Title:
Model vehicle exhaust deflector
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An exhaust deflector is adapted to be removably secured to and in fluid communication with an exhaust pipe of a model vehicle for discharging exhaust from the vehicle. The deflector includes a tubular body defining a first open end adapted to be removably secured to the exhaust pipe and a second open end adapted to be free for discharging the exhaust. A plug is adapted to be removably secured to the second end to substantially stop up and, thus, prevent discharge of the exhaust from the interior of the body.



Inventors:
Kulis II, Richard W. (Bloomfield Hills, MI, US)
Application Number:
10/998505
Publication Date:
06/02/2005
Filing Date:
11/29/2004
Assignee:
KULIS RICHARD W.II
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F01N13/08; F01N13/18; (IPC1-7): F01N7/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TU MINH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Brian S. Pickell (Troy, MI, US)
Claims:
1. An exhaust deflector adapted to be removably secured to and in fluid communication with an exhaust pipe of a model vehicle for discharging exhaust from the vehicle, said deflector comprising: a tubular body defining a first open end adapted to be removably secured to the exhaust pipe and a second open end adapted to be free for discharging the exhaust; and a plug adapted to be removably secured to said second end to substantially stop up and, thus, prevent discharge of the exhaust from the interior of said body.

2. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 1, wherein said body defines at least one bend at a circumferential area along said body for deflecting the exhaust from the vehicle, said at least one bend dividing said body into a first portion and a second portion extending from said first portion, said first and second portions defining an angle between said first and second portions.

3. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 1, wherein said plug is adapted to be removably inserted into the hollow interior of said body through the opening of said second end such that said plug is removably secured to said second end.

4. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 1, wherein said deflector includes a nub extending outwardly from said body and adapted to removably secure said plug for stowing of said plug.

5. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 1, wherein said deflector includes a strap disposed between and attached to said plug and said body such that said plug can remain attached to said deflector during inoperative use of said plug.

6. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 5, wherein said strap is attached to said second end of said body.

7. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 5, wherein said strap includes a tab adapted to be manually pulled for removal of said plug from said second end of said body.

8. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 1, wherein said body includes at least one rib disposed substantially about said first end of said body.

9. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 8, wherein said at least one rib includes a plurality of ribs.

10. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 9, wherein said plurality of ribs are substantially uniform and disposed completely about and substantially perpendicular to the length of said first end of said body and parallel with respect to each other such that adjacent ones of said plurality of ribs are substantially equidistantly spaced with respect to each other.

11. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 1, wherein the inner diameter of said first end of said body is smaller than the inner diameter of the remainder of said body.

12. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 1, wherein said deflector is flexible.

13. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 12, wherein said deflector is made of rubber.

14. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 1, wherein said deflector is of a unitary construction.

15. An exhaust deflector adapted to be removably secured to and in fluid communication with an exhaust pipe of a model vehicle for deflecting and discharging exhaust from the vehicle, said deflector comprising: a tubular body defining a first open end adapted to be removably secured to the exhaust pipe, a second open end adapted to be free for discharging the exhaust, and at least one bend at a circumferential area along said body for deflecting the exhaust from the vehicle; and a plug adapted to be removably secured to said second end to substantially stop up and, thus, prevent discharge of the exhaust from the interior of said body; said at least one bend dividing said body into a first portion and a second portion extending from said first portion, said first and second portions defining an angle between said first and second portions.

16. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 15, wherein said deflector includes a nub extending outwardly from said body and adapted to removably secure said plug for stowing of said plug.

17. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 15, wherein said deflector includes a strap disposed between and attached to said plug and said body such that said plug can remain attached to said deflector during inoperative use of said plug.

18. An exhaust deflector adapted to be removably secured to and in fluid communication with an exhaust pipe of a model vehicle for discharging exhaust from the vehicle, said deflector comprising: a tubular body defining a first open end adapted to be removably secured to the exhaust pipe and a second open end adapted to be free for discharging the exhaust; a plug adapted to be removably secured to said second end to substantially stop up and, thus, prevent discharge of the exhaust from the interior of said body; and a nub extending outwardly from said body and adapted to removably secure said plug for stowing of said plug.

19. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 18, wherein said body defines at least one bend at a circumferential area along said body for deflecting the exhaust from the vehicle, said at least one bend dividing said body into a first portion and a second portion extending from said first portion, said first and second portions defining an angle between said first and second portions.

20. An exhaust deflector as set forth in claim 18, wherein said deflector includes a strap disposed between and attached to said plug and said body such that said plug can remain attached to said deflector during inoperative use of said plug.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/525,713 filed Nov. 28, 2003 and entitled “One-Piece Exhaust-Pipe Deflector with Attached Plug.”

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates, generally, to model vehicles and, more particularly, to an exhaust deflector for such a vehicle adapted to prevent exhaust leakage from the deflector during inoperative use of the vehicle.

2. Description of Related Art

It is generally known to use an engine to power a model vehicle, such as an airplane, an automobile, a helicopter, or a motorcycle, just to name a few. Various designs for such an engine are available, including a single- or multi-cylinder gasoline-fueled engine. This engine is typically lubricated by adding oil to the gasoline and routing the resulting gasoline/oil mixture into each cylinder. During operation of the vehicle, the used gasoline/oil—in the form of smoke as a result of combustion in the engine—is usually exhausted from the cylinder via a port defined in a face of the cylinder. Near the end of every working stroke of a piston within the cylinder, the port is uncovered to allow passage of the exhaust fluids from the cylinder.

More specifically, the exhaust fluids—including the smoke and some unused gasoline/oil—are typically directed outwardly of the port and into and through an exhaust pipe connected in fluid communication with and extending from the port. The exhaust pipe is substantially tubular and the free end of which is open such that the exhaust fluids flow substantially horizontally from the exhaust pipe as the vehicle travels through the air either on or above the ground at typical traveling speeds. In this way, the exhaust fluids can sometimes impinge upon other portions of the vehicle, causing such portions to become colored and/or unsightly.

To overcome this problem in the related art, it is known to use an exhaust deflector. A conventional exhaust deflector is adapted to be secured to the free end of the exhaust pipe such that the pipe and deflector are in fluid communication with respect to each other. The exhaust deflector includes generally a silicone tube bent a certain angle at a specific circumferential area of the tube so as to deflect the flow of the exhaust fluids in a particular direction and has an open free end. As a result, the exhaust fluids flow from the exhaust pipe and into, through, and out the exhaust deflector. The exhaust deflector is designed to have various standard diameter sizes—depending upon the diameter size of the exhaust pipe to which the deflector is secured—and be bent at various angles and at various circumferential areas along the tube.

However, since the exhaust deflector of the related art has an open free end, the liquid exhaust—namely, the unused gasoline/oil—frequently drips, or leaks, from the open end of the deflector during inoperative use of the vehicle and onto a surface supporting the vehicle. As such, places where the vehicle is transported and stored—such as in a car and at home, respectively—can become messy. More specifically, surfaces on which the vehicle is parked—such as carpeting, pavement, upholstery, or wood—can become stained with gasoline and/or oil, for instance, leaving the area where the surface is located aesthetically displeasing.

Thus, there is a need in the related art for an exhaust deflector for a model vehicle that prevents liquid-exhaust leakage from the deflector during inoperative use of the vehicle. There is a need in the related art for an exhaust deflector for a model vehicle that prevents also places where the vehicle is transported and stored from becoming messy and surfaces on which the vehicle is parked from becoming stained with liquid exhaust.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention overcomes the problems in the related art in an exhaust deflector adapted to be removably secured to and in fluid communication with an exhaust pipe of a model vehicle for discharging exhaust from the vehicle. The deflector includes a tubular body defining a first open end adapted to be removably secured to the exhaust pipe and a second open end adapted to be free for discharging the exhaust. A plug is adapted to be removably secured to the second end to substantially stop up and, thus, prevent discharge of the exhaust from the interior of the body.

An advantage of the model vehicle exhaust deflector of the present invention is that it prevents liquid-exhaust leakage from the deflector during inoperative use of the vehicle.

Another advantage of the model vehicle exhaust deflector of the present invention is that it prevents places where the vehicle is transported and stored from becoming messy and surfaces on which the vehicle is parked from becoming stained with liquid exhaust.

Another advantage of the model vehicle exhaust deflector of the present invention is that the plug can be aerodynamically stowed relative to the deflector during operative use of the vehicle to prevent fluttering of the plug and, thus, maintain proper balance of the deflector.

Another advantage of the model vehicle exhaust deflector of the present invention is that the plug can be strapped to the deflector and, thus, prevent misplacement or loss of the plug.

Another advantage of the model vehicle exhaust deflector of the present invention is that it can be designed as a unitary construction and, thus, produced relatively more efficiently.

Another advantage of the model vehicle exhaust deflector of the present invention is that it is heat-resistant and flexible.

Another advantage of the model vehicle exhaust deflector of the present invention is that it is more durable than exhaust-pipe deflectors of the related art.

Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood while reading the subsequent description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is an environmental view showing the model vehicle exhaust deflector of the present invention removably secured to the free end of an exhaust pipe of a model vehicle in operative use and deflecting and discharging exhaust from the vehicle.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the model vehicle exhaust deflector of the present invention shown in FIG. 1 and illustrating the plug aerodynamically stowed to the deflector.

FIG. 3 is an environmental view showing the model vehicle exhaust deflector of the present invention removably secured to the free end of an exhaust pipe of a model vehicle not in operative use and preventing discharge of exhaust from the vehicle.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the model vehicle exhaust deflector of the present invention shown in FIG. 3 and illustrating the plug stopping up the interior of the deflector.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the model vehicle exhaust deflector of the present invention showing a strap thereof attaching the plug to the deflector.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 5, where like numerals are used to designate like structure, an exhaust deflector of the present invention is generally indicated at 10. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the deflector 10 is adapted to be employed with a model vehicle, generally indicated at 12. The model vehicle shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 is a helicopter adapted to fly through the air while discharging exhaust. The helicopter 12 defines a rear end, generally indicated at 14, from which rearwardly and substantially horizontally extends an exhaust pipe, generally indicated at 16, through which the exhaust is adapted to be discharged. The exhaust pipe 16 defines a free end, generally indicated at 18, which, in turn, defines an opening 20 into a hollow interior 22 and to an interior wall 24 of the exhaust pipe 16.

The deflector 10 is adapted to be removably secured to the free end 18 of and in fluid communication with the exhaust pipe 16 for deflecting and discharging exhaust, generally indicated at 26, from the vehicle 12, in general, and the exhaust pipe 16, in particular. Those having ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the model vehicle 12 can include any such vehicle having a suitable exhaust pipe to which the deflector 10 can be removably secured and with which the deflector 10 can be in fluid communication for deflecting and discharging exhaust from the respective vehicle.

In general and as shown in FIGS. 2, 4, and 5, the deflector 10 includes a tubular body, generally indicated at 28, defining first and second ends, generally indicated at 30, 32, respectively. The first end 30 and second end 32 define openings 34, 36, respectively, into a hollow interior 38 and to an interior surface 40 of the body 28. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the first end 30 is adapted to be removably secured to the free end 18 of the exhaust pipe 16, and the second end 32 is adapted to be free for discharging the exhaust 26. A plug, generally indicated at 42 and as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, is adapted to be removably secured to the second end 32 to substantially stop up and, thus, prevent discharge of the exhaust 26 from the interior 38 of the body 28.

In a preferred embodiment of the deflector 10 and as shown in FIGS. 2, 4, and 5, the longitudinal cross-section of the body 28 is substantially cylindrical, and the exterior diameter of the body 28 is substantially uniform entirely along the body 28. Also, the body 28 is substantially flexible, and the exterior surface of the body 28 is substantially smooth. Furthermore, the interior—including both the hollow interior 38 and interior surface 40—of the body 28 is substantially non-uniform. More specifically, the inner diameter of the hollow interior 38 of the first end 30 of the body 28 and the inner diameter of the exhaust pipe 16 are smaller than the inner diameter of the remainder of the hollow interior 38 to create more volume in the remainder for the flow of the exhaust 26 through the deflector 10. As such, the opening 34 defined by the first end 30 of the body 28 has a size smaller to that of the opening 36 defined by the second end 32. In addition, the wall of the body 28 is thicker relative to the body walls of the corresponding exhaust deflectors of the related art for relatively more useful life of the deflector 10.

It will be appreciated by those having ordinary skill in the art that the body 28 can have any suitable shape, size, structure, texture, degree of flexibility, and structural relationship with respect to the exhaust pipe 16. By way of example, although the deflector 10 is described below and shown in FIG. 1 removably secured within the free end 18 of the exhaust pipe 16, the deflector 10 can be designed, as shown in FIG. 3, to be removably secured about the free end 18 of the exhaust pipe 16 as well. Also, the hollow interior 38 of the body 28 can have any suitable structural relationship with respect to the interior surface 40, including the interior diameter of the body 28 being substantially uniform entirely along the body 28. And, the opening 34 defined by the first end 30 of the body 28 can have a size equal to that of the opening 36 defined by the second end 32.

Also preferably and as shown in FIGS. 2, 4, and 5, the body 28 defines at least one bend 33 at a circumferential area along the body 28 for deflecting the exhaust 26 from the vehicle 12. The bend 33 forms a concave area and an oppositely disposed convex area of the body 28 in the locality of the bend 33. Each of the concave and convex areas defines a smooth, rounded surface. The bend 33 also is defined closer to the first end 30 of the body 28 than to the second end 32 and divides the body 28 into a first substantially linear portion 44 having a predetermined length and a second substantially linear portion 46 extending integrally from the first portion 44 and having a predetermined length greater than that of the first portion 44. The first and second portions 44, 46, respectively, define a desired angle “α” between them such that the exhaust 26 is deflected the angle “α” from the direction defined by the longitudinal axis of the first portion 44. Preferably, the angle “α” measures approximately 135°.

It will be appreciated by those having ordinary skill in the art that the bend 33 can form a corner of each of the concave and convex areas. Similarly, the bend 33 can also be defined at any suitable location along the body—for example, such that the bend 33 is defined closer to the second end 32 of the body 28 than to the first end 30. In a like manner, the angle “α” can have any suitable measurement—for example, 180°, such that the deflector 10 is substantially straight. It will be appreciated also that the body 28 can define any suitable number of bends 33 along the body 28.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the plug 42 is adapted to be removably inserted at least partly into the hollow interior 38 of the body 28 through the opening 36 such that the plug 42 is removably secured to the second end 32 and substantially stops up and, thus, prevents discharge of the exhaust 26 from the hollow interior 38. To this end, the plug 42 includes a member, generally indicated at 48, and a ring 50 substantially disposed about the member 48 such that the ring 50 creates an interference fit with the interior surface 40 of the body 28. More specifically, the member 48 is substantially tubular and hollow and defines an open end 52 and a cap-shaped hollow end 54, and the ring 50 is integrally disposed about the hemispherical circumference of the cap-shaped end 54. The distance the plug 42 is inserted into the hollow interior 38 of the body 28 is short relative to the length of the body 28.

It will be appreciated by those having ordinary skill in the art that the plug 42 can have any suitable shape, size, and structure and structural relationship with respect to the second end 32 of the body 28. For instance, the ring 50 of the plug 42 can be designed to be matingly received within a groove (not shown) defined by the interior surface 40 of the body 28, and the plug 42 can be removably inserted into the hollow interior 38 of the body 28 any suitable distance such that the plug 42 is removably secured to the second end 32 and substantially stops up and, thus, prevents discharge of the exhaust 26 from the hollow interior 38.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the deflector 10 further includes a nub, generally indicated at 56, extending integrally outwardly from the body 28 and, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, adapted to removably secure the plug 42 for stowing—preferably, substantially aerodynamic stowing, of the plug 42. More specifically, the nub 56 includes a tubular member, generally indicated at 58, integrally extending from the body 28 such that the end of the member 58 proximate the body 28 tapers from the body 28 to give structural integrity to the nub 56. The member 58 also defines a cap-shaped end 60 opposite the body 28 and a ring 62 substantially disposed about the member 58 such that the nub 56 is adapted to matingly receive the plug 42 to secure it for aerodynamic stowing thereof. The nub 56 also is located adjacent the convex area of the body 28 between the bend 33 and the second end 32 of the body 28. The nub 56 also extends a very short distance relative to the length of the body 28.

Those having ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the nub 56 can have any suitable shape, size, and structure and structural relationship with respect to the body 28 so as to secure the plug 42 for aerodynamic stowing thereof. For instance, the nub 56 can be located at any suitable position along the body 28.

As shown in each of FIGS. 2, 4, and 5, the deflector 10 includes further an elongated, flexible strap, generally indicated at 64, disposed between and attached to the plug 42 and the body 28 such that, as shown in FIG. 5, the plug 42 can remain attached to the deflector 10 during inoperative use of the plug 42. More specifically, the inner end, as viewed in FIG. 5, of the strap 64 is integrally attached to an arc of the second end 32 of the body 28 such that the strap 64 is substantially aligned with the nub 56 relative to the length of the second portion 46 of the body 28. The outer end of the plug 64 is arcuate and free. The plug 42 integrally and substantially perpendicularly extends from the outer face 66, as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 5, of the outer end of the strap 64. The outer end defines an aperture 68 disposed completely through the depth of the strap 64 and in fluid communication with the hollow interior (not shown) of the plug 42. In this way, the inner face 70, as viewed in FIG. 4, of the strap 64 provides the nub 56 access into the aperture 68.

Furthermore, a tab 72 integrally extends from the outermost area of the edge of the outer end of the strap 64 in the direction of the length of the strap 64. The tab 72 is adapted to be pulled for manually removing the plug 42 when it is secured within the hollow interior 38 of the body 28 or aerodynamically stowed in mating relationship with the nub 56. In addition, the strap 64 is of sufficient length to allow the nub 56 to secure the plug 42 for aerodynamic stowing thereof. Moreover, the width of the strap 64 is substantially constant between the ends of the strap 64 and substantially equal to the outer diameter of the body 28. Plus, the depth of the strap 64 is substantially constant and equal to the depth of the tab 72 and small in relation to the length and width of the strap 64. Alternatively and although not shown, the depth of the central area of the strap 64 can be smaller than the remainder of the strap 64 for greater flexibility thereof.

It will be appreciated by those having ordinary skill in the art that the strap 64 can have any suitable shape, size, and structure and structural relationship with respect to the body 28 and plug 42 so that the plug 42 can remain attached to the deflector 10 during inoperative use of the plug 42. It will be appreciated also that the tab 72 is optional.

As shown in FIGS. 2, 4, and 5, the body 28 includes at least one rib 74 disposed substantially about the first end 30 of the body 28 between the bend 33 and the opening 34 of the first end 30. The at least one rib 74 is adapted to create an interference fit between the interior wall 24 of the exhaust pipe 16 and the at least one rib 74 to, thereby, removably secure the body 28 to the exhaust pipe 16. Preferably, the at least one rib 74 includes a plurality of substantially uniform ribs 74 disposed integrally and completely about the body 28, substantially perpendicular to the length of the first portion 44 of the body 28, and parallel with respect to each other such that adjacent ribs 74 are substantially equidistantly spaced with respect to each other.

Each space 76 defined between adjacent ribs 74 is adapted to receive, for example, a strap or zip-tie (not shown) for securing the deflector 10 to the exhaust pipe 16 when the deflector 10 is designed to be removably secured about the free end 18 of the exhaust pipe 16. Also preferably, the inner diameter of the hollow interior 38 of the body 28 is greater from immediately beyond the innermost rib 74 toward the second end 32 of the body 28 to create more volume for the flow of the exhaust 26 through the deflector 10.

It will be appreciated by those having ordinary skill in the art that, although the figures show the body 28 having four ribs 74, the body 28 can have any suitable number of ribs 74 to removably secure the body 28 to the exhaust pipe 16. It will be appreciated also that each rib 74 can have any suitable shape, size, and structure and structural relationship with respect to each of the other rib(s) and the body 28. It will be appreciated also that any ribs 74 are optional. And, if the body 28 does not include any ribs 74 and the deflector 10 is designed to be removably secured about the free end 18 of the exhaust pipe 16, any straps or zip-ties can be wrapped about the first end 30 of the body 28 for securing the deflector 10 to the exhaust pipe 16. On the other hand, if the body 28 does not include any ribs 74 and the deflector 10 is designed to be removably secured within the free end 18 of the exhaust pipe 16, the first end 30 of the body 28 can create the necessary interference fit between the interior wall 24 of the exhaust pipe 16 and the at least one rib 74.

In the preferred embodiment, the deflector 10 is made of rubber—particularly, 100% automotive-grade silicone rubber functional to about 315° C. (600° F.)—and of a unitary construction. However, it will be understood by those having ordinary skill in the art that the deflector 10 can be made of any suitable material. It will be understood also that the various elements of the deflector 10 can be made of different materials with respect to each other. It will be understood also that the deflector 10 can be of a non-unitary construction. Also preferably, the deflector 10 can be designed to fit any suitably sized exhaust pipe 16.

In operation of the deflector 10, while the helicopter 12 is not in operative use, the deflector 10 is secured either about the exhaust pipe 16 or within the exhaust pipe 16. In the meantime, the plug 42 is secured within the body 28 of the deflector 10. Immediately prior to operative use of the helicopter 12, the plug 42 is manually removed from the body 28 and aerodynamically stowed with the nub 56. During operative use of the helicopter 12, the helicopter exhaust 26 is conveyed through, deflected by, and discharged out the deflector 10. Upon inoperative use of the helicopter 12, the plug 42 is manually removed from the nub 56 and re-secured within the body 28 to substantially stop up and, thus, prevent leakage of any liquid exhaust from the body 28. The plug 42 remains in this position until immediately prior to the next operative use of the helicopter 12.

As can easily be seen, the deflector prevents liquid-exhaust leakage from the deflector during inoperative use of the vehicle. The deflector prevents also places where the vehicle is transported and stored from becoming messy and surfaces on which the vehicle is parked from becoming stained with liquid exhaust. And, the plug can be aerodynamically stowed relative to the deflector during operative use of the deflector to prevent fluttering of the plug and, thus, maintain proper balance of the deflector. The plug can be further strapped to the deflector and, thus, prevent misplacement or loss of the plug. In addition, the deflector can be designed as a unitary construction and, thus, produced relatively more easily and quickly and less costly. Moreover, the deflector is heat-resistant and flexible and more durable than exhaust-pipe deflectors of the related art.

The present invention has been described in an illustrative manner. It is to be understood that the terminology that has been used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation. Many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. Therefore, within the scope of the appended claims, the present invention may be practiced other than as specifically described.