|Publication number||US3808941 A|
|Publication date||May 7, 1974|
|Filing date||Feb 9, 1972|
|Priority date||Feb 9, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3808941 A, US 3808941A, US-A-3808941, US3808941 A, US3808941A|
|Original Assignee||Dynapac Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (35), Classifications (11)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Biggs [451 May 7,1974
[ DISPENSER FOR FLARES AND THE LIKE Eugene S. Biggs, Salt Lake City, Utah  Assignee: Dynapac lnc., Salt Lake City, Utah  Filed: Feb. 9, 1972  Appl. No.: 224,886
Primary ExaminerSamuel W. Engle [5 7] ABSTRACT A dispenser providing for selective single or plural I flare, or other drop package, release from aircraft. The dispenser comprises a housing containing one or more flare tubes in which flares are aligned, a triptype arming device in the outlet end of each flare tube and an arming cap on each flare arranged to engage the arming device and to pull loose from the flare, thereby pulling arming and safety pins on the flare as it is discharged from the flare tube. Explosive devices are used to provide the thrust necessary to drive the flares from the flare tube and gas ports in the housing direct the expanding gases to expansion chambers in the flare tubes at the rear of the flares.
6 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHAY 7 I974 SHEET 1 [1F 2 i I Ir Q RATENTEI] MAY 7 I974 SHEEI 2 OF 2 FIG FIG 7 FIG FIG 9 FIG DISPENSER FOR FLARES AND THE LIKE BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to delivery apparatus for flares and other such drop packages of the type released by aircraft and the like.
2. Prior Art It has long been customary to drop parachute equipped flares from aircraft so that desired portions of the ground surface can be illuminated from above as the flares slowly float to the ground. The drop systems used in the past have generally involved a carrier housing and a means for simultaneously releasing a pair of flares having their activating rings tethered together. As the flares drop a tumbling action of the pair is relied upon to pull the activating rings, thereby igniting the flares. This commonly used system is unreliable, since the flares may not be ignited at the elevation desired or may not ignite at all. In addition, particularly when used with high speed jet aircraft, such dispensing systems are too slow. The arming of such flares has also been quite dangerous to personnel since it has been necessary to remove the safety pins of the flares prior to loading them into previous flare dispensers. Thus, if one or both of the tethered flares are accidently dropped and the activating pins inadvertantly pulled, the flares may be armed, and the incendiary portion of the flare may actuate.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Principal objects of the present invention are to provide a reliable, safe and positive delivery system particularly adaptable for dispensing flares, but also useful for dispensing other air dropped packages.
Other objects are to provide a dispenser that is safely and easily handled, that will positively eject flares or other drop packages, either individually or in pairs or groups and that will arm and activate dispensed flares individually as they are discharged, thereby eliminating any need to remove the safety pin of the flare prior to its installation into the dispenser.
Principal features of the invention include a housing having aligned flare receiving chambers in one or more tubes and individual gas ports connecting gas expansion portions of the chambers with individual firing chambers. Latch means are provided to positively hold the flares in the receiving chambers until they are dispensed by firing of charges in the firing chambers and the fracture of shear pins associated with the latch means.
Other features include the use of a flare sealing cap on the rear end of each flare, arming hooks on the open end of each flare tube to be actuated by the flare sealing cap as the flare moves past and an arming cap that is connected by a lanyard to, and moves with, the flare and flare sealing cap until it is caught by the arming hooks, activating the flare arming and ignition system and then tumbling from the open end of the tube through which the flare was ejected.
The arming-hooks are arranged at the open discharge ends of the flare tubes such that, as they are engaged by a flare sealing cap on the rear end of a dispensed flare, they are pivoted into position to catch and hold a trailing arming cap, thereby separating it from the flare. As the arming cap pulls free from the flare it pulls the arming lanyard of the flare and attached safety pin clip, from the flare, thereby arming the flare as it exits the tube.
Other objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view taken from the rear and one side of the dispenser of the invention;
FIG. 2, an enlarged longitudinal section, taken on the line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3, further enlarged top plan view of the arming mechanism, taken from the line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4, a vertical section, taken on the line 44 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5, a view like that of FIG. 4, but with the arming hook positioned to engage an arming cap, shown fragmentarily on a flare, which is also shown fragmentarily;
FIG. 6, a similar view with the arming hook moved to its camming position;
FIG. 7, an enlarged fragmentary vertical section taken on the line 77 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 8, a horizontal section, taken on the line 88 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9, an enlarged view, taken within the line 9 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 10, an enlarged fragmentary horizontal view taken on the line l010 of FIG. 1, with the outer dispenser housing removed for clarity; and
FIG. 11, an enlarged, fragmentary, vertical section, taken on the line 10l0 of FIG. 1 and rotated DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawings:
In the illustrated'preferred embodiment the flare dispenser of the invention 19 comprises an elongate outer housing 20 containing four identical flare tubes 21. Connection means are provided, not shown, for joining the dispenser 19 to the body or wing of a carrying vehicle. Each flare tube 21 is adapted to receive, hold and dispense two air drop flares 22 from aligned forward and aft subchambers 23 and 24. The firing end of each tube 21 has a pair of breech blocks 25 and 26, respectively connected by ports 27 and 28 with the forward I and aft subchambers 23 and 24.
A cap 29 is threaded onto the forward end of each breech block and when the cap is removed impulse ejection cartridge can be inserted therein. Thereafter, when an electrical circuit is completed through electrical lines 30 connected into each cap 29 the cartridge within the connected breech block is fired. An electrical stepping mechanism, not shown, can be used to insure sequential firing of the cartridges, with the aft flare being dispensed from each tube first. However, as will be hereinafter described, in the event an aft flare should fail to properly ejects, it will be forced out of its tube with ejection of the forward flare. An outer cover 31 encloses the forward end of the dispenser and covers the breech block assemblies. The breech block assemblies and electrical operating mechanism for firing the ejection cartridges are conventionally available and any unit suitable for the purpose can be used.
Each flare tube 21 has gas expansion chambers 32 and 32a in subchambers 23 and 24, respectively, to receive gas generated by the firing of the impulse ejection cartridge and flowing thereto through ports 27 and 28. Expansion chambers 32 and 32a are each exposed to a rear face of an arming cap 33 of a flare inserted into the subchambers 23 and 24 and the forward portion 33b of each arming cap telescopes onto a rearwardly projecting sleeve 34a of a sealing cap 34. The other end of each cap 34 is telescoped onto the rear end of one of the flares 22 placed in subchambers 23 and 24. The two flares 22 are loaded in tandem alignment in subchambers 23 and 24 and have a spacer 35 inserted between the front end of the aft flare 22 and the rear face of arming cap 33 on the forward flare 22. Spacer 35 holds the two flares apart and provides sufficient open area within chamber 32a for gas entering therein to act uniformly over the rear face 330 of arming cap 33.
The arrangement and functions of the coupled arming cap 33 and sealing cap 34 installed on the rear end of each flare are best shown in FIGS. and 6. Assuming a normal firing where the aft flare in flare tube 21 is dispensed first, gas expansion into chamber 32a acts against the rear face 33a of the arming cap to push the connected flare out of flare tube 21. As shown in FIG. 6, rear face 33a is reinforced against buckling by an arrangement of webbing members 332 that radiate outwardly from the center of the arming cap 33 to the inner wall of the cap body 330. Ribs 33d are formed in spaced arrangement around the outside of the cap body 330 to provide additional structural reinforcement against buckling.
A flexible sealing ring 34b is formed around the periphery of the body 34a of the sealing cap 34 and maintains a wiping engagement with the bore wall of the flare tube. Sealing ring 34b expands when gas pressure accumulates within the expansion chamber, behind the ring to provide a sealing contact with the bore wall of flare tube 21 thereby preventing the gas from leaking around the sides of flare 22. The accumulated gas forces flare 22 out of the end of flare tube 21 as it escapes to atmosphere.
Most frequently, the flares in each flare tube will be separately dispensed, with the aft flare being dispensed upon introduction of expanding gases into expansion chamber 32a and the forward flare thereafter being dispensed by introduction of expanding gases into expansion chamber 32. It should be obvious, however, that ejection of the forward flare, by introducing gas into expansion chamber 32, will also force the aft flare from the tube if it has not been previously dispensed. The sequential arming of the flares when they are simultaneously ejected from the tube will be hereinafter explained in detail.
Forward and aft retaining locks are incorporated into the dispenser to retain the individual flares within the dispenser until they are properly ejected. Each flare tube 2! is equipped with a pivoted forward retaining lock 36, FIGS. 2, l0 and 11, that is installed within the dispenser beneath an access door a shown in FIG. I. Retaining lock 36 consists ofa hook 37 fixed on an axle 38 that is journaled within a mounting 39 such that a pointed end 37b of hook 37 can be rotated against the forward end of a flare 22, positioned therebelow in the flare tube 21. End 38a of axle 38 is arranged to rotate within a bushing 39a in one side of mounting 39, while the other end 38b extends through and beyond a bushing 3% in the other side of mounting 39. Mounting 39 is connected to flare tube 21 by bolts 40. End 381; of axle 38 extends through mounting 39 and between a pair of shear pin posts 41 that are fixed to the side of mounting 39. When hook 37 and axle 38 are rotated to bring hook end 37b into contact with the forward end of a flare 22 within the appropriate flare tube 21 a notch 39c in the end 38b of axle 38 is aligned with holes in shear pin posts 41 and a shear pin 42 is inserted therethrough. The ends 42a of the shear pin are then spread to retain the pin in place. The shear pin is broken, releasing hook 37 to rotate out of the bore of the flare tube and out of the path of travel of the flare when the propelled flare 22 is ejected by firing of an appropriate ejection cartridge. However, the shear pin will hold the hook 37 in place, preventing accidental discharge of the flare, until such time as the ejection cartridge has been fired.
Aft retaining locks 43, shown best in FIGS. 7 and 8, are used to secure the aft flares 22 against undesired ejection. Each aft retaining lock 43 consists of a hook 44, pivoted at 45 to a mounting bracket 46 that is fixed by bolts 47 to the aft end of dispenser body 20 out of the path of travel of the flare. As shown in solid lines in FIG. 7, hook 44 is rotated into contact with the end of the flare to hold the flare in the tube. In this position, holes in the body of hook 44 and a hole in bracket 46 are aligned so that a shear pin 48 can be inserted therethrough. The ends 48a of pin 48 are then spread to retain the pin within the aligned holes. The hook is thus held against flare 22 cartridge initiated ejection of the flare shear pin 48, and rotates end 44a of hook 44 out of the path of travel of the flare.
A buffer assembly 50, FIGS. 1 and 9, is provided in the forward end of each flare tube 21, to provide a cushioned limit stop for the forward flares. Buffer assembly 50 consists of a plunger 51 inserted through a hole 52 formed through a collar 53 that is maintained in the forward end of flare tube 21 by a snap ring 54. A sleeve 55 provides a positioning and backing member for collar 53.
Plunger 51 has a head 51a and a spring 56 extends between collar 53 and head 51a to bias the plunger towards the aft end of the tube. A cotter pin 57 inserted through the other end of plunger 51 holds the plunger in the collar 53. Spring 56 allows some cushioned movement of the loaded flares within flare tube 21, thereby avoiding shock damage to the flares during movement and when airborne, but is not sufficiently strong to overcome or fracture the shear pins installed in the forward and aft retaining locks.
As has been explained, when the appropriate impulse ejection cartridge is fired to inject gas into expansion chamber 32a, the expanding gas acting against the rear face 33a of arming cap 33, pushes the flare from the flare tube 21. Rearward movement of expanding gas acting against the rear face 33a of arming cap 33, pushes the flare from the flare tube 21. Rearward movement of flare 22 shears pin 48 and rotates hook end 44a out of the path of flare travel. The outward passage of flare 22 is guided by sealing ring 34b and a guide ring 22a, which is installed on the forward end of the flare. Similarly, the introduction of gas into expan sion chamber 32 forces flare 22 against the forward retaining lock 36, shearing pin 42, and rotating hook 37 out of contact with the flare, allowing the flare, guided by sealing ring 34b and guide ring 220, to exit the flare tube 21 past the already displaced aft retaining lock 43.
As each flare is fired from flare tube 21, the sealing cap 34, fitted over its rear end, comes into contact with a pivoted forward or trigger hook 61 of an arming assembly shown generally at 60. The forward hook 61, acts as a trigger, which when rotated by the outward passage of sealing cap 34, pivots a second or arming hook 62 into position to be engaged by the leading edge of the rapidly traveling rear face 33a of arming cap 33. Arming cap 33 is thus caught and held within the flare tube 21, and is separated from the flare as the flare moves out of the tube.
As best seen in FIG. 6, one end of a lanyard 58 is anchored to arming cap 33 and the lanyard is connected to a flare safety pin tether 59 and to an arming ring 59a. When arming cap 33 is separated from the flare, as has been heretofore explained, the attached cable first pulls on the tether 59 to thereby pull the safety pin from the flare and then pulls on ring 59a to fully arm the flare. After the flare is armed, and pressure on the arming book 62 is released, the arming cap 33 can fall freely from the tube 21. This firing arrangement allows the flare to remain unarmed, retaining the safety pin in position until the flare is actually ejected. Also, flare loading operations are much safer than if the safety pin must be pulled prior to loading of the flares.
After the flare ejection and arming cap separation, hook 62 is spring biased to move out of contact with the edge of arming cap 33, which then tumbles from flare tube 21. Should arming cap 33 remain in the end of flare tube 21, the next dispensed flare will force it from the dispenser. Once the aft flare in tube 21 has been ejected the arming assembly is automatically positioned to actuate the forward flare should it subsequently be ejected.
The aligned flares are normally fired singly. However, should the operator desire to simultaneously eject both flares, one after another, or should a malfunction in the system result in the aft flare not being previously ejected, then the impulse ejection cartridge connected through port 28 to expansion chamber 32 can be fired to simultaneously push both flares from the dispenser tube. When the two flares are simultaneously ejected, the arming cap of the aft flare is first removed as has been disclosed, thereby arming the first flare. However, the spacer 35 acts against the cap 33 on the aft flare and continues to force it from the tube since a cam unit of the arming assembly 60 allows arming hook 62 to momentarily move into a neutral position of contact with the edge of arming cap 33 of the aft flare. This allows spacer 35 to push the aft cap 33 from the dispenser, and the second or forward flare to then be armed by the arming hook 62 after the arming hook has moved out of its neutral position.
The arming assembly, shown best in FIGS. 3-6, consists of a block 63 which is arranged to slide on spaced parallel guide rods 64 and 65 that are fixed in mountings 66 and 67 at the discharge end of each flare tube 21. Spaced guide rails 68a and 68b are connected at their ends to mountings 66 and 67, and an arming unit 69 is mounted to pivot about a pivot pin 69a between and to travel between the guide rails. Block 63 is biased by springs 71 and 72 against movement towards mounting 67 and by heavier springs 73 and 74 against movement towards mounting 66. A track 75 is provided on the upper edge of each of the guide rails 68a and 68b to provide camming surfaces for slide lugs 76, that are formed on the end of arming unit 69. Additional slide lugs 77 are formed on the opposite end of arming unit 69 to provide a stop which contacts and slides on the top edge of guide rails 68a and 68b. The extent of rotation of arming unit 69 is therefore limited by lugs 76 and 77. As has been previously noted, arming unit 69 has the hooks 61 and 62 formed thereon and projecting therebeneath. An ear 78 on arming unit 69, extends upwardly, opposite to hooks 61 and 62, and has its end connected by a spring 79 to a post 80 that projects above block 63. Spring 79 biases ear 78 towards post 80 thereby elevating slide lugs 77 and depressing slide lugs 76 into contact with the tracks 75. Trigger hook 61 is normally biased by the spring 79 to extend below guide rails 68a and 68b and into flare tube 21. As has been previously explained, ejection of the aft flare moves the sealing cap 34 into contact with hook 61, and pivots the hook against the biasing of spring 79 until arming hook 62 is positioned to catch the leading edge of the following arming cap 33, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. The force of the ejecting flare tends to drive the arming hook towards the rear ejection end of the flare tube but it has been found that the pressure application of the arming cap on the arming hook isnot uniformly continuous. Thus, the tracks and slide lugs 76 are provided as a means of insuring continued positioning of the arming hook within the flare tube, even though pressure surges might otherwise allow spring 79 to bias the arming hook out of the path of travel of the arming cap, before the arming cap is separated from the flare and the flare is fully armed. Tracks 75 include outwardly inclined surfaces 75a that are engaged by the lugs 76 almost simultaneously with initial travel of the block 63, outer straight sections 75b on which the lugs 76 travel during continued movement of block 63, inwardly inclined surfaces 750 and inner straight surfaces 75d to which the lugs 76 move as the trigger'and arming hooks are moved into neutral positions allowing clear travel of the flares from the flare tubes, as will be hereinafter explained, in the event the arming cap will not properly separate from the flare.
In operation, the aft flare is normally fired first and as the peripheral edge of its sealing cap 34 engages trigger hook 61 the trigger hook is pivoted out of flare tube 21 and arming hook 62 is pivoted into the flare tube. The peripheral edge of arming cap 33 on the rear of the flare engages arming hook 62 and the continued travel of the flare tends to separate the flare from the arming and sealing cap. The dynamic force of the traveling arming cap tends to drive the block 63 against the biasing effect of springs 71 and 72 and lugs 76 against tracks 75 such that the arming hook is held in position extending into the flare tube. The arming hook is thus held in position to be repeatedly contacted by the arming cap should surging of the flare and/or arming cap occur and the arming hook will not be biased out of the flare tube by spring 79. However, if for some reason, the arming cap cannot be separated from the flare, thereby pulling the safety pin and arming ring on the flare, the flare will still eject, since continued movement of the block 63 moves slide lugs 76, under the bias of spring 72 against surface 75d, at which time the trigger and arming hooks are both sufficiently out of the flare tube that the flare and sealing and arming caps are able to move freely out of the tube. With the structure described, it is not possible-for a flare to be caught by its arming cap and to be only partially ejected, thereafter remaining in an unsafe condition. Once the arming cap 33 has moved past the arming hook springs 71 and 72 move block 63 to its starting position and spring 79 moves the trigger hook back into position to engage a sealing cap of the next flare ejected from the flare tube.
The flares can be safely down-loaded, i.e., removed from tubes 22, if they are not fired. The safety pin and arming ring are not pulled if the flare has not been fired and once the shear pins of the forward and aft retaining locks are removed the locks can be manually pivoted out of the path of travel of the flares. As each flare is pulled slowly from the tube the sealing cap 34 engages trigger hook 61 and pivots arming hook into the path of travel of the outer edge of arming cap 33. However, since the flare is being pulled out of the tube slowly trigger hook 61 is released and arming hook 62 is biased back out of the path of travel of the arming cap before any actual engagement of the arming hook and arming cap can occur. Consequently, the flare is not armed as it is removed slowly during down-loading procedures.
Although a preferred form of my invention has been herein disclosed, it is to be understood that the present disclosure is made by way of example and that variations are possible without departing from the scope of the hereinafter claimed subject matter, which subject matter l regard as my invention.
1. A dispenser for flares and the like comprising a housing adapted to be connected to a carrying vehicle;
a tube within said housing adapted to receive a flare having forward and aft ends;
means mounted on said tube for releasably holding said flare within said tube;
an expansion chamber within said tube at the aft end of a flare in the tube;
means for creating a gas expansion within the expansion chamber to thereby force the flare from the tube;
an opening through the wall of the tube at the aft end thereof;
flare arming means including an arming hook pivotally mounted on the wall of the tube to move into and out of the tube through the said opening, said arming hook being movable into a position in said tube whereby it will engage said flare to remove a safety pin and an arming ring from said flare as said flare is ejected from said tube;
spring means having one end fixed to the tube and the other end fixed to the arming hook, whereby the arming hook is normally biased out of said tube; and a trigger hook connected to the arming hook and normally biased into said tube by said spring means to be engaged by the flare during the ejection thereof to thereby move the arming hook into the tube and to hold the arming hook therein during removal of the safety pin and the arming ring.
2. A dispenser for flares and the like as set forth in claim 1, wherein the means for holding the flare within the tube consists of a hook rotatably connected to said tube such that the end of said hook can be moved into blocking engagement with said flare within said tube, and a shear pin inserted through said hook and said housing, said shear pin being arranged to shear when subjected to a predetermined force, thereby allowing said hook to rotate out of the path of travel of said flare.
3. A dispenser for flares and the like as set forth in claim 1, wherein the means for creating a gas expansion consists of a breechblock arrangement within the housing for containing and firing a gas generating cartridge therein; and
a port connecting a gas output portal of the breechblock with the expansion chamber.
4. A dispenser for flares and the like as set forth in claim 1, wherein the flare arming means further consists of a sealing cap connected to the end of the flare when loaded and forming a seal with the interior of the tube;
an arming cap releasably connected to said sealing cap and separate from said flare; and
means for connecting said arming cap with the arming ring and safety pin of said flare.
5. A dispenser for flares and the like as set forth in claim 4, wherein the arming hook is connected to said trigger hook such that when said trigger hook is rotated fully out of said flare tube by contact with the sealing cap the arming hook is rotated into the path of the following arming cap to obtain said arming cap within said flare tube.
6. A dispenser for air drop items as recited in claim 5, wherein the trigger and arming hooks have slide lugs thereon and are pivotally connected to a block arranged to slide on at least one guide member fixed to the tube;
means biasing said block towards the forward end of the flare tube; and
guide tracks arranged to be engaged by the slide lugs when said block is moved against the biasing effect of the means biasing the block towards the forward end of the flare tube said guide tracks having a portion preventing rotation of the arming hook out of the flare tube and a portion wherein both the arming hook and the trigger hook are out of the path of travel of the sealing and arming caps on a flare ejected from the flare tube.
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|U.S. Classification||89/1.51, 89/1.55|
|International Classification||B64D1/02, B64D1/06, F41F3/052|
|Cooperative Classification||F41F3/052, B64D1/06, B64D1/02|
|European Classification||B64D1/02, F41F3/052, B64D1/06|