Title:
Launcher for a toy glider
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for making an affordable toy glider and launcher with intrinsic cross-sectional strength and extended useful life, each made from a sheet of corrugated paperboard. The sheets have a patterned layout of a complete set of glider and launcher parts that are printed on a printable side of the corrugated paperboard. All parts are precut and retained in place. The central body (fuselage) has two mirror imaged sides foldable along scored guide lines to form a three sided “U” shaped structure. A nose pack with coin weights used for balance, is placed at the nose section between the sides. A wing and stabilizer cutouts are inserted in slots with tabs used to center and fix the cutouts in place. Included is a pistol grip launcher which is universal in its use for launching all types of toy gliders.



Inventors:
Clark, Oren Salomon (Staatsburg, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/315912
Publication Date:
05/28/2009
Filing Date:
12/08/2008
Assignee:
Oren Salomon Clark
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
446/430, 446/491
International Classes:
A63H27/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, ALYSSA MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OREN CLARK (RHINEBECK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A launcher device for hand launching a toy glider comprising: a sheet of corrugated paperboard having pre-cut parts containing two pistol grip patterns, a first pattern used as an external member for each side of said hand launcher, and a second pattern used as an internal spacing member, said first pattern aligned and sandwiching at least one of said internal spacing member; said internal spacing member having a top surface that is shorter than said top surface of said external members thereby forming a channel runway between said internal and external members; a continuous loop rubber band used for launching said toy glider; said rubber band is looped around a lower front hook provided by said internal spacer member, each side passing outward through the rubber band guide slots in respective external members, continuing along the outside of the external members and looping around upper hooks in said external members, completing a sling-shot arrangement at the upper end of said outside members.

2. The hand launcher of claim 1 wherein said launcher is well-suited to launch any of a variety of non-powered gliders without impeding the flight path of said glider as it passes through said channel runway.

3. The hand launcher of claim 1 wherein said pistol grip shape in combination with said sling-shot arrangement provides a simple two hand operation for launching said toy glider.

4. The hand launcher of claim 1 wherein said launcher has a self-restoring, quick-cocking, sling-shot action using a closed loop rubber band for “rapid fire” launching.

5. A method of hand launching a toy glider, comprising the steps of: providing a hand launcher for launching said toy glider; said hand launcher is built from a sheet of corrugated paperboard having pre-cut parts containing a plurality of two different patterned pistol grip parts, a first pattern used as an external member for each side of said hand launcher, and a second pattern used as an internal spacing member, said first pattern aligned and sandwiching at least one of said internal spacing member; said internal spacing member having a top surface that is shorter than said top surface of said external members thereby forming a channel runway between said internal and external members, and a continuous loop rubber band used for launching said toy glider; said rubber band is looped around a lower front hook provided by said internal spacer member, each side passing outward through the rubber band guide slots in respective external members, continuing along the outside of the external members and looping around upper hooks in said external members completing a “H” shaped sling-shot arrangement; and providing a toy glider.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein said toy glider is placed to intercept with said sling-shot arrangement, said toy glider is pulled back and released to launch said glider.

7. The method of claim 5 wherein said launcher is well-suited to launch any of a variety of non-powered gliders without impeding the flight path of said glider as it passes through said channel runway.

8. The method of claim 5 wherein said pistol grip shape in combination with said sling-shot arrangement provides a simple two hand operation for launching said toy glider.

9. The method of claim 5 wherein said launcher is ready to be used immediately after launching in a rapid launching mode.

Description:

This is a Divisional application of pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/096,977, filed on Mar. 13, 2002, which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(1) Technical Field

This invention relates generally to toys that fly, and more particularly, to a hand launched gliding apparatus. It also relates to a launching apparatus.

(2) Description of the Prior Art

The ability to fly like a bird is an ancient aspiration of mankind. The first person to take a scientific approach to human flight was Leonardo Da Vinci. His designs included three types of aircraft, the omithopter, helicopter, and glider. However, his designs required human power to fly, thus was impractical.

Building and flying stick models has been and still is an excellent way to learn about glider construction and the basics of flying objects. This is the method used by aviation's pioneers, and the skill is still basic to building free flight and radio control kits. The fundamental construction technique for this type of gliding are simple, but patience is required to cut, fit, and glue the pieces into place.

There are many kinds of hand-launched gliders which are commonly made from materials such as, paper, balsa wood, rigid foam, and/or a variety of exotic composites using high-tech materials such as mylar, graphite, titanium, and the like. Making hand-launched gliders can either take less than a minute to construct, for example, the simple folded paper glider requiring minimal construction skills, or to the other extreme, the more sophisticated type requiring weeks to complete by a highly-skilled hobbyist.

Among the variety of methods to glider design, one common type is the pre-cut, punch-out and put-together variety, most widespread among mass-market products. Wings and horizontal stabilizers are either glued, as those made of paper, or fitted through slots in the fuselage. Nose reinforcements and weights are usually made of plastic or rubber or, as in the case of certain paper designs, consist of multiple layers of paper bonded to each side of the nose portion of the fuselage. The rigid foam constructed gliders often have fully formed three-dimensional shapes. The fuselage design of most of the mass marketed gliders are two-dimensional while providing only minimum position stability for the wing and horizontal stabilizer, therefore, requiring frequent adjustments after each flight.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A primary object of the present invention is to offer the consumer an affordable toy glider and launcher with excellent durability and performance.

Another object of the present invention is to reduce the manufacturing costs for a toy glider and launcher without sacrificing its structural durability or glide capability.

Another object of the invention is to provide a hand held launcher with a self restoring, quick-cocking sling shot action using a closed loop rubber band and is universal in its use to launch all types of toy gliders.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a glider having any shape or design including real or imaginary such as airplanes, birds, animals, or caricatures of the same.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a compact package containing a series of glider models and a launcher in a cutout, punch-out format, for ease of assembly within minutes.

Accordingly, the present invention includes a novel hand launched glider. All of its parts are punch cut from corrugated paperboard. The fuselage pattern, when folded along pre-scored guidelines, transforms into a “U” shaped central body forming a channel configuration with intrinsic cross-sectional strength. The two uprights have the same profile, showing the silhouette and reproduction of the glider model. Each side has cutout slots, positioned in line, for inserting a wing and horizontal stabilizer. A laminated corrugated paperboard nose pack, which includes a cavity for adding a coin weight, is placed and fixed between the two sides at the nose portion of the “U” shaped body. A portion in the nose pack extends below the body portion preventing the nose pack from being forced rearward during a crash. In addition to serving as a nose weight to permit level flight, the nose pack has excellent impact absorption characteristics guaranteeing a longer life for the gliding object. The proposed embodiment includes a tab-in-slot solution placed along the front-to-back centerline of the wing and the horizontal stabilizer to ensure that the wing and horizontal stabilizer maintain a perfectly centered position relative to the central body, thereby eliminating the need to make adjustments between flights. The tabs are inserted after the wing and horizontal stabilizer have been inserted to effectively trap both the wing and horizontal stabilizer in a centered position inside the uprights of the “U” shaped structure. Score lines at each wing tip provide adjustment to the wing for changing various aspects to gliding.

Moreover, a novel, continuous looped rubber band launcher, that is self-restoring, is also made entirely of corrugated paperboard in its preferred embodiment. It is compatible and useful with any of a variety on non-powered gliders without impeding the flight path of the glider as it passes through the launcher. The packaged launcher has a hand grip design made up of two functionally shaped sides sandwiching a plurality of functionally shaped interposed members.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a pattern layout of the punch-out-parts necessary to assemble a glider according to the invention.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of a folded fuselage according to the invention.

FIG. 3 is showing a side view of the glider assembly, according to the invention.

FIG. 4 is a front-on view illustrating the laminated corrugated paperboard nose pack between the folded up sides according to the invention.

FIG. 5 is a top view illustrating the central body according to the invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the hand launcher according to the invention

FIG. 7 is an illustration of the outside covering member for the hand launcher according to the invention.

FIG. 8 is an illustration of the inside laminate member for the hand launcher according to the invention.

FIG. 9 is an illustration of a side view of the hand launcher according to the invention.

FIG. 10 shows a top view of the hand launcher according to the invention.

FIG. 11 illustrates a glider embodiment of an upper tail section of a bird according to the invention.

FIG. 12 illustrates a gliding bird's tail feathers according to the invention.

FIG. 13 shows the method of attaching the tail feather section with the upper tail.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a typical glider parts layout 11, in a sheet of corrugated paperboard 12, showing the patterned design in a pre-cut punch-out format. A couple of coins, or something with a similar weight, and some glue are all that are necessary to make the completed glider 10, shown in FIGS. 3, 4, and 5. The fuselage pattern 21, when folded along visibly scored guide lines 13, transforms into a three sided, “U” shaped beam 22 forming two uprights 23 and a bottom 24, as best illustrated in FIG. 2. The “U” shape provides the fuselage with built-in stiffness and cross-sectional strength. The two uprights 23 have the same profile, showing the silhouette and reproduction of the glider model on its outside surfaces. Each upright has cutout slots, positioned in line, for inserting a wing 27 through slots 25 and a horizontal stabilizer 28 through slots 26. Score lines at each wing tip provides fine-tuning of the glider's flying performance.

An interposing weight pack 30 consisting of two outer patterns 31 and at least one inner pattern 32, placed adjacent each other forming the weight pack. The inner pattern 32 includes a hole 34 for inserting the weights. The amount of weight will vary depending on a model's center of gravity. The assembled weight pack 30 is placed interposing the two sides at the nose portion of the “U” shaped body 22. A portion in the nose pack 33 extends below the bottom surface 24 of the “U” shaped body 22 preventing the nose pack from being forced rearward during a crash. The extended portion also serves as a launching edge when used with a self-restoring launcher 50 shown in FIG. 5. In addition to serving as a nose weight for level flight, and a launching edge, the interposing weight pack 30 increases the lateral strength and stability of the “U” section as well as having excellent absorption characteristics during impact, guaranteeing a longer life for the glider.

The proposed glider embodiment include two slots 35 formed along the front-to-back centerline of the wing 27, and a slot 36 formed on center of the horizontal stabilizer 28. Inserting wing tabs 37 in slots 35 and a tab 38 in slot 36 ensures both the wing and horizontal stabilizer will maintain a perfectly centered position relative to the central body, thereby, eliminating the need to make adjustments between flights. The wing tabs 37 are put in after the wing is inserted, and the horizontal stabilizer tab 38 is put in after the horizontal stabilizer have been inserted to effectively trap both the wing and horizontal stabilizer in a centered position inside the uprights of the “U” shaped structure. The twin vertical tail fins 39 are held together and bonded, shown in FIG. 5, forming a single vertical tail fin 40 while trapping centering tab 38 in its slot 36.

Referring now to FIG. 6 showing a perspective illustration of a novel hand held launcher 50, that has a self-restoring, quick-cocking, sling-shot action using a closed loop rubber band. The hand held launcher is capable of launching all types of toy gliders. The launcher is also made entirely of corrugated paperboard in its preferred embodiment, and is also assembled from a patterned design layout in a pre-cut punch-out format (not shown). The launcher 50 is compatible and useful with any of a variety of non-powered gliders without disturbing the flight path of the glider as it passes through the launcher.

The assembled launcher has a pistol grip design made up of a plurality of summative cutouts of an external pattern 51 shown in FIG. 7, and an internal spacer pattern 55 shown in FIG. 8. The launcher assembly 50 is made up of at least two external patterns 51, one for each side, and a stack 56 of several of the internal spacer pattern cutouts 55 as best shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8.

A rubber band 60 is looped around a front hook 56 of the internal pattern stack with each side passing just inside the external pattern 51. The two sides of the rubber band are passed outward through respective rubber band guide slots 57 in the external pattern 51 to the outside towards the back end of the external patterns 51 until finally looping around the rear hooks 52 where the tension of the rubber band keeps the rubber band snugly positioned in the launcher. After launching, outwardly formed catch tabs 58 guide the rubber band back to the rear hooks in readiness for the next “rapid fire” launch. The hand grip portion of both of the internal and external patterns are shaped for gripping comfort with hand protection extensions 53 provided on both the external patterns. FIG. 10 shows the top view of the launcher displaying the threading of the rubber band 60 passing outward through the two rubber band guide slots 57 contained in the external pattern 51 at each side of the assembly 50, and running against the outside of the external patterns 51 until finally looping around the catch tabs 58 and captured by the rear hooks 53 (best shown in FIG. 6).

Referring to FIG. 11 showing an assembled tail section of a bird, or animal, or caricatures of the same. All parts are punch cut in place and assembled similar to the glider, having wings and tabs, etc. The central body (fuselage) pattern 61, when folded along visibly stamped guidelines (not shown), transforms into an inverted “U” shaped central body forming a channel configuration with intrinsic cross-sectional strength similar to that described in FIG. 2. The two sides facing downward have the same profile, showing the silhouette and reproduction of the gliding model on its outside surfaces. The tail section 61 shows look-alike flanks 64, or rear legs. The front portion, not shown, would represent, as for example, a bird's head. Referring to FIG. 12, the top end provides supporting extensions 63 with tabs 62 to append a look-alike tail feather member 65 by way of slots 66 engaging with tabs 62. The tail feather member, shown in FIGS. 11 and 13, is shown inserted under the top end and bonded to the under surface when glue is applied at spot 67. The tabs 62 are shown folded against the upper surface of the tail feathers and glued in place. The tail feather member 65 is functionally similar to a horizontal stabilizer of an airplane glider.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to the preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.