US 3664613 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 23, 1972 o. B. JOHNSTON 3,664,613
INFLATABLE KITE WITH RELEASABLE ACCEBSORY Filed Nov. 25, 1970 INVENTOR.
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United States Patent 3,664,613 INFLATABLE KITE WITH RELEASABLE ACCESSORY Orin B. Johnston, 5548 W. 78th St., Minneapolis, Minn. 55435 Filed Nov. 25, 1970, Ser. No. 92,641
Int. Cl. A63h 27/0 US. Cl. 244-155 R 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An inflatable kite, designed to simulate a rocket. The kite has a variable dihedral angle for self-stabilization. An accessory nose cone, mounted on the top of the kite with a parachute attached to the nose cone, is releasable by the operator so that it parachutes to the ground to simulate a space vehicle command module.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to kites and particularly to inflatable kites to be inflated with air or a lighter-than-air gas. More particularly it relates to an inflatable kite whose shape is not intended to be held relatively rigid in flight by reason of being inflated but is intended to provide flexibility between each of a right and left inflated Wing relative to a central housing provided a variable dihedral angle. The design permits the operator to release a nose cone attached to the nose of the kite and having a parachute rigged thereto so that upon release it parachutes to the ground simulating the reentry of a space vehicle command module.
Historically, kites have been made of paper or plastic stretched over a wooden frame. This configuration has made them diflicult to store and subject to easy breakage in flight. Disadvantages of this type were intended to be overcome by inflatable kites such as that described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,486,158. The shape of the inflatable kite depends upon it being inflated and therefore when deflated, the inflatable kite is capable of being folded and stored in a very small volume, reducing the possibility of damage while in storage. Further, the inflatable kite is typically made of a light, durable plastic which is capable of withstanding impact from other objects when the kite is in flight.
Inflatatable kites however, have depended upon rigidity of shape in flight, such shape being kept rigid by the trapped air or other gas. This rigidity of shape results in a kite which has a tendency toward instability. My kite, because of the variable dihedral angle, is capable of selfstabilization.
Also in the case of both the frame-type kite and the inflatable kite, communication with the kite by the operator is desirable. For example, sending notes to the kite via the kite string is typically done. The ability to release a simulated command module is much more sophisticated and therefore a highly-desirable feature.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The inflatable kite to which this invention relates has a center or body portion which is generally cylindricalshaped when inflated tapering gradually at the approximately upper third portion to a smaller top diameter. Attached to the central portion is a right wing and a left wing, mirror images of each other, each having an air passage at the top end connected to the body and each having an air passage at the bottom end connected to the body so that the wings and the body can be inflated from one point. The wings are also connected to the body by means of a web extending from the top air connection to the bottom air connection on each side.
The wings are quite large in cross section, being approximately double the diameter of the central portion, or body. The air passages are relatively small. The air pressure is equalized throughout the kite and thus the small diameter passages remain very flexible so that the wings are readily movable with respect to the body. The angle that the wing makes with the body is the dihedral angle which is then continuously and automatically adjustable in flight.
The operator, by the simple expedient of pulling a string, is able to effect the release of a simulated space vehicle command module to which a parachute is rigged. Upon release, the simulated command module is parachuted to earth. The simulated senvice module remains in place at the top of the kite.
'In the preferred embodiment, the kite is made of a thin polyethylene film having between 5 /2 and 6 percent ethyl vinyl acetate (*EVA). The EVA adds to the elasticity of the polyethelene film and it also tends to make it more free of pinholes. The particular polyethelene used also is heat-sealable, a useful characteristic in the manufacturing process.
Therefore, an object of this invention is to provide an inflatable kite with an accessory to which a parachute is connected, releasable from the ground.
Another object of this invention is to provide a winged, inflatable kite with a continuous and automatic adjustable dihedral angle for self-stabilization.
Another object is to provide a kite of durable material, able to withstand impacts with other objects in flight and impact with the ground upon landing.
Another object is to provide an inflatable kite of very light material so that it is readily buoyant when filled with air or. lighter-than-air gas.
Still another object is to provide an inflatable kite that is readily deflatable and when deflated is easy to fold for packaging, storage or shipping.
These and other objects will become more apparent in the description that follows:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the kite in flight, with the nose cone accessory in place and a tail installed. There is also a perspective view of the parachute, in phantom, carrying the nose cone to the ground just after release from the kite.
FIG. 2 is an exploded bottom plan view.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the kite taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION FIG. 1 illustrates the kite 1 in flight with a tail 27 attached. The central body portion 2 resembles a rocket body to which is attached right wing 3 and left wing 4. Right hand top port 8 and right hand lower port 10 together with the right hand web 20 connect right wing 3 to the central body portion 2. In like manner, left hand top port 9 and left hand lower port 11, together with left hand web 21 connect left wing 4 to the central body portion 2. The generally cylindrical central body portion 2 has a tapered section 7 at the top. A generally hollowedout cylinder 5 (service module) fits over the tapered portion 7 of the central body portion 2. A nose cone accessory 6 (command module) fits into the hollow cylinder 5 and the parachute 13 is shown folded in place and connected to cylinder 5 by way of the elastic band 15. A release cord 16 is fastened to elastic band 15. The parachute 13, the parachute rigging 14 and the accessory nose cone 6 are shown in phantom in FIG. 1 to illustrate the appearance shortly after release from the main kite 1. The top lines 22 and the lower lines 23 are all connected together at the adjustable lead loop 17 at one end and at the other are each attached to a separate line connector 24 (see FIG. 2). The operating cord 12 is connected to the lead loop 17 at one end and is held by the operator at the other. Tail 27 is made up of a plurality of strips of sheet material, tied at each end to resemble rocket exhaust. It is secured to the kite at inflating tube 18.
With reference to FIG. 2, the inflating tube 18 can be more clearly seen and the plug 19 for the inflating tube is shown in place. A right hand wing seam 25 and a left hand wing seam 26 are also shown in FIG. 2. FIG. 2 illustrates the relationship of hollow cylinder 5 to the tapered portion 7 of the central body portion 2 and the relationship of the nose accessory 6.
FIG. 3 is a cross section of the kite illustrating the relationship of an upper sheet of gas impervious material 28 and a lower sheet of gas impervious material 29. They are sealed together at right wing seam 25 and left wing seam 26 and at right hand web 20 and left hand web 21.
MODE OF OPERATION The kite is inflated with air or :gas through the filler pipe 18, the gas inflating the central body portion 2 and flowing into the ports 8, 9, 10 and 11 inflating them and passing into the wings 3 and 4 inflating them. The parachute 13 is folded and laid alongside of the cylinder 5 and fastened with the elastic band 15. The nose cone 6 is partially inserted into the cylinder 5.
If desired, a tail 27 may be attached to the filler tube 18 or to the fillter tube plug 19 which is inserted into the filler tube to prevent leakage of the gas. The kite is made airborne in a conventional fashion with the operator holding onto the operating cord 12 and also the release cord 16. When it is desired to release the nose cone accessory 6, the operator pulls on release cord 16 which in turn stretches the elastic band 15. This action causes a deflection of the tapered portion 7 resulting in the elastic band slipping off the top of tapered portion 7. Parachute 13 is therefore released, pulling nose cone 6 out of cylinder 5. Parachute 13 then carries nose cone 6 to the ground.
What is claimed is:
1. An inflatable kite, formed of similarly configured sheets of gas impervious material, secured together along their outer matching edges and along internal edges to provide a hollow central body portion and a right and left hollow wing, the improvement comprising:
(a) a flexible web between the body portion and the right wing and a flexible web between the body portion and the left wing to provide a variable dihedral angle for each of the right and left wings,
(b) a nose cone accessory, detachably mounted at the top of the body portion,
(0) a parachute rigged to the nose cone accessory and detachably mounted to the top of the body portion, and
(d) means for releasing the nose cone accessory and the parachute, operable from the ground, to permit the nose cone accessory to parachute to the ground.
2. The kite of claim 1 further comprising:
(e) a filler tube, attached to the central body portion through which air or lighter-than-air gas is passed to inflate the kite, and
(f) at least one port between the body portion and each of the right wing and the left wing to permit inflation of the wings through the filler tube.
. 3. The kite of claim 2 further comprising:
(g) a right upper port and a left upper port between the upper edge of the right and left wing respectively and the body portion, and
(h) a right lower portion and a left lower port between the lower edge of the right and left wing respectively and the body portion, the ports being of such dimension that the wings resist excessively rapid changes in their respective dihedral angles.
4. The kite of claim 3 further comprising:
(i) nose cone holding means, generally cylindrical in shape, to fit over the upper end of the body portion and into which the nose cone accessory is at least partially inserted.
5. The kite of claim 4 wherein the releasing means further comprise:
(j) an elastic band to secure the parachute to the nose cone holding means, and
(k) a cord, secured to the elastic band, for stretching and removing the elastic band freeing the parachute which in turn removes the nose cone accessory.
6. The kite of claim 5, further comprising:
(1) a tether,
(m) adjusting means, connected to the tether,
(u) an adjustable rigging comprised of four lines secured to the kite and to the adjusting means, the adjusting means providing variable lengths of the lines of the shroud permitting change of the pitch attitude, and
(o) a tail section, connected to the filler tube, intended to resemble rocket exhaust.
, References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,464,720 3/1949 Rose 244l R 2,950,887 8/1960 Hidding 244 R 2,960,298 11/1960 Jones 244--153 R 3,092,359 6/1963 Pohl 244154 3,093,354 6/1963 Pohl 244154 DUANE A. REGER, Primary Examiner P. E. SAUBERER, Assistant Examiner 37 33 UNI'JTEK) STATES PATENT OFFICE CEFLKHFICATE OF CORREQTION Patent N 3,664,613 Dated May 23, 1972 Inventor(s) Orin B. Johnston It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said LcttersvPatent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 4, line 15, "portion" should be port-.
Signed and sealed this 3rd day of October 19?":
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer