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Publication numberUS2457281 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 28, 1948
Filing dateMay 11, 1946
Priority dateMay 11, 1946
Publication numberUS 2457281 A, US 2457281A, US-A-2457281, US2457281 A, US2457281A
InventorsJohn K Shannon
Original AssigneeJohn K Shannon
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Control mechanism for model airplanes
US 2457281 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 28,- "1948. J. K. SHANNON 2,457,281



Application May 11, 1946, -Serial No. 669 021 2 was. (01. ,4678) invention appertains to model or toy vehicles and more particularly to a powered model.


One of the primary objects 'of my invention is to provide means for automatically controlling the maneuvers of powered model-airplanes, especially in free flight, or any steerable contrivance;

Another salient object of the invention is to provide means whereby a device, through the use of a novel mechanism,'can be causedto follow automatically a predetermined patternof maneu-' vers.

A further object of this invention is to provide a, rotatable spiral cam track operated from a spring or other motor having a spring pressed lever engaging the same and operatively connected to the control surface of the airplanepr other device the peripheral contour of the cam track causing the lever to actuate against the ten sion of its spring and bring about the movement of the control surface and thus causing theairplane to follow a predetermined maneuver or maneuvers. A further important object of my invention is to provide a spiral cam track made up of one-or more sections of apredetermined peripheral'cone figuration, the sections being detachablyassociated together on a common drive shaft, so that cam track sections of different configurations can bereadily substituted for other sections on the shaft and thereby bringabout any desired selected pattern of controlled movement.

A still. further object of my invention. is to ,pro vide a novel and simple device for controlling the movements of a powered model-airplane and the like, which will be durable and efficient in use and one that can be incorporated with a model airplane at a small cost.

With these and other objects in View, the invention consists in the novel construction, arrangement. and formation of parts, as will behereinafter more specifically described, claimed, and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in

which drawings: I Fig. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a powered model airplane having my novel control mechanism incorporated therewith, parts of the figure being shown broken away and in section to illustrate structural detail.

Fig. 2 is a longitudinal fragmentary sectional view through the bodyor fuselage of theairplane, illustrating my novel cam mechanism and one of: the operating .levers. I r Fig. 3 is a fragmentary transverse sectional view taken substantially 0n: the line -3-3 of Figs I 2 g 2. looking in the direction of the arrows, illustrating the novel cam and the mounting. and drive motor therefor.

Fig. 4 is an edge elevational view of oneofthe cam tracksections; and

5 is an enlarged fragmentary detail. secs tional'view taken on the line 55 of Fig. 3 looking in the direction of the arrows, illustrating the means of detachably mounting the cam tracksec-a tions on the square drive shaft. Y

Referring to the drawings in detail, wherein similar reference characters designate corre-- spending parts throughout the severa1 views, the letter A generally indicates a model airplane which can be powered by a miniature internal combustion engine 6. The method of powering the airplane forms no part of my present'invention and, hence, will not be described in detail. The airplane itself can be of themodel type now found in the open market and it is to be noted that the same includes the fuselage orbodyfl; wings 8, and landing gear 9. Thewings 8 are provided with pivoted ailerons ID. The tail of the planecarries the vertical rudder II, which is pivoted forswinging movement, and the elevators lz. These elevators are also mountedon a horizontal pivot for swinging movement. The control surfaces [0, H, and I2 are operated through my novel mechanism l3, which will now be described."

This mechanism l3 includes a spiral cam track It preferably madeup of a plurality of cam track sections l5. These cam track sections have their periphery provided with a predetermined contour and the same is provided with cam lobes I6 and valleys ll. The exact pattern of these lobes and valleys can be made to suit varying conditions and the surface to be controlled and the sections are made to interfit so that a continuousfcam track will be providedwhen the same are associ ated together. The axialcenters of the cam track sections are provided with square-or polygonal shaped'o'pen'ings it? so that the same can be detachably mounted upon a square or polygonal shaped shaft l9.

The shaft i9 is externally threaded at its corners, as area, and is rotatablymounted in a'supporting bracket 21. Hence, when the shaftis rotated, the cam track will be turned therewith.

The bracket 2| includes a base plate 22' and an upstanding rigid supporting arm 23 through whicht-he shaft rotatably extends. An adjustableend ofthe shaft remote from the end supported by the rigidarm 23, and this arm 24 is likewise provided with an opening for rotatably receiving the shaft. The lower end of the arm 24 is of a hooked shape, as indicated by the reference character 25, and this hooked end is adapted to be inserted in a selected slot 26 formed in the base plate 22. It is to be noted that there is a plurality of these slots 26 extending along the length of the base plate, 7 I

The shaft [9 is adapted to be operated from a suitable motor and I preferably provide a spring motor 21 for this purpose, The motor can be of the type generally employed for driving mechanical toys and the spring can be wound by.

.4 in turn, operatively connected to the upper end of the short arm 32 of the lever 29.

The rudder H has secured thereto an outwardly projecting rudder arm 44 and this rudder arm has pivotally and operatively connected thereto a forwardly extending link or rod 45, which is pivotally and operatively connected to the short arm of the lever 38. The elevators 12 each have connected thereto a depending elevator operating arm or crank 46. Pivotally and operatively connected to each arm 46 is an operating rod or link 41. The forward ends of the links 4'! are pivotally and operatively connected to the suitable key (not shown). The winding shaft'for the spring motor is indicated by the reference character 28. The shaft 49 is driven from the spring motor and the bracket 21 can be connected to the casing of the spring motor so that the motor and cam track can be handled as a unit, if such should be desired. The spring motor 21,

the cam I4 and the bracket 2! are all rigidly secured in the body 1 at the desired point, for balance and the like. The spring motor itself can be'wound and set in motionby a trip lever (not shown), and the lever can be tripped either manually or by a timing mechanism (not shown).

I'n' orderto operate the control surfaces- Ill, II, and I2, from the cam track, I employ a plurality of levers29f30, and 3!. The lever 29 is employed for operating the ailerons). The lever 30 is employed for-operating the rudder H and the lever 3| i's 'eniployed for operating the elevators I2. All ofthese levers are of the bell crank type and, hence, include angularly related short arms 32 and long arms 33, Allof the levers are rockably mounted at their angles by elongated grooves on a pivot pinv 34 and this pivot pin can be carried by a bracket35 secured inside of the fuselage in rear of'the cam track. The bracket 35 is provided with upstanding guide arms 38 for the levers and the levers are located between these guide arms.

Y Attention is called to the mounting of these levers and it is to be noted that the mounting is such that the levers can rock on the pivot pin 34 andalso have a limited swinging movement in a horizontal plane for a purpose which will later p ar.

[The-forward ends of the long arms 33 of the levers each carries a rotatable grooved roller 31 and these rollers rideon the periphery of the spiral cam track I4. A contractile coil spring 38 is providedfor each lever. and the coil springs function to hold the long arms of thelevers down with the rollers 31 in contact with the cam. Hence, the rollers will follow the undulations in the cam track and the levers will rise and fall according to the shape of the cam track. Obviously the rollers will follow the spiralcam track during the rotation thereof and the cam track can carry a stop arm 39 so that when one roller reaches the end of the cam track, further rotation of the cam track will be stopped. This will prevent the riding of the rollers ofiof the-cam track.

.In order to bring about the movement of the ailerons l 0, I mount in the wings 8 rock shafts 40.

The outer ends of the rock shafts carry radially extending operating arms 4! which are anchored in their respective aileron. Hence, when the rock shaftsare turned; the ailerons will be moved up ordown according to the direction of rotation of the rock shafts. The inner ends of the rock shafts carry cranks 42 a'nd ea'ch crank has operatively connected thereto a link 43 and these links are,

shaft l9 and the levers are swung over on the cam tracks to their initial starting position and so that the rollers carried thereby can follow along the spiral cam track a certain desired distance and until the stop arm 38 is reached. Obviously, the undulations in the cam track will move the levers up and down and this movement will be transmitted to the control surfaces ill, II, and I2 by the operating rods or links 43, 45, and 47.

In actual practice, the cam track sections have portions which represent neutral or normal positions for the ailerons, rudder and elevators. and the tips and lobes are such as to cause these control surfaces to move up and down or to the right or left, as the case may be. After the desired cam track has been inserted and the levers initially adjusted or set thereon, the airplane is ready for flight in the ordinary method now ursued in handling toy or model airplanes.

It is to be also understood that the cam track sections are coordinated so that the control sur faces will move at the proper time, direction and distance taking into consideration the flight characteristics of the model being used. The pattern of travel by the model will be made without any attention on the part of the operator, as the spiral cam track rotates as the model travels on its course.

-While I have specifically shown by attachment l3 applied to a motor powered airplane, it is to be understood that the principles of my invention can be used for steering boats, other toy vehicles, or appliances.

Changes in details may be made without departing from the spirit or the scope of my invention, but what I claim as new is:

1. In a toy vehicle having a pivoted control surface, a spiral cam track provided on its periphery with lobes and valleys, means for rotating said cam track, a pivoted spring pressed lever engaging said cam track and movable therealong during the rotation thereof, said lever being adapted to rise and fall different distances during its travel on said cam track by said lobes and valleys, and means operatively connecting the lever to the pivoted control surface for swinging the same, said cam track including a plurality of de tachable cam track sections of different peripheral configurations.

2. In a toy vehicle having at least one pivoted control surface, a spiral cam track including a plurality of detachable andinterconnected sections, a rotatable common shaft for said sections for turning the same, means for rotating the shaft, a bell crank lever rockably mounted at its angle, a grooved roller on said bell crank receiving and engaging the cam track, means normally holding the roller in engagement with the cam track. and means operatively connecting the lever to the control surface for swinging said control surface during rocking movement of the lever under influence of the cam.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

Number Number UNITED STATES PATENTS (Addition to No. 401,918)

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2098019 *Oct 24, 1935Nov 2, 1937Louis WeimerskirchMechanical automatic pilot
US2216489 *May 17, 1938Oct 1, 1940Fox Frederick LMachine for training student pilots in handling airplanes
FR11003E * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2615282 *Sep 16, 1949Oct 28, 1952Frank E UeltschiMechanically actuated marionette control mechanism
US2641866 *Aug 30, 1951Jun 16, 1953Charles SchillerGravity-actuated movable doll
US2794103 *Mar 4, 1953May 28, 1957Vapor Heating CorpTemperature selector switch
US3074204 *Apr 10, 1961Jan 22, 1963John TatoneModel airplane fuel and flight timer
US3091895 *Jul 21, 1960Jun 4, 1963Ideal Toy CorpToy submarine
US3803758 *Nov 6, 1972Apr 16, 1974Mattel IncProgrammable free-flight toy aircraft
US4040509 *Nov 24, 1975Aug 9, 1977Jean Leon MissiouxAutonomous group for mechanical control of machines
US4791827 *Sep 29, 1986Dec 20, 1988Aisin Seiki Kabushiki KaishaCam device for pressure regulating valve
US5163861 *Dec 19, 1989Nov 17, 1992Gerard Van RuymbekeWing-operated flying toy, and a process for automatically locking the wings, at the end of a flight
US5634839 *Nov 23, 1994Jun 3, 1997Donald DixonToy aircraft and method for remotely controlling same
US6632119Mar 1, 2001Oct 14, 2003Marvel Enterprises, Inc.Winding device and ornithopter utilizing same
U.S. Classification446/57, 74/471.00R, 244/76.00R, 74/54, 74/567
International ClassificationG05D1/08, B64C31/02
Cooperative ClassificationG05D1/085, A63H27/02
European ClassificationA63H27/02, G05D1/08B2E