With "flare-out" Detection Patents (Class 244/187)
  • Patent number: 10384800
    Abstract: A method for aiding the landing of an aircraft on a landing runway comprising the following steps implemented in an automatic manner by a processing unit: a) acquiring information relating to the landing runway; b) acquiring information relating to a current situation of the aircraft; f) determining a maximum roll angle, in absolute value, necessary to allow a flight of the aircraft along a trajectory between a current position and a target landing position on the landing runway; g) comparing this maximum roll angle with a predetermined limit; and h) as a function of the result of the comparison carried out in step g), commanding, if appropriate, the signaling of an alert by means of a signaling system of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS SAS
    Inventors: Pierre Scacchi, Matthieu Mayolle, Cécile Puissacq
  • Patent number: 10325507
    Abstract: A method of predicting a parameter for an aircraft includes detecting an actual approach profile of the aircraft. The actual approach profile includes an actual approach angle. The method also includes comparing, by a processor, the actual approach profile to a predetermined approach profile to determine a difference between the actual and predetermined approach profiles. The predetermined approach profile includes a predetermined approach angle. The method further includes determining, by the processor, an effective approach angle by combining the actual approach angle and the predetermined approach angle according to a factor that varies based on the difference between the actual and predetermined approach profiles. Moreover, the method includes determining, by the processor, the predicted parameter based on the effective approach angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC.
    Inventors: Gang He, Steve Johnson
  • Patent number: 9561868
    Abstract: A method and device including a unit to extract a linear terrain profile stored in memory, a terrain height for a current distance of the aircraft, a unit for determining a current height of the aircraft with respect to the terrain, using at least one measurement taken by a radar altimeter, a unit for computing a first current altitude of the aircraft, using the terrain height and the current height, a unit for computing a second current altitude of the aircraft, corresponding to an altitude on an approach profile of the current position of the aircraft and a unit for computing the difference between the first and second current altitudes, the difference being transmitted to a guidance unit to vertically guide the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2017
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS (S.A.S.)
    Inventors: Thierry Bourret, Kenji Ahualle Horimoto
  • Patent number: 9073644
    Abstract: Method and device for automatically determining an optimized approach profile for an aircraft. The device provides for a flexible configuration change speed which is not limited to the standard single predetermined configuration change speed in order to prevent segments which are not authorized, in particular segments which are too steep, the following configuration (Ci+1) being able to be maintained during a configuration change in an upstream direction until the corresponding speed profile reaches a maximum speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2015
    Assignee: Airbus Operations (S.A.S.)
    Inventors: Virginie Le Gall, Alexandre Buisson, Pierre-Xavier Catinat, Valentin Vincent
  • Patent number: 8676403
    Abstract: The present invention relates to methods of controlling the flight path of an aircraft to follow as closely as possible a predetermined four-dimensional flight path, such as when flying continuous descent approaches. A method of controlling an aircraft to follow a predetermined four-dimensional flight path is provided that comprises monitoring an actual along-track position and an actual vertical position of the aircraft relative to corresponding desired positions on the predetermined flight path. Throttle commands are generated based on deviations of the actual vertical position of the aircraft from the desired vertical position. Elevator commands are generated based on the deviation of the actual along-track position from the desired along-track position and on the deviation of the actual vertical position from the desired vertical position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: David Garrido-Lopez, Ramon Gomez Ledesma
  • Publication number: 20130175392
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method of modifying the pitch attitude of an aircraft during landing, comprising: commanding the flaps to move to a landing setting; providing a current value for a flight condition parameter; providing a current flaps setting; comparing said current value to at least one threshold value; if said current value exceeds said threshold, determining a new flaps setting capable of producing an improvement in at least one of a selected aft body contact margin and a selected nose gear contact margin for the aircraft; and adjusting the flaps to said new flaps setting.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2012
    Publication date: July 11, 2013
    Applicant: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Robert E. Buchholz, Monte R. Evans, Jonathan P. Lee, Timothy G. Overton, Adam M. Thoreen
  • Patent number: 8346412
    Abstract: The inventive flight control assisting device comprises first means (4) for determining the actual aircraft flight conditions, second means (5) for determining, with the aid of said actual flight conditions and a predetermined pattern, a minimum approaching distance corresponding to a minimum distance between projections on the horizontal plane of the aircraft actual position and a touch-down point when said aircraft moves downwards and decelerates according to an optimised approach in such a way that stabilised approaching conditions are attained, and display means (7) for displaying at least said minimum approaching distance on a navigation screen (9) in the form of a first circular arc focused on a position relative to the aircraft which displays the touch-down position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Airbus Operations SAS
    Inventors: Isabelle Lacaze, Vincent Foucart, Jean-Louis De Menorval, Didier Zadrozynski, Frédéric Lemoult, Joëlle Barthe, Sébastien Lhote, Irène Hoste Ventos
  • Patent number: 7952492
    Abstract: A landing assistance device and method for an aircraft according to the invention, based on the landing procedure rules attached to the runway, a lower threshold and an upper threshold of total energy acceptable for the aircraft are determined and the current total energy of the latter is compared with the thresholds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventor: Florian Constans
  • Patent number: 7896293
    Abstract: The process improves the maneuverability of an aircraft during the approach to landing and then flare-out phases, the aircraft being equipped with air brakes. According to the process, the air brakes are put in a first deployed position during the approach phase, and as a function of a representative parameter of a given altitude and in case of a steep angle approach, they are actuated to transition to a second more retracted position than the first position so as to achieve a flare-out allowing to essentially maintain the same angle of incidence, corresponding in case of a steep angle approach to achieve a flare-out with habitual exterior piloting references during the flare-out phase.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignee: Airbus
    Inventors: Stéphane Boissenin, Jacques Rosay
  • Patent number: 7756637
    Abstract: Methods and systems for a position indicating display system for an aircraft are provided. The system includes a map display unit configured to display a map representative of an area being traversed by the aircraft, and an overlay comprising an own ship depiction, said overlay displayed on the map for a period of time in response to an input from at least one of a user and an aircraft sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Patrick Ralf Wipplinger, Richard William Ellerbrock
  • Patent number: 7614587
    Abstract: The process improves the maneuverability of an aircraft during the approach to landing and then flare-out phases, the aircraft being equipped with air brakes. According to the process, the air brakes are put in a first deployed position during the approach phase, and as a function of a representative parameter of a given altitude and in case of a steep angle approach, they are actuated to transition to a second more retracted position than the first position so as to achieve a flare-out allowing to essentially maintain the same angle of incidence, corresponding in case of a steep angle approach to achieve a flare-out with habitual exterior piloting references during the flare-out phase.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2009
    Assignee: Airbus
    Inventors: Stéphane Boissenin, Jacques Rosay
  • Patent number: 7611098
    Abstract: A process wherein an aircraft starts from a cruising position by flying at a cruising speed to reach a position that intercepts the glide slope. The process can include the steps of decelerating from the begin descent speed and the begin descent altitude of the aircraft during a first descent phase with a first flight path angle until reaching a predetermined speed corresponding to an aircraft speed at which the aircraft flaps are extended for transitioning to a first intermediate position; following a second phase of descent at a considerably constant speed with a second flight path angle; and decelerating during a third phase of descent with a third flight path angle to reach the glide slope interception position. The aircraft slats and/or flaps adopt their first intermediate position considerably when transitioning from the second to the third phase of descent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventor: Machiel Van Boven
  • Patent number: 6711479
    Abstract: A method, avionics apparatus and computer program for determining a terminal flight path, including access to aircraft position information provided by a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. The method apparatus and computer program determine an Intended Touchdown Point (ITP), which is the desired landing location on an intended runway; determine a Current Touchdown Point (CTP), which is where the aircraft will land given its current glidepath and is a function of the current trajectory, configuration and engine thrust; determine a correspondence of the CTP and ITP and generate an output signal as a function of the correspondence, which is displayed on a cockpit display device, annunciated on a cockpit speaker, or both.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2004
    Assignee: Honeywell International, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas J. Staggs
  • Patent number: 6676088
    Abstract: An aircraft flare control system for semi-automatically controlling the pitch and thrust of an aircraft during landing is disclosed. The system includes a flight director and indication of the pitch angle of an aircraft during a landing maneuver and a flare computer. The flare computer includes a control law defining a predetermined pitch angle of the aircraft as a function of height above ground level. The system also includes a radio altimeter connected to the flare computer for producing a signal indicative of the height of the aircraft, a signal of pitch deviation from the control law is generated to allow a pilot or auto-control to adjust the pitch to comply with the control law. A thrust control for retarding the throttle as a function of altitude above ground level is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Assignee: Safe Flight Instrument Corporation
    Inventor: Leonard M. Greene
  • Patent number: 6575410
    Abstract: An airborne glide slope tracking system includes a radio altimeter for producing a signal indicative of the instantaneous altitude of the aircraft and a glide slope error indicator for producing a signal indicative of the angular deviation from glide slope. The two signals are multiplied to produce a glide slope error signal in feet and fed to a summing device directly and through a lead filter to generate a signal for a throttle servo to increase or decrease the thrust of the aircraft. A longitudinal accelerometer signal is then added to a signal indicative of a difference between an aircraft's reference angle of attack and actual angle of attack to produce a signal to a pitch command to provide an angle which will be sustained by the power of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignee: Safe Flight Instrument Corporation
    Inventor: Leonard M. Greene
  • Patent number: 5957412
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method and a device for guiding an aircraft (A) according to a prescribed vertical flight path (T).According to the invention:the vertical distance he between said aircraft (A) and said flight path (T) is determined;the difference ve between the actual vertical velocity (Vz) of the aircraft (A) and the vertical velocity (Vzth) which it would have on the flight path (T) is determined;a vertical acceleration variation Anz is calculated:.DELTA.nz=((k1.(he-hc))+(ve-vc)).k2k1 and k2 being characteristic coefficients, hc and vc being precontrol terms, and k1.(he-hc) being restricted; andsaid restricted variation Anz is applied to the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Societe Nationale Industrielle
    Inventors: Yves Saint Upery, Eric Peyrucain
  • Patent number: 5823479
    Abstract: A method modifying the landing pitch attitude of an airplane during landing approach and touchdown is disclosed. A reference value for a predetermined flight condition parameter is subtracted from a current value of the predetermined flight condition parameter, resulting in a difference value. Based upon the difference value, a schedule determines a corresponding deflection value for a movable surface capable of producing lift. The movable surface is automatically deflected to an amount equal to the deflection value. In alternative embodiments of the invention, the predetermined flight condition parameters include approach airspeed, attitude, and angle of attack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1998
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Brian N. Nield, Ross A. Landes, Monte R. Evans
  • Patent number: 5716032
    Abstract: An automatic landing system for guiding an unmanned aerial vehicle along a predetermined path to a predetermined point on the ground. The system includes an image processing means resident in the motion compensation processor that computes aerial vehicle parameters. The computed parameters are altitude, changes in altitude, changes in pitch and yaw angles, roll angle and changes thereto, and changes in cross range and down range position. These computations are based on the movement of elements in the video of an imaging sensor onboard the aerial vehicle. The motion compensation processor also measures the distance (in pixels or picture elements) between two beacons placed a known distance apart on either side of the apparent touchdown point. A recovery control processor uses these parameters to compute both desired and actual altitude as a function of range from the vehicle to the apparent point of touchdown and to provide offset error in azimuth from the desired flight path to the landing area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 10, 1998
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army
    Inventor: Pat H. McIngvale
  • Patent number: 5170163
    Abstract: An aircraft performance monitor 1 receives signals representative of the height h, rate of change of height h and vertical acceleration .theta. of the aircraft. The monitor 1 determines when (h-A(.sub.n.sbsb.1.sup.n.sbsp.2 +K.sub.1 h+K.sub.2 .theta. goes beyond a predetermined limit and generates a warning signal and disables the autopilot. The signal representative of vertical acceleration may be derived from the rate of change of pitch attitude of the aircraft, from the elevator angle or from an accelerometer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1992
    Assignee: Smiths Industries Public Limited Company
    Inventors: Philip H. Collins, Robin D. T. Mosedale
  • Patent number: 5020747
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method of and apparatus for determining the flare height at which the flare maneuver of an automatic landing procedure is initiated. The method includes the step of generating an adjusted approach sink rate signal, which depends on the ground speed of the aircraft during a landing approach and is compensated for short term deviations from the glideslope angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 4, 1991
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Munir Orgun, Venkata R. Pappu, Alfredo A. Toledo, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4908619
    Abstract: A stall warning "stick shaker" reference level signal is produced as a function of both flap position and total aircraft thrust. More specifically, a correction term .DELTA..alpha. is combined with a standard stick shaker reference level signal which is scheduled as a function of aircraft flap position. The .DELTA..alpha. signal is scheduled as a function of the total aircraft gross thrust coefficient. The resultant reference level signal produces advance stall warnings that are essentially invariant with engine power level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1984
    Date of Patent: March 13, 1990
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Paul F. Bala, Edgars A. Kupcis, William B. Fisher
  • Patent number: 4695013
    Abstract: A warning device, for a helicopter with a tail rotor and a mechanical protection device therefor, for giving during emergency power-loss landings a flare signal to the pilot to initiate flare followed by a tail/ground contact warning signal when the helicopter tail approaches too closely the ground. The warning device comprises in one embodiment a height-finder with two switchable transmitting/receiving antennas mounted at the helicopter tail to produce respectively, when switched into use, a height-finding beam backwards and obliquely downwards or forwards and obliquely downwards. Height signals obtained initially using antenna 40 are processed by computing means and initiate at a predetermined initial flare altitude a flare warning signal whereafter height signals from antenna 26 are used to determine the sink rate of the tail and in dependence upon this sink rate and the instantaneous height, a warning signal is initiated if this corresponds to a predetermined relative relationship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 1984
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1987
    Inventor: Ulrich Trampnau
  • Patent number: 4419732
    Abstract: An improved inner loop control is disclosed for use in an aircraft pitch axis control system. Signals representative of vertical acceleration and pitch rate are complementary filtered and summed to produce an "inner loop" damping signal which is combined with "outer loop" command signals to produce an elevator control signal. The improved approach provides higher outer loop control law gains and better system stability, resulting in higher control bandwidth and tighter command tracking, especially in turbulence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1981
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1983
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Antonius A. Lambregts, Rolf Hansen
  • Patent number: 4357661
    Abstract: Upon aircraft landing approach, flare path command signals of altitude, vertical velocity and vertical acceleration are generated as functions of aircraft position and velocity with respect to the ground. The command signals are compared with corresponding actual values to generate error signals which are used to control the flight path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1980
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1982
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Antonius A. Lambregts, Rolf Hansen
  • Patent number: 4354237
    Abstract: Aircraft altitude, ground velocity, and altitude rate signals are input to a computer which, using a unique control law, generates a pitch control surface command signal suitable for guiding an aircraft on its flare path to a specified runway touchdown point despite varying wind conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 1980
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1982
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Antonius A. Lambregts, Rolf Hansen
  • Patent number: 4127248
    Abstract: A system for generating an optimum vertical speed command and controlling the aircraft to this command by allowing the aircraft to assume an optium trimmed condition for the thrust energy available which system utilizes the aircraft autopilot system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1976
    Date of Patent: November 28, 1978
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Jimmie H. Boone, Robert D. Simpson
  • Patent number: 4093159
    Abstract: A flight control type system which provides a tactile readout to the hand of a pilot for directing elevator control during both approach to flare-out and departure maneuvers. For altitudes above flare-out, the system sums the instantaneous coefficient of lift signals of a lift transducer with a generated signal representing ideal coefficient of lift for approach to flare-out, i.e., a value of about 30% below stall. Error signals resulting from the summation are read out by the noted tactile device. Below flare altitude, an altitude responsive variation is summed with the signal representing ideal coefficient of lift to provide error signal readout.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 1977
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1978
    Assignee: The Ohio State University Research Foundation
    Inventor: Richard D. Gilson
  • Patent number: 4032093
    Abstract: A system for generating an optimum vertical speed command and controlling the aircraft to this command by allowing the aircraft to assume an optimum trimmed condition for the thrust energy available which system utilizes the aircraft autopilot system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1975
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1977
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Jimmie Harold Bonne, Robert D. Simpson
  • Patent number: 3960348
    Abstract: In a helicopter, a pilot-actuated lever controls, through linkage mechanisms, a servo valve to drive a hydraulic piston; the piston moves a swash plate which in turn controls movement of rotor blade pitch positioning mechanisms against the force of blade loading, caused by aerodynamic forces. Blade loading, heretofore monitored visually by the pilot on a cruise guide indicator instrument, is used herein to control a secondary input to the servo valve, thereby to alter the position linkage mechanism which causes the force of a spring attached thereto to impose a force on the collective pitch control for blade loadings in excess of one-third of maximum allowable blade loads, in a direction tending to drive the control to lower collective pitch (lower blade loading). This provides "feel" to the pilot in proportion to blade loading when at critical magnitudes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1975
    Date of Patent: June 1, 1976
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Donald W. Fowler, Sean J. O'Connor