Airship And Helicopter Sustained Patents (Class 244/26)
  • Patent number: 10611242
    Abstract: The technology relates to managing power of an aerial vehicle. The system may include an aerial vehicle having a power storage module and one or more components, as well as a computing device communicatively coupled to the aerial vehicle. The computing device may include a processor and a memory storing instructions which, when executed by the processor, may cause the computing device to receive data indicating a state of charge of the power storage module, receive data indicating a rate of power consumption of the at least one component, generate a power command based on at least one of the state of charge of the power storage module or the rate of power consumption of the at least one component, and transmit the power command to the aerial vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2020
    Assignee: LOON LLC
    Inventors: Jacob B. Roberts, Salvatore J. Candido
  • Patent number: 9884681
    Abstract: Systems, devices, and methods for a transformable aerial vehicle are provided. In one aspect, a transformable aerial vehicle includes: a central body and at least two transformable frames assemblies respectively disposed on the central body, each of the at least two transformable frame assemblies having a proximal portion pivotally coupled to the central body and a distal portion; an actuation assembly mounted on the central body and configured to pivot the at least two frame assemblies to a plurality of different vertical angles relative to the central body; and a plurality of propulsion units mounted on the at least two transformable frame assemblies and operable to move the transformable aerial vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: SZ DJI TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Tao Wang, Tao Zhao, Hao Du, Mingxi Wang
  • Patent number: 9598171
    Abstract: A combination rotor and wheel assembly for an unmanned vehicle with ground and aerial mobility has a rotor arm adapted to be attached at an inner end thereof to a vehicle body. A rotor is rotatably connected to an outer end of the rotor arm about a rotor axis, and a rotor drive mounted on the rotor arm rotates the rotor such that the rotor exerts an upward lift force on the rotor arm. An open spoked wheel is rotatably connected about the rotor axis independent of the rotor The diameter of the wheel is greater than that of the rotor, and a bottom edge of the wheel is below the rotor. A wheel drive rotates the wheel. Vehicles can have various numbers and orientations of the rotor and wheel assembly to provide aerial and ground mobility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: Zenon Dragon
    Inventors: Orville Olm, Greg Wood, Zenon Dragan
  • Patent number: 9296477
    Abstract: A helicopter system has multiple rotors and methods of operation. The helicopter has a fuselage with four rotors and an engine operably connected to the four rotors for powered rotation of a rotor shaft with a set of rotor blades attached for each of the four rotors. Each of the rotor shafts is positioned in a housing with each housing attached at a lower end to a distal end of a beam with beams attached at a proximal end on the right side and on the left side adjacent to the nose end of the fuselage, and on the right side and on the left side adjacent to the tail end of the fuselage. All four rotor shafts are inclined from a lower end to an upper end toward the fuselage. All four rotor shafts may be inclined toward the nose end or the tail end of the fuselage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2016
    Inventor: Glenn Coburn
  • Patent number: 9026274
    Abstract: An apparatus is described comprising: at least one processor; and memory storing instructions that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the apparatus to: regulate an operation of a motor based at least in part on a control imposed on an output torque of the motor and a rate of change of a speed of the motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: Jonathan Hartman, Timothy Fred Lauder, Russell L. Halstead, Christopher L. Winslow, Michael L. Hardy
  • Patent number: 8899514
    Abstract: An airship is disclosed. The airship may include a plurality of frame members defining a support structure for a hull of the airship. The airship may further include a plurality of bladders disposed within the hull, and retaining a volume of a lighter-than-air gas. The airship may also include a plurality of valves operatively coupled to at least one of the bladders. The airship may additionally include a computer configured to operate the valves to vary aerostatic buoyancy of the airship to achieve a desired lift force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: LTA Corporation
    Inventor: John Goelet
  • Patent number: 8894002
    Abstract: A solar-powered airship with a hull configured to contain a gas and at least one propulsion assembly with a propulsion device and electric motors configured to drive the propulsion device. The airship may also include a power supply system including solar panels operatively coupled to the electric motors and configured to supply power to the electric motors. The power supply system may also include batteries operatively coupled to the solar panels and configured to receive and store electrical energy supplied by the solar panels, the batteries being further operatively coupled to the electric motors and configured to supply power to the electric motors. The batteries may each be located within an outer envelope of the airship defined by the hull of the airship in a position selected to provide ballast. The solar-powered airship may also include a cargo system configured to contain passengers or freight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: LTA Corporation
    Inventor: John Goelet
  • Patent number: 8864064
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a lighter than air platform, a reversible propulsive/wind turbine, a deployable anchor to constrain movement of the lighter than air platform with respect to an anchor point allowing wind to drive the turbine, and a generator/motor coupled to the turbine to produce electrical power when movement of the lighter than air platform is constrained. A method performed by the apparatus is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Donald DiMarzio, Theodore W. Hilgeman, Alice DiBiasio, Thomas J. Hunt, Douglas R. Frei, Roy A. Charletta, Michael Melnyk
  • Patent number: 8645005
    Abstract: Embodiments according to the methods and systems provide for the selection, assembly, deployment, exploitation of data collected, redeployment, retrieval and stowage of a remotely operated lighter than air (LTA) network of vehicles. From modular components stowed with a mobile platform, one or more LTA vehicles can be assembled, deployed and retrieved. Determining the desirable number of LTA vehicles and the modular components to be assembled for each vehicle can be performed through a computer recommending modular components based on mission parameters. A remote controller device can be used for pre-deployment setup, in-flight mission management and analysis of data gathered by a plurality of possible sensing devise operably attached to the one or more LTA vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Inventor: Alfred B. Elkins
  • Patent number: 8342442
    Abstract: An airship is disclosed in the form of a spherical hull having a venting duct extending diagonally therethrough from an entrance end at the forward facing surface of the hull to an exit end at the rearward facing surface of the hull. A propeller is disposed in the duct to direct an air flow through the duct for expulsion at the exit end and the exiting flow is vectored by a set of controllable louvers at the exit end. The expulsed airflow reduces drag normally associated with a spherical airship by disturbing the wake at the trailing surface of the airship. A mooring method and apparatus also is disclosed for minimizing wind induced loads on the airship, or indeed on any body such as a gas storage tank, by supporting the airship or other body a predetermined distance above the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Dancila LLC
    Inventor: Dragos-Stefan Dancila
  • Publication number: 20120273608
    Abstract: A hybrid lift air vehicle for carrying and transporting a load, comprising an envelope having a generally ellipsoidal shape adapted to receive a volume of lighter-than-air gas, at least two variable thrust vertical thrusters in secure engagement with the envelope and at least two variable thrust lateral thrusters in secure engagement with the envelope, means for temporarily securely engaging the load to the envelope wherein the volume of lighter-than-air gas has a buoyancy that offsets at least 25% of the weight of the air vehicle when unloaded, wherein the thrust from the at least two vertical thrusters may be varied to raise and lower the air vehicle and the load when engaged, and wherein the thrust from the at least two lateral thrusters may be varied to maneuver and transport the raised air vehicle and the load when engaged.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 21, 2009
    Publication date: November 1, 2012
    Inventors: Peter E. Jess, Ken Laubsch
  • Patent number: 8245966
    Abstract: A propulsion unit for an airship comprises a driveshaft, having a gimbal mount to a mounting frame attachable to a fuselage, the gimbal being mounted in the mounting frame and comprising an inner ring and an outer ring having orthogonal rotational axes, the inner ring including a propeller unit having a conical housing pivotable on trunnions with the gimbal and a propeller affixed to a propeller shaft coaxial with the axis of the conical housing. The outer ring includes a toroidal Orientation of the conical housing and propeller shaft is accomplished by actuators, a first actuator controlling the angle of the outer ring relative to the framework and a second actuator controlling the angle of the conical housing relative to the outer ring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2012
    Assignee: 21st Century Airship Technologies Inc.
    Inventor: Hokan S. Colting
  • Patent number: 8195345
    Abstract: The method for generating an integrated guidance law for aerodynamic missiles uses a strength Pareto evolutionary algorithm (SPEA)-based approach for generating an integrated fuzzy guidance law, which includes three separate fuzzy controllers. Each of these fuzzy controllers is activated in a unique region of missile interception. The distribution of membership functions and the associated rules are obtained by solving a nonlinear constrained multi-objective optimization problem in which final time, energy consumption, and miss distance are treated as competing objectives. A Tabu search is utilized to build a library of initial feasible solutions for the multi-objective optimization algorithm. Additionally, a hierarchical clustering technique is utilized to provide the decision maker with a representative and manageable Pareto-optimal set without destroying the characteristics of the trade-off front. A fuzzy-based system is employed to extract the best compromise solution over the trade-off curve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2012
    Assignee: King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals
    Inventors: Hanafy M. Omar, Mohammad A. Abido
  • Patent number: 8190307
    Abstract: The control optimization method for helicopters carrying suspended loads during hover flight utilizes a controller based on time-delayed feedback of the load swing angles. The controller outputs include additional displacements, which are added to the helicopter trajectory in the longitudinal and lateral directions. This simple implementation requires only a small modification to the software of the helicopter position controller. Moreover, the implementation of this controller does not need rates of the swing angles. The parameters of the controllers are optimized using the method of particle swarms by minimizing an index that is a function of the history of the load swing. Simulation results show the effectiveness of the controller in suppressing the swing of the slung load while stabilizing the helicopter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals
    Inventor: Hanafy M. Omar
  • Patent number: 8185259
    Abstract: The fuzzy logic-based control method for helicopters carrying suspended loads utilizes a controller based on fuzzy logic membership distributions of sets of load swing angles. The anti-swing controller is fuzzy-based and has controller outputs that include additional displacements added to the helicopter trajectory in the longitudinal and lateral directions. This simple implementation requires only a small modification to the software of the helicopter position controller. The membership functions govern control parameters that are optimized using a particle swarm algorithm. The rules of the anti-swing controller are derived to mimic the performance of a time-delayed feedback controller. A tracking controller stabilizes the helicopter and tracks the trajectory generated by the anti-swing controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Assignee: King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals
    Inventor: Hanafy M. Omar
  • Patent number: 8157205
    Abstract: This invention performs relative positioning, predictive control, and ballast control to achieve very heavy-lifting tasks on land or sea. Such tasks allow station keeping and precise transfer of very heavy payloads between ships underway. This scalable multibody system features three subcomponents: Airship, Skycrane and Loadframe. This semi-autonomous system combines aerodynamic (kinetic) and aerostatic (buoyancy force) lift with efficient power and propulsion. During low-speed flight, the Airship and Skycrane are decoupled but linked via a reelable Tether Control Line. Beneath the Skycrane, centered on its hull, a patented NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) RoboCrane, featuring a computer controlled six degrees of freedom (DoF) cabling system, is attached, to precisely suspend and control a Loadframe, with or without payload. During subsonic forward flight, these Airship and Skycrane are coupled as a single airframe: fuselage and delta wing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2012
    Inventor: Bruce Kimberly McWhirk
  • Patent number: 8141814
    Abstract: An aerial load lifting system features a non-rigid or blimp-type dirigible providing a lighter-than-air envelope that is placed within a structural shell. The system is designed so that the envelope provides essentially neutral buoyancy for the structure, leaving only the cargo weight to be lifted by the rotors. The structural shell supports the engine, fuel tank, rotors, and transmission system that power the lift and vectoring of the aircraft, in addition to supporting the cargo load. The structural shell transfers the weight of the load directly to the location of the rotors, thus avoiding stress on the envelope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2012
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Richard L. Kulesha
  • Publication number: 20090134268
    Abstract: An aerial load lifting system features a non-rigid or blimp-type dirigible providing a lighter-than-air envelope that is placed within a structural shell. The system is designed so that the envelope provides essentially neutral buoyancy for the structure, leaving only the cargo weight to be lifted by the rotors. The structural shell supports the engine, fuel tank, rotors, and transmission system that power the lift and vectoring of the aircraft, in addition to supporting the cargo load. The structural shell transfers the weight of the load directly to the location of the rotors, thus avoiding stress on the envelope.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 26, 2007
    Publication date: May 28, 2009
    Inventor: Richard L. Kulesha
  • Publication number: 20080121753
    Abstract: An air vehicle includes a body having a top and a bottom and a support platform for carrying cargo such a people or equipment. An impeller mounted on the body is powered, such as by a motor, for rotating so as to create low pressure on the top of the body relative to the pressure on the bottom of the body so as to create lift. The body may contain buoyant gas sufficient to aid in lift. Air from the impeller may be directed to directionally control the vehicle. A plurality of impellers may be used.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2007
    Publication date: May 29, 2008
    Inventors: Jose E. Vazquez, Robert G. Calderwood
  • Patent number: 7036768
    Abstract: A multi-purpose airship usable for multi-purposes with less maintenance cost is provided. The multi-purpose airship comprises an operator cabin (1) to which a work device of agricultural chemical scattering device (10) or the like is fittable, a rotor (4) fitted to a top of the operator cabin (1) and having rotor blades of plural stages (or coaxial rotors) of which fitting angle (or pitch) is adjustable to generate a lifting force and propulsive force, a balloon (5) detachably fitted to a top of the rotor (4) and filled with gas lighter than air to generate a lifting force, a stabilizing wing (2) elongating horizontally from each side of the operator cabin (1) and a propulsion device (3) comprising a propeller device or jet engine fitted to a distal end of the stabilizing wing (2) to vary a thrust direction between the horizontal direction and the vertical direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2006
    Inventor: Mutsuro Bundo
  • Patent number: 6935963
    Abstract: The present invention comprises an inflatable balloon of sufficient volume and buoyancy to allow a human pilot to float above the ground and to glide over the ground within an enclosed area. The balloon incorporates several safety features that permit it to be used for recreation, including a prop-bike to enable the user to propel the balloon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2005
    Assignee: One Giant Leap, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Joseph Stephen Meadows
  • Patent number: 6860449
    Abstract: An aircraft has a flying wing and two wingtip hulls installed on the wingtips of the flying wing. Both of the wingtip hulls contain lighter-than-air gas to generate static lift. These wingtip hulls not only contribute to lift-generating but also help the aircraft achieve roll stability and control. Forward propulsion systems are installed at the upper-front positions of the flying wing. When vertical and/or short take-off and landing (V/STOL) capability is required, one or more lift-fan propulsion systems can be installed on the flying wing. The lift-fan propulsion systems can either be driven by their own engines or by the power transmitted from the forward propulsion systems. Payload can be carried inside the flying wing or be hung under or held above the flying wing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2005
    Inventor: Zhuo Chen
  • Patent number: 6834829
    Abstract: A vertical lift aircraft comprises a cabin mounted to an enclosed rotary wing which provides vertical lift for the aircraft. The rotary wing includes an annular housing and a main rotor blade rotatable within a space circumscribed by the housing. The main rotor blade is rotatable about a rotation axis that is tilted forwardly from a vertical axis of the aircraft. A horizontal directional control for the aircraft includes a plurality of control slides disposed at spaced locations along the housing and being movable inwardly and outwardly in a radial direction between a neutral position in which the control slides are retracted from the downdraft area and an operational position in which the control slides are extended into the downdraft area. Selective deployment of one or more control slides in the operational position effects horizontal directional turning of the aircraft in the direction of the one or more deployed control slides.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2004
    Inventor: Percy E. Dunagin, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20040129831
    Abstract: A vertical lift aircraft comprises a cabin mounted to an enclosed rotary wing which provides vertical lift for the aircraft. The rotary wing includes an annular housing and a main rotor blade rotatable within a space circumscribed by the housing. The main rotor blade is rotatable about a rotation axis that is tilted forwardly from a vertical axis of the aircraft. A horizontal directional control for the aircraft includes a plurality of control slides disposed at spaced locations along the housing and being movable inwardly and outwardly in a radial direction between a neutral position in which the control slides are retracted from the downdraft area and an operational position in which the control slides are extended into the downdraft area. Selective deployment of one or more control slides in the operational position effects horizontal directional turning of the aircraft in the direction of the one or more deployed control slides.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 2, 2003
    Publication date: July 8, 2004
    Inventor: Percy E. Dunagin
  • Patent number: 6471159
    Abstract: The present airship-shaped space craft has a middle fuselage extending in a fore-and-aft direction, and a pair of two outer fuselages extending in the fore-and-aft direction located symmetrically on both sides of the middle fuselage. In the above fuselages, gas of a specific gravity of which is smaller than that of air is filled, and the middle fuselage is connected with the outer fuselages by a horizontal wing. The horizontal wing is provided with propelling devices supported in a gimbal fashion for generating thrust in any optional direction, jet engines with backwards directed nozzles to be controlled within a range from a slantwise upward direction to a slantwise downward direction, and rocket engines with ejection nozzles to be controlled in right-and-left and up-and-down directions. During ascent of the space craft, at first the propelling devices, then the jet engines and at last the rocket engines are actuated so as to make the space craft reach and fly along a satellite orbit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2002
    Inventor: Mutsuro Bundo
  • Patent number: 6467724
    Abstract: An aircraft has a fuselage designed essentially as an aerostatic lift body and combined lift and propulsion devices which are articulated on the fuselage, are provided with propellers and form propulsion units and which in each case are tiltable between a lift position, in which the respective propeller rotation plane is essentially horizontal and the output shaft of the associated drive, said output shaft acting on the respective propeller shaft, is essentially vertical, and a propulsion position, in which the respective propeller rotation plane is essentially vertical and the output shaft of the associated drive, said output shaft acting on the respective propeller shaft, is essentially horizontal. The propeller rotation plane has all-round inclinability relative to the output shaft of the associated drive, said output shaft acting on the propeller shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2002
    Inventor: Hermann Kuenkler
  • Publication number: 20020014555
    Abstract: A method for altitude control of airships in all the speed ranges which occur during operation has the following features:
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 22, 2001
    Publication date: February 7, 2002
    Inventor: Tim Smith
  • Publication number: 20020003189
    Abstract: An aircraft has a fuselage designed essentially as an aerostatic lift body and combined lift and propulsion devices which are articulated on the fuselage, are provided with propellers and form propulsion units and which in each case are tiltable between a lift position, in which the respective propeller rotation plane is essentially horizontal and the output shaft of the associated drive, said output shaft acting on the respective propeller shaft, is essentially vertical, and a propulsion position, in which the respective propeller rotation plane is essentially vertical and the output shaft of the associated drive, said output shaft acting on the respective propeller shaft, is essentially horizontal. The propeller rotation plane has all-round inclinability relative to the output shaft of the associated drive, said output shaft acting on the propeller shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 11, 2001
    Publication date: January 10, 2002
    Inventor: Hermann Kuenkler
  • Patent number: 6286783
    Abstract: An aircraft has a fuselage designed essentially as an aerostatic lift body. Combined lift and propulsion devices are articulated on the fuselage, are provided with propellers and form propulsion units and which in each case can tilt between a lift position, in which the respective propeller rotation plane is essentially horizontal and a propulsion position, in which the respective propeller rotation plane is essentially vertical. Additionally the propeller rotation plane has all-round inclination relative to the output shaft of the associated drive device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2001
    Inventor: Hermann Kuenkler
  • Patent number: 5931411
    Abstract: In a novel hovering aircraft, an airfoil blade structure rotatable about a vertical axis comprises a set of upper blades and a set of lower blades, all having variable lift, the upper blades converging toward the lower blades from root to tip. Struts, located inboard of the blade tips, keep the tips of the upper and lower blades separate from each other to reduce interference effects, and also support motors and propellers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1999
    Assignee: Aereon Corporation
    Inventors: James E. Risser, William F. Putman
  • Patent number: 5823468
    Abstract: A hybrid aircraft is taught having VTOL, R-VTOL and S-STOL capabilities. The aircraft has a lifting body hull and four wing sections arranged in tandem which are pivotally moveable about their neutral axis. Each wing section has mounted thereon a pivotal propeller-rotor assembly for providing thrust substantially in a range between horizontal and vertical. The wings and propellers are integrated to the hull by an outrigger designed to be very stiff and to distribute forces from the wings and propellers to the hull. The hull is shaped to provide aerodynamic lift in an airstream and to facilitate construction by minimizing the number of panels of differing curvature required. The hull is formed of a pressure tensioned frame covered with semi-rigid panels, a lower cladding frame and bow and stem cladding nose cones. The semi-rigid panels covering the frame are formed of gas-tight and abrasion resistant laminate material and are connected to the frame by means of an interface rib and latch system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1998
    Inventor: Hans-Jurgen Bothe
  • Patent number: 5810286
    Abstract: A stable and highly maneuverable lighter-than-air aircraft is provided. The aircraft includes a body portion which is supported beneath a balloon portion by a stem or axle. The balloon is fillable with a lighter-than-air gas and is sized to accept sufficient amounts of gas to make the aircraft buoyant. The balloon portion is rotationally fixed to the axle and the axle is rotationally journaled in the body. Thus, the balloon portion can rotate relative to the body portion and the body can selectively be rotated relative to the axle. A motor is housed in the body portion and is operable to propel the aircraft in a desired direction. The aircraft is operated such that the balloon portion rotates above the body portion without rotating the body portion. The rotation of the balloon portion provides stability to the aircraft and the ability for the body portion to rotate about the axle enables the aircraft to be highly maneuverable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1998
    Inventor: Winfield R. Matsler
  • Patent number: 5449129
    Abstract: The invention is a propulsion system for a lighter-than-air vehicle, the vehicle having a longitudinal, lateral and vertical axis. In detail, the propulsion system includes a thrust producing assembly rotatably mounted on the vehicle, the assembly rotatable about an axis of rotation in a plane at an acute angle to the vertical axis of the vehicle, the assembly rotatable in the plane from a position wherein the thrust axis of the assembly is aligned with the longitudinal axis to a position at least plus or minus ninety degrees thereto. A powerplant assembly is coupled to the thrust producing assembly to provide power thereto. The powerplant assembly includes a fuel efficient powerplant assembly mounted within the vehicle having sufficient power for cruise conditions, the fuel efficient powerplant having a output drive shaft coupled to the thrust producing assembly. A light weight, high power powerplant assembly is mounted directly to the thrust producing assembly having sufficient power for docking conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 12, 1995
    Assignee: Lockheed Corporation
    Inventors: David E. Carlile, Mark H. Wexler
  • Patent number: 5383627
    Abstract: An omnidirectional propelling type of airship can be propelled in any direction in three-dimensions. The airship includes an airtight gas chamber, gas having a specific gravity smaller than that of air and filling the gas chamber, a section capable of accommodating men, cargo and the like, and propellers supported by gimbals and capable of propelling the airship in any spacial direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 24, 1995
    Inventor: Mutsuro Bundo
  • Patent number: 5368256
    Abstract: The invention is a propulsion system for a lighter-than-air vehicle. In detail the propulsion system includes a pylon having a longitudinal axis and first and second ends, the first end of the pylon rotatably mounted to the vehicle and the second end extending outward from the vehicle. The pylon is rotatable about the first end in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle. A thrust producing assembly is mounted on the second end of the pylon and is rotatable about an axis of rotation in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the pylon. A powerplant assembly is coupled to the thrust producing assemblies to provide power thereto. An actuation system is provided for rotating the assembly about the axis of rotation. A second actuation system is provided for rotating the pylon about the first end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 29, 1994
    Assignee: Lockheed Corporation
    Inventors: John B. Kalisz, David E. Carlile
  • Patent number: 5240206
    Abstract: An acrobatic airship capable of making a perfect somersault, and a 360 degree roll in a limited small air space, without utilizing high-powered thrusters or sophisticated automatic control mechanisms. The airship has a rather thick and round axi-symmetrically shaped hull equipped with a pair of reversible thrusters on each side of the hull's nose area. Each thruster is also equipped with a tilting mechanism, which enables the thrust vector orientation to be changed independently. The airship has a set of tail fins as attitude stabilizers which do not have movable control surfaces. This acrobatic airship can be designed as a manned or unmanned craft, and is ideal for use in advertising and also as a camera platform, an observation vehicle for hazardous environments, and in various other industrial applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1993
    Inventor: Sousuke Omiya
  • Patent number: 5152478
    Abstract: An unmanned flight vehicle wherein two counter-rotating rotors are positioned within a toroidal fuselage and in which rotor pitch solely is utilized to generate all required lift, pitch, roll, yaw and vibration and stress control for the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1992
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: James P. Cycon, Kenneth M. Rosen, Andrew C. Whyte
  • Patent number: 5082205
    Abstract: A hybrid aircraft with a large non-rotating balloon chamber containing a lighter-than-air gas which provides a large static lifting force having a magnitude substantially greater than the weight of the aircraft with a support structure system which is substantially longer in length than in width which is encased by the balloon chamber the support structure system having two ends which protrude from the balloon chamber at opposite sides along the center line of the balloon chamber with a rotatable rotor frame suspended from the ends of the support structure system about the non-rotating balloon chamber. The craft has a plurality of blade airfoils connected to the rotor frame and oriented radially relative to the balloon chamber and which the angle of attack of each blade can be varied. A thrust means is mounted at or near the outboard end of the blade airfoils.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1990
    Date of Patent: January 21, 1992
    Inventor: Robert L. Caufman
  • Patent number: 5074489
    Abstract: A method and system for supporting an airborne vehicle in space over a predetermined location and for an extensive period, comprises coupling the airborne vehicle by cables to a plurality of unmanned aircraft each having its own propulsion system; controlling the unmanned aircraft to fly in circular orbits at equally-spaced angles around the airborne vehicle while coupled to the airborne vehicle, to tension the cables and thereby to support the airborne vehicle in space over the predetermined location; and supplying the unmanned aircraft with energy from an external source to maintain the unmanned aircraft in flight over an extended or indefinite period of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 24, 1991
    Inventor: Eliyahu Gamzon
  • Patent number: 5071383
    Abstract: A radio-controlled flying apparatus comprising an annular buoyant body and having an overall center of gravity below the center of buoyant force of the buoyant body. The annular buoyant body contains a gas of lighter weight than air. A main body is supported by the annular buoyant body by means of a dual-axis gimbal. The main body is provided with a pair of propellers which are rotatably supported by the main body and are driven by variable-speed motors into rotation in opposite directions. The main body is further provided with a rocking mechanism for causing said main body to rock about the dual-axis gimbal. An electric circuit resides in the main body for receiving a radio wave from an external transmitter to control the rocking mechanism and variable-speed motors. The electric components in the electric circuit are supplied their power from a battery carried on the main body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 10, 1991
    Assignee: Jal Data Communications & Systems Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Koichi Kinoshita
  • Patent number: 5026003
    Abstract: A lighter-than-air aircraft includes a rigid platform having cargo and passenger compartments and gas bags attached to the platform for holding a gas having a density less than air, thus imparting lift to the platform. The bags are arranged in pairs, there being a pair of spaced apart upper bags along the upper surface of the platform and a pair of spaced apart lower bags along the lower surface. While the bags cover portions of the upper and lower surfaces, both surfaces remain exposed along the longitudinal centerline of the platform, and here the platform is provided with vertical ducts and bays. The ducts house motors and propellers which drive air through the ducts and thus impart a vertically directed force to the platform. The bays hold containers which are lowered from and raised into the bays with a crane that moves along tracks extended along the upper surface of the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1989
    Date of Patent: June 25, 1991
    Inventor: William R. Smith
  • Patent number: 4799629
    Abstract: A flying object for collecting solar rays comprises a disk-shaped flying body equipped with floating and propelling means installed at the outer circumferential portions thereof. The flying object can detect its direction of flight and keep its position constant by means of the plural floating and propelling means. In addition, the flying object has a solar ray collecting device, equipped with solar ray collecting lenses. The solar rays collected by the solar ray collecting device are guided through an optical conductor cable into the flying object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1987
    Date of Patent: January 24, 1989
    Inventor: Kei Mori
  • Patent number: 4695012
    Abstract: An aerial load-lifting system including a lighter-than-air unit, such as a blimp, below which is suspended a powered heavier-than-air unit, such as a helicopter, for example. The latter unit produces thrust which can be directed vertically, up or down, or tilted for translational motion in any direction. The units are connected by a flexible tension member such as a cable. The upper, lighter-than-air unit is sufficiently high above the lower, heavier-than-air unit to permit the heavier-than-air-unit to freely control and maneuver itself and the payload suspended below it with minimal restraint from the lighter-than-air units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 1985
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1987
    Inventor: Bernard Lindenbaum
  • Patent number: 4601444
    Abstract: An aerial load-lifting system comprised of a lighter-than-air unit, such as a blimp, below which is suspended a powered heavier-than-air unit, such as a helicopter, for example. The latter unit produces thrust which can be directed vertically, up or down, or tilted for translational motion in any direction. The units are connected by a flexible tension member such as a cable. The upper, lighter-than-air unit is sufficiently high above the lower, heavier-than-air unit to permit the heavier than-air-unit to freely control and maneuver itself and the payload suspended below it with minimal restraint from the lighter-than-air units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1983
    Date of Patent: July 22, 1986
    Inventor: Bernard Lindenbaum
  • Patent number: 4591112
    Abstract: An airship with provisions for vectored thrust provided by a plurality of controllable pitch rotor thrust producing units attached to the elongated aerostat hull spaced from and on opposite sides of the center of overall mass of the airship. The pitch control systems for the rotors of all thrust units include collective and cyclic pitch controls of the main, horizontally rotating lifting rotors and the control systems are interconnected to be operable by a master control which establishes both similar and differential pitch settings of the rotors of selected thrust units in a manner to establish vectored thrust in directions which establish the required amounts of vertical lift, propulsion thrust, trim and control forces to control all flight aspects of the airship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 1979
    Date of Patent: May 27, 1986
    Assignee: Piasecki Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: Frank N. Piasecki, Donald N. Meyers
  • Patent number: 4482110
    Abstract: A composite aircraft comprising a system of airfoils rotating about a horizontal axis providing lift and thrust in combination with a lighter-than-air gas containment bag providing bouyant lift; said aircraft being capable of lifting and transporting a load.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1980
    Date of Patent: November 13, 1984
    Assignee: International Cyclo-Crane Licensing, A Virginia Partnership
    Inventor: Arthur G. Crimmins, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4272042
    Abstract: An airship and a magnetically operated anchoring assembly adapted to provide rotation of the airship with respect to the ground, includes a gondola mounted to an envelope structure adapted to house lighter-than-air gas as well as any enclosures which may be used for containing the gas and a magnet device mounted to and operable from the gondola for attraction to a magnetically attractive anchoring structure secured to the ground. As preferably embodied, the magnet device is adapted to permit rotation of the gondola about the anchor point and the gondola is mounted to the envelope so as to be positionable at various desirable points under the longitudinal axis of the airship. Alternatively, the magnet may be mounted to a generally front-facing portion of the airship and the anchoring structure includes a mast with a magnetically attracting cylinder rotatably mounted to the mast at a height sufficient to enable mating with the magnet device on the airship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1977
    Date of Patent: June 9, 1981
    Assignee: Hov-Air-Ship, Inc.,
    Inventor: Saul I. Slater
  • Patent number: 4269375
    Abstract: An airship has a gas-containing annulus contained by the circular base portion of framework the central portion of which extends above the annulus. The capacity of the annulus in accordance with one embodiment is such as to render buoyant a weight equal at least to the major portion of the light ship weight of the airship and in another embodiment, the annulus capacity is such as to render the airship buoyant with a maximum load. The central portion of the framework supports the load lifting propulsion system while the forward propulsion and the guidance systems ride on and are supported by tracks carried by the framework adjacent but above the annulus to travel 90.degree. in either direction from a predetermined straight-ahead position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1979
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1981
    Inventor: John J. Hickey
  • Patent number: 4238095
    Abstract: A method of and apparatus for anchoring an airship containing lighter-than-air gas includes positioning one or more magnets, flush with the edges of a support member attached to the airship for enabling the magnet to contact a magnetically attractive anchoring structure affixed to the ground when anchoring is desired, and, when ascent is desired, bearing against the anchoring structure with the support member to separate the magnet from the anchoring structure. The support structure may comprise a hollow shaft attached to a downwardly-facing portion of the airship, with a relatively large area base portion at its other end, having a cavity formed in the bottom of the base portion in communication with the hollow portion of the shaft. The magnet is coupled to a lifting device which bears against the top end of the shaft to control the magnet's position in the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 1978
    Date of Patent: December 9, 1980
    Assignee: Hov-Air-Ship, Inc.
    Inventor: Saul I. Slater
  • Patent number: 4114837
    Abstract: An air lifting vehicle includes, inter alia, a main frame containing an engine, a helicopter-type rotor driven by the engine, a rear located propeller which provides torque compensation for the rotor as well as yaw control for the vehicle, and a pilot's cabin. Attached to the frame through a plurality of outwardly extending truss members is a keel structure which includes a circular truss section essentially coaxial with and positioned above the rotor and other generally triangular or rounded triangular truss sections attached fore and aft of the circular truss section. Balloon members including fore and aft generally triangular Forlanini envelope sections are secured to the keel and laced together at the center to define a circular opening or duct above the rotor. A pair of forward thrusting propellers are driven by an auxiliary engine carried in the frame and are gimbaled in the elevational plane for pitch control of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1977
    Date of Patent: September 19, 1978
    Assignee: Skagit Corporation
    Inventors: Vladimir H. Pavlecka, David G. McIntyre