US 3330512 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 11, 1967 J L 3,330,512
FLYING SAUCER KITE Filed Oct. 24, 1965 3 )NVENTOR.
JAMES R. NULL lam/9 M ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,330,512 FLYING SAUCER KITE James R. Null, Westland Road, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52410 Filed Oct. 24, 1965, Ser. No. 504,872 Claims. (Cl. 244-153) This invention relates to kites and more particularly to a kite constructed in the shape of a saucer.
The kite is an extremely old device that has given many boys, girls and adults undetermined thrills as well as an education in the scienece of aerodynamics. Throughout the years, kites of many different shapes and designs have been flown with varying degrees of success. Some design in recent years have taken on the appearance of saucers, these designs being inspired by the space age and space exploration. However, unless the wind conditions are just right, some of these kite designs are difficult to fly. Moreover, kites of some designs fly a considerable distance out and away from the person controlling it, but the actual height above the ground is not too great. Others, particularly those of the saucer designs, are unstable and are relatively diificult to assembly as well as expensive.
It is, therefore, a principal object of my invention to provide an improved kite of the saucer type which will fly in almost any wind conditions including only a very slight breeze.
It is another object of the inveniton to provide an im- 7 proved kite design of the saucer type which is very stable in almost any Wind.
It is 'a further object of my invention to provide an improved design for a kite of the saucer type which is very easy to fly and which is very simple to assemble. In accordance with this object, the preferred embodiment of my novel kite design contains a minimum number of parts which are easily manufactured and easily assembled thus keeping the cost of the kite to a minimum.
These and other objects and features of my invention will be readily apparent from a consideration of the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which disclose a preferred embodiment of the invention and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a kite constructed according to the principles of my invention, viewing the kite from below and showing the stabilizer detached from the saucer portion of the kite;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view through the hub of the kite and showing the connecting details;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the saucer portion of the kite to which the control line at attached; and
FIG. 4 is a view, partly in section, of a stabilizing fin.
The materials used in constructing the preferred embodiment of the saucer described hereinafter should be of any suitable lightweight material which has the strength sufilcient to resist the lift forces which are applied to the kite in flight. The components thus may be made of plastic, lightweight wood, such as balsa or spruce, and in some instances, piano wire may be used for the curved components. It will be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to construction of the kite from any particular material.
The kite illustrated in the drawing consists of a saucershaped main body, indicated generally by the reference numeral 10, to which is connected a stabilizer indicated generally by the reference numeral 12. The saucer-shaped main body consists of a 'hub 14 which contains a plurality of radially extending holes 15 each adapted to receive one of a plurality of spars 16. The holes 15 may be drilled in the hub 14, or the hub 14 may be molded with the holes 15 in it. Preferably, the holes 15 are pro- 3,330,512 Patented July 11, 1967 vided around the hub 14 at spaced intervals of 45 although a different spacing could be provided. The holes 15 are also formed in the hub 14 at a slight angle from the horizontal, about 3 from the horizontal being the preferred amount of pitch.
As indicated, one end of a spar 16 is received in each of the holes 15 in the hub 14. The spars 16 therefore extend radially outwardly from the hub at equally spaced intervals and slightly upwardly from the horizontal, the spars 16 all extending upwardly at the same angle forming a saucer-shaped frame. Preferably, the diameter of the holes 15 in the hub 14 and the diameter or dimensions of the spars 16 are such that the spars will fit tightly in the openings. This assists in holding the spars 16 in place.
The spars 16 are all the same length so as to provide a circular or saucer-shaped main body 10 the overall diameter of which can be any desired size. For example, the overall diameter might be as small as thirty inches or as large as 6 or 8 feet. The size is not critical and does form a part of the invention.
The outer end of the spars 16 are interconnected by a peripheral ring 18 of thin, lightweight material which has sufficient flexibility to be bent to the desired curvature without breaking. The ring 18 is threaded through openings near the ends of the spars 16 after the spars have been fixed to the hub 14. Alternately, fittings (not shown) can be molded out of plastic or other material, the fittings each having an opening extending through it to receive the ring 18. Each fitting would also be formed with a hole transverse to the ring-opening that will permit the fitting to he slipped over the end of the spar 16. The peripheral ring 18 may be of a single piece or of several pieces the ends of which are joined by a splicer 20. Ring 18 assists in maintaining the spars 16 in the openings 15 in the hub 14 as well as serving to maintain the desired angularity of the spars 16.
The stabilizer 12 consists of one or more fins 22 joined by a connecting member 24. Three such fins have been shown for purposes of illustration, it being understood that the number of fins used varies depending upon the size of the kite and the wind conditions. The greater the number of fins 22, the more stability the kite will have, and three fins are usually sufficient for most flying con ditions.
Each fin 22 consists of a straight upper bar 26 that is provided with transverse openings near each end. Each fin 22 is formed by bending a flexible member 28 to the shape shown which is somewhat semicircular. The ends of the flexible members 28 are received in the openings in the ends of the straight bar 26, a tight fit being pro- Vided to assist in positioning and holding the flexible member 28 in place. The fins 22 are joined together to form the stabilizer 12 by the connecting member 24 which extends through an opening in the bar 26 of each fin 22 as shown. The stabilizer 12 is then aflixed to the main body 10 by providing properly positioned openings 30 in three of the spars 16 as best seen in FIG. 1. One end of the flexible curved member 28 of each fin 22 extends through the bar 26 and into the corresponding opening 30. A tight fit between opening 30 and the end of member 28 is provided thus holding the stabilizer 12 in place.
The main body 10 is covered with a lightweight fabric of suflicient strength to resist the lift exerted on the kite. The covering may be affixed to the frame of main body 10 by providing tabs 31 around the edge which tabs are folded over the ring 18 and glued to the back side of the covering. Only the lower side of the saucer 10 need be covered. Similarly, each of the fins 22 is covered, the stabilizer assembly 12 being assembled in place after the covering has been placed on the main body 10.
A line 32 for controlling and retrieving the kite must be provided. In order for the kite to fly properly, the control line 32 should be fixed at a point on the kite near the peripheral ring 18 diametrically opposite to the center of the stabilizer 12. Control line 32 is preferably very lightweight, #8 sewing thread being preferable although heavier material is satisfactory. A marked guide 34 for attaching the line 32 is provided at the point of connection of the line 32. The guide is pre-marked with points spaced at about a quarter of an inch indicating the points at which the line 32 should be attached. The line 32 is initially threaded through openings made at the marked points on each side of the spar 16 and tied around the spar as indicated in FIG. 3. However, if in flight the kite dives to one side or the other, the line 32 is threaded through an opening made at the next mark in the direction opposite to the dive. When this is done, the line 32 is tied around the peripheral ring 18.
The kite is now ready to fly. It should be flown in an open field away from any obstruction. Preferably, it should not be flown in very high winds and flies best in a very light or gentle breeze. The kite is easiest to fly if another person assists by taking the kite and walking with the wind two or three hundred feet, holding it above his head and letting it go as soon as a breeze comes along. The individual controlling the end of the control line 32 may have to run with it if there is no breeze near the ground. However, when it gets up high enough where there is a breeze, it will fly straight overhead and as high as desired.
To take the kite out of the air, the string is wound up on a spool. If the kite should go into a dive, the thread can be easily broken and the kite will descend alone without damage.
Although I have described only a preferred embodiment of my invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various revisions and modifications can be made in the specific construction shown without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is my intention, however, that any such revisions or modifications as are obvious to those skilled in the art will be included within the scope of the following claims.
1. A kite comprising a hub, a plurality of spars extending radially from said hub, means interconnecting the outer ends of said spars, an imperforate covering over said spars to form a main body, a plurality of spacedapart fins extending downwardly from and on the same side of the general plane of said main body near the outer periphery thereof, said fins being parallel to each other and parallel to the diameter of said main body which passes through the forwardmost point of said kite, and means for attaching a control line at a single point near the periphery of said main body and opposite to said fins.
2. The kite of claim 1 in which the outer end of each spar has an opening therein, and a circular ring extends through each of said openings to join the outer ends of said spars.
3. The kite of claim 1 in which said fins are connected together to form a stabilizer assembly, said assembly being removably aflixed to said main body.
4. The kite of claim 3 in which said fins each comprise a straight member, a curved member joined at its ends to the ends of said straight member, and an imperforate covering over said members.
5. The kite of claim 4 in which one end of at least one of said curved members extends through its respective straight member, and at least one of said spars is provided with a transverse opening for receiving the end of said curved member thereby to atfix said stabilizer assembly to said main body.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,632,614 3/1953 Bodell 244-153 2,811,327 10/1957 Roe 244153 3,100,895 8/1963 Resnick 244-153 MILTON BUCHLER, Primary Examiner.
P. E. SAUBERER, Assistant Examiner.