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Publication numberUS3264776 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 9, 1966
Filing dateFeb 16, 1966
Priority dateFeb 16, 1966
Publication numberUS 3264776 A, US 3264776A, US-A-3264776, US3264776 A, US3264776A
InventorsBruce Morrow William
Original AssigneeWham O Mfg Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Aerial toy
US 3264776 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug 9, 1966 w, B. MoRRow 3,264,776

AERIAL TOY med Feb. 1e, 196e /lfl INVENTOR Wam/v .imf/wmf/ www United States Patent() 3,264,776 AERIAL TOY William Bruce Morrow, New York, N.Y., assigner to Wham- Manufacturing Company, San Gabriel, Calif., a corporation of California Filed Feb. 16, 1966, Ser. No. 527,989 7 Claims. (Cl. 46-74) This is a continuation-in-part of application Serial Number 454,430, filed May 10, 1965, now abandoned. This invention relates to aerial toys and in particular to tubular devices exhibiting airfoil characteristics.

Flying or sailing toys have been a popular diversion since the inception of the kite and the boomerang. This is especially true of such toys as glider airplanes and other operator propelled devices, e.g. flying saucers, which relay on the aerodynamic properties of the device configuration for their operation. A partial list of such aerial toys includes items such as are described in U.S. Patents 2,683,603, 2,690,339 and 2,822,176.

To this list is now added the device of the present invention. The invention provides an aerodynamic toy comprising a-straight, hollow and longitudinally unbalanced tube, open at both ends, and having a leading end and a trailing end. The tube is adapted to be propelled, leading end forward, with a rotational motion about its longitudinal axis so that the tube flies in a direction generally along its axis of rotation. The tube is provided with a weighted area adjacent to the leading end such that the center of gravity of the tube is `located closer to the leading end than to the trailing end. Weighting in this fashion produces the longitudinal unbalance refe-rred to above and it is this aspect of the device which is believed `to result in a tube which exhibits airfoil characteristics.

In the preferred embodiment the tube is an open ended cylinder having a slight taper extending from the trailing end to the leading end on both the interior and exterior surfaces of the cylinder. may be fabricated from polyvinyl chloride or other stiff and rigid materials and has a thickened area formed integrally with the cylinder wall at the leading end of the tube. Disposed along the exterior surface of the cylinder are a plurality of longitudinal ribs. These ribs have been found to provide a better gripping surface for the user to enable him to impart greater rotation to the tube when launched.

I By providing certain alterations to the basic configuration of the toy of this invention certain specific flight characteristics can be imparted to it. Among these h alterations are variations in the taper of the cylinder walls, the shape and weight of the thickened area located at the leading end and the location of grooves, ribs, or slots in the surface of the tube. Variations such as just enumerated result in a device which, when in flight, tends to curve to the right or to the left, vto dip and rise even after being launched in a lower than horizontal trajectory, and to move in a helical pattern both clockwise and counterclockwise.

These and other features of the invention will be better understood by reference to the following figures in which:

FIG. 1 is a rear end view of the preferred embodiment of the device of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a detailed view of one of the longitudinal ribs provided on the exterior surface of the device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a section take along line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an alternate embodiment of a device of this invention; and

FIG. 5 is an illustration of the launching and flight of the device.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 3, there is shown a In this embodiment the tube 3,264,776 Patented August 9, 1966 lCC cylindrical tube 10 in which the `ratio of the length to the outside diameter dimensions of the cylinder is selected to be approximately 1 to 1.2. As will be discussed in more detail below, the ratio of tube diameter to over-all length is important to the airfoil characteristics of the device and are maintained within certain limits in order to produce a practical device. The tube of FIG. 1 is preferably injection molded and is provided with a taper on both sides of cylinder wall 12 of approximately one-half degree from the center line of the wall. This taper extends from the trailing end 14 of the tube to the leading end 16 producing a gradually thickening wall 12 from back to front of the tube. Provided at the leading end 16 and formed integrally therewith is a weighted portion 18 circumscribing the interior side of the tube 10. The weighted end 18 in this embodiment is accomplished by providing a substantial thickening of the cylinder adjacent the leading end.

The purpose of the weighted area is to add a suicient amount of weight to the leading end of the device to. cause the center of gravity of the tube 10 to be located closer to the leading end 16 than to the trailing end 14. In the preferred embodiment the weighting is arranged such that the center of gravity is shifted such that it is located at a distance of approximately 1/a the over-al1 length of the cylinder from the leading end of the tube. It has been found that, by providing a sufficient amount of balanced weight circumscribing the leading end of the tube, either in the form of a thickened area or by means of weights secured to the cylinder walls, that unusually long and stable flights result when the device is launched or propelled by a user with a rotational motion about its longitudinal axis imparted to it. Balancing of the weight at the leading end can be accomplished by means of an annular weight circumscribing the cylinder or by means of discontinuous weighting located at equal intervals around the circumference of the end.

To reduce wobble in iiight, it has been found useful to add a plurality of ribs or ridges 20 raised from the exterior surface of the cylinder 12 and extending longitudinally along the exterior surface of the tube. A detailed view of one of the ridges 20 is shown in FIG. 2. By providing a series of such ridges around the outside of the device, the thrower is enabled to gain greater purchase on the surface of the device and to thereby impart greater rotation to it when launched. Greater rotation in flight has been found to result in reduced wobble.

In addition to the use of polyvinyl chloride, the device of this invention also lends itself to fabrication from other materials such as high and low density polyethylene, styrene, wood aluminum and many other materials which are stiff and rigid and have a specific gravity of approximately 0.9 or greater.

As indicated above, the relationship of the diameter of the tube to its over-all length is important in achieving satisfactory airfoil characteristics. It has been found that for a given length, instability of the device increases as the diameter of the tube increases. Where the ratio of length to diameter is less than 1 to 5, an impractial device is the result. As the ratio of these dimensions increases from 1 to 5, stability increases to the point where, at a ratio of between approximately 1:1 to 1:2, greatest stability is obtained. As the ratio increases still more to a ratio of approximately 5 to 1, an impractical device is again the result. While the preferred embodiment is cylindrical, other tube configurations are possible without departing from the scope of the invention. These include a tube which is polygonal or conical in cross-section.

A number of variations in the configuration described above are possible within the basic requirement that the leading end be weighted for shifting the center of gravityv thickened portion as shown in 18 in FIG. 3 or by means f of an annular weight 22 adhesively secured or force tted within a straight cylinder 24 as shown in FIG. 4. In still;

another variation, the annular weight 22 having the same diameter as cylinder 24 is secured to ther leading end of the cylinder by suitable means.

The use of a typical toy of this invention is shownlin FIG. 5. In `that ligure the device is placed in the palm Iol the hand 26 with the fingers 28 wrapped around it'and is thrown or launched forward in a direction indicated generally at liti.V In launching the device has, in addition to its forward motion, a spiral or rotational motion about its longitudinal axis impartedto its so that as it moves generally along its axis of rotation it is spinning about this axis as shown at 32 and 314.y While itsdirection of travel has been indicated as being generally along its axis of rotation, this is not meant to exclude the possibility that the device dips or rises or curves to the leftand right while in ight. As theusers skillincreases and. more familiarity is gained with the use of the tube 10,it can be made to perform these and other maneuvers while in flight. Alternatively a mechanical launcher can be used to propel the device.

Various changes and modifications may be made in the embodiment of the invention illustrated and described herein without departing from the scope thereof as determined by the following claims.

What lis claimed is:

1. An aerodynamic device comprising a straight hollow tube having aleading end, a trailing end, and being sub, stantially fully open at the ends, the tube having weighting means such that the center of gravity of the tube .f is located approximately within the leading one-third ofthe length of the tube and said device `further having means comprising its length, weight and diameter so as to have aerodynamic properties when said device is propelled, leading end forward, with a rotational motion about its longitudinal axis.

2. An aerodynamic device according to claim 1 wherein the tube is cylindrical.

3. An aerodynamic device according to claim 2 wherein the weighting means are located at the leading end of the tube in a balanced distribution around its circumference.

4.V An aerodynamicldevice according to, claim 3 wherein atleast one longitudinal rib is disposed on the vexterior surface of the cylinder.

5.: An aerodynamic devicecomprising` a straight 'hollow tube having a `leading end, a trailing end `and beingsubstantially Yfully open at the endsi'the tube having a length todiameter ratio between about lto `5 andabout 5 to 1 and the vtube also having weighting means'such that the -Y center of` gravity ofY the Ytube is located approximately within the 'leadingrhalfof thecylinder, Asaid devicefurther: having means comprisingfits lengthgweightanddiarneter-y so as; to have aerodynamic properties'when said device is propelled, leading end forward, with a rotational mo-y tube, having ,a leading end, a trailing end and being substantially fully open at the ends, the tubeI having a length to diameter ratio betweenrabout 1 jtol land 1 to 2,. thek tube also having-weightingfmeans such that the centen of gravity of thetube is located-approximately within the leading one-half of the length of the tube and said devicel further having means comprising its length, weight and diameter so asto have aerodynamic properties when said device is propelled, leading end forward, with a rotational motion `about its longitudinal axis.

References Cited by the' Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,568,111 9/1951 Bond 220-`63 l 2,573,375 10/1951 Winsteadi 206--47 2,798,636 7/1957 Ketchledge 220-63 2,818,167 12/1957 McKinley 206-56 2,863,454 12/1958 Davidson et al. 20G- 63.2 3,137,405 6/1964` Gorcey 220-63 X' FOREIGN PATENTS `643,952 4/ 1937 Germany.

RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.


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Referenced by
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US3884466 *Apr 27, 1973May 20, 1975Thingamajig CorpGame ball
US3982489 *Nov 29, 1972Sep 28, 1976Abraham FlatauKinetic energy ring projectile
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U.S. Classification446/34, 473/589
International ClassificationA63H33/18, A63H33/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/18
European ClassificationA63H33/18