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Bell Helicopter Textron Inc patents


Recent patent applications related to Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. Bell Helicopter Textron Inc is listed as an Agent/Assignee. Note: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc may have other listings under different names/spellings. We're not affiliated with Bell Helicopter Textron Inc, we're just tracking patents.

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Latch system with position hold

A latch system has a pin movable along a pin axis, a control rod connected to the pin, a control wall comprising a control aperture comprising a lock hole joined to an unlock hole by a rod channel, and a control knob biased toward the pin, wherein the control knob comprises a lock tip sized to fit within each of the lock hole and the unlock hole.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

Modular latch system

A modular latch system has an activation module comprising an activation rod, a latch module comprising a biased latch, and a control cable connecting the activation module to the latch module so that rotation of the activation rod can retract the latch.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

Flexible aircraft seat configurations

In one embodiment, an apparatus may comprise: a floor panel for a rotorcraft; one or more puck fasteners in the floor panel, wherein each puck fastener comprises an attachment fitting and a plurality of internal flanges, wherein the plurality of internal flanges within each puck fastener are adjacent; and one or more seating fixtures coupled to the floor panel using the one or more puck fasteners.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

Flexible foldover seat configurations for emergency egress of aircraft

In one embodiment, an apparatus may comprise: a floor panel for a rotorcraft; and a plurality of passenger seats coupled to the floor panel, wherein: the plurality of passenger seats is arranged into a plurality of seating rows; and the plurality of passenger seats comprises one or more foldover seats arranged to facilitate access to one or more exits of the rotorcraft.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

Teetering rotor hub system

The present invention includes a rotor hub system, comprising: a teetering rotor hub disposed about a mast, the teetering rotor hub comprising: a first and a second yoke; each connected to a set of rotor blades, wherein the second set of rotor blades and the first set of rotor blades are disposed in a common plane, but the first and the second yoke do not come in contact.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

Puck attachment mechanism for flexible aircraft configuration

In one embodiment, an apparatus may comprise an attachment device configured to be embedded in a structure, wherein the attachment device comprises: a body comprising a first flange and a second flange, wherein the body is configured such that the first flange and the second flange are coupled together internally within the body when the attachment device is embedded in the structure; an attachment fitting for coupling a component to the structure in which the attachment device is embedded.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

Super capacitor based emergency lighting system

An emergency lighting system (els) for an aircraft has a capacitor, at least one of an onboard power system and a ground power unit configured to charge the capacitor, and a light emitting diode (led) selectively powered by the capacitor.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

Rotor assembly with high lock-number blades

An aircraft rotor assembly has a central yoke and a plurality of rotor blades coupled to the yoke for rotation with the yoke about an axis, each blade having a lock number of approximately 5 or greater. A lead-lag pivot for each blade is a radial distance from the axis and allows for in-plane lead-lag motion of the associated blade relative to the yoke, each pivot allowing for in-plane motion from a neutral position of at least 1 degree in each of the lead and lag directions. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

Forward folding rotor blades

A rotor blade rotation system includes two or more rotor blades, each rotor blade in mechanical communication with a hub and pivotable about an axis of rotation, a bearing plate comprising a rotating portion and a non-rotating portion, a fold linkage coupled to the rotating portion of the bearing plate and in mechanical communication with the rotor blade, and an actuator coupled to the non-rotating portion of the bearing plate and operable to reposition the bearing plate from a first position to a second position such that the folding links pivot the rotor blades from a deployed position to a forward folded position.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

Through-transmission ultrasonic testing apparatus

A testing apparatus, inspection system, and method for through-transmission ultrasonic testing. The testing apparatus includes a yoke having a support member with a pair of hinge joints, each hinge joint located on an end of the support member; a pair of arms extending from the support member having a hinge end and a pivotable transducer end, each arm being coupled to the hinge joint at the hinge end and extending to the pivotable transducer end; a pair of transducer support members disposed on each of the pivotal transducer ends; and a tension member connected to the pair of arms for aligning the pair of transducer support members during testing.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

Disk bending shear testing and system

A method for determining a shear property of a sample includes supporting a sample at three or more separate support locations about a periphery of a first surface of the sample in a testing fixture, the sample including a second surface separated from the first surface by a thickness, wherein the sample is axisymmetric about an axis that is orthogonal to the first surface. The method includes applying a load on the second surface of the sample with a load applicator in a direction substantially parallel with the axis, measuring, with a controller, shear testing data of the sample in response to applying the load, and determining, with the controller, a shear property of the sample from the measured shear testing data.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

Engine cooling systems for aircraft

An engine cooling system for a rotorcraft includes an engine having an engine cooling circuit, a hydraulic pump powered by the engine to pump hydraulic fluid, and a hydraulic circuit in fluid communication with the hydraulic pump and the engine cooling circuit, the hydraulic circuit including at least one hydraulic-powered component. The hydraulic pump is adapted to pump the hydraulic fluid through both the hydraulic circuit and the engine cooling circuit, thereby cooling the engine.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

Rotor hub bearing system

The bearing system is configured for treating and reacting dynamic loading within a rotor hub of rotorcraft. The bearing system includes an outer member having a plurality of alternating outer elastomeric layers and shim layers. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

System and method of post-cure processing of composite core

A method of cutting a wafer of composite core from a bulk composite core includes stabilizing the bulk composite core with a fixture, the bulk composite core having a plurality of tube members. The method also includes cutting through each of the tube members to create the wafer while the bulk composite core is stabilized by the fixture.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

06/14/18 / #20180165897

Diagnostic method, system and device for a rotorcraft drive system

There is a method, system, and device for diagnosing an anomaly of a monitored component in a drive train, the method including obtaining original data based on samples of a vibration signal and a tachometer signal; generating a time synchronous average vibration signal; processing the time synchronous average vibration signal to produce a frequency-domain spectrum; determining the complex magnitudes of the frequency-domain spectrum; selecting a sub-synchronous band of the complex magnitudes of the frequency-domain spectrum to generate a sub-synchronous spectrum; and determining the mean of the sub-synchronous spectrum to generate a condition indicator.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

06/14/18 / #20180163795

Drivetrain subassembly having an integrated sprag clutch race and gear shaft member

A drivetrain subassembly includes a clutch portion and a gear shaft portion connected by an integrated inner race/gear shaft member. The clutch portion includes a sprag clutch configured to transfer torque from an engine to a rotor system while allowing the rotor system to continue to rotate in the event of an engine failure. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

06/14/18 / #20180163777

Bearing liner for accommodating thermal expansion and transmission system incorporating the same

A bearing liner allows a bearing to be mounted to a bearing housing even where the coefficients of thermal expansion of the bearing and the housing are different. The bearing liner includes a body portion and a mounting portion. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

06/14/18 / #20180162548

Diagnostic method, system and device for a rotorcraft drive system

A method, system, and device for diagnosing an anomaly of a monitored component in a drive train, the method including: obtaining original data based on samples of a tachometer signal; processing the original data to obtain rotational information; processing the original data to produce a sine spectrum; determining complex magnitudes of the sine spectrum; removing dominate torsional mode residuals from the complex magnitudes of the sine spectrum to produce a frequency spectrum; and determining a condition indicator from the frequency spectrum.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

06/14/18 / #20180162526

Proprotor systems for tiltrotor aircraft

A proprotor system for tiltrotor aircraft having a helicopter mode and an airplane mode. The proprotor system includes a hub and a plurality of proprotor blades coupled to the hub such that each proprotor blade is operable to independently flap relative to the hub about a flapping axis and independently change pitch about a pitch change axis. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

06/14/18 / #20180162524

Gear shaft for accommodating thermal expansion and transmission system incorporating the same

A gear shaft allows a ceramic bearing to be used in environments where gear steel is desirable for driving a gear. The gear shaft includes a gear region and a bearing region. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

06/14/18 / #20180162520

Soft-in-plane proprotor systems

A soft-in-plane proprotor system for a tiltrotor aircraft having a helicopter mode and an airplane mode. The proprotor system includes a hub, a plurality of proprotor blades and a plurality of blade support assemblies coupling the proprotor blades with the hub. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

06/14/18 / #20180162519

Soft-in-plane proprotor systems

A soft-in-plane proprotor system for a tiltrotor aircraft having a helicopter mode and an airplane mode. The proprotor system includes a hub, a plurality of proprotor blades and a plurality of loop yokes, each coupling one of the proprotor blades with the hub and each including first and second longitudinal sections extending between inboard and outboard arcuate sections and a bearing assembly disposed between the inboard and outboard arcuate sections of each loop yoke. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

06/14/18 / #20180162518

Loop yoke for proprotor systems

A yoke for providing a centrifugal force retention load path between a proprotor blade and a hub of a soft-in-plane proprotor system operable for use on a tiltrotor aircraft. The yoke includes a continuous loop having a longitudinal axis and first and second longitudinal sections extending between inboard and outboard arcuate sections. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

06/07/18 / #20180157275

High authority stability and control augmentation system

A system and method of increasing the control authority of redundant stability and control augmentation system (scas) actuators by utilizing feedback between systems such that one system may compensate for the position of a failed actuator of the other system. Each system uses an appropriate combination of reliable and unreliable inputs such that unreliable inputs cannot inappropriately utilize the increased authority. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

06/07/18 / #20180155015

Automatic, active blade tracking and balance system

The present invention includes an apparatus and method for automatically adjusting the tracking of one or more blades comprising: a blade tracking adjustment mechanism connected to one or more blades of an aircraft; a blade tracking measurement system that measures the tracking of the one or more blades; and a computer that receives an output from the blade tracking measurement system with tracking information for each of the one or more blades; wherein the computer outputs instructions for the blade tracking adjustment mechanism to change a pitch of one or more of the blades to correct blade tracking.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

06/07/18 / #20180155003

Adjustable hinge

A hinge has a door interface comprising a serrated surface and an oversized hole, a bolt at least partially extending into the oversized hole, and a washer disposed on the bolt and captured between the door interface and a head of the bolt, the washer comprising a serrated surface facing toward the serrated surface of the door interface. The oversized hole has a diameter selected to allow significant radial movement of the bolt within the oversized hole.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

05/31/18 / #20180148160

Rotor blade having variable twist

A rotor blade including a root portion adapted to be connected to a helicopter rotor hub for rotation therewith, the root portion having a first edge surface; a first movable member having a first movable surface adjacent to the first edge surface; a first elastomeric joint disposed between the root portion and the first movable member, the first elastomeric joint having an inner surface facing the first edge surface of the root portion and an outer surface facing the movable surface of the first movable member; and an actuating system mounted within the root portion and the first movable member for moving the first movable member. The first elastomeric joint deforms to adjust for shear from actuation of the first movable member to a first position during helicopter mode; and to a second position during airplane mode.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

05/24/18 / #20180141654

Proprotor systems for tiltrotor aircraft

A proprotor system for tiltrotor aircraft having a helicopter mode and an airplane mode. The proprotor system includes a hub and a plurality of proprotor blades coupled to the hub such that each proprotor blade is operable to independently flap relative to the hub and independently change pitch. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

05/24/18 / #20180141650

Axial springs for rotor hub assembly

A rotor hub assembly for a rotorcraft includes a yoke forming a bearing bore. The yoke has a teetering axis extending through the bearing bore. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

05/24/18 / #20180141645

Damper

The present invention includes a damper assembly, method and kit to provide dampening to an airframe comprising: a mass to dampen the vibration of the airframe; one or more wire rope isolators having a first and a second portion, wherein the mass is attached to the one or more wire rope isolators and the mass is isolated from the airframe by the one or more wire rope isolators; and a first fastener and a second fastener, wherein the first fasteners attaches to the first portion of the wire rope isolator to the mass, and the second fastener attaches the second portion of the wire rope isolator to the airframe to dampen vibration of the airframe.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

05/24/18 / #20180141246

Moldable fly-away tool structure system

A composite structure includes a first face sheet, a second face sheet, and a foam member located between the first face sheet and the second face sheet. The foam member has a molded contour, the mold contour being configured to provide tooling surface for at least one of the first face sheet and the second face sheet prior to curing of the composite structure. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

05/17/18 / #20180136668

Method and apparatus for flight control of tiltrotor aircraft

A method and apparatus provide for automatically controlling the flight of a tiltrotor aircraft while the aircraft is in flight that is at least partially rotor-borne. The method and apparatus provide for automatically tilting nacelles in response to a longitudinal-velocity control signal so as to produce a longitudinal thrust-vector component for controlling longitudinal velocity of the aircraft. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

05/17/18 / #20180135728

Rotor blade weight system

A weight system for a rotor blade includes a weight box open in an outboard direction, a weight guide rod connected to the weight box, the weight guide rod extending in a spanwise direction through an interior of the weight box, and a span balance weight disposed within the weight box, the span balance weight being captured between the weight guide rod and the weight box.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

05/17/18 / #20180134853

Nanolevel dispersion of nanoparticles in hydrophobic materials

According to one embodiment, a method of dispersing nanoparticles into a destination material includes providing a plurality of nanoparticles suspended in a carrier, adding a solvent to the plurality of nanoparticles suspended in a carrier, removing at least some of the carrier to yield the plurality of nanoparticles suspended in the solvent, mixing the nanoparticles suspended in the solvent with a destination material, and removing at least some of the solvent from the mixture of nanoparticles suspended in the solvent and the destination material.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

05/17/18 / #20180134411

Detachable cargo mirror

A detachable cargo mirror assembly for use on a rotorcraft surface that includes a bracket configured to mount to a surface on the rotorcraft, the bracket comprising a base portion and a retainer portion having a first pair of opposing holes, an elongated arm having two opposing ends, a first end for coupling with the bracket and a second end coupled to a mirror apparatus, the first end having a passage: and a releasable connector configured to engage with the first pair of opposing holes and the passage in the elongated arm when the elongated arm is in a first position to display a desired image on the mirror apparatus. The detachable cargo mirror assembly can be removed or in a stowed position when not in use.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

05/10/18 / #20180126199

Rotorcraft fall restraint protection attach points and mechanism systems

The present invention includes a safety apparatus and method for protecting users during maintenance operations for a rotorcraft comprising: at least one permanent, semi-permanent, or detachable safety bar, strap, fastener, hook, or loop that is attached or attachable to a rotorcraft, wherein the safety bar, strap, fastener, hook, or loop is positioned in an area or surface between a windshield of the rotorcraft and a tail boom of the rotorcraft and is connectable to a user safety device to provide fall protection from the area or surface.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

05/03/18 / #20180119742

Roller bearing lubrication systems

The present invention includes a rolling element bearing system and method of using the same, comprising: a ball bearing comprising an inner race coupled to an inner shaft (journal) at an outer surface of the inner shaft, an outer race coupled to an outer shaft at an inner surface of the outer shaft, and a roller element disposed between the inner race and the outer race, wherein the inner race and the outer surface of the inner shaft form a pocket between a portion of the inner race and the outer surface, and the inner race comprises an orifice through the inner race to fluidly connect the pocket and the rolling element.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

05/03/18 / #20180118336

Mutually symbiotic aircraft systems

An aircraft system includes a wing member and a plurality of unmanned aircraft systems selectively connectable to the wing member. The wing member has a generally airfoil cross-section, a leading edge and a trailing edge. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

05/03/18 / #20180118334

Rotor sequencing for dual rotor aircraft

An aircraft has a fuselage, a first rotor assembly having a first rotor hub and first rotor blades pivotably coupled to the first rotor hub and a second rotor assembly having a second rotor hub and second rotor blades pivotably coupled to the second rotor hub. The first and second rotor blades have deployed configurations extending generally radially from the fuselage and stowed configurations extending generally parallel with the fuselage. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

04/12/18 / #20180099759

Tiltrotor aircraft having journal bearing mounted pylon assemblies

A propulsion system for a tiltrotor aircraft includes an engine supported by the airframe and a fixed gearbox operably coupled to the engine. Inboard and outboard pedestals are supported by the airframe and positioned above the wing. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

04/12/18 / #20180099758

Tiltrotor aircraft having pillow block mounted pylon assemblies

A pedestal assembly for receiving a pylon assembly of a tiltrotor aircraft having a helicopter mode and an airplane mode, the tiltrotor aircraft having an airframe including a fuselage and a wing. The pedestal assembly includes an inboard pedestal supported by the airframe and positioned above the wing. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

04/12/18 / #20180099757

Tiltrotor aircraft having spherical bearing mounted pylon assemblies

A propulsion system for a tiltrotor aircraft includes an engine supported by the airframe and a fixed gearbox operably coupled to the engine. Inboard and outboard pedestals are supported by the airframe and positioned above the wing. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

04/12/18 / #20180099738

Tiltrotor control

The present invention includes a thrust control apparatus, method and kit for a tiltrotor craft comprising a thrust control handle; a first and a second bar connected to the thrust control handle and connected to a floor support; a first end of a transverse bar connected to the first bar; a linker connected to a second end of the transverse bar; and a crankbell connected to the floor support below the first and a second bars, wherein a first end of the crankbell is connected to the linker, wherein the thrust control handle has a substantially linear motion that controls engine thrust, and the crankbell transfers the substantially linear motion of the handle into a substantially perpendicular motion that engages an engine thrust control at a second end of the crankbell.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

04/05/18 / #20180095005

Non-contact infrared temperature sensor for health monitoring of rotorcraft bearings

The present invention includes an apparatus and method for measuring hysteretic heating or stress of one or more bearings of a craft comprising: one or more non-contact temperature sensors attached to the craft and directed toward the one or more bearings; and a computer connected to the one or more non-contact temperature sensors that measure the temperature, the stress, or both of the one or more bearings before, during, or after operation of the craft, wherein the one or more non-contact temperature sensors measure a change in temperature in the one or more bearings to monitor for heating or stress of the bearings.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

04/05/18 / #20180093764

Articulated main rotor hub with inwardly cf bearing and 3% flapping hinge offset

A rotary system including a grip having an opening forming a first bridge for receiving a centrifugal force bearing that faces inwardly towards the rotor mast. A rotor blade couples to the grip and a pitch horn positioned outside the opening pitches the rotor blade during flight. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

04/05/18 / #20180093762

Method and apparatus for aircraft sensor and actuator failure protection using reconfigurable flight control laws

A method and apparatus for reconfiguring flight control of an aircraft during a failure while the aircraft is flying. The method and apparatus provide a control law that is software-implemented and configured to automatically send flight control data to a mixing/mapping matrix. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087940

Adjustable position pitot probe mount

The present invention includes an adjustable pitot tube and method for using the same for operating or flight testing an aircraft comprising: a pitot probe; a streamline tube connected to the pitot probe; a mount on the aircraft connected to the streamline tube, wherein the streamline tube can at least one of rotate about an axis of the mount, or the streamline tube can move the pitot probe closer to, or away from, a skin of the aircraft.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087670

Protective labyrinth over mast seal to protect from water intrusion

The present invention includes a helicopter rotor seal assembly comprising: a rotor mast having a longitudinal axis and an outer surface; a sleeve aligned longitudinally with the axis and surrounding a portion of the rotor mast, the sleeve having an outer surface, and an inner surface; an annular horizontal seal between the inner surface of the sleeve and the outer surface of the rotor mast; and an upper annular rotor mast seal affixed to the outer surface of the rotor mast and extending outwardly sufficient to cover the annular horizontal seal.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087656

Non-pressurized accessory gearbox

A non-pressurized accessory gearbox for an aircraft includes: a housing, one or more gears disposed within the housing, an input rotating member to receive input from a main rotor gearbox via a shaft connected to the one or more gears, and one or more output rotating members in communication with the one or more gears. The gearbox is configured to utilize splash lubrication for moving a lubrication fluid within the housing.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087651

Redundant cooling system

A cooling apparatus includes a shared cooling device for one or more systems or components, and a plurality of primary cooling pathways. Each of the primary cooling pathways includes a transition duct and a fan. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087650

Redundant fans for cooling system

An apparatus includes a shared cooling device for cooling one or more systems or components, and a plurality of primary cooling pathways. Each of the primary cooling pathways includes a fan, and each fan is in fluid communication with the shared cooling device.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087649

Fan mounted on gearshaft

A cooling apparatus includes one or more fans and one or more shafts. Each of the one or more fans includes a fan blade assembly. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087648

Convective cooling of a pressurized gearbox

The present invention includes a cooling system for a gearbox, the cooling system comprising: a pressurized housing in fluid communication with the gearbox configured to circulate a pressurized lubricant; and one or more cooling fins about the pressurized housing, wherein heat from the pressurized lubricant within the pressurized housing is actively convected through the one or more cooling fins.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087647

Fan with labyrinth seal for prevention of water damage to a gearbox

The present invention includes a system, method and kit for preventing or reducing water penetration of a gearbox, the system including: a fan or impeller coupled to the gearbox; and a hub coupled to the fan and shaped to provide a labyrinth seal that prevents or reduces water penetration into the gearbox.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087639

High speed engine reduction gearboxes

An engine reduction gear system includes at least two self-contained, independent engine reduction gearboxes, each capable of connecting to an aircraft engine. Each of the engine reduction gearboxes provides redundant, reduced speed to a main rotor gearbox via a shaft.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087561

Active thermal management for fire-tolerant drive systems

The present invention includes a thermal management system and method including: a drive shaft; one or more fans or impellers in fluid communication with at least a portion of the drive shaft; and one or more air management baffles configured to direct air flow between the impeller and the portion of the drive shaft. In one embodiment, the system and method further includes insulation positioned about the at least a portion of the drive shaft.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087557

Multi-drilled fasteners

The present invention includes a fastener comprising: a fastener body having a longitudinal axis and a first external male threaded portion, and two or more through-holes perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the fastener body in the threaded portion.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087444

Articulating bifurcated integrated transition duct assembly

A transition duct assembly includes a shared connector, and a plurality of primary cooling pathways for cooling one or more systems or components. Each primary cooling pathway includes a transition duct in fluid communication with the shared connector, and a transition connector in fluid communication with the transition duct.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087420

Oil-level sensor for a gearbox

An apparatus for lubricating a non-pressurized gearbox includes a low-to-high lubricant level sensor configured to sense a static level of a lubricant within the gearbox and to display the static level of the lubricant.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180087419

Oil filter with impending and full-bypass indicators

A removable oil filter system includes an oil filter mount, an oil filter element removably connected to the oil filter mount, an impending-bypass indicator connected to the oil filter mount and in fluid communication with an oil in the oil filter system, and a full-bypass indicator in fluid communication with the oil filter mount. The impending-bypass indicator is capable of reporting an impending-bypass condition of the oil filter system. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180086444

Aircraft drive system

The present invention includes an aircraft drive system comprising a main rotor gearbox comprising a first and a second input; a first drive system comprising a first engine reduction gearbox connecting a first engine to the first input of the main rotor gearbox at a reduced shaft speed; and a second drive system independent from and redundant with the first drive system, the second drive system comprising a second engine reduction gearbox connecting a second engine to the second input of the main rotor gearbox at the reduced shaft speed.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/29/18 / #20180086010

Method and assembly for manufacturing door skin and wall with doorway

A method of manufacturing a door skin and a fuselage wall having a doorway and a member extending into the doorway for abutting the door includes placing a first sheet of uncured composite material on a mold plate to define the door and fuselage skin, disposing an insert over the first sheet overlapping a desired periphery of the door, placing a second sheet of uncured composite material on a peripheral portion of the insert and over the first sheet adjacent the peripheral portion of the insert to form the member, curing the sheets and bonding the sheets together adjacent the insert during the cure, removing the insert from between the sheets after cure, and separating the door skin from the wall skin after cure by moving a cutting tool through the first sheet and without penetrating the second sheet around the desired periphery of the door. An assembly for manufacturing the door skin and a fuselage wall is also discussed.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079503

Rotating proprotor arrangement for a tiltrotor aircraft

A propulsion system includes an engine disposed within a fuselage, a first gearbox coupled to the engine, a wing member having an upper wing skin and torque box formed by a first rib, a second rib, a first spar and second spar, a drive shaft coupled to the first gearbox and disposed within the wing member, a second gear box coupled to the drive shaft and disposed outboard from the second rib or inboard from the first rib, and a rotatable proprotor coupled to the second gear box. The rotatable proprotor includes a plurality of rotor blades, a rotor mast having a mast axis of rotation, and a proprotor gearbox coupled to the rotor mast. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079502

Storage modes for tiltrotor aircraft

A tiltrotor aircraft having a vtol flight mode, a forward flight mode and a storage mode includes a fuselage having a wing rotatably mounted thereto. The wing has an orientation generally perpendicular to the fuselage, in the flight modes, and an orientation generally parallel to the fuselage, in the storage mode. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079501

Storage modes for tiltrotor aircraft

A tiltrotor aircraft having a vtol flight mode, a forward flight mode and a storage mode includes a fuselage having a wing rotatably mounted thereto. The wing has an orientation generally perpendicular to the fuselage, in the flight modes, and an orientation generally parallel to the fuselage, in the storage mode. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079500

Storage modes for tiltrotor aircraft

A tiltrotor aircraft having a vtol flight mode, a forward flight mode and a storage mode includes a fuselage having a wing rotatably mounted thereto. The wing has an orientation generally perpendicular to the fuselage, in the flight modes, and an orientation generally parallel to the fuselage, in the storage mode. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079499

Storage modes for tiltrotor aircraft

A tiltrotor aircraft having a vtol flight mode, a forward flight mode and a storage mode includes a fuselage having a wing rotatably mounted thereto. The wing has an orientation generally perpendicular to the fuselage, in the flight modes, and an orientation generally parallel to the fuselage, in the storage mode. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079493

Wing extension winglets for tiltrotor aircraft

A pylon assembly for a tiltrotor aircraft includes a rotor assembly operable to rotate between a generally vertical orientation, in a vtol flight mode, and a generally horizontal orientation, in a forward flight mode, and having an intermediate orientation therebetween, in a conversion flight mode. The rotor assembly includes a proprotor operable to produce a slipstream. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079490

Chordwise folding and locking of rotor systems

An apparatus for chordwise folding and locking of rotor systems includes a grip assembly and a harness disposed at least partially within and coupled to the grip assembly. A rotor blade is rotatably coupled to the grip assembly and the harness. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079488

Foldable aircraft with anhedral stabilizing wings

An aircraft including a fuselage having a longitudinal axis extending through the fuselage front end and the fuselage rear end; a foldable wing located on the fuselage and being movable between a flight position wherein the wing is generally perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, and a stowed position wherein the wing is generally parallel to the longitudinal axis; and a pair of stabilizing wings having an anhedral orientation disposed on the fuselage.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079487

Tiltrotor articulated wing extension

An aircraft has a wing, a pylon carried by the wing, at least one of a rotor system component and a drive system component disposed within the pylon, and a wing extension carried by the at least one of a rotor system component and drive system component, wherein the wing extension is foldable relative to the pylon to selectively reduce an overall space occupied by the aircraft.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079486

Wing pivot structures for tiltrotor aircraft

A wing pivot apparatus for rotating a wing between a flight orientation and a stowed orientation relative to a fuselage of a tiltrotor aircraft. The apparatus includes a guide ring that is fixably coupled to the fuselage. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079485

Wing pivot structure for tiltrotor aircraft

A wing pivot apparatus for rotating a wing between a flight orientation and a stowed orientation relative to a fuselage of a tiltrotor aircraft. The apparatus includes a stow ring that is rotatably mounted to the fuselage. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079484

Fuselage mounted engine with wing stow

An aircraft has a fuselage, an engine disposed within the fuselage, a rotatable wing disposed above the fuselage and selectively rotatable about a wing rotation axis, and a plurality of interconnect driveshafts disposed within the rotatable wing, and at least one drive system component that is connected between the engine and the interconnect driveshaft is disposed along the wing rotation axis.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079483

Cross-wing driveshaft channel

An aircraft wing including a fuel tank located in the wing, a channel defining a cavity in the fuel tank, the channel including at least two channel ends terminating at an upper or lower wing surface, a driveshaft located in the cavity; and an access panel located on the wing surface and being movable between an open position so that access to the cavity is permitted, and a closed position so that the cavity is at least partially covered by the access panel to inhibit access to the cavity.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079482

Modular payload systems for aircraft

A modular payload system for an aircraft includes a modular bay recessed within the aircraft. The modular bay includes a modular bay interface. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/22/18 / #20180079480

Method and apparatus for improving the crashworthiness of aircraft fluid systems

A fluid connection system for fluidly connecting a pair of fluid reservoirs, such as fuel cells, includes a bellowed portion surrounding a connection portion through which fluid can flow between the two reservoirs. The bellowed portion allows for relative movement between the two reservoirs without breaking the fluid-tight connection between the two reservoirs. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/15/18 / #20180072409

Rotorcraft elastomeric bearing assembly

In some embodiments, a rotorcraft may include a yoke, a blade, a spindle associated with the yoke, and an elastomeric bearing assembly. The center length of the spindle may define a center axis that passes through a center of the elastomeric bearing assembly. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/08/18 / #20180067006

Method and system for measuring torque in a tiltrotor aircraft

A method for calculating torque through a rotor mast of a propulsion system of a tiltrotor aircraft includes receiving the torque being applied through a quill shaft of the rotorcraft. The quill shaft is located between a fixed gearbox and a spindle gearbox, and the spindle gearbox is rotatable about a conversion access. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/08/18 / #20180065328

Processes for repairing complex laminated composites

Complex laminated composites may be repaired by removal of individual damaged plies through peeling in order to exploit the weaker interlaminar properties of these composites. Upon removal of the individual damaged plies through peeling, replacement plies may be added to restore the laminated composite. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/01/18 / #20180057178

Illuminated rope as an aircraft emergency egress aid

In some implementations, in an emergency in the vehicle, an emergency evacuation path is illuminated using the light emitted from the emergency evacuation rope where at least a portion of the emergency evacuation path extends to a location outside the vehicle. Egress of occupants along the emergency evacuation path is enabled using an emergency evacuation rope.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/01/18 / #20180057162

Aircraft having rotor-to-wing conversion capabilities

A tail sitter aircraft includes a fuselage having a forward portion and an aft portion. The forward portion of the fuselage includes first and second rotor stations. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/01/18 / #20180057161

Aircraft having dual rotor-to-wing conversion capabilities

A tail sitter aircraft includes a fuselage having a forward portion and an aft portion. The forward portion of the fuselage includes first and second rotor stations. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/01/18 / #20180057160

Aircraft generating a triaxial dynamic thrust matrix

A tri-wing aircraft includes a fuselage having a longitudinally extending fuselage axis. Three wings extend generally radially outwardly from the fuselage axis and are circumferentially distributed generally uniformly about the fuselage at approximately 120-degree intervals. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/01/18 / #20180057159

Tiltrotor aircraft having rotatable wing extensions

A pylon assembly for a tiltrotor aircraft includes a fixed pylon having an outboard end. A rotor assembly is rotatably coupled to the fixed pylon and is operable to rotate between a generally vertical orientation in a vertical takeoff and landing mode and a generally horizontal orientation in a forward flight mode. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/01/18 / #20180057157

Tilting ducted fan aircraft generating a pitch control moment

In some embodiments, an aircraft includes a fuselage having a forward portion and an aft portion. First and second ducted fans are supported by the forward portion of the fuselage. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

03/01/18 / #20180057148

Tiltrotor aircraft having active wing extensions

A tiltrotor aircraft includes a fuselage supporting first and second wings each having an outboard end. First and second nacelles are respectively coupled to the outboard ends of the first and second wings. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/22/18 / #20180053359

Diagnostic method, system and device for a rotorcraft drive system

A method, system, and device for diagnosing an anomaly of a monitored component in a drive train, the method including obtaining original data based on samples of a vibration signal; converting the original data to an analytical signal having a real component and an imaginary component; determining complex magnitudes of the analytical signal; processing the complex magnitudes of the analytical signal to produce a frequency-domain signal; and determining complex magnitudes of the frequency-domain signal to generate a shock spectrum.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/22/18 / #20180053358

Diagnostic method, system and device for a rotorcraft drive system

A method, system, and device for diagnosing an anomaly of a monitored component in a drive train, the method including obtaining rotational information associated with the component; receiving original data indicating the toothmesh frequency of the drive train; filtering the original data to remove energy above the toothmesh frequency; interpolating the filtered original data to generate an integer number of samples per tooth passage; and generating an amplified differential coherence (adc). In some embodiments, an amplified differential coherence gearbox arrangement value (adct) is generated.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/22/18 / #20180051765

Liquid inertia vibration elimination system

A liquid inertia vibration elimination (live) system having an upper end cap, a lower end cap, a spindle located between the upper end cap and the lower end cap, and an external tube connected between the upper end cap and the lower end cap.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/22/18 / #20180050796

Braking systems for rotorcraft

In some embodiments, a rotorcraft includes a fuselage having a rotor hub assembly protruding therefrom that is rotatable relative thereto. A generator having an armature is mechanically coupled to the rotor hub assembly such that the armature is rotatable in response to rotation of the rotor hub assembly. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/22/18 / #20180050792

Aircraft having radially extendable tailboom assembly

A tail sitter aircraft includes a fuselage having a forward portion, an aft portion and a longitudinally extending fuselage axis. A main lifting surface is supported by the forward portion of the fuselage. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/15/18 / #20180044013

Apparatus and method for directing thrust from tilting cross-flow fan wings on an aircraft

A variable thrust cross-flow fan system for an aircraft including a rotatable wing member having a first housing member; an actuator assembly operably coupled to the first housing member; and a variable thrust cross-flow fan assembly including a first and second driver plates having a plurality of blades rotatably mounted therebetween. The plurality of blades has a circular path of travel when rotating and includes a control assembly coupled to the plurality of blades to generate a variable thrust force. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/15/18 / #20180044012

Aircraft with tilting cross-flow fan wings

An aspect provides an aircraft including a fuselage and a cross-flow fan system attached to the fuselage. The cross-flow fan system including a cross-flow fan assembly associated with a rotatable wing member having an exterior aerodynamic surface. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/15/18 / #20180044010

Aircraft tail with cross-flow fan systems

In one aspect, there is provided an aircraft, including a fuselage having a longitudinal axis extending from a front portion through an aft portion; first and second tail members extending from the aft portion; a first cross-flow fan system rotatably mounted to the first tail member; and a second cross-flow fan system rotatably mounted to the second tail member. The first and second cross-flow fan systems are configured to provide a forward thrust vector and an anti-torque vector on the aircraft. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/15/18 / #20180044009

Rotorcraft variable thrust cross-flow fan systems

In some embodiments, a rotorcraft includes a fuselage, a tailboom, a drive system and a variable thrust cross-flow fan system. The cross-flow fan system includes a cross-flow fan assembly that is mechanically coupled to a drive shaft and operable to rotate with the drive shaft about a longitudinal axis. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/15/18 / #20180043986

Inlet duct selector for tiltrotor barrier filter

The present invention includes an air flow bypass for a tiltrotor engine comprising: a ram air inlet comprising bypass door(s) capable of at least partially or fully blocking a ram air flow through the ram air inlet; a barrier filter inlet positioned in a side, a bottom, and/or a top of a tiltrotor engine nacelle; a filter plenum; a selector duct comprising one or more openings; and one or more selector duct doors or covers over the one or more openings; wherein the barrier filter inlet, the filter plenum, the one or more openings in the selector duct, the selector duct, and an engine are in fluid communication and the bypass door(s) in the ram inlet are closed and the barrier filter inlet provides filtered air flow to the engine when the aircraft is in hover operations.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/15/18 / #20180043984

Inflight connection of aircraft

An inflight connection system for aircraft having at least one wing with a wingtip includes, for each aircraft, a primary connector selectively extendable from the wingtip, an alignment connector selectively extendable from the wingtip and a male and female connector assembly disposed proximate the wingtip. The primary connectors extend a greater distance from the wingtips than the alignment connectors such that the primary connectors form a first connection between the aircraft when the aircraft are flying in a connection pattern. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/08/18 / #20180038474

Lubrication system with passive valve

A valve with supplemental media and a piston configured to open the valve when a first force is greater than a second force. The pressure of the supplemental media exerts a substantial portion of the first force. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/08/18 / #20180038439

Rotorcraft vibration suppression system in a four corner pylon mount configuration

The vibration suppression system includes a vibration isolator located in each corner in a four corner pylon mount structural assembly. The combination of four vibration isolators, two being forward of the transmission, and two being aft of the transmission, collectively are effective at isolating main rotor vertical shear, pitch moment, as well as roll moment induced vibrations. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/08/18 / #20180037318

Elastomeric bearing with tab for thermocouple and system for use

A laminated elastomeric bearing has layers of elastomeric material and layers of metal. A tab is located on a periphery of one of the layers of metal and protrudes from the bearing. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/01/18 / #20180029701

Jam-tolerant rotary control motor for hydraulic actuator valve

According to one embodiment, a linear control motor includes a first permanent magnet, a coil, a shaft, a first non-magnetic material, and a joint coupled between the shaft and a spool operable to convert rotations of the shaft into axial movements of the spool. The first non-magnetic material is disposed between at least one of the movable components and at least one of the static components and operable to prevent physical contact between at least one of the movable components and at least one of the static components.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/01/18 / #20180029700

Anti-drive mechanism for rise and fall rotating control systems

A rotor blade system includes a hub assembly pivotally attached to a rotor blade, a mast attached to the hub assembly, and a swashplate engaged with the mast, the swashplate includes a non-rotating ring and a rotating ring. The method to raise the swashplate includes using an anti-drive link system pivotally engaged with a transmission top case and pivotally engaged with the non-rotating ring.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

02/01/18 / #20180029699

Rotor blade erosion protection systems

In some embodiments, a rotorcraft includes an engine, a rotor hub assembly mechanically coupled to the engine and a plurality of rotor blade assemblies rotatably mounted to the rotor hub assembly. Each of the rotor blade assemblies includes a rotor blade having a leading edge and an erosion shield system extending spanwise along the leading edge of the rotor blade. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/25/18 / #20180025557

Adaptive algorithm-based engine health prediction

A system and algorithm-based method of determining engine health and assuring available propulsion power based on historical data reflecting the individual engine's unique performance “fingerprint.”. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/25/18 / #20180022462

Tip rib mounted pylon assemblies

A pedestal assembly receives a pylon assembly of a tiltrotor aircraft having an airframe including a fuselage and a wing. The pedestal assembly includes inboard and outboard tip ribs that extend above the wing and respectively define inboard and outboard slots. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/18/18 / #20180017153

Flange-mounted ring gear for improved heat management

A ring gear includes a ring having one or more sets of inwardly facing teeth, a circumferential flange extending outward from the ring, and the flange is mounted between a first housing and a second housing. In addition, the flange protrudes into an ambient air outside the first housing and second housing.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/04/18 / #20180002027

Aircraft having a fault tolerant distributed propulsion system

In some embodiment, an aircraft includes a flying frame having an airframe, a distributed propulsion system attached to the airframe, the distributed propulsion system including a plurality of propulsion assemblies and a flight control system operably associated with the distributed propulsion system. The flying frame has a vertical takeoff and landing mode and a forward flight mode. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/04/18 / #20180002026

Aircraft having a versatile propulsion system

An aircraft having a vertical takeoff and landing fight mode and a forward flight mode. The aircraft includes an airframe and a versatile propulsion system attached to the airframe. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/04/18 / #20180002016

Passenger pod assembly transportation system

In some embodiments, a passenger pod assembly transportation system includes a transportation services provider computing system and a plurality of flying frame flight control systems, wherein the system is configured to receive, at the transportation services provider computing system, a request for transportation of a passenger pod assembly having a current location and a destination; upload a flight plan to a flight control system of a flying frame including an airframe and a propulsion system; dispatch the flying frame to the current location of the passenger pod assembly; couple the flying frame to the passenger pod assembly at the current location of the passenger pod assembly; transport the passenger pod assembly by air from the current location of the passenger pod assembly to the destination of the passenger pod assembly; and decouple the passenger pod assembly from the flying frame at the destination of the passenger pod assembly.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/04/18 / #20180002015

Transportation method for selectively attachable pod assemblies

In some embodiments, a transportation method includes coupling a flying frame to a passenger pod assembly; lifting the passenger pod assembly into the air in a vertical takeoff and landing mode with the passenger pod assembly in a generally horizontal attitude; transitioning from the vertical takeoff and landing mode to a forward flight mode by rotating the flying frame relative to the passenger pod assembly, which remains in the generally horizontal attitude; transporting the passenger pod assembly toward a second location in the forward flight mode; transitioning the flying frame from the forward flight mode to the vertical takeoff and landing mode by rotating the flying frame relative to the passenger pod assembly, which remains in the generally horizontal attitude; landing the flying frame at the second location in the vertical takeoff and landing mode; and releasing the passenger pod assembly.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/04/18 / #20180002014

Aircraft having autonomous and remote flight control capabilities

In some embodiments, an aircraft includes a flying frame having an airframe with first and second wing members having a plurality of pylons extending therebetween, a distributed propulsion system including a plurality of propulsion assemblies securably attached to the airframe and a flight control system operably associated with the distributed propulsion system. The flying frame has a vertical takeoff and landing mode with the wing members disposed in generally the same horizontal plane and a forward flight mode with the wing members disposed in generally the same vertical plane. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/04/18 / #20180002013

Aircraft having manned and unmanned flight modes

In some embodiment, an aircraft includes an airframe, a propulsion system attached to the airframe and a flight control system operably associated with the propulsion system. A pod assembly is selectively attachable to the flying frame. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/04/18 / #20180002012

Aircraft with independently controllable propulsion assemblies

In some embodiments, an aircraft includes a flying frame having an airframe, a distributed propulsion system attached to the airframe, a flight control system operably associated with the distributed propulsion system and a pod assembly selectively attachable to the flying frame. The distributed propulsion system includes a plurality of propulsion assemblies that are independently controlled by the flight control system, thereby enabling the flying frame to have a vertical takeoff and landing mode and a forward flight mode.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/04/18 / #20180002011

Aircraft with selectively attachable passenger pod assembly

In some embodiments, an aircraft includes a flying frame having an airframe, a propulsion system attached to the airframe and a flight control system operably associated with the propulsion system wherein, the flying frame has a vertical takeoff and landing mode and a forward flight mode. A pod assembly is selectively attachable to the flying frame such that the flying frame is rotatable about the pod assembly wherein, the pod assembly remains in a generally horizontal attitude during vertical takeoff and landing, forward flight and transitions therebetween.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/04/18 / #20180002009

Aircraft propulsion assembly

In some embodiments, a propulsion assembly for an aircraft includes a nacelle, at least one self-contained fuel tank disposed within the nacelle operable to contain a liquid fuel, an engine disposed within the nacelle operable to run on the liquid fuel, a drive system mechanically coupled to the engine and operable to rotate responsive to rotation of the engine, a rotor hub mechanically coupled to the drive system operable to rotate responsive to rotation of the drive system and a proprotor mechanically coupled to the rotor hub and operable to rotate therewith.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/04/18 / #20180001995

Rotorcraft fly-by-wire control laws

A flight control system includes a pilot control module configured to receive commands from a pilot, a flight control module operable to transmit an instruction to change at least one operating condition of an aircraft, and a flight control computer in communication between the flight control module and the pilot control module. The flight control computer is configured to receive a pilot command to change a first flight characteristic, wherein changing the first flight characteristic would result in an expected change to a second flight characteristic. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/04/18 / #20180001590

Composite wing structure and methods of manufacture

In one aspect, there is a method of making a composite skin for a tiltrotor aircraft including providing a first skin in a mold, the first skin having a periphery defined by a forward edge, an aft edge, and outboard ends; providing a plurality of honeycomb panels having an array of large cells onto the first skin, each cell having a width of at least 1 cm; assembling the plurality of honeycomb panels along the longitudinal axis of the first skin to form a honeycomb core having an outer perimeter within the periphery of the first skin; positioning a second skin onto the honeycomb core, the second skin having an outer perimeter within the periphery of the first skin; and curing an adhesive to create a bond between the first skin, the honeycomb core, and the second skin to form a composite skin.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

01/04/18 / #20180001579

Composite wing structure and methods of manufacture

In one aspect, there is a method of making a pre-cured laminate having a total number of plies in a mold, the mold having a periphery defined by a forward edge, an aft edge, and outboard ends. The method includes selecting a first plurality of resin impregnated plies that continuously extend beyond the periphery of the mold, the first plurality of resin impregnated plies includes at least 50 percent of the total number of plies; laying the plies in a mold; compacting the plies in a mold; and pre-curing the plies to form a pre-cured laminate, which can extend beyond the periphery of the mold. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

12/28/17 / #20170370419

Helical drive coupling

A drive coupling has first and second coaxial end adapters. A first set of at least two coaxial helical elements has a first end of each element attached to the first end adapter, and a second end of each element is coupled to the second end adapter. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

12/14/17 / #20170358153

Statistically equivalent level of safety modeling

Systems and methods are provided for statistically equivalent level of safety modeling. One method includes identifying sub-fleets within a fleet based upon usage profiles, determining a sub-fleet reliability value for each sub-fleet, determining a baseline fleet reliability for the fleet by combining the sub-fleet reliability values on a weighted basis, applying at least one credit to at least one sub-fleet, determining a post-credit sub-fleet reliability value for each sub-fleet based upon the at least one credit, determining a post-credit fleet reliability for the fleet by combining the post-credit sub-fleet reliability values on a weighted basis, comparing the baseline fleet reliability with the post-credit fleet reliability to identify a change in fleet reliability and determining whether the change in fleet reliability is within a predetermined threshold to validate the at least one credit.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

12/14/17 / #20170355448

Collective pitch integration with control power management system

A control system having at least a first control loop and a second control loop for determining the upper and lower cyclic limit increments due to the contribution of collective pitch in rotorcraft based at least on nacelle angle and airspeed. The aircraft is more robustly controlled by generating flight control limits for the aircraft, modifying the flight control limits based upon impending hazardous flight conditions, and adjusting a size of a flight control envelope as the aircraft transitions between non-hazardous flight conditions and hazardous flight conditions.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

12/07/17 / #20170349276

Electric distributed propulsion anti-torque redundant power and control system

The present invention includes an electric distributed propulsion for anti-torque modules for a helicopter and methods of use comprising: two or more generators connected to a main gearbox transmission; at least a first and a second plurality of variable speed motors connected to one or more fixed pitch blades to provide anti-torque thrust connected to the two or more generators, and at least a first and a second yaw control computer independently connected to each of the at least first and second plurality of variable speed motors, wherein each of the first and second yaw control computer serves as a primary and a backup yaw control computer to provide redundant control to both the first and second plurality of variable speed motors.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

12/07/17 / #20170349274

Anti-torque control using matrix of fixed blade pitch motor modules

The present invention includes an a plurality of first variable speed motors arranged in a first matrix pattern and mounted on a tail boom of the helicopter; one or more fixed pitch blades attached to each of the plurality of first variable speed motors; and wherein a speed of one or more of the plurality of first variable speed motors is varied to provide an anti-torque thrust.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

12/07/17 / #20170349273

Variable directional thrust for helicopter tail anti-torque system

The present invention includes an anti-torque assembly for a helicopter comprising a plurality of fixed blade pitch motors mounted on one or more pivots on the tail boom of the helicopter, wherein the plurality of fixed blade pitch motors on the one or more pivots are adapted to be oriented substantially in-plane with a tail boom of a helicopter during a first mode of operation that comprises a hover mode and wherein the fixed blade pitch motors are adapted to be oriented substantially off-plane from the tail boom of the helicopter during a second mode of helicopter operation that is different from the first mode.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

11/23/17 / #20170334552

Aircraft load and vibration attenuation

In one embodiment, an apparatus comprises a particle damper for damping a component when the particle damper is attached to the component. The particle damper comprises a plurality of pockets configured to hold a plurality of particles, and the particle damper also comprises an attachment fitting for coupling the particle damper to the component.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

11/23/17 / #20170334548

Structurally biased proprotor blade assembly

A tiltrotor aircraft includes a fuselage, a wing member extending from the fuselage, an engine disposed relative to the wing member and a proprotor mechanically coupled to the engine. The proprotor includes a plurality of proprotor blade assemblies each including a spar and a sheath extending spanwise along the spar forming the leading edge of the proprotor blade assembly. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

11/16/17 / #20170327205

Folding proprotor blade assembly having integral tang assembly

A tiltrotor aircraft includes a fuselage, a wing member extending from the fuselage, an engine disposed relative to the wing member, a rotor hub assembly mechanically coupled to the engine and a plurality of proprotor blade assemblies rotatably mounted to the rotor hub assembly and operable for beamwise folding relative thereto. The proprotor blade assemblies each including a spar and a sheath extending spanwise along a leading edge of the spar. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

11/16/17 / #20170326808

System and method of constructing composite structures without tooling dams

The present invention includes methods of preparing a composite structure comprising: placing a first ply of a fibrous material with a curable material on a layup tool; adding one or more additional plies on the first ply, wherein each of the one or more additional plies has a perimeter that is different in size around the perimeter than a previous ply to form a taper; and curing the composite structure, wherein the curable material is selected to minimize, limit, control, or eliminate the outflow of the curable material along the perimeter of the composite structure during the curing step.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

11/09/17 / #20170320590

Task-based health data monitoring of aircraft components

Systems, methods and non-transitory computer readable storage medium are provided for task-based health data monitoring relating to aircraft components of aircraft within an aircraft fleet. One method includes establishing a review item with a first data review state to create a review task relating to health data of an aircraft component, generating images relating to the review item for display on a display device, retaining the review item for monitoring responsive to receiving user input changing the first data review state of the review item to a second data review state, receiving new health data relating to the aircraft component and automatically resetting the review item from the second data review state to the first data review state responsive to receiving the new health data to create a new review task.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

11/09/17 / #20170320586

Engine degredation management via multi-engine mechanical power control

A multi-engine power system is described that includes at least a first engine and a second engine configured to jointly provided mechanical power to the multi-engine power system. The multi-engine power system further includes a controller configured to estimate a deterioration factor of the first engine. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

11/09/17 / #20170320567

Rotor assembly with high lock-number blades

An aircraft rotor assembly has a central hub and a plurality of rotor blades coupled to the hub for rotation with the hub about an axis, each blade having a lock number of approximately 5 or greater. A lead-lag pivot for each blade is formed by a flexure coupling the associated blade to the hub. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

11/09/17 / #20170320289

Composite core and method of making same

A composite core includes a plurality of tubes, each the plurality of tubes comprising a plurality of fibers disposed in a polymeric matrix. Adjacent tubes of the plurality of tubes are adhesively bonded to one another along sides of the adjacent tubes. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

10/26/17 / #20170307009

Increased capacity spherical lined bearings

A rotary system and method to control feathering movement of a rotor blade. The system having a yoke arm configured to rotate a rotor blade. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

10/26/17 / #20170305568

Tiltrotor aircraft having tip rib mounted pylon assemblies

A propulsion system for a tiltrotor aircraft includes an engine supported by the airframe and a fixed gearbox operably coupled to the engine. Inboard and outboard tip ribs extend above the wing and define slots. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

10/26/17 / #20170305567

Tiltrotor aircraft having spherical bearing mounted pylon assemblies

A propulsion system for a tiltrotor aircraft includes an engine supported by the airframe and a fixed gearbox operably coupled to the engine. Inboard and outboard pedestals are supported by the airframe and positioned above the wing. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

10/26/17 / #20170305566

Tiltrotor aircraft having pillow block mounted pylon assemblies

A propulsion system for a tiltrotor aircraft includes an engine supported by the airframe and a fixed gearbox operably coupled to the engine. Inboard and outboard pedestals are supported by the airframe and positioned above the wing. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

10/26/17 / #20170305565

Tiltrotor aircraft having journal bearing mounted pylon assemblies

A propulsion system for a tiltrotor aircraft includes an engine supported by the airframe and a fixed gearbox operably coupled to the engine. Inboard and outboard pedestals are supported by the airframe and positioned above the wing. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

10/12/17 / #20170291726

Aircraft component regime recognition

A system has a flight measurement sensor configured to provide a flight measurement of an aircraft, a regime engine configured to identify a plurality of flight regimes that the aircraft operated in during a period of time, a component engine configured to assign a first flight regime of the plurality of flight regimes to a first component of the aircraft for the period of time, and a health assessment system configured to determine an amount of damage inflicted on the component as a result of the first component spending time in the first flight regime assigned by the component engine.. . ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

10/12/17 / #20170291701

Fiber orientation to allow for automated ply placement with composite rotor yokes

An apparatus comprising a soft in plane rotor yoke comprising two longitudinal side portions connected together via two outboard portions, wherein the outboard portions comprise a plurality of first layers formed of a first composite fabric material having a plurality of first fibers oriented in a first direction, and a plurality of second layers formed of a second composite fabric material having a plurality of second fibers oriented in a second direction. Included is an apparatus comprising a soft in plane rotor comprising two longitudinal side portions connected together via two outboard portions, wherein the outboard portions comprise a plurality of first layers formed of a first composite fabric material, and a plurality of second layers formed of a second composite fabric material, wherein the soft in plane rotor yoke does not comprise any narrow steered slit tape or filament windings.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

10/12/17 / #20170291698

Cable cutter system

Some examples of a cable cutting system include a first cutting apparatus that includes a recess to receive a cable. The system includes a second cutting apparatus separate from and attached to the first cutting apparatus. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

10/12/17 / #20170291406

Joining structural members using foam

One aspect of a process of forming an aircraft component includes bonding a first end of a honeycomb structure to a surface of an aircraft skin member, the honeycomb structure including multiple connected cells. Foam is sprayed on a second end of the honeycomb structure opposite the first end. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

10/05/17 / #20170284535

Gearbox lubrication system

According to one embodiment, a rotorcraft includes a body, a rotor blade, a drive system that can be operated to rotate the rotor blade, and an emergency valve control unit. The drive system contains a first gearbox assembly, a second gearbox assembly, a first lubrication system that can deliver lubricant to the first gearbox assembly, and a second lubrication system that can deliver lubricant to the second gearbox assembly. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

09/14/17 / #20170259916

Soft in-plane and stiff out-of-plane rotor system

A rotor assembly includes a yoke operably associated with a rotor blade. The yoke includes a first device and a second device that attach the rotor blade to the yoke. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

09/14/17 / #20170259913

Gimbaled tail rotor hub with spherical elastomeric centrifugal force bearing for blade retention and pitch change articulation

A rotor hub comprises a gimbal assembly and an elastomeric centrifugal force bearing. The gimbal assembly is configured to transfer rotational movement of a mast to the rotor hub and to enable the rotor hub to flap relative to the mast. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

09/14/17 / #20170259911

Rotor hub vibration attenuator

A vibration attenuation system for attenuating vibrations in a mast of an aircraft includes a weight attached to the mast but free to orbit about the mast. The weight can be comprised of one or more weight assemblies. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

09/14/17 / #20170259905

Mechanically joining airframe members at solid insert

An airframe assembly for an aircraft includes a first airframe member having first and second skins with a large cell core and a solid insert joined therebetween. The solid insert has a side surface at least a portion of which is adjacent to the large cell core. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

09/14/17 / #20170259904

Adhesively joining airframe members at solid insert

An airframe assembly for an aircraft. The airframe assembly includes a first airframe member having a first skin, a second skin, a large cell core joined between the first and second skins and a solid insert having a side surface. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

09/14/17 / #20170259521

Large cell core stiffened panels with solid inserts

A core stiffened panel includes first and second skins having a large cell core and a solid insert joined therebetween. The solid insert has a side surface at least a portion of which is adjacent to the large cell core and may be joined to the large cell core. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc

09/07/17 / #20170253327

Adjustable blade-to-hub lead-lag damper attachment

An aircraft includes a rotor blade and a rotor hub system. The rotor hub system includes a lead-lag damper having a rod end and being operably associated with the rotor blade; a blade adapter having a first arm and an opposing second arm; a pin carried by the blade adapter and configured to secure in position via the first arm and the second arm; and an actuator secured to the pin and configured to adjust the position of the lead-lag rod end relative to the first arm and the second arm.. ... Bell Helicopter Textron Inc








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