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Publication numberUS2611355 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 23, 1952
Filing dateJul 29, 1949
Priority dateJul 29, 1949
Publication numberUS 2611355 A, US 2611355A, US-A-2611355, US2611355 A, US2611355A
InventorsAshwood Norman D
Original AssigneeAshwood Norman D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Catapult for launching model airplanes
US 2611355 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 23, 1952 1N. p. ASH'WOOD 1,

' CATAPULT FOR LAUNCHING MODEL AIRPLANES Filed July 29, 1949 6 SheetS-Sheetl Norman D. Ashwoob ATTORNEY.

6 sheet s -shee t 3 P 0 f n e y m mm .m Q N ma w mw N. D ASHWOOD,

Sept; 23, 1952 UCATAPULT FOR LAJUNCHING-MODELAIRPLANES Filed July 29', 1949' Sept. 23, 1952 N, D. ASHWOOD 2,611,355

CATAPULT FOR LAUNCHING MODEL AIRPLANES Filed July 29, 1949 QSheetS-Sheet 4 INVENTOR. Norman D. As/m ood A tic/"neg 7 Sept. 23, 1952 N. D. ASHWOOD CATAPULT FORLAUNC'HING MODEL AIRPLANES Filed Jill 29, 1949 5 Sheets-Sheet 6 ATTORNEY fiatentec'l Sept. 23,

' Norman 1). Ashwood, Victoria, British Columbia,

Canad Application July 29, 1949, Serial No. 107,398

This invention relates to a catapult for launching model airplanes and the like, and it .consists in the construction, arrangements and combinations herein described and claimed.

It is an object of the invention to provide a sturdy structure for support of runways upon which a plane may traverse during a take-off, the structure including a projecting means for imparting the initial movement of the plane along the runways, as well as means for releasing the plane from the projecting means in order that the plane may assume its flight.

It is also an object of the invention to provide a catapult device for model airplanes wherein a carriage for support of an airplane is arranged medially and longitudinally between a pair of runways, the carriage being spring actuated to move the plane along the runways, there being trigger means for holding the carriage in retracted position against the tension of the springwith a plane in position thereon, the supporting structure, runways and carriage guide being broken away;

Figure 2 is a front elevational view thereof;

Figure 3 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional view of the catapultwith the plane supporting carriage in retracted position;

Figure 4 is a similar view illustrating the position of the parts at the time of release of the plane from the carriage; V

Figure 5 is a plan view of the plane supporting carriage: W I

Figure 6 is a longitudinal sectional view taken on the line 6- 6 of Figure 5;

Figure 7 is a sectional view taken on the line 'I-'-1 of Figure 6; t

Figure 8 is a rear elevational view of the drum for retracting the plane supporting carriage;

Figure 9 is a sectional view taken onthe line 9+9 or Figure 8;

FigurelO is afrag n ientary perspective view of 2 Claims. (Cl. 124-26) ards.

2 a portion of the supporting structure of the catapult and plane;

Figure 11 is a fragmentary top plan view of a modified form of runway;

Figure 12 is a side elevation of the supporting structure for the runway, illustrating the manner in which the upright supports may be adjusted with respect to the vertical; and I Figure 13 is a side elevational View of the catapult as embodied in a gun style support.

, Reference is now invited to Figures 1, 2 and 12 of the drawings, wherein the supporting structure for the catapult is shown and this embodies a pair of spaced parallel vertically disposed standards l0 arranged at the front and rear of the structure. Each standard H) has an anchorage means II on the lower end thereof for engaging the ground for support of the stand- A plurality of braces 12 extended between the standards afford rigidity and maintain the standards in proper spaced relation.

The standards ill at front and rear are of identical construction, and as best seen in Figure 2, the upper end of the standards l0 has fixed thereon a T-fitting I3 for mounting a horizontal bar I4. The fitting I3 is swingably mounted on the bar id but is maintained against sliding movements by means of adjustable collars IS. The bar I4 extends beyond the fittings 13 a distance as at [6 and has suitable elbows I"! and pipe sections l8 for support of a second bar l9 immediately above the bar M. A longitudinally extended brace rod 20 is connected to respective rods 14 of the front and rear support structures, at each side, and a similar rod 2| is connected between the rods [9.

As best seen in Figures 1 and 10 of the drawings, the rods 20 are connected by transverse rods 22 and the rods 2| are connected by transverse rods 23 for bracing the structure, as well as to afiord support for runways and other structure of the catapult, as will be described.

Upon the rod H! a pair of T-fittings 24 are adjustably mounted, which may be secured in a desired position by means of set screws 25. The fittings 24 have a vertical collar 26 within which'a hollow rod 21 is secured, slidably re-- mounted, these rails being positioned at respective sides of the supporting structure, and function to support respective wings 32 of a plane 33. As will be apparent the rails 3| may be raised and lowered to accommodate the position of wings of various sizes and constructions of planes.

Intermediately of the bar I4 a sleeve 34 is secured and a similar sleeve 35 is mounted upon the rod I9, these sleeves being connected by struts 36 (see Figure 2). Upon the upper side of the sleeve 35 a U-shaped frame 31 is fixed, upwardly extended legs 38 receiving a body member 39 therewithin, the body being secured within the frame by suitable fastening means 40. The frame 31 extends from the front to the rear of the supporting structure and the body 39 is of a corresponding length. The body 39 projects above the frame 31 for mounting a catapult 4|. The body 39 is formed with an arcuate recess 4| extending the length of the body and receives a cylindrical barrel member 42 therein which is of a corresponding length. The barrel member is firmly secured in the recess by suitable brackets 43 and 44 at'the rear and by a similar bracket 45 at the front of the body, 'Ad-' ditional brackets may be employed ifrfound necessary.

The barrel member 42 is provided with a pair of opposed slots 46 extending longitudinally thereof terminating inwardly of the ends of the barrel as indicated at 41. Slidable within the barrel member 42 there is a cylindrical plunger 48 which has a pair of pins 49 projecting from respective sides, these pins being received in the opposed slots 48 of the barrel for guidance of the plunger during movements along the barrel. The forward end of the barrel is closed by a plug 50 and rearwardly of the plug there is a coiled spring and a cushion disk 52' for absorbing the impact of the forwardly moving plunger 48.

For causing forward movement of the plunger 48, a large coil spring 53 is connected atone end to the rear end of the plunger and the other end of the spring is connected to a closure plug 54' threadedly engaged in the rear end of-the barrel. In the operative position, as shown'in Figure 3, the coiled spring 53 is under compression; the' plunger 48 being held in retracted position, by a trigger mechanism 55 which when released {permits the spring 53 to force the plunger longitudinally along the barrel.

The body member 39 is cut away as at 56 for mounting of the trigger mechanism 55. The trigger is pivoted upon a pin 51 and has a finger 58 at its forward end which projects through a slot 59 formed in the underside of the barrel 42 for engaging a notch 60 in the forward end. of the plunger. posed between a rear extension 62 of the trigger and the barrel for holding the finger in raised position. The trigger '55 further includes a downward extension 63 to which there is con nected a pull rod 64 which passes through a bore 65 formed in the body member, the rod 64 terminating in a finger-engaging lug 66, exteriorly of the body. A guard 61 surrounds the lug 66 so as to prevent accidental release of the trigger.

A carriage 68 is provided for support of the model airplane 33 and is operatively connected to the plunger 48 (see Figures 2', 5 and 6).

al strip 'fl as at 1 2. The stripj'II isformedwith A small coiled spring BI is inter- The carriage includes a frame 69 which embodies a in the belly of the plane.

- so that the arm 9!. will be movedinadownW-Idf direction so as to withdraw the hook.frorn,.tl'i 'ef' a series of apertures 13 which are adapted to register with suitable apertures formed in a pair of opposed guide members I4 and 14', bolts 15 being extended through aligned apertures and engaged by suitable nuts for maintaining the uides upon the strip 1 I. The guide members I4 and 14 are adapted to engage the lower front portion of the airplane 33 and are adjustable towards or away from each other to accommodate planes of various sizes.

The bars I0 and I0 are additionally braced by strips I6 and I6 extended transversely thereacross and secured by bolts 11. Upon the bars 10 and I0 there is secured a sub-frame 18 of rectangular form consisting of parallel side stringers 19 connected by transverse straps 89, 8 I, and 82. In advance of the strap 88, a shaft 83 is journalled in the stringers 19 and has a sleeve 84 mounted thereon. A transverse thrust pin 85 extends through the sleeve 84 and is fixed thereto. A stop member 86 disposed beneath the sleeve 84 and secured between the stringers "I9 is provided. This stop serves to limit r'otative movements of the sleeve 84 by engagement with the pin 85. I The pin 85 is of a length to'project' into a cell or compartment 81 formed in the bot: tom of airplane 33, (see Figure 3) so that as the plunger 48 moves towards the front in the bar rel 42, the airplane will likewise move therewith.

In order that the carriage 69 and airplane 33 may move in unison along the barrel, the. ca r'I- 'v riage 69 is provided with a pair or depending parallel sidewalls 88, which are each provided with spaced openings 89 in" registry with the trunnions 49 of the plunger 48 and secured by means of bolts or screws 99; asbest seen i!'1fl-" lg-'- ure 2 of the drawings.

A means is provided for releasing the plane 33 from the carriage in order that the plane may. assume its flight and this means comprises'an arm 9| which is pivotally mounted on a pin 92 secured in parallel spaced stringers 98 connected' between the straps BI and 82. The arm 9 I,is formed at its forward end with a hook member 94 adapted to project into an opening 95 formed The arm 9| has a downwardly projecting trip 98 and a rear extension 9'1, the latter being engaged by a spring '99 supported upon the strap 82, the spring holding the hook 94 in raised position within the open ings 95 of the plane. As long, as' the hook 9411s engaged with the opening 95, th'eplane cannot leave the carriage, and for releasing the hook 94, of the arm from the plane a lug 99 projects'upwardly from the barrel in thepath of thef fii l-96v opening 95.0f the airplane, theflairplanejthuslbeing released from the, carriage. Eor'fmaintaining' thev hook portion 94 olitfof, the o ening 95; a flat leaf spring IOIIIhas. one/end secured ,to one of the stringers 93fb'y screws I|l (see; Figure 5)- and carried by theothe'r end .ofthe spring I99,

there is a'transverse pin I82.which is forcedthrough a slot Ifl3 in the'strin'ger Blasfsoonas the arm'SI is moved below the slot I03 (Figure;8 )f

The pin I82 maintains ..the,arm 9| .inits down ward position untilth'e next plane. launehed, when the operator merely retracts the pin I92 so as to clear the arm 9|, the spring98 returning.

the arm to .its raised position in advance. of .the

pin I02, the latter 'being held under, tension by theleaf spring I99.

'From the structure thus far described;

e eeg l ei.Warmers. preeminence supported, but iobviously,athe rear of the plane must also besupported by'the carriage-69 ,-and as may be seen in Figures .5 and 6, the rear ends of the frames 10 and 10. terminate in respective quadrants I04 each of which hasan ,arcuate. slot I formed therein.

A shaft I08 extended transversely between the 2 frames -10 mountsa support member I01 as will now be described. The member I01 com- 1 prises a pair of leg members I08 converging toward the longitudinal axis of the carriage 69 where the legs are joined with a sleeve I09. The

which a sleeve II3 is suitably secured, the sleeve II3 being in alignment with the sleeve I89, A

threaded shaft I I4 is extended through the sleevesI03 and H3 and lock nuts Ii5 complemental to respective ends of the sleeves function to secure the shaft in an adjusted position. 0b-

viously byjloosening the nuts II5 the shaft may 7 be moved inwardly or outwardly with respect to the sleeves for obtaining an adjustment as to length of the support member I01. Upon the rear end of the rod I I4 there is threadedly engaged a sleeve I I8 which is secured thereon by a lock nut H1. The sleeve II5 has itsouter end flattened as best seen in Figure 7, for reception of spaced legs II8 of an upwardly opening yoke H9. The legs II8 of the yoke are apertured, as is the flattened end of the sleeve I I6 and through these apertures there is engaged a wing bolt I for securing the yoke H9 in adjusted positions for support of rear portions of airplanes.

A manually operable means is .employed for retracting the plunger48 and its associated carriage 89, and as best seen in Figures 8 and 9,.

this comprises a housing I2I fixed, tothe rear end of the barrel 42, the housing having a partition.

I22 and an outer closure plate I23, and between the partition and closure plate, a shaft I24 is suitably journalled, extending longitudinally of the barrel 42. keyed to the shaft I24 and about the drum I25 there is wound a cable" I21, trained through a guidepulley I28 mounted exteriorly of the housing IZI in a suitable bracket I29. The end of the cable I21 has a hook I30 for engaging a ring I3I secured in an opening I32 of the next adjacent plate 88 of the carriage B9. A similar cable I33 is wound upon the drum I26, trained around a pulley I34, the terminal end of the cable I33 having a hook I35 for engagement with a ring I38 fixed in an opening formed in the next adjacent plate 88 of the carrier.

The shaft I24 is rotated by means of a hand crank I31 and the cables I21 and I33 are so wound upon their respective drums I25 and I26 as to simultaneously move in the same direction. In order to prevent the spring 53 from forcing the plunger 48 forwardly during the retracting movement of the carriage, a ratchet wheel I38 is keyed to the inner end of the shaft I24, there being a pawl I39 cooperable with the teeth of the ratchet wheel.

In order to support the landing wheels I40 of the airplane 33 respective runways I4I are disposed and suitably mounted at respective sides of the catapult M, which as here shown, are

A pair of drums I25 and I25 are supported upon upright rods I42 telescopically The rods I42 are secured in vertical adjusted positions by means'of wing bolts. I44; The sockets I43 are .mounted' upon respective sleeves I45 horizonmounted in vertical sockets I 43.

tally slidable on the rods I9. The sleeves I45 are securedlin an'adjusted position by means of wing bolts I48. On intermediate portions of the runways I4I are supported sleeves I 45 which .are adjustably mounted upon the rods 23, there Z being adjustable upright rods I42 in each-of the sockets (see Figure 10).

A modified form of runway is illustrated in Figure 11, wherein the runway I41 is formed with longitudinally spaced openings I48 in each of which there is revolubly journalled a roller I 49. This. construction of runway is admirably suited for support of pontoons of amphibious planes.

In Figure 12, there is shown a construction of support for the catapult wherein the standards I0 at the front and rear of the structure are adjustable with respect to the vertical so that the standards I0 may be positioned at an angle to a supporting surface and thus afford As has been greater rigidity to the structure. explained the standards I0 are swivelly mounted to the rods I4, by virtue of the T-fittings I3.

A brace bar; 20' is extended between the stand ards I0 at the front and rear, at respective sides the bar 20 being vivotally connected on a pin 20" of one of the standards I0. standard I0 has a pin 20a complemental to a longitudinal slot 20b formed in the brace bar 20'. Suitable wing nuts 200 are engaged upon the pins 20" and 20a, for securing the adjustment of the legs of the standards. Also, by

this construction, it will be apparent that the I brace bar 20 may be released from the legs to permit folding of the legs for ready transpor-.

tation of the catapult.

In .Figure 13 a modified form of support for. the catapult is shown, the support being in the.

form of a firearm embodying a shoulder. stock I50, a'main body or barrel stock I5I,'. the underefiecting launchingof a plane. justable rods I53 1 are suitably supported in brackets I54 spaced at proper positions along the stock and barrel for support of the rods 3I.

The operation of the device is as follows:

Assume that the airplane 33 is in the retracted position shown in Figure 3. The airplane is of course a conventional model airplane and is provided with a suitable engine or gasoline motor (not shown) for propelling or driving the airplane 33 after the airplane has been launched by the catapult of the presentinvention. Then, the user inserts one of his fingers into engagement with the lug 68 and moves the pull rod 64 rearwardly to the position shown in Figure 4. At the same time the pawl I39 is manually moved out of engagement with the ratchet and the movement of the pull rod 64 causes the trigger 55 to pivot about the pin 51 so that the finger 58 is moved out of engagement with the notch 60 in the lower front end of the plunger 48. Thus, the spring 53 thrusts or forces the plunger 48 forwardly, and it carries the carriage 68 therewith, since the pins 49 project from the plunger 48 and into engagement with the openings 88 of the side plates 88. It will be noted that the thrust member projects into the cell The other Figure 3. Therefore, when the carriage; moves forwardly the'airplane 33 is -alsothrust forwardlybymeans of the. member 85;. Further,,the:.hool:,

portion. 94.: of the arm 9,1 is. arranged in: en,- gagement. with. the recess; 95; so that :.the.= airplane cannot, disengage. itself-zf'rom, the carriage when the-carriage. and airplane are in. their, retracted runwayse, said upright; supports: being; verticallm and laterally adjustable with respect to; said: transverseibar; members, azrailimember connected to the' uppen endszoi said upright supports-iand. extending, parallel with said runways for. engagfing and supporting respectivewings' of thereinplane;

2'. A catapult for launching amodel airplane comprising a. supporting structure having trans Position-a HOW-ever; after the Piston mlvesi l0. verse b'armembers, a-pairof runways supported forwardly a small distance, the lug or. trip:'9,9

contacts the lower end.96,of;the, arm 9l to theretbarrel; the shock absorber 16556115 or reduces;

on saidtransver'se bars, said runways being vertically and laterallyadjustable to accommodate: landing wheels of various types of airplanes, up rightsupports carried by said transverse bars 15 disposed at opposite sides 'of said runways; saidthe, jarring or impact caused bythe, forwardly moving; piston. Now, the airplane 33 hasr'been' given a sufiicient; forwardly moving; impetus: s0 thatrthe airplane lisp-now able toflyawaymnder;

its-own power. To launch-additional airplanes, the; user merely rotates thecrank or. handle 1 I37, to thereby wind-the, cable; o1 1to ,the;nulley s; I25;

and I2-6so that the: piston, 48 is moved-xfromthe, position shown inuFigure etothe; position. shown in-Figure:3;and the finger;58 of the trigger;

55,-: again; maintains the plunger; 18v in; its re-. tracted position.

Asathe airplane advances; alon ;v the, catapult;

the, wheels I 40 ride-in the tracks I iofthe device;

andthe wings 32 of the airplane are slidably:

1; A1catapult for. launchinga modelairplane;

comprising a supporting structure having trans-.-

verse bar. members, a;pairotrunwayssupported onvertically adjustable uprights said uprightsi being laterally: adjustable on, said'vtransver'se bars r to accommodate landingwheels of various :types, 5

ofgairplanes; upright 1 supports: carried .by said: transverse barsgdisposedat opposite sides :of;,said;

uprlght supports being vertically and'laterallya'd justablewitli 'respect to said'transverse bar mem--- bers, a rairmember' connected 'to the upper 'ends off'said upright supports and extending parallel withnsaid runways'for engaging and supporting respective Wings ofthe'aii'plane; a carriage sup-- ported by said supporting structure-disposed between said runways-and longitudinally movable along said supporting-structure; means releasably" connecting an airplane to said carriage, means for forcibly moving the carriage and airplane toeffectmovement of theairplane along'said run-- ways; and automatic means for actuating the re-- leasing means between the carriage and airplane:

NORMAN D; ASHWODU REFERENCES CITED" The following references are 'of' record in the file of thispatent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,832,740 Ripplet a1 Nov.17,' 1931 1,846,157 Stevens Feces; 1932 2,070,721. Feight Feb. 16, 1937 2,144,805 Koch etal 'Jan; 24, 1939 2,204,546 Fleet et al.' June'l8, 1940 2,330,739 Olaszy: Sept. 28, 1943 2,406,131 Branham' Aug; 20, 1946 2,425,886 Knox Aug. 19, 1947 2,426,437 Cole et a1 Aug; 26; 1947 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country; Date 9,403 Great'Britain" -1912 835,594,. France .Sept. .26, 1938:

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1832740 *Dec 19, 1928Nov 17, 1931Rippl Francis JMechanical toy
US1846157 *Jun 28, 1930Feb 23, 1932Stevens Virgil ACatapult for gliders
US2070721 *Aug 14, 1936Feb 16, 1937Donald Feight CharlesCatapult
US2144805 *Jul 6, 1936Jan 24, 1939Donald ElderToy catapult
US2204546 *Jun 22, 1937Jun 18, 1940Fleet Reuben HDevice for handling aircraft
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US2406131 *Feb 1, 1944Aug 20, 1946Beldon BranhamRailroad tie
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2860620 *Feb 15, 1956Nov 18, 1958Effinger Jr William LCatapult for model aircraft
US2862682 *May 14, 1957Dec 2, 1958Davies Thomas DCatapult launching engager for aircraft nosewheel gear
US2957661 *May 3, 1956Oct 25, 1960Republic Aviat CorpAnchoring and positioning means for airplanes
US2990143 *Jun 16, 1958Jun 27, 1961Jamison Truman KRocket launching ramp and mechanism
US3079786 *Feb 8, 1960Mar 5, 1963Raytheon CoShock pulse generators
US3512513 *Aug 7, 1967May 19, 1970Griffith John DElastic type multistage catapult
US4155194 *Jul 18, 1977May 22, 1979Mattel, Inc.Toy spring-type projectile launcher having directional controlling joy stick
US4756295 *May 27, 1986Jul 12, 1988Guzzetta Matthew PToggle link power cell bow
US5695153 *Nov 16, 1995Dec 9, 1997Northrop Grumman CorporationLauncher system for an unmanned aerial vehicle
US5961069 *Oct 15, 1996Oct 5, 1999Dassault AviationTowing device to exert a towing force to impart high acceleration
US6626399 *Dec 26, 2001Sep 30, 2003Lockheed Martin CorporationMiniature aircraft catapult
US7232092 *Aug 18, 2004Jun 19, 2007Central Japan Rallway CompanyFlying vehicle-launching apparatus and method
US7594624 *Jun 15, 2007Sep 29, 2009Central Japan Railway CompanyFlying vehicle-launching apparatus and method
U.S. Classification124/26, 244/63, 446/429, 124/44.5, 446/63, 124/41.1, 124/37
International ClassificationA63H27/14, A63H27/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H27/14
European ClassificationA63H27/14