By Engaging Manual Control System Patents (Class 244/197)
  • Patent number: 10023301
    Abstract: A system including a load factor control module for calculating a deflection order on manual actuation of a control column by a pilot of the aircraft and transmitting that deflection order to at least one elevator of the aircraft, a longitudinal attitude control module for maintaining the longitudinal attitude of the aircraft at a target attitude in the event of absence of manual actuation of the control column by the pilot during a flight, and a transition management module for determining and storing a present longitudinal attitude value of the aircraft at a recording moment and transmitting that longitudinal attitude value to the longitudinal attitude control module for the longitudinal attitude control module to use the longitudinal attitude value as the target attitude.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2018
    Assignee: Airbus Operations SAS
    Inventors: Mathieu Carton, Pierre Debusschere, Laurent Albugues
  • Patent number: 9994303
    Abstract: A control system and method for an aircraft configured to operate according to a first mode of operation corresponding to an automatic piloting of the aircraft and a second mode of operation corresponding to a manual piloting of the aircraft, the system including a selection member. The system is configured to operate according to the first mode of operation when the selection member is not actuated continuously and to operate according to the second mode of operation when the selection member is actuated continuously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS (S.A.S.)
    Inventors: Pierre Scacchi, Thierry Bourret, Franck Laine, Matthieu Mayolle, Sabrina Betton, Cécile Puissacq, Olivier Sapin
  • Patent number: 9690291
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a fly-by-wire type of aircraft flight control system having a pair of sidesticks for pilot and co-pilot input, respectively, and having logic that controls the priority of input as between the two sidesticks in certain aircraft flight situations. It allows either the pilot or co-pilot to ensure that his/her sidestick is the only one issuing flight control commands at any one moment in time by first pressing a simple latch button located, for example, on the glareshield in the cockpit and then maneuvering the sidestick in the desired manner to effectuate flight control, e.g., pitch and/or roll, of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Assignee: BOMBARDIER INC.
    Inventors: Benoit Ouellette, Sophie Duchesne, Frederic Lecoq
  • Patent number: 9592905
    Abstract: A fuel management system may include a first fuel tank and a second fuel tank. The fuel management system may also include an intelligent crossfeed valve positioned between the first fuel tank and the second fuel tank and configured to allow fuel to flow between the first fuel tank and the second fuel tank. The fuel management system may also include a sensor configured to detect an amount to which the intelligent crossfeed valve is open. The fuel management system may also include an engine controller connected to the sensor and configured to cause the intelligent crossfeed valve to close in response to the intelligent crossfeed valve being open a third predetermined amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: HAMILTON SUNSTRAND CORPORATION
    Inventors: Lubomir A. Ribarov, Leo J. Veilleux, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9511856
    Abstract: A helicopter includes a rotor system having a rotor with an adjustable pitch that is controlled at least in part by a pilot using a collective control and which helicopter generates a Low RPM signal that is indicative of a threshold low rotational speed of the rotor. An actuator arrangement can move the collective control by exerting a force on the collective control such that the pilot is able to overcome the actuator force but which otherwise can move the collective control from a current operational position toward a minimum pitch position. A clutch can co-rotate with a motor to serve in transferring the actuation force to reduce the adjustable pitch and can slip relative to the actuator shaft assembly responsive to an application of a counterforce applied by the pilot to the collective control such that the counterforce overcomes the actuation force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: Merlin Technology Inc.
    Inventors: John E. Mercer, Mark H. Marvin
  • Patent number: 9315258
    Abstract: A flight control system includes at least one flight domain protection module intended at least for manual piloting and an auxiliary element configured to automatically transmit to the protection module, upon a detection of automatic piloting of the aircraft using an automatic piloting device, a predetermined auxiliary position, representing a control stick position equivalent, the protection module using the auxiliary position as a control stick position to implement a flight domain protection during the automatic piloting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS SAS
    Inventors: Marie-Claire Moune, Christophe Poujol, Matthieu Barba, Lilian Ronceray
  • Patent number: 9216830
    Abstract: Methods and devices for detecting oscillatory faults in a positional servocontrol arrangement for an aircraft control surface are provided. The detection device estimates a reference position of the control surface and, with the aid of a model in which at each iteration a residual value of the previous iteration, multiplied by a dynamic gain, is injected, detects an oscillatory fault with the aid of this reference position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2015
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS SAS
    Inventors: Philippe Goupil, Olivier Babando, Mohcine Sifi, Loïc Lavigne, Franck Cazaurang
  • Patent number: 9156546
    Abstract: The system contains the active inceptor having mobility in a first direction. A feedback mechanism is in communication with the active inceptor. The mechanism provides a variable level of force to the active inceptor in the first direction. A programmable device communicates with the feedback mechanism. The programmable device controls the level of force provided to the active inceptor from the feedback mechanism. The programmable device is capable of recognizing and distinguishing between regimes wherein the operator is physically engaging the inceptor (“hands-on” state) and when the operator is “hands-off” the inceptor. The programmable device limits the maximum rate of displacement of an active inceptor to a specified safe and effective value regardless of changes in forces applied by the variable force feel feedback mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Joseph G. Irwin, III, Pieter G. Einthoven, David G. Miller, Mark S. Spano
  • Patent number: 8996205
    Abstract: A method for regulating an actuator for a control surface is provided, which actuator has an angular position controlled by an autopilot on an aircraft with mechanical flight control. When the value of the torque exerted by the actuator is less than a threshold torque value, the actuator is regulated in terms of position and the maximum speed of movement of the control surface is limited to a value that is dependent on the torque value. When the value of the torque exerted by the actuator is greater than the threshold torque value, the actuator is regulated in terms of torque.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Romain Pierre, Arnaud Bonnaffoux, Caroline Adamski
  • Patent number: 8838299
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method of decoupling the mode of automatic following of the lateral profile and the mode of automatic following of the vertical profile of an automatic guidance system of an aircraft (A) flying on a reference trajectory (T). The mode of automatic following of the vertical profile is not disengaged immediately on disengaging the mode of automatic following of the lateral profile. After disengaging the mode of automatic following of the lateral profile, the mode of automatic following of the vertical profile is disengaged automatically only if at least one criterion of lateral separation between the current or short-term position of the aircraft and the lateral profile corresponding to the reference trajectory is satisfied, having regard to the position error.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Guy Deker, Manuel Gutierrez-Castaneda
  • Patent number: 8612130
    Abstract: Method for identifying an airplane and indicate airplane type and version in connection to parking of the airplane at a gate or a stand, for possible connection of a passenger or a loading bridge to a an airplane door, where the airplane is positioned and stopped at a predetermined position using a touchless measurement of the distance between the airplane and a fixed point, where the distance is indicated on a display mounted in front of the pilot of the airplane on for instance an airport building (7), which display (6) shows the position of the airplane (5) relative to a stop point for the airplane and shows the current airplane type and version, where the distance measurement and display are caused to be activated by a computer system (20), belonging to the airport, or manually, and wherein an antenna (16) is caused to receive information transmitted by an airplane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: FMT International Trade AB
    Inventor: Per Thelander
  • Patent number: 8275492
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a method and a set of means for piloting an aircraft used, first of all, for detecting emergency situations and for removing the consequences thereof, which make it possible perform all possible control modes for piloting the same aircraft in the form of an aircraft hand-flown by a pilot with the aid of flight control means, an aircraft remotely flown by instructions of a control station technical means and an independent automated aircraft flown by instructions of the aircraft equipment. In order to carry out the remote, automatic and independent control of the aircraft, the power drive units of control equipment, a system for the switch-on and off thereof and technical supporting means are provided on the aircraft board and on the control station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: IRKUT Corporation
    Inventors: Gennady Ivanovich Volkov, Yury Anatol {grave over ( )}evich Za {grave over ( )}tsev, Aleksandr Vasil {grave over ( )}evich Koldaev, Aleksandr Ur {grave over ( )}evich Kondrashina, Michail Vadimovich Korzhuev, Yury Ivanovich Malov, Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Morzhin, Valery Victorovich Podkidov, Aleksandr Nikolaevich Pronin, Vladimir Alekseevich Savin
  • Publication number: 20120097800
    Abstract: A control input system is provided. The system includes a pair of control columns that are selectively interconnected such that manipulation of one of the control columns is translated to the other one of the control columns. The system includes a disconnect arrangement for each of the degrees of freedom (pitch and roll) of the system that operably disconnects the two control columns such that the two control columns can operate independently such as in the event of failure of one of the control columns. The system may also include a discontinuous force profile for a restoring force mechanism that provides tactile feedback to the pilots simulating resistance provided by control surfaces of the aircraft. The system may also include an autopilot lockout mechanism that increases the force profile experienced by the pilots when autopilot mode is entered.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 22, 2010
    Publication date: April 26, 2012
    Applicant: WOODWARD MPC, INC.
    Inventors: Michael A. Burroughs, Joel M. Hutchison, Darryl S. Stachniak
  • Patent number: 8145364
    Abstract: The fields of the invention are vehicle on-board security and vehicle piloting safety. The invention relates to a method and device for aiding the restoral of command of a vehicle by an operator of the vehicle. The command of the vehicle by the operator is ensured through vehicle piloting controls, when the operator has lost command of the vehicle in favor of a device for disabling piloting controls. The device disables the action of the piloting controls on the piloting means during the loss of command. According to the invention, the method includes emitting a restoral of command request; a vehicle motion phase is determined; a reference state of the piloting control is determined as a function of the motion phase; a current state of the piloting control is determined; the current state with the reference state is compared so as to identify a deviation ? between the current state and the reference state. When no deviation ? is identified, the command of the vehicle by the operator is restored.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2012
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventor: Loïc Mira
  • Patent number: 8052096
    Abstract: An apparatus for converting a manned aircraft of a type including at least one pilot control capable of manipulation to affect operation of the aircraft for unmanned flight operations includes first and second actuators, each configured to selectively provide movement or resistance to movement in a first manner including linear or rotational motion, first and second clutches, each configured to selectively couple movement of the associated actuator to or from the pilot control during flight, and a vehicle controller capable of being selectively enabled during flight to operate the pilot control actuators and clutches and thereby provide unmanned operation of the aircraft, or of being disabled, thereby providing for manned operation of the aircraft. The first actuator has a first scope describing a first amount of allowable movement, while the second actuator has a second scope larger than the first scope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2011
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Dino A. Cerchie, Gregory E. Dockter, William Mark Hardesty
  • Patent number: 7784741
    Abstract: An apparatus for converting a manned aircraft of a type including at least one pilot control capable of manipulation to affect operation of the aircraft for unmanned flight operations includes first and second actuators, each configured to selectively provide movement or resistance to movement in a first manner including linear or rotational motion, first and second clutches, each configured to selectively couple movement of the associated actuator to the pilot control, and a vehicle controller capable of being selectively enabled to operate the pilot control actuators and clutches and thereby provide unmanned operation of the aircraft, or of being disabled, thereby providing for manned operation of the aircraft. The first actuator has a first scope describing a first amount of allowable movement, while the second actuator has a second scope larger than the first scope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Dino A. Cerchie, Gregory E. Dockter, William Mark Hardesty
  • Patent number: 7633410
    Abstract: Systems and methods for assisted recovery. An example method receives at least one of a directional or pitch command signal. Localizer or glide slope signals are generated based on the received signal. The localizer or glide slope signals are wirelessly transmitted via a predefined frequency over a transmitter and received at receivers of a navigation system. The vehicle is controlled based on the received signals. A proximity warning device generates an alert when the aircraft is within an alert distance from at least one of terrain, obstacle or special use airspace and an assisted recovery component generates the directional and pitch command signals based on the generated alert and a time delay.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2009
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: John J. Poe
  • Patent number: 7624943
    Abstract: An apparatus for converting a manned aircraft for unmanned flight, the aircraft including at least one pilot control capable of manipulation to affect operation of the aircraft, the apparatus comprising a first actuator and a second actuator each configured to selectively provide movement or resistance to movement in a first manner including linear or rotational motion, a first clutch and a second clutch each configured to selectively couple movement of the associated actuator to the pilot control, and a vehicle controller capable of being selectively enabled to operate the pilot control actuators and clutches providing unmanned operation of the aircraft or disabled providing manned operation of the aircraft. The first actuator has a first scope describing a first amount of allowable movement, while the second actuator has a second scope larger than the first scope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2009
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Dino A. Cerchie, Gregory E. Dockter, William Mark Hardesty
  • Patent number: 7098810
    Abstract: Methods and systems for performing auto-recovery for an aircraft. An example system includes position and information systems, an automatic flight control system, a database, and a processor. The database includes terrain data, airport data, obstacle data, and protected airspace data. The processor determines if one of a caution alert or a warning alert exists based on data stored in the database and information received from the position and information systems. Auto-recovery instructions are generated and sent to the automatic flight control system if no positive flight control input has been performed at time of expiration of a waiting period. Auto-recovery instructions are generated based on an analysis of two or more auto-recovery routes. The system does not perform auto-recovery if components of the system fail to meet a predefined validity or integrity level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2006
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Charles D. Bateman, John H. Gover, Steven C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6629023
    Abstract: A method for automating a landing maneuver for an aircraft, comprising the steps of generating an approach profile comprising an initial approach fix (IAF), a flight path, a landing decision point, a balked landing route, a pre-landing point, and a landing point, engaging an automated approach system to access the approach profile, receiving periodic position data of the aircraft, comparing the position data to the approach profile to compute a plurality of deviations each time the position data is received, outputting the plurality of deviations to a display, converting the plurality of deviations into a plurality of control commands, and maneuvering the aircraft in response to the control commands along the flight path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: Stephen H. Silder, Jr., Charles W. Evans, Christopher A. Thornberg
  • Patent number: 6491148
    Abstract: An override device is presented having a manual control, an inlet gear, and an outlet gear, which are mounted to rotate about the same axis. The inlet gear rotates the outlet gear. The manual control has a cam which, in co-operation with an intermediate part suitable for following the cam, serves to disengage the rotation of the inlet gear under torque exerted on the manual control. The manual control drives the outlet gear. The Inlet gear rotates by having a set of friction disks and spring part suitable for exerting a force to compress the disks against one another. The intermediate part carries at least one pusher-forming element, which at the end of a displacement exerts force opposing that of the spring part and relaxes the friction force on at least some of the disks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2002
    Inventor: Fernand Rodrigues
  • Patent number: 6460810
    Abstract: A device for programming industry standard autopilots by unskilled pilots. The effect of the invention is such that when the invention is employed in a flying body comprising an industry standard autopilot with a digital flight control system, the invention provides for the safe operation of any aircraft by an unskilled pilot. The device additionally affords skilled pilots a more rapid and simplified means of programming autopilots while in flight thus reducing a skilled pilot's cockpit workload for all aircraft flight and directional steering, way points, and aircraft flight functions reducing the possibility of pilot error so as to effect safer flight operations of an aircraft by affording a skilled pilot to direct aircraft steering and function while under continuous autopilot control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Inventor: Terry Jack James
  • Patent number: 6292720
    Abstract: Trimming process for adapting a first control loop of a controllable, automatically controlled reference system, which is or represents an aircraft, to a second control loop which simulates the reference system, Flying condition values including controlled variables, which are returned in each control loop for the purpose of the control, are detected, and both control loops are acted upon by the same desired input data. In the first process loop, a conversion of the unreturned flying condition values of the airplane model takes place to the values of the corresponding flying condition values of the reference system. The second process loop is provided for the adaptation of the returned condition values of the airplane simulation system to the corresponding condition values of the reference system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2001
    Assignee: DaimlerChrysler AG
    Inventors: Gerhard Schulz, Thomas Meyer
  • Patent number: 6264146
    Abstract: A portable, hand-holdable controller for interfacing with various flight control, weapons control and other subsystems of an aircraft by a crew member who is not piloting the aircraft. In a preferred embodiment the portable controller includes a keyboard, a mode selector switch and a cursor control. The mode selector switch allows the controller to be interfaced with a plurality of independent multi-function display (MFD) or multi-purpose display (MPD) systems. The cursor control enables the non-pilot crew member to control the cursor on the display being interfaced with. The keyboard allows the non-pilot crew member to enter alphanumeric data or commands to the display being interfaced to. Interfacing is accomplished by coupling the controller via a suitable cable to a convenient point on a control panel of the aircraft. The controller is lightweight and compact and able to be held with one or both hands by the non-pilot crew member or alternatively strapped to a thigh of the crew member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2001
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Terrence L. Hill, Gerard F. Capron
  • Patent number: 5868359
    Abstract: A system for backdriving the flight deck controllers of a fly-by-wire aircraft that is under autopilot control to provide a pilot with tactile and visual feedback of autopilot activity. The system, distributed between the aircraft primary flight computers and the autopilot flight computer, uses actuators mechanically coupled to each flight deck controller to position the flight deck controller to mimic manual operation of the flight control surfaces. Additionally, the system allows smooth disengagement of the autopilot and transfer of the aircraft to pilot control when the pilot takes control of any flight deck controller by moving it from a backdrive system-commanded position by a predetermined displacement for a predetermined time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Daniel H. Cartmell, David B. Borgens, Henning Buus, Keith S. Duffy, Mark E. Gast, Neal V. Huynh, David W. Lochtie, Clifton A. Piersbacher
  • Patent number: 5769362
    Abstract: An aircraft control mechanism for a speed brake includes a shaft, an outer sleeve surrounding the shaft and a sprag clutch. The mechanism also includes input and output elements and a control element with the input element tied to the outer sleeve. The control element is tied to the shaft and the output is operatively connected to the output of the clutch. A control cable is connected to the output for moving a speed brake between a first and a second position. A manual input actuates the control element of the clutch. An automatic input is connected to the outer sleeve through a torsional dampening device which minimizes chatter or sticking due to high forces which are required to extricate the sprag clutch from a relatively high racked-in load.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1998
    Assignee: Safe Flight Instrument Corporation
    Inventors: Leonard M. Greene, Jack Steiner
  • Patent number: 5613652
    Abstract: An auto throttle system for FAYDEC equipped aircraft includes a remote friction element which is separated from a pilot's console. The system also includes an auto throttle control and a manual throttle control which are mechanically coupled through the friction element. The friction element provides the "feel" of a cable operated throttle system and allows a pilot to manually override the auto throttle without a significant change in the torque required to advance or retard the throttle. The system also includes a servo motor, gear drive and shaft with the friction element disposed on the shaft. A mechanical coupling connects the shaft and the manual control so that any changes caused by the auto throttle cause a corresponding change in a pilot's manual throttle control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 25, 1997
    Assignee: Safe Flight Instrument Corporation
    Inventor: Leonard M. Greene
  • Patent number: 5445346
    Abstract: Spoilers on the forward top and bottom elevator tail surface of large aircraft offer an independent backup for pitch control. The placement of spoilers in a line along the forward portion of an aircraft pitch-control structure offers direct upward or downward "lift" from a spoiler-induced unbalance of Bernoulli forces on a near-symmetrical airfoil. Combined with a temporary bypass valve and channels between the "up" and "down" hydraulic actuators, a spoiler's forward-mounted torsion force on the elevator surfaces can also rotate the elevators in a controlled fashion. Preparation for hi-risk aircraft missions would install gate-spoiler surfaces into spoiler-actuating subsystems as a temporary safety-of-flight hedge against the loss of hydraulic elevator control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 29, 1995
    Inventor: Raymond D. Gilbert
  • Patent number: 5403155
    Abstract: An engine control system for a helicopter having at least one engine is provided, including an electronic engine control unit for each engine and further including a manually operated system for backing up each electronic engine control unit in the event of a failure thereof or for permitting optional manual engine operation. The engine control system includes at least one collective pitch stick and at least one twist grip rotatably mounted on the collective pitch stick. Each twist grip includes a normal (NORM) position within the range of the operating arc which is coincident with a detent. The system includes means for electronically actuating the detent to retract when the twist grip is rotated out of the NORM position into a manual operating mode, so that the electronic disablement of the detent permits an operator to smoothly operate the twist grip through the operating arc when the engine control system is in a manual control mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 4, 1995
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventors: Robert E. Head, Channing S. Morse, Thomas G. Ashe
  • Patent number: 5255880
    Abstract: An improved fly by wire or fly by light system which provides for a smooth manual override of the autopilot function by allowing the pilot to modify the autopilot command to the control surfaces by physically manipulating the yoke to a position different than that commanded by the autopilot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1993
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventors: Woon Lyloc, David C. Pattison
  • Patent number: 5197697
    Abstract: An improved fly by wire or fly by light system which provides for a smooth manual override of the autopilot function by allowing the pilot to modify the autopilot command to the control surfaces by physically manipulating the yoke to a position different than that commanded by the autopilot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1993
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventors: Woon Lyloc, David C. Pattison
  • Patent number: 4642774
    Abstract: A system and technique is disclosed which enables an aircraft to naturally respond to pilot inputs during automatic flight control of aircraft attitude or course and to smoothly return to that attitude or course following pilot maneuvers. The aircraft attitude control channels of an aircraft control system are held at a predetermined attitude reference by an automatic flight control system or programmed to follow a particular navigational course by a flight director guidance system. The aircraft control stick is coupled to disconnect the predetermined pitch and roll attitude from flight control following a stick movement of a predetermined distance or the application of a predetermined force to the stick so that the AFCS or flight director guidance system no longer attempts to hold the set attitude or navigational course. The control stick commands an angular rate of change proportional to the magnitude of the pilot's stick displacement or force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1982
    Date of Patent: February 10, 1987
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventors: John P. Centala, Kenneth W. McElreath
  • Patent number: 4460858
    Abstract: An autopilot control system includes roll rate synchronization circuitry for precisely responding to control wheel roll commands without overshoots. Unique fade-in/fade out circuitry prevents transient signal "bumps" upon mode switching of the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 1982
    Date of Patent: July 17, 1984
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Robert F. Ashland
  • Patent number: 4236685
    Abstract: The present steering mechanism, especially for an aircraft includes a manly operable steering member and an automatic steering system. A difference signal formed from a pilot input and trim signal and from a gyro feedback signal is supplied to a force control and damping circuit twice, once directly and once through an authority limit circuit. The output of the authority limit circuit is also supplied to the motors forming part of the automatic steering system. The force control and damping circuit also receives further input signal or signals representing steering information. The output of the force control and damping circuit is connected to the feel unit of the steering system, whereby an immediate manual control by the pilot is effective, however limited against an excessive control or so-called manual over control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 1979
    Date of Patent: December 2, 1980
    Assignee: Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm Gesellschaft mit beschraenkter Haftung
    Inventor: Gerhard K. Kissel
  • Patent number: 4067517
    Abstract: The automatic heading retention mode of operation of a flight control system for a rotary wing aircraft is discontinued and reestablished through the use of logic circuitry responsive to the bank angle of the aircraft and to the force applied to a control stick by the pilot. When the bank angle of the aircraft exceeds a preselected minimum and the lateral force applied to the cyclic pitch stick also exceeds a predetermined minimum the logic circuit operates to isolate the heading hold control from heading error signals and the heading retention mode of operation is automatically resumed when both of the bank angle and stick force fall below the preselected minimum levels. The invention may also encompass the application to the control mechanism of signals which will cause the aircraft to perform coordinated turns above a preselected minimum airspeed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 1976
    Date of Patent: January 10, 1978
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: Ronald E. Barnum