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The instant invention is directed to the field of archery, and archery arrows, generally, and vanes for archery arrows, specifically.
Vanes, or guiding fin projections, for arrows, are widely known and have been used since the inception of archery. Vanes are typically configured generally parallel to the shaft of an arrow, in a plurality arrangement. Vanes provide in-flight arrow stabilization particularly in the hunting archery field, for hunting points or “broadheads.” Hunting points, with more weight, have long provided stabilization challenges. The usual solution for increasing stabilization for broadheads, or to stabilize arrow flight, generally, has traditionally been to increase vane or feather size. Although larger vanes and/or feathers, natural or synthetic, for arrow guidance purposes, have been successfully used to solve erratic flight/stabilization problems, their use has created additional limitations. Increased vane size tends to increase weight, which reduces arrow speed and, thus, its effectiveness. Increased vane size may also create “clearance” problems with the arrow, and other parts of the bow or projectile device. In general, past experiments with less vane surface (i.e., smaller vanes) without the features of the current invention, have tended to generally produced more, and not less, erratic flight in the arrow.
Examples of the prior art in this field of archery vanes include the disclosure of United States Patent Application Publication No. US 2002-0028718 A1, of Coe, which discloses a vane assembly in conjunction with an arrow and arrow wrap of an elongate section of plastic film; U.S. Pat. No. 5,439,231, to Roberts et al, for an archery arrow vane and nock assembly which discloses a plurality of archery vanes; U.S. Pat. No. 6,142,896, to Simo et al, discloses an archery vane with a surface roughness differentiation between opposing sides of the vane to promote stability through increased spin; U.S. Pat. No. 4,088,323, to Munger, discloses an elastomeric polyurethane polymer arrow vane (it is noted that the base length of the vane is approximately 4″, which has been a representative approximate minimum standard of the industry); U.S. Pat. No. 4,392,654, to Carella, discloses curved vanes inclined inwardly in a rearward direction to provide air-restricting pockets; U.S. Pat. No. 5,443,273, to Lovorn, discloses a method for attaching fletch or vane on an arrow and a device for doing the same (the disclosure demonstrates a known vane shape); U.S. Pat. No. 5,427,385, to Conrad et al, discloses a fletch or vane replacement device; U.S. Pat. No. 5,024,448, to Barrie, discloses a flexible arrow vane assembly; U.S. Pat. No. 4,477,084, to Austin, discloses a vane structure for arrows with corrugations in the vane stem; U.S. Pat. No. 3,667,758, to Bengtsson, discloses plastic as a material for arrow fins or vanes; U.S. Pat. No. 2,830,818, to Otto, discloses a “plastic feather” and method; U.S. Pat. No. 6,220,978 B1, to Schroeder, discloses an arrow fletching constructed from Ethylene Vinyl Acetate.
While it has long been a goal, in the archery field, as stated, to provide improved in-flight arrow stabilization, particularly when using arrow points with added weight, the prior art does not disclose any solutions to this problem utilizing vanes, or feathers, which are normally not of at least a four inch length or greater. The prior art clearly demonstrates a long-standing need for a durable, smaller arrow vane solution.
The present invention has been designed to overcome the short comings in the prior art noted above. The present invention addresses a long-felt need, as further hereinafter described. As noted, existing vanes have failed to satisfy these requirements.
The invention is directed to the provision of a performance arrow vane, generally, for all archery conditions, and, in particular, circumstances where greater stability is needed, because of greater arrowhead weight, and where alternatives have been to increase the size of the vane.
Additional problems, which are addressed by the instant invention, include that increased vane size also corresponds to increased weight, which, in turn, limits arrow speed, and reduces effectiveness. Increased vane size also results in clearance problems with parts of the archery bow assembly, or other arrow projectile device, when the arrow is released.
Clearly, the prior art in this field indicates that a need exists for an arrow vane which can provide increased stability, with different sizes and weights of arrow tips, and, optimally, reduce size as opposed to increase size, of the vane itself.
The instant invention provides consistent in-flight steerage and stabilization with broadhead arrows, and others, using the shortest and smallest vane available. The shorter vane provides less chance of interference with the arrow rest or bow cradle and weighs less than a normal vane. Less vane weight results in increased arrow speed and improved arrow trajectory.
In a primary embodiment of the invention, the leading angle edge on the vane, also described as an upper edge, leads, at an approximately 24° angle, from the horizontal, rearwardly, and upwardly, from the forward point of the vane. Experience and testing by the inventor has demonstrated that an optimum combination is a vane length of 2 inches and a maximum vane height of 0.6 inches. Obviously, this results in a vane length to maximum vane height ratio of 2:.6. The point of maximum height on the arrow is defined by the intersection of a straight line extending at the stated 24° angle, through its intersection with a line parallel to the lower edge of the vane located at the stated ratio distance above the lower edge. The leading edge of the vane extends generally upwardly and rearwardly from the forward point to the maximum height point, and from the maximum height point generally continuing rearwardly and downwardly, in a radial line, until it reaches the bottom or bottom edge of the vane, forming the rearward end or point.
The vane of the present invention is generally constructed of rigid, or semi-rigid material, which would include materials which are resiliently bendable. That is, materials which would provide substantially rigid in-flight characteristics, but which, if bent by external force, would return to their prior position. Vanes can be made out of any material which has these characteristics, including, but not limited to, plastics, or other synthetic materials.
As has been stated, optimum results with the performance arrow vane have been obtained by providing a vane or fin, with generally smooth corresponding outward surfaces, of an overall length of substantially 2 inches, and a maximum height of substantially 0.6 inches. In this embodiment, the upper edge of the vane leads in a substantially straight line at the necessary angle, from the forward edge of the vane to the maximum height and, thereafter, radially back to the lower edge.
As with many arrow vanes, in the embodiment hereinafter more distinctly described, the width of the vane is tapered somewhat, so that the width at its maximum height is less than that at the lower edge, and that width increases from the lower edge, to the maximum height, progressively.
The invention, as described, allows hunters to sight in with field tips and then switch to broadhead without changing the arrow impact point. Further, testing by the inventors has shown that, while some spin is necessary for accurate flight, a longer vane is not the optimum answer. What is required is a guidance system, such as that provided, which provides stable guidance to the arrow, irrespective of what the arrow tip is doing. The instant invention, with its unique design, creates turbulence behind the arrow, and not around the longer vanes and feathers, as may occur when those are used as fletchings. The instant invention begins steering and correcting, immediately, using the stated combination of a steep leading edge and the height and length ratio, and material stiffness. These features prevent larger broadheads from planing or steering the arrow shaft. The air flows over the vane in a manner which can actually create lift, and is particularly noticeable in longer distances at flat trajectory. The instant invention provides substantial benefit in trajectory, precision and velocity at target.
The above and additional features of the invention may be considered, and will become apparent in conjunction with the drawings, in particular, and the detailed description which follow.
The following detailed description is understood by reference to the following drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the rear portion of an arrow shaft, including a nock, with a plurality of the vane of the instant invention affixed thereto.
FIG. 2 is a side view of an arrow vane demonstrating the novel features of the invention, including the length to height ratio of the vane.
FIG. 3 is an end view of an arrow vane showing the width dimension.
FIG. 4 is cross sectional view of an arrow vane arrangement, showing a typical plurality vane configuration.
Throughout the following detailed description, like numerals are used to describe the same element of the present invention shown in multiple figures thereof.
The invention, Performance Arrow Vane, is a novel arrow vane which, through its design characteristics, generally promotes arrow flight stability and consistent flight with differing arrowhead weights, without requiring additional vane side or surface area.
Broadly considered, the device Performance Arrow Vane is comprised of a primary vane member 10. Vane member 10 is substantially rigid to maintain its shape and position during arrow flight, but may be constructed of resiliently bendable material, synthetic or otherwise, which allow bending when contacted by force, but which will return to its original shape.
Vane member 10 has a front planar surface 11 and a rear planar surface 12, an upper edge 13 and a lower edge 14. As shown in FIG. 3, the planar surfaces 11 and 12 are spaced apart by width D which grows progressively wider from D-1 at upper edge 13 to D-2 at lower edge 14.
Vane member 10 additionally has a forward end 16 and a rearward end 17. Upper edge 13 and lower edge 14 meet each other at both forward end 16 and rearward end 17. Lower edge 14 is a substantially straight line between end 16 and end 17. Lower edge 14 may be conformed for affixation to an arrow shaft 30 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.
Upper edge 13 extends rearwardly and upwardly from forward end 16 to the point of maximum height 18 of the vane 10. The maximum height of vane 10 is the perpendicular distance A between lower edge 13 and the point of maximum height 18 on upper edge 13. The point of maximum height 18 is the point of intersection of a line 19, parallel to lower edge 14 at maximum distance A above lower edge 14, and a straight line extending rearwardly from forward point 15 at angle B.
Upper edge 13 extends generally rearwardly and upwardly from forward end 16 to point of maximum height 18, then further downwardly and rearwardly radially until it again intersects with lower edge 14 at rearward end 17.
As stated, upper edge 13 and lower edge 14 define the surface areas of planar surfaces 11 and 12. The overall length C of vane 10 is the lineal distance between forward end 16 and rearward end 17.
The optimum derivation of the invention is found in an embodiment where angle B is within a range of 20° to 30°, length C is within a range of 2.5 inches to 1.5 inches and maximum height A is within a range of 0.75 to 0.45 inches. The preferred ratio of length C to height A is 2.0 to 0.6.
Within the above parameters, an optimum embodiment is a vane 10 constructed utilizing an angle C of 24°, an overall length of 2.0 inches and a maximum height A of 0.6 inches, or parameters substantially in conformance with those stated.
Upper edge 13 extends progressively rearwardly and upwardly between forward point 16 and point of maximum height 18, with the optimum manner of progression 20 being in a substantially straight line. From point of maximum height 18 to rearward end 17, forward edge 13 extends further rearwardly and downwardly, with the optimum manner of progression 21 being a radial curve.
Vane member 10 is normally attached in numerical combinations of three, as shown in FIG. 4, although a greater number of vanes may be used.
As shown in FIG. 3, the depth or width D of vane member 10 generally increases progressively from its width D-1 at upper edge 13 to wider width D-2 at lower edge 14.
A wider base E may be provided to conform vane 10 to be affixed to a standard arrow shaft 30, although any means utilized for standard size vanes may be utilized for affixation purposes, and vane member 10 need only be susceptible of affixation to meet the requirements of the invention.
Vane member 10 may be constructed of any material which provides a substantially rigid contour during arrow flight. Plastics or other synthetic materials are among included possible materials. The material may be resiliently bendable, such that, if outside force causes it to alter shape, it will return to its original contour.
It is the claims appended hereto, and all reasonable equivalents thereof, which define the true scope of the invention, and the invention is not limited to the depicted embodiments and exemplifications.