Folding Patents (Class 244/49)
  • Patent number: 11052990
    Abstract: An aircraft (1002) including a wing (1001), having a fixed wing (1005) with a wing tip device (1003) moveably mounted at the outer end thereof. The wing tip device (1003) is moveable between: a flight configuration; and a ground configuration. The wing tip device (1003) and the fixed wing (1005) are separated along an oblique primary cut plane (1013). The wing tip device (1003) and the fixed wing (1005) meet along an interfacing cut line (1035). The interfacing cut line (1035) includes a first length (1037) offset from the primary cut plane (1013) in a first direction; a second length (1041) that extends within a plane (P) containing the axis of rotation (1011), or a plane parallel thereto; and a transition section (1039) over which the interfacing cut line (1035) transitions from the first length to the second length. The second length may extend around the upper surface, around the leading edge and onto the lower surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2021
    Assignee: Airbus Operations Limited
    Inventor: Benjamin Bishop
  • Patent number: 11053008
    Abstract: A parasite aircraft for airborne deployment and retrieve includes a wing; a fuselage rotatably mounted to the wing; a dock disposed on top of the fuselage and configured to receive a maneuverable capture device of a carrier aircraft; a pair of tail members extending from the fuselage; and a plurality of landing gear mounted to the wing. A method of preparing a parasite aircraft for flight includes unfolding an end portion of a wing; unfolding an end portion of a tail member of the parasite aircraft; and rotating a fuselage of the parasite aircraft so that the fuselage is perpendicular to the wing. A method of preparing a parasite aircraft for storage includes rotating a fuselage of the parasite aircraft to be parallel with a wing of the parasite aircraft; folding an end portion of the wing; and folding an end portion of a tail member of the parasite aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2021
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph Scott Drennan, Carlos Alexander Fenny, Michael John Ryan, John Richard Mccullough, Brett Rodney Zimmerman
  • Patent number: 11014645
    Abstract: Methods, apparatus, and articles of manufacture to validate an aircraft control system command are disclosed. An example apparatus includes a monitor and annunciation module to determine a first status of a first component of a folding wingtip assembly coupled to a wing of an aircraft, identify a second component in response to the first status being invalid, the second component having a second status, and replace the first status with the second status when the first status is invalid, a sequence and control module to generate a command to control a movement of the folding wingtip assembly, and a gatekeeper module to validate the command based on either of the first status or the second status, use of the first status or the second status based on whether the first status is invalid, and facilitate the movement of the folding wingtip assembly based on the validated command.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventor: Aaron Niemiec
  • Patent number: 11001366
    Abstract: Some embodiments described herein relate to a wing that is coupled to a body of a vehicle and configured to rotate forward from a deployed configuration, in which the wing extends from the body to a retracted configuration in which a tip portion of the wing is closer to a nose portion of the body than a root portion of the wing is to the nose portion. A hinged beam having a first portion pivotably coupled to a second portion is configured to transmit loads associated with flight from the wing to the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: TUDOR CROSSFELT, LLP
    Inventor: Samuel Hall Bousfield
  • Patent number: 11001365
    Abstract: An aircraft is disclosed having a wing, the wing having a fixed wing with a wing tip device moveably mounted about a hinge at the tip thereof. The wing tip device is operable between a flight configuration, and a load alleviating configuration for load alleviation during flight. The aircraft includes a restraining assembly operable between a restraining mode in which the wing tip device is held in the flight configuration using a restraining force such as by a brake, and a releasing mode in which the restraining force on the wing tip device is released, such that the wing tip device may adopt the load alleviating configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS LIMITED
    Inventors: Thomas Wilson, Martin Herring, John Pattinson, Jonathan Cooper, Andrea Castrichini, Rafic Ajaj, Hitul Dhoru
  • Patent number: 10974810
    Abstract: Example apparatus and methods are disclosed herein for moving control surfaces on an aircraft wing to control airloads during a wing tip folding operation (from a folded position to an extended position or from an extended position to a folded position). An example method includes determining a position of a control surface on a wing of an aircraft. In the example method, the wing has a fixed wing portion and a wing tip moveably coupled to the fixed wing portion. The example method includes determining a change in the position of the control surface from a first position to second position for facilitating movement of the wing tip while the aircraft is not in flight. The example method also includes moving the control surface to the second position and moving the wing tip between an extended position and a folded position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2021
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Mark Steven Good, Jonathan J. Paul
  • Patent number: 10974809
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a wing for an unmanned aerial vehicle is described. The unmanned aerial vehicle includes a first body of the wing with a first end proximate a body of the vehicle. A second end is opposite the first end. A first joint is on the first end of the first main body of the wing. The joint rotatably couples the wing to the vehicle. A second joint is on the second end of the vehicle. A second body of the wing is rotatably coupled to the first body via the second joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2021
    Assignee: Sierra Nevada Corporation
    Inventors: Ken Finklea, Carlos Miralles, Guan Hua Su
  • Patent number: 10960968
    Abstract: A system comprising an aerial vehicle or an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) configured to control pitch, roll, and/or yaw via airfoils having resiliently mounted trailing edges opposed by fuselage-house deflecting actuator horns. Embodiments include one or more rudder elements which may be rotatably attached and actuated by an effector member disposed within the fuselage housing and extendible in part to engage the one or more rudder elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: AEROVIRONMENT, INC.
    Inventors: Carlos Thomas Miralles, Robert Nickerson Plumb, Tony Shuo Tao, Nathan Olson
  • Patent number: 10906630
    Abstract: A folding wing having a wing tip device (3) rotatable between flight and ground configurations, about an Euler axis of rotation (11). The wing tip device (3) and a fixed wing (1) are separated along an oblique cut plane (13) passing through the upper and lower surfaces of the folding wing. A rotational joint (15) for coupling the wing tip device (3) to the fixed wing (1) during rotation between the ground and flight configurations. The rotational joint includes a follower (17a) and a guide (17b), one which being fixed relative to the wing tip device and the other being fixed relative to the fixed wing. The follower and guide interlock such as by interlocking rings. The follower is received in the guide such that during rotation between the ground and flight configurations the follower moves along the arcuate path defined by the guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2021
    Assignee: Airbus Operations Limited
    Inventors: John David Randall, Stuart Alexander, Matthew Harding, Krzysztof Jerzy Skirkowski
  • Patent number: 10894596
    Abstract: A winglet linked to a wing of an aircraft and equipped with a configuration changing device, the winglet being configured to be deformed elastically between a first configuration in the absence of an activation loading and a second configuration in the presence of an activation loading. The configuration changing device comprises at least one blocking cable configured to hold the winglet in the second configuration and at least one blocking system which comprises a tank containing a material configured to occupy a solid state in which the material immobilizes the blocking cable and a liquid state in which the material does not immobilize the blocking cable and allows the displacement thereof. An aircraft comprises wings provided with the winglets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2021
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS SAS
    Inventor: Jean-Michel Saucray
  • Patent number: 10894602
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle has a flight mode and a compact storage mode. The unmanned aerial vehicle includes an airframe having first and second wings with first and second pylons extending therebetween. A thrust array is coupled to the airframe including two propulsion assemblies coupled to each of the first and second wings. An electric power system is operably associated with the thrust array and operable to provide power to each propulsion assembly. A flight control system is operably associated with the thrust array and operable to independently control the speed of each propulsion assembly. In the flight mode, the first and second wings are substantially parallel with the vertical dimension therebetween at a maximum. In the compact storage mode, the first and second pylons are rotated relative to the first and second wings such that the vertical dimension between the first and second wings is at a minimum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2021
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Levi Charles Hefner, Dakota Charles Easley
  • Patent number: 10890599
    Abstract: The invention relates to a mechanical device for measuring the relative speed of a vehicle in motion with respect to a fluidic medium, including an attachment member attached to the vehicle so that it can be arranged in a frontal zone of the vehicle, in the direction of travel of the vehicle, and in the fluidic medium in which the vehicle is evolving, wherein the mechanical device is a variable-geometry device, and is designed to occupy, between a folded rest position and a completely deployed extreme service position, at least one intermediate position, and in that each intermediate position of the mechanical device is determined by aerodynamic forces acting on various successive sections that together constitute at least one wing attached or articulated to the attachment member. The invention further relates to a vehicle including the mechanical device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 12, 2021
    Inventor: Marc Thoma
  • Patent number: 10875626
    Abstract: A foldable wing system for an unmanned aerial system having a fuselage includes a left wing frame having an inboard gear rotatably coupled to the fuselage, a right wing frame having an inboard gear rotatably coupled to the fuselage and a wing actuator coupled to a linkage point on at least one of the wing frames. The wing frames are movable between a plurality of positions including a deployed position and a stowed position. The inboard gear of the left wing frame is engaged with the inboard gear of the right wing frame such that the wing frames move symmetrically between the plurality of positions in response to movement of the linkage point by the wing actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2020
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Levi Charles Hefner, Dakota Charles Easley, Danielle Lynn Moore
  • Patent number: 10851896
    Abstract: Systems and methods include providing an aircraft with a fuselage and a wing assembly rotatable relative to the fuselage about a stow axis between a flight position and a stowed position. The aircraft includes a drive component having a retractable driveshaft that selectively engages the mid-wing gearbox via axially translatable motion along a rotation axis when the wing assembly is in the flight position. The mid-wing gearbox is misaligned with the retractable driveshaft when the wing assembly is in the stowed position. A seal is coupled to the drive component at a first end and the mid-wing gearbox at a second end and deploys in order to maintain a sealed connection between the drive component and the mid-wing gearbox when the wing assembly is transitioned between the flight position and the stowed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2020
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventor: Colton Gilliland
  • Patent number: 10836506
    Abstract: An exterior aircraft light for indicating a movement of a foldable wing tip between a folded up position and a laterally extended position includes a light source; and a control unit; wherein the control unit is configured to operate the light source to emit a warning light output in response to a warning light control signal indicative of the movement of the foldable wing tip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2020
    Assignee: GOODRICH LIGHTING SYSTEMS GMBH
    Inventors: Andre Hessling-Von Heimendahl, Anil Kumar Jha, Marion Depta, Norbert Menne
  • Patent number: 10800510
    Abstract: Systems and methods include providing an aircraft with a fuselage and a wing assembly rotatable relative to the fuselage about a stow axis between a flight position and a stowed position. The aircraft includes a gearbox having a retractable driveshaft that selectively engages the mid-wing gearbox via axially translatable motion along a rotation axis when the wing assembly is in the flight position. The retractable driveshaft also selectively disengages the mid-wing gearbox in the flight position to allow selectively rotation of the wing assembly about the stow axis from the flight position to the stowed position resulting in the mid-wing gearbox being misaligned with the retractable driveshaft when the wing assembly is in the stowed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2020
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Eric Stephen Olson, David Russell Bockmiller
  • Patent number: 10793251
    Abstract: Hinge pins for foldable aircraft wings are described. An example apparatus includes a hinge pin to rotatably couple a foldable tip of an aircraft wing to a fixed structure of the aircraft wing. The hinge pin includes a first flange, a second flange spaced apart from the first flange along a central axis of the hinge pin, and a through hole oriented along the central axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Eric S. Kamila, Warren H. Steyaert, David D. Boes, Daniel E. McGinty, Ryan A. Fear, Renato Felicio, Eric G. Gruner, Matthew S. Elenbaas, Ian C. Burford, Eric D. Blohm
  • Patent number: 10737762
    Abstract: A wing arrangement for an aircraft including a latching arrangement (29, 29?, 29?) having a latching member (31, 31?, 31?) and an engagement device (33), wherein the latching member (31, 31?, 31?) is fixed to a wing tip section (13), and the engagement device (33) has a base member (35) on a wing base section (7) and has an abutment surface (43), and an engagement member (45, 45?, 63) supported on the base section (7) and moves between a release position and a latching position by an actuator (49, 49?) coupled to the engagement member (45, 45?, 63) and the base section (7), wherein when the tip section (13) is in the deployed position, the latching member (31, 31?, 31?) abuts the abutment surface (43) and the engagement member (45, 45?, 63) can move between the release position and the latching position, wherein when the latching member (31, 31?, 31?) abuts the abutment surface (43) and the engagement member (45, 45?, 63) is in the latching position, the engagement member (45, 45?, 63) abuts on a surface sect
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS GMBH
    Inventor: Christian Lorenz
  • Patent number: 10703457
    Abstract: An aircraft (1) including a wing (5), the wing having an inner region (5a) and an outer region (5b), the inner and outer regions (5a, 5b) being connected by a hinge (11) defining a hinge line about which the outer region (5b) is foldable to reduce the span of the wing. The aircraft (1) includes an actuator (13) arranged to actuate the folding of the outer region (5b) of the wing with an actuation force. The wing (5) is braced by an external strut structure (9) for transferring some of the wing loadings in the outer region (5b) of the wing away from the inner region of the wing (5a). The actuator (13) is arranged to exert the actuation force via the strut structure (9).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS LIMITED
    Inventor: Philip Wright
  • Patent number: 10689105
    Abstract: A passenger-carrying rotorcraft with fixed-wings for generating lift utilizes an occupiable structural body, a control unit, a plurality of lift-generating rotors, a portable power source, and a bi-wing structure. The rotorcraft configured with fixed-wings results in an energy-efficient aircraft capable of vertical takeoff and landing. The occupiable structural body is designed to carry a pilot and one or more passengers. The control unit is wired to flight instruments controlled by the pilot, allowing the pilot to maneuver the rotorcraft. The plurality of lift-generating rotors provides upward thrust for vertical takeoff and landing of the rotorcraft. The portable power source is charged by a hybrid power generation system running on both renewable solar energy and a non-renewable chemical fuel source. The bi-wing structure employs two airfoils positioned on top of each other to maximize the lift without significantly increasing the effective wingspan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Inventor: John Daniel Romo
  • Patent number: 10640238
    Abstract: Provided is a testbed for conducting an experiment on a substance in a cryogenic liquid state in a microgravity environment. Such a testbed includes a frame with rectangular nominal dimensions, and a source section supported by the frame for supplying the substance to be evaluated in the cryogenic liquid form. An experiment supported by the frame includes an experiment vessel in fluid communication with the storage tank to receive and condense the substance into the cryogenic liquid state. A sensor senses a property of the cryogenic liquid in the experiment vessel as part of the experiment, and a bus section includes a controller configured to control delivery of the substance to the experiment vessel, and receives property data indicative of the property sensed by the sensor for subsequent evaluation on Earth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Assignee: SIERRA LOBO, INC.
    Inventor: Philip Travis Putman
  • Patent number: 10611459
    Abstract: A central wing panel for a hybrid transportation vehicle for ground and air transportation configured to enable transitioning between an air mode and a ground mode. The central wing panel has a front frame section and a rear frame section connected by one or more cross members. The central wing panel is configured to rotate enabling adjustment of an angle of attack of the vehicle. The rear frame section is configured to rotate enabling coupling and uncoupling of the rear frame section from a first wing and a second wing for transitioning between the air mode and the ground mode. The central wing panel is also configured to allow rotation of ailerons and flaps so that they fold over onto the top front portion of the wings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2020
    Assignee: AeroMobil, s.r.o.
    Inventor: S̆tefan Klein
  • Patent number: 10597139
    Abstract: A latching device for a wing including a support structure (29), a latching bolt (35) having a longitudinal axis (36) and being slidably supported by the support structure (29) such that the latching bolt (35) is movable between a retracted position and an extended position. The latching device (27) includes a first hydraulic actuator (47a) and a first connector assembly (38a) adapted to be connected to a first hydraulic system of an aircraft (1), and at least one second hydraulic actuator (47b) and a second connector assembly (38b) connected to a second hydraulic system. The first hydraulic actuator (47a) and the second hydraulic actuator (47b) are adapted to effect movement of the latching bolt (35) from the extended position into the retracted position independent of the other one of the at least one first hydraulic actuator (47a) and the at least one second hydraulic actuator (47b).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2020
    Assignees: Airbus Operations Limited, Airbus Operations GmbH
    Inventors: Christoph Winkelmann, Johannes Rupp, Benjamin Bishop
  • Patent number: 10583911
    Abstract: A wing arrangement for an aircraft is described including a wing (5) having a base section (5) and a tip section (13), the base section (7) having a first end portion (9) and a second end portion (11), the tip section (13) having a third end portion (15) and a fourth end portion (17), wherein the second end portion (11) and the third end portion (15) are coupled with each other by a coupling arrangement so that the tip section (13) is pivotable with respect to the base section (7) about a pivot axis (19, 19?).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2020
    Assignees: Airbus Operations GmbH, Airbus Operations Limited
    Inventors: Christian Lorenz, Benjamin Bishop
  • Patent number: 10577077
    Abstract: A rotational joint (101) that rotatably couples a wing tip device (4) to a fixed wing (3), and includes an outer race (8) and an inner race (9), a rotational drive member (70) and the race that is rotationally fixed relative to the wing tip device (4) each being provided with a coupling section (110, 111, 114), the coupling sections coupled to each other by a coupling member (119), that is received in a bore (112, 113) in one of the coupling sections, such that rotation of the drive member (70) rotates the race that is rotationally fixed relative to the wing tip device, to rotate the wing tip device (4) from one configuration to the other, wherein the coupling member (119) is mounted in the bore such that it is movable radially within the bore.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2020
    Assignees: Airbus Operations Limited, Airbus Operations GmbH
    Inventors: Benjamin Bishop, Christian Lorenz
  • Patent number: 10543898
    Abstract: An aircraft (5) including a wing (7) having a wing tip device (1) configurable between: a flight configuration and a ground configuration in which the span of the wing (7) is reduced. The aircraft (5) further includes a lock (13) for locking the wing tip device (1) in the flight configuration, and an actuator (3) for unlocking the lock (13) and for subsequently actuating the wing tip device (1) to the ground configuration. The actuator (3) is a two-stage hydraulic actuator, including a first hydraulic actuator stage (21) arranged to unlock the lock and a second hydraulic actuator stage (23) arranged to actuate the wing tip device (1) to the ground configuration. The first and second hydraulic actuator stages (21, 23) are arranged in series such that the second actuator stage (23) is unable to receive a hydraulic input feed until the first actuator stage (21) unlocks the lock (13).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2020
    Assignee: Airbus Operations Limited
    Inventors: Fraser Wilson, Robert Ian Thompson
  • Patent number: 10538307
    Abstract: A wing assembly comprises a raked wing tip having an outboard portion hinged to one of a main wing having at least one moveable control surface and an inboard raked wing tip portion. The outboard portion of the raked wing tip does not carry any moveable flight control surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2020
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Paul W. Dees, Mark S. Good, Seiya Sakurai, Jan A. Kordel, Stephen J. Fox, Matthew A. Lassen, Bruce Robert Fox, Steven Paul Walker, Gregory M. Santini
  • Patent number: 10507901
    Abstract: A computing device obtains environmental data, capability data corresponding to a vehicle, and a readiness criteria specifying a maximum time to transition the vehicle from an idle state to an active state. The computing device determines an action that satisfies the readiness criteria and protects the vehicle from a forthcoming environmental condition indicated by the environmental data. In particular, determining the action is based on the environmental data, the capability data, and the readiness criteria. The computing device outputs a control signal, to an actuator, that controls the actuator to mechanically orient part of the vehicle and/or part of a structure in which the vehicle is located to at least partly implement the action.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: John W Glatfelter, John A Lepore
  • Patent number: 10494081
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle with deployable components (UAVDC) is disclosed. The UAVDC may comprise a fuselage, at least one wing, and at least one control surface. In some embodiments, the UAVDC may further comprise a propulsion means and/or a modular payload. The UAVDC may be configured in a plurality of arrangements. For example, in a compact arrangement, the UAVDC may comprise the at least one wing stowed against the fuselage and the at least one control surface stowed against the fuselage. In a deployed arrangement, the UAVDC may comprise the at least one wing deployed from the fuselage and the least one control surface deployed from the fuselage. In an expanded arrangement, the UAVDC may comprise the at least one wing telescoped to increase a wingspan of the deployed arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: Area-I Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholas Robert Alley, Joshua Lemming Steele, Jesse Owen Williams, Daniel Kuehme, Jonathan Caleb Phillips
  • Patent number: 10479480
    Abstract: A foldable wing for an aircraft includes a base wing having a base wing end region, a wing tip having a connection region, a first engagement means integrated into the base wing, a second engagement means integrated into the wing tip, and a drive mechanism coupled with the wing tip for moving the wing tip relative to the base wing. The first and second engagement means are adapted for engaging each other along a sliding course from a first position, in which the connection region of the wing tip and the base wing end region are in a flush contact to form a continuous wing, up to a second position, in which the first engagement means and the second engagement means disengage. The drive mechanism includes a first movement element and a second movement element at least partially extending in a spanwise direction, and supported in a linear guide each.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: Airbus Operations GmbH
    Inventors: Christoph Winkelmann, Wilfried Ellmers, Jan Haserodt, Rico Weber, Ivan Petrov Ivanov
  • Patent number: 10472045
    Abstract: A system for locking a foldable wing tip on a wing end of an aircraft includes at least one engagement device, at least one locking device comprising a support, a latch element rotatably held in the support and a lock element movably held on the support, a latch drive device coupled with the latch element of the at least one locking device for selectively rotating the latch element at least to an open position, a closed position and a test position, a lock drive device coupled with the lock element of the at least one locking device for selectively varying a distance of the lock element to the latch element between a neutral position and a locking position, wherein the support includes a receiving space extending into an insertion opening designed for receiving the engagement device. The latch element includes a circumferential surface section that selectively covers the insertion opening in an open position and uncovers the insertion opening in a closed position of the latch element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: Airbus Operations GmbH
    Inventors: Christoph Winkelmann, Johannes Rupp
  • Patent number: 10464658
    Abstract: An aircraft wing having a wing tip device at the tip thereof is disclosed. The wing tip device is configurable between: a flight configuration for use during flight and a ground configuration for use during ground-based operations to reduce span. In the flight configuration, flight loads may be transferred via a load transfer arrangement from the wing tip device into the fixed wing, but during movement of the wing tip device towards the ground configuration, the load transfer arrangement is disengaged. The wing includes an actuation assembly having a sliding chassis coupled to the wing tip device, via a track and follower arrangement. The track includes a wide portion and a narrow portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2019
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS LIMITED
    Inventors: Matthew Harding, Stefan Napier, Nicola Marongiu
  • Patent number: 10457379
    Abstract: A system and method for a number of backup systems in an aircraft. The apparatus comprises a movement system; a latch system; a lock system; and at least one of a backup valve, a backup actuator, or a backup power source connected to at least one of the movement system, the latch system, or the lock system. The movement system has a first number of actuators and is connected to a hydraulic power source. The latch system has a second number of actuators and is connected to the hydraulic power source. The lock system has a third number of actuators and is connected to the hydraulic power source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Mark Steven Good, Matthew August Lassen, Michael E. Renzelmann, Mark J. Gardner, Mark William Lesyna, Brian Curtis Hill, Nicholas Seth Tyler
  • Patent number: 10414483
    Abstract: An aircraft has a wing, a pylon carried by the wing, at least one of a rotor system component and a drive system component disposed within the pylon, and a wing extension carried by the at least one of a rotor system component and drive system component, wherein the wing extension is foldable relative to the pylon to selectively reduce an overall space occupied by the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven Ray Ivans, Brent Chadwick Ross
  • Patent number: 10370084
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus to adjust folding wing tips are disclosed. A disclosed example apparatus includes an actuator to cause a movement of a folding portion of an aerodynamic structure, where the folding portion has an associated backlash. The example apparatus also includes a sensor to acquire movement data of the folding portion during movement of the folding portion, and a processor to determine a bias of the folding portion based on the movement data to characterize the backlash.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Paul Jay Cline, Arnold F. Agdamag
  • Patent number: 10351226
    Abstract: A method of controlling a magnitude of a sonic boom caused by off-design-condition operation of a supersonic aircraft at supersonic speeds includes, but is not limited to the step of operating the supersonic aircraft at supersonic speeds and at an off-design-condition. The supersonic aircraft has a pair of swept wings having a plurality of composite plies oriented at an angle such that an axis of greatest stiffness is non-parallel with respect to a rear spar of each wing of the pair of swept wings. The method further includes, but is not limited to the step of reducing wing twist caused by operation of the supersonic aircraft at supersonic speeds at the off-design condition with the composite plies. The method still further includes, but is not limited to, minimizing the magnitude of the sonic boom through reduction of wing twist.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
    Inventor: Donald Freund
  • Patent number: 10308347
    Abstract: A control system for a flight vehicle includes first and second pivot pins each having a hollow cylindrical shape with an opening therein, first and second deployable wings configured to pivot about the first and second pivot pins between a stowed position and a deployed position with the first and second deployable wings each having first and second wing tip shafts extending between the first and second pivot pins and first and second ailerons at a tip of the deployable wings, first and second lever pins within the opening in the pivot pins with the first and second lever pins each having a first end that extends out from a top of the pivot pin and a second end connected to the wing tip shaft and with the first and second lever pins configured to rotate the wing tip shafts to control the ailerons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: Simmonds Precision Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin Edwy Buttolph, David F. Moran
  • Patent number: 10301007
    Abstract: Illustrative embodiments may provide for an apparatus and method of controlling the folding of a wing. The apparatus may include a sensor, an actuator, and a wing fold controller. The method may include receiving a status of at least one of an aircraft and a wing fold system of the aircraft by the wing fold controller of the wing fold system. The method may also include receiving an automated command by the wing fold controller in response to receiving the status. The method may also include operating the wing fold system by the wing fold controller based on the automated command and the status. The method may also include transitioning a wingtip of a wing of the aircraft to one of a flight position and a folded position by an actuator of the wing fold system in response to commands from the wing fold controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Matthew August Lassen, Chad Richard Douglas, Kelly Thomas Jones, Terence Boyd Kenning
  • Patent number: 10293935
    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: August 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: TUDOR CROSSFELT, LP
    Inventors: Samuel Hall Bousfield, Robert N. Roberts, Matthew A. Brown, Willem A. J. Anemaat
  • Patent number: 10272990
    Abstract: An airplane wing assembly includes a wing, a winglet and a connection element. The wing has a wing box. The wing box is located at a wing tip of the wing and the winglet is connected with the wing by the wing box. The connection element includes a butt joint rib, which is assembled with the wing box, and a center connection, which is assembled with the winglet. The butt joint rib has a first shearing pin hole and a second shearing pin hole, into which are press fitted a corresponding first and a second shearing pin respectively to form interference fit. The center connector has a first sleeve hole and a second sleeve hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignees: Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, LTD, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, LTD Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute, Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Wei Lian, Ming Li, Jiangang Liu, Chentao Weng, Dehong Shen, Yankai Liu, Rui He, Yuanqing Zhang, Mengmeng Xu
  • Patent number: 10252798
    Abstract: Airframes configured for stable in-flight transition between forward flight and vertical takeoff and landing are described herein. In one embodiment, an aircraft can include a fuselage, opposed wings extending from opposed sides of the fuselage, and a plurality of engines. At least one engine can be mounted to each of the opposed wings and at least a portion of each opposed wing including at least one of the plurality of engines can rotate relative to the fuselage around a rotation axis that is non-perpendicular and transverse to a longitudinal axis of the fuselage. Rotating portions of the wings including at least one of the plurality of engines in the described manner can provide a stable and smooth transition between vertical and forward flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: PteroDynamics
    Inventor: Val Petrov
  • Patent number: 10214278
    Abstract: An aircraft, for example a passenger aircraft, comprises a foldable wing having an inner region and an outer region. The outer region is moveable relative to the inner region between a flight configuration, an intermediate configuration, and a ground configuration. In the flight configuration the inner and outer regions are locked together via a multiplicity of connectors for transferring loads. In the intermediate configuration the outer region is displaced, for example forwardly, such that the connection is disengaged to unlock the outer region from the inner region. In the intermediate configuration the outer region is also connected to the inner region via a hinge. In the ground configuration, the outer region is rotated about the hinge, such that the span of the wing is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2019
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS LIMITED
    Inventors: Stephen Paul Briancourt, Sylvain Boye
  • Patent number: 10207795
    Abstract: An aircraft comprises a wing, a wing tip device at the tip of the wing and an actuator. The actuator is arranged to effect movement of the wing tip device between a flight configuration for use during flight and a ground configuration in which the wing tip device is moved away from the flight configuration such that the span of the aircraft is reduced. The aircraft comprises a carriage guide, such as a rail, fixed relative to the wing, and a carriage arranged to move along the carriage guide as the wing tip device moves between the flight and ground configurations. The wing tip device is fixed relative to the carriage such that the path of the wing tip device, during movement of the wing tip device, between the flight and the ground configurations, is defined by the shape of the carriage guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS LIMITED
    Inventors: Robert Ian Thompson, Nick Livings
  • Patent number: 10203695
    Abstract: An example autonomous vehicle includes a communication interface for receiving instructions to perform a first task in an environment using a first strategy, sensors for detecting conditions in the environment to carry out the first task, data storage storing a plurality of task interruption scenarios each having an associated priority setting, and a processor for executing instructions for autonomous decision-making to perform functions. The functions include during performance of the first task, identifying that the conditions in the environment are associated with one of the plurality of task interruption scenarios, determining that the identified task interruption scenario is associated with a second task that has a higher priority setting than the first task, determining an asset needed to perform the second task, and based on the autonomous vehicle having the asset, autonomously (i) stopping performance of the first task and (ii) changing to perform the second task.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: John W. Glatfelter, Brian Dale Laughlin
  • Patent number: 10189557
    Abstract: A passenger aircraft including a wing (1) and a wing tip device (3). The wing tip device (3) is moveable between a flight configuration for use during flight and a ground configuration for use during ground-based operations. In the ground configuration the wing tip device is folded downwardly from the flight configuration such that the span of the aircraft is reduced. The wing tip device (3) is connected to the wing along a hinge (9) defining a hinge line (11). The hinge (9) may be arranged to prevent the wing tip device (3) rotating upwardly beyond the flight configuration. The hinge line (11) may be orientated at an angle to the flight direction such that the wing tip device (3) presents a larger frontal area when it is in the ground configuration than when it is in the flight configuration, such that aerodynamic forces urge it to rotate about the hinge line (11) away from the ground configuration and towards the flight configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: Airbus Operations Limited
    Inventor: Sylvain Boye
  • Patent number: 10106244
    Abstract: A system and method for a number of backup systems in an aircraft. The apparatus comprises a movement system; a latch system; a lock system; and at least one of a backup valve, a backup actuator, or a backup power source connected to at least one of the movement system, the latch system, or the lock system. The movement system has a first number of actuators and is connected to a hydraulic power source. The latch system has a second number of actuators and is connected to the hydraulic power source. The lock system has a third number of actuators and is connected to the hydraulic power source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2018
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Mark Steven Good, Matthew August Lassen, Michael E. Renzelmann, Mark J. Gardner, Mark William Lesyna, Brian Curtis Hill, Nicholas Seth Tyler
  • Patent number: 10093410
    Abstract: A method of controlling a magnitude of a sonic boom caused by off-design-condition operation of a supersonic aircraft at supersonic speeds includes, but is not limited to the step of operating the supersonic aircraft at supersonic speeds and at an off-design-condition. The supersonic aircraft has a pair of swept wings having a plurality of composite plies oriented at an angle such that an axis of greatest stiffness is non-parallel with respect to a rear spar of each wing of the pair of swept wings. The method further includes, but is not limited to the step of reducing wing twist caused by operation of the supersonic aircraft at supersonic speeds at the off-design condition with the composite plies. The method still further includes, but is not limited to, minimizing the magnitude of the sonic boom through reduction of wing twist.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Assignee: Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
    Inventor: Donald Freund
  • Patent number: 10040549
    Abstract: A disposable airdropped glider. The glider body is constructed from precut panels cut from (MDO) or (HDO) plywood and assembled with pocket-screw joinery or piano hinges. A skid board forms a landing surface and a cargo deck roll-off surface. The glider has pivoting wings and struts. The glider has a triple-tail, a flat nose and honeycomb paperboard panels between the nose and the cargo. Wings are pivoted from a position overlying the fuselage to a flying position by gas springs in wing spars which are compressed by a chain attached to the fuselage through a rotating bracket such that the gas springs are compressed when the wings are folded. The airfoils are plastic extrusions with openings that hold the wing spars and co-formed jury spars which attach the upper and lower surface of the wing. A parachute uses a part of the tail structure to form a deployment drogue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: Logistic Gliders Inc.
    Inventors: Martinus M. Sarigul-Klijn, Maurice P. Gionfriddo, Nesrin Sarigul-Klijn
  • Patent number: 9996082
    Abstract: An example autonomous vehicle includes a communication interface for receiving instructions to perform a first task in an environment using a first strategy, sensors for detecting conditions in the environment to carry out the first task, data storage storing a plurality of task interruption scenarios each having an associated priority setting, and a processor for executing instructions for autonomous decision-making to perform functions. The functions include during performance of the first task, identifying that the conditions in the environment are associated with one of the plurality of task interruption scenarios, determining that the identified task interruption scenario is associated with a second task that has a higher priority setting than the first task, determining an asset needed to perform the second task, and based on the autonomous vehicle having the asset, autonomously (i) stopping performance of the first task and (ii) changing to perform the second task.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: John W. Glatfelter, Brian Dale Laughlin
  • Patent number: 9957035
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an aircraft. The aircraft includes a fuselage module for receiving a payload. The fuselage module includes a plurality of internal connections. The aircraft includes a wing module adjustably coupled to the fuselage module and a tail module coupled to the wing module. The wing module may be adjusted relative to the fuselage module to adjust a location of an aerodynamic center of the aircraft to maintain a pre-determined distance between the location of the aerodynamic center of the aircraft and the location of the center of gravity of the aircraft. A main landing gear may be adjusted relative to the fuselage module to adjust the location of the aerodynamic center of the aircraft to maintain a pre-determined distance between the location of the aerodynamic center of the aircraft and the location of the center of gravity of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Assignee: The Texas A&M University System
    Inventors: John Valasek, James Franklin May, Andrew Beckett, Cecil C. Rhodes, Jr.