US 3326392 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 20, 1967 w. H. ROCK 3,326,392
KITE LOGGING Filed Feb. 15, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVE NTOR. WILLIAM H ROCK 3 BYZ M ATTORNEY June 20, 1967 w, ROCK 3,326,392
KITE LOGGING Filed Feb. 15, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. WILLIAM H. ROCK ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,326,392 KITE LOGGING William H. Rock, 5806 SE. 46th, Portland, Oreg. 97206 Filed Feb. 15, 1965, Ser. No. 432,662 3 Claims. (Cl. 212-71) This invention relates in general to a system of logging and more particularly is concerned with a concept of logging wherein lifting of logs is accomplished by kite means.
Thus, it is a primary objective of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of logging employing kite means to lift the logs in a high-lead type of operation.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a kite apparatus of a construction which has great lifting power for the intended purpose and also of a construction facilitating ready maneuverability thereof.
Another object is to provide a kite structure which is utilized in combination with lighter than air lifting balloons for initially raising the kite as well as for maintaintaining the latter airborne when necessary.
Still another object is to provide a novel system of cables for controlling operation of a kite which is utilized to lift logs in a logging operation.
Additional objects will become apparent from the following specification and claims, considered together with the accompanying drawings, wherein the numerals of reference indicate like parts.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a kite utilized in the method and apparatus of the instant invention;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary, plan view taken on the line 22 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a reduced top plan view of the kite of FIGURE 1 and showing line control means therefor;
FIGURE 4 is a foreshortened, elevational view, somewhat diagrammatic, showing a logging setup utilized with the present invention, the kite not being shown in this view;
FIGURE 5 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 55 of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is a reduced side elevational view of the kite of FIGURE 1 and illustrating lifting and non-lifting positions of the kite; and
FIGURE 7 is an elevational view of a modified form of logging setup embodying principles of the present invention.
The present invention is concerned with those types of logging operations wherein the logs are moved from one place to another while being wholly or partially suspended above the ground. In some existing logging operations, logs are transported from one place to another by overhead or high lead cable means. The use of balloons for lifting the logs has also been suggested.
In accordance with the present invention logs are lifted by a kite structure. FIGURE 1 illustrates in detail a kite construction 10 for the present purpose. This kite employs one or more sail members 12 comprising sheets of flexible material which may be rectangular in configuration. These sail members are constructed of a suitable material which has great tensile strength and is of light weight, such as plastic sheeting. The numeral 14 represents the front edges of the sail members 12 and the numeral 16 represents the rear edges. Each of the front and rear edges of the sail members is made non-collapsible laterally by means of a plurality of reinforcing bar segments or links 18, best shown in FIGURE 2. These bar segments are suitably interconnected to the sail members and for this purpose may be enclosed in looped end portions 20 of the sail members. Bar segments 18 are pivotally interconnected to each other by end eyes 22. Although the number of edge bars 18 may vary, five of such bars are "ice shown in FIGURE 1. The purpose of these bars is to prevent lateral compression or collapse of the sail members at their ends but at the same time to allow curvature thereof.
The various sail members 12 are interconnected by a plurality of front lines 24 and rear lines 26, these lines being secured to every joint 22 between the bars 18 whereby to maintain the sail members in a selected vertically spaced parallel relation. The lines 24 and 26 converge below the kite and are connected to single lines 28 and 30 respectively, the latter lines comprising control lines extending to winch means to be described for controlling the lifting power of the kite.
Steering lines 32 and 34 are also connected to the kite, such lines being connected to the front corners of the upper and lower sail members by yoke portions 36 and 38, respectively. That is, line 32 is connected to the upper and lower corners of the kite on one side thereof and line 34 is connected to the upper and lower corners of the kite on the other side. Lines 32 and 34 also extend to winch means as will be described hereinafter.
Connected to the upper sail member 12 at the front and rear of the kite, by suitable lines 40, are front balloons 42 and rear balloons 44. A first important feature of the balloons 42 and 44 is that they contain lighter than air gas and have sufficient lifting power to lift the entire kite assembly off the ground. That is, the balloons 42 and 44 are capable of initially raising the kite into an air stream and will always hold the kite up even though air is not moving in the area of the kite. A second important feature of the balloons 42 and 44 is that they are constructed so as to cause the kite to face into the air stream. That is, the balloons 42 are of streamlined shape whereas the balloons 44 are of spherical shape, and by means of such contoured construction air currents will flow freely past the balloons 42 but will impinge sufficiently against the balloons 44 to always maintain the rear of the kite downwind. Thus, the kite will always face forwardly into the air stream.
FIGURE 6 illustrates in full and dotted lines lifting and non-lifting postions of the sail members 12. That is, in substantially a maximum lifting position of the sail members 12 they are angled upwardly toward the front as shown in full lines, assuming the wind is coming from the direction of arrow 46 wherein it engages the bottom surface of the said sail members. This lifting position of the sail members is accomplished by letting out front line 28 a selected amount with relation to the rear line 30, or of course by pulling down rear line 30 with relation to the front line 28. To decrease the lifting force of the sail members, the front line 28 is pulled downwardly with relation to the rear line 30 (or the rear line 30 is slackened to permit the rear portion of the kite to move upwardly) whereby wind will not engage appreciably against the undersurface of the sail members. The phantom lines in FIGURE 6 illustrate this latter non-lifting position of the sail members 12. Thus, it is apparent that the lifting force of the kite can be readily adjusted by operation of the lines 28 and 30.
The kite can also be steered laterally, and such is accomplished by lines 32 and 34. That is, as was explained above, the lines 32 and 34 are connected to the front upper and lower opposite sides of the kite. Thus, if one line is tightened or the other line loosened, the kite can turn in the direction of the longer line. This is illustrated in the plan view of FIGURE 3 wherein the line 32 has been tightened (or the line 34 loosened). The kite will shift laterally in the direction of the loosened line as shown by arrow 48.
FIGURE 4 illustrates in side elevation a logging system or set-up for controlling the kite. Parts of the system are shown diagrammatically since they are of conventional construction. Lines 28 and 30 extend vertically downward from the kite and pass over individual, freely rotatable sheaves 50 mountedv on a connector member 52. These lines lead in a common direction from their respective sheaves and are connected to independently operable winch drums 54 and 56, respectively. Steering lines 32 and 34 extend directly from the kite to independently operable winch drums 58 and 60, respectively. It is preferred to locate the winch drums 58 and 60 a substantial distance from the site of logging operation and in a position upwind from said kite.
Engageable with a sheave 62 also mounted on the connector member 52 is a ground line 63. As seen in FIG- URE 4, the sheave 62 is disposed below the sheaves 50 and the ground line is connected at its opposite ends to winch drums 64 and 66 located on opposite sides of the logging site. As illustrated, the drum 66 may form a part of the power mechanism which drives drums 54 and 56 and thus be operable by the same operator who controls the latter drums. Drum 66 is independently operable relative to the drums 54 and 56. By operation of the winch drums 64 and 66 the kite can be let out or can be drawn downwardly toward the ground. That is, by loosening the line 63 the kite is adapted to move upwardly but when this line is tightened the kite assembly is drawn downwardly.
Connected between the connector member 52 and a winch drum 70 operated by the same power mechanism as drum 64 is a haul back line 72. It is apparent that the member 52 may be moved to the left in FIGURE 4 by hauling in line 72 on the drum 70 and that it may be moved to the right by letting out line 72 and hauling in lines 28 and 30.
Connector member 52 also supports a sheave or block assembly 74operated in its ratio function by a lifting line 76 connected at its end opposite from the sheave assembly 74 to a winch drum 78 forming a part of the power mechanism which drives drums 64 and 70. Connected to the bottom sheave of sheave assembly 74 is a log or tag line 80 adapted to be connected to trees or the logs 94 by suitable choker means, not shown, on its lower end.
It is preferred to reeve the lines 63, 72 and 76 through a multiple sheave 81 anchored to the ground at a point between the winch assembly 64, 70, 78 and the log dump 96. Sheave 81 may be anchored to the ground by any suitable means such as by securing it to a stump or any other suitable anchor point, and serve to more efficiently handle the manipulation of the connector member 52 with relation to the logging area and the log dump.
Fair lead means are utilized for each of the various lines adjacent their winch drums. For example, referring to FIGURE 5, which comprises a cross sectional view across lines 32 and 34, the fair lead means comprises a multiple guide pulley 82 supported on a line 84 extending crosswise of the lines '32 and 34 and connected at its ends to trees or spar poles 86. It is noted that the fair lead means is located closely adjacent the respective drums and it thus serves to lead the lines efficiently onto their respective winch drums. That is, it is clear that the kite may shift back and forth in the wind or the logging area may be shifted, and it is desirable that in any position of the kite its control lines are capable of efficient engagement with their winch drums. Although the fair lead means 82 are shown as comprising sheaves they may comprise any suitable guide means. Lines 28 and 30 and lines 63, 72, 76 have similar fair lead means 88 and 90, respectively.
'In the operation of the present system, the various winches are located selectively to achieve proper control of the kite. That is, the winch assemblies 64, 70, 78 and 54,
56, 66 are located strategically in opposite spaced relation from the logging site. Such may span level ground, sloping ground, or any contour, since as will be seen the logs are lifted and carried above the ground. The winch drums 58 and 60 are also selectively located preferably upwind and a substantial distance from the logging area, in order to have good lateral steering control of the kite. The arrow 92 designates the direction of the prevailing wind.
Assuming, for purposes of illustration, that it is desired to pick up a tree 94 and haul it to a log dump 96, it being assumed that the kite has been lifted into the air by the balloons 42 and 44 and is sufficiently high to exert an upward lifting force by air currents. The tilted position of the sail members and thus the lifting force of the kite is controlled by operation of the lines 28 and 30 on the drums 54 and 56 as explained hereinbefore. The kite is then lowered sufficiently such that the log line is capable of connection to a tree 94 while it is still standing or after it has been felled. Lowering the kite and its assembly is accomplished by shortening ground line 63 by one or both of the winches 64 and 66 and also if necessary by individual operation of lines 28 and 30 to selectively tilt the sail members. Adjustment of the connector member 52 and thus the log line 80 to a position over the trees or log is accomplished by operation of the haul back line 72 simultaneously with the operation of the lines 28 and 30. That is, as explained before if it is necessary to move the member 52 to the left, the haul back line 72 is shortened and the lines 28 and 30 lengthened. If it is desired to move the member 52 to the right, then the lines 28 and 30 are hauled in a selected amount and the haul back line 72 lengthened. When lines 28 and 30 are operated in this latter function they can be let or hauled in at exactly the same rate in order to avoid changing the lifting angle of the sail members 12. Lateral shifting of the kite can be accomplished if necessary by individual operation of lines 32 and 34.
With the member 52 located in a desired position wherein the log line 80 can be connected to a tree or log, a choker setter connects the log line to the tree or log, and when the latter is free to be raised the winch 78 is operated to haul in the lifting line 76 a selected amount. Such lifts the log or tree off the ground through the ratio drive of the sheave assembly 74. It may be necessary to operate the lines 28 and 30 at this time to adjust the lifting power of the kite. Furthermore, also the kite lines may be hauled together to obtain an additional, temporary lifting power. Thereupon, the member 52 may be moved to the right to swing the log over the log dump 96, such being accomplished by suitable operation of the lines 28 and 30 and the haul back line 72 as described hereinbefore. The log may then be lowered by letting out lifting line 76. If it is necessary to lower the member 52 in order to deposit the log, such is accomplished by hauling in the ground line 63 a selected amount or by altering the lifting power of the kite by individual operation of lines 28 and 30, or both. It is apparent that if the kite, when affected by air currents, has swung off to one side or the other with relation to said line, the member 52 is readily pulled to a position vertically over the log dump by the hauling in of the lines 28, 30, 63, 72 and 76. It is apparent that the multiple sheave 81 may be shifted laterally to follow the area to be logged.
It is to be understood that all the winch drums are operable independently of the others for independent winding or unwinding of their respective lines as necessary. It is also to be understood that the winch assemblies are movable so that they can be shifted from place to place to provide effective operation of their respective lines. Positioning of the various winch assemblies may be necessitated by the shifting of the logging area or by the direction of the prevailing wind. The operators of the Winch drums will be in direct communication with each other, such as by radio or telephone, so that the necessary line movements can be synchronized.
FIGURE 7 illustrates a somewhat modified form of logging system. In this system the two lines 28 and 30 operate over a double sheave 98 and, similar to the system f FIGURE 4, lead to winch drums 54 and 56.
Connected directly to the housing of sheave 98 is a haul back line 100 connected to a winch drum 102. Also connected to this sheave housing is a log or tag line 104. The kite is also associated with steering lines 32 and 34, not shown. For moving a log 94 in one direction or the other between the drums 54, 56 and the drum 102, the lines 28 and 30 are hauled in and the line 100 loosened, or vice versa. If it is desired to lower the log, then the line 100 is hauled in selectively and the lines 28 and 30 held taut. It is apparent that by suitable manipulation of the lines 28 and 30 together with the line 100 vertical disposition of the sheave 98 can be achieved as well as longitudinal positioning between the winch drums 54, 56 and 102.
Since the kite will be flown at substantially high altitudes, it is necessary that it have marker lights 106 thereon. As shown, these lights are provided on the highest point thereof such as on top of the balloons 106.
It is to be understood that the form of my invention herein shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of my invention or the scope of the subjoined claims. Although the balloons 42 and 44 are described herein as having only sufiicient lifting power to raise the kite assembly, they may be of suflicient lighter than air volume to assist the kite in lifting part of the weight of a log.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. A logging system of the type wherein logs are moved from place to place while lifted off the ground, comprising a kite, a connector member, means connecting said connector member to a log, a pair of movable first line means, power drive means anchored to the ground and connected to said first line means for operating the same, said first line means being connected directly to the front of said kite at opposite sides thereof for steering the kite laterally upon operation of said power drive means, movable second line means extending through said connector member and operably connected to said kite for controlling airborne movement of the kite longitudinally along a logging site, and power drive means anchored to the ground and connected to said second line means for operating the same, said kite has front and rear ends and including at least one lighter than air balloon connected to each of said front and rear ends at the upper end thereof, said balloons being capable of lifting the weight of said kite, the balloon on the front end of said kite having less air resistance than the balloon on the rear end of the kite for directing the kite with its front end toward an air current.
2. The logging system of claim 1 wherein said kite includes at least two horizontal sail portions having front and rear edges, and third line means connected at one end to said front and rear bottom edges of said kite for tilting the latter relative to the horizontal.
3. The logging system of claim 1 wherein said means connecting the kite to a log includes a connector member, a ratio lifting line assembly depending from said connector member, and a log line on said ratio lifting assembly for attachment to a log.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS gress AP 2 C4 (pp. 84-89 relied on).
EVON C. BLUNK, Primary Examiner.
HUGO O. SCHULZ, Examiner. A. L. LEVINE, H. C. HORNSBY, Assistant Examiners,