Title:
AERODYNAMIC THROWING TOY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is an aerodynamic throwing toy having a general geometry of a shape formed by taking a sphere of a desired radius, with a disc of a desired height removed from the sphere's equatorial region. The remaining partial hemispherical portions are rejoined along their respective base sections. The resulting toy is round from a plan view, and has an edge, visible in a side view. The toy rotates about the center of its joined partial hemispherical portions while in flight. The toy can be thrown like a baseball, can spin while in flight, and can usually be caught with one hand. The height of the disc can be determined from a predetermined angle of latitude of the sphere. The aerodynamic throwing toy can have dimples disposed circumferentially about the toy. The toy can have various graphics, designs or patterns disposed on the outer surface of the toy.



Inventors:
Hinnen, John (Peoria, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/160648
Publication Date:
01/04/2007
Filing Date:
07/01/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CEGIELNIK, URSZULA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICE OF MARC D. MACHTINGER, LTD. (750 W. LAKE COOK ROAD SUITE 290, BUFFALO GROVE, IL, 60089, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An aerodynamic throwing toy comprising: a body having a general geometry substantially equivalent to the geometry of a shape formed by taking a sphere of a desired radius, wherein a disc of a desired height is removed from an equatorial region of said sphere and the remaining partial hemispherical portions are rejoined along their respective base sections.

2. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 1, wherein said radius is about six (6) inches.

3. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 1, wherein said disc is centered at an equatorial plane of said sphere.

4. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 2, wherein said disc is centered at an equatorial plane of said sphere.

5. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 3, wherein said desired height is determined from a predetermined angle of latitude of said sphere.

6. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 4, wherein said desired height is determined from a predetermined angle of latitude of said sphere.

7. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 5, wherein said predetermined angle of latitude of said sphere is in the range of about fourteen (14) to about twenty-four (24) degrees.

8. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 6, wherein said predetermined angle of latitude of said sphere is in the range of about fourteen (14) to about twenty-four (24) degrees.

9. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 7, wherein said predetermined angle of latitude is about nineteen (19) degrees.

10. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 8, wherein said predetermined angle of latitude is about nineteen (19) degrees.

11. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 1, wherein said body has a plurality of dimples disposed circumferentially about said body.

12. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 5, wherein said body has a plurality of dimples disposed circumferentially about said body.

13. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 11, wherein said plurality of dimples is equally divided between said partial hemispherical portions.

14. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 12, wherein said plurality of dimples is equally divided between said partial hemispherical portions.

15. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 13, wherein said plurality of dimples comprises ten (10) dimples.

16. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 14, wherein said plurality of dimples comprises ten (10) dimples.

17. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 15, wherein said plurality of dimples are spaced seventy-two (72) degrees apart around the circumference of said partial hemispherical portions.

18. The aerodynamic throwing toy according to claim 16, wherein said plurality of dimples are spaced seventy-two (72) degrees apart around the circumference of said partial hemispherical portions.

19. An aerodynamic throwing toy comprising: a body having a general geometry substantially equivalent to the geometry of a shape formed by taking a sphere of a desired radius, wherein a disc of a desired height is removed from an equatorial region of said sphere and the remaining partial hemispherical portions are rejoined along their respective base sections, wherein said radius is about six (6) inches, wherein said disc is centered at an equatorial plane of said sphere, wherein said desired height is determined from a predetermined angle of latitude of said sphere, wherein said predetermined angle of latitude of said sphere is in the range of about fourteen (14) to about twenty-four (24) degrees, and wherein said body has a plurality of dimples disposed circumferentially about said body.

20. An aerodynamic throwing toy comprising: a body having a general geometry substantially equivalent to the geometry of a shape formed by taking a sphere of a desired radius, wherein a disc of a desired height is removed from an equatorial region of said sphere and the remaining partial hemispherical portions are rejoined along their respective base sections, wherein said radius is about six (6) inches, wherein said disc is centered at an equatorial plane of said sphere, wherein said desired height is determined from a predetermined angle of latitude of said sphere, wherein said predetermined angle of latitude of said sphere is about nineteen (19) degrees, and wherein said body has a plurality of dimples disposed circumferentially about said body.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to throwing toys, and more specifically to an aerodynamic throwing toy having the shape of a sphere with a disc removed from the equatorial region of the sphere.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

Throwing toys are a staple to most children's, and a lot of adults', outdoor entertainment. Throwing toys range from balls of various shapes and sizes to aerodynamic discs to rings to boomerang type devices. In many cases these toys are evolved versions of weapons developed in prehistoric times. Modern throwing toys are often designed specifically to enhance an average user's ability to throw the toy farther and or faster and to catch the toy with greater ease. Furthermore, these modern throwing toys often include features that increase the aesthetic appeal of the toy.

An example of a modern throwing toy is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,133,500, issued to Handy. Handy discloses a football-shaped game ball formed of a resilient foam material and defines an oblate spheroidal outer surface having generally pointed ends. A plurality of rib portions extend outward from the outer surface and define nonsymmestrical cross sections which may be gripped in either of two gripping manners which provide differing alternative aerodynamic characteristics depending upon the direction of spin imposed upon the football.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,269,514, issued to Adler et al., discloses a football with fins. The Adler football includes a ball of prolate (football-shaped) configuration having external fins oriented at an angle relative to the longitudinal axis to promote rotation in flight and having leading and trailing edges position such that the net center of aerodynamic lift of the fins is located rearwardly of the ball's longitudinal midpoint.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,460,3368, issued to Pearson, discloses a lightweight bounceable throwing device providing erratic flight. The Pearson device is a play device for being generally thrown like a football. The device has a tubular body that has a generally barrel-like external shape and a large central through-passageway. The device's shape, light weight and central passageway combine to provide relatively slow, soaring and irregular flight characteristics, making its path somewhat erratic and the device often a challenge to catch. It is made of a lightweight but shape retaining, tough, resilient material such as polyethylene that will bounce harmlessly off wall or a person it may engage. The device may be formed with one or more openings through its wall such that a continuous or intermittent spiral grove that extends from end to end.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,957,300, issued to Storry, discloses a recreational projectile. The Storry projectile displays rotational motion imparted when the projectile is thrown, similar to the motion of a turning screw. The recreational projectile comprises a strip of resilient plastic coiled into a compressible helix at an angle of helical advancement sufficient to prevent adjacent windings of the coiled strip from overlapping each other when in an uncompressed state.

U.S. Pat. No. 890,920, issued to Newbold, discloses a return ball. The ball in Newbold has different diameters in different planes of section. The ball has two convex conoidal sections having bases that are coincident. The bases form a circumferentially projecting portion, which arrests the balls flight when it comes in contact with a solid substance.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,647,715, issued to Caulkins, discloses a game apparatus. In Caulkins, a flip stick is used to flip and roll a projectile through a miniaturized golf type course. The projectile is designed to limit the rolling distance of the projectile by having the projectile in the form of a spheroid which is elliptical along one axis and circular along an axis at right angles to the first axis.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,867,452, issued to Finley, discloses a visually enhanced football. According to Finley, the longitudinal extent of a football is circumscribed with contrasting indicia so that upon rotation of the ball about substantially the longitudinal axis, a first visually distinctive image is produced. When the ball rotates about substantially a transverse axis, a second visually distinctive image is produced. The indicia is of such form that it does not protrude substantially from the surface of the ball and does not adversely affect the normal flight and gripping of the ball.

Other football type game balls and throwing toys are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,003,574 and U.S. Design Pat. No. Des. 371,178 respectively. Various egg shaped toys and balls are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,219,959, U.S. Design Pat. No. Des. 478,681, U.S. Pat. No. 5,496,026, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,413,332.

While each of the devices and inventions mentioned above may be suitable for its intended purpose, there remains substantial room for innovation in developing new aerodynamic throwing toys. Thus it would be advantageous to provide an aerodynamic throwing toy having the shape of a sphere with a disc removed from the equatorial region of the sphere.

SUMMARY

It is an object of the present invention to provide an aerodynamic throwing toy having the shape of a sphere with a disc removed from the equatorial region of the sphere.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an aerodynamic throwing tow having a plurality of indentations or dimples.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide and aerodynamic throwing toy that is complemented by added graphics, which while spinning gives the illusion of a change in color.

The aerodynamic throwing toy of the present invention has a general geometry substantially equivalent to the geometry of a shape formed by taking a sphere of a desired radius, wherein a disc of a desired height is removed from an equatorial region of the sphere. The remaining partial hemispherical portions are rejoined along their respective base sections. The resulting toy is round from a plan view, and has an edge, visible in a side view, where the partial hemispherical portions are joined. The toy rotates about the center of its joined partial hemispherical portions while in flight. The toy can be thrown like a baseball and can spin while in flight. Furthermore, the toy can usually be caught with one hand, like a flying disc.

The disc is centered at an equatorial plane of the sphere. The height of the disc can be determined from a predetermined angle of latitude of the sphere, which allows for consistent proportions of the toy, regardless of the original radius of the sphere. In various preferred embodiments, the predetermined angle of latitude of the sphere is in the range of about fourteen (14) to about twenty-four (24) degrees. In certain preferred embodiments, the predetermined angle of latitude 180 is about nineteen (19) degrees.

In various preferred embodiments the aerodynamic throwing toy can have dimples or generally circular indentations disposed circumferentially about the toy. The dimples can be used for finger placement during throwing of the toy and assist a user in achieving a desired spinning action of the toy during flight. Furthermore, the dimples may aid in reducing the aerodynamic drag of the toy during flight. The dimples may vary in size and location. Preferably, the dimples are divided equally between the partial hemispherical portions.

Whether accomplished through different colors between the dimples and the remainder of the toy, the toy can have various graphics, designs or patterns disposed on the outer surface of the toy. With various graphics, designs and patterns, the toy can be made to appear to change colors while spinning in flight.

The aerodynamic toy of the present invention can be made of various materials known in the art, including, but not limited to, resilient foam, plastic, or rubber products.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the following figures, wherein like reference numeral represent like features.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a sphere from which the geometry of the present invention can be derived.

FIG. 2 shows a side view of an aerodynamic throwing toy according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows a plan view of an aerodynamic throwing toy according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows an aerodynamic throwing toy according to the present invention having dimples disposed on the surface of the toy.

FIG. 5 shows a preferred way to grasp an aerodynamic throwing toy according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While this invention is susceptible of embodiments in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail, preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.

FIG. 1 shows a sphere from which the geometry of the present invention can be derived. The aerodynamic throwing toy 10 of the present invention has a general geometry substantially equivalent to the geometry of a shape formed by taking a sphere 100 of a desired radius 110, wherein a disc 120 of a desired height 130 is removed from an equatorial region 140 of the sphere 100. The remaining partial hemispherical portions 150 are rejoined along their respective base sections 160. The resulting toy 10 is round from a plan view, and has an edge 155, visible in a side view, where the partial hemispherical portions 150 are joined. FIG. 2 shows a side view of an aerodynamic throwing toy according to the present invention. FIG. 3 shows a plan view of an aerodynamic throwing toy according to the present invention. In various preferred embodiments, the radius 110 of the sphere 100 is about six (6) inches. The resulting toy 10 is round from one view, and rotates about the center of its joined partial hemispheric portions 150 while in flight. The toy 10 can be thrown fast, like a baseball, far, like a football, and can spin while in flight. Furthermore, the toy 10 can usually be caught with one hand, like a flying disc.

Preferably, the disc 120 is centered at an equatorial plane 170 of the sphere 100. The term disc as used herein refers to the object that is between two parallel planes as the two parallel planes pass through a sphere. The height 130 of the disc 120 can be determined from a predetermined angle of latitude 180 of the sphere 100, which allows for consistent proportions of the toy 10, regardless of the original radius 110 of the sphere 100. For example, when the disc 120 is centered at the equatorial plane 170 of the sphere 100, the angle of latitude 180 of the sphere 100, both positive and negative, can be used as a measure to how far up or down on the sphere's 100 surface the planes that pass through the sphere 100 to create the disc 120 will pass and thus determine the height 130 of the disc 120. In various preferred embodiments, the predetermined angle of latitude 180 of the sphere 100 is in the range of about fourteen (14) to about twenty-four (24) degrees. In certain preferred embodiments, the predetermined angle of latitude 180 is about nineteen (19) degrees.

FIG. 4 shows an aerodynamic throwing toy according to the present invention having dimples disposed on the surface of the toy. The dimples 190 are used for finger placement during throwing of the toy 10 and assist a user in achieving a desired spinning action of the toy 10 during flight. Furthermore, the dimples 190 may aid in reducing the aerodynamic drag of the toy 10 during flight. FIG. 5 shows a preferred way to grasp an aerodynamic throwing toy according to the present invention.

The dimples 190 may vary in size and location. In various preferred embodiments the aerodynamic throwing toy 10 can have dimples 190 or generally circular indentations disposed circumferentially about the toy 10. Preferably, the dimples 190 are divided equally between the partial hemispherical portions 150. In certain preferred embodiments, there are ten (10) dimples 190, with five (5) dimples 190 on each partial hemispherical portion 150. The dimples 190 can be equilaterally spaced about the circumference of the toy 10. In the example of five (5) dimples on each partial hemispherical portion 150, the center of the dimples can be spaced seventy-two (72) degrees apart around the circumference of the partial hemispherical portions. In other various preferred embodiments, and particularly embodiments where the original sphere 100 radius 110 equaled six (6) inches, the dimples 190 can be about one-quarter (¼) of an inch deep, seven-eighths (⅞) of an inch in diameter, and located with their centermost edge seven-sixteenths ( 7/16) of an inch from a midline of the toy 10. The dimples 190 may also be offset in a different color from the rest of the toy 10 to add interest and visual appeal.

Whether accomplished through different colors between the dimples 190 and the remainder of the toy 10, the toy 10 can have various graphics, designs or patterns disposed on the outer surface of the toy 10. With various graphics, designs and patterns, the toy 10 can be made to appear to change colors while spinning in flight.

The aerodynamic toy 10 of the present invention can be made of various materials known in the art, including, but not limited to, resilient foam or rubber products. The toy 10 may be solid or have a hollow core. The toy 10 can also be inflatable and have the necessary valves, openings, caps, and or seals to allow the toy 10 to be inflated. Furthermore, the aerodynamic toy of the present invention can be manufactured in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to one or two-piece injection molding.

While specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications come to mind without significantly departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of protection is limited only by the accompanying claims.