US 3698671 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Barry KITE PARACHUTE UNIT WITH AUTOMATIC EJECTOR  Inventor: Walter D. Barry, 629 South Arizona Avenue, Los Angeles, Calif. 90023  Filed: May 12, 1971  Appl. No.: 142,522
Related u.s. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 874,591, Nov.
6, 1969, abandoned.
 U.S. Cl. ..244/l55 R 151 Int. Cl ..B64c 31/06  Field of Search ..244/l55 R, 153 R  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Larson ..244/155 R [451 Oct. 17, 1972 2,983,471 5/1961 Melvin ..244/155 R Primary Examiner-Milton Buchler Assistant Examiner-Paul E. Sauberer Attorney-Smith, Roston & Pavitt  ABSTRACT A novel kite unit including an automatic ejector along the kite line and positioned near the kite end. This unit includes a stop disc near the lower end of the kite line and a parachute unit which is movable on the kite line from the stop disc upwards to the automatic ejector where the parachute is disengaged and is brought to earth by means of gravity, the parachute spreading its canopy during descent in order to effect a slow rate of downward travel.
7 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEDUBI n 1972 SHEEI 2 0F 2 lrramwxr @fi Mar KITE PARACl-IUTE UNIT WITH AUTOMATIC EJECTOR This is a continuation-in-part application of application Ser. No. 874,591, filed Nov. 6, 1969, and now abandoned.
This invention relates to childrens kites, and more particularly to a kite accessory. More specifically, the invention relates to a parachute which is hooked onto a kite string. The parachute is blown up the string by the wind until it reaches an ejector fastened to the string. The ejector causes the parachute to become unhooked from the string so that it falls slowly to the ground.
Although the concept of a kite accessory of this type is not novel, per se, very few of such accessories have been successful either 1) because the parachute could not be driven up the kite string, or (2) because the parachute could not properly mount the ejector to be released from the string.
When an accessory of this type is produced, its cost must be very low since it is normally purchased by children. This requirement dictates that the parachute canopy be formed from very lightweight material which, unfortunately, often hangs in a very narrow configuration which does not. catch enough wind to be blown up the string.
The cost factor also dictates that the ejector must be manufactured from relatively inexpensive materials. Further, the ejector must be very light weight so as to avoid adverse effects on flying the kite. Prior art ejectors, in attempting to meet these requirements have been unsatisfactory in their performance since they have (1) comprised such a large amount of material as to be too heavy for satisfactory kite flying, (2) been so fastened to the kite string that the parachute hook can become wedged between the ejector and the string and not be released, and/or (3) been formed so as to provide a plurality of ejector vanes which may prevent release of the parachute if the hook becomes wedged on two adjacent vanes.
It is therefore the principal object of the present invention to provide a kite assembly which includes a kite string or a line connected at one end to the kite, the other end being held in the hand of a child or person flying the kite.
A parachute is included and is provided with an open hook upon the parachute canopy allowing the wind to carry the parachute upwards on the kite line, whereupon reaching the ejector device, the parachute is automatically released so that it may descend with its canopy spread in a well-known fashion.
The main body of the parachute canopy is formed of relatively lightweight material such as a very thin polyethylene. This causes the weight of the parachute to be very small and wind can easily blow it up the kite line to the ejector.
At the apex of the canopy, a large angle conical cap is secured to the canopy itself, causing the main body of the canopy to be spread open when the parachute is hooked onto the kite string. A hook is fastened to the cap for mounting the parachute on the string. Since the canopy main body is spread open by the cap and cannot drape into a narrow configuration, a greater sail area is presented to the wind. Thus, the parachute will ride up the string with greater velocity.
The ejector is formed from a lightweight, thin, relatively rigid material which has a somewhat triangularlike periphery. The material is folded along a center line extending from the apex of the triangle. Thus, the outer sides thereof are brought together to form a single vane surface and the unit assumes a configuration resembling a smaller triangle. This results inv a trough being formed within the vane along the inside of the fold line, extending from the apex of the vane at which the material was initially folded.
The kite string is passed through a number of coaxial apertures formed in the now adjacent sides of the vane to position the ejector on the string and to hold the sides tightly together. In use, the ejector is positioned near the kite and is oriented with the apex pointing down, or away from the kite.
At a position close to the ejector apex, the string is threaded through only one side of the vane from the outside thereof. Then the string is passes along the trough between the sides and exits from the ejector in contact with and on top of the apex.
A weight is fastened to the fold line so that the fold line is normally held below the kite string and the folded sides extend upwardly therefrom to properly position the vane surface for ejection of the parachute.
As the parachute is blown up the string, its weight will hold the kite string tightly against both the apex and the bottom of the trough and it will be impossible for the hook to become wedged between the ejector and the string. Thus, the hook will be transferred from the string directly onto the surface of the vane. 7
Since the vane is substantially triangular, as the parachute moves along the vane surface, it will move continuously further away from the string and the moment arm about the kite string will progressively increase until it exceeds the moment arm generated by the weight attached to the fold line. At that instant, the vane will tilt over far enough to release the hook and the parachute will sail to the ground and can be retrieved for reattachment to the string.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a kite and parachute combination which will have an automatic ejector device which may be readily attached to any existing kite line and will give a child further pleasure when flying a kite.
Other objects of the present invention are to provide a parachute with automatic ejector means which is simple in design, inexpensive to manufacture, rugged in construction, easy to use and efficient in operation.
These and other objects will be readily evident upon a study of the following specification and the accompanying drawing herein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present inventio shown in operative use;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the parachute shown enlarged with its canopy spread as it sails to the ground;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the automatic ejector device shown as it is being secured to a kite line;
FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the automatic ejector device shown in operative use;
FIG. 5 is a view, similar to FIG. 4, showing the sides of the ejector spread slightly to more clearly illustrate the position of the ejector on the kite string;
FIG. 6 is a partial elevation of the ejector, taken along a line VI-Vl of FIG. 5, showing the passage of the string through the trough and over the apex of the ejector; and
FIGS. 7 and 8 are enlarged views of the ejector, indicating with greater detail, the method of releasing the parachute.
According to this invention, a kite unit 10 is shown to include a kite 11 which is secured to one end of kite line 12, the opposite end of kite line 12 being held within the hand of a child 13.
A plastic disc 14 may be slotted so as to be secured upon kite line 12, disc 14 serving as stop means for the parachute unit 15, if desired.
An automatic ejector unit 16 is secured to line 12 and is positioned close to kite 11, as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawing. The apex 41 of the ejector is pointed toward the person 13 holding the string 12.
Automatic ejector 16 is made from a stiff, lightweight material such as cardboard, plastic, or the like, and has a triangular-like configuration as shown in FIG. 3. A fold line 17 is formed so as to divide ejector unit 16 into like panels 18. The fold line starts from the apex 41 and forms a trough 43 between the panels 18 when the panels are folded together, as shown in FIGS. 4, 5, 7, and 8.
A plurality of coaxial openings 19 through panels 18 allows kite line 12 to be threaded therethrough from one side of the ejector to the other. The ejector unit 16 is folded along the fold lines 17 so that the edges 20 align with each other as is shown in FIG. 4 of the drawing. Since the line or string is threaded back and forth through the ejector, the ejector is held shut with the panels 18 adjacent to one another and the ejector will not move along the line. Since the ejector is held shut, the surfaces 20 are held close together and a book 28' on the parachute cannot become caught between them.
Adjacent the apex 41 of the ejector, a single aperture 45 is formed in one of the side walls. The line 12 is threaded from the outside of panel 18, through aperture 45, and into the trough 43. The line is then directed down the trough and passes over the apex 41 in close contact therewith. This is particularly illustrated in FIG. 6 wherein it becomes apparent that as the parachute book 28' moves in the direction of the arrow, it will be transferred from line 12 to surfaces without possibility of interference from apex 41. v
A weight 29 is fastened to the fold line 17 so that the normal position of the ejectoris such that apex 41 is below line 12 and surfaces 20 extend above it.
The parachute unit 15 is composed of a lightweight plastic canopy 21 having a plurality of nylon or other suitable material, shrouds 22, the opposite end of each 7 shroud being secured to one of a plurality of peripheral openings 23 in a disc 24. Disc 24 is also provided with a central opening 25 in which is secured a string 26 carrying a weight 27. Alternatively, shrouds may pass through disc 24 and each may be attached to the weight individually.
The upper end of canopy 21 is secured by suitable means to a conical cap member 28 to which is attached an open ended hook 28'. 7
Cap 28 holds the main body of the canopy 21 in a relatively widespread configuration since it is manufactured from a material which is relatively rigid, as compared to the material of the main body. Such a widespread configuration causes the parachute to present a large sail area to the wind so that it will be blown up the kite line more quickly and/or by lesser wind forces. I
In use, plastic disc 14 is, if desired, slipped over the kite line 12 and the parachute unit 15 has its hook 28' placed upon kite line 12 above disc 14 so that it can move toward kite 11. Line 12 is then let out a suitable distance so that the parachute unit 15 is located where the wind will push it up the line 12 until it reaches the automatic ejector 16.
As shown in FIGS. 4 and 6-8 of the drawings, the wind continues to push the parachute unit 15 toward kite 11 until the hook 28' approaches the ejector unit 16. The shape of the ejector unit 16 is pointed at apex 41 on the end the parachute 15 approaches. As the pointed portion of ejector unit 16 is on the lower side of kite line 12, the hook 28' has no problem traveling from kite line 12 onto surfaces 20 of ejector unit 16.
The weight of the parachute on line 12 just before hook 28' reaches apex 41 will also tend to hold the line against the apex and the bottom of the trough. This prevents the occurrence of any separation between them, against which hook 28 could be caught and prevented from riding up the ejector surfaces 20.
As hook 28' of parachute unit starts up edges 20 of the ejector unit 16, the angle of the book 28' and the angle of the canopy 28 cause the ejector unit 16 to rotate in the direction the hook 28' is hooked onto the kite line 12, and as hook 28 continues up edges 20 of ejector 16 the weight of the parachute unit 15 overcomes the weight 29 on the ejector unit 16, and the ejector unit continues to rotate and thereby permits hook 28 of parachute unit 15 to slide off edge 20 of ejector unit 16 and be free of kite line 12. whereupon canopy opens as parachute unit 15 starts falling and descends slowly earthward.
In'other words, since the folded ejector unit also resembles'a triangle in its configuration, and since the line 12 is threaded through the ejector as illustrated, ejector surfaces 20 extend away from the line 12. As
the parachute hook 28' travels along surfaces 20, the
moment arm, exerted by its weight on the ejector about line 12 will become progressively larger. At the instant that the moment arm exceeds the opposing moment arm generated by weight 29, the ejector will tilt over, as shown in FIG. 8, and the parachute will be released to sail to the ground, be picked up, and sent aloft again.
1. A kite unit comprising a member folded along a center line extending from an apex thereof to produce an ejector means having a pair of panels in abutment with one another to provide a pair of ejector surfaces in coplanar abutment with one another and a trough therebetween extending along the inner surface of the folded center line;
a plurality of paired coaxial apertures at predetermined locations in said panels for receiving a kite string threaded therethrough, and
a single aperture in one of said panels adjacent the apex from which the center line fold extends for receiving a kite string threaded therethrough and along said trough across the upper surface of said apex.
2. The kite unit of claim 1 wherein said ejector means also has means attached thereto on the outside of the folded center line for controlling the orientation of said ejector surfaces relative to kite string threaded through said apertures.
3. The kite unit of claim 2 wherein said orientation control means comprises a weight affixed to said ejector means adjacent the end of the center line fold opposite the apex.
4. The kite unit of claim 2-wherein said orientation control means is so located on said ejector means as to orient the apex from which the center line extends to a location below kite string extending through and out of said trough and to orient said ejector surfaces to extend from a position at said apex to a position above such a kite string.
5. The kite of claim 1 wherein the apex from which the center line fold extends is normally located on a first side of a line extending through said coaxial apertures and said single aperture, and said ejector surfaces normally extend from said first side of such a line to a position on a second side of such a line sufficient to allow the creation of a moment arm, about such a line, by the imposition of a lateral force exerted on said ejector surfaces, and thereby momentarily reverse the orientation of the apex and the ejector surfaces when a body is ejected therefrom by the creation of a sufficient moment arm.
6. The kite unit of claim 1 including a parachute unit comprising a weight, a set of shrouds attached to said weight, a canopy attached to said shrouds and having a relatively large angle conical cap at the center thereof and formed of material which is more rigid than the material of the remainder of said canopy, thereby increasing the sail area presented by said canopy when said canopy is not in a free-fall condition. 7. The kite unit of claim 6 wherein said parachute unit further comprises an open hook means attached to said conical cap and so configured as to be slidably receivable by said ejector surfaces when transferred thereto from kite string extending from said trough.