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Auge v5,
`
L.. MAY ¿ATH
TÜMATIC ALTITUDE CONTROL ÉDE'î/’IIGE
File
È, _-- K. ¿N
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INVEN’mR.
9055,??- L . MA'VÉÍ???
Patented Aug. 6, 1946
2,405,228
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
2,405,228
y
_
AUTOMATIC `ALTITUDE CONTROL DEVICE
Robert L. Mayrath, Dodge City, Kans.
Application December 26, 1944, Serial No.'569,8'69
14 Claims.
1
(c1. 172-282) '
(Granted under the act of March 3, 1883, as
amended April 30, 1928; 370 o. G. 757)
2
The invention described herein may be manu
relative each other responsive to changes in al
factured and used by or for the Government for
titude of an associated aircraft and wherein an
governmental purposes, without the payment to
electrical contact engagement occurs between an
me of any royalty thereon.
element displaced in response to barometric pres
This invention relates to altitude control de Ol sure and one or the other of a pair of contact
vices for aircraft, and more particularly, to al
portions of another element, depending upon
titude control devices for automatically actuat
Y whether the aircraft is rising or falling. Contact
ing aerodynamic control elements of radio con
engagement of the elements is provided periodi
trolled aircraft, responsive to changes in altitude,
cally by mechanical pressure eans so that the
for the purpose of maintaining flight at a prede- '
termined level.
>
Present methods of automatic altitude control
in radio controlled aircraft contain a number of
drawbacks, one of which is that the systems in
use are complicated and expensive, which makes
the cost factor considerable where such systems
are installed in aircraft used for target purposes.
Another drawback is found in some systems in
that extreme angles of climb'and dive are met.
Such eXtreme angles sometimes cause an aircraft ,
to stall in a down draft greater than the maxi
mum climb rate of the aircraft, or cause the air
craft to dive to a destructive speed'in a violent
up draft. Various angle limiting systems have
been proposed, one of which is to limit the actua- ‘
tion of the aerodynamic controls of the plane
by limiting the extent of rotation of a trim mo
tor adapted to actuate such elements under au
tomatic control responsive to altitude changes.
first-named element may be constructed of light
flexible material and easily displaced by the baro
metric pressure responsive mechanism.
The con
tact engagement with one or the other of the
contact portions serves to energize an electric
motor’in one direction or the other, respectively,
which actuates aerodynamic control elements of
the aircraft, in a well understood manner, and
simultaneously displaces the contact portion car
rying element in the direction of displacement
of the barometric pressure responsive element to
restore the initial conditions corresponding to a
setting for predetermined level flight. Means
arev incorporated in the device whereby the dis
placement of the barometric pressure responsive
element is limited to avoid eXtreme angles of climb
or dive.
Additional means are provided for ac
tuating the device independently of the automatic
control mechanism in order to provide a prede
termined flight level by radio control, and by
Such methods of limitation, however, are not de 30 virtue of a lost motion linkage provided in the
sirable in radio controlled aircraft, since the trim
automatic control system, it is possible to provide
motor must be capable of obtaining effects of
independent control by radio for climbing or div
stalling the aircraft to make landings and must
ing the aircraft at extreme angles under guidance
also be capable of effecting diving at steep angles
to perform various missions. In order to achieve
these effects, other systems introduce further
of an operator when so desired.
Other objects and features of my invention will
be made apparent by the detailed description
which now follows with reference to the appended
complications in the use of trim motors with dou
ble limits, or two trim motors, one for automatic
drawing, in which:
altitude control and the other for radio control.
Fig. 1 is a perspective showing the arrange
It is an important object of the present inven 40 ments of the elements thereof; and
tion to provide a simple device for maintaining
Fig. 2 discloses a modification of one of thev
a predetermined level flight of an aircraft and
elements.
wherein automatic altitude control means are
With reference to Fig. 1, the device comprises
incorporated comprising elements adapted to lim
a contact arm generally indicated as I supported
it the extent of automatic control insofar as the rate of dive or climb are concerned.
It is a further object of the invention to pro
vide an automatic control device having features
whereby control from the ground by means of
radio may be effected independently of the opera
tion of the automatic altitude control system.
In accordance with the above objects, I provide
barometric pressure responsive means comprising
a lost motion linkage in combination with cer
tain electrical elements disposed for displacement "
by and keyed to a shaft 3 and disposed for pivotal
movement relative a contact or pick-oil plate
generally indicated as 5, plate 5 being keyed to
a supporting shaft 6. Arm I is pivotally actuated
by contraction or expansion of a diaphragm 1 of
the type used in conventional altimeters, being
responsive to barometric pressure. VDiaphragm
1 is coupled to arm I through a bidirectional
lost motion mechanism comprising a slot and
pin arrangement I0 and a lever and pin arrange
ment I3; comprising, respectively, a slotted mem
2,405,228
-
3
even though diaphragm '| may be expanding or
contracting at the time, since the lost motion pro
vided between pin lob and the slot in member
lßa will permit diaphragm 'l to expand without
forcing angular displacementv of arm l clockwise,
and the lost motion provided between lever |_3a
and pin |31) will permit diaphragm 1 to contract
without forcing angular displacement of arm |
counterclockwise. The bidirectional lost motion
structure is an important feature of the device
for the above reason, and for other reasons which
will be understood from the description of the
manner in which the device operates hereinafter
set forth. If it is desired, any suitable length
adjusting means 6| may be provided on rod 41
_to provide Variation of the time of engagement
lever i3d by virtue of the tendency to uncurl of
a spring 39 secured between a post 3| integral
with gear i6 and a shafti33. Shaft 33 is coupled
at one end by a pinion 35 to gear sector |3c and
is rotatably secured at kits other end, in any suit
able‘manner, to a web of gear i6. The mechani
cal system thus far disclosed is completed by a
gear S8 keyed to shaft 33 and engaging a pinion 25
39 keyed to shaft 3, whereby reversible pivotal
moti-on of contact arm i 4is providedA responsive to
functioning of diaphragm l. 'Means for actuat
ing arm l independently of diaphragm 'l is pro*
4
tion of tongue la against plate 5, no angular dis
placement of the tongue la is intended to occur
ber | @a secured to the movable end of diaphragm
l., a pin lilo, and a lever lûc, and, a lever |311,
pin |319 and gear sector iäc. A gear IB, through
which axial shaft 3 passes rotatively, serves to
carry diaphragm 'l and the lost motion system by
virtue of an integral beam |'| securing the rela
tively stationary end of diaphragm .'l, and the
shaft 2l rotatably supported in any suitable man
ner in a web of gear it, and having keyed thereto
the levers |90 and i3d and rotatably supporting
gear sector lâc, it being noted that gear sector
3c is thereby provided with vpivotal freedom rela- v
tive shaft 2|. Pin lill? is biased toward engage
ment with the upper end of the slot in Amember'
ma by virtue of a spring 25 secured in tension
between beam il and a lever 2e keyed to shaft
2|. Pin |319 is biased toward engagement with '
between tongue la and pick-off plate 5. An elec
trical ground connection, as indicated on the
drawing, is provided for yoke 54 and contacts 5a
and 5b are electrically connected through relays
64a and b, respectively, and thence through'bat
tery 66 to ground so that a series connection is
established at such times as tongue la engages
contact 5a or 5b, thereby energizing the corre
spondingly lettered relay to close a circuit ener
gizing a motor lil. Motor 1.0 is a reversible type
and will be understood to include a reduction gear
system having an output shaft 'ma connected in
videdin the form of an electric motor »llt having 30
such a manner that the direction of rotation is
a lpinion 4| engaging gear I6, motor 4|! being
dependent on whether relay 64a or 64b has been
energizable by a radio contr-ol system, in a well
known manner, as indicated on the drawing.
,Attention is now invited rto the pick-off sys
energized .subsequent to Contact of tongue |a with
contact 5a or 5b. A linkage system, generally in
dicated by l2, couples the shaft of motor ‘lll to
tem ycomprising arm | and pick-off plate 5, as 35 shaft
ë, and a linkage system, generally indicated
heretofore' described. ,The arm | comprises a
by
14,
couples the shaft of motor l!! to the con
metallic flexible strip or tongue la secured by an
trols of anassociated aircraft, e. g., the throttle
insulating joint vib to a supporting member |c
lever, pitch control mechanism, or gyro base line.
keyed to the shaft 3. The pick~oif plate 5 com
Motor 'Illl is independently controllable by a radio
prises 'a disc of hardrubber, or the like, having
control system indicated on the drawing, which,
a peripheral ridge supporting ñush with the sur
of
course, may be the sameradio control system
face thereof a pair of metallic contact segments
indicated
in conjunction with the motor 40.. A
or. portionsfäa and 5b. An insulating portion
radio controlled switch is provided at 1| in the
l¿c of widthv greater than that of tongue la is
circuit of battery 66 for cutting out the auto
provided separating contacts 5a and 5b and is
matic' control system at such times as motor 'lû
arranged flush with the surfaces thereof. Tongue
is independently operated, the switch at 'Il being
|a is arranged in spaced relation to the contact
cut in by radio control when resuming automatic
portions of plate 5 by a small fraction of an inch,
operation.
land is brought into periodic engagement there
In operation, assuming the device is installed
with by a continuously rotating motor |85 which
on a grounded aircraft and motor 45 is rotating,
v'causes reciprocation of a rod 41 lby virtue of a
tongue la is so positioned relative pick-off plate
camfmechanism 48, in a well-known manner,
5 that periodic engagement with insulating sur
thereby oscillating a bar 5d, pivoted at 5|, through
face 5c is established. This'is regarded as normal
force'transmitted thereagainst by a spring 52,
periodic engagement, motor 'i’û being deenergized
rod ll'tbeing slidable in a bore provided in bar 55 since the surface 5c is a nonoperative point in
5G.' Oscillation of ‘bar 5S eiî'ects bending or de
sofar as energization of relays 64a and 64b are
flection of tonguev |a against plate 5 by Virtue
concerned. At such time, tongue la is midway
of an abutting yoke member 54 having stops 5M
between stops 54a and 54o and pin Iûb is in abut
and 5th thereon to limit pivotal motion of tongue
la. ln' 'practice it 'has been found feasible to 60 ment with thev top of the slot in member Illa,
while lever |3a is in abutment with pin |3b. The
space stops â'íia >and b apart a distance corre
device'may then be set for predetermined flight
sponding' to an altitude~ vchange of 100 feet. Yoke
level by energization of motor 4E, through the
54 is secured throughl an insulating member 51
radio control system or by direct control, whereby
to bar 56.1 A periodic engagement between tongue
la and pick-off plate 5 of 2,00 times per minute 65 gear I6 is rotated counterclockwise by pinion 4| ,
the entire mechanism '|-39 rotating bodily with
has been lfound >suitable for practical operation.
gear |95, including shaft 3 and arm l. After
Rod 4T is provided with an end abutment 59 and
gear IG is rotated approximately 30° tongue la
'spring' 52 is sufficiently strong to hold bar 50
abuts stop 54a. Continued rotation of gear I6
against abutment 5e until tongue Ia has been
pressed firmly against pick-,off plate 5 at some 70 then serves to wind up spring 30 secured to shaft
The stroke
33 due to a counterclockwise rotation of gear 38
of'bar 5i) is such that periodically yoke 54 will
caused‘by reaction against the now stationary
pinion 39, and simultaneously gear sector |30 is
rotated clockwise due to engagement with pinion
75 35, which rotates with gear 3a. lThe dashed ar
point on the surfaces 5a, 5b or 5c.
clear tongue iatoallow freedom for pivotal move
ment thereof responsive to functioning of dia
phragm l'. During the momentary clamping ac
5
2,405,228
6
„rows on the drawing indicate the relative rota
point on the contact 5b, the extent of arcuate
tion of the gear train as just described. Rotation
travel of arm l depending upon the altitude
of gear sector I 3c displaces pin |3b away from
deviation encountered. Relay 64b is thus ener
lever l 3a, thus providing a lost motion gap there
gized and motor 10 responds accordingly, oper
between. The extent of the lost motion gap de Ul ating the aircraft control elements to effect div
termines the height at which the aircraft will
ing of the aircraft. Simultaneously, plate 5 is
level off in night, and is determined in any suit
rotated clockwise to followup arm l, which in
able manner, such as by timing the duration of
turn, is now being affected by contraction of
.energization of motor 40, in relation to a known
diaphragm 1 through the mechanism '1_39 re
maximum extent of gap corresponding to the 10 sponsive to the present diving of the aircraft
flight ceiling of the particular aircraft. Simul
so that the rotational direction is reversed, ire.,
taneously with the foregoing functioning of the
arm l starts moving towards surface 5c while
mechanism 1-39, periodic engagement between
surface 5c is still moving clockwise to follow up
tongue la and contact 5a is occurring, whereby
the original displacement of arm l, since tongue
motor ‘I0 is correspondingly periodically energized
la is still in periodic engagement with surface 5b.
by operation of relay 64a, shaft 10a rotating in
The rate of restoration of normal periodic en
a counterclockwise direction, thereby setting the
gagement between tongue la and surface 5c is
control elements of the aircraft for climb, by ac
thus increased, the relative angular velocities of
tuation of linkage 1.4, and simultaneously linkage
arm I and plate 5 being dependent on the sensi
12 rotates pick-off plate 5 to restore the condi 20 tivity of system 1_39, speed of motor 1D and
tion of normal periodic engagement, i. e., plate
rate of dive, in general. Ultimately, normal
5 follows arm l counterclockwise at a rate deter
mined by the R. P. M. of the reduction gear out
put shaft of motor 10. Ultimately the insulated
surface 5c arrives in position to be periodically
engaged by tongue l a which is in its limit posi
tion in abutmentagainst stop 54a, thereby break
ing the circuit to relay 64a and deenergizing mo
tor 10. Motor 40, however, runs pursuant to op
erator control and may be stopped either before
or after the insulating surface 5c has rotated into
register with arm l, the point of stopping of mo
tor 40 being dependent only on the selected flight
level.
It will be appreciated that the rate of climb
is determined by the arc of travel of arm l prior
to abutting the stop 54a, since motor 'lû which
sets the controls is energized only for the length
of time required to effect the followup rotation
periodic engagement is restored as a result of
the action just described, and if at the time of
restoration lever I3a just abuts pin I3b, the air
craft is operating at the predetermined flight
level. If, however, due to conditions of design
and/or the existing air currents the aircraft has
dived below the predetermined level in the action
just described, then diaphragm 'I contracts and
causes
counterclockwise
rotation vof
arm
l,
whereby periodic engagement with surface 5a
is resumed at some point corresponding to a
materially lessened travel arc of arm I, as com
pared with the prior engagement therewith, and
once more the aircraft climbs. The hunting
action thus continues, each reversal having a
materially lessened arc of. arm l until equilibrium
is obtained, i. e., lever l3nt just abuts pin I3b but
transmits no torque to gear sector l3c and arm
of plate 5. The followup arc is, of course, iden 40 I is positioned substantially midway between
tical substantially with the travel arc of arm I,
stops 54a and 54h, the tongue la periodically
and accordingly limited as a design matter by
engaging surface 5c, which is the initial `condi
the arcuate spacing of stop 54a (or 54h in the
tion of all these elements prior to predetermina
reverse direction) from the center of yoke 54.
tion of the flight level.
It Will be further appreciated that the width of
If, for any reason, the aircraft should lose alti
insulating surface 54e relative the width of
tude from the predetermined level; diaphragm 1
tongue la determines the extent to which the
arm travel arc and the plate followup arc are
identical, such relative width being likewise a
matter of design which may be varied to suit
desired operation, such width likewise determin
ing the extent of altitude variation operation
ally encountered prior to initiation of corrective
response.
The flight level having been predetermined, ,
will contract, thereby actuating the lever |3a
counterclockwise, and thus permitting spring 30
to uncurl, the ensuing rotation of shaft 33 driv
ing gear 38 clockwise whence pinion 39, shaft 3
and arm l are rotated counterclockwise. Tongue
la is accordingly brought into periodic engage
ment with the surface 5a, the arc of travel of
tongue la being proportional to the rate at which
the aircraft is losing altitude as compared with
the mechanical inertia of the system |---39, and
relay 64a is energized whence motor 'l0 actuates
the control elements in the direction of climb.
Likewise, if for any reason the aircraft should
assuming the aircraft now takes off, it rises by
virtue of the setting of the control elements for
climb, as just described. The aircraft continues
to rise until diaphragm 1 expands sufficiently
to permit rotation of lever Hic, lever 26 and shaft 60 gain altitude, diaphragm 1 will expand, permit
2| (in a clockwise direction) by virtue of the
ting clockwise rotation of lever i3d under the
biasing action of spring 25, to a degree sufficient
influence of spring 25, whence the gear train
to close the gap between lever 13a and pin i317.
I3c-39 causes clockwise rotation of arm I,
At this time the aircraft has arrived at the
whereby engagement of tongue la with surface
predetermined fiight level but is continuing to
5b produces diving actuation of the aircraft con
rise since the aircraft control velements are still
trol surfaces. In either case, the followup oper
set for climb, whereupon diaphragm l expands
ation of plate 5 is responsive to angular displace
further, thus permitting lever 13a to drive gear
ment o-f arm l and in the same direction. It will
sector I3c clockwise due to the biasing influence
be appreciated that stops 54a and 54h limit the
of spring 25, this motion being transmitted 70 rotary displacement of arm l and therefore limit
through pinion 35, shaft 33, gear 38, pinion 39,
the angle of climb or dive of the aircraft to avoid
shaft 3 to arm l, causing clockwise rotation
unreasonable values which might cause stalling
thereof away from stop 54a. The rotation of arm
or destructive diving speeds.
l .serves to remove the point of periodic engage
With the aircraft in level flight at some pre
ment from the insulating surface 5c to some 75
determined altitude, it is possible to change the
2,405,228
7
altitude to some other predetermined level by
remote radio control of motor 4E), the action of
the device for predetermining a higher level
being the same as that described for preñight
predetermination. This follows from the fact
that the relative positions of lever 13a, pin l3b,
arm- I, plate 5 and yoke 54 are restored after
the aircraft has found the originally predeter
8
energization of the aircraft control motor, i. e.,
motor 10, (Fig. 1) would not be energized as
much during the complete followup of the pick
off plate shown in Fig. 2 were this plate substi
tuted for the plate 5 of Fig. 1. This follows from
consideration of the coaction between tongue la
and either of the sloping surfaces 18 andI 19.
Where coaction of tongue la is provided with a
surface uniformly receding from engagement due
mined level, as noted above.
In order to predetermine a level lower than 10 to a followup rotation, as is the case of a plate
formed as shown in Fig. 2, the duration of each
that at which the aircraft is flying, motor 4U is
controlled by radio to rotate counterclockwise,
whence the system l-SS rotates bodily clockwise
until tongue la abuts stop 54h, thus locking pinion
39 against clockwise rotation. Further rotation
of motor 40 serves to rotate gear IE, gear 38,
shaft 33, and pinion 35 clockwise, causing gear
sector |30, pin |3b, lever i3d, shaft 2l and lever
Ißc to rotate counterclockwise, whence pin lilb
engagement will progressively diminish from the
beginning to the end of a followup rotation since
progressively more time is used in nonengaging
deflection during each deflection cycle of tongue
la.
Accordingly, motor 10 receives energy im
pulses of progressively diminishing duration and
the aircraft control elements are operated corre
spondingly. Such a feature is useful in high speed
rides downwardly in the slot in member lila. „ aircraft where response to the aircraft control
elements may be disproportionately large as com
Tongue la having been brought into periodic en
pared with the rate of operation of the automatic
gagement with surface 5b, the electrical control
altitude control mechanism. By providing a
system becomes operative to dive the aircraft.
pick-off plate shaped as in Fig. 2, the response of
vThe duration of dive depends on the extent of
the aircraft will be made to progressively de
25
`lost motion provided between pin lob and the
crease, thereby attaining the advantage of a rela
upper end of the coacting slot, which in turn is
tibely large and prompt initial response com
dependentl on the duration of energization of
bined with a gradual tapering off in rate of re
motor 40, the controllable factor. The dive is
sponse so as to make the overall altitude change
'continued until diaphragm 'l has contracted sufli
ciently to translate member loa downwardly so 30 proportional to the extent of altitude deviation
affecting the automatic mechanism rather than
that pin Iûb abuts the upper end of the slot.
to
the speed of the aircraft.
Functioning of pick-off plate 5 to followup arm l
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
has been occurring from the time of energization
l. In a device as set forth in claim l2, wherein
after some hunting, due to the aircraft diving 35 said altitude response means comprises a gear
axially aligned with said contact arm, a pressure
beyond the newly predetermined level. Accord
of motor 1U, equilibrium condition being restored
ingly, with the aircraft in flight, any number of
flight levels may be successively predetermined
responsive diaphragm carried by said gear, a pin
ion coaxial with said gear and secured for rota
tion with said contact arm, a driver for said
as desired, by radio control of motor lll), due re
pinion mounted for rotation on said gear, and
gard being had for the direction of rotation there 40 linkage
means connecting said diaphragm with
of, depending on whether a flight level is desired
said driver whereby pulsating of said diaphragm
higher or lower than the existing flight level.
responsive to altitude deviations of said asso
In the event that it is desired to stall the air
ciated aircraft is operative to rotate said contact
craft or to produce a fast or deep dive, motor 'l0
arm in a direction depending on the direction of
is remotely controlled by radio to operate the air
pulsation of said diaphragm, and means opera
craft control elements independently of the sys
tem I---64b, power from battery 56 being obtained
tively connected to said gear and operable inde
pendently of said diaphragm to rotate said gear
for
the purpose of displacing said contact arm by
viding a multiple switch at il, which automati 50
torque acting on said pinion, and transmitted
cally disconnects battery 6@ from the system
through said gear, said linkage system and said
I-Gdb and connects it to motor ‘l0 in a control
driver, to predetermine flight level of said asso
lably reversible manner. The details of the radio
ciated aircraft.
system and switching arrangement form no part
2. _In a device as set forth in claim l2 wherein
of the present invention and are accordingly in
said
means for causing periodic engagement of
55
dicated only generally on the drawing. By in
said
arm
with said contact member comprises an
dependent operation of motor l0 the aircraft
oscillating member disposed for periodic abut
may be brought into extreme stall or dive angles
ment against said arm in such a manner as to
at the will of the operator, and altitude change
cause ñexure thereof against said Contact mem
in either direction, although causing a contrac
ber, said oscillating member carrying stop means
tion or expansion of diaphragm T, does not
thereon whereby displacement of said contact
actuate the system i-54b to the point of damage
>arm
responsive to altitude changes of said asso
since arm l comes to rest against either stop 54a
ciated aircraft is limited in response thereto.
or 54h and contraction or expansion of diaphragm
3. In a device as set forth in claim 12, wherein
1 thereafter serves, respectively, to rotate lever
said
altitude response means comprises dia
i3d away from pin I3b or translate member lila
phragm means responsive to barometric pressure,
relative pin lûb in an upward direction, as» seen
bidirectional lost motion linkage means connect
from the drawing, whereby pin l?b rides harm
ing said diaphragm means to said contact arm
lessly in the slot in member ita.
whereby reversible angular displacement thereof
In Fig~ 2 is disclosed a modification of the pick
corresponding to expansion or contraction of said
off plate 5 of Fig. l, wherein the contact portions
diaphragm means is realized, said means for caus
18 and 19 differ from contacts 5a and 5b of plate
ing
periodic engagement comprising an oscillat
5 in that they are sloped, being gradiently spaced
ing member adapted to abut said contact arm in
from the plane of insulating material 80 toward
such a manner as to cause flexure thereof against
the intermediate insulating portion 82. The slop
said contact member, said oscillating member
75
ing construction provides a decreased time of
therefor in any suitable manner, such as by pro
2,405,228
9
10
comprising stop means adapted to limit angular
point at an existing flight level, means including
displacement of said contact arm in either di
a barometric pressure responsive element for dis
placing said arm relative said plate to effect en
gagement of said arm with one of said operative
rection, whereby lost motion in said lost motion
linkage means is operative to prevent bending
strain'cn said contact arm when said contact arm
has traveledto one or the other limits of its an
points dependent on a gain or loss of altitude of
an associated aircraft, means operative in re
sponse to engagement of said arm with said op
gular displacement.
4. In a device as set forth in claim 12, compris
ing means for rotatably mounting said contact
member, electrical relay means connected to said ‘Y’
contact portions and operative to energize an elec
tric motor in one direction of rotation or the
other dependent on periodic engagement of said
Contact arm with one or the other of said contact
portions, means actuated upon energization of 7
erative point to actuate controls vof said aircraft
for effecting a compensating altitude change,
means operative in response to actuation of said
last-named means to elîect displacement of said
plate to restore said normal engagement, means
connecting saidrarm and said barometric pressure
responsive element comprising a bidirectional lost
motion linkage means, and means for effecting
said motor for operating ascent or descent con
trols of said associated aircraft dependent on the
direction of rotation of said motor, and means op
eratively connected to said contact member and
reversible displacement of said arm for engage
ment with one or the other of ’said operative
points independently of altitude changes, for pre
deterinining a llight level higher or lower than
the existing flight level, means for causing a de
actuated by said motor for simultaneously ro
tating said contact member in the same direction
as the direction of displacement of said contact
gree of lost motion in said bidirectional lost mo
tion linkage means, alternatively, 'depending on
the direction of independent displacement of said
5. An automatic altitude control device, com
arm subsequent to displacement thereof in either
prising a contact arm and a contact plate, said
225
direction
to a limited extent, whereby said baro
arm being engageable with said plate, said plate
metric pressure responsive element is mechani
having a nonoperative point for engagement with
cally unaifected by said independent ’displace
said arm and an operative point for engagement
ment
of said arm, said altitude responserelement
therewith, said arm being adapted normally for
being operative to take up >said lost motion pro
arm.
'
engagement with said non operative point, means
including a barometric pressure responsive ele
ment for displacing said arm relative said plate
to effect engagement of said arm with said op
erative point in response to an altitude change of
an associated aircraft, means operative in re
sponse to engagement of said arm with said op
n.
level.`
33
erative point to actuate controls of said aircraft
for eifecting an altitude change, and means op
erative in response to actuation of said last
named means to effect displacement of said plate
to restore said normal engagement.
6. In a device as set forth in claim 5, including
store said normal engagement.
'7. In a device as set forth in claim 5, including
means connecting said arm and said barometric
pressure responsive el-ement comprising a lost mo
point independently of altitude changes, for pre
»
>
operative point therebetween, means whereby
other, relative displacement between said ele
ments being effective to shift the point of en
gagement to an operative point therebetween,
means responsive to engagement at said operative
point effective to actuate control means of said
aircraft, and means responsive to actuation of
said control means to provide an opposite rel
ative displacement between said elements where
by engagement at said inoperative point is
50 restored.
10. In a device as set forth in claim 9, wherein
said means whereby said elements are displace
able relative each other includes an altitude
tion linkage, and means for effecting displacement
of said arm for engagement with said operative
'
said elements are displaceable relative each
a second operative point on said plate, said non
ing correspondingly reversíbly displaceable to re
’
Y9. An’ aircraft control device comprising, in
combination, a pair of contact elements, means
for causing engagement of said elements, en
gagement thereof normally occurring at a non
operative point being disposed intermediate said
operative points, said means for displacing said
arm in response to altitude change being opera
tive to effect said displacement reversibly corre
sponding to gain or loss of altitude, said plate be
portionally as said aircraft approaches said pre
determined level, the degree of lost motion being
proportional to the altitude difference between'the
predetermined flight level and the existing flight
responsive element and lost motion linkage
55 means connecting said altitude responsive ele
determining a flight level deviating from the ex
isting level of said aircraft, means for causing a
degree of lost motion in said lost motion linkage
subsequent to independent displacement of said
arm to a limited extent, whereby said barometric 60
pressure element is mechanically unaffected by
ment to one of said contact elements for dis
placement thereof responsive to altitude changes,
stop means for limiting displacement of said con
tact element, whereby, when said contact element
is at the limit of displacement thus provided,
further altitude change is operative to effect lost
motion compensation in said lost motion link
said independent displacement of said arm, said
age means to relieve additional displacing force
altitude response element being operative to take
up said lost motion proportionally as said aircraft 65 on said contact element and whereby the extent
of actuation of said aircraft control means is
approaches said predetermined level, the degree of
correspondingly limited.
lost motion being proportional to the altitude
11. In a device as set forth in claim l2,
difference between the predetermined flight level
wherein said plate comprises a pair of contact
and the existing flight level.
members having surfaces which slope in relation
8. An automatic altitude control device, com
to the plane of displacement thereof, whereby
prising a contact arm and a contact plate, said 70
periodic engagement with said arm occurs with
arm being engageable with said plate, said plate
progressively varying duration of contact as said
having a nonoperative point intermediate a pair
plate is displaced relative said arm.
of operative points, said arm being adapted nor
12. In an automatic altitude control device, a
mally for engagement with said nonoperative 75
contact arm, a contact member having a pair of
2,405,228
12
trol motor to said first electric switch element
for moving said elognated contacts in coincidence
with movement of said controls, a second electric
switch element comprising a single contact for
conveying current to one or the other of said
elongated contacts, normally situated in said in
sulating space and out of contact with said
elongated insulating contacts but movable along
elongated contact portions separated by an in
sulated portion, said contact arm being normally
positioned to engage said insulated portion only,
altitude sensitive means responsive to changes in
altitude of an associate aircraft whereby said
arm is displaceable away from said insulated
portion and along one or the other of said
elongated contact portions, means for periodically
causing engagement of said contact arm with
said elongated contacts in either direction, inde“
said contact member, normally against the in 10 pendently of the movement of said iirst electric
switch element, means to selectively set said
sulated portion but displacement of said arm
second
electric switch element in one or the other
along said elongated contact portions in response
direction along one or the other of said elongated
to altitude changes being operative to change the
insulated contacts, whereby said control motor
point of periodic engagement of said arm with
said contact member to one of the contact por
tions thereof, means responsive to contact be
15 operates said controls for climb or dive and co
incidentally moves said insulating space to a
tween said arm and one of said contact portions
position in alignment with said single contact,
an altitude sensitive means, and linkage connect
to vary the controls of said associate aircraft
ing said altitude sensitive means to said second
to provide ascent or descent depending on the
specific contact portion engaged, and means re 20 electric switch element operative by movement
of said altitude sensitive means upon change in
sponsive to periodic engagement of said arm with
altitude of said associated aircraft to return said
said specific contact portion to displace said con
single contact to the starting position, whereby
tact member in the direction of the displacement
said control motor returns to the neutral posi
to restore said normal periodic engagement.
tion
for maintaining the selected altitude.
25
13. In a device for bringing an associated air
14. The device defined in claim 13 in which '
craft to a preselected altitude and maintaining
the first electric switch element is a rotatable
it at said altitude, a co-ntrol motor operable from
dielectric disc, the elongated insulated contacts
a neutral position in one or the other directions
to set the controls of the associate aircraft for
being arcuate metal pieces carried in said disc,
connected to each motor terminal and arranged
pieces.
climb or div-e, a first electric switch element 30 and the second electric switch element is an in
dependently rotatable conductive contact arm
carrying two elongated insulated contacts with
adapted for contact with said arcuate metal
an insulating space therebetween, one electrically
to convey current to revolve said motor in one or
the other direction, linkage connecting said con 35
ROBERT L. MAYRATH.
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