wiggins, J. Thomas Fowler
  • Patent number: 11292588
    Abstract: A helicopter includes annular electric motors surrounding a fuselage. Each annular electric motor includes an annular stator and an annular rotor. Rotor blades extend radially outwardly from each annular rotor. In an embodiment with two electric motors, one rotor rotates in one direction and the other rotor rotates in the opposite direction. A swash device with a grooved outer cylindrical surface engages the free end of a crank arm of each rotor blade to provide collective and cyclic pitch control. Actuators, which may be electromechanical or hydraulic, control positioning and movement of the swash device. Batteries, an electric generator and/or a hydrogen fuel cell may supply electric power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2021
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Inventor: Charles Douglas Pope
  • Patent number: 11186364
    Abstract: An information processing method includes the following steps performed using a processor: obtaining first region information indicating a first region; obtaining first position information indicating the position of an unmanned aerial vehicle tethered to a mobile tethering body using a tether; determining, using the first region information and the first position information, a first destination which is a destination of the mobile tethering body; and moving the mobile tethering body to the first destination. The first destination is a position located at least a predetermined distance from a point which is on the boundary of the first region and located the shortest distance from the position of the unmanned aerial vehicle, in the direction from the point on the boundary of the first region to the position of the unmanned aerial vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2021
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Kazunobu Konishi, Stephen William John, Kazuo Inoue, Katsuhiko Asai
  • Patent number: 11174018
    Abstract: The present invention includes an a plurality of first variable speed motors mounted on a tail boom of the helicopter; one or more fixed pitch blades attached to each of the plurality of first variable speed motors; and wherein a speed of one or more of the plurality of first variable speed motors is varied to provide an anti-torque thrust.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2021
    Assignee: TEXTRON INNOVATIONS INC.
    Inventors: Carlos Fenny, Thomas Dewey Parsons, Erik John Oltheten
  • Patent number: 11161604
    Abstract: Sounds are generated by an aerial vehicle during operation. For example, the motors and propellers of an aerial vehicle generate sounds during operation. Disclosed are systems, methods, and apparatus for actively adjusting the shape of a propeller blade of an aerial vehicle during operation of the aerial vehicle. For example, the propeller blade may have one or more joints that adjust to alter the shape of the propeller blade. The altered shape of the propeller blade causes the propeller to generate different frequencies of sound as it rotates. By altering multiple propeller blades of the aerial vehicle, the different sounds generated by the different propeller blades may effectively cancel or reduce the total sound generated by the aerial vehicle, and/or alter the total frequency generated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2021
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian C. Beckman, Gur Kimchi
  • Patent number: 11163302
    Abstract: Systems and methods to improve controllability of an aerial vehicle responsive to degraded operational conditions are described. For example, one or more propeller blades of an aerial vehicle may be modifiable between two or more configurations. The configurations may include a low torque configuration suitable for normal operational conditions, and a high torque configuration suitable for degraded operational conditions. Various aspects or portions of a propeller blade may be modified to increase torque generated by the propeller blade due to drag or air resistance. The additional generated torque may then be used as a source of additional torque to improve controllability of the aerial vehicle responsive to degraded operational conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2021
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Szmuk, Christopher McFarland
  • Patent number: 11136116
    Abstract: Embodiments are directed to a double Hooke's joint gimbal in a rotor system. An upper Hooke's joint has four arms extending radially outward to define first and second axes, and a lower Hooke's joint has four arms extending radially outward to define third and fourth axes. A pair of connectors couple the upper Hooke's joint and the lower Hooke's joint. A first set of bearings are positioned between arms on the upper and lower Hooke's joints and the connectors. The first set of bearings comprise an elastomer, such as elastomeric journal bearings. The upper Hooke's joint is coupled to a yoke and rotor blades by a driver assembly that allows rotor blade flapping. The lower Hooke's joint is coupled to and driven by a mast. A spherical bearing allows the upper Hooke's joint to move laterally along the mast.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2021
    Assignee: Bell Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew Ryan Maresh, Chyausong Tzeng, Russell Mueller
  • Patent number: 11136118
    Abstract: Systems and methods to control aerial vehicles in degraded operational states are described. For example, for an aerial vehicle having six propulsion mechanisms arranged around a fuselage, one or more modified control schemes may be implemented to maintain control and navigation of the aerial vehicle responsive to a motor out situation, such as a failure of one propulsion mechanism. The modified control schemes may seek to emulate normal operation of a quadcopter, and/or may seek to utilize all remaining propulsion mechanisms to maintain controllability of the aerial vehicle in all six degrees of freedom of movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2021
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Sebastian Robin Fischer, David Friedman, Marco Antonio De Barros Ceze, Louis Leroi LeGrand, III
  • Patent number: 11124295
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle is provided. The unmanned aerial vehicle includes a housing with a first housing structure and a second housing structure, a wireless communication circuit coupled to the housing or located inside the housing for wireless communication with an external controller, a plurality of propulsions systems coupled to the housing, and a navigation circuit configured to control the plurality of propulsion systems. At least one of the plurality of propulsion systems includes a plurality of folding arms pivotally coupled to one of the first housing structure and the second housing structure, a motor controlled by the navigation circuit, and a propeller coupled to the motor. The housing has at least one recess to accommodate at least part of the plurality of propulsion systems in the second state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2021
    Inventors: Seung-Chul Baek, Sang-In Baek, Min-Sung Lee, Jong-Chul Choi
  • Patent number: 11066155
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle includes a housing assembly having a receiving space, a power assembly received in the receiving space, and a controlling assembly received in the receiving space and configured to control the power assembly. The housing assembly is provided with a flow passage penetrating an inside of the housing assembly, and the power assembly partially forms the flow passage. In the UAV, since the power assembly is mounted in the housing assembly, the propeller of the power assembly will not hurt person during the flight, thereby improving the safety performance while flying near the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2021
    Inventor: Shu Zong
  • Patent number: 11059580
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a device for supplying electrical power to a wired system for a drone (1). The device according to the invention includes at least one power converter (4) on the ground and one power converter (2) at the level of the drone (1), regulation at the level of the converter on the ground ensures that the output voltage of the power converter (4) on the ground increases when the output current of the power converter (4) on the ground increases. The method according to the invention is intended for all wired drones, the wire (3) of which is used to supply electrical power to the drone (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Assignee: ELISTAIR
    Inventors: Frank Cyril Calvez, Marie Marc Hervé Timothée Penet, Christian Marie Guilhem De Marliave, François Bernard Olivier Dubois
  • Patent number: 11021240
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is provided. The UAV includes a first guard grill, a second guard grill configured to be removably combined with the first guard grill and form an external structure and an inner space of the UAV with the first guard grill, a housing configured to include a central portion located in the center of the inner space and embed a processor and a navigation system, one or more propelling elements configured to be located the inner space and be disposed around the central portion, and a plurality of motor assemblies configured to be located in the inner space and drive the propelling elements while being electrically connected with the processor. When viewed from the outside of the external structure, the propelling elements are partially covered by at least one of the first guard grill or the second guard grill.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Wu Seong Lee, Bae Seok Lim, Youn Hyung Choi, Seung Nyun Kim, Yong Sang Yun
  • Patent number: 11014659
    Abstract: A method of selectively preventing flapping of a rotor hub includes providing a flapping lock proximate to a rotor hub and shaft assembly and moving the flapping lock from an unlocked position to a locked position, the flapping lock operable in the locked position to prevent at least some flapping movement of the rotor hub relative to the shaft, the flapping lock operable in the unlocked position to allow the at least some flapping movement of the rotor hub relative to the shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Troy Schank, Frank B. Stamps
  • Patent number: 11014660
    Abstract: A rotor for a hover-capable aircraft includes a hub rotatable about a first axis and at least two blades hinged to the hub. Each blade has a main portion hinged to the hub and a tip portion, which is arranged radially outermost with respect to first axis with respect to the corresponding main portion. The tip portion of each blade is movable with respect to the corresponding main portion of that blade. The tip portion of each blade is selectively movable with respect to the corresponding main portion of that blade between a first position, in which it defines a dihedral or anhedral angle with respect to the corresponding main portion; and a second position, in which it defines a positive or negative sweep angle with respect to the corresponding main portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: LEONARDO S.P.A.
    Inventor: Luigi Maria Bottasso
  • Patent number: 10996683
    Abstract: A technique is introduced for touchdown detection during autonomous landing by an aerial vehicle. In some embodiments, the introduced technique includes processing perception inputs with a dynamics model of the aerial vehicle to estimate the external forces and/or torques acting on the aerial vehicle. The estimated external forces and/or torques are continually monitored while the aerial vehicle is landing to determine when the aerial vehicle is sufficiently supported by a landing surface. In some embodiments, semantic information associated with objects in the environment is utilized to configure parameters associated with the touchdown detection process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: Skydio, Inc.
    Inventors: Rowland Wilde O'Flaherty, Teodor Tomic, Hayk Martirosyan, Abraham Galton Bachrach, Kristen Marie Holtz, Jack Louis Zhu
  • Patent number: 10994863
    Abstract: A method of predictive determination of a power needed by a rotary-wing aircraft to perform hovering flight in order to land. After measuring the current atmospheric pressure and the current temperature outside the aircraft, the method serves to estimate a predicted atmospheric pressure and a predicted temperature at the altitude where the hovering flight is to be performed. Thereafter, both a maximum power available from a power plant of the aircraft once the aircraft has reached the point where the hovering flight is to be performed, and also a power needed from the power plant in order to perform the hovering flight are calculated. Finally, the present invention serves to display the available maximum power and the power needed on an instrument of the aircraft and thereby warn the pilot of the aircraft when the power needed is close to or even greater than the maximum power available.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: AIRBUS HELICOPTERS
    Inventor: Serge Germanetti
  • Patent number: 10969795
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) landing method includes detecting, via one or more sensors on-board the UAV, a positional change of the UAV while the UAV is airborne; and generating, with aid of one or more processors on-board the UAV and in response to the detected positional change, one or more command signals to decelerate one or more rotor blades of the UAV, thereby causing the UAV to land autonomously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: SZ DJI TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Mingyu Wang
  • Patent number: 10953981
    Abstract: The invention relates to a helicopter including a structural framework, at least one main rotor for lift and propulsion integral with said structural framework and a drive train for driving said main rotor including a power transmission gearbox and at least one main engine, wherein it further includes a plurality of extra booster power units fixed to said structural framework and configured so as to be able to supply extra lift of the helicopter in case of failure of the helicopter's drive train.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Assignee: SAFRAN HELICOPTER ENGINES
    Inventors: Eric Pierre Seinturier, Romain Thiriet, Fabien Mercier-Calvairac
  • Patent number: 10934008
    Abstract: An aircraft includes an electric power source having a combustion engine and an electric generator. The electric generator is powered by the combustion engine. The aircraft also includes a propulsion assembly including a propulsor and an electric motor, the electric motor configured for rotating the propulsor. The aircraft also includes an electrical outlet configured for connection with an outside power sink. The electrical outlet and the propulsion assembly are selectively in electrical communication with the electric power source such that the electric power source selectively provides electrical power to one of the electrical outlet or the propulsion assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2021
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Randy M. Vondrell, Glenn David Crabtree, Dominic Barone
  • Patent number: 10935972
    Abstract: Management of available energy among multiple drones is provided by identifying tasks to be completed by the multiple drones, and determining energy requirements of one or more drones of the multiple drones to facilitate completing one or more tasks of the tasks to be completed by the multiple drones. Further, the approach includes identifying an energy sharing approach for completion of the task(s) by the drone(s) where one or more other drones of the multiple drones transfer energy in operation to the drone(s) to facilitate completion of the task(s). In operation, the multiple drones may be detachably coupled, and the approach may include implementing the energy sharing approach by transferring energy from the other drone(s) to the drone(s) to facilitate completion of the task(s), for instance, prior to decoupling of the other drone(s) from the drone(s).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2021
    Assignee: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Jeremy A. Greenberger, Christopher J. Hardee
  • Patent number: 10926654
    Abstract: An electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle is positioned to be in a charging position on the ground, wherein the eVTOL vehicle is capable of performing vertical take-offs and landings. The battery is charged while in the charging position on the ground using a wind turbine that includes the rotor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2021
    Assignee: Kitty Hawk Corporation
    Inventors: Sebastian Thrun, Benjamin Otto Berry
  • Patent number: 10920742
    Abstract: A noise-reduction device for a wind turbine and the wind turbine applied thereof are introduced. The noise-reduction device has a body. The body has a connection portion and a spoiler. The connection portion is concavely disposed on one side of the body and corresponds in shape to the wind turbine's blade so as to be fixed to a confronting edge of the wind turbine blade. The spoiler is disposed on the opposing side of the body. As soon as the wind turbine blade is driven by wind, the spoiler stirs air and guides the air across two sides thereof. When guided by the spoiler, airflows turn into vortexes on the wind turbine blade; hence, the chance that the wind turbine will stall and generate noise is greatly reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2021
    Assignee: INSTITUTE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY RESEARCH, ATOMIC ENERGY COUNCIL, EXECUTIVE YUAN, R.O.C.
    Inventors: Yan-Ting Lin, Guan-Ting Lin, En-Kai Cheng, Chin-Cheng Huang
  • Patent number: 10882611
    Abstract: Systems and methods of operating a tiltrotor aircraft include providing the tiltrotor with a plurality of rotatable pylon assemblies. Each pylon assembly includes a rotor system having a plurality of rotor blades operatively coupled to a rotor mast and selectively rotatable in response to rotation of the rotor mast, a swashplate assembly operatively coupled to the plurality of rotor blades, a plurality of swashplate actuators operatively coupled to the swashplate assembly and selectively extendable and retractable to control the position and the orientation of the swashplate assembly, and a swashplate augmenting system. The swashplate augmenting system is selectively operable to cause axial translation of the swashplate actuators and swashplate assembly to augment the travel of the swashplate actuators in order to fold the plurality of rotor blades for operating the tiltrotor aircraft in an airplane forward flight mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2021
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher Edward Foskey
  • Patent number: 10875636
    Abstract: A rotor system for a rotorcraft has a hub rotatable about an axis and a plurality of blades coupled to the hub for rotation therewith about the axis. Each blade is capable of rotation about a pitch axis relative to the hub, and a ring couples adjacent blades to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2020
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Eric Albert Sinusas, Thomas C. Parham, Jr., Albert Gerard Brand