US 3174252 A
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INVENTOR B r/26rd Jami-5y vw 1 L, x 55% .nvIl. r- Y L B. SUNRAY SELF-PROPELLED AERIAL FLIGHT DEVICE WITH AUTOMATICALLY FIVOTING WING Filed June 24, 1963 March 23, 1965 United States Patent 3 174,252 SELF-PROPELLED AERIAL FLIGHT DEVICE WITH AUTOMATICALLY PIVOTING WING Bernard Sunray, 342 Main St., Center Moriches, N.Y. Filed June 24, 1963, 821'. No. 2tl,087 17 Claims. (Cl. 46-78) This invention relates to aerial flight devices of the type disclosed in my prior copending application Serial Number 183,661, filed March 21, 1962, now Patent No. 3,128,-
574. The invention covered by the aforesaid application comprises a fuselage or strut having a wing or airfoil attached thereto. The rearward end of the strut carries a detachable cap or mount for a propeller rotating on an axis substantially parallel with, but laterally offset from the strut. One end of an elastic band power means is connected with the propeller. The band means extends forwardly along the strut and at its other end i attached to a wire clip or retainer. The forward end of the strut has e2. sleeve attached thereto. This sleeve is provided with means such as a slot of the bayonet type, adapted to receive the clip or retainer. The construction and arrangement are such that the retainer is held against removal from the slot, only by a twist or torsion of the elastic band above a certain minimum. The band is under a degree of tension even in the untwisted state; and this tension acting alone, efiectively pulls the clip from the sleeve. Thus, when the elastic band is twisted to apply a driving torque to the propeller, above the aforesaid minimum, the clip is retained afiixed in the sleeve and the instrument operates normally as a propeller-driven craft. However, when the torsion in the band drops below the aforesaid minimum, the residual tension therein acts to forcibly pull the clip free from the sleeve. Then the reaction of the band upon the cap carrying the propeller causes detachment of the propeller, cap and driving band, all of which then drop away from the craft. Since the propeller when not rotating, or when rotating at a low speed insufficient to propel the craft at its instantaneous air speed, acts as a drag upon, and deleteriously affects the flight performance of the craft, the invention of the aforesaid application affords a remarkable and highly advantageous increase in the gliding range after the propeller assembly has dropped away.
The present invention further improves the performance of a craft of the type covered by my aforesaid application. During propelled flight in an upward or essentially vertical direction, the wing or airfoil itself, in its normal or gliding position transversely of the fuselage, creates added air resistance to forward or upward flight but, of course, as soon as downward glide begins, it is necessary for satisfactory sustained glide performance.
It is therefore the principal object of the present invention to provide a craft of the type described, which effects a material increase in the flight and glide performance over prior devices of the type described.
Ancillary to the foregoing, it is an object to provide a craft wherein the wing or airfoil is maintained in a position of minimum air resistance with respect to the fuselage, during upward, propeller-driven fiight but, when the thrust of the propeller ceases in flight, the propeller assembly drops away and, in addition, the wing turns automatically into its normal position transversely of the fuselage, as
3,174,252 Patented Mar. 23, 1965 "ice glide begins, so that improved range, glide and over-all satisfactory, instructive and entertaining performance of the craft are attained.
Other objects, advantages and features of novelty of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art, after a study of the following detailed description in connection with the accompanying drawing.
In the drawing: 7
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of the complete craft, with driving band twisted and held at its forward end against detachment, and with the wing held in position of minimum air resistance;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view corresponding to FIGURE 1 and showing, in dot-dash lines, the position the Wing assumes during glide;
FIGURE 3 is a view to an enlarged scale, partly in section, of the propeller assembly, as on line 33, FI URE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a detail sectional view to about the same scale as FIGURE 3, of the forward end of the craft and showing the manner in which the driving band is held attached when twisted to propel the craft;
FIGURE 5 is a detail plan view looking upwardly and showing to an enlarged scale the preferred form of attachment of the wing to the strut or fuselage, and by which the wing is rotated to a transverse position as soon as the propeller assembly drops away;
FIGURE 6 is a perspective View showing the propeller mounting sleeve just after it has separated from the craft and begins to drop away; and
FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of the forward sleeve.
Referring in detail to the drawing, 1 identifies a strut or fuselage which in the model shown, may be simply a length of light wood or light metal tubing, square in cross section, but having a rounded or cylindrical forward end 2, as indicated particularly upon FIGURE 4.
The lower edge of the rearward end of the strut is cut away or beveled as at 3, FIGURES 3 and 6. This end also carries a stabilizing vane or airfoil 4, shaped as clearly shown upon FIGURE 2, and which may be detachably secured in the position shown, by a rubber band or by a snug frictional fit with a transverse slot in fuselage 1. A second or guiding airfoil 5 is likewise attached to and extends vertically upwardly from the rearward end of the strut. This may be detachably secured by a snug frictional fit within a central vertical slot 6 in the strut. Airfoils 4 and 5 are preferably of thin balsa wood or light metal.
Referring especially to FIGURES 3 and 6, a cap 7 of plastic or light metal is shaped and sized to have a smooth accurate fit over and about the rearward end of part 1. The cap has an integral rearwardly and downwardly extending lug 8 terminating in a downwardlydirected end, pierced to receive the metal bearing or grommet 9 journaling propeller shaft 10. As shown, the forward end of the shaft is bent into the form of a loop to receive the resilient driving band or bands 11.
Propeller 12 is of plastic or light metal and is fixed with the rear end of its shaft as by a diametral slot 13, FIGURE 3, within which fits the bent rearward end of shaft 10, so that the shaft and propeller are constrained to rotate as a unit. A tongue 14 consists of a short fiat strip of plastic having its rearward end secured to, or integral with, the lower inner surface of cap 7 and 3 extending forwardly a short distance externally thereof. See FIGURES 3 and 6.
The construction is such that when cap 7 is in position fitting over the rearward end of strut 1, tongue 7 projects forwardly. over and frictionally engages one tip of wing 15. More particularly, the wing tip is gripped between strut 1 and tongue 14, as clearly shown upon FIGURE 3. However, when band 11 is released at its forward end, as subsequently described, and snaps back under its residual tension, the impact and sudden release of forces causes cap 7 to pivot about a transverse axis defined by the upper .rear edge of the strut. As a result the cap separates from the strut and together with the propeller, band, and forward clip, drops away. This action is facilitated by the aforementioned beveled end of the strut.
A sleeve 16 is secured as by friction or adhesive, to and about the cylindrical forward end 2 of strut 1. Referring especially to FIGURE 7, the sleeve may be of. plastic or light metal having a bayonet slot 17 extending from its forward edge. One longitudinal edge of the slot is smooth and unbroken. The other longitudinal edge has a first notch 18 extending generally circumferentially from its rearward end, and a second notch 19 extending generally helically and forwardly from its midportion. Asecond and shallower slot 20 extends from the forward or leading edge of the sleeve, diametrically opposite slot 17. The particular critical shape of notches 18 and 19 is subsequently described.
The forward end of propeller band 11 passes through the circularly-bent end of clip 21, FIGURES 1 and 4. From this bent end the clip, has a portion extending forwardly and upwardly, followed by a straight terminal end portion 22 which, as clearly shown upon FIGURE 4, extends upwardly and rearwardly. The construction is such that when wing is rotated into the position shown upon FIGURES 1, 2 and 4, with its principal or longitudinal axis parallel with strut 1, the straight portion of clip 21 may extend upwardly through an aperture 23 in wing 15,,
pass through notch 20 and either of notches 18 or 19. Notch 18 has its forward edge slightly inclined helically forward and to the right, as viewed upon FIGURE 7, so that'when band 11 is twisted in a direction which is counterclockwise looking from left to right, FIGURE 1, the reaction of the forward end thereof urges clip 21 about notch 20 as a fulcrum, in the corresponding direction. This reaction is relatively great and effectively retains portion 22 in notch 18. However, when the twist inband 11. has decreased to substantially zero, the reaction of the forward edge of notch 18 upon the clip, having a component tending to rotate the clip clockwise as viewed from left to right, FIGURES 1 and 4, causes the clip to ride out of the notch into the longitudinal portion of slot 17. The clip, under urge of residual tension in band 11,
, then snaps forwardly, or clockwise as viewed upon- FIG- URE 4-, and is drawn downwardly and outwardly through aperture 23, free of the sleeve and wing.
Notch 19, being of relatively large pitch, is'used effectively to hold clip 21 during wind-up of the propeller, as
subsequently explained in detail in the operation of the craft.
Wing 15 is somewhat longer, than strut 1, as depicted upon FIGURES 1 and 2, and is pivoted at its central portion to strut 1 as indicated generally at24. While various forms of pivot are possible and contemplated, in the model shown, the pivotal mounting is effectively and satisfactorily effected by a short rubber band having two passes 25 extending upwardly and over the strut and a ballast strip 26. The ends of the band pass through respective transverse slots 27 and 28, FIGURE 5, in the wing, after which a cross part 29 of thin plastic is inserted through the ends to, at one and the same time, firmly but pivotally attach the wing to the strut and to urge the Wing into the correctglid-ing position transversely of the strut, as indicated in dotted lines FIGURE 2. The
tension in band 25 also effectively holds and maintains ballast strip 26 in frictionally aligned and longitudinallyadjusted postion with respect to strut 1, so that it may he slid forwardly or rearwardly through limited distances to give the correct balance, and maximum flight and glide characteristics to the craft.
Of course, other pivotal mounting means may be substituted for band 25, such as a light coil spring having its ends engaging the strut and wing, respectively, to urge the latter into the dotted line transverse position of FIG- URE 2. However, the form shown is very advantageous because it enables, at one and the same time, and in an inexpensive construction, (a) rapid assembly and disassembly of the wing and ballast to and from the strut, ([2) forward and rearward adjustment of the wing and ballast on and along the strut, (0) positive torque upon the wing urging it to the transverse position from the longi tudinal position of FIGURES 1, 2 and. 5, and (d) enables rotation in either direction to the longitudinal aligned position.
The operation will be generally clear from the fore going description and isbriefly resumed as follows: With the wing assembled to the strut and cap 7 positioned over the rearward end of the strut, the wing is rotated against the urge of band 25 to a position wherein one tip thereof extends between the strut and tongue 14 and is, thereby releasably held in such position by frictional contact. At
the same time, aperture 23 in the forward end of the. wing is located substantially beneath sleeve 16 and the. It will be understood that one such holeing end of portion 22 is moved by the finger of one hand,- from notch 19 into notch 18, while the propelleris held.
by the other hand against rotation. Due to the existing reaction of the twisted band upon clip 21, the latter is.
firmly held within notch 18.
The craft is then aimed and released and is immediately propelled upwardly. Since wing 15 is at this time held in the longitudinal position shown, the resistance of the.
craft to forward flight is a minimum, while at the same time affording satisfactory lift.
As soon .as the power stored in band 11 has been substantially depleted, the component reaction of the for-.
Ward edge of notch 18 upon clip 21, due to residual tension in the band, predominates and rotates the clip out of notch 18 into the straight portion'of slot17. The clip then snaps out of they slot and is drawn downwardly and rearwardly through hole 23. As the band and clip snap rearwardly, a reaction force is applied to cap 7 causing it to pivot clockwise as seen in FIGURE 3, about the upper rear transverse edge of strut 1 and to separate therefrom. The propeller assemb-lythus drops off and wing 15 is freed and rotates under urge of band 25 into the gliding position transversely of thestrut. The craft then goes into a long, fiat and graceful glide that is attractive and entertaining to, watch.
While I have disclosed the form of the invention presently preferred by me, numerous modifications, substitutions of equivalents and changes'of shape, size and form will readily occur to those skilled in the art after a study of'the foregoing disclosure. Hence the disclosure should be taken in an illustrative rather than a limiting sense; and it is my desire and intention to reserve all changes withinthe scope of the subjoined claims.
What I claim is:
1. In an aerial flight device, a body member having a longitudinal axis, a single, unitary wing, means pivoting said wing intermediate its ends to said body member for movement from a first position wherein said wing is longitudinally aligned with said body member along said axis, to a second position normal to said axis, and means connected between said body member and wing and yieldingly urging the latter into said second position.
2. An aerial craft comprising, an elongated body member having a longitudinal first axis, a wing having a longitudinal second axis, means connecting said wing to said body'mernber for pivoting about a third axis normal to said first and second axes, between first and second positions wherein said first and second axes are parallel and mutually normal, respectively, means connected between said body member and wing and urging the latter into said second position, a propeller assembly detachably connected with said body member, and means carried by said propeller assembly and engageable with said wing to releasably maintain the same in its said first position.
3. The craft of claim 2, said propeller assembly being mounted at and on one end of said body member and including a propeller journaled for rotation on an axis parallel with said first axis, a clip releasably mounted at and on the other end of said body member, and resilient band propeller-driving means connected at its ends to said propeller and said clip, respectively.
4. The craft of claim 3, there being an aperture in one tip of said wing, said clip extending through said aperture when said wing is in its said first position.
5. In an aerial flight device, an elongated fuselage member having a fore-and-aft first axis, a wing having a longitudinal second axis, first means connecting said wing to said fuselage member for pivoting about a third axis mutually normal to said first and second axes, between first and second positions wherein said first and second axes are (a) parallel and substantially coextensive and (b) mutually normal, respectively, said first means yieldingly urging said wing into its said second position, a cap having a frictional fit over the rearward end of said fuselage member, a propeller journaled on said cap for rotation on a fourth axis parallel with said first axis, and means carried by said cap to engage and releasably hold one end of said wing when said wing is in its said first position.
6. The device of claim 5, said last-named means comprising a tongue fixed at one end to said cap and having its other end extending forwardly along said first axis, to releasably grip said one end of said wing.
7. The device of claim 5, a sleeve secured to the forward end of said fuselage member and having a longitudinally-extending bayonet slot in its wall, a clip having one end portion adapted to be releasably held in said slot, and resilient band power means having its ends connected with said propeller and said clip, respectively.
8. In an aerial craft, an elongated strut having a longitudinal fore-and-aft axis, a propeller assembly including a cap releasably fitting the rearward end of said strut and a propeller journaled on said cap, a sleeve secured to and fitting the forward end of said strut, said sleeve having a slot in its free forward wall, parallel with said axis, there being a first transverse notch in and extending circumferentially in one direction from the rearward end of said slot, and a second transverse notch in and extending in the same direction from one side edge of said slot, between its ends, said second notch being inclined outwardly and forwardly with respect to said side edge.
9. The craft of claim 8, there also being a fulcrum notch in the forward end edge of said sleeve, opposite said slot, a clip having one end straight and extending transversely across said sleeve into said slot and, selectively into one of said first and second notches, and a resilient band having its ends connected, respectively, with said propeller and the other end of said clip.
10. The craft of claim 9, said resilient band having residual tension in its untwisted state, said first notch 6. being constructed and arranged toretain said clip therein, only when said band is twisted, and to cam said clip into said slot in response to reaction of said residual tension only, said second notch being constructed and arranged to hold said clip against release into said slot due to the force of said residual tension acting alone.
11. In an aerial flight craft, an elongated fuselage having a fore-and-aft first axis, rudder and elevator airfoils secured to the rearward end of said fuselage, a wing having a longitudinal second axis, means mounting said wing at its mid-point on the mid-portion of said fuselage, for pivoting relatively thereto between first and second positions wherein said first and second axes are parallel and mutually normal, respectively, said means urging said Wing into said second position, a cap releasably fitting the rearward end of said fuselage, propeller bearing means carried by said cap, a propeller journaled in said bearing, a tongue fixed with and projecting forwardly from said cap to releasably grip a tip of said wing between itself and said fuselage when said wing is in its first position, a sleeve fitting over and extending forwardly of the forward end of said fuselage, there being a slot in the wall of said sleeve parallel with said first axis, and a first notch extending fromthe rearward end of said slot, there also being a fulcrum notch in and opening through the forward edge of said sleeve, opposite said slot, a metallic wire clip having a straight first end seated in said fulcrum notch and extending transversely across said sleeve into said first notch, and a resilient band attached at one end to said propeller and at its other end to the second end of said clip.
12. The craft of claim 11, said mounting means comprising an endless resilient band having two passes over and across said fuselage transversely of and spaced along said first axis, each said pass extending downwardly to and through a respective pair of slots in said wing, said band mounting said wing for pivoting while yieldingly urging said wing into its said second position.
13. The craft of claim 12, and a ballast frictionally held between said passes and said fuselage, for adjustment longitudinally thereof.
14. The craft of claim 11, there being an aperture in each tip of said wing, said straight end of said clip passing through one said aperture when said wing is in its said first position.
15. In an aerial craft, a strut, a wing, means mounting said wing on said strut for movement from a first position parallel with said strut, to a second position transversely thereof, means acting between said strut and wing urging the latter to said second position, a propeller assembly including a propeller, said assembly being detachably mounted on said strut, means carried by said assembly and engaging said wing when in first position to releasably hold the same in first position, power means connected to drive said propeller, and means responsive to run-down of energy in said power means to effect detachment of said assembly and release said Wing for movement to second position.
16. In an aerial flight device, a fuselage having a longitudinal first axis, a single unitary airfoil having a longitudinal second axis, means mounting said airfoil intermediate its ends to said fuselage for pivoting directly about a third axis normal to said first and second axes, between first and second positions wherein said first and second axes are parallel and mutually normal, respectively, propelling means carried by said fuselage for initial flight therewith, and means responsive to substantial depletion of energy of said propelling means, to effect movement of said airfoil from its said first to its said second position.
17. In an aerial flight device, a fuselage having a longitudinal first flight axis, a single unitary airfoil having a longitudinal second axis of symmetry, means mounting said airfoil intermediate its ends on said fuselage for pivoting about a third axis normal to said first and second axes, from a first position wherein said axes are parallel, to a second position wherein saidaxes are mutually normal, propelling means carried by said fuselage for initial flight therewith, means urging said airfoil into its said second position, means releasably retaining said airfoil in its said first position, and means responsive to substantial depletion of energy of said propelling means to render said retaining means ineffective.
2,221,012 11/40. Walker 46-80 2,765,582 10/56 Hurtado 46--80 FOREIGN PATENTS 713,456 8/31 France.
0 RICHARD C. PINKHAIVI, Primary Examiner.