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Publication numberUS3770230 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 6, 1973
Filing dateJul 13, 1972
Priority dateJul 13, 1972
Publication numberUS 3770230 A, US 3770230A, US-A-3770230, US3770230 A, US3770230A
InventorsO Johnston
Original AssigneeO Johnston
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Remote control system for kites and the like
US 3770230 A
Abstract
A remote control system for kites and other lanyard controlled devices. The system provides a selectively releasable control linkage between the control lanyard and the controlled device. An operator initiated jerk will release the linkage to increase the operative distance between the operator and controlled device by making operational a section of connecting tether. In addition, the lanyard control system may also employ a simple mechanism for remotely releasing an article from the control device. The article is held in place by a resilient band whose holding action is released upon activation of the connecting tether. For those control devices which employ a multiple connection between the device and the control lanyard, this system also provides a simple device which allows a rapid and easy adjustment in the length ratio of two of the connections.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 Johnston [76] Inventor: Orin B. Johnston, 5548 W. 78th St., Minneapolis lylinn. 55435 [22] Filed: July 13, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 271,394

[52] US. Cl. 244/155 A, 24/17 B, 24/123 A,

24/123 H, 24/201 A [51] Int. Cl. B64c 31/06 [58] Field of Search 244/153 R, 154, 155 R,

244/155 A; 24/205.l8, 205.17, 123 H,- 115K 230 AN, 201 LP, 201 SL, 201 A, 123 A, 17

Primary ExaminerMilt0n Buchler Assistant Examiner-Paul E. Sauberer Att0rney--Lee Schwartz et al.

[57] ABSTRACT A remote control system for kites and other lanyard controlled devices. The system provides a selectively releasable control linkage between the control lanyard and the controlled device. An operator initiated jerk will release the linkage to increase the operative distance between the operator and controlleddevice by making operational a section of connecting tether. In addition, the lanyard control system may also employ a simple mechanism for remotely releasing an article from the control device. The article is held in place by a resilient band whose holding action is released upon activation of the connecting tether. For those control devices which employ a multiple connection between the device and the control lanyard, this system also provides a simple device which allows a rapid and easy adjustment in the length ratio of two of the connections.

10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures REMOTE CONTROL SYSTEM FOR KITES AND THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Recent years have seen the traditional paper-wooden frame kite evolve into kites of.varying sizes, shapes, and abilities. Most of these kites still rely on a control string or lanyard which is attached to the kite and controlled by the flier. With an increase in the strength of modernday kites, it is not uncommon to see them carrying aloft a body which will bereleased from the kite and carried to the ground such as a parachute. This feature has often required an additional controlling string from the kite to the flier. In addition, many of these kites employ a multiple connection control lanyard which often must be adjusted to compensate for wind conditions, etcetera.To avoid the difficulty of tying and untying strings by a trial and error method until the right adjustment has been attained, it is not uncommonto see this type of kite employing complex multi-string arrangements. In short, as the complexities and abilities of modernday kites have increased, the number of strings with which the flier has had to contend has proliferated greatly. This not only adds to the complexity of flying the kite itself, but has inherent potential of tangled strings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a control system for kites and other lanyard controlled devices which allows the flier to release a kite carried object as well as providing a means for adjusting the length ratio between two kite connections, in a multiply connected kite, while eliminating all but a single control lanyard. This is accomplished through a resilient strap having three apertures therein and a generally cylindrical rod which is passed through'two of the apertures. A control lanyard having a loop at one end encircles the rod between the points .where it engages the strap and a control tether having a loop is passed through a third aperture to encircle the rod. A'connecting tether is attached beparts of the kite body is passed through a disc-like member which is in turn engaged by the control tether such that tension on the control tether will prevent movement of the disc relative to the rigging tether. The release of the tension on the control tether will allow an easy sliding movementof thedisc along the rigging tether to, adjust the length ratios of the two rigging tether sections fromtheir'point of attachment to the disc member.

The many objects, advantages, and novel features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. 7

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows the entire control system of the present invention in a preferred embodiment.

FIG. 2 shows a release linkage of the present invention in a preferred embodiment.

FIG. 3 shows a portion of the release linkage of FIG.

' FIG. 4 shows a partially assembled view of the control linkage of FIG. 2.

FIGQ 5 shows a portion of the control system of the present invention.

FIG. 6 shows the control system portion of FIG. 5 in an operative arrangement.

FIG. 7 shows another portion of the control system of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 shows an inflatable'kite 10 generally ofa type disclosed in my US. Pat. No. 3,664,6l3, issued May 23, 1972. A rigging tether 11 is attached to the kite 10 by means of two bands 12 and 13. The rigging tether 11 may be-attached to the kite in any known manner, it being understood thatthe particular attachment does not affect the operation of the control .system of the present invention. The rigging tether 11 is attached to a control tether 15 by means of a disc shaped plate 16 in a manner to be more fully described below. It is apparent, that the pitch of the kite 10 may be controlled by regulating the length ratios of the two segments of the rigging tether 11, those segments being a first segment l7 originating at the disc shaped plate l6 and terminating at the kite attachment l2 and a second segment 18 originating at the disc shaped plate 16 and terminating at the kite attachment 13.

The control tether 15 is operatively connected to a flier held control lanyard 20 by means of a release linkage 21. The operation of the contrdl linkage 21 will be more fully described below with reference to FIGS. 2-4. Suffice it to 'say for now, during normal operation, the control tether 15' will act as an extension of the control lanyard 20 thus allowing kite control through a standard application of kite flying techniques to the control lanyard 20. A flier initiated jerk on the control lanyard 20 will cause the release linkage 21 to release the control tether 15. A connecting tether 23 which is attached, to both the control lanyard 20 and control tether 15 will recapture the kite 10 after release of the release linkage 21 with the distance between the kite and the flier being increased by the length of the connecting tether 23.

Attached to the release linkage 21 in a manner identical to the attachment of the control lanyard 20 is a release tether 24. The release tether 24 extends to a portion of the kite 10 which portion is carrying an object 25, for example, a parachute. The object 25 is held in tension on the release tether 24 is provided when the I release linkage 21 is activated in that the distance from the kite body 10 to therelease linkage 21 will be increased by the length of the connecting tether 23 with this distance now being greater than the length of the release tether 24.

Referring now to FIGS. 24, wherein there is shown the release linkage 21 and its various components. The release linkage 21 is comprised essentially of an elongated, generally cylindrical rod 30 and a resilient strap 31. The resilient strap 31 (see FIG. 3) is essentially a flat, elongated strap having three apertures. At one end of the resilient strap 31 there is an enlarged portion 32 through which a first aperture 33 extends. The aperture 33 has a reinforcing member 34 which acts to provide a sliding surface through the aperture as well to maintain the aperture in an open state for reasons which will become apparent. Spaced from the first aperture 33 and from each other, are second and third apertures 35 and 36. These apertures 35 and 36 are of a size no larger than the rod 30 such that they will accept the rod while frictionally engaging it.

Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown the resilient strap 31 with the rod 30 placed through the second aperture 35. Both the release tether 24 and the control lanyard 20 have anchor loops, 38 and 39, respectively, which anchor loops encircle the rod 30. With the anchor loops 38 and 39 encircling the rod 30, the rod 30 is inserted into the third resilient strap aperture 36 such that the loops 38 and 39 lie between the points where the rod 30 engages the resilient strap apertures 35 and 36 (see FIG. 2). A loop 41 in the control tether 15 is then placed through the aperture 33 in the strap 31 and over the end of the rod 30 such that it encircles the rod 30. In this configuration, a tension applied to the control tether 15 is transmitted to the control lanyard 20 and vice versa. A sudden jerk on the control lanyard 20 will cause the strap 31 to stretch and release the control tether loop 41 from around the rod 30 when the first aperture 33 extends out beyond the end of the rod 30. Throughout this operation, the second and third apertures 35 and 36 are held in their position on the rod 30 through the friction generated between themselves and the rod 30.

A connecting tether 23 is attached at one end to the junction in the control tether l5 and control tether loop 41 and'at itsother end at the junction of the control lanyard 20 and control lanyard anchor loop 39. When the control tether and its loop 41 are released from the rod 30, the control tether 15 will remain operatively connected to the control lanyard through the connecting tether 23. The length of the connecting tether 23 is such that the combined length of the control tether 15 and connecting tether 23 is greater than the length of the release tether 24.

Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, there is shown the resilient band 27 and release disc 28 which comprise the device wihch maintains the object on the body of the kite 10. Specifically, the release tether 24 is attached to one side of the disc 28 with a resilient loop band 27 attached to the other side. The resilient band 27 is wrapped and stretched around a portion of the kite body 10 and over the object 25. The end of the re-,

silient band 27 is thenplaced over the disc 28 in a manner that it also captures and lies over the release tether 24 (see FIG. 6). In this configuration, a tension applied to the release tether.24 from almost any angle will cause the band 27 to go up and over the edge of the disc 28 and thereby release the object 25 from the kite body 10. It is expected that the object 25 will be a parachute or other controlled descent device which will fall to earth independently of the kite.

Referring now to FIG. 7, there is shown the pitch control device 16 which cooperates with the control tether 15 to maintain a proper pitch in the kite 10 while allowing an easy adjustment in that pitch. As shown in FIG. 7, the rigging tether 1 1 is threaded through an aperture in thepitch control disc from one surface to another, runs along the second surface and returns to the first surface through a second aperture. The control tether 15 is then passed from the first surface to the second surface of the control disc 16 through a third aperture, runs along the second surface of the control disc 16 and lies over the rigging tether 11 and passes back to the first surface through a fourth aperture. The control tether 15 may be knotted to maintain its contact with the control disc. Alternatively, the control tether 15 may be operatively connected to the control disc 16 through an independent loop, which loop is threaded in a manner identical to that shown in FIG. 7 with the control tether 15 then attached to the loop. In flight, both portions 17 and 18 of the rigging tether 11 will be in tension and wind gusts, etcetera, may cause forces which would tend to move the control disc 16 along the rigging tether 11. This movement, however, is restrained through the action of the control tether 15 lying over the rigging tether 11 at control disc 16 in that the control tether 15 is also in tension which creates a pressure on the rigging tether 11 against the disc 16 at the point where the control tether 15 overlies the rigging tether 11. On the ground, however, with no tension present in the control tether 15, this restraint is not present and the control disc is easily moved along the rigging tether to adjust the length ratio between the two segments 17 and 18 of the rigging tether 11.

In operation, the release linkage 21 is assembled as described and the object 25 is positioned and held in place by the resilient band 27 and release disc 28. The proper pitch is set with the pitch control disc 16 and the kite is lofted and flown in the normal manner with the flier maintaining control of the kite 10 through the con trol lanyard 20. Should an adjustment in the pitch of the kite be required, the kite is brought down to the ground and the pitch control disc is slid along the rigging tether 11 until the proper. pitch is obtained. When the proper pitch has been found and the kite is aloft, and it is desired to release the object 25 from the kite body 10, the flier merely provides ajerk on the control lanyard 20. Since the resilient strap 31 will stretch more easily than the kite will respond to the jerk on the control lanyard 20, the strap 31 will stretch and, if the jerk is sufficient, it will stretch such that its first aperture 33 extends beyond the rod 30 and thus free the control tether 15 from the rod 30. This then will bring the connecting tether 23 into operation and, since the control tether 15 and connecting tether 23 are longer than the release tether 24, the release tether 24 will act to release the resilient band 27 from around the object 25. The object 25 will then descend to the ground while the flier maintains control of the kite through the control lanyard 20 connecting tether 23 and control tether 15. It is apparent that the position of the resilient strap 31 on the rod 30 will determine the amount of force necessary to release the control tether loop 41 from the rod 30. In heavy winds, it may be necessary to position the apertures 35 and 36 near the end of the rod 30 which will require a greater stretch in the strap 31 for release. ln lighter winds or for an easier release of the control tetherloop 41, the apertures 35 and 36 may be more centered on the rod 30.

Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically descirbed.

What is claimed is:

1. A remote control device'comprising:

a resilient strap having a first aperture adjacent one of its ends and second and third apertures spaced from said first aperture and each other;

an elongated, generally cylindrical rod having a size in cross-section atleast as large as the largest of said second and third apertures, said rod passing through said second and third apertures and thereby frictionally engaging said strap;

a control lanyard having an anchor loop at one end,

said anchor loop encircling said rod at a point between the points where said rod engages said strap; and

a control tether having a loop therein, said control tether loop passing through said first strap aperture and encircling said rod.

2. The remote control device of claim 1 further including a connecting tether attached at one end to the control lanyard and at its other end to the control tether.

3. The remote control device of claim 1 further including a connecting tether attached at one end to the control lanyard anchor loop and at its other end to the control tether loop. I

4. The remote control device of claim 1 further comprising:

a plate having first and second opposing surfaces, said plate having a plurality of apertures extending between the opposing surfaces;

a'rig'ging tether passing from the first surface of said plate through one of said apertures to the second surface of said plate, said rigging tether running along said second surface to a second one of said apertures and passing back to said first surface through'said second aperture; and

said control tether passing from the first surface of said plate through a third one of said apertures to said second surface of said second plate, said control tether running along said second surface of said plate while crossing over the top of said rigging tether and passing back to said first surface through a fourth aperture.

5. The remote control device of claim, 4 wherein said plate is in the form of a disc.

6. The remote control device of claim 1 further comprising:

a body member;

a disc shaped means;

a release tether attached to said disc shaped means;

a resilient means having an attachment to said disc shaped means and forming, at least in part, a loop, said resilient means encircling said body member with said loop-lying over said release tether while encircling said resilient means attachment.

7. A remote control device comprising:

a plate having first and second opposing surfaces, said plate having a plurality of apertures extending between the opposing surfaces;

a rigging tether passing from the first surface of said plate through one of said apertures to the second surface of said plate, said rigging tether running along said second surface to a second one of said apertures and passing back to said first surface through said second aperture; and

a control tether passing from the first surface of said plate through a third one of said apertures to said second surface of said plate, said control tether running along said second surface of said plate while crossing over the top of Said rigging tether and passing back to said first surface through a fourth aperture.

Q, The remotegontrol device of claim 7 wherein said plate is in the form of a disc. w

9. The remote control device comprising:

a resilient strap having a first aperture adjacent one of its ends and second and third apertures spaced from said first aperture and each other;

an elongated, generally cylindrical rod having a size and cross-section at least as large as the largest of said second and third apertures, said rod passing through said second and third apertures and thereby frictionally engaging said strap;

a control lanyard having an anchor loop at one end,

said anchor loop encircling said rod at a point between the points where said rod engages said strap; control tether having a loop therein, said control tether loop passing through said first strap aperture and encircling said rod;

a connecting tether attached at one end into the junction of the control lanyard and control lanyard anchor' loop and at its other end to the junction of the control, tether and control tether loop;

a plate having first and second opposing surfaces, said plate having a plurality of apertures extending between the opposing surfaces;

a rigging tether passing fromrthe first surface of said plate through one of said apertures to the second surface of said plate, said rigging tether running along said second surface to a second one ofsaid apertures and passing back to said first surface through said second aperture;

a'control tether passing from the first surface of said plate through a third one of said apertures to said second surfaceof said plate, said controltether running along said second surface of said plate while passing over the top of said rigging tether and passing back to said first surface through a fourth aperture;

a body member; a disc shaped means; a release tether attached at one end to said elongated rod and at its other end to said disc shaped means;

and resilient means having an attachment to said disc shaped means and forming, at least in part, a loop, said resilient means'encircling said body member with said loop lying over said release tether while encircling the said resilient means attachment.

10. A remote control device comprising:

a body member;

a disc shaped means;

a release tether attached at one shaped means; and

a resilient means having an attachment to said disc shaped means and forming, at least in part, a loop, said resilient means encircling said body member with said loop lying over said release tether while encircling the said resilient means attachment.

end to said disc

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US96550 *Nov 9, 1869 Improvement in kites
US3317165 *Jul 9, 1965May 2, 1967Iii Raymond John ZoblKite control
US3664613 *Nov 25, 1970May 23, 1972Johnston Orin BInflatable kite with releasable accessory
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4015802 *Jan 12, 1976Apr 5, 1977Romeo Victor HerediaKite construction
US4286762 *Apr 27, 1979Sep 1, 1981Prouty Jonathan JKite-like flying device and accessories thereof
US5931416 *Nov 21, 1997Aug 3, 1999Carpenter; Howard G.Tethered aircraft having remotely controlled angle of attack
US6257525Jan 21, 2000Jul 10, 2001Gray Matter Holdings, LlcRemotely controlled aircraft
US6286786Mar 23, 1998Sep 11, 2001Gray Matter Holdings, LlcRemotely controlled aircraft
US20060157622 *Jan 19, 2005Jul 20, 2006David JohnstonMulti-purpose inflatable kite
US20120329340 *Jun 27, 2011Dec 27, 2012Von HubbardJumper cables and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification244/155.00A, 24/17.00B, D21/445, 24/633
International ClassificationB64C31/06, B64C31/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H27/08
European ClassificationA63H27/08