US 3826037 A
A catapult and flying body wherein the catapult has a handle and a guide which receives a cooperative slide rail of a flying body. The body has a pair of pivotable fins and a pulling member and means for applying tension to a tensioning member in the guide. The toy also includes resilient means connecting the rail and fins for causing the fins to swing out when the flying body has reached the maximum altitude of its flight path. For catapulting the body to higher altitudes a very large, ground-mounted catapult may be used.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent a 1111 3,826,037
Migowski 1. [4 July 30, 1974 4] FLYING TOY AND CATAPULT FOR 3,452,471 7/1969 Street 46/81 VERTICAL EAUNCHING THEREOF FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS  Inventor: Giinter Migowski, RothschildAllee 524,773 5/1931 Germany 46/81 61, Frankfurt am Main, Germany 816,437 5/1937 France 46/81 Filed J y 7 1972 96,428 8/1939 Sweden 46/81  Appl. No.: 269,893 Primary Examiner-F. Barry Shay Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Lilling & Siege]  Foreign Application Priority Data July 8, 1971 Germany 2134080  ABSTRACT July 9, 1971 Germany 2134201 A catapult and fl P Y wherem the catapult a handle and a guIde which receives a cooperative sllde 521 US. 01. 46/84, 46/81 rail of a flying body- The body has a P of Pivotable 51 Int. Cl. A63h 27 14 fins and Pulling member and means for pp y g  Field 61 Search 46/80, 8 1, 83, 84 sion to a tensioning member in the guide- The y also includes resilient means connecting the rail and fins 5 References Cited lflor causilriigdthe1 fins to swing (lu t :henfthe gyifig bocily as reac e t e maxlmum mm c 0 Its 1g tpat 1 H6 H2 322 :T PATENTS 46,80 For catapulting the body to higher altitudes a very elss 2,417,267 3/1947 Porter 46/80 large ground mounted catapult may be used 2,667,352 1/1954 Sepersky 46/81 x 7 Claims, 30 Drawing Figures PAIEM JUL 3 0 1m SHEET 2 OF 5 4 PATENTED I 3,826,037
Y SHEET 3 OF 5 Fig. 10 mm Fig. m v
IL Fig/7 PAIENIEmmamw SHEET 5 BF 5 Fig 30 Fig. 21
FLYING TOY AND CATAPULT FOR- VERTICAL LAUNCHING THEREOF BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to a toy comprising a flying body and a catapult for the flying body, which is used as a run-way or starting ramp for the flying body. In the conventional and known catapults of the prior art, there is usually an elastic band fastened to the legs of a fork and this type of catapult is poorly adapted to launch flying bodies into the air, particularly vertically; and in addition, there is always the danger to others in the immediate area because such devices are mostly used horizontally, or at the most at a slight incline to ground.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to allow children as well as grown-ups to start or launch flying bodies vertically into the air by means of a catapult, so that when the maximum altitude is reached the flying bodies change over to another flight characteristic, such as that of a propeller drive type, or release a parachute. The return flight is then a slow downward movement. When this order or flight movement is observed, the flying bodies and the associated catapult for play and sport purposes are safe to use and a most interesting toy to spend ones spare time on whether one is a child or adult.
According to the invention, the toycomprises holding means including a handle for holding the toy in a vertical position for use and a profiled guide rail. A correspondingly profiled slide rail forms the base member of the flying body. Two extendible swingably mounted fins on a least one pulling ear are connected to the slide rail and are to be engaged by ones finger to tension a tensioning element, and a transmission lever or link is arranged between the slide rail and the fins in such a manner that a deflection of the fins is caused by a spring when the flying body has reached the maximum altitude of its path of flight.
In use, the flying body is inserted together with its slide rail into the guide rail of the catapult and engages the tensioning element of the catapult by a hook or a notch in the slide rail or below the slide rail. Then, the flying body is pulled vigorously against the tensioning element and catapulted into the air when released.
The construction of the flying body and particularly of the holding means precludes use of the catapult horizontally as it is possible with a conventional stone-bow. Inasmuch as the flying body performs its prescribed maneuver only when it is shot vertically into the air by means of the catapult, the catapult and the flying bodies constructed therefore are an ideal and entirely safe toy and sporting article.
A principal part of the catapult of the invention is the guide rail with the tensioning element. The guide rail is maintained by the handle in its vertical position or is vertically mounted. The handle is secured preferably at the front end of the guide rail or as high as possible,-i.e., at the side where the flying body leaves the guide rail when it is catapulted; however, it may be disposed also at any other place of the guide rail.
The guide rail of the catapult allows a safe take-off. For this reason, the flying body of the invention is provided with a slide rail having a profile matching with extendible fins of the flying body, the function to stabilize the flying body in flying position and flight course during the ascent; and they function to swing out when the ascent is terminated to bring out new flight characteristics directly or indirectly, for example, the characteristics of a propeller (like in a helicopter).
The fins swing out by means of a torque which is exerted by a spring on the extendible fins. An early swinging-out is prevented since the fins are held manually or by means of holding bars against the catapult. During the ascent, the friction power and compressive force of the passing air prevent the fins from swinging out early or prematurely.
In order to generate this torque, a helical spring may be incorporated in or at the hinge of the fin for swinging out the fin. A helical spring having half a turn is sufficient. For example, the ends of a bent band of steel or resilient material are supported between the flying body and fin or between the'two extendible fins. A further possibility is to secure an elastic band before the hinge to the flying body and behind the hinge to the extendible fin.
In order to achieve the desired flight, the torque must be small or very small before the fins swing out and must become larger when the fins swing out. It is achieved thereby that after the swinging-out action has started, it is performed quickly, safely and completely and that by means of the increasing torque the fins of the flying body swing out completely or a parachute is released so as to come to a new flight pattern or characteristic.
In order to make the torque substantially zero or as small as possible with close-flying fins, the elastic bands are guided in a recess or groove over the hinge to the location where the extendible fins are hooked. Thereby, the effective distance or the equation torque force X effective distance is substantially zero and thus also the torque would be likewise substantially zero. This situation is ideal for the first part of the flight. At the maximum altitude of the flight when the flying body comes to a standstill, the very small torque is sufficient to start the swing-out process. As the forces acting on the fins must be very small at first it is advantageous to provide transmission gears or links for the forces of the swing-out torque since the forces produced by slightly tensioned elastic bands are generally too large.
. For this purpose transmission levers are disposed between the slide rail and fin. The transmission levers are operated by elastic bands or springs which are fastened before the hinge at the flying body and behind the hinge at the transmission lever in order to swing out the fins.
The transmission levers may have recesses to guide the elastic band over the hinge as closely as possible and thus to reduce the effective distance for the torque.
The fins as well as the transmission levers may be formed as scissor or knee levers. Elastic springs such as steel springs or plastic springs can also be used as transmission levers which are bent when the tension is released. One end of the springs is securedto the flying body and the other end is placed within the ends of the scissored fins.
If it is intended to catapult the flying body to high altitudes, the catapult must be very large. In this case, the catapult cannot be held manually but it is placed vertically on the ground. A plate-shaped foot is provided at the lower end of the guide rail. The guide rail is supported by the plate by struts or angles.
A further possibility is to provide supporting legs at the lower end of the guide rail. Three or more legs are combined to a support in which the guide rail is located vertically or substantially vertically.
The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combination of elements, and arrangements of parts, will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter described, and of which the scope will be indicated by the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a catapult and flying body of the invention prepared for launching;
FIG. 2 is a front plan view of the catapult and flying body shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view along the line III-III of FIG. 2;
FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 7 are views of different embodiments of the handle of the catapult;
FIGS. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and are crosssectional views of other embodiments of the guide rail and of the slide rail;
FIG. 16 is the plan view of a flying body illustrating the hinge of the fins;
FIG. 17 is a sectional view along the line A-B of FIG. 16'
FIG. 18 is a plan view of a guide rail of the flying body with an inserted pressure spring;
FIG. 19 is a plan view of a guide rail with an inserted tension spring;
FIG. 20 is a plan view of a flying body with bent fins;
FIG. 21 is a plan view of a flying body with extended fins;
FIG. 22 is a plan view of a flying body with transmission levers;
FIG. 23 is a plan view of a flying body with transmission levers acting as springs;
FIG. 24 is a partial plan view and FIG. 25 a partial side view of the lower part of a flying body with different pulling handles;
FIG. 26 is a fragmentary plan view of the lower part of a flying body with one pulling handle only;
FIG. 27 is a side elevational view and FIG. 28 a top plan view of a guide rail set up;
FIG. 29 is a side elevational view and FIG. 30 a top plan view of another embodiment of the guide rail set DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, there is illustrated a catapult l and a flying body 2 which are made preferably of plastic material with embedded metal portions, if desired. The catapult 1 comprises a guide rail 3 and a handle 4 secured to the side of the guide rail and formed insuch a manner that one grips the catapult with the guide rail in the vertically erected position. The guide rail has the profile illustrated in FIG. 3 and a longitudinal slot 5, a first channel 6 in which the slide rail 12 of the flying body is located and a second inner channel 7 to receive the launching means which is a tensioning element. The latter may be an elastic band 8.
The band is formed as a loop to be hung in a groove 9 of the catapult and tensioned by a launch contact member, shown as a projection or hook 10 of the flying body. The hook 10 engages band 8 when it is introduced from the upper end of the rail. In order to be able to pull the slide rail downwardly for tensioning the band, it is provided with two pulling ears or pulling handles 11 on either side which project laterally to the outside of the guide rail. Furthermore, two fins 13 are hinged to the slide rail 12. The hinges 14 are disposed on either side of the slide rail transversely to its longitudinal axis, but are slightly inclined with respect to an angle of so that the fins are slightly oblique when they swing out (FIG. 21). An elastic band 15 is provided at the fins and guided across projections 16 and 16a so that it tries to open the fins by a weak force. At the place where the band 15 is guided over the hinge 14, the hinge is provided preferably with a recess illustrated in FIG. 17 so that the effective distance of the torque exerted on the fins in the quiescent state is as small as possible, as described above.
The spring 15 engages the fins directly in FIGS. 1 and 21, whereas, alternatively, transmission levers 17 are provided in FIG. 22, to transmit spring movement to the pivotal fins. The fins are mounted to a hinge 18 (FIG. 20) like scissors or tongs, or knee levers. The transmission levers 17 are mounted in hinges l9 and 20 (FIG. 22) and their lower ends are disposed between the upper ends of the fins.
It will be seen that the mode of operation of the toy is first for the catapult l to be held vertically in one hand. The other hand then introduces the flying body 2 from the top into the guide rail 3 and its hook l0 rests against the band 8. By pulling the grips 11 the band 8 is tensioned and the fins 13 rest closely against the guide rails. When the grips are released the flying body is catapulted upwardly. During the fast movement the spring 15 cannot swing out the fins against the pressure of the wind. When the flying body reaches its maximum altitude, the drag decreases and the fins swing out so that the flying body rotates and goes down to the ground slowly with the characteristics of a propeller (like a helicopter).
The handle 4 may be of various shapes and have different forms. The handle 20 as best shown in FIG. 4 is grooved, the handle 21 in FIG. Sis bent like a hook, the handle 22 in FIG. 6 is curved, and the handle 23 in FIG. 7 is connected to the guide rail 3 as a member of flat material.
Modifications of the profile of the guide rail 3 and of the slide rail 12 are illustrated in FIGS. 8 to 15; the guide rails 3a, 3b, 3c, 3f, 3g, and 3h receive the tensioning element in their interior, whereas, according to FIGS. 10 and 11 the tensioning element is located at the outer surface of the guide rails 30 and 3d. The slide rails 12a to 12h have profiles which complement with those of the guide rails 3a to 3h. The guide rail can be associated with straps; a part thereof may also be laterally slotted.
placed with respect to the surface of the fin for a small distance as FIG. 17 illustrates. It is also possible to arrange the hinges to form an angle of 90 and to turn the fins 13 slightly with respect to the hinges.
Instead of the elastic band 15, a helical spring of half a winding or a few windings can be incorporated into the hinge to swing out the fins.
Instead of the tensioning device or band 8 a pressure spring according to FIG. 18 or a tension spring 27 according to FIG. 19, may be provided inside the guide rail. The pressure spring 26 is compressed when it is tensioned, and the spring 27 is pulled when the slide rail is introduced.
The fins can be formed of a thin surface element having a roughened and slotted end.
FIG. 23 illustrates an embodiment of the flying body 2 with a common fin hinge and with modified transmission levers 24 and 25. These levers are spring exerting a weak outwardly directed spring force on the two upper ends of the fins so that they are moved outwardly to the position indicated by a dotted line when the wind pressure ceases.
FIGS. 24 to 26 illustrate different embodiments of the pulling handles. According to FIG. 24, the handles are discs 28 and 29 at either side of the slide rail 12 which are seized between thumb and forefinger. The fins 13 are provided with corresponding apertures.
A hook-shaped handle 30 according to FIG. 26 may also be provided for the tensioning action projecting from the slot 5 of the guide rail 3 when the slide rail 12 is introduced.
FIGS. 27 and 28 illustrate an embodiment wherein the guide rail 3 is vertically secured to a foot formed as a disc 31. FIGS. 29 and 30 illustrate that the guide rail 3 is supported by means of hinged support legs 32, 33, 34 in vertical direction like a tripod pedestal.
Although the present invention has been described in some detail by way of illustration and example for purposes of clarity of understanding, it is understood that certain changes and modifications may be made within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A toy comprising in combination a catapult and a flying body, the catapult comprising:
1. holding means including a handle for maintaining the catapult in vertical position during use;
2. a profiled guide rail; and
3. resilient launching means secured to said rail for launching a flying body therefrom; and the flying body comprising:
4. .a profiled slide rail designed and adapted to be received by, and slidably and releasably connected to, the guide rail, said slide rail having a pulling member thereon;
5. a launch contact member on said slide rail releasably engaged by the launching means and designed and adapted to restrain the launching means so as to bias said launching means when manual pressure is applied to said pulling member to move the slide rail relative to the guide rail in a foreordained direction, such that when the manual pressure is released, the launching means acts against the contact member to launch the body;
6. a pair of extendible fins, pivotally secured by a hinge to the slide rail about a point intermediate of the fins ends, such that the two fins cross at the hinge and a portion of each fin extends upwardly beyond the hinge; the pair of fins acting in the manner of scissors such that. by pivoting the upwardly extending portion of each fin outwardly from the slide rail, the respective lower portion of the fin is pivoted outwardly from the slide rail;
7. leaf springs secured to the slide rail, one end of each leaf spring being free and biased away from the slide rail but movable towards and away from the slide rail; the free end of each leaf spring, when adjacent the slide rail, is located intermediate the rail and the upper end of a fin, such that when the free ends move away from the positions adjacent the slide rail, the fins are moved outwardly into their extended positions.
2. The toy according to claim 1 wherein the profiled guide rail comprises a complementary hollow groove designed and adapted to slidably retain the slide rail.
3. The toy according to claim 1 wherein the profiled guide rail comprises lateral guide ways designed and adapted to slidably retain and guide the slide rail.
4. The toy according to claim 1 wherein the guide rail comprises a continuous inner channel and wherein the launching means comprises a looped elastic band inserted within the continuous inner channel.
5. The toy according to claim 1 wherein the guide rail includes a continuous inner channel and wherein the launching means comprises a tension spring secured within the inner channel to the upper end of the guide rail and further comprising engaging means for connecting the spring to the launch contact member on the slide rail.
6. The toy according to claim 1 wherein the longitudinal axis of each fin, while the slide rail is being launched from the guide rail, is parallel to the slide rail but spaced apart laterally from the slide rail.
7. The toy according to claim 1 wherein the fins are a thin surface element with a roughened and slotted end.