US 3787998 A
A combination glider and kite that can be towed to make it gain altitude and then detached from the tow line so it glides to the earth. The glider is in the shape of a bird, and has heavy bird-like legs extending downwardly and forwardly from the body, to move the center of gravity forwardly and downwardly so as to increase the glider stability, the legs also serving as a landing gear. A tow line is attached by a clip to the body of the glider, the clip having resilient arms that separate to detach from the body when the tow line is jerked hard after the glider has reached a high altitude.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Kilroy, Jr. et al.
[ 1 Jan. 29, 1974 GLIDING TOY Inventors: Eugene J. Kilroy, Jr., Inglewood;
Philip B. Du Breuil, Redondo Beach; Scott C. Dennison, Van Nuys, all of Calif.
Assignee: Mattel, Inc., Hawthorne, Calif.
Filed: Jan. 16, 1973 Appl. No.: 324,039
13.8. C1. 46/79, 46/124 Int. Cl A63h 27/00 Field of Search 46/74 R, 77, 79-81,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1935 James 46/79 11/1946 Brand 46/74 R 3,366,354 l/l968 Sterba 46/79 Primary ExaminerAntonio F. Guida Assistant ExaminerRobert F. Cutting Attorney, Agent, or F irm-Franklin D. J ankosky and Max B. Shirk 5 7 ABSTRACT A combination glider and kite that can be towed to make it gain altitude and then detached from the tow line so it glides to the earth. The glider is in the shape of a bird, and has heavy bird-like legs extending downwardly and forwardly from the body, to move the center of gravity forwardly and downwardly so as to increase the glider stability, the legs also serving as a .landing gear. A tow line is attached by a clip to the body of the glider, the clip having resilient arms that separate to detach from the body when. the tow line is jerked hard after the glider has reached a'high altitude.
7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures 1 GLIDING TOY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to glider and kite toys.
Toy gliders are often constructed in the shape of miniature airplanes, with a long fuselage, wings mounted at the center of the fuselage, elevators mounted at the rear of the fuselage, and a rudder mounted on the top of the rear end of the fuselage. Thin wires with wheels at the bottom are sometimes attached to the underside of the airplane to serve as landing gears. The gliding toys are generally launched by hand, by throwing them forwardly. The flight of such gliders is limited by several factors. The gliders are designed for good flight characteristics at low speed, so if they are thrown hard they do not initially fly well, often banking hard to one side or the other and sometimes even being damaged. Of course, if the glider is thrown with only a small force, it generally will not fly far. The appearance of a miniature airplane flying through the air provides some entertainment, but such airplanes are so common that the noveltyeffect is not great. A glider toy that could 'be raised to a large altitude before it was released to glide back to earth, which was stable even in high winds that might be encountered at high altitudes, and which had a novel appearance, could provide considerable entertainment.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with a presently-preferred embodiment of the invention, a gliding toy is provided which can be readily launched at-a high altitude to permit a long flight, and which is constructed in a novel configuration that is not only entertaining but which results in highly stable flight. The glider toy is in the form of a bird of prey, with a body in the shape of a bird body, bird-like wings mounted on the body, a tail section representing tail feathers mounted on the body, and birdlike legs extending in a downward and forward direction from the body. A clip-receiver is mounted on the body, and a tow line is attached by a releasable clip to the clip receiver. A child runs along the ground pulling the. tow line to tow the glider so that it climbs in altitude likea kite. A child then gives a jerk-to the line to release the clip from the glider so the glider thereafter flies free of the tow line back to the ground in a highly entertaining manner.
The legs that are attached to the body serve not only to enhance the appearance of the bird-like glider, but
also to increase the stability of the glider during flight and to act as shock absorbers during collisions and as a landing gear. The legs are constructed of a material d nser than th f th dy s tha h les th center of gravity of the glider downwardly and forwardly to thereby increase stability. The inner ends of the legs are resiliently mounted on the body so that the legs can bend backwardly to minimize shock when the legs collide with an objector touch the ground during landing. The legs represent talons of a bird of prey to provide an entertaining appearance to the glider.
The novel features of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention will best be understood from the following description hen read in onjuns ipn i h h c pa drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of the glider toy, showing how it is launched;
FIG. 2 is. a sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the glider toy of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the glider toy of FIG. ll; FIG. 5 is an exploded plan view of the glider of FIG.
FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of the clipreceiver, clip, and tow line assembly of the glider toy of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 7 is a plan view of the clip of FIG. 6.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 illustrates a gliding toy which includes a glider 10 in the form of a bird of prey, such as a hawk, and a tow line 12 attached by a releasable clip 14 (FIG. 6) to the glider. A child may launch glider 10 by running along the ground while pulling on string 12 to make glider 10 gain altitude, and he may then jerk string 12 to release clip 14 so that glider 10' will glide back to the ground. The glider includes a bird-like body 16, a nose structure 15 (FIG. 2), a wing assembly 18 mounted on the body, a tail section 20 mounted on the body and extending rearwardly therefrom, and a pair of legs 22, 24 mounted on the body and extending in a downward and forward direction therefrom. A clip-receiver 26 (FIGS. 2, 3, 5 and 6) which is fixed to a lower surface of the body, releasably holds clip 14.
As best illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 5, the body 16- of the glider has a laterally-extending groove 28 at its top which receives the middle portion 18M of the wing assembly 18. The front and rear walls 30, 32, respectively, of groove 28 prevent longitudinal movement of the wing assembly, while a rubber band 34, which extends over the wing assembly and beneath the front and rear portions of the body 16;, holds down the wing assembly. The tail 20 has a front portion 35 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4 and'S) that lies over the-middle portion 18M of the wing assembly. An upwardly'extending wire hook 36 at the front of the tail extends through and in front of a wire loop member 38 that extends upwardly from the wing assembly. The hook 36 prevents rearward movement of the tail section 20 while the wide front edge 35E of the forward tail portion 35 abuts the rear of the loop member 38 to prevent forward movement of tail section 20. A rubber band 40 that extends over the tail, under the main portion of the body, and over the front neck portion 16N of body 16 holds down the tail.
Legs 22, 24 carry feet or talons 22F, 24F, respectively, and telescopically engage a pair of leg-receiving struts 22S and 248, respectively, (FIG. 5). Legreceiving struts 228, 248 and clip-receiver-26 may be integrally formed from a suitable polymeric material and the assembly of legs 22, 24, struts 225, 248 and clip-receiver 26 comprises a landing gear or receiver structure 44 that is held to the bottom of body 16 under a cut-out region 46 (FIG. 2) thereof. A separate retainer member 48 (FIGS. 2 and 5) that lies under the receiver structure 44, is held in place by a pair of rubber bands, 50, 52. The rubber bands 50, 52 urge together the leg-holding portions 16L, 16M of body 16 and of the retainer member 48, which lie respectively in front of and behind the legs, to urge the legs toward the normal, configuration shown in FIG. 2, while permitting resilient backward deflection of the legs so they serve as a shock-absorbing landing gear. Feet 22F, 24F produce a stabilizing torque and are placed forwardly and downward with respect to body 16 the greatest distance feasible without detracting from the natural, bird-like appearance of glider 10.
FIG. 5 illustrates the separate parts of the glider which are assembled by a child. The nose structure may be installed. The wing assembly 18 includes two wing members or wings 54, 56 which can be assembled by fitting a projection 58 of one wing member into a recess 60 of the other and by applying adhesive labels 62, 63 (FIG. 4) thereto. A frame member 64, which may be formed of wire and which forms the loop 38, is then attached to the bottom of the wings by adhesive labels 65, 66 and 68. A frame member 74, which may be formed ofwire and which contains the hook 36, is then fastened to the lower surface of tail section by an adhesive label 75. The tail section 20 is then attached to the wing assembly 18 by holding the tail so that the hook 36 passes forwardly through the hook receiver 38 and by applying adhesive-labels 77, 78. The wing and tail assembly are then mounted on the body 16 and held thereon by rubber bands 34, 40.
As illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, the clip 14 has a front portion 80 to which the string or tow line 12 is attached, and has a pair of resilient arms 82, 84 that extend rearwardly to a predetermined separation distance D. The clip-receiver 26 has an upstanding post 86 which is held only at its lower end, so that a child can install the clip 14 by passing it over the top of the post 86. The post 86 has a width W greater than the separation distance D of the clip arms, so that the clip tends to remain on the clip-receiver. However, the rear portions of the arms 82, 84 extend with a lateral directional component, or in other words they extend gradually towards one another, to the separation distance D so that, when the clip is pulled hard, the arms separate and can pass around the post 86 to disengage from the clip-receiver. This normally occurs when 'a child appliesa hard jerk to the tow line 12. The clip 14 is constructed of resilient wire and the tow line is attached by merely knottingan end of it thereto.
The gliding toy is constructed with good aerodynamic gliding characteristics. The body 16 is constructed of a light material, such as a polystyrene foam, and the wings and the tail may be similarly constructed. The feet 22F, 24F, however, are constructed of a denser material, such as a high density polyethylene, which may have a density more than ten times as great as that of the body. For example, one glider was built wherein the specific gravity of the body was approximately 0.03 and the specific gravity of the feet was approximately 1.0. The relatively heavy feet serve to move the center of gravity of the glider downwardly and forwardly to increase stability during flight. The lowering of the center of gravity minimizes any tendency of the glider to roll in a high wind. The positioning of the feet as far forward as practicable permits longitudinal aerodynamic balance with minimum weight penalty. The forward advance of the center of gravity helps to keep the nose down and therefore avoid a tendency to nose up and thereafter flutter in a helpless manner. The feet accomplish this and also serve as a shock absorber and a landing gear and to enhance the appearance of the glider.
The glider toy is in the form of a bird of prey, such as a hawk, and the feet 22F, 24F, at the lower ends of the legs are outstretched to represent a bird of prey which is about to attack an animal. The swooping glider toy in the form of a bird of prey with outstretched talons creates a highly entertaining effect. It may be noted that each foot has four digits or claws, with the most forward digit 90 lying at a higher elevation than the other digits when the bird is level, as in FIG. 2. This minimizes the possibility of the forward digit digging into the ground when the glider lands. The tail section 20 extends in a smooth downwardly facing arc, as seen in a front view as in FIG. 3, that provides considerable stability and a realistic effect. It may also be noted that the entire glider toy is designed more as a glider than as a kite, inasmuch as it flies stabily even when the tow line is detached and the front of the glider is no longer being pulled. The toy is also designed to fly stabily when it is being towed, and the clip-receiver is mounted on the body at a location forward of the center of gravity to provide a very stable flight during towing.
Thus, the invention provides a glider toy of good flying characteristics and entertaining and novel appearance, and which can be flown in an entertaining manner. The toy can fly like a glider but can be launched like a kite to a high altitude. Such a flight can be repeated by the use of a detachable clip with arms that spring apart to release from the glider by the applica-.
tion of a jerk to the tow line. The glider toy has a highly realistic appearance, inasmuch as the tail has a downwardly curved shape representing that of a bird, and large feet are provided which extend in a threatening manner suggesting a bird of prey. The feet are constructed of material heavier than the body, so they lower and move forward the center of gravity ofthe toy to add stability. The legs are elastically held so that they can readily bend backwardly to serve as a shockabsorbing landing gear.
Although a particular embodiment of the invention has been described and illustrated herein, it is recognized that modifications and variations may readily occur to those skilled in the art and consequently it is a pair of wings and a tail mounted on the body, the improvement which comprises:
means for lowering and moving forward the center of gravity of said toy, said means for lowering and moving forward the center of gravity of said toy includes means for supporting a predetermined mass in front of and below the nose of said toy.
2. An improvement as stated in claim 1 wherein said means for supporting a predetennined mass in front of and below the nose of said toy comprises a landing gear. I
3. An improvement as-stated in, claim 2 including resilient means biasing said landing gear to a predetermined normal position, said resilient means permitting said landing gear to deflect rearwardly to absorb collision shocks.
4. An improvement as stated in claim 3 wherein said landing gear simulates the legs and feet of a bird.
5. A gliding toy comprising:
6 a body in the shape of a bird body; erally spaced leg mounts on the lower portion a pair of wings mounted on the body; thereof; a ta m n 011 the y; and a wing assembly having a central portion mounted on a pair Of feet extending in a downward and top of said and having a pair of wings extendforward direction h the body, the h of said 5 ing laterally on either side of the body, the outer feet bemg greaer than the mass of Sand body ends of said wings having undulations representing whereby to lower and move forward the center offeathers;
gravity of the gliding toy.
6. The gliding toy described in claim 5 wherein:
said feet are carried by a pair of legs and said body 10 has leg holding portions engaged with the inner a ends of the legs, including front and rear portions elther slde t curvmg downwardly; and that are resiliently separable to urge the legs a of legs Wlth lhher ends mounted on the legs towards a predetermined orientation while permitmounts and Outer ends having talohs, Said legs ting them to swing ba kw rd tending in a forward and downward direction from 7. A gliding toy comprising: the leg mounts.
a body in the shape of a bird body, with a pair of lata tail assembly having a narrow forward end mounted on top of said body and a wide rearward end, said rearward end extending substantially in an arc with