US 3852910 A
The disclosure is of a hollow unitary body, which has a series of airfoils joined together and extending from the center of the body to form a unitary composite airfoil. The airfoils are encompassed by a safety ring. Each of the airfoils have a negative dihedral design, which includes lift spoilers on their top surface. At the peripherical tips of these said airfoils are weights. Along the trailing edge of said airfoils are wing flaps and in profile the composite airfoil is shown as having a substantially flat bottom.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Everett Dec. 10 1974 AERIAL TOY  Inventor: Robert A. Everett, 704 s. 142 East Ave" Tulsa Okla 74108 Assistant ExamznerRobert F. Cutting  Filed: Apr. 21, 1972 57 ABSTRACT PP 246,238 The disclosure is of a hollow unitary body, which has a series of airfoils joined together and extending from  us CL M 46/74 D the center of the body to form a unitary composite air-  m. rash 27/00 feil- The eiefefle eeeemeeeeee by e eeteey  Field of Search 273/106 R Each of the airfoils have a negative dihedral design,
7 which includes lift spoilers on their top surface. At the  References Cited peripherical tips of these said airfoils are weights. Along the trailing edge of said airfoils are wing flaps UNITED STATES PATENTS and in profile the composite airfoil is shown as having e 2,835,073 5/1958 Dame 46/74D a b t i l] fl b tt 3,185,480 5/1965 Weyman et al..... 46/74 R S an y 0 0 3,613,295 10/1971 Everett 46/74 D 6 im 3 r g F g AERIAL TOY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to bodies with airfoil configurations adapted to be launched into flight by hand. More specifically, the invention relates to bodies which are sustained in flight by aerodynamic and gyroscopic principles brought into play by the bodies being spun and propelled along a line of flight.
2. Description of the Prior Art My U.S. Pat. No. 3,613,295 describes an invention related to the field of this invention. Continued experience with the invention of my patent has forced me to recognize problems which I have met with this invention.
The extended negative dihedral airfoils of the body in which the invention of my patent is embodied, require protection from solid articles encountered along a flight path. Additionally, the airfoils require some additional strength when they are extended a certain extent.
Representative of the prior art, the disclosure of my patent utilizes weight attached to the tips of the airfoils. These weights create a centrifugal force which gives stability and sustains the body in flight. The polar moment of inertia force, creates its own gyroscopic characteristics. This weight is fixed and no provisions are made to allow for a variable distribution or the addition of extra weight. It is very desirable to vary the weight, because different wind conditions and different size persons will be launching this device; a woman may wish to throw a light weight model and taking advantage of the wind currents, whereas a man would desire a heavier model and take advantage of his strength in order to gain more velocity by the use of his sinews, to produce a long flight, instead of depending upon the fickle wind currents. Also the lift to weight ratio must be considered in making this variable adjustment, which can only be determined by trial and error.
Sealed to the top surface of my patent is a substantially flat bottom, that adds rigidity and gives the hollow body, buoyancy. But this nearly flat bottom has a tendancy to become slightly concaved, which present experience has proved undesirable. Being nearly a flat surface also allows for a better chance of digging into the terrain upon landing, which is also undesirable.
Further, representative of the prior art, the body of my patent disclosure has a negative dihedral design. However, this design of airfoil produces such abundant lift during the first few feet of flight that the body becomes unstable and flips over on its back and then upright again and then it may repeat this maneuver over again, and at the same time losing its lift ability. This of course can become undesirable, because of the loss of the lift capabilities when it makes this maneuver and because of the loss of stability.
The extended airfoils that form a unitary body in my prior invention have no'provisions for making adjustments in their configurations for the purpose of changing the flight characteristics of their body, which will provide a nose up or nose down attitude while in flight.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is to provide protection and support for the tips of the extended airfoils of their body. The present invention provides circular ring structure at the tips of the airfoils which will contact any solid structure along the flight path, add support strength to the airfoils, prevent digging of the body into the terrain and provide the alternate ability to roll upon landing.
Another object of the invention is to provide adjustable weight at the tips of the airfoils. The present invention provides pockets with covers at the tips in which various weights can be retained. This will allow the thrower to change the lift to weight ratio, depending on his strength and amount of wind current at the time of launching the device. This then becomes a science in aerodynamics, and only by trial and error will the thrower find the correct ratio, in a given number of variables to produce the best flight possible.
Another object of the invention is to provide a bottom for the body which will provide the most desirable flight characteristics and yet allow for skipping from the landing area, rather than dig into the terrain. The present invention provides a thin, but durable bottom, because of the slightly convexed contour that will tend to keep its shape to that of substantially flat.
Another object of my invention is to control the lift characteristics of the extended airfoils of the body. The present invention provides lift spoiler structure on the top surface of the airfoils. These lift spoilers then will prevent the device from making a snap roll" maneuver and thereby giving the device a more level, smoother and longer flight. 1
Another object is the addition of wing flaps to the trailing edge of said extended airfoils and hinged, so they can be adjusted. With the thrower being able to set the flaps before launching to give the device a nose up or nose down attitude when in flight; thereby giving the thrower a degree of control, in the attitude the device will take in flight. It has also been found, by experience, that the wind currents pushing against the back side of the flaps boost the device along when it is in an attitude of flying with the wind currents.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a top plan view ofa unitary body embodying the invention.
FIG. 2 is an elevation view of the body of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on line 3-3 FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the accompanying drawings, there is shown a hollow body 15, made in two parts 10 and 13. This body 15 embodies a plurality of radially extended negative dihedral airfoils 11 extending at angular intervals, radiating from a common center.
To describe the airfoils ll more particularly, each airfoil 11 has a negative dihedral design with a leading edge 12 faced in the direction of the spin to produce its optimum lift characteristics. These extended negative dihedral airfoils 11 when spinning, create forces that gives a hovering type of flight characteristic to the device.
Located at the very outer tips of each airfoil 11 are solid or weighted portions 14. These weighted tips 14 create a centrifugal force by the spin imparted when the device is thrown into the air. These weighted tips 14 add stability and sustain the spinning action.
The hollow pockets 19 are also located in the weighted tip section .14 of each airfoil 11 for the purpose of allowing more weight to be added or removed as desired. The added weight, such as lead shot or pellets may be kept from falling out by a cover 20 which seals the weights inside.
These extended negative dihedral airfoils 11 contain on their top surface lift spoilers 16 hinged 17 on the side of the leading edge 12 of the airfoils 11. They are located on the top surface of the airfoils l 1 in a manner that will allow them to set in a recess 18 and will become flush with the rest of the top surface. These spoilers 16, function by lifting into the airstream, due to low pressure created in this area. So when too much lift is created the spoiler 16 will lift up and destroy some of the lift and then fall back into its recess '18. This action will prevent the device from rolling over on its back. By
. spoiler, I mean to define a plate, series of plates, comb, tube, bar or other device that projects into the airstream about a body to break up or spoil the smoothness of the flow, especially such a device that projects from the upper surface of an airfoil, giving an increased drag and decreased lift. Spoilers are normally movable, and consist of two basic types: the flap type spoiler, which is hinged along one edge and lies flush with the airfoil or body when not in use, and retractable spoiler, which retracts edgewise into the body. This term and definition is found in at least NASA Aeronautical Dictionary by Frank Davis Adams 1959 page 158.
Also located at the outer tips of each extended airfoil 11, is a ring 21 encircling the entire body 15: which has the function as a safety device against obstacles in its flight path and adds strength and support to the extended airfoils 11. This ring 21 also helps keep the device from digging into the terrain and adds to the ability of the body 15 to roll when landing, should it land on its edge.
Along the trailing edge of the extending airfoils 11, are located adjustable wing flaps 22. These are adjusted manually to the desired angle before the device is launched and will remain so during the flight. These flaps 22, give the device an upward or downward direction only, plus any added reaction that may result from the wind currents, can give it an unpredictable flight pattern.
The bottom 13 is slightly convexed and sealed to the top section at the edge of their perimeter, forming a unitary hollow and buoyant body 15. This body as shown in-the elevation view in FIG. 2, the radially extended negative dihedral airfoils ll seen as comprising one large configuration of an airfoil 15 FIG. 2, which creates its own aerodynamic lift characteristics when in flight.
The radial extended airfoils 11 make a very convenient structure to grasp by the hand when throwing said device into the air. In fact, it is highly suited for a hand hold and allows for a sure and positive grip. The body 15 is held approximately parallel to the ground and in a side to three quarter arm motion, it is thrown into the air at a slightly inclined angle and preferrably into the wind at a slight angle. When released, an automatic snap to the wrist imparts the spin action and the forward flying motion. The more force and spin imparted to the device, the more likely of longer flight, depending on the angle of attack, wind velocity, weight distribution etc. It will take off in a gradual upward and forward manner. In approximately the first 75 feet of flight, the device which contains most of the surging spin and force in this distance; the coaction of aerodynamic and gyroscopic forces will create so much lifting force in this space of the flight that the lift forces become unbalanced and the device will attempt to make a snap roll, but with the lift spoilers l6 installed on the airfoils top surface, will come into use automatically and destroy some of this lift. With the spoilers 16 being adjustable, because of the type of hinge 17 or other closing mechanism, the spoilers 16a will open easily or hard, depending on the desire of the thrower and then fly on a normal flight path. This normal flight path may be one in which it reaches a point where it will hover until the spinning and lift forces are lost, the device will then break downward to the left or right or back down to the approximate point of launch. If thrown at an oblique angle to the wind, it will do the same as before mentioned, but it will not hover, but will continue on an extended flight path.
The precise manner in which the air velocity, gravity, aerodynamic and gyroscopic forces coact on the invention is rather complex. However, it can be theorized, with some justification, that some aspects of the interaction may be explained in the following manner. When the device begins its initial trajectory in a horizontal plane, the forces imparted to it create lift by the very factof its overall shape FIG. 2. And as the thrower releases the device, it automatically is given a spin,
which sets up another lifting force; which is the lift produced by the spinning extended airfoils 11. This spinning action also brings in a gyroscopic action, that produces stability and sustains this spinning action that, in turn sustains the lift action of the extended airfoils 11.
So, it can be said, or assumed, that the more force and spin produced by a throwing motion, including the wrist action at the release point, will produce the best flight. The wrist snap upon release is similar to a ball player throwing a ball and automatically snapping the wrist and imparting spin to the thrown ball. Any man or boy having ambitions in the sports world that involves throwing a ball of some kind, knows the advantage of developing the wrist, forearm and shoulder. This is the exact area of the body that this device uses, in unlimited quantities.
The bottom 13 of the invention, slightly convexed, eliminates much of the drag in this area, and adds to the stability and rigidity and gives the device buoyancy. So with a hollow buoyant body it lends itself to its use over water, which is a very ideal area. Flying space may be hard to come by, but any body of water is made to order, plus the added feature of the good air currents found there.
It is to be understood, of course, that the precise manner of the interaction of the various forces involved will vary, depending on the wind velocity, locomotion force used and the amount of force imparted to the device etc. Also slight changes in such things as the relative weight distribution etc., can be utilized to vary the flight characteristics, without departing from the teachings of the invention. Thus any discussion of the interaction must of necessity, be replete with generalities.
This unitary type invention has embodied in it, several principles that coact and produce flight and hovering characteristics, and as applied to aircraft with the use of power means, will produce a flying saucer type aircraft or space craft.
This invention can be applied to military arms, such as a hand grenade; a grenade embodying this invention will greatly add to the range of the grenade when thrown.
The toy aspect of this invention is that it can be put into flight by throwing, mechanical means or by use of power at the tip ends of the extended airfoils, such as jet power of some means at jet openings facing away from the direction of its rotation.
This device readily lends itself to be molded from plastic, metal, heavy ply card stock or other suitable material.
It is thought that the invention will be clearly understood from the foregoing detailed description of the illustrated preferred embodiment. Minor changes will suggest themselves and may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit of the invention and particularly that the figure may assume a variety of forms other than that shown. Therefore it is my intention that no lmitations be implied and that the hereto annexed claims be given a scope fully commensurate with the broadest interpetation to which the employed language admits.
The invention l have described and what is claimed l. A propelled aerial toy comprising a unitary body having an upper and lower surface, the upper surface comprising a plurality of radially extending and downwardly inclined dihedral airfoils, the airfoils extending at angular intervals and radiating from the center of the upper surface, the lower surface being substantially flat and sealed to the upper surface at the perimeter of the body, with a wing flap attached to the trailing edge of at least one of the airfoils.
2. The body of claim 1, including weights mounted at the outer edge of at least one of the airfoils.
3. The body of claim 2, with an open pocket in the outer edge of at least one of the airfoils to receive one of the weights.
4. The body of claim 3, including a cover over the open pocket in the outer edge of at least one of said airfoil.
5. The body of claim 1, and at least one lift spoiler mounted on the upper surface of at least one of the dihedral airfoils.
6. The body of claim 1, in which a circular ring is mounted at the outer edge of the airfoils.