US 3818630 A
A model airplane is provided with an upwardly extending recess in the rearward portion of the fuselage, and the recess terminates in a point-receiving conical depression. The recess is generally aligned longitudinally with the center of gravity of the model, and the conical depression is located above or approximately at the center of gravity. Adjustable weights may be carried in the wings or other parts of the model to permit the center of gravity of the airplane to be varied longitudinally so that the center of gravity can be precisely positioned relative to the recess. The support stand includes a base and a flexible, resilient, curved spring metal band or sheet which is secured to the base and extends arcuately upwardly therefrom. An elongated support needle is secured to the upper end of the band, and the needle extends into the recess in the model and terminates in a point which is received by the conical depression. The model is thereby supported on the point of the needle, and the flexible, resilient band and the point support permit the model to undergo a variety of movements under the influence of air drafts or other forces to provide realistic simulation of the movements of a real airplane.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent May [ June 25, 1974 MODEL AND SUPPORT STAND THEREFOR  Inventor: Dale S. May, 141 N. Dee Rd., Park Ridge, 111. 60068  Filed: June 12, 1972  App]. No.: 261,789
 US. Cl. 46/131  1nt.-Cl A63h 13/12  Field of Search 46/131, 32, 53, 74, 76; 40/37.1, 106.3; 272/8 D  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,430,503 9/1922 Hayward 46/131 1,755,630 4/1930 Budde 46/76 R X 2,994,156 8/1961 Steiner et al 46/76 R Primary ExaminerLouis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-J. Q. Lever  ABSTRACT A model airplane is provided with an upwardly extending recess in the rearward portion of the fuselage, and the recess terminates in a point-receiving conical depression. The-recess is generally aligned longitudinally with the center of gravity of the model, and the conical depression is located above or approximately at the center of gravity. Adjustable weights may be carried in the wings or other parts of the model to permit the center of gravity of the airplane to be varied longitudinally so that the center of gravity can be precisely positioned relative to the recess. The support stand includes a base and a flexible, resilient, curved spring metal band or sheet which is secured to the base and extends arcuately upwardly therefrom. An elongated support needle is secured to the upper end of the band, and the needle extends into the recess in the model and terminates in a point which is received by the conical depression. The model is thereby supported on the point of the needle, and the flexible, resilient band and the point support permit the model to undergo a variety of movements under the influence of air drafts or other forces to provide realistic simulation of the movements of a real airplane.
4 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures MODEL AND SUPPORT STAND THEREFOR BACKGROUND This invention relates to models, and, more particularly, to models which are particularly suitable as desk top or table top ornaments. The invention will be described with particular reference to a model airplane, but it will be readily understood that the invention could also be used with other types of models such as rockets, boats, and the like.
In order to provide a more realistic appearance for the model and to provide a source of fascination and interest for children and adults alike,'it is often desirable to support the model in such a way that the model will move under the influence of air drafts or other externally applied forces. This has been accomplished in the past by supporting the model on the point of a needle at a position which is approximately longitudinally aligned with the center of gravity of the model. The model is often provided with weights to lower the center of gravity to a position below the support point to provide a more stable mounting on the point. The substantially frictionless support provided by the point permits the model to roll, pitch, and yaw in air drafts.
While these models do move about the point support, the point generally remains stationary, being rigidly secured either to the model or to a support base. Accordingly, the locus about which the plane moves also remains fixed, and no up and down or forward and rearward movement is obtained.
Because of the desirability of having the center of gravity below the point at which the model is supported and the conventional manner of lowering the center of gravity by attaching weights to the model laterally of the support point, prior models often have had unrealistic and unattractive appearances. Further, the weights would be fixed, and the center of gravity of the model could not be changed as desired.
SUMMARY The model of the invention is provided with a recess which extends upwardly from the bottom of the model and positions the point-receiving depression within the body of the model so that the weights which lower the center of gravity below the depression can be concealed within the ordinary contour of the model. Authentic and realistic reproductions of actual airplanes and other objects can therefore be obtained. The weights may be adjustable for varying the longitudinal position of the center of gravity so that the center of gravity can be moved longitudinally relative to the point-receiving depression. This permits the plane, when in a static condition, to be leveled or to be inclined upwardly or downwardly as desired. The support includes a flexible, resilient spring band which supports the needle so that the needle is not held stationary. The band is bowed in a vertical plane under the weights of the plane, and even slight forces exerted on the model will cause the spring band to gently raise and lower the model in a smooth, graceful motion. Since the band is bowed, upward and downward movement of the needle also causes the model to move somewhat longitudinally. The model can therefore roll, pitch and yaw about the point support while the point support is moving in a generally vertical plane, and the resultant mo- 2 tion of the model is interesting, realistic, and educational.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The invention will be explained in conjunction with an illustrative embodiment shown in the accompanying drawing, in which FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a model airplane and a support stand formed in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view partially in section, of the support stand with the spring band in an unflexed condition;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the band in reduced size before it is formed into the shape shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the model airplane;
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the model airplane;
FIG. 6 is an. enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 6--6 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 77 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 88 of FIG. 4; and
FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary end view taken along the line 99 of FIG. 4.
DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawing, a model airplane 10 is removably mounted on a support stand 11 which includes a support needle 12, a flexible spring metal band 13, and a base 14.
The particular model airplane illustrated is a replica of a supersonic transport and includes an elongated fuselage 15, a pair of swept-back, generally triangular wings 16 and 17, and a tail 18. A generally frustoconical recess 19 extends upwardly from the bottom of the fuselage and is spaced from the rear end of the fuselage by about one-third of the length of the fuselage. As can be seen best in FIG. 6, the recess extends upwardly beyond the middle of the fuselage, and a plug or insert 20 which is provided with a generally conical depression 21 in the lower surface thereof is secured within the recess. The apex of the depression 21 is supported by the point of the needle 12, and the plug and the needle are advantageously made of metal to provide good durability.
A jet turbine housing 22 is carried below each of the wings I6 and 17, each turbine housing including a front air intake 23 and a pair of simulated rear exhausts 24 (FIGS. 7 and 9). A weight 25 is concealed within each of the turbine housings, and each weight is provided with means for adjusting the position of the weight in a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis of the fuselage. The particular adjusting means illustrated includes a screw 26 which is threadedly engaged with a central bore through the weight. The forward end of the screw is rotatably supported by a bearing block 27 within the housing. The rearward end of the screw includes a slotted head 28 which is positioned in an opening in the rear wall 29 of the housing and is substantially flush therewith so that the screw is relatively unobtrusive. The position of the weight 25 can be adjusted by rotating the slotted head of the screw with a screwdriver to advance or retract the weight along the length of the screw. Both the weight and the interior of the housing are rectangular in transverse cross section (FIG. 8), and the weight is therebyprev'enting from rotating with the screw but will move longitudinally relative to the housing.
The particular band 13 illustrated is formed from an elongated thin flat sheet or" strip. of spring-tempered metal shown in FIG. 3. Theband includes a pair of narrow side walls 30 and 31 which converge slightly from a wideend 32 to a narrow end 33 and a pair of flat surfaces 34 and 35 which are co-planarwhen the band is flat as in FIG. 3.
The band is removably anchored to the base 14 by a cylindrical pin 36 which is snugly but rotatably received within a central opening 37 in the base. The support needle 12 is secured to the narrow end 33 of the band. Before the band is secured to the base, the band is preformed into an arcuate or bowed configuration shown in FIG. 2 so that the band will not return to its original flat configuration. The curved surfaces 34 and 35 of the bowed band extend generally perpendicularly to the plane of the bow. The band could also be formed of other resilient, flexible material such as-plastic which may be molded into the bowed shaped.
The model is mounted on the band by inserting the support needle 12 into the recess until the point of the needle is positioned in the apex of the conical depression 21 (FIG. 6). The weight of the plane will cause the flexible spring band to bow even more until the spring force resisting further flexing of the spring equals the weight of the model. The preformed configuration of the band shown in FIG. 2. is advantageously such that the needle 12 will extend substantially vertically when the model is supported-by the band as shown in FIG. 1.
The weights 25 carried by the wings of the model are adjusted so that the center of gravity of the model is substantially vertically aligned with the center of the recess 19 and the apex of the conical depression 21. Further, the size of the weights is advantageously such that the center of gravity is spaced vertically below the conical depression so that the model remains stable on the needle as it rolls, pitches, and yaws,'i.e., the model will remain supported by the point. If desired, the weights can be adjusted to position the center of gravity slightly forwardly or rearwardly of the center of the recess so that the plane is inclined downwardly or upwardly when it is at rest on the needle.
A force exerted on the model which tends to raise or lower the model will also cause the resilient spring band to become less bowed or more bowed. When the force is removed, the band will return toward its original, static position of FIG. 1 but will be carried by its momentum past its equilibrium point to set up an oscillating or rocking motion in the vertical plane defined by the bowed band. A slight breeze, draft or other externally applied force, such as touching the plane with a hand, is sufficient to create this oscillation, and the model will gently rise and fall as the supporting point is raised and lowered by the movement of the band. Forces caused by air drafts and the like will also cause the model to roll, pitch, and yaw on the supporting point, and the combination of this motion and the motion caused by the movement of the bowed band provide very realistic movement which can be a source of fascination to observers.
Since the plane is supported by the needle point, the model also rotates in a horizontal plane about the needle, and the movement of the spring band therefore causes a different motion of the model depending upon the relative positions of the longitudinal axis of the model and the band. Movement of the band not only raises and lowers the supporting point of the needle but tion of the band. As the needle rises, it will move to the left, or closer to the bowed central portion of the band. If the longitudinal axis is aligned in the plane defined by the curved band, then the plane will move not only upwardly and downwardly as the band moves, but will also move forwardly and rearwardly. If the longitudinal axis of the model is generally perpendicular to the plane defined by the band, then movement of the band will cause lateral movement of the model as the model is moved upwardly and downwardly. lntennediate positions of the model between the foregoing two positions will result in a combination of longitudinal and lateral movement. V
The frusto-conical recess in the model permits the model to tilt about the point of the needle without interference from the side wall of the recess.
The support stand is thus seen to cooperate with the model to provide a variety of complex movements which add to the realism and interest of the model. Also, although the steel band can readily be moved in a generally vertical plane by air drafts acting upon the model, the substantial width of the band provided by the originally co-planar surfaces 34 and 35' substantially prevent twisting movement of the band. The support needleis therefore always maintained substantially vertically.
Because the point-receiving depression 21 of t the model is recessed into i the body 1 of the model and spaced above the bottom of the model, the weights which lower the center of gravity of the model need not be positioned an abnormal distance below the bottom surface of the plane as has often been the case in the past. Rather, the weights can be positioned within the normal configuration of the plane, as in the turbine housings 22, so that the authenticity of the reproduction of the model is not affected. l have found that advantageous action is obtained by positioning the pointreceiving depression as close to the top of the model as is conveniently possible.
Although I have described the weights as being adjustable, they could be fixed or they could be eliminated, depending upon the weight and the distribution of the weight of the model. Also, the weights could be located in other parts of the model rather than in the wings, depending upon the shape of the model.
While in the foregoing specification I have set forth a detailed description of a specific embodiment of my invention for the purpose of illustration, it is to be understood that many of the details herein given may be varied considerable by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. In combination, a model and support stand therefor, the model having an elongated body provided with a recess terminating in a point-receiving depression,
the support stand having a base, a flexible, resilient spring band extending arcuately from the base and having a pair of ends, the band being formed from an elongated flat strip of metal having a pair of co-planar flat surfaces, the width of the band being substantially greater than the thickness of the band whereby the band resists being twisted about the longitudinal dimension thereof, the band being bent into a bow shape extending generally perpendicularly to the flat surfaces of the band, one end of the band being attached to the base, a support needle attached to the other end of the base and extending into the recess, the support needle terminating in a point received by said depression whereby the model is supported by the point of the needle.
from the side wall of the recess.