Composite Aircraft Patents (Class 244/2)
  • Patent number: 11440682
    Abstract: A method, apparatus, and system for testing a performance of a device under different load conditions is provided. A load profile to be applied to the device by a linkage system that includes a support member, a load member, and an actuating member is identified. A value for a setting of an actuator of the actuating member is determined based on the load profile. The actuator is operated with the setting having the value determined such that a load is applied to a control surface of the device via the load member. The load applied to the control surface is determined by both the value for the setting of the actuator and a geometry of the linkage system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2022
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Aron Whittemore Dreyfoos, John Scott Finigan, Gregory John Hughes, Andres Ramos
  • Patent number: 11430332
    Abstract: Flight based infrared imaging systems and related techniques, and in particular unmanned aerial system (UAS) based systems, are provided for aiding in operation and/or piloting of a mobile structure. Such systems and techniques may include determining environmental conditions around the mobile structure with the UAS detecting the presence of objects and/or persons around the mobile structure and/or determining the presence of other structures around the mobile structure. Instructions for the operation of such mobile structures may then be accordingly determined responsive to such data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2022
    Assignee: FLIR Belgium BVBA
    Inventors: Mark Rivers, Christopher D. Gatland, Cenk Tugcetin, Chris Jones, Adam Murphy
  • Patent number: 11416804
    Abstract: A method for delivering a plurality of items to a plurality of delivery locations uses a mobile transport vehicle to transport a plurality of delivery robots to a first robot drop location. The robots are released at the first robot drop location and travel to assigned, respective delivery locations, which are in the vicinity of the first robot drop location. After completing delivery, each of the robots may proceed to a first robot pick-up location which may be different from the first drop off location. The robots are collected by a mobile transport vehicle and are transported to a second robot drop off location. While being transported, the robots can be reloaded with items for delivery in the vicinity of the second drop off location. A system may include one or more such mobile transport vehicles and a plurality of such robots, under the control of a server.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2022
    Assignee: Starship Technologies OÜ
    Inventors: Ahti Heinla, Allan Martinson
  • Patent number: 11402837
    Abstract: The present disclosure is directed toward the use of two or more autonomous vehicles, working in cooperation, to deliver an item between a source location and a destination location. For example, an autonomous ground based vehicle may transport an item from a source location to a transfer location and an autonomous aerial vehicle will transport the item from the transfer location to the destination location. The transfer location may be at any location along a navigation path between the source location and the destination location. In some examples, the transfer location may be adjacent the destination location such that the autonomous aerial vehicle is only transporting the item a short distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2022
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Hilliard Bruce Siegel, Ethan Zane Evans
  • Patent number: 11373401
    Abstract: Various techniques are disclosed for the detection of discrepancies between imaged maritime vessels and received identification information. In one example, a method includes capturing an image of a maritime vessel and processing the image to extract information associated with the vessel. The method also includes receiving automatic identification system (AIS) data, comparing the extracted information to the AIS data, and generating an alarm in response to a discrepancy detected by the comparing. Additional methods, systems, and devices are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2022
    Assignee: FLIR Systems AB
    Inventors: Stefan F. Olsson, Jorgen Lundberg, Veronica Eriksson
  • Patent number: 11345464
    Abstract: A landing gear controller (120) to control extension and retraction of a landing gear for an aircraft, the landing gear controller (120) configured to cause, during an aircraft take-off or landing procedure, a landing gear extension and retraction system (110) to perform only a first portion of a landing gear extension or retraction process, on the basis of a status of the aircraft and prior to receiving a command for the landing gear to be extended or retracted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2022
    Assignee: Airbus Operations Limited
    Inventor: David Marles
  • Patent number: 11325703
    Abstract: A control device includes a processor which: obtains first region information indicating a first region; obtains first position information indicating the position of an unmanned aerial vehicle tethered to a tethering device using a tether; and controls the tethering device using the first region information and the first position information to cause the tether to have tension corresponding to a specified distance which is at least one of the shortest distance between a boundary of the first region and the position of the unmanned aerial vehicle and a distance included in a predetermined range from the shortest distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2022
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Katsuhiko Asai, Kazunobu Konishi, Stephen William John, Kazuo Inoue
  • Patent number: 11312489
    Abstract: A deployable device mountable on a carrier vehicle and configured to collect situation awareness data. The deployable device includes at least one recorder device configured to collect situation awareness data. The deployable device is capable of being ejected from the carrier vehicle and can be configured to operate as a vehicle and/or be towed by the carrier vehicle. The deployable device can continue collection of situation awareness data after being ejected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Assignee: ISRAEL AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES LTD.
    Inventors: Rami Skladman, Ron Bublitsky, Haim Korach, Ben Keshales
  • Patent number: 11312194
    Abstract: A powertrain including an engine; a main drive shaft assembly; a primary clutch mechanism coupled to the engine and the a main drive shaft assembly, the primary clutch mechanism being operable to connect or disconnect the main drive shaft assembly and the engine; an axle shaft coupled transversely to the main drive shaft assembly; a secondary clutch mechanism having a driving member coupled to an end of the axle shaft; a drive wheel coupled to a first driven member of the secondary clutch mechanism; and an air propulsion unit coupled to a second driven member of the secondary clutch mechanism. The secondary clutch mechanism being operable to engage or disengage the first driven member and/or the second driven member to the driving member so as to connect or disconnect the drive wheel and/or the air propulsion unit to the axle shaft. A vehicle including the powertrain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Inventor: Zhen Gang Ker
  • Patent number: 11305873
    Abstract: An air, sea and underwater tilt tri-rotor UAV capable of performing vertical take-off and landing. By the method for controlling a submerged floating device and a tilt tri-rotor device, the UAV is switched among the vertical take-off and landing mode, fixed wing mode, water surface sailing mode and underwater submerging mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2022
    Assignee: DALIAN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Shuo Zhang, Zongyang Lv, Tao Sun, Yuhu Wu, Ximing Sun, Zhenyu Wu
  • Patent number: 11292594
    Abstract: A vehicle is described having an aerodynamically contoured lifting body comprising a plurality of cooperating body modules, wherein at least two of the modules are displaceably secured to each other. The modules include a thrust vectoring module operatively coupled to a propulsive mechanism. The thrust vectoring module is dynamically controlled to affect positioning and actuation of the propulsive mechanism to attain a desired positioning of the vehicle and at least one of a plurality of modes of operation thereof. The thrust vectoring module includes a nacelle module carrying the propulsive mechanism thereon and rotatably displaceable about one or more axes extending from the lifting body. The propulsive mechanism is positioned externally, internally, or in combinations thereof of the nacelle module and is tiltably displaceable about one or more axes of the nacelle module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Assignee: Airgility, Inc.
    Inventors: Evandro Gurgel do Amaral Valente, Eduardo Gurgel do Amaral Valente, Tanner Ray Miller, Bryan Phillip Jensen
  • Patent number: 11288622
    Abstract: A method for package delivery includes identifying a plurality of delivery locations for package delivery. The method includes determining a driving route for an automated ground vehicle to optimize delivery to the delivery locations using one or more automated aerial vehicles. The method includes controlling the automated ground vehicle to navigate the delivery route. The method further includes determining timing for release of the one or more automated aerial vehicles during navigation of the delivery route to deliver packages to the plurality of delivery locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Harpreetsingh Banvait, Scott Vincent Myers, Alexandru Mihai Gurghian, Mohamed Ahmad
  • Patent number: 11275951
    Abstract: A drone which carries out surveillance by surveilling the user's property. Items in the property can be mapped by the drone. People come on the property can be imaged, and use image processing to compare the image of the people with known images of known people. An alarm can because when an unknown person comes. When the packages delivered, the drone can carry out surveillance on the package, including imaging the outside of the package in the inside of the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2022
    Inventor: Connie Jordan Carmichael
  • Patent number: 11254390
    Abstract: A hydrofoil device for a mobile offshore apparatus, in particular, a watercraft. The hydrofoil device includes at least one base body with at least one connection unit which is arranged for connecting the hydrofoil device to the mobile offshore apparatus. At least one hydrofoil is arranged on the base body. At least one flow generator is arranged to generate a flow around the hydrofoil. The hydrofoil device in its intended use is rotatable at least about a substantially vertical axis of rotation depending on at least one control data set that can be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2021
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2022
    Assignee: RWE Renewables GmbH
    Inventor: Johannes Rosen
  • Patent number: 11203430
    Abstract: A method for launch of an airship includes connecting a cargo airship to a second airship that is not positively buoyant at the launch site, launching the cargo airship, transferring lifting gas from the cargo airship to the second airship where said lifting gas is carried by the cargo airship while aloft; and releasing the second airship from the cargo airship. A releasable payload return vehicle, wherein the payload return vehicle generates aerodynamic forces while it is mated to the cargo airship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2021
    Inventor: Stephen B. Heppe
  • Patent number: 11198509
    Abstract: A tiltrotor aircraft has a vertical takeoff and landing flight mode and a forward flight mode. The aircraft includes an airframe having a wing with oppositely disposed wing tips. Tip booms respectively extend longitudinally from the wing tips. Forward rotors are coupled to the forward ends of the tip booms and aft rotors are coupled to the aft ends of the tip booms. The forward rotors are reversibly tiltable between a vertical lift orientation, wherein the forward rotors are above the tip booms, and a forward thrust orientation, wherein the forward rotors are forward of the tip booms. The aft rotors are reversibly tiltable between a vertical lift orientation, wherein the aft rotors are below the tip booms, and a forward thrust orientation, wherein the aft rotors are aft of the tip booms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2021
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventor: Kip Gregory Campbell
  • Patent number: 11192412
    Abstract: A powertrain including an engine; a main drive shaft assembly; a primary clutch mechanism coupled to the engine and the a main drive shaft assembly, the primary clutch mechanism being operable to connect or disconnect the main drive shaft assembly and the engine; an axle shaft coupled transversely to the main drive shaft assembly; a secondary clutch mechanism having a driving member coupled to an end of the axle shaft; a drive wheel coupled to a first driven member of the secondary clutch mechanism; and an air propulsion unit coupled to a second driven member of the secondary clutch mechanism. The secondary clutch mechanism being operable to engage or disengage the first driven member and/or the second driven member to the driving member so as to connect or disconnect the drive wheel and/or the air propulsion unit to the axle shaft. A vehicle including the powertrain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2021
    Inventor: Zhen Gang Ker
  • Patent number: 11174027
    Abstract: Vehicle docking systems, payload transfer systems, and related methods. A vehicle docking system includes a vehicle with a plurality of docking insert units and a docking platform with a plurality of docking receptor units. Each docking receptor unit is configured to transition between an unlocked configuration and a locked configuration. A method of utilizing a vehicle docking system includes bringing a vehicle to a docked position on a docking platform and securing the vehicle in the docked position. The docking platform includes a plurality of docking receptor units and the vehicle includes a plurality of docking insert units, each docking receptor unit configured to receive a corresponding docking insert unit. The securing the vehicle in the docked position includes transitioning each docking receptor unit from an unlocked configuration to a locked configuration. A payload transfer system includes a payload engagement system and a vehicle docking system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2021
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Eric John Martens
  • Patent number: 11142312
    Abstract: A truss for a flying vehicle supports a pair of wings in a manner which facilitates pivoting of the wings between a deployed configuration and a retracted configuration. The truss includes parallel top and bottom plates with the gap therebetween. The wings have wing brackets affixed thereto with the wing brackets pivotably supported by hinge assemblies to the top plate and bottom plate of the truss. Latch assemblies can be selectively actuated to secure the wing brackets and associated wings to the truss in either the deployed configuration or the retracted configuration, so that loads between the wings and the truss are primarily carried through the latch assemblies rather than through the hinge assemblies. A hinge position on the truss and on the wing brackets is selected to maximize wing length tip to tip while minimizing an outline required for the vehicle when the wings are fully retracted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2021
    Assignee: TUDOR CROSSFELT, LP
    Inventor: Samuel Hall Bousfield
  • Patent number: 11113976
    Abstract: An Unmanned Aerial System configured to receive a request from a user and fulfill that request using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. The Unmanned Aerial System selects a distribution center that is within range of the user, and deploys a suitable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to fulfill the request from that distribution center. The Unmanned Aerial System is configured to provide real-time information about the flight route to the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle during its flight, and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is configured to dynamically update its mission based on information received from the Unmanned Aerial System.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2021
    Assignee: ZIPLINE INTERNATIONAL INC.
    Inventors: Andrew Chambers, Bryan Wade, Catalin Drula, David Halley, Igor Napolskikh, Keenan Wyrobek, Keller Rinaudo, Nicholas Brake, Ryan Oksenhorn, Ryan Patterson, William Hetzler
  • Patent number: 11111033
    Abstract: A recharging system operable to supply power to a rechargeable battery onboard an aerial vehicle. The recharging system includes conductive contacts onboard an aerial vehicle and a landing platform including conductive regions, a charge sensor, and a power supply. The conductive contacts are polarized and located on the skids of the aerial vehicle. When then conductive contacts are received by the conductive regions, the charge sensor operates switches in order to connect a positively charged contact with the positive terminal of the power supply and the negatively charged contact with the negative terminal. Thus, the rechargeable battery is recharged by the power supply.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2021
    Assignee: PHIRST TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Philip E. Burks, Ryan E. LaBarre, Trent S. Clawson, Jack Edgar Terrell, Brandon Shawn Kirkpatrick
  • Patent number: 11111016
    Abstract: A multicopter landing platform includes a base portion, a bottom portion, disposed in the base portion, that accepts a protruding portion of the multicopter, and walls of the base portion that are sloped toward the bottom portion. The walls of the base portion may form a conic-shape. The multicopter landing platform may also include a GPS device that sends RTK corrections to a different GPS device on the multicopter. The multicopter landing platform may also include a beacon that guides the multicopter to cause the multicopter to contact the walls of the base station. The beacon may be disposed in the bottom portion. The beacon may provide a signal that is detected by the multicopter. The beacon may provide a light signal that is detected by a camera on the multicopter to guide the multicopter toward the base portion. A charging ring may be disposed in the bottom portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2021
    Assignee: Sunflower Labs Inc.
    Inventors: Alexander S. Pachikov, Christian Eheim, Nicolas de Palezieux
  • Patent number: 11106224
    Abstract: Exemplary embodiments described in this disclosure are generally directed to a multi-drone automotive system that includes a first drone configured to carry one or more detachable drones. The first drone, which may be referred to as a carrier drone, may be mounted upon an automobile and operated in a tethered mode of flight. The detachable drones may be launched from the carrier drone to carry out untethered flight. The carrier drone and/or the detachable drones may be used for various applications. In one example application, the carrier drone may use a first camera that is mounted upon the carrier drone, to capture a first set of images during the tethered mode of flight. A detachable drone may be launched from the carrier drone in an untethered mode of flight in order to capture a second set of images by using a second camera mounted upon the detachable drone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Zijian Wang, James Carthew, Weifeng Xiong, Mohsen Lakehal-ayat
  • Patent number: 11084584
    Abstract: A remotely controlled VTOL aircraft includes an autopilot subsystem outputting helicopter control signals, and an autopilot subsystem outputting fixed wing control signals. A transition control subsystem is configured to receive said helicopter control signals, said fixed wing control signals, and a transition control signal. Control signals to be applied to the VTOL aircraft controls are calculated as a function of the transition percentage and weighting factors applied to the helicopter control signals and said fixed wing control signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2021
    Assignee: BirdsEyeView Aerobotics, LLC
    Inventors: Adam Riley Sloan, Nathaniel Miller
  • Patent number: 11059582
    Abstract: A system for acquiring agricultural data includes a UAV with a controller and a sensing device is provided. In several embodiments, the controller is configured to receive data associated with a data collection point located within the field and control the operation of the UAV such that the UAV is flown over the field and lands in the field at the data collection point. The sensing device, in several embodiments, is configured to capture field condition data associated with the field while the UAV is maintained in a landed condition at the data collection point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Assignee: CNH Industrial Canada, Ltd.
    Inventors: Nicholas Nahuel-Andrejuk, James W. Henry
  • Patent number: 11061415
    Abstract: A system to maintain a phase difference is disclosed. Two or more aircraft fly in a continuous periodic trajectory. The system maintains a phase difference between the two or more aircraft. Telemetry information for a reference aircraft moving in a first periodic trajectory is received. A phase difference between a primary aircraft and the reference aircraft with respect to the first periodic trajectory is determined. A variance in the phase difference between the primary aircraft and the reference aircraft from the target phase difference is determined. A new trajectory for the primary aircraft that decreases the variance in the phase difference with respect to the new periodic trajectory is determined, and the primary aircraft is maneuvered to follow the new trajectory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Assignee: Kitty Hawk Corporation
    Inventors: Damon Vander Lind, Gregory Mainland Horn
  • Patent number: 11059579
    Abstract: A universal aerial platform (11, 41) supports lift elements (13, 14), thrusters (15), landing gear (21, 22) and a fuel supply (16) and has a coupling mechanism (17) external to the aerial platform for coupling to a terrain vehicle (20) so as to convert any suitably adapted terrain vehicle to a flying vehicle (10, 40). The terrain vehicle forms the cockpit of the flying vehicle. The terrain vehicle (20) includes flight controls that are automatically coupled to the airplane structure either wirelessly or by wires when the terrain vehicle is coupled thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Inventor: Moshe Levy
  • Patent number: 11057498
    Abstract: In one example, a method includes receiving, by a programmable network platform (PNP), a data transfer order for data from a first customer network located in a first data center to a second customer network located in a second data center; provisioning, by the PNP, a first interconnection from the first customer network to a first data transfer station of the first data center; notifying, by the PNP, the first customer network to send the data to the first data transfer station; directing, by the PNP, a transport vehicle to transport the data from the first data transfer station to a second data transfer station of the second data center; provisioning, by the PNP, a second interconnection from the second data transfer station to the second customer network; and notifying, by the PNP, the second customer network of the readiness of the data at the second data transfer station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2021
    Assignee: Equinix, Inc.
    Inventors: Chinmay Ashok Deshpande, Kaladhar Voruganti
  • Patent number: 11046434
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus to align and couple aircraft are disclosed. An example apparatus for securing a first aircraft to a second aircraft includes a guide to direct movement of a first wing of the first aircraft relative to a second wing of the second aircraft to align the first wing with the second wing, and a lock configured to couple the first wing to the second wing after the guide aligns the first wing to the second wing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Hugh William Nesti, Jacob A. Levinson
  • Patent number: 11046448
    Abstract: An engine cooling system for a rotorcraft includes an engine having an engine cooling circuit, a hydraulic pump powered by the engine to pump hydraulic fluid, and a hydraulic circuit in fluid communication with the hydraulic pump and the engine cooling circuit, the hydraulic circuit including at least one hydraulic-powered component. The hydraulic pump is adapted to pump the hydraulic fluid through both the hydraulic circuit and the engine cooling circuit, thereby cooling the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventor: Nicholas Brodeur
  • Patent number: 11040768
    Abstract: An adjustment device for adjusting the position of the center of gravity of an aircraft, the aircraft having at least two thrust production units that contribute at least to providing the aircraft with lift, the adjustment device comprising at least one heavy member that is movable relative to an airframe of the aircraft and also at least one actuator for causing the heavy member to move. The adjustment device includes an avionics system configured to detect a failure of any one of the thrust production units and, in the presence of such a failure, to control the at least one actuator to cause the heavy member to move.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Assignee: AIRBUS HELICOPTERS
    Inventor: Stephane Bailly
  • Patent number: 11034443
    Abstract: An aircraft for vertical take-off and landing includes an aircraft frame having an open frame portion, at least one vertical thruster, a pod, separable from the aircraft and including a cabin to contain at least one of cargo and passengers, where the pod, when mounted to the aircraft, defines at least a portion of the aircraft frame, and a mounting system including at least one attachment member configured to attach the pod to the open frame portion. Such aircraft is capable of flight with and without the pod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2021
    Assignee: SUNLIGHT AEROSPACE INC.
    Inventors: Sergey V. Frolov, Michael Cyrus, John Peter Moussouris
  • Patent number: 11027844
    Abstract: A rotorcraft-assisted system for launching and retrieving a fixed-wing aircraft into and from free flight. The launch and retrieval system is usable with a rotorcraft to launch a fixed-wing aircraft into free, wing-borne flight and to retrieve the fixed-wing aircraft from free, wing-borne flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: Hood Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Andreas H. von Flotow, Corydon C. Roeseler
  • Patent number: 11027838
    Abstract: An in-flight charging system includes a first electric air vehicle, a second electric air vehicle, an elevated power supply system (EPSS) and a flexible tension member coupled to the first electric air vehicle and coupled to the second electric air vehicle. The flexible tension member provides power from the second electric vehicle to the first electric vehicle. The EPSS further includes one or more current carrying conductors, wherein the second electric air vehicle travels along the one or more current carrying conductors and receives power transferred from the one or more current carrying conductors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: Karman, Inc.
    Inventors: Joshua Clemente, George O'Neal, Chiranjeev Kalra
  • Patent number: 11008102
    Abstract: In an embodiment, a maneuverable capture device includes a frame, a plurality of rotors secured to the frame, an attachment point disposed on the frame for securing a cable of a carrier aircraft to the frame, and an attachment feature configured to secure maneuverable capture device to a dock of a parasite aircraft. In an embodiment, a method of docking a maneuverable capture device with a parasite aircraft includes positioning a carrier aircraft above a parasite aircraft, releasing the maneuverable capture device attached to the carrier aircraft by a cable from the carrier aircraft, flying the maneuverable capture device to a dock of the parasite aircraft, and securing the maneuverable capture device to the dock of the parasite aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: Bell Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Michael John Ryan, Carlos Alexander Fenny, Joseph Scott Drennan, John Richard McCullough, Brett Rodney Zimmerman
  • Patent number: 10994838
    Abstract: The disclosure generally pertains to a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft comprising a fuselage and at least one fixed wing. The aircraft may include at least two powered rotors located generally along a longitudinal axis of the fuselage. The rotor units may be coupled to the fuselage via a rotating chassis, which allows the rotors to provide directed thrust by movement of the rotor units about at least one axis. The VTOL aircraft may include instructions to perform a degraded rotor landing protocol. The degraded rotor landing protocol may include adjusting a power to an operable rotor unit to control a rate of descent and/or slow a rate of acceleration toward a landing surface. The VTOL aircraft may be configured to impact the landing surface from a substantially vertical configuration, and adjust a thrust vector to cause the aircraft to come to rest in a generally upright configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: DeLorean Aerospace, LLC
    Inventor: Paul J. DeLorean
  • Patent number: 10988251
    Abstract: An on-board emergency response system for a vehicle include a drone being integrated with a vehicle to become separated only when the vehicle is in trouble or experiencing difficulties. Activation of the drone may be from inside the vehicle or remotely via a communication link. The drone is automatically ejected or activated when abnormal conditions inside or outside the vehicle are detected. The drone may provide a backup communication when needed. Once the drone is ejected from the plane, it then follows the vehicle from above at a predetermined distance. It also sends its location, video and images taken inside and outside the vehicle to the command center. If a disaster is inevitable, the drone then tracks the vehicle all the way to its destination. Since the vehicle's actual location is immediately known to the central command, the rescue team can take off in no time, skipping the search altogether.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2021
    Inventor: Jean Edrice Georges
  • Patent number: 10953977
    Abstract: An aircraft operable between a deployed position and a stowed position is disclosed. The aircraft includes a fuselage, a pair of wing segments, and a translation and rotation mechanism for attaching the wing segments to the fuselage. The mechanism includes an upper assembly having an outer shaft and an inner shaft. A first wing segment is attached to the outer shaft and a second wing segment is attached to the inner shaft. The outer shaft translates downward with respect to the inner shaft. Thereafter, the outer and inner shafts rotate in opposite directions in order to rotate the wing segments on top of one another, parallel to a long axis of the fuselage, and into the stowed position. The operation of the outer and inner shafts is reversed in order to return the wing segments to the deployed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Inventor: Aidan Panthera
  • Patent number: 10935938
    Abstract: Machine learning, evaluating, and reinforced learning within systems or apparatuses enables autonomy to a complexity level beyond automation. Inferences are made using machine learning based on observations, images, or video feed of operator input. The inferences are evaluated or classified and maneuvers are performed based on the evaluating or the classification. The performed maneuvers may be further evaluated for scoring or weighting. The reinforcement learning may perform updates based on the scoring, weighting, and a maximizing reward function such that the machine learning is constantly improving.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2021
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventors: Joshua R. Bertram, Angus L. McLean
  • Patent number: 10933996
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a system includes an unmanned, multirotor helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft. The multirotor helicopter may couple to the fixed-wing aircraft to support and hold the fixed-wing aircraft. The multirotor helicopter may then elevate the fixed-wing aircraft from a launch site to a release altitude. The multirotor helicopter may also accelerate the fixed-wing aircraft to a release speed and upon reaching the release speed, release the fixed-wing aircraft. The unmanned, multirotor helicopter may then return to the launch site.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2021
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Dustin Gamble, Matthew Curran
  • Patent number: 10933997
    Abstract: Aerial launch and/or recovery for unmanned aircraft, and associated systems and methods. A representative method for operating an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system includes directing a first, multi-rotor carrier aircraft to carry a second, carried aircraft aloft, and release the second aircraft for flight, while powering the first aircraft with an on-board battery. The method can further include directing the first aircraft to position a capture line in a flight path of the second aircraft to capture the second aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2021
    Assignee: INSITU, INC.
    Inventor: Andrew Royds Hayes
  • Patent number: 10926890
    Abstract: An unmanned aircraft such as a tethered drone has an electrical power connection for receiving electrical power from a remote source, and a power delivery system for delivering electrical power to onboard applications equipment such as radio transmitters. To ensure that ground staff are not exposed to high levels of radiation from the transmitters, power is only delivered to the communications equipment after the aircraft has left the ground. A sensor associated with the aircraft's undercarriage may be used to detect when the aircraft is airborne. The applications equipment is powered from an accumulator which is only charged up from the power supply after launch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2021
    Assignee: British Telecommunications public limited company
    Inventor: Ayan Ghosh
  • Patent number: 10926595
    Abstract: The present invention includes a retractable single front wheel or track drive assembly for an amphibian comprising a single front wheel or track drive. The retractable single front wheel or track drive assembly comprises an actuator, a suspension assembly movable between a protracted position and a retracted position, and a single front wheel or track drive. When the suspension assembly is protracted then the suspension assembly supports and/or holds the single front wheel or track drive in a ground engaging position for use on land, and the front single wheel is moved forward and upwards on retraction. The present invention also provides a retractable single rear wheel or track drive assembly for an amphibian. The present invention further provides an amphibian comprising the retractable single front or rear wheel or track drive assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2021
    Assignee: Gibbs Technologies Limited
    Inventors: Alan Timothy Gibbs, Simon James Longdill
  • Patent number: 10906664
    Abstract: Multi-rotor aerial vehicle (1, 1?, 1?, 1??, 1??, 1???, 1???) comprising, at least a first, second and third rotor 10, 20, 30, each rotatable by a dedicated first second and third hydraulic motor 11, 21, 31, a power unit 2, at least a first, second and third hydraulic pump 12, 22, 32 dedicated to the respective first, second and third hydraulic motor 11, 21, 31, wherein each hydraulic pump 12, 22, 32 is arranged to provide pressurized fluid to each hydraulic motor 11, 21, 31 for powering the hydraulic motor 11, 21, 31 and thereby rotating the respective rotor 10, 20, 30, a control unit 6 for controlling the operation of the multi-rotor aerial vehicle (1, 1?, 1?, 1??, 1??, 1???, 1???), wherein the control of the multi-rotor aerial vehicle (1, 1?, 1?, 1??, 1??, 1???, 1???) is arranged to be performed by altering the flow of pressurized fluid distributed to each respective hydraulic motor 11, 21, 31, wherein, wherein the flow of pressurized fluid provided to each hydraulic motor 11, 21, 31 is individually control
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2021
    Assignee: ACC INNOVATION AB
    Inventor: Anders Ljung
  • Patent number: 10890921
    Abstract: A mobile robot and drone device configured to dynamically allocate one or more task objectives and handling objectives, the mobile robot and drone device systematically couples to one another creating a hybrid robot-drone. The robot and drone array are utilized to work and obtain target objects in an environment, wherein the mobile robot and drone device comprise robotic arms and legs comprising propulsion drive wheels managed accordingly by AI system components including; an adaptive robot control system, an autonomous coupling system and an autonomous charging system configured with processors, and subsystems including; user interface, Cloud-Based Analysis and Data Usage Network, a sensor I/O devices including; LIDAR, RADAR, an altitude gyroscope sensors and cameras for scanning surrounding objects in an environment, and an identifier scanning system configured for identifying users, mobile robots, drone devices and target objects in a work environment and in a game environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 12, 2021
    Inventor: Carla R Gillett
  • Patent number: 10864988
    Abstract: An aircraft includes a fuselage coupled to a wing having a root section and first and second outboard sections each having first and second wing layers pivotably coupled to respective outboard ends of the root section. A thrust array is coupled to the wing. A power system is operably associated with the thrust array to provide power to each of a plurality of propulsion assemblies. A flight control system is operably associated with the thrust array and the wing. The flight control system is operable to control the thrust output from the propulsion assemblies and the configuration of the wing. In a thrust-borne vertical lift mode, the wing has a split wing configuration such that the thrust array forms a two dimensional thrust array. In the wing-borne forward flight mode, the wing has a monoplane configuration such that the thrust array forms a one dimensional thrust array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2020
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Sean Robert Gaffney, Robert Rex Graham, Jr.
  • Patent number: 10843784
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a hydrogen recycling flight system and flight method, the hydrogen recycling flight system including: a flight fuselage which has at least one pair of wings at each of both sides of a body; a hydrogen gas balloon which is air-tightly connected to the flight fuselage; a hydrogen fuel cell which is connected with the hydrogen gas balloon and is installed outside or inside the flight fuselage; and a secondary battery which is charged with electricity generated from the hydrogen fuel cell, electricity generated from a solar cell provided at an outer peripheral portion of the flight fuselage, or electricity of an external power network, in which by using a switch, the hydrogen fuel cell is switched to a water electrolysis device or the water electrolysis device is switched to the hydrogen fuel cell, the hydrogen recycling flight system includes: a water tank which stores water generated from the hydrogen fuel cell; the water electrolysis device which electrolyzes the stored water;
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2020
    Assignee: UNIVERSITY OF SEOUL INDUSTRY COOPERATION FOUNDATION
    Inventors: Byung Deok Yu, Hyunsoo Min, Junjin Jeon
  • Patent number: 10829192
    Abstract: Described herein are features for a high altitude lighter-than-air (LTA) system and associated methods. The LTA may include one or more super-pressure balloons (SPB). One or more of the SPB's may include one or more interior volumes. One or more of the interior volumes may be configured to receive an LTA gas therein to supplement the free lift of the LTA system. There may be an adjustable valve or vent to release the LTA gas. One or more of the interior volumes may be configured to receive ambient air to provide a variable downward force. The SPB may use a compressor to pump in ambient air. The compressor or another valve may release ambient air to decrease the downward force. A zero-pressure balloon (ZPB) may be attached with the one or more SPB's. The ZPB may supplement lift for the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2020
    Assignee: World View Enterprises Inc.
    Inventors: Rodger Farley, Taber MacCallum, G. Ryan Lee, Sebastian Padilla, John Straus
  • Patent number: 10814973
    Abstract: An aircraft includes a fuselage coupled to a wing having a dihedral root section with first and second outboard sections pivotably coupled to respective outboard ends thereof. A thrust array is coupled to the wing. A power system is operably associated with the thrust array to provide power to each of a plurality of propulsion assemblies. A flight control system is operably associated with the thrust array and the wing. The flight control system is operable to control the thrust output from the propulsion assemblies and the configuration of the wing. In a thrust-borne vertical lift mode, the wing has an M-wing configuration with the center of gravity of the aircraft located between the outboard sections of the wing. In a wing-borne forward flight mode, the wing has a gull wing configuration with the center of gravity of the aircraft located below the outboard sections of the wing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2020
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Sean Robert Gaffney, Robert Rex Graham, Jr., Colton Edward Campbell, Kevin Krisnil Prasadk, Isaiah Neves Martinez, Jared Michael Rosenkrance, Lukas N. Everhart, William Paul Crisler
  • Patent number: 10793271
    Abstract: The present invention relates;—to a drone comprising a fuselage (1) provided with a carrying means (11, 12) capable of allowing a belly-to-ground flight position and an inverted flight position, at least one propulsion means (2), autonomous navigation instruments and an axial compartment (10) forming a recess incorporated into an upper part of the fuselage in order to receive a parachutist (h) in the lying position, avionics provided with programmable control means coupled to the autonomous navigation instruments and means for releasing said parachutist controlled by said avionics, characterised in that said release means are designed and intended to ensure the release of said parachutist in the inverted flight position, and,—to a piece of airborne intervention equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: DAE
    Inventor: Thierry Demonfort