Airplane And Auto-rotating Wing Sustained Patents (Class 244/8)
  • Patent number: 10442541
    Abstract: A propulsion system for an aircraft includes at least two propulsion engines. Each propulsion engine rotates about a longitudinal rotational axis, and a propulsive fan associated with each propulsion engine rotates in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal rotational axis. Each plane is at least one of spaced axially along a fuselage of the aircraft and canted such that each plane does not intersect any other plane associated with another propulsion engine and propulsive fan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Brandon Wayne Miller, Ian Francis Prentice
  • Patent number: 9969488
    Abstract: An aircraft is provided and includes one or more main rotors, one or more and propellers including blades that are rotatable about a rotational axis, a pitch of each of the blades being controllable, and a flight control computer disposed to control the pitch of each of the blades to reduce propeller blade pitch angles in an event of an engine failure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2018
    Assignee: SIKORSKY AIRCRAFT CORPORATION
    Inventors: Matthew A. White, Matthew T. Luszcz
  • Patent number: 9908615
    Abstract: A rotor blown wing (RBW) aircraft including an airframe, at least one rotor blown wing (RBW) having at least control selectively controllable surface, at least one rotor configured to generate and direct an airflow over the at least one RBW, and a control system operatively connected to the at least two selectively controllable control surfaces. The control system selectively controls the at least one selectively controllable control surface to change the airflow over the at least one RBW to facilitate a vertical landing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: SIKORSKY AIRCRAFT CORPORATION
    Inventors: Mark R. Alber, Jeffery Parkhurst, Cody Fegely, Stephen Kubik
  • Patent number: 9139297
    Abstract: A rotor blade having conduits for supporting control lines is disclosed. The control lines extend from a rotor hub to a tip jet mounted near a distal end of the rotor blade. The conduits mount within leading and trailing edge fairings mounted to a blade spar. The conduits may be supported by bulkheads secured at discrete locations along the blade spar and secured to the leading and trailing edge fairings. The conduits may also be secured to support webs secured to the leading or trailing edge fairing and extending longitudinally therealong. The conduit may have a tapered inner surface and a tapered fitting may secure to the control line to engage the tapered inner surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2015
    Assignee: GROEN BROTHERS AVIATION, INC.
    Inventor: Robert Owen White
  • Patent number: 9056674
    Abstract: A rotor blade having a detachable fairing is disclosed. The rotor blade includes leading and trailing edge fairings secured to the blade spar and one or more control lines extending between of the fairings and the blade spar. A detachable fairing extends from one or both of the leading and trailing edge fairings toward one of the distal and proximal ends of the blade spar. The detachable fairing and blade spar form an airfoil contour. The detachable fairing may secure to a tip jet attachment fitting at a distal end of the blade spar. A mounting structure including upper and lower plates may secure near a proximal end of the blade spar and the detachable fairing may secure to both the upper and lower plates to form all or part of an airfoil contour. The mounting structure may include a spherical seat engaging a spherical surface of a hub shroud.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2015
    Assignee: GROEN BROTHERS AVIATION, INC.
    Inventor: Robert Owen White
  • Patent number: 8991744
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for optimized crossing of natural frequencies of a rotorcraft rotor are disclosed. The method may include flying a rotorcraft comprising an airframe, a rotor, a mast extending to connect the rotor to the airframe, a tilt mechanism, and a computer system. The computer system may identify during the flying, an impending crossing of a natural frequency of the rotor. In preparation for the crossing, the computer system may issue at least one command to the tilt mechanism. In response to the command, the tilt mechanism may reorient the mast with respect to the airframe. That reorientation quickly results in a change to the rotational speed of the rotor, moving it quickly across the natural frequency. The reorientation may also prevent the rotor from experiencing any significantly deleterious flapping loads during the crossing of the natural frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Groen Brothers Aviation, Inc.
    Inventor: Jehan Zeb Khan
  • Patent number: 8991745
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for reducing flapping loads imposed on a rotor are disclosed. The method may include flying a rotorcraft comprising an airframe, a rotor, a mast extending to connect the rotor to the airframe, a tilt mechanism, at least one sensor, and a computer system. The computer system may obtain in real time, from the at least one sensor, data characterizing at least one flapping load experienced by the rotor during the flying. Using the data, the computer system may issue at least one command to the tilt mechanism. In response to the command, the tilt mechanism may reorient the mast with respect to the airframe. This reorienting may lower the flapping load experienced by the rotor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Groen Brothers Aviation, Inc.
    Inventor: Jehan Zeb Khan
  • Patent number: 8939394
    Abstract: A combined fixed and rotary wing aircraft may operate in vertical takeoff mode relying on the rotary wing, exclusively, and may completely change over to flight support by the fixed wing at higher advance ratios. Advance ratios may exceed not only the typical advance ratios of less than 0.5 but may exceed 1, and may even exceed 2. At the higher advance ratios, the rotary wing may be completely unloaded, the aircraft relying on the fixed wing for vertical support and airfoil lift. To maintain stability in the rotary wing, configuration, autorotation must continue. To power autorotation, without presenting a large area and drag, an anemometer-type flap system may selectively open and close to increase drag on the retreating blades, and provide minimum drag on the advancing blades.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: Groen Brothers Aviation, Inc.
    Inventor: Walter Gerd Oskar Sonneborn
  • Patent number: 8939395
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for controlling yaw of a rotorcraft in the event of one or both of low airspeed and engine failure are disclosed. A yaw propulsion provides a yaw moment at low speeds. The yaw propulsion device may be an air jet or a fan. A pneumatic fan may be driven by compressed air released into a channel surrounding an outer portion of the fan. The fan may be driven by hydraulic power. Power for the yaw propulsion device and other system may be provided by a hydraulic pump and/or generator engaging the rotor. Low speed yaw control may be provided by auxiliary rudders positioned within the stream tube of a prop. The auxiliary rudders may one or both of fold down and disengage from rudder controls when not in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: Groen Brothers Aviation, Inc.
    Inventor: Cody Brandon Yarger
  • Patent number: 8931731
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for controlling yaw of a rotorcraft in the event of one or both of low airspeed and engine failure are disclosed. A yaw propulsion provides a yaw moment at low speeds. The yaw propulsion device may be an air jet or a fan. A pneumatic fan may be driven by compressed air released into a channel surrounding an outer portion of the fan. The fan may be driven by hydraulic power. Power for the yaw propulsion device and other system may be provided by a hydraulic pump and/or generator engaging the rotor. Low speed yaw control may be provided by auxiliary rudders positioned within the stream tube of a prop. The auxiliary rudders may one or both of fold down and disengage from rudder controls when not in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Assignee: Groen Brothers Aviation, Inc.
    Inventor: Cody Brandon Yarger
  • Publication number: 20140284419
    Abstract: An aircraft includes a fuselage or wing; a rotor mast; two rotors spaced axially along, and rotatably connected to the rotor mast; permanent and/or electro magnets on each of the rotors; and a rotor mast joint connecting the rotor mast to the fuselage or wing, wherein the rotor mast joint, in use, permits the rotor mast to tilt relative to the fuselage or wing in at least one plane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 3, 2012
    Publication date: September 25, 2014
    Inventor: Felix Errol GROENEWALD
  • Patent number: 8827204
    Abstract: An aircraft includes a powerplant system operable to power a main rotor system and a secondary thrust system, the secondary thrust system is selectively driven through operation of a clutch system, and a clutch system synchronization time corresponds to a response time of the powerplant system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation
    Inventors: Charles E. Long, Dean A. Norem, Raymond N. Weyl, Ricky D. Reimers
  • Patent number: 8403255
    Abstract: A compound aircraft features variable incidence wings, a thruster, a rotor and a clutch connecting the engines to the rotor. Upon reaching a suitable forward speed, the control system of the compound aircraft unloads the rotor and disengages the clutch, disconnecting the rotor from the engines. The control system configures the cyclic and collective pitch effectors to cause the rotor to autorotate. The control system selects an autorotation rotational speed that is adequately rapid to prevent excessive deformation of the rotor blades due to aerodynamic forces acting on the blade and that is adequately slow to prevent excessive compressibility effects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Inventor: Frederick W. Piasecki
  • Patent number: 8210465
    Abstract: In various representative aspects, an airborne delivery system according to various aspects of the present invention comprises a container and an autorotating rotor system. The container may contain contents, and the rotor system facilitates control of at least a portion of the flight of the airborne system and the descent. Exemplary features may include a guidance system, for example to guide and control the airborne system, and a wing for gliding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Paul A. Merems, Randy W. Hill
  • Patent number: 7971823
    Abstract: An aircraft that is housed within a gyroscope providing for improved flight stability that includes an inner hull which remains stationary within a rotating outer hull. A rotating sine-wave ring is used to activate and move a plurality of pistons which will intake air from above the upper surface of the inner hull configuration and create a negative pressure on the aircraft. The craft contains compression chambers which receive the air and which feed the various impeller thrusters which are rotational within three-fourths of a hemisphere.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2011
    Inventor: Herbert Martin
  • Patent number: 7918415
    Abstract: The invention relates to a convertible aircraft operating method. According to the invention, the aircraft comprises: a fuselage, standard fixed wings which are equipped with ailerons, a tail unit with flight-control surfaces, engines, a rotor with blades, a transmission which is placed between the engines and the rotor and which is equipped with rotor clutch and braking means, a landing gear, means for transition from helicopter mode to autogyro mode and vice versa, and means for direct or reverse transition from autogyro/helicopter mode to aeroplane mode. The lift for a range of low speeds is produced by means of the rotor, while the lift for a range of high speeds is produced by means of the wings. In addition, the lift for a range of intermediate speeds can be produced using the wings and the rotor in autogyro mode simultaneously, and take-off and landing can be performed in autogyro mode or in helicopter mode with the engines coupled to the rotor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2011
    Assignee: Industria Helicat y Alas Giratorias, S.L.
    Inventor: Juan de la Cierva Hoces
  • Patent number: 7815144
    Abstract: A vehicle that can operate as either a motorcycle or an autogiro, said vehicle having a flight mode and a motorcycle mode, said vehicle comprising: a frame having a front part and a rear part; a center-line that passes from the front of said vehicle to the rear of said vehicle through the center of said vehicle such that said vehicle's weight is distributed nearly equally to either side of said center-line; a propeller mounted to a propeller barrel that is rotatably mounted to said frame such that the junction where said frame's front part meets said frame's rear part is located within said propeller barrel; an engine mounted to the rear part of said frame, wherein said engine powers said propeller in said flight mode; a cockpit fixedly mounted to the front part of said frame, said cockpit comprising means for controlling said vehicle; at least one aircraft lift means comprising: at least one rotor that is rotatably mounted to said frame when said vehicle is in said flight mode; a front wheel steerably and
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2010
    Inventors: Dezso Molnar, Craig Calfee, Zoltan Garamszegi
  • Patent number: 7677491
    Abstract: In various representative aspects, an airborne delivery system according to various aspects of the present invention comprises a container and an autorotating rotor system. The container may contain contents, and the rotor system facilitates control of at least a portion of the flight of the airborne system and the descent. Exemplary features may include a guidance system, for example to guide and control the airborne system, and a wing for gliding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2010
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Paul A. Merems, Randy W. Hill
  • Publication number: 20100030403
    Abstract: In various representative aspects, an airborne delivery system according to various aspects of the present invention comprises a container and an autorotating rotor system. The container may contain contents, and the rotor system facilitates control of at least a portion of the flight of the airborne system and the descent. Exemplary features may include a guidance system, for example to guide and control the airborne system, and a wing for gliding.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 13, 2009
    Publication date: February 4, 2010
    Inventors: PAUL A. MEREMS, Randy W. Hill
  • Publication number: 20090081043
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a folding rotor blade for an autogyro device comprises a plurality of connected rotor members. When the folding rotor blade is in a compressed state the folding rotor blade has a compressed length, and some of the connected rotor members are disposed in a non-parallel arrangement. When the folding rotor blade is in an extended state the folding rotor blade has an extended length, which is greater than the compressed length, and the connected rotor members are disposed in a parallel arrangement.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 25, 2007
    Publication date: March 26, 2009
    Applicant: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventor: RICHARD D. JONES
  • Patent number: 7448571
    Abstract: A method of operating a rotor aircraft involves measuring an airspeed of the aircraft and a rotational speed of the rotor. A controller determines a Mu of the rotor based on the airspeed of the aircraft and the rotational speed of the rotor. The controller varies the collective pitch of the rotor blades in relationship to the Mu, from an inertia powered jump takeoff, through high speed high advance ratio flight, through a low speed landing approach, to a zero or short roll flare landing. In addition as the rotor is unloaded and the rotor slows down, the controller maintains a minimum rotor RPM with the use of a tilting mast.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2008
    Assignee: Cartercopters, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Jay W. Carter, Jr., Jeffrey R. Lewis
  • Patent number: 7178757
    Abstract: An autogyro, or aircraft with a rotating wing, has an airframe providing a motorcycle-like configuration for the rider. The motorcycle-like straddle-type seat locates the rider in front of the rotating wing, behind a teardrop shaped simulated fuel tank, and above the motorcycle engine used for turning the front-mounted propeller. A motorcycle-like handlebar controls the aircraft, including the adjustment for the rotating wing axis of rotation with respect to the aircraft and the engine throttle. Additional controls for operating the aircraft on the ground, such as wheel brakes and the steering, are also controlled from the handlebar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2007
    Inventors: Charlene Breese, Vance Breese
  • Publication number: 20040245372
    Abstract: A method of controlling pitch on a gyroplane. A first step involves pivotally securing a wing to a mast supporting a rotor of the gyroplane. A second step involves providing a linkage between the wing and a rotor head. The linkage is secured to the rotor head with a universal joint connection so as not to restrict movement of the rotor head while maintaining a constant relationship between the wing and the rotor. A third step involves providing controls for a pilot to lengthen and shorten the linkage while in flight in order to pivot the wing and thereby alter positioning of the wing relative to the rotor to help control the angle of the rotor relative to wind direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2003
    Publication date: December 9, 2004
    Applicant: Rotary Air Force Management Inc.
    Inventors: Peter G. Haseloh, Duane N. Hunn
  • Patent number: 6824093
    Abstract: A method of controlling pitch on a gyroplane. A first step involves pivotally securing a wing to a mast supporting a rotor of the gyroplane. A second step involves providing a linkage between the wing and a rotor head. The linkage is secured to the rotor head with a universal joint connection so as not to restrict movement of the rotor head while maintaining a constant relationship between the wing and the rotor. A third step involves providing controls for a pilot to lengthen and shorten the linkage while in flight in order to pivot the wing and thereby alter positioning of the wing relative to the rotor to help control the angle of the rotor relative to wind direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: Rotary Air Force Management Inc.
    Inventors: Peter G. Haseloh, Duane N. Hunn, Sr.
  • Patent number: 6513752
    Abstract: A fixed wing rotorcraft uses differential thrust between wing mounted propellers to provide counter torque when the rotor is being powered by a power source. The rotorcraft is comprised of a fuselage to which fixed wings are attached. A rotor is attached on an upper side of the fuselage and provides lift at low speeds while the wings provide a majority of the lift at high speeds. When at high speeds the rotor may be slowed to reduce advancing tip speed and retreating blade stall. Forward thrust and counter torque is provided by propellers mounted on either side of the fuselage or even on the wings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2003
    Assignee: Cartercopters, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Jay W. Carter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6471158
    Abstract: A compound autogyro has a unique system of rotor blade retraction and vectored thrust. Redundant thrust systems provide for emergency conditions. Located in the upper mast are twin gas lines leading to a hub section of the rotor. In the hub, they divide the mass flow into two additional gas lines reaching to the tip ends of rigid rotor blades. A revolving, upper section of the rotor mast is attached to a lower, non-rotating section by a spherical bearing. Directly beneath this attach bearing is a distribution plenum, which receives the mass flow from each of three or four turbofan engines. To achieve high levels of propulsion, the turbofans are equipped with vectoring vanes that direct the mass flow to a plenum or, in the alternative, out a jet pipe for conventional flight. Another set of vectoring vanes can direct the mass flow downwardly, in case of a serious failure upon takeoff.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2002
    Inventor: Robert P. Davis
  • Patent number: 6435453
    Abstract: An improved method of operating rotorcraft capable of achieving high speeds such that stability is maintained as the craft speed exceeds 0.75 times the rotor tip speed. These high speeds are achieved by varying collective pitch, including to negative values, to maintain acceptable levels of flapping at high aircraft forward speeds and low rotor rotation rates, or adjusting or maintaining the rotor rotation rate by automatically controlling the tilt of the rotor disk relative to the airstream or aircraft, or a combination of these techniques. More specifically, by utilizing these techniques the forward aircraft speeds can be high enough, and the rotor rotation rates low enough, that an advance ratio, Mu, greater than 0.75 can be achieved while maintaining rotor stability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2002
    Assignee: Cartercopters, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Jay W. Carter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6405980
    Abstract: A rotor aircraft has an adjusting mechanism that controls the sensitivity of the control stick relative to fore and aft tilt of the rotor. The control stick is pivotable between fore and aft directions as well as laterally about a control stick pivot point. A rotor linkage is connected between the control stick and the rotor rotor head. The rotor linkage assembly tilts the rotor head in response to tilting movement of the control stick. The linkage assembly has a control point that rotates at a radius about the control stick pivot point. An adjusting member located between the control stick and the linkage assembly can be moved to change the radius of the control point to the control stick pivot point. The change in radius corresponds to the amount of tilt that the rotor head make while the control stick moves between full aft and full forward positions. The control stick also controls ailerons and a horizontal stabilizer but these control services are not affected by the adjusting member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2002
    Assignee: Cartercopters, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Jay W. Carter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6402088
    Abstract: A vertical take-off and landing vehicle that employs a thrust assembly, a fuselage, and an intermediate rotation decoupling interface assembly for rotationally decoupling the thrust assembly from the fuselage. The thrust assembly forms a single combined thrust force about the fuselage in order to form a more stable vehicle during flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Aero Copter, Inc.
    Inventors: George J. Syrovy, Siamak Yassini-Fard, Rouzbeh Yassini-Fard
  • Patent number: 6398159
    Abstract: An aircraft comprising a body and a plurality of disks rotatably coupled to the body. The disks may be configured to (i) rotate in the same or different directions, (ii) rotate at similar and/or different speeds, and (iii) provide lift and/or stability to flight of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Inventor: Alfonso Di Stefano
  • Publication number: 20020005455
    Abstract: A method of operating a rotor aircraft at high speeds applies negative collective pitch to the rotor. The rotor aircraft has a wing, a thrust source and a rotor. During horizontal flight, the pilot operates the thrust source to move the aircraft forward. This supplies lift due to air flowing over the wing. By controlling tilt of the rotor, and without supplying power to the rotor, the pilot causes the rotor to auto-rotate due to the forward movement of the aircraft. The speed of rotation of the rotor is controlled by the degree of tilt of the rotor relative to the direction of flight. Once the aircraft speed is sufficiently high to cause reverse flow of air over the entire retreating blade of the rotor, the pilot reduces the collective pitch of the rotor to less than zero to reduce the flapping as desired.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 22, 2001
    Publication date: January 17, 2002
    Inventor: Jay W. Carter
  • Patent number: 6089501
    Abstract: A tandem-rotor autogiro has a control system that facilitates operation of the tandem-rotor autogiro by fixed-wing aircraft pilots, without the requirement of extensive additional flight training. The autogiro includes forward and rearward non-powered rotors mounted in tandem on the fuselage of the aircraft. The forward rotor is controlled by manipulation of a control stick, and the rearward rotor is controlled by manipulation of foot operated pedals and trim control sticks. In a preferred embodiment the forward rotor is mounted in a plane vertically above a plane of the rearward rotor so as to facilitate an efficient aerodynamic air flow through the rotors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Inventor: Stanley A. Frost
  • Patent number: 6062508
    Abstract: A lift rotor assembly for a compound aircraft having a fuselage, including at least one circular disk structure with a plurality of bladelets spaced peripherally thereabout, a drive shaft coupled to a power source at a first end for rotating the drive shaft at low torque, a hub coupled to each circular disk structure and being located concentrically about the drive shaft, a gear drive coupled to a second end of the drive shaft opposite the first drive shaft end, and a first gear coupled to the gear drive and the hub for the circular disk structure located adjacent to the gear drive, wherein the first gear is operated at high torque to rotate one of the circular disk structures. The lift rotor assembly also includes a gear reduction apparatus associated with the gear drive in order to operate the first gear at high torque, as well as a constant velocity joint connecting an upper portion and a lower portion of the drive shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Inventor: Franklin E. Black
  • Patent number: 6064923
    Abstract: An aircraft having a reduced-load wing structure is provided with a controllable canard stabilizer (5G, 5D) at the front end of the aircraft and a controller that controls the canard stabilizer. The controller generates a turn command corresponding to an increase in the lift of the canard stabilizer when, simultaneously, the turn command applied by the pilot to the elevational control surfaces (6G, 6D) exceeds a threshold and the measurement of the vertical acceleration of the aircraft exceeds a threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: Aerospatiale Societe Nationale Industrielle
    Inventors: Thierry Bilange, Marie-Laure Divoux-Plantaz
  • Patent number: 6030177
    Abstract: A drive system for a variable diameter rotor system that includes a plurality of rotor blade assemblies with inner and outer blade segments. The outer blade segment being telescopically mounted to the inner blade segment. The drive system engaging a jackscrew for telescoping the outer blade segment with respect to the inner blade segment. The drive system includes a rotor hub that is pivotally mounted to the upper end of a main rotor shaft about a pivot point. A gimbaled bearing is disposed between and attached to the main rotor shaft and the rotor hub. The gimbaled bearing permits the rotor hub to pivot about the pivot point. A blade actuation shaft is concentrically disposed within the main rotor shaft. The blade actuation shaft has a constant velocity joint pivotally attached to its upper end about the pivot point. A planetary gearset engages the blade actuation shaft with the jackscrew.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventor: Lee N. Hager
  • Patent number: 6019578
    Abstract: A rotor blade actuation system is disclosed for controlling extension and retraction of an outboard blade section of a rotor blade by varying the speed and direction of rotation between a main rotor shaft and a blade actuation shaft. The rotor blade actuation system includes a drive gear on the main rotor shaft and a blade actuation drive gear on the blade actuation drive shaft. A primary drive unit is engaged with and transmits rotary motion from the main rotor shaft to the blade actuation shaft. The primary drive unit includes an input gear engaged with the drive gear. A primary drive is engaged with the drive gear through an input gear and a master clutch. An output drive is engaged with the blade actuation drive gear. A forward clutch controls engagement of a forward planetary gearset with the primary drive and the output drive. The engagement of the forward planetary gearset causes the blade actuation shaft to rotate in the same direction as the rotation of the main rotor shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventors: Lee N. Hager, Paul C. Fitzgerald
  • Patent number: 5951608
    Abstract: The disclosed flight control system includes a rotor blade speed monitor for monitoring the rotor blade speed of the jet powered tri-mode aircraft and for outputting a rotor blade speed command. The flight control system also includes an aircraft attitude controller for controlling the aircraft attitude of the jet powered tri-mode aircraft. Weighted rotor blade attitude stabilization commands and weighted aero surface attitude stabilization commands are output from the aircraft attitude controller to distribute power, control, and lift between the rotor blade and the aero surfaces. Relative weights of the weighted rotor blade attitude stabilization commands decrease with increasing aircraft travelling velocities, and relative weights of the weighted aero surface attitude stabilization commands increase with increasing velocities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventor: Stephen S. Osder
  • Patent number: 5727754
    Abstract: An improved gyroplane having an improved rotor blade with an edgewise stiffness (El) of at least 80,000 pounds inch.sup.2 per pound of aircraft gross weight and blade weights of sufficient size to store a minimum of 100 foot pounds of rotational kinetic energy per pound of gross weight of the gyroplane while the rotor blade pitch is set to minimum lift during blade prerotation. Then a clutch driving the rotor is disengaged and the rotor blade pitch is changed to a lift condition to enable the gyroplane to climb to an altitude of at least fifty feet. The speed and thrust of a propeller is increased to achieve an increasing a horizontal velocity to maintain altitude, first with the rotor blade providing most of the lift and until the wings provide all the lift. To maximize velocity an improved flight control method is utilized. With this method, the angle of attack of the rotor disc is decreased and the pitch of the rotor blade is reduced to decrease rotor blade rotational speed to minimize drag during flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1998
    Assignee: CarterCopters, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Jay W. Carter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5544844
    Abstract: An autogyro has a teetering semi-rigid rotary wing with rigid rotor blades. The angle of attack (blade pitch) of the rotor blades is fully adjustable in flight continuously over an operational range, and varies along the blade length. A prerotator rotates the rotor blades up to takeoff speed at minimum drag, no lift and optimum engine efficiency. Engine power is disconnected from the rotor blades and their angle of attack is changed for optimum lift to facilitate smooth vertical takeoff. Rotor blade pitch is likewise adjusted during vertical landing. In flight, rotor blade angle of attack is varied to adjust autorotation, lift and drag at any flight airspeed. On the ground, the rotary wing is braked to prevent rotation.The autogyro may roll, pitch, or yaw, with complete independence of blade pitch with respect to all other relative motions. The pedals have disproportionate forward and backward motions. The autogyro has retractable gear capable of fail-safe gear-up landing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 13, 1996
    Inventors: Henry J. Groen, David L. Groen
  • Patent number: 5454530
    Abstract: A dual-mode high speed rotorcraft is disclosed which combines the efficiency of a helicopter with the high-speed capability of a fixed wing aircraft. The rotorcraft includes a rotor for propulsion during low-speed flight and hover, which is stopped and locked to function as a fixed wing during a high-speed flight. Also included are a canard and a high-lift tail, which together function to provide substantially all of the lift for the rotorcraft during the transition between low and high-speed flight, so that the rotor may be unloaded while starting and stopping.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 3, 1995
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company
    Inventors: John W. Rutherford, Matthew O'Rourke, William R. McDonnell, Brian T. Smith
  • Patent number: 5421538
    Abstract: A vertical takeoff and landing heavier-than-air aircraft that includes a gyroscopic airfoil in the airstream of a ducted fan to cause vertical lift to the aircraft. The gyroscopic foil is both rotatably and pivotally attached to the aircraft such that it can be titled to provide directional control of the aircraft and, in at least one embodiment, has an adjustable airfoil forming part of the gyroscopic device such that the lift can be varied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1995
    Inventor: John Vassa (Suratano Thienphropa)
  • Patent number: 5098033
    Abstract: An improvement in a gyroplane having a keel, a mast which extends from the keel, and a rotor blade which rotates at the top of the mast. The improvement consists of a forshortened mast extending substantially vertically from the keel. The mast has a first end secured to the keel and a second end. A mast extension is provided having a first end and a second end. The first end of the extension is pivotally secured to the second end of the mast. A rotor blade is mounted to the second end of the extension. A number of selection positions are provided permitting the pilot to fix the extension in a preselected angular position with respect to the mast, whereby the center of gravity of the gyroplane is altered to maintain flight attitude having regard to the weight of the pilot and cargo.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1992
    Assignee: Rotary Air Force Inc.
    Inventors: Peter Haseloh, Daniel Haseloh
  • Patent number: 5058825
    Abstract: Aircraft supported by rotors have an elastic device (28) that helps to angularly place the body of the aircraft in relation to the rotation axis of the rotor (1). This device has adjusting means (39-40-27) which the pilot can use during flight. The invention is in particular applicable to autogyros.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 22, 1991
    Inventor: Denis Rabouyt
  • Patent number: 4979698
    Abstract: A rotor system for a rotor convertible fixed winged aircraft comprising a rotatable rotor shaft mounted on one of the wings of the aircraft, the shaft tiltable between a substantially vertical position and a substantially horizontal position, a rotor mounted to the shaft and including at least one blade, the blade having an adjustable blade angle relative to the shaft, apparatus for tilting the shaft between the vertical and horizontal positions, controls responsive to the tilting of the shaft for automatically adjusting the blade angle of a blade to an autogyro blade angle when the shaft is in the vertical position and to a substantially feathered blade angle when the shaft is in the horizontal position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 25, 1990
    Inventor: Paul Lederman
  • Patent number: 4930724
    Abstract: Load lines connect chordwise spaced portions of a ram air inflated, airfoil canopy to spaced anchors connected to a pilot supporting vehicle frame on which a forward thrust producing unit is removably mounted. The geometry of the assembled aircraft enhances take-off inflation of the canopy, establishes a stable flight frame when airborne, and enables simple engine throttle control of the thrust producing unit to regulate climb, descent and level flight. Common control is applied for both ground steering of the vehicle frame and airborne steering of the canopy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1983
    Date of Patent: June 5, 1990
    Inventor: Stephen L. Snyder
  • Patent number: 4913376
    Abstract: This invention relates to autogyros and to counter-rotating rotor helicopters. It further relates to compound autogyros and/or helicopters that employ a lifting surface or wing in forward flight. More specifically this invention provides an autogyro with counter-rotating rotors, circular planform wing integral with the rotors, and means for engaging power to the rotors for vertical ascent, descent and hovering.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1988
    Date of Patent: April 3, 1990
    Inventor: Franklin E. Black
  • Patent number: 4913377
    Abstract: An air-borne craft is provided with at least two pairs of propellers with substantially vertical axes. One pair of the propellers is provided on the front portion of the craft, the other pair on the rear portion with one propeller of each pair on the left side and the other propeller of the same pair on the right side of the body of the craft. The propellers are provided on their rear directions with flaps which can open and close relative to the profiles of the propellers. The arrangement of at least four propellers secures an economical operation in case of emergency landing and at flight. In case of an engine failure the craft has still a forwardly directed speed. This speed will open the flaps and the flow of air against the flaps will revolve the propellers. Thereby at least one arm of each of the propellers remains acting like a helicopter blade and the four propellers can carry the craft in a gliding procedure, flying forwardly with an angle of descent, towards the ground for the emergency landing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1988
    Date of Patent: April 3, 1990
    Inventor: Karl Eickmann
  • Patent number: 4469294
    Abstract: A V/STOL aircraft comprising a fuselage, having three sets of wings that are offset lengthwise and vertically. The center set of relatively small relatively thick wings 34 between the canard 14 and the rear relatively thin relatively large aerodynamic lift wings 18 are equipped with identical lift fans 36 enclosed in the wing by upper and lower movable slotted deflectors 40. The attitude of the slatted deflectors may be varied to transition the present invention from hovering to forward flight, and vice versa. The present invention's lift fans are interconnected by a balanced power distribution system, to insure constant, efficient use of total power and provide symmetrical lift about the aircraft's center of gravity resistibility. In the event of an engine failure, the remaining lift is still properly distributed to maintain symmetrical lift, so as to maintain balance and operational control of the aircraft in the lift mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1982
    Date of Patent: September 4, 1984
    Inventor: Robert T. Clifton
  • Patent number: 4434956
    Abstract: A flexible helicopter rotor includes a vertical rotor axle, a mechanism for rotating the vertical rotor axle in a first rotational direction, and a plurality of segmented flexible airfoils secured to and extending radially from the vertical rotor axle, each segment of each airfoil forming a billowing, canopy-shaped surface as the vertical rotor axle is rotated. Each airfoil includes a cross spar extending radially from the vertical rotor axle and in turn supporting first and second leading edge spars and first and second keel spars. The forward ends of the leading edge spars and keel spars are joined to form an apex of the airfoil at a point ahead of the cross spar. A flexible membrane is secured to the first and second leading edge spars and to the first and second keel spars and is divided thereby to form the segmented flexible airfoil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1981
    Date of Patent: March 6, 1984
    Inventor: Gilbert R. Gonzales
  • Patent number: 4335537
    Abstract: A toy aircraft having a rotatable wing assembly having at least two blades of aerofoil cross-section extending radially outwardly from the axis of rotation of the assembly, each blade having a zero pitch angle so that in operation the blades have a negative pitch angle relative to the airstream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1980
    Date of Patent: June 22, 1982
    Assignee: Plectrum Pty. Limited
    Inventor: Terence J. Walker