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Publication numberUS3153878 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 27, 1964
Filing dateApr 11, 1960
Priority dateApr 11, 1960
Publication numberUS 3153878 A, US 3153878A, US-A-3153878, US3153878 A, US3153878A
InventorsSmith Jr Bonne
Original AssigneeSmith Jr Bonne
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Flying solarthermic toy airship
US 3153878 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 27, 1964 B. SMITH, JR 3,153,873

FLYING SOLRTHERMIC TOY AIRSHIP Filed April 11. leso /NvE/vroR, a. SM1 TH, JR.

United States Patent O 3,15378 FLYING SOLAR'IHERMIC TIB AIRS@ Bonnie Smith, Jr., Bex 23?, Warren, Ark., new by change of name Bonne Smith, Jr. Filed Apr. Il, 196i), Ser. No. 21,280 S Claims. (Ci. i-S9) S ummai'y This invention relates to a solarthermically powered toy airship of novel attractive configuration. Several such airships are shown in the attached drawings and all comprise basically a micro-thin plastic or microlm air envelope, the upper portion of which is transparent and through which passes the rays of the sun and the lower internal portion of which forms a solar heat concentrating reflector of exceedingly small weight. Mounted internal of the air bag or envelope and in the focal axis or point of concentration of the heat concentrating reflector is a grid which is heated by the concentrated solar rays from the reector. This grid then heats and expands the air gases internal of the air envelope causing the airship to rise and move as a solar powered vehicle.

In obtaining best results an airship of this kind is fabricated of a light film material and the diameter of the air envelope is at least two or more feet so that sucient buoyancy is obtained by heat expansion of the air gases inside the envelope by solar means.

Solarthermically lifted and propelled toy airships are believed new to the toy lield. They fly best during clear weather such as in the spring and summer season or in regions Where sunshine prevails the year through.

This kind of toy may be released as a free dying craft having the name and address of the owner on it or it may be tethered for amusement purposes by a thread of sutiicient length and small weight.

Due to its simplicity the toy can be produced in many attractive shapes and colors at a very low cost. Some of the preferred shapes and element arrangements are shown in the attached drawings. For purposes of advertising, the iiying solar toy may be produced in the shape and color of the product advertised.

The Solarthermie lift and propulsion means in combination with toys and model airships is rather basic and is suiiicient to be used to power almost any kind of weight decient balloon or airship.

It is one object of the invention to provide a toy airship which is lifted by the action of solar energy from the sun.

Another object of the invention is to provide a toy airship which is propelled by the action or" solar energy from the sun.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a simple low cost means of Solarthermie propulsion in combination with model craft.

Another object of the invention is the provision of an inexpensive variety of sun toys.

Another object of the invention is the provision of sun powered flying means of advertising commercial products.

Still another object of the invention is the provision of ying toys which operate by means previously unknown in the toy eld.

Still another object of this invention is the provision of a solar toy of noticeable size which is of such low cost as to be expendable like a bubble.

3,153,878 Patented Get. 27, lii

ice

Still other novel and attractive objects and advantages of the invention will be recognized by persons skilled in the production of inflatable toys.

An example of the solarthermie toy airship will be understood from the description with accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front sectional View showing internal elements of the Solarthermie toy airship.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational View of the Solarthermie toy airship showing internal elements.

FIG. 3 is a sectional side elevational view of a flying toy Solar Saucer Ship showing internal elements and a hot air propulsion device.

FIG. 4 is a perspective View of a toy Saturn Ship showing internal elements. Y

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a solarthermically lifted toy Earth Ship.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a Solarthermie toy Moon Ship showing internal elements.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a toy Flying Sun Pot showing internal elements.

FIG. 8 is a perspective View of a ring shaped toy Flying Space Station showing internal elements.

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of solar powered iniiatable toy Space Craft.

FIG. 10 is a side elevational View of the toy shown in drawing FIG. 9.

Flying Solarthermie Toy Airshz'p Referring to FIGURES l, 2, 3 of the drawings, it will be clear that the upper portion of all the light weight film material airships is transparent to the rays ofthe sun and that sun heat enters through the transparent wall l of air envelope 1a of the toy, strikes the solar concentrating reiiector 2 which due to its shape retlects and concentrates the rays into a smaller area on grid 3 which heats and expands air surrounding it inside air envelope l, 1a of the toy airship; member 6 is an air inlet for inflation of envelope 1, 1a. As this air expands due to concentration of solar heat inside the envelope 1, la, the airship becomes more rigidly inated and begins rising. The solar airship shown in FIG. 2 has a jet tailpipe 4 for the escape of excessive heat expanded internal air gases. This escape of hot air gases gives the airship forward thrust. As will be noted the airship shown in FIG. 2 has an adjustable rudder iin 5 for setting the degree of turn of the toy airship. Rotating action of the airships shown in FIGS. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 may be had by the manufacturer applying any suitable well known means for their rotation in flight.

The concentrating retiector or mirror 2 may be formed by applying any highly reflecting metallic material upon the internal wall of the air envelope, or using thin light weight material prepared so that one side is reflective to light. A thin curved mirror shaped from highly reeetive tinfoil or the like may also be titted inside the lower portion of the air envelope 1, 1a with a heat absorbing and radiating grid 3 mounted in the focal axis of said mirror. The grid 3 is preferably shaped from weight deficient metallic screening or thin perforated or expanded metal sheeting which has been carbon blacked so that it absorbs and radiates heat at a higher rate. Soot may also be used for blacking the grid 3. Where expanded or perforated metal sheeting is used as the grid, a sheet thickness of one thousandth inch or less is of sufciently small weight and will function properly.

With reference to the drawings, it will be noted that the spherical toy airships FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 7 each use the same kind of internal elements but that their outside design differs.

Referring more specifically to the flying toy Solar Saucer Ship FIG. 3, it will be seen that this toy airship comprises a disk shaped inllatable air envelope l, 1a, the upper half of which is transparent and through which passes sun rays shown as broken linesy with arrowhead pointers. These sun rays are reflected andv concentrated by reflecting mirror 2 which covers the lower internal half of the airship. Located in the focal point of Vreflector 2l is a second mirror-like reflector 7 which acts as a beam reverser thereby reflecting the beam fromconcentrating reflector 2 upon sintered air expansion chamber 3 which serves two purposes. Chamber 8 is caused to become very hot due to the concentrated rays from the sun upon it. The outside of chamber 8 heats and expands air internal of air envelop 1, 1a making the toy airship buoyant. External air feeding into air intake 9 travels into the air expansion chamber S through the pressure nozzle arrangement inside air intake pipe 9. Upon entering heated chamber 8 the air gases are rapidly expanded to several times the original air volume 'and forced out through tail-pipe 19. In tail-pipe 10 the hot expanded air gases mix with cool air giving considerable thrust tothe toy airship. Direction of air ow is shown by arrowhead pointers. Since beam reversing mirror 7 tends to heat up considerably it should have a thin metallic reilecting surface such as foil or the like and be constructed or bonded so that heat does not affect it or cause air bubbling under the mirror-like surface. In FIG. 3 the air expansion propulsion chamber 8 and associated parts are shown larger in respect to the air envelope 1, 1a than they would normally be in actuality.

The toy Moon Ship FIG. 6 and the toy Sun Pot FIG. 7 have eyelets 11 of small weight evenly spaced around the outside of their lower portions for the purpose of tilting the spheres by the use of exceedingly small amounts of weight.

The ring-shaped toy flying Space Station FIG. 8 is a solar heat lifted inflatable envelope, the upper portion 1 of which is transparent to the rays of the sun. The inside of lower portion 1a comprises a reflecting mirror 2 of parabolic cross-section. Air internal of envelope l,V 1a is heated and expanded by grid 3 located inthe focal axis of reflector 2. Excessive hot air escapes from the envelope 1, 1a and the hot air remaining therein causes the inflatable envelope to rise and lloat with the breeze.

A ying toy Space Craft such as shown in FIG. 9 and FlG. l() operates as follows-sun rays pass through the upper transparent portion 1 of the inflatable envelope 1, 1a and strike the reflecting mirror 2 which concentrates them upon beam reversing mirror 7, from mirror 7 the rays travel to a sinterated air' heating and expansion chamber 8 Vwhich heats and expands air gases inside the inllatable air envelop 1, 1a making the inflatable envelope buoyant and at the same time expanding at a higher rate a continuous flow of air gases passing through solar heated air expansion chamber 8. This expanded air stream gives thrust by reaction to the flying toy.

A sun powered drifting toy airship of lesser etliciency can be constructed by elimination of focusing internal reilector 2 and grid 3 and covering the area previously covered by reflector 2 witha sintered blackcoating which will absorb sun heat and expand air gases inside envelope 1, 14a.Y i

This description is intended to be illustrative and does not constitute a limitation upon the scope ofY this invention beyond the scope of theY appended claims.

What I believe to be novel and useful and wish to secure by Letters Patent is: Y

l. A solar heat powered llying toy comprising an inflatable air envelope, an Yupper portion of which is transparent and through which passes the rays of the sun, a

lower internal portion of said air envelope comprising a solar concentrating mirror with said mirror focusing said rays upon an air heating grid located internal of said air envelope, means holding said grid in the focus of said concentrating mirror and pressure operated means for the escape of excessive hot expanded air from said inllatable envelope.

2. A solar heat operated toy airship comprising an inllatable air envelope, an upper portion of said envelope being transparent and through which passes the rays of the sun, a lower internal portion of said envelope cornprising a solar concentrating reflector, an air heating grid located in the focus of said reflector internal of said inflatable envelope and pressure operated means in the wall of said envelope for the spill-out of excessively expanded hot air gases.

3. A solarthermic flying toy space ship comprisingan inflatable envelope, an upper portion of which is transparent and through which passes the rays of the sun, a lower internal portion of said envelope comprising` a heat concentrating reflector, a beam reversing reflector located in the focal beam of the first reflector, a sintered air heating expansion chamber located in the focal beam of the reversing reflector with said expansion chamber for air having connected thereto both inlet and outlet tubing for the llow of air gases, with the upper wall of said air expansion chamber heating the gases internal of said inflatable envelope. Y Y

4. A solar heat operated toy airship comprising a ring shaped inflatable air envelope, the upper portion of which is transparent and through which passes the rays of the sun, the lower internal portion of said envelope comprising a solar concentrating mirror-like reflector of parabolic cross-section, a heat absorbing radiating grid mounted in the focal axis of said concentrating rellector, with the hot air capacity of said envelope being sufficient to cause the airship to rise and float.

5. A solar heat operated toy airship of inflatable spherical configuration, an upper portion of which is transparent and through which passes the rays of the sun, the lower internal portion of said inflatable airshp forming a solar heat concentrating mirror, an air heating grid mounted in the focal point of said mirror, with the lower external portion of said inflatable toy being colored attractively.

6. A solar heat powered flying toy saucer ship cornprising a disk shaped intlatable air envelope, an upper portion of which is transparent and through which passes the rays of the sun, a reflective lower internal portion of said inflatable envelope forming allrst solar heat concentrating mirror, a secondsolar mirror located in the focal beam of said first mirror reversing the direction of said solar beam, a sintered air expansion chamber located in the focal point of saidsecond concentrating mirror and internal of said air envelope, a unidirectional vair inlet means leading to said air expansion chamber and a iet exhaust outlet connected to said chamber.

7. A solar heat operated toy airship comprising .a spherical inflatable air envelope the upper portion of .which is transparent and through which passes therays of the sun, the lower internal portion of said air enveltipe comprising a heat concentrating mirror, a heat radiating` grid mounted in the focal point of said mirror heating l and expanding the air gases yinternal of said envelope with the outer surface of said airship being attractively decorated. Y Y

S. A solar heat powered toy airship comprising an air envelope, an upper portion of which is transparent and through which passes the rays of the sun, a lower internal portion of said air envelope forming a solar concentrating mirror' with said 'mirror focusing said rays upon an air heating grid located internal of said air envelope, means holding said grid in the focal axis of said concentrating mirror and pressure operated means for the directional 5 6 escape of excesses of expanded air gases, suitable means FOREIGN PATENTS for the inflation of said air envelope and adjustable c011- 288 880 Italy Sept 25l 1931 U01 SuI'faCe DS attached t0 Said OY aiIShP. 1643912 Australia Aug. 31, 1955 1,063,722 France Dec. 16, 1953 References Cited in the le of this patent UNTED STATES PATENTS 1,993,213 Gill Mar. 35 2,881,558 Bell Apr. 14, 1959 OTHER REFERENCES Wege Zur Raumschiffahrt, by Oberth, Hermann, published 1894, pages 413-415 cited.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1993213 *Oct 18, 1933Mar 5, 1935Ferdinand A GillSolar ray apparatus
US2881558 *Jul 19, 1957Apr 14, 1959Benjamin P Fishburne JrSolar powered toy boat
AU164912B * Title not available
FR1063722A * Title not available
IT288880B * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3337162 *Feb 24, 1965Aug 22, 1967Bauserman Howard MBalloon activated by solar energy
US3565368 *Jun 30, 1969Feb 23, 1971Melville ByronSolar energy balloon
US3945591 *Nov 18, 1974Mar 23, 1976Cameron Balloons LimitedHot air balloons
US4215674 *May 18, 1978Aug 5, 1980Thermal Dynamics, Inc.Radiant electromagnetic energy collector
US4261534 *Oct 13, 1978Apr 14, 1981Auro RoselliInflated wing aircraft
US4364532 *Nov 29, 1979Dec 21, 1982North American Construction Utility Corp.Apparatus for collecting solar energy at high altitudes and on floating structures
US4403755 *Feb 14, 1980Sep 13, 1983Gutsche Gunter EMethod and apparatus for use in harnessing solar energy to provide initial acceleration and propulsion of devices
US4438760 *Oct 26, 1981Mar 27, 1984Reinhart RadeboldConcentrating reflector for solar radiation of low aerodynamic friction force and high aerodynamic buoyancy force
US4770232 *Oct 9, 1986Sep 13, 1988The United States Of America As Represented By The Administrator Of The National Aeronautics And Space AdministrationGas particle radiator
US4931028 *Aug 15, 1988Jun 5, 1990Jaeger Hugh DToy blimp
US5080625 *Jan 29, 1991Jan 14, 1992Huffhines Terry WBalloon target and pistol
US5338243 *Dec 3, 1993Aug 16, 1994Anagram International, Inc.Three-dimensional non-latex balloon
US5765831 *Mar 21, 1996Jun 16, 1998Huffhines; Terry W.Tethering system for novelty balloon
US5893360 *Mar 25, 1997Apr 13, 1999Stoumen; O'malley O.Inflatable solar oven
US7137592 *May 24, 2004Nov 21, 2006The Boeing CompanyHigh-aspect ratio hybrid airship
US7567779Sep 16, 2005Jul 28, 2009International Multi-Media CorporationSub-orbital, high altitude communications system
US7669592Mar 19, 2007Mar 2, 2010Steven PolkSolar power plant
US7844218Aug 23, 2005Nov 30, 2010International Multi-Media CorporationSub-orbital, high altitude communications system
US20130126668 *Nov 21, 2012May 23, 2013ThalesBalloon Comprising Photovoltaic Means and a Solar Concentration Device
EP0081899A1 *Oct 15, 1982Jun 22, 1983Doron GazitRecreational balloon
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/225, 126/684, 126/569, 446/230, 244/31
International ClassificationA63H27/10, A63H27/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H2027/1066, A63H27/10
European ClassificationA63H27/10