Title:
Toy Airplane
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toy airplane that can be pushed and steered by a walking child has a pair of stationary (i.e. non-turnable or non-steerable) rear wheels and a rotatable (i.e. turnable or steerable) front wheel. A steering shaft extends upwards and backwards from the back of the plane, and is operable by the child to steer and push the plane. The steering shaft is connected by a gearing system to the turnable front wheel. The gearing system is made up of a rotatable horizontal connecting shaft that engages the steering shaft at one end and the front wheel axle at the other end. Rotation of the steering shaft causes the horizontal connecting shaft to rotate, which causes the front wheel axle to turn, thereby turning the front wheel and steering the plane in a desired direction.



Inventors:
Mayson, Samuel Odwalu (Vallejo, CA, US)
Application Number:
13/648989
Publication Date:
04/10/2014
Filing Date:
10/10/2012
Assignee:
MAYSON SAMUEL ODWALU
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H17/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, ALYSSA MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Paul R. Martin, Paul Richard Martin (Oakland, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A toy airplane that can be pushed and steered by a child, comprising: an airplane structure having a fuselage and wings; stationary rear wheels attached under the wings; a rotatable front wheel attached to the fuselage; a rotatable steering shaft extending up and back from the airplane structure; a gearing system connecting the rotatable steering shaft to the rotatable front wheel; wherein rotation of the steering shaft by a child rotates the front wheel.

2. The toy airplane of claim 1 wherein the gearing system comprises a substantially horizontal rotatable connecting shaft.

3. The toy airplane of claim 2 wherein the gearing system further comprises a front gear attached to the front end of the connecting shaft and a rear gear attached to the rear end of the connecting shaft.

4. The toy airplane of claim 3 further comprising a steering shaft gear attached to the end of the steering shaft and engaging the rear gear of the connecting shaft.

5. The toy airplane of claim 4 further comprising a substantially vertical axle connected to the front wheel and a front wheel turning gear attached to the top of the vertical axle and engaging the front gear of the connecting shaft.

6. The toy airplane of claim 5 further comprising a support block fixedly mounted in the airplane structure, the connecting shaft being rotatably mounted therein.

7. The toy airplane of claim 1 wherein the airplane structure comprises a body or cabin superstructure and a wing structure joined together.

8. The toy airplane of claim 1 further comprising a handle or steering wheel attached to the steering shaft.

9. The toy airplane of claim 1 further comprising a steering shaft guide tube fixedly attached to the airplane structure and extending up and back therefrom, the steering shaft being rotatably mounted therein.

10. The toy airplane of claim 1 wherein the rear wheels and front wheel comprise a two wheel set.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/627465 filed Oct. 13, 2011, which is herein incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention pertains generally to toy airplanes, and more particularly to toy airplanes that are pushable and steerable.

2. Description of Related Art

Children love to play with toys. Toys provide entertainment for children and help them develop intellectual and motor skills. In particular, children enjoy playing with toys that can move, such as cars, trucks, and trains.

Children are generally fascinated by toy airplanes. Toy airplanes run the gamut from plush toys for infants to model airplanes for older children and adults. For small children able to walk, a pushable and steerable toy airplane allows the child to play pilot while getting exercise.

Accordingly it is desirable to provide a toy airplane that is easily pushed and steered by a walking child.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An aspect of the invention is a toy airplane that can be pushed and steered by a child, including an airplane structure having a fuselage and wings; stationary rear wheels attached under the wings; a rotatable front wheel attached to the fuselage; a rotatable steering shaft extending up and back from the airplane structure; and a gearing system connecting the rotatable steering shaft to the rotatable front wheel; wherein rotation of the steering shaft by a child rotates the front wheel.

In a preferred embodiment, the gearing system includes a substantially horizontal rotatable connecting shaft, with a front gear attached to the front end of the connecting shaft and a rear gear attached to the rear end of the connecting shaft. A steering shaft gear is attached to the end of the steering shaft and engage the rear gear of the connecting shaft. A substantially vertical axle is connected to the front wheel and a front wheel turning gear is attached to the top of the vertical axle and engages the front gear of the connecting shaft.

Further aspects of the invention will be brought out in the following portions of the specification, wherein the detailed description is for the purpose of fully disclosing preferred embodiments of the invention without placing limitations thereon.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be more fully understood by reference to the following drawings which are for illustrative purposes only:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the toy airplane of the invention being pushed and steered by a child.

FIG. 2 is an assembly drawing of the horizontal connecting shaft of the toy airplane of the invention that fits inside the body of the plane and allows the plane to be steered by a child pushing the plane.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one end of the horizontal connecting shaft of FIG. 2 engaging the turning wheel of the plane.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the opposed end of the horizontal connecting shaft of FIG. 2 engaging the steering shaft of the steering wheel or steering handle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring more specifically to the drawings, for illustrative purposes the present invention is embodied in the apparatus generally shown in FIG. 1 through FIG. 4. It will be appreciated that the apparatus may vary as to configuration and as to details of the parts, without departing from the basic concepts as disclosed herein.

The invention is a toy airplane that can be pushed and steered by a walking child. The toy plane has a pair of stationary (i.e. non-turnable or non-steerable) rear wheels and a rotatable (i.e. turnable or steerable) front wheel. A steering shaft extends upwards and backwards from the back of the plane, and is operable by the child to steer (and push) the plane. The steering shaft is connected by a gearing system to the turnable front wheel. The gearing system is made up of a rotatable horizontal connecting shaft that engages the steering shaft at one end and the front wheel axle at the other end. Rotation of the steering shaft causes the horizontal connecting shaft to rotate, which causes the front wheel axle to turn, thereby turning the front wheel and steering the plane in a desired direction.

FIG. 1 shows a toy airplane 10 of the invention being pushed and steered by a child 12. Toy airplane 10 has a body or cabin superstructure 14 that extends from nose 16 to tail 18. Body or cabin superstructure 14 is joined to wing structure 20 to form the entire airplane structure 28 (airplane structure 28 is the basic airplane form (fuselage, wings, tail, etc.) while toy airplane 10 includes the airplane structure 28 plus the components to push and steer the plane). Wing structure 20 (shown in more detail in FIG. 2) includes a pair of wings 22. A rotatable or turnable front wheel 24 (or two wheel set as shown in FIG. 3) is rotatably or turnably attached to the bottom of toy airplane 10 near the nose 16. A pair of stationary non-rotatable or non-turnable rear wheels (or wheel sets) 26 are fixedly attached to the bottom of toy airplane 10, one under each wing 22. Each wheel 24, 26 may be a single wheel or a closely spaced pair of wheels as shown in FIG. 3. The three wheels (or wheel sets) 24, 26 maintain the airplane structure 28 in a stable upright orientation and all rotate around their own horizontal axes so that the plane can roll forward when pushed. However wheel 24 can also be rotated or turned about a vertical axis so that the direction of movement can be changed, i.e. the plane can be steered, The operation of wheel (or wheel set) 24 is further described below with respect to FIG. 3.

A steering shaft guide tube 30 extends upwards and backwards from the top of body or cabin structure 14 of toy airplane structure 28, and is fixedly attached thereto. A steering shaft 32 is rotatably mounted in and extends out from steering shaft guide tube 30. A handle or steering wheel 34 is connected to the end of steering shaft 32. The child 12 grips the handle or steering wheel 32 with his hands. By pushing on the handle or steering wheel 32 the child 12 pushes or propels toy airplane 10 forward. By also rotating or turning the handle or steering wheel 32, the child 12 can steer or turn toy airplane 10. Handle or steering wheel 32 may take many forms, from a simple wheel to a panel containing pictures of aviation instruments and having a gripping handle.

FIG. 2 shows wing structure 20 of FIG. 1 in more detail, including the mounting of a horizontal connecting shaft 36 therein. Horizontal connecting shaft 36 is a key part of the gearing system that turns the front wheel 24, as will be further described below with reference to FIGS. 3, 4. Wing structure 20 is formed of a fuselage section 38 to which wings 22 are attached. Fuselage section 38 is joined to cabin superstructure 14 to form a complete airplane 28. However, before these two parts are joined, horizontal connecting shaft 36 is rotatably mounted to fuselage section 38 by a support block 40. The support block 40 is fixedly mounted in fuselage section 38 and the shaft 36 is rotatably mounted in block 40. When section 38 and superstructure 14 are joined together, shaft 36 is totally contained within the airplane 28.

As shown in FIGS. 2-4, horizontal connecting shaft 36 has a front gear 42 at its front end and a rear gear 44 at its back end. Front gear 42 turns front wheel 24 when rear gear 44 is turned by steering shaft 32, as is shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and described below.

FIG. 3 shows the engagement of front gear 42 of connecting shaft 36 with front wheel turning gear 46. Front wheel turning gear 46 is attached to the top of front wheel axle 48, which is rotatably mounted in front wheel axle housing 50, which is fixedly attached to the underside of cabin superstructure 14 near the nose 16 of airplane 28. One set of wheels 24 (or a single wheel) is rotatably attached to the distal end of axle 48. When shaft 36 rotates, gear 42 rotates gear 46, which rotates axle 48, thereby turning front wheels 24 and steering the toy airplane 10.

FIG. 4 shows the engagement of rear gear 44 of connecting shaft 36 with steering shaft gear 52. Steering shaft gear 52 is attached to the distal end of steering shaft 32, which is rotatably mounted in steering shaft guide tube 30 that is attached to toy airplane 28. Steering shaft 32 extends from handle or steering wheel 34 outside the airplane 28 to the rear end gear 44 of shaft 36 inside airplane 28. When shaft 32 is rotated by the child 12, gear 52 rotates gear 44, which rotates shaft 36, which as described above rotates gear 42, which rotates gear 46, which rotates axle 48, thereby turning front wheels 24. The gear ratio between gears 44 and 42 can be selected so that rotation of the shaft 32 by the child 12 results in a desired turn of front wheels 24, i.e. so that a large turn of the steering wheel or handle produces a gradual turn of the plane.

Thus the invention provides a simple and effective way to steer a toy airplane while pushing the toy airplane. The toy airplane of the invention allows a child to have fun while getting exercise and developing coordination and motor skills while learning to control the motion of the airplane.

Although the description above contains many details, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. Therefore, it will be appreciated that the scope of the present invention fully encompasses other embodiments which may become obvious to those skilled in the art, and that the scope of the present invention is accordingly to be limited by nothing other than the appended claims, in which reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean “one and only one unless explicitly so stated, but rather one or more.” All structural and functional equivalents to the elements of the above-described preferred embodiment that are known to those of ordinary skill in the art are expressly incorporated herein by reference and are intended to be encompassed by the present claims. Moreover, it is not necessary for a device to address each and every problem sought to be solved by the present invention, for it to be encompassed by the present claims. Furthermore, no element or component in the present disclosure is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether the element or component is explicitly recited in the claims. No claim element herein is to be construed under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 112, sixth paragraph, unless the element is expressly recited using the phrase “means for.”