Title:
Toy plane with an inflatable fuselage
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toy plane with an inflatable fuselage. The toy plane also has a pair of wings that are coupled to the inflatable fuselage. The toy plane can be powered by a pressurized fluid and/or a motor(s). The motor may be controlled by a wireless radio controlled transmitter. The inflatable fuselage can be 3 to 20 feet long to more accurately simulate the size of an actual airplane. Utilizing a fuselage that is inflatable allows for a large fuselage that can be deflated and stored in a marketable package.



Inventors:
Foster, George T. (Long Beach, CA, US)
Cernansky, Joseph (Palos Verdes Estates, CA, US)
Osborne, Ian B. (Gardena, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/018215
Publication Date:
09/01/2005
Filing Date:
12/20/2004
Assignee:
FOSTER GEORGE T.
CERNANSKY JOSEPH
OSBORNE IAN B.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H27/00; A63H27/10; A63H33/20; A63H30/04; (IPC1-7): A63H33/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, ALYSSA MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IRELL & MANELLA LLP (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A toy plane, comprising: an inflatable fuselage; and, a pair of wings coupled to said inflatable fuselage.

2. The toy plane of claim 1, further comprising a pressure chamber that is coupled to said inflatable fuselage and contains a pressurized fluid that creates a thrust to propel said inflatable fuselage and said wings.

3. The toy plane of claim 2, further comprising a pump that can be coupled to said pressure chamber.

4. The toy plane of claim 1, further comprising a tail coupled to said inflatable fuselage.

5. The toy plane of claim 1, further comprising at least one motor coupled to said inflatable fuselage.

6. The toy plane of claim 5, further comprising a wireless controller and a wireless receiver coupled to said motor.

7. The toy plane of claim 1, wherein said inflatable fuselage has a length to circumference ratio of at least 3 to 1.

8. The toy plane of claim 2, wherein said pressure chamber includes a release valve.

9. A toy plane, comprising: an inflatable fuselage; a pair of wings coupled to said inflatable fuselage; and, propulsion means for propelling said inflatable fuselage and said wings.

10. The toy plane of claim 9, wherein said propulsion means includes a pressure chamber that is coupled to said inflatable fuselage and contains a pressurized fluid that creates a thrust to propel said inflatable fuselage and said wings.

11. The toy plane of claim 10, further comprising a pump that can be coupled to said pressure chamber.

12. The toy plane of claim 9, further comprising a tail coupled to said inflatable fuselage.

13. The toy plane of claim 9, further comprising at least one motor coupled to said inflatable fuselage.

14. The toy plane of claim 13, further comprising a wireless transmitter and a wireless receiver coupled to said motor.

15. The toy plane of claim 9, wherein said inflatable fuselage has a length to circumference ratio of at least 3 to 1.

16. The toy plane of claim 10, wherein said pressure chamber includes a release valve.

17. A method for assembling a toy plane, comprising: inflating a fuselage; and, coupling a pair of wings to the fuselage.

18. The method of claim 17, further comprising propelling the inflated fuselage and the wings with a thrust created by a pressurized fluid.

19. The method of claim 17, further comprising propelling the inflated fuselage and the wings with a motor.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the motor is controlled with at least one wireless signal.

21. The method of claim 17, wherein the wings are attached to the fuselage before inflating the fuselage.

Description:

REFERENCE TO CROSS-RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to provisional Application Nos. 60/539,614 and 60/539,630, filed on Jan. 27, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an inflatable toy plane.

2. Prior Art

There have been marketed various fluid powered toys. For example, Tomy Toys marketed a line of toy products under the name AIR JAMMER ROAD RAMMERS that included a molded plastic car powered by air pressure created through a hand-held pump.

There have been marketed various types of fluid pressured rockets that can be propelled from a stand. U.S. Pat. No. 6,347,623 assigned to Spin Master Toys discloses a toy rocket that can be pressurized with a combination of liquid and air pressure. The pressure is created through a hand operated pump. Both Spin Master Toys and Ohio Art Co. separately marketed liquid/air powered toy rockets. These rockets were relatively small in size, being under 1 foot in length.

Although these prior art products were intended for children, their utilization of rigid fuselages created safety concerns because the pressurized launch of a hard plastic object, either by a child or with children present, could present a hazard should the hard plastic fuselage strike the child.

Estes Industries marketed a solid fuel propelled rocket that included an inflatable MYLAR fuselage. The inflatable fuselage was six feet long. Unfortunately, many local ordinances preclude the firing of solid fuel rockets thereby limiting the usefulness of the toy.

There have also been marketed radio controlled inflatable blimps. Blimps are difficult to maneuver and control. Additionally, the inflatable blimps require a supply of helium. Users may not always have ready access to helium, thereby limiting the usage of the toy.

There has also been marketed an inflatable rocket under the trademark MONSTER ROCKET by Hasbro. The MONSTER ROCKET included a pressure chamber that was pressurized with a mixture of air and water. The pressurized air/water provided a thrust that launched the toy rocket from a stand. Once launched the user had no means to control and maneuver the rocket.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A toy plane that includes a pair of wings attached to an inflatable fuselage.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a toy plane;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the toy plane;

FIG. 3 is a side view of an alternate embodiment of a toy plane with a pressure chamber;

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the toy plane shown in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Disclosed is a toy plane with an inflatable fuselage. The toy plane has a pair of wings that are coupled to the inflatable fuselage. The toy plane can be powered by a pressurized fluid and/or a motor(s). The motor may be controlled by a wireless radio controlled transmitter. The inflatable fuselage can be 3 to 20 feet long to more accurately simulate the size of an actual airplane. Utilizing a fuselage that is inflatable allows for a large fuselage that can be deflated and stored in a marketable package.

Referring to the drawings more particularly by reference numbers, FIGS. 1 and 2 show an embodiment of a toy plane 10. The toy plane 10 includes an inflatable fuselage 12 and a pair of wings 14 attached to the fuselage 12. The fuselage 12 is constructed from a flexible material that can be inflated with a gas such as air through an opening that contains a valve 16.

The fuselage 12 may be constructed from a relatively lightweight yet durable material such as MYLAR (polyester film) with a wall thickness between 0.010 and 0.035 inches. Although MYLAR has been described, it is to be understood that other lightweight and durable materials could be used such as polyethylene. The fuselage 12 is preferably relatively large with a length between 3 to 20 feet, and a length to circumference ratio of at least 3 to 1. This provides a toy with a size that more accurately simulates the length of a non-toy plane. The wings 14 can be made from a lightweight material such as Styrofoam, or a skin of mylar stretched around a frame. The wings 14 may include outer detachable wings sections 18 that can be removed to store the toy plane 10 in a more compact manner.

The wings 14 may be coupled to the fuselage 12 by a sleeve 20, a fore bracket 22 and a pair of rubber bands 24. The toy plane 10 may also have a tail 26 that is coupled to the fuselage 12 by the sleeve 20, an aft bracket 28 and a rubber band 30. Although rubber bands 24 and 30 are shown and described, it is to be understood that other means for attaching the wings 14 and tail 26 to the brackets 22 and 28 may be employed. The inflatable fuselage 12 may contain markings 32 to indicate where the brackets 22 and 28 are to be located on the fuselage 12. The toy plane 10 may also have a weight ring 34 that causes the plane 10 to descend nose first.

The plane 10 may include motors 36 that are attached to the wings 14. The motors 36 can be connected to a wireless receiver and power supply unit 38. The wireless receiver 38 may receive wireless signals from a radio controlled wireless controller 40. The controller 40 can control the speed of the motors 36 to propel and maneuver the plane 10.

In operation, the user may slide the sleeve 20 and brackets 22 and 28 onto the fuselage 12, and then inflate the fuselage 12. The wings 14 and tail 26 may be attached to the brackets 22 and 28, respectively. The user can throw the plane 10 into the air in a generally horizontal direction. The motors 36 can then be activated to propel the plane. Alternatively, the motors 36 can be activated before tossing the plane 10.

Although motors 36 are shown and described, it is to be understood that the plane 10 may not contain motors 36, wherein the toy plane 10 can function as a glider.

FIGS. 3 and 4 show an alternate embodiment of a toy plane 10′ that is powered by pressurized fluid. The toy plane 10′ may include a base 50 that receives a bottom portion of the inflatable fuselage 12. The base 50 provides a means to structurally support and couple the fuselage 12 to a stand 52. The base 50 may be constructed from a lightweight foam material.

The plane 10′ may have a pressure chamber 54 that is located within the base 50. The pressure chamber 54 may contain a fluid pressure that can propel the plane. The pressure chamber 54 may be constructed from a hard plastic material, such as polyethylene terephthelate, that is able to withstand relatively high pressures without rupture.

The pressure chamber 54 is in fluid communication with an inner channel 56 of the stand 52. The inner channel 56 can be in fluid communication with a liquid tank 58. The liquid tank 58 can be filled with a liquid such as water through an opening 60 and sealed with a top 62. The liquid tank 58 can be coupled to a pump 64 by a hose 66. The pump 64 may have a handle 68 that can be manually operated to create a pressure within the tank 58 and the pressure chamber 54.

The toy plane 10′ may have a release mechanism 70 that releases the pressure chamber 54 from the stand 52 so that the user can lift the plane 10′ to a horizontal position. The pressure chamber 54 may have a valve 72 that can be closed before separating the plane 10′ from the stand 52 to contain the pressurized fluid. The valve 72 can then be opened to release the pressurized fluid and propel the plane 10′. The release mechanism 70 may include a lever arm 74 that is pivotally connected to a collar 76 by linkages 78. The collar 76 may contain an O-ring 80 to seal the pressure chamber 54. The pressure chamber 54 may have a groove 82 that cooperates with the release mechanism 70 to secure and release the plane 10′ relative to the stand 52.

In operation, the user inflates the fuselage 12, attaches the sleeve, wings, etc. and inserts the inflated fuselage 12 into the base 50. The base 50 and pressure chamber 54 are loaded onto the stand 52.

The user operates the pump 64 to increase the pressure in the liquid tank 58 and the pressure chamber 54. Once the chamber 54 is adequately pressurized, the user closes the valve 72. The user then depresses the lever 74 to release the pressure chamber 54 from the stand 52 and lifts the plane 10′ into a horizontal position. The user may then open the valve 72 while throwing the plane 10′. The thrust of the pressurized fluid propels the plane 10′. If the plane also has motors then the user can cause further propulsion through control of a wireless controller.

While certain exemplary embodiments have been described and shown in the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that such embodiments are merely illustrative of and not restrictive on the broad invention, and that this invention not be limited to the specific constructions and arrangements shown and described, since various other modifications may occur to those ordinarily skilled in the art.