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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8 Filed 08/02/16 Page 1 of 26 PageID #: 199

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
MARSHALL DIVISION

TRAXXAS, L.P.,
Plaintiff,
v.
HOBBICO, INC., et al.,
Defendants.

Civil Action No. 2:16-cv-768-JRG-RSP


JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT

COMES NOW Plaintiff Traxxas, L.P. (Traxxas) and files this First Amended
Complaint for Patent Infringement against Defendants Hobbico, Inc. (Hobbico) and Arrma
Durango Ltd. (Arrma), alleging as follows:
I. NATURE OF THE SUIT
1.

This is a claim for patent infringement arising under the patent laws of the United

States, Title 35 of the United States Code.


II. THE PARTIES
2.

Plaintiff Traxxas, L.P. is a Texas limited partnership that maintains its principal

place of business in McKinney, Texas.


3.

Defendant Hobbico, Inc. is an Illinois corporation that does business in Texas,

directly or through intermediaries, and maintains its principal place of business in Champaign,
Illinois.
4.

Defendant Arrma Durango Ltd. is a United Kingdom private limited company

and a subsidiary of Defendant Hobbico, Inc. that does business in Texas, directly or through

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8 Filed 08/02/16 Page 2 of 26 PageID #: 200

intermediaries, and maintains its principal place of business in Moira, Derbyshire, United
Kingdom.
III. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
5.

This action arises under the patent laws of the United States, Title 35 of the

United States Code. Thus, this Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
1331 and 1338(a).
6.

This Court has specific personal jurisdiction over each Defendant pursuant to due

process and the Texas Long Arm Statute because each Defendant, directly or through
intermediaries, has conducted and does conduct substantial business in this forum, such
substantial business including but not limited to: (i) at least a portion of the infringements
alleged herein; (ii) purposefully and voluntarily placing one or more infringing products or
services into the stream of commerce with the expectation that they will be purchased by
consumers in this forum; or (iii) regularly doing or soliciting business, engaging in other
persistent courses of conduct, or deriving substantial revenue from goods and services provided
to individuals in Texas and in this District.
7.

Venue is proper in this Court under 28 U.S.C. 1391(b)-(d) and 1400(b) for the

reasons set forth above. Furthermore, venue is proper because each Defendant, directly or
through intermediaries, sells and offers to sell infringing products to persons in this District, as
discussed below. Each of Defendants infringing acts in this District gives rise to proper venue.

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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IV. BACKGROUND
A.

The Asserted Patents


8.

This cause of action asserts infringement of United States Patent Nos.

7,793,951 B2; 8,982,541 B1; 7,883,099 B2; D567,886 S; 9,061,763 B1; and 9,221,539 B2
(collectively, the Asserted Patents).
9.

A true and correct copy of United States Patent No. 7,793,951 B2 (the 951

Patent), entitled Integrated Center Point Steering Mechanism for a Model Vehicle, is attached
hereto as Exhibit A.
10.

Traxxas is the current owner by assignment of all rights, title, and interest in and

under the 951 Patent, which duly and legally issued on September 14, 2010, with Brent
Whitfield Byers and Seralaathan Hariharesan as the named inventors. Traxxas has standing to
sue for infringement of the 951 Patent.
11.

A true and correct copy of United States Patent No. 8,982,541 B1 (the 541

Patent), entitled Protective Enclosure for Model Vehicle, is attached hereto as Exhibit B.
12.

Traxxas is the current owner by assignment of all rights, title, and interest in and

under the 541 Patent, which duly and legally issued on March 17, 2015, with Timothy E.
Roberts, Jon Kenneth Lampert, and Otto Karl Allmendinger as the named inventors. Traxxas
has standing to sue for infringement of the 541 Patent.
13.

A true and correct copy of United States Patent No. 7,883,099 B2 (the 099

Patent), entitled Vehicle Suspension for a Model Vehicle, is attached hereto as Exhibit C.
14.

Traxxas is the current owner by assignment of all rights, title, and interest in and

under the 099 Patent, which duly and legally issued on February 8, 2011, with Brent Whitfield

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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Byers and Jon Kenneth Lampert as the named inventors. Traxxas has standing to sue for
infringement of the 099 Patent.
15.

A true and correct copy of United States Patent No. D567,886 S (the 886

Patent), entitled Vehicle Mounted Coil Spring and Shock Assembly, is attached hereto as
Exhibit D.
16.

Traxxas is the current owner by assignment of all rights, title, and interest in and

under the 886 Patent, which duly and legally issued on April 28, 2008, with Jon Kenneth
Lampert and Brent Whitfield Byers as the named inventors. Traxxas has standing to sue for
infringement of the 886 Patent.
17.

A true and correct copy of United States Patent No. 9,061,763 B1 (the 763

Patent), entitled Rotorcraft With Integrated Light Pipe Support Members, is attached hereto
as Exhibit E.
18.

Traxxas is the current owner by assignment of all rights, title, and interest in and

under the 763 Patent, which duly and legally issued on June 23, 2015, with Casey Christen Jens
Christensen, Otto Karl Allmendinger, Richard Douglas Hohnholt, Kent Poteet, Scott Rollin
Michael Schmitz, and Thomas Blackwell as the named inventors. Traxxas has standing to sue
for infringement of the 763 Patent.
19.

A true and correct copy of United States Patent No. 9,221,539 B2 (the 539

Patent), entitled Rotorcraft With Integrated Light Pipe Support Members, is attached hereto
as Exhibit F.
20.

Traxxas is the current owner by assignment of all rights, title, and interest in and

under the 539 Patent, which duly and legally issued on December 29, 2015, with Casey Christen
Jens Christensen, Otto Karl Allmendinger, Richard Douglas Hohnholt, Kent Poteet, Scott Rollin

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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Michael Schmitz, and Thomas Blackwell as the named inventors. Traxxas has standing to sue
for infringement of the 539 Patent.
B.

Arrma
21.

Arrma, directly or through intermediaries, makes, uses, sells, or offers to sell

within the United States, or imports into the United States, remotely controllable model vehicles
(the Arrma Accused Products), including but not limited to the NERO 6S BLX Monster Truck.
22.

The Arrma Accused Products are sold or offered for sale in this District via

distributors such as HobbyTown.


23.

By selling and/or offering to sell the Arrma Accused Products, Arrma, directly or

through intermediaries, purposefully and voluntarily places the Arrma Accused Products into the
stream of commerce with the expectation that they will be purchased by consumers in this
District.
C.

Hobbico
24.

Hobbico, directly or through intermediaries (including but not limited to its

subsidiary Arrma), makes, uses, sells, or offers to sell the Arrma Accused Products within the
United States, or imports the Arrma Accused Products into the United States.
25.

Hobbico, directly or through intermediaries, makes, uses, sells, or offers to sell

within the United States, or imports into the United States, remotely controllable quadcopters
(the Dromida Accused Products), including but not limited to the Dromida Vista UAV Drone
and the Dromida OMINUS FPV Quad.
26.

The Arrma Accused Products and the Dromida Accused Products are sold or

offered for sale in this District via distributors such as HobbyTown.

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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27.

By selling and/or offering to sell the Arrma Accused Products and the Dromida

Accused Products in this District, Hobbico, directly or through intermediaries, purposefully and
voluntarily places the Arrma Accused Products and the Dromida Accused Products into the
stream of commerce with the expectation that they will be purchased by consumers in this
District.
V. CLAIMSARRMA
28.

Based on the above-described products, Traxxas asserts the following causes of

action against Arrma.


A.

Infringement of the 951 Patent


29.

The allegations of each foregoing paragraph are incorporated by reference as if

fully set forth herein.


30.

The Arrma Accused Products are covered by at least claim 27 of the 951 Patent.

31.

Arrma has directly infringed and continues to infringe at least claim 27 of the

951 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(a) by, directly or through intermediaries and without
Traxxas authority, making, using, selling, or offering to sell the Arrma Accused Products in the
United States, or importing the Arrma Accused Products into the United States.
32.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Arrma has been and now is actively inducing infringement of at least claim 27 of the
951 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(b). Users of the Arrma Accused Products directly
infringe at least claim 27 of the 951 Patent when they use the Arrma Accused Products in the
ordinary, customary, and intended way. Arrmas inducements include, without limitation and
with specific intent to encourage the infringement, knowingly inducing consumers to use the
Arrma Accused Products within the United States in the ordinary, customary, and intended way

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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by, directly or through intermediaries, supplying the Arrma Accused Products to consumers
within the United States and instructing such consumers (for example in instruction manuals that
Arrma provides online or with the Arrma Accused Products) how to use the Arrma Accused
Products in the ordinary, customary, and intended way, which Arrma knows or should know
infringes at least claim 27 of the 951 Patent.
33.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Arrma has been and now is actively contributing to infringement of at least claim 27
of the 951 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(c). Arrma installs, configures, and sells the
Arrma Accused Products with distinct components, including but not limited to a steering servo
protection system, that are especially made or especially adapted to practice the invention
claimed in at least claim 27 of the 951 Patent. The steering servo protection system within the
Arrma Accused Products constitutes a material part of the claimed invention recited in at least
claim 27 of the 951 Patent and not a staple article or commodity of commerce because it is
specifically configured according to at least claim 27 of the 951 Patent. Arrmas contributions
include, without limitation, making, offering to sell, and/or selling within the United States,
and/or importing into the United States, the Arrma Accused Products, which include a steering
servo protection system, knowing the steering servo protection system to be especially made or
especially adapted for use in an infringement of at least claim 27 of the 951 Patent, and not a
staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use.
34.

Arrmas infringement of the 951 Patent has been and continues to be willful and

deliberate.

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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B.

Infringement of the 541 Patent


35.

The allegations of each foregoing paragraph are incorporated by reference as if

fully set forth herein.


36.

The Arrma Accused Products are covered by at least claim 1 of the 541 Patent.

37.

Arrma has directly infringed and continues to infringe at least claim 1 of the 541

Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(a) by, directly or through intermediaries and without
Traxxas authority, making, using, selling, or offering to sell the Arrma Accused Products in the
United States, or importing the Arrma Accused Products into the United States.
38.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Arrma has been and now is actively inducing infringement of at least claim 1 of the
541 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(b). Users of the Arrma Accused Products directly
infringe at least claim 1 of the 541 Patent when they use the Arrma Accused Products in the
ordinary, customary, and intended way. Arrmas inducements include, without limitation and
with specific intent to encourage the infringement, knowingly inducing consumers to use the
Arrma Accused Products within the United States in the ordinary, customary, and intended way
by, directly or through intermediaries, supplying the Arrma Accused Products to consumers
within the United States and instructing such consumers (for example in instruction manuals that
Arrma provides online or with the Arrma Accused Products) how to use the Arrma Accused
Products in the ordinary, customary, and intended way, which Arrma knows or should know
infringes at least claim 1 of the 541 Patent.
39.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Arrma has been and now is actively contributing to infringement of at least claim 1
of the 541 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(c). Arrma installs, configures, and sells the

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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Arrma Accused Products with distinct components, including but not limited to a Radio Box Set
(Part No. AR320248), that are especially made or especially adapted to practice the invention
claimed in at least claim 1 of the 541 Patent. The Radio Box Set within the Arrma Accused
Products constitutes a material part of the claimed invention recited in at least claim 1 of the 541
Patent and not a staple article or commodity of commerce because it is specifically configured
according to at least claim 1 of the 541 Patent.

Arrmas contributions include, without

limitation, making, offering to sell, and/or selling within the United States, and/or importing into
the United States, the Arrma Accused Products, which include the Radio Box Set, knowing the
Radio Box Set to be especially made or especially adapted for use in an infringement of at least
claim 1 of the 541 Patent, and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for
substantial noninfringing use.
40.

Arrmas infringement of the 541 Patent has been and continues to be willful and

deliberate.
C.

Infringement of the 099 Patent


41.

The allegations of each foregoing paragraph are incorporated by reference as if

fully set forth herein.


42.

The Arrma Accused Products are covered by at least claim 1 of the 099 Patent.

43.

Arrma has directly infringed and continues to infringe at least claim 1 of the 099

Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(a) by, directly or through intermediaries and without
Traxxas authority, making, using, selling, or offering to sell the Arrma Accused Products in the
United States, or importing the Arrma Accused Products into the United States.
44.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Arrma has been and now is actively inducing infringement of at least claim 1 of the

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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099 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(b). Users of the Arrma Accused Products directly
infringe at least claim 1 of the 099 Patent when they use the Arrma Accused Products in the
ordinary, customary, and intended way. Arrmas inducements include, without limitation and
with specific intent to encourage the infringement, knowingly inducing consumers to use the
Arrma Accused Products within the United States in the ordinary, customary, and intended way
by, directly or through intermediaries, supplying the Arrma Accused Products to consumers
within the United States and instructing such consumers (for example in instruction manuals that
Arrma provides online or with the Arrma Accused Products) how to use the Arrma Accused
Products in the ordinary, customary, and intended way, which Arrma knows or should know
infringes at least claim 1 of the 099 Patent.
45.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Arrma has been and now is actively contributing to infringement of at least claim 1
of the 099 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(c). Arrma installs, configures, and sells the
Arrma Accused Products with distinct components, including but not limited to suspension
system components such as shocks, suspension arms, and rockers, that are especially made or
especially adapted to practice the invention claimed in at least claim 1 of the 099 Patent. Each
suspension system component within the Arrma Accused Products constitutes a material part of
the claimed invention recited in at least claim 1 of the 099 Patent and not a staple article or
commodity of commerce because it is specifically configured according to at least claim 1 of the
099 Patent. Arrmas contributions include, without limitation, making, offering to sell, and/or
selling within the United States, and/or importing into the United States, the Arrma Accused
Products, which include the suspension system components, knowing each suspension system
component to be especially made or especially adapted for use in an infringement of at least

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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claim 1 of the 099 Patent, and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for
substantial noninfringing use.
46.

Arrmas infringement of the 099 Patent has been and continues to be willful and

deliberate.
D.

Infringement of the 886 Patent


47.

The allegations of each foregoing paragraph are incorporated by reference as if

fully set forth herein.


48.

The 886 Patent claims an ornamental design for a vehicle mounted coil spring

and shock assembly, as shown and described, for example, in Figure 5, reproduced below:

49.

The Arrma Accused Products comprise a vehicle-mounted coil spring and shock

assembly, as shown in the examples below:

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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50.

The vehicle-mounted coil spring and shock assembly in the Arrma Accused

Products embodies the patented design claimed by the 886 Patent or a colorable imitation
thereof.
51.

In the eye of an ordinary observer, giving such attention as a purchaser usually

gives, the design of the vehicle-mounted coil spring and shock assembly in the Arrma Accused
Products is substantially the same as the design claimed by the 886 Patent. The resemblance is
such as to deceive such an observer, inducing him to purchase one supposing it to be the other.
52.

The Arrma Accused Products are covered by the 886 Patent.

53.

Arrma has directly infringed and continues to infringe the 886 Patent in violation

of 35 U.S.C. 271(a) by, directly or through intermediaries and without Traxxas authority,
making, using, selling, or offering to sell the Arrma Accused Products in the United States, or
importing the Arrma Accused Products into the United States.
54.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Arrma has been and now is actively inducing infringement of the 886 Patent in
violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(b). Users of the Arrma Accused Products directly infringe the 886
Patent when they use the Arrma Accused Products in the ordinary, customary, and intended way.
Arrmas inducements include, without limitation and with specific intent to encourage the
infringement, knowingly inducing consumers to use the Arrma Accused Products within the
United States in the ordinary, customary, and intended way by, directly or through
intermediaries, supplying the Arrma Accused Products to consumers within the United States
and instructing such consumers (for example in instruction manuals that Arrma provides online
or with the Arrma Accused Products) how to use the Arrma Accused Products in the ordinary,
customary, and intended way, which Arrma knows or should know infringes the 886 Patent.

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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55.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Arrma has been and now is actively contributing to infringement of the 886 Patent
in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(c). Arrma installs, configures, and sells the Arrma Accused
Products with distinct components, including but not limited to the vehicle-mounted coil spring
and shock assembly, that are especially made or especially adapted to practice the invention
claimed in the 886 Patent. The vehicle-mounted coil spring and shock assembly within the
Arrma Accused Products constitutes a material part of the claimed invention recited in the 886
Patent and not a staple article or commodity of commerce because it is specifically configured
according to the 886 Patent. Arrmas contributions include, without limitation, making, offering
to sell, and/or selling within the United States, and/or importing into the United States, the Arrma
Accused Products, which include the vehicle-mounted coil spring and shock assembly, knowing
the vehicle-mounted coil spring and shock assembly to be especially made or especially adapted
for use in an infringement of the 886 Patent, and not a staple article or commodity of commerce
suitable for substantial noninfringing use.
56.

Arrmas infringement of the 886 Patent has been and continues to be willful and

deliberate.
VI. CLAIMSHOBBICO
57.

Based on the above-described products, Traxxas asserts the following causes of

action against Hobbico.


A.

Infringement of the 951 Patent


58.

The allegations of each foregoing paragraph are incorporated by reference as if

fully set forth herein.

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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59.

Hobbico has directly infringed and continues to infringe at least claim 27 of the

951 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(a) by, directly or through intermediaries (including
but not limited to its subsidiary Arrma) and without Traxxas authority, making, using, selling, or
offering to sell the Arrma Accused Products in the United States, or importing the Arrma
Accused Products into the United States.
60.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Hobbico has been and now is actively inducing infringement of at least claim 27 of
the 951 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(b). Users of the Arrma Accused Products
directly infringe at least claim 27 of the 951 Patent when they use the Arrma Accused Products
in the ordinary, customary, and intended way.

Hobbicos inducements include, without

limitation and with specific intent to encourage the infringement, knowingly inducing consumers
to use the Arrma Accused Products within the United States in the ordinary, customary, and
intended way by, directly or through intermediaries (including but not limited to its subsidiary
Arrma), supplying the Arrma Accused Products to consumers within the United States and
instructing such consumers (for example in instruction manuals that Hobbico provides online or
with the Arrma Accused Products) how to use the Arrma Accused Products in the ordinary,
customary, and intended way, which Hobbico knows or should know infringes at least claim 27
of the 951 Patent.
61.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Hobbico has been and now is actively contributing to infringement of at least claim
27 of the 951 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(c). Hobbico installs, configures, and sells
the Arrma Accused Products with distinct components, including but not limited to a steering
servo protection system, that are especially made or especially adapted to practice the invention

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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claimed in at least claim 27 of the 951 Patent. The steering servo protection system within the
Arrma Accused Products constitutes a material part of the claimed invention recited in at least
claim 27 of the 951 Patent and not a staple article or commodity of commerce because it is
specifically configured according to at least claim 27 of the 951 Patent.

Hobbicos

contributions include, without limitation, making, offering to sell, and/or selling within the
United States, and/or importing into the United States, the Arrma Accused Products, which
include a steering servo protection system, knowing the steering servo protection system to be
especially made or especially adapted for use in an infringement of at least claim 27 of the 951
Patent, and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing
use.
62.

Hobbicos infringement of the 951 Patent has been and continues to be willful

and deliberate.
B.

Infringement of the 541 Patent


63.

The allegations of each foregoing paragraph are incorporated by reference as if

fully set forth herein.


64.

Hobbico has directly infringed and continues to infringe at least claim 1 of the

541 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(a) by, directly or through intermediaries (including
but not limited to its subsidiary Arrma) and without Traxxas authority, making, using, selling, or
offering to sell the Arrma Accused Products in the United States, or importing the Arrma
Accused Products into the United States.
65.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Hobbico has been and now is actively inducing infringement of at least claim 1 of the
541 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(b). Users of the Arrma Accused Products directly

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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infringe at least claim 1 of the 541 Patent when they use the Arrma Accused Products in the
ordinary, customary, and intended way. Hobbicos inducements include, without limitation and
with specific intent to encourage the infringement, knowingly inducing consumers to use the
Arrma Accused Products within the United States in the ordinary, customary, and intended way
by, directly or through intermediaries (including but not limited to its subsidiary Arrma),
supplying the Arrma Accused Products to consumers within the United States and instructing
such consumers (for example in instruction manuals that Hobbico provides online or with the
Arrma Accused Products) how to use the Arrma Accused Products in the ordinary, customary,
and intended way, which Hobbico knows or should know infringes at least claim 1 of the 541
Patent.
66.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Hobbico has been and now is actively contributing to infringement of at least claim 1
of the 541 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(c). Hobbico installs, configures, and sells the
Arrma Accused Products with distinct components, including but not limited to a Radio Box Set
(Part No. AR320248), that are especially made or especially adapted to practice the invention
claimed in at least claim 1 of the 541 Patent. The Radio Box Set within the Arrma Accused
Products constitutes a material part of the claimed invention recited in at least claim 1 of the 541
Patent and not a staple article or commodity of commerce because it is specifically configured
according to at least claim 1 of the 541 Patent. Hobbicos contributions include, without
limitation, making, offering to sell, and/or selling within the United States, and/or importing into
the United States, the Arrma Accused Products, which include the Radio Box Set, knowing the
Radio Box Set to be especially made or especially adapted for use in an infringement of at least

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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claim 1 of the 541 Patent, and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for
substantial noninfringing use.
67.

Hobbicos infringement of the 541 Patent has been and continues to be willful

and deliberate.
C.

Infringement of the 099 Patent


68.

The allegations of each foregoing paragraph are incorporated by reference as if

fully set forth herein.


69.

Hobbico has directly infringed and continues to infringe at least claim 1 of the

099 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(a) by, directly or through intermediaries (including
but not limited to its subsidiary Arrma) and without Traxxas authority, making, using, selling, or
offering to sell the Arrma Accused Products in the United States, or importing the Arrma
Accused Products into the United States.
70.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Hobbico has been and now is actively inducing infringement of at least claim 1 of the
099 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(b). Users of the Arrma Accused Products directly
infringe at least claim 1 of the 099 Patent when they use the Arrma Accused Products in the
ordinary, customary, and intended way. Hobbicos inducements include, without limitation and
with specific intent to encourage the infringement, knowingly inducing consumers to use the
Arrma Accused Products within the United States in the ordinary, customary, and intended way
by, directly or through intermediaries (including but not limited to its subsidiary Arrma),
supplying the Arrma Accused Products to consumers within the United States and instructing
such consumers (for example in instruction manuals that Hobbico provides online or with the
Arrma Accused Products) how to use the Arrma Accused Products in the ordinary, customary,

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

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and intended way, which Hobbico knows or should know infringes at least claim 1 of the 099
Patent.
71.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Hobbico has been and now is actively contributing to infringement of at least claim 1
of the 099 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(c). Hobbico installs, configures, and sells the
Arrma Accused Products with distinct components, including but not limited to suspension
system components such as shocks, suspension arms, and rockers, that are especially made or
especially adapted to practice the invention claimed in at least claim 1 of the 099 Patent. Each
suspension system component within the Arrma Accused Products constitutes a material part of
the claimed invention recited in at least claim 1 of the 099 Patent and not a staple article or
commodity of commerce because it is specifically configured according to at least claim 1 of the
099 Patent. Hobbicos contributions include, without limitation, making, offering to sell, and/or
selling within the United States, and/or importing into the United States, the Arrma Accused
Products, which include the suspension system components, knowing each suspension system
component to be especially made or especially adapted for use in an infringement of at least
claim 1 of the 099 Patent, and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for
substantial noninfringing use.
72.

Hobbicos infringement of the 099 Patent has been and continues to be willful

and deliberate.
D.

Infringement of the 886 Patent


73.

The allegations of each foregoing paragraph are incorporated by reference as if

fully set forth herein.

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

Page 18

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8 Filed 08/02/16 Page 19 of 26 PageID #: 217

74.

Hobbico has directly infringed and continues to infringe the 886 Patent in

violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(a) by, directly or through intermediaries (including but not limited
to its subsidiary Arrma) and without Traxxas authority, making, using, selling, or offering to sell
the Arrma Accused Products in the United States, or importing the Arrma Accused Products into
the United States.
75.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Hobbico has been and now is actively inducing infringement of the 886 Patent in
violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(b). Users of the Arrma Accused Products directly infringe the 886
Patent when they use the Arrma Accused Products in the ordinary, customary, and intended way.
Hobbicos inducements include, without limitation and with specific intent to encourage the
infringement, knowingly inducing consumers to use the Arrma Accused Products within the
United States in the ordinary, customary, and intended way by, directly or through intermediaries
(including but not limited to its subsidiary Arrma), supplying the Arrma Accused Products to
consumers within the United States and instructing such consumers (for example in instruction
manuals that Hobbico provides online or with the Arrma Accused Products) how to use the
Arrma Accused Products in the ordinary, customary, and intended way, which Hobbico knows or
should know infringes the 886 Patent.
76.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Hobbico has been and now is actively contributing to infringement of the 886 Patent
in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(c). Hobbico installs, configures, and sells the Arrma Accused
Products with distinct components, including but not limited to the vehicle-mounted coil spring
and shock assembly, that are especially made or especially adapted to practice the invention
claimed in the 886 Patent. The vehicle-mounted coil spring and shock assembly within the

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

Page 19

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8 Filed 08/02/16 Page 20 of 26 PageID #: 218

Arrma Accused Products constitutes a material part of the claimed invention recited in the 886
Patent and not a staple article or commodity of commerce because it is specifically configured
according to the 886 Patent. Hobbicos contributions include, without limitation, making,
offering to sell, and/or selling within the United States, and/or importing into the United States,
the Arrma Accused Products, which include the vehicle-mounted coil spring and shock
assembly, knowing the vehicle-mounted coil spring and shock assembly to be especially made or
especially adapted for use in an infringement of the 886 Patent, and not a staple article or
commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use.
77.

Hobbicos infringement of the 886 Patent has been and continues to be willful

and deliberate.
E.

Infringement of the 763 Patent


78.

The allegations of each foregoing paragraph are incorporated by reference as if

fully set forth herein.


79.

The Dromida Accused Products are covered by at least claim 1 of the 763 Patent.

80.

Hobbico has directly infringed and continues to infringe at least claim 1 of the

763 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(a) by, directly or through intermediaries and without
Traxxas authority, making, using, selling, or offering to sell the Dromida Accused Products in
the United States, or importing the Dromida Accused Products into the United States.
81.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Hobbico has been and now is actively inducing infringement of at least claim 1 of the
763 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(b). Users of the Dromida Accused Products directly
infringe at least claim 1 of the 763 Patent when they use the Dromida Accused Products in the
ordinary, customary, and intended way. Hobbicos inducements include, without limitation and

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

Page 20

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8 Filed 08/02/16 Page 21 of 26 PageID #: 219

with specific intent to encourage the infringement, knowingly inducing consumers to use the
Dromida Accused Products within the United States in the ordinary, customary, and intended
way by, directly or through intermediaries, supplying the Dromida Accused Products to
consumers within the United States and instructing such consumers (for example in instruction
manuals that Hobbico provides online or with the Dromida Accused Products) how to use the
Dromida Accused Products in the ordinary, customary, and intended way, which Hobbico knows
or should know infringes at least claim 1 of the 763 Patent.
82.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Hobbico has been and now is actively contributing to infringement of at least claim 1
of the 763 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(c). Hobbico installs, configures, and sells the
Dromida Accused Products with distinct components, including but not limited to LED Arm
Covers (Part Nos. DIDE1183, DIDE1184, DIDE1185, and DIDE1186) and E-Boards (Part Nos.
DIDM1110, DIDM1111, DIDM1112, DIDM1113, DIDM1214, and DIDM1215), that are
especially made or especially adapted to practice the invention claimed in at least claim 1 of the
763 Patent. The LED Arm Covers and E-Boards within the Dromida Accused Products each
constitute a material part of the claimed invention recited in at least claim 1 of the 763 Patent
and not a staple article or commodity of commerce because they are specifically configured
according to at least claim 1 of the 763 Patent. Hobbicos contributions include, without
limitation, making, offering to sell, and/or selling within the United States, and/or importing into
the United States, the Dromida Accused Products, which include LED Arm Covers and EBoards, knowing the LED Arm Covers and E-Boards to be especially made or especially adapted
for use in an infringement of at least claim 1 of the 763 Patent, and not staple articles or
commodities of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use.

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

Page 21

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8 Filed 08/02/16 Page 22 of 26 PageID #: 220

83.

Hobbicos infringement of the 763 Patent has been and continues to be willful

and deliberate.
F.

Infringement of the 539 Patent


84.

The allegations of each foregoing paragraph are incorporated by reference as if

fully set forth herein.


85.

The Dromida Accused Products are covered by at least claim 27 of the 539

86.

Hobbico has directly infringed and continues to infringe at least claim 27 of the

Patent.

539 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(a) by, directly or through intermediaries and without
Traxxas authority, making, using, selling, or offering to sell the Dromida Accused Products in
the United States, or importing the Dromida Accused Products into the United States.
87.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Hobbico has been and now is actively inducing infringement of at least claim 27 of
the 539 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(b). Users of the Dromida Accused Products
directly infringe at least claim 27 of the 539 Patent when they use the Dromida Accused
Products in the ordinary, customary, and intended way. Hobbicos inducements include, without
limitation and with specific intent to encourage the infringement, knowingly inducing consumers
to use the Dromida Accused Products within the United States in the ordinary, customary, and
intended way by, directly or through intermediaries, supplying the Dromida Accused Products to
consumers within the United States and instructing such consumers (for example in instruction
manuals that Hobbico provides online or with the Dromida Accused Products) how to use the
Dromida Accused Products in the ordinary, customary, and intended way, which Hobbico knows
or should know infringes at least claim 27 of the 539 Patent.

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

Page 22

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8 Filed 08/02/16 Page 23 of 26 PageID #: 221

88.

Further and in the alternative, at least since the filing and service of this

Complaint, Hobbico has been and now is actively contributing to infringement of at least claim
27 of the 539 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(c). Hobbico installs, configures, and sells
the Dromida Accused Products with distinct components, including but not limited to LED Arm
Covers (Part Nos. DIDE1183, DIDE1184, DIDE1185, and DIDE1186) and E-Boards (Part Nos.
DIDM1110, DIDM1111, DIDM1112, DIDM1113, DIDM1214, and DIDM1215), that are
especially made or especially adapted to practice the invention claimed in at least claim 27 of the
539 Patent. The LED Arm Covers and E-Boards within the Dromida Accused Products each
constitute a material part of the claimed invention recited in at least claim 27 of the 539 Patent
and not a staple article or commodity of commerce because they are specifically configured
according to at least claim 27 of the 539 Patent. Hobbicos contributions include, without
limitation, making, offering to sell, and/or selling within the United States, and/or importing into
the United States, the Dromida Accused Products, which include LED Arm Covers and EBoards, knowing the LED Arm Covers and E-Boards to be especially made or especially adapted
for use in an infringement of at least claim 27 of the 539 Patent, and not a staple article or
commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use.
89.

Hobbicos infringement of the 539 Patent has been and continues to be willful

and deliberate.
VII. VICARIOUS LIABILITY
90.

The allegations of each foregoing paragraph are incorporated by reference as if

fully set forth herein.


91.

In addition to liability for its own independent conduct, each Defendant is also

liable for the conduct of its subsidiaries, affiliates, and related entities under the doctrines of alter

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

Page 23

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8 Filed 08/02/16 Page 24 of 26 PageID #: 222

ego and single business enterprise, and under applicable state and federal statutes and
regulations.
VIII. NOTICE AND MARKING
92.

The allegations of each foregoing paragraph are incorporated by reference as if

fully set forth herein.


93.

At all times, each and every patentee of the Asserted Patents, and each and every

person making, offering for sale, or selling within the United States, or importing into the United
States, any patented article for or under any of them, has complied with the marking
requirements set forth in 35 U.S.C. 287.
94.

At least by filing and serving this First Amended Complaint for Patent

Infringement, Traxxas has given each Defendant written notice of its infringement.
IX. DAMAGES
95.

The allegations of each foregoing paragraph are incorporated by reference as if

fully set forth herein.


96.

For the above-described infringement, Traxxas has been injured and seeks

damages to adequately compensate it for each Defendants infringement of the Asserted Patents.
Such damages, to be proved at trial, should be no less than the amount of a reasonable royalty
under 35 U.S.C. 284, together with Traxxas costs and expenses, pre-judgment and postjudgment interest, and supplemental damages for any continuing post-verdict or post-judgment
infringement, with an accounting as needed.
97.

Each Defendants infringement of the Asserted Patents has been and continues to

be willful, such that Traxxas seeks treble damages under 35 U.S.C. 284.

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

Page 24

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8 Filed 08/02/16 Page 25 of 26 PageID #: 223

98.

Each Defendants willful infringement of the Asserted Patents renders this case

exceptional under 35 U.S.C. 285, such that Traxxas seeks all reasonable attorneys fees and
costs incurred in this litigation pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 284, together with pre-judgment and postjudgment interest thereon.
X. PRAYER FOR RELIEF
Traxxas respectfully requests the following relief:
a.

A judgment in favor of Traxxas that each Defendant has infringed each of the

Asserted Patents, whether literally or under the doctrine of equivalents, as described herein;
b.

A permanent injunction enjoining each Defendant, its officers, directors, agents,

subsidiaries, employees, successors, and assigns, and all persons acting in privity, concert, or
participation with it, from making, using, selling, or offering for sale in the United States, or
importing into the United States, any and all products and services embodying the inventions
claimed in the Asserted Patents;
c.

A judgment and order requiring each Defendant to pay Traxxas its damages,

costs, expenses, and pre-judgment and post-judgment interest for the Defendants infringement
of the Asserted Patents as provided under 35 U.S.C. 284, including supplemental damages for
any continuing post-verdict or post-judgment infringement with an accounting as needed;
d.

A judgment and order requiring each Defendant to pay Traxxas enhanced

damages for willful infringement as provided under 35 U.S.C. 284;


e.

A judgment and order finding this case exceptional and requiring each Defendant

to pay Traxxas its reasonable attorneys fees and costs incurred in this litigation pursuant to 35
U.S.C. 284, together with pre-judgment and post-judgment interest thereon; and
f.

Such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

Page 25

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8 Filed 08/02/16 Page 26 of 26 PageID #: 224

X. JURY DEMAND
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 38(b), Traxxas requests a jury trial of all
issues triable of right by a jury.

Dated: August 2, 2016

Respectfully Submitted,
By: /s/ William E. Davis, III
William E. Davis, III
Texas State Bar No. 24047416
bdavis@bdavisfirm.com
Debra Coleman (Of Counsel)
Texas State Bar No. 24059595
dcoleman@bdavisfirm.com
The Davis Firm, PC
213 N. Fredonia Street, Suite 230
Longview, Texas 75601
Telephone: (903) 230-9090
Facsimile: (903) 230-9661
Counsel for Plaintiff Traxxas, L.P.
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

The undersigned certifies that the foregoing document and all attachments thereto are
being filed electronically in compliance with Local Rule CV-5(a). As such, this document is
being served this August 2, 2016, on all counsel of record, each of whom is deemed to have
consented to electronic service. L.R. CV-5(a)(3)(A).
/s/ William E. Davis, III
William E. Davis, III

First Amended Complaint for Patent Infringement

Page 26

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-1 Filed 08/02/16 Page 1 of 96 PageID #: 225

EXHIBIT A
U.S. Patent No. 7,793,951 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-1 Filed 08/02/16 Page 2 of 96 PageID #: 226


111111
1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
US007793951B2

c12)

United States Patent

(10)

Byers et al.

(45)

(54)

INTEGRATED CENTER POINT STEERING


MECHANISM FOR A MODEL VEHICLE

(75)

Inventors: Brent Whitfield Byers, Plano, TX (US);


Seralaathan Hariharesan, Flower
Mound, TX (US)

(73)

Assignee: Traxxas LP, Plano, TX (US)

( *)

Notice:

(21)

Appl. No.: 11/348,769

(22)

Filed:

Feb.6,2006

Dec. 14,2006

Related U.S. Application Data

(60)
(51)
(52)
(58)

Continuation-in-part of application No. 11/102,008,


filed on Apr. 7, 2005, now abandoned, and a continuation-in-part of application No. 29/227,305, filed on
Apr. 7, 2005, now Pat. No. Des. 567,886.
Provisional application No. 60/669,664, filed on Apr.
7, 2005.
Int. Cl.
B62D 7116
(2006.01)
U.S. Cl. .................................. 280/93.502; 280/774
Field of Classification Search ............ 280/93.502,
280/93.513, 93.514, 774
See application file for complete search history.

(56)

A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

10/1922
12/1926
4/1955
3/1961
4/1966
8/1970
111971
6/1971
111973
9/1980
12/1984
5/1985
111990
10/1990
10/1993
8/1994

US 7, 793,951 B2
Sep.14,2010
Dutton ....................... 280/775
Nicholson .................... 60/572
Umstott ...................... 280/774
Merritt ....................... 180/409
Lahr .......................... 180/443
Knapp eta!. ................ 180/243
Mitchell eta!. ............. 180/411
Gamaunt .................... 180/431
Hickey ....................... 180/249
Andersson ........... 280/124.146
Ruggles ................... 280/5.521
Musgrove .............. 280/93.513
Gleasman et al ............... 475/7
Young ........................ 56/10.8
Watanabe eta!. ........... 180/404
Miles ......................... 446/456

(Continued)

Prior Publication Data

US 2006/0278464 AI

(63)

1,432,237
1,610,580
2,707,109
2,974,974
3,246,719
3,522,861
3,556,241
3,587,767
3,709,314
4,225,148
4,487,429
4,518,170
4,895,052
4,964,265
5,249,638
5,338,247

Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this


patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(b) by 1025 days.

(65)

Patent No.:
Date of Patent:

References Cited

OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Horizon Hobby; "Team Losi LST Super Truck-Operations Guide";
pp. 1-23; Horizon Hobby, Inc., Champaigne, Illinois; (admitted prior
art).

(Continued)
Primary Examiner-Paul N Dickson
Assistant Examiner-Timothy D Wilhelm
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Carr LLP

(57)

ABSTRACT

A steering mechanism for a model vehicle is provided, having


one or more steering actuators, a steering control arm pivotally mounted for rotation relative to a model vehicle chassis,
the steering control arm being coupled directly to at least two
tie rods, each tie rod controlling the steering of at least one
wheel of a vehicle, and each of the one or more steering
actuators coupled to the steering control arm to rotate the
control arm relative to the vehicle chassis.

U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS


634,597 A

10/1899 Warren ....................... 180/263

43 Claims, 75 Drawing Sheets

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-1 Filed 08/02/16 Page 3 of 96 PageID #: 227


US 7, 793,951 B2
Page 2
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
5,653,304
5,775,972
5,785,576
5,816,352
6,113,459
6,202,781
6,793,555
6,796,567
7,000,931
7,029,016
7,077,234
7,350,792
2006/0055139
2006/0232035

A * 8/1997 Renfroe ...................... 180/402


A * 7I 1998 Siu ............................ 446/468
A * 7/1998 Belton ........................ 446/456
A * 10/1998 Hacker ....................... 180/167
A * 9/2000 Nanunoto ................... 446/454
B1 * 3/2001 Ima ............................ 180/252
B1 * 9/2004 Tilbor eta!. ................ 446/456
B2 * 9/2004 Shimizu et al ......... 280/93.502
B1 * 2/2006 Chevalier . ... .. ... ... ... 280/93.502
B2 * 4/2006 Lin ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... 280/93.502
B2 * 7/2006 Klais eta!. .................. 180/428
B1 * 4/2008 Garman ................... 280/93.51
A1 * 3/2006 Furumi et al ........... 280/93.513
A1 * 10/2006 Lambert .. ... .. ... ... ... 280/93.502

2008/0067768 A1 *

3/2008 Yang ..................... 280/93.502

OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Kyosho, "V-ONER New Generation Touring Car-Instruction
Manual"; 2000, Kyosho Corp. of America, Lake Forest, California.
Kyosho, "Inferno MP7.5-Exploded View"; Kyosho Corp. of
America, Lake Forest, California (admitted prior art).
Pro-Line, "Servo Saver"; Pro-Line, Beaumont, California; 1 photograph (admitted prior art).
Traxxas; "T-MAXX, Front Assembly" exploded view; Traxxas LP,
Plano, Texas; (admitted prior art).
Xray, "T1R Raycer-Instruction Manual"; XRay Model Racing
Cars, Trencin, Slovak Republic, Europe (admitted prior art).

* cited by examiner

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-1 Filed 08/02/16 Page 4 of 96 PageID #: 228

U.S. Patent

Sep.14,2010

Sheet 1 of75

US 7,793,951 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-1 Filed 08/02/16 Page 5 of 96 PageID #: 229

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US 7,793,951 B2
1

INTEGRATED CENTER POINT STEERING


MECHANISM FOR A MODEL VEHICLE

steering of at least one wheel of a vehicle, and each of the one


or more steering actuators coupled to the steering control arm
to rotate the control arm relative to the vehicle chassis.

RELATED APPLICATIONS
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
This application claims the benefit of priority under 35
U.S.C. 120 of provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/669,
664 entitled "MOTOR OPERATED VEHICLE," filed on Apr.
7, 2005. This application is also a continuation-in-part ofU.S.
patent application Ser. No. 11/102,008 entitled "A MODEL
VEHICLE SUSPENSION CONTROL LINK," filed on Apr.
7, 2005 now abandoned and previously incorporated as an
Appendix of the aforementioned provisional patent application, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference in full as if fully set forth herein. This application is also
a continuation-in-part of U.S. design patent application Ser.
No. 29/227,305 entitled "VEHICLE MOUNTED COIL
SPRING AND SHOCK ASSEMBLY" filed on Apr. 7, 2005
now U.S. Pat. No. D, 567,886, the contents of which are
hereby incorporated by reference in full as if fully set forth
herein.

10

15

20

FIELD OF THE INVENTION


The present invention relates to vehicle design and has
particular application is the design of remote control and
model vehicles.
Appendices
Also attached and made a part of this application are
Appendices A-C. Appendix A is a document entitled "Model
5310 Revo Owner's Manual" and describes in further detail
the construction and operation of an embodiment of the
invention. Appendix B are documents entitled "Traxxas Service and Support Guide" and "Revo Part List," which
describe in further detail the construction and assembly of
components employed in an embodiment of the invention.
Appendix C is a document entitled "Revo Suspension
Claims," which describes "progressiveness" in further detail
as related to motion ratios and the change in motion ratio.
These Appendices are incorporated by reference in this
application in their entireties to the same extent as iffully set
forth herein.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Vehicles in a variety of styles and sizes have been made for
many years. However, despite improvements in design of
vehicles over the years, vehicles remain unduly expensive to
construct, expensive to maintain. Furthermore, vehicles, in
particular, remotely controlled vehicles such as models and
other reduced-size vehicles, do not have optimum handling
characteristics and are unduly difficult to adjust to obtain
optimum handling characteristics under different driving
conditions.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to
overcome the foregoing limitations of the prior art.

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SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION


60

These and other objects and advantages are achieved in


accordance with an embodiment of the present invention,
wherein a steering mechanism for a model vehicle is provided, comprising one or more steering actuators, a steering
control arm pivotally mounted for rotation relative to a model
vehicle chassis, the steering control arm being coupled
directly to at least two tie rods, each tie rod controlling the

65

For a more complete understanding of the present invention, and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the
following descriptions taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is in isometric view of a portion of the vehicle
showing an engine mount supporting an engine on a chassis,
wherein the engine is coupled to a transmission assembly;
FIGS. 2A through E illustrate an engine mount allowing
adjustment of the center distance between the engine crankshaft and the transmission input shaft or engagement and
disengagement of a vehicle engine with a transmission;
FIGS. 3A and B are respectively a partial section view,
taken along the section lines ofFIG. 2B, and in isometric view
of a partial section view;
FIGS. 4A through Care top, front elevation and side views
of that portion of the vehicle chassis on which the engine and
transmission are mounted;
FIG. 5 is a partial section view of the engine and any
amount, taken along the section lines of FIG. 4B;
FIGS. 6A through D are isometric, front elevation, side,
and top views of an engine and throttle link assembly of a
vehicle;
FIG. 7 is a detail perspective view of a portion of the
throttle link assembly illustrated in FIG. 6A;
FIG. 8 is a partial section view of the throttle link assembly,
taken along the section lines of FIG. 6C;
FIGS. 9A through D are perspective, front elevation, side
and top views of a front portion of the vehicle, on which is
mounted a bumper assembly;
FIG. 9E is a section view, taken along the section line of
FIG. 9C;
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a vehicle chassis with the
body shell removed;
FIG.ll is a sectional viewofthevehiclechassis ofFIG.10,
taken through the portion of the vehicle chassis including the
fuel tank, filler cap and finger pull tab, with the cap open,
along the line 10-10;
FIG. 12 is a perspective sectional view of a vehicle chassis,
with the body shell installed, taken through the portion of the
vehicle chassis including the fuel tank, filler cap and finger
pull tab, with the cap open, and showing one half of the
opening through with the finger pull tab can pass when the
body shell is installed or removed;
FIG.13Ais a plan view of the fuel tank, filler cap and finger
pull tab, with the cap open;
FIG.13B is a side view of the fuel tank, filler cap and finger
pull tab, as viewed from the rear of the vehicle, with the cap
open;
FIG. 13C is a perspective view of the fuel tank, filler cap
and finger pull tab, with the cap open;
FIG. 13D is a side plan view of the fuel tank, filler cap and
finger pull tab, as viewed from the right side of the vehicle,
with the cap open;
FIG. 14 is a partially sectional view of the fuel tank, filler
cap and finger pull tab, taken along the line 14-14, with the
cap open;
FIG. 15 is a perspective sectional view of a vehicle chassis,
with the body shell installed, showing the cap opened;
FIG. 16 is a plan view of a vehicle chassis with the body
shell and suspension components removed;

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FIG.17 is a sectional view ofthevehiclechassis ofFIG.16,


taken along the line 16-16, with a detail circle K around the
secured double looped fuel line in accordance with an
embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 18 is a perspective view of the vehicle chassis of
FIGS. 16 and 17, showing the secured double looped fuel
line;
FIG. 19A is a detailed perspective view showing the
secured double looped fuel line;
FIG.19B is a detailed cross-sectional view taken within the
detail circle of FIG. 17, showing a cross-section of the
secured double looped fuel line as secured in its chassis
mount;
FIGS. 20A through Care front, side in perspective views of
a slipper clutch assembly for use in a vehicle;
FIGS. 21A and Bare exploded in perspective views of the
slipper clutch assembly;
FIG. 22 is a section view, taken along the section lines of
FIG. 20A;
FIG. 23 is an enlarged detail illustration of a portion of FIG.
22;
FIG. 24 is a partial section view of the slipper clutch assembly;
FIG. 25A is an axial view, looking along the axis of the
brake disk from the outboard side, of a brake pad support
assembly in accordance with one embodiment of the present
invention;
FIG. 25B is a side view of the brake pad support assembly
depicted in FIG. 25A;
FIG. 25C is a plan view of the brake pad support assembly
depicted in FIG. 25A;
FIG. 25D is a perspective view of the brake pad support
assembly depicted in FIG. 25A, as viewed from the outboard
side;
FIG. 26A is a sectional view of the brake pad support
assembly depicted in FIG. 25A, taken along the line 25A-25A
of FIG. 25A;
FIG. 26B is a sectional perspective view of the brake pad
support assembly depicted in FIG. 25D, taken along the line
25D-25D of FIG. 25D;
FIG. 27 is an exploded perspective view of an embodiment
of the brake pad support assembly and base, as viewed from
the outboard side;
FIG. 28 is an exploded perspective view of an embodiment
of the brake pad support assembly and base, as viewed from
the inboard side;
FIGS. 29A through D are rear elevation, side, top and
perspective views of a front bulkhead assembly and suspension arm assembly of the vehicle;
FIGS. 30A through D are front elevation, side, top and
perspective views of a telescoping drive shaft of the vehicle;
FIGS. 31A andB are section and perspective section views,
taken along the section lines 31-31 of FIG. 30A, of the telescoping drive shaft;
FIGS. 32A andB are section and perspective section views,
taken along the section lines 32-32 of FIG. 30A, of the telescoping drive shaft;
FIGS. 33A through D are rear elevation, side, top and
perspective views illustrating coupling of the drive shaft to an
axle assembly supporting a wheel of the vehicle;
FIG. 34 is a section view, taken along the section lines
34-34 of FIG. 33C, illustrating coupling of the drive shaft to
an axle assembly supporting a wheel of the vehicle;
FIG. 35 is a perspective section view, taken along the
section lines 35-35 of FIG. 33C, illustrating coupling of the
drive shaft to an axle assembly supporting a wheel of the
vehicle;

FIG. 36 is a section view substantially bisecting the ball


joint and axle carrier assemblies of the vehicle;
FIG. 37 is a side view of the axle carrier shown in FIG. 36;
FIG. 38 is a perspective exploded view of the axle carrier
showing a sealing boot secured to the carrier;
FIGS. 39A through C are front elevation, side and top
views of the axle carrier shown in FIG. 38;
FIG. 40A is view of the front portion of the vehicle, with
the chassis removed for clarity, showing the dual servos and
center dual arm steering arm, viewed from underneath;
FIG. 40B is view ofthefrontportionofthevehicle, with the
chassis removed for clarity, showing the dual servos and
center dual arm steering arm, viewed from the front end of the
vehicle;
FIG. 40C is view of the frontportionofthe vehicle, with the
chassis removed for clarity, showing the left side front wheel
and left side servo and the center dual arm steering arm,
viewed from the left side of the vehicle;
FIG. 40D is a perspective view of the front portion of the
vehicle, with the chassis removed for clarity, showing the dual
servos and center dual arm steering arm, viewed from underneath the left side of the vehicle;
FIG. 41A is an exploded perspective view of the components of the dual servos and center dual arm steering arm
assembly, as viewed from above the vehicle;
FIG. 41B is an exploded perspective view of the components of the dual servos and center dual arm steering arm
assembly, as viewed from below the vehicle;
FIG. 42 is a perspective view of the dual servos and center
dual arm steering arm assembly, with the other components of
the front end of the vehicle removed for clarity, viewed from
the rear left side of the vehicle;
FIG. 43A is a plan view of a steering servo mounted on the
right side of the chassis;
FIG. 43B is a side view of a steering servo mounted on the
right side of the chassis;
FIG. 43C is a perspective view of a steering servo mounted
on the right side of the chassis;
FIG. 43 D is an end view of a steering servo mounted on the
right side of the chassis, viewed from the front of the vehicle;
FIG. 44 is a sectional view of the mounted steering servo of
FIG. 42A, taken along the line 41A-41A;
FIG. 45 is a perspective view of a steering servo mounted
on the right side of the chassis, and shows a front one of the
mounting brackets;
FIG. 46 is an exploded perspective view of a steering servo,
front and rear mounting brackets, and the portion of the
chassis to which the steering servo is mounted;
FIGS. 47A and Bare side and top plan views showing the
layout of various components supported by the vehicle chasSis;
FIG. 48 is a perspective view of a vehicle chassis alone;
FIGS. 49A through D are side, front, top and perspective
views of the vehicle chassis supporting certain components of
a vehicle;
FIGS. SOA and Bare section and perspective section views,
taken along section lines ofFIG. 49C, illustrating the shape of
the chassis and relative location of certain components supported by the chassis;
FIGS. 51 A and Bare section and perspective section views,
taken along section lines ofFIG. 49C, illustrating the shape of
the chassis and relative location of certain components supported by the chassis;
FIG. 52 he is a section view, taken along section lines of
FIG. 49C, illustrating the shape of the chassis and relative
location of certain components supported by the chassis;

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5

FIG. 53, depicts a perspective view of the front suspension


assembly for the left front wheel;
FIGS. 54A-E show detailed views of the axle carrier, pin
and pivot link with various predetermined combinations of
ring-shaped spacers; and
FIG. 55 is a table depicting an example of five different
positionings of the pivot link for different combinations of
caster angle and roll center settings, employing a thick spacer
and a thin spacer in different configuration, as well as a
standard configuration employing a tall center hollow ball
type pivot link.
FIG. 56 is an exploded perspective view of the front left
suspension assembly of the vehicle;
FIGS. 57A through D are front elevation, side, top and
perspective views of the front left suspension assembly of the
vehicle in a full bump position;
FIGS. 58A through D are front elevation, side, top and
perspective views of the front left suspension assembly of the
vehicle in a full droop position;
FIG. 59 is a dimensioned front elevation of the front left
suspension assembly of the vehicle, shown at ride height;
FIG. 60 is a dimensioned rear elevation of the rear left
suspension assembly of the vehicle, shown at ride height;
FIG. 61 is a dimensioned top view of the chassis of the
vehicle showing the front and rear left suspension assemblies
of the vehicle;
FIGS. 62 A and B are top and side views of a rocker arm
employed in a rear suspension assembly of the vehicle;
FIGS. 63 A and B are top and side views of a rocker arm
employed in the front suspension assembly of the vehicle; and
FIG. 64 is top view of a portion of the front left suspension
assembly of the vehicle showing the damper and rocker arm
employed therein.

bolt 536 to a threaded shank 546 extending laterally from and


in alignment with the aperture 540 of the front support 524.
The smooth surface of the pivot bolt 536 reduces friction,
thereby facilitating pivoting of the middle support 526
between the front and rear supports 524, 528.
The middle support 526 includes a pivot arm 547 extending
generally downwardly and inboard from the remainder of the
support 526. The pivot arm 547 positions the hinge aperture
538 so as to impart a horizontal component to the pivotal
movement of the engine 500 when the middle support 526 is
pivoted from the lowest to the uppermost position. The rotational axis of the drive gear 516 is offset in the outboard
direction from the rotational axis of the spur gear 518. Thus,
the horizontal component of movement of the engine 500 as
the middle support 526 pivots upwardly, moves the drive gear
516 axis more directly toward the spur gear 518 axis than
would otherwise be the case, facilitating meshing of the gears
with reduced interference. The pivot arm 547 also positions
the hinge aperture 538 inboard, to impart greater movement
of the engine 500 as the middle support 526 is pivoted. The
pivot arm 547 is formed from a plurality of structural ribs 549,
to reduce the weight of the middle support 526.
Setting of the position of the engine mount 510 is accomplished by an adjustment bolt 546, which extends through an
aperture 548, an adjustment slot 550 and an aperture 552,
through the respective rear support 528, middle support 526
and front support 524. The adjustment slot 550 is located near
the outboard end of the middle support 526, for ease of access
and clearance from the engine 500. A lock washer (not
shown) is positioned over the adjustment bolt 546, between
the surfaces of the rear and middle supports 528, 526 and
between the services of the middle and front supports 526,
524, to secure the surfaces against relative movement when
the adjustment bolt 546 is tightened. The adjustment bolt 546
comprises a threaded end 554', but preferably has a smooth
surface that extends through the adjustment slot 550. The
threaded end 554 secures the adjustment bolt 546 to a
threaded shank 556 extending laterally from and in aligument
with the aperture 552 of the front support 524. The smooth
surface of the adjustment bolt 546 reduces friction, thereby
facilitating pivoting of the middle support 526 between the
front and rear supports 524, 528.
The engine 500 is supported by inboard and outboard
engine support surfaces 558, 560 formed on the engine mount
510 middle support 526. Threaded engine fastening bores 562
are formed through the support surfaces 558, 560, to receive
threaded engine fastening bolts 564. The fastening bolts 564
are tightened into the engine fastening bores 562 and through
outboard and inboard flanges 566 extending laterally from the
engine 500, to secure the engine 500 to the pivotable middle
support 526 of the engine mount 510. The engine mount 510
is generally U-shaped between the engine support surfaces
558, 560, to receive the lower end of the engine 500.
In use, the engine mount 510 may be employed to position
the engine 500 drive gear 516 toward and away from the spur
gear 518. The adjustment bolt 546 is loosened, allowing the
outboard end of the middle support 526 of the engine mount
510 to be pivoted to a desired position, about the pivot bolt
536, parting the drive gear 516 and the spur gear 518. The
middle support 526 acts as a hinge relative to the chassis 300
and the transmission assembly 520, which is fixed to the
chassis 300. The range of pivotal movement of the middle
support 526 is determined by the length of the adjustment slot
550. The length of the adjustment slot 550 is determined,
primarily based on the variety of teeth or sizes of the drive
gear 516 and spur gear 518. The centerline of the adjustment
slot 550 substantially tracks a constant radius from the pivot

DETAILED DESCRIPTION
FIG. 1 illustrates a vehicle engine 500 supported by an
engine mount 510 (partially shown) on the vehicle chassis
300. The engine 500 drive shaft 512 rotates a clutch bell 514
and drive gear 516 assembly that is coupled via a spur gear
518 to a transmission assembly 520. The engine mount 510 is
configured to allow generally vertical movement, shown by
the arrows 522, to accommodate drive and spur gears 516,
518 of different sizes or to allow engagement and disengagement of a vehicle engine with a transmission. Such gear mesh
adjustment, in a generally vertical direction, reduces horizontal space needed on the chassis 300 and accommodates the
multi-level design of the chassis 300.
Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2A through E, 3A and Band 4A
through C, the adjustable engine mount 510 is shown in more
detail. The engine mount 510 comprises a front support 524,
a middle support 526 and a rear support 528. The supports
524, 526 and 528 are preferably manufactured from cast
aluminum; however, other suitable materials having the
required strength and temperature resistance would also be
suitable. The front and rear supports 524, 528 are generally
rib-shaped and are secured on the chassis 300 by outboard
flanges 530 and inboard flanges 532. Bolts 534 are inserted
into threaded apertures 535 formed in the flanges 530, 532
from and through the bottom of the chassis 300. The middle
support 526 is pivotally mounted to the front and rear supports 524, 528 by a pivot bolt 536 extending through a hinge
aperture 538 of a middle support 526 and aligned apertures
540, 542 through the front and rear supports 524, 528 respectively. The pivot bolt 536 comprises a threaded end 554, but
preferably has a smooth surface that extends through the
hinge aperture 538. The threaded end 554 secures the pivot

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7

bolt centerline 536, to allow pivotal movement of the middle


support 526 without substantial interference between the surfaces of the adjustment bolt 546 and the adjustment slot 550.
Once substitution of a different sized drive gear 516 or spur
gear 518 is made, or other modifications or maintenance is
completed, the engine 500 is pivoted upwardly to mesh the
drive gear 516 and spur gear 518, connecting the engine 500
to the transmission assembly 520. The adjustment bolt 546 is
then tightened, securing the middle support 526 in the desired
position for operation of the vehicle engine 500 and transmissian assembly 520.
Referring now to FIGS. 6A through D, 7 and 8 a throttle
link assembly 600 is shown that accommodates vertical
movement of the engine 500 by the engine mount 510 without
being uncoupled from the engine 500. The throttle link
assembly 600 is mounted to the middle support 526 of the
engine mount 510, for movement with the engine 500 and the
throttle arm 602 extending downwardly from the engine
throttle 604. The middle support 526 includes a throttle link
support surface 606 (shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 B) extending
towards the front of the vehicle. The throttle link support
surface 606 includes a threaded aperture into which is
threaded a throttle link bolt 608, securing the throttle link
assembly 600 for pivotal movement about an axis generally
perpendicular to the throttle link support surface 606.
The throttle link assembly 600 includes a bell crank 610
secured for pivotal movement about the bolt 608, to actuate
the throttle arm 602 in response to actuation of a servo-link
612. The bell crank 610 includes a central cylindrical shaft
614, through which the bolt 608 extends. The bell crank 610
pivots about bolt 608. A servo-link arm 616 and a throttle
actuation arm 618 extend in substantially perpendicular
directions from bell crank 610. The servo-link 612 and the
throttle arm 602 are both pivotally connected to the servo-link
arm 616 and the throttle actuation arm 618, respectively. The
servo-link 612 is preferably manufactured from a length of
steel wire, which is bent into an aperture 620 formed through
the servo-link arm 616 and secured for pivotal movement.
The throttle actuation arm 618 is positioned higher than the
servo-link arm 616, to provide clearance from the servo-link
612 when the engine throttle 604 is actuated towards an open
position. A slot 622 is formed through the throttle actuation
arm 618, to allow the throttle arm 602 to travel in a relatively
straight line of motion as the throttle actuation arm 618 rotates
about the throttle link bolt 608. The slot 622 is open at the
distal end of the actuation arm 618, to allow the throttle arm
602 to be easily removed. The slot 622 also allows the engine
500 to be removed from the vehicle without disrupting the
throttle link assembly 600, which is secured to the engine
mount 510, rather than to the engine 500.
The throttle 604 is actuated to an open position by servolink 612 pushing against the servo-link arm 616, rotating the
bell crank 610 to move the throttle actuation arm 618 towards
the servo-link 612. The servo-link 612 is secured by a guide
624 and stop 625 to a servo actuation arm 626 of a servo
mechanism 613. The guide 624 allows the servo-link 612 to
slide, while the stop 625 clamps the servo-link 612, preventing further sliding nearer the throttle 604.
The servo mechanism 613 rotates the servo actuation arm
626 about a servo mounting aperture 628 to move the actuation arm 626 towards the bell crank 610. The servo actuation
arm 626 slides along the servo-link 612 until the guide 624
abuts the stop 625, at which point, continued movement of the
actuation arm 626 pushes the servo-link 612 to actuate the
bell crank 610. As the bell crank 610 actuates, the throttle
actuation arm 618 moves towards the servo-link 612 and the
throttle arm 602 follows, opening the throttle 604. The guide

624 allows the servo actuation arm 626 to be actuated in an


opposite direction, such as to actuate a braking mechanism
(not shown), while leaving the throttle 604 and the throttle
link assembly 600 in the engine idle position (closed) shown.
A spring 615 connected between an enclosure 617 holding
the servo and the end of the servo-link 612 extending out of
aperture 620 of the bell crank 610 returns the throttle 604 and
a throttle link assembly 600 to the engine idle position.
The configuration and position of the throttle link assembly
600 and the servo actuation arm 626 allow adjustment of the
position of middle support 526 of the engine mount 510 and
the engine 500, without requiring decoupling of the throttle
link assembly 600 from the engine or the servo actuation arm
626. Contributing to this is that the pivot points of the bell
crank 610 and servo actuation arm 626 (excepting the pivot
point at the throttle arm 602) form a substantially rectangular
configuration in the unactuated position shown in FIG. 6D.
When actuated, the pivot points form a trapezoid. In addition,
the axis of the servo-link 612 is substantially perpendicular to
the axis of rotation of the bell crank 610 about the bolt 608.
Thus, adjusting the position of the engine 500 by the engine
mount 510 does not require adjustment of the throttle control
link assembly 600.
FIGS. 9A through E illustrate a bumper assembly 650 that
cooperates with a skid plate 652 to protect the front end of the
vehicle shown from impacts. It will be apparent that the
bumper assembly 650 may also be mounted on the rear end of
the vehicle, to protect the back of the vehicle from impacts as
well. The bumper assembly 650 comprises a bumper support
654 and a bumper 656 that are secured to a bumper chassis
mount 658 attached to the vehicle chassis 300. Below the
bumper assembly 650 and mounted to the bulkhead assembly
658 is the skid plate 652.
Referring additionally to FIG. 9E, the bumper support 654
is formed in a generally oval-shape loop and is mounted to the
bulkhead assembly 658 in a horizontal orientation relative to
the chassis 300. The inboard length 670 of the bumper support
654 includes two integrally formed mounting collars 672
extending vertically across the width of the bumper support
654. The mounting collars 672 are longer than the width of the
bumper support 654, to provide greater resistance to and
strength during vertical flexing and twisting of the bumper
support 654. The mounting collars 672 extend vertically, to
avoid interference with flexing of the inboard length 670 of
the bumper support 654. A pair offastening bolts 673 extending through the mounting collars 672 and portions of the
bulkhead assembly 658 secure the bumper support 654 to the
front of the vehicle. The bumper support 654 also includes
C-shaped, curved lateral ends 674, each of which act as a
curved leaf spring. The mounting collars 672 are positioned
to allow inboard deflection of the lateral ends 674. The outboard length 676 of the bumper support 654 extends between
the lateral ends 674 and bends in a slightly convex curve
relative to the bumper 656. The inboard and outboard lengths
670, 676 of the bumper support 654 also act as leaf springs to
absorb an impact. The outboard length 676 of the bumper
support 654 includes two integrally formed mounting collars
678 extending horizontally and outwardly from the front of
the bumper support 654. The mounting collars 678 preferably
extend outwardly from the outboard length 676 of the bumper
support 654 a sufficient distance to maintain clearance
between the surfaces of the bumper 656 and the bumper
support 654 in extreme impact conditions, when maximum
deflection of the components occurs. The bumper support 654
is preferably manufactured from a strong, elastic plastic, such
as super tough Nylon (Zytel ST 801), available from
DuPont.

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The bumper 656 is secured to the mounting collars 678 by


a pair of fastening bolts 680. The bumper 656 includes a
frame member 682, surrounding a middle section of the
length of the bumper 656. The frame member 682 adds rigidity and strength to the middle section of the bumper 656, as
well as supporting a pair of substantially parallel, horizontally
extending bumper stays 684. The outboard lengths of the
bumper stays 684 each act as leaf springs to absorb an impact.
The bumper 656 is formed in a generally convex curve facing
the front of the vehicle, to aid in deflecting the vehicle away
from objects upon impact and to aid in deflecting movable
objects from the path of the vehicle. The rear bumper can be
flat, which is more stable for wheelies. The bumper 656 is
preferably manufactured from a strong, elastic plastic, such
as super tough Nylon (Zytel ST 801), available from
DuPont.
The skid plate 652 is generally rectangular in shape, is
substantially uniform in thickness and is secured to and
extends forwardly from the bulkhead assembly 658. The skid
plate 652 is positioned below and rearward of the bumper
656, and extends upwardly from the bulkhead assembly 658
toward the lower edge of the bumper 656. This orientation
causes the front surface of the skid plate 652 to face forwardly
and downwardly, to deflect obstacles away from the vehicle
and to lift the vehicle's front end upwardly over obstacles in
the path of travel. The skid plate 652 acts as a leaf spring to
absorb and protect the front end and bulkhead assembly 658
from impacts. Sufficient clearance is provided between the
upper edge of skid plate 652 and the bumper 656, to avoid
interference as the skid plate 652 flexes. The skid plate 652 is
preferably manufactured from a strong, elastic plastic, such
as super tough Nylon (Zytel ST 801), available from
DuPont.
In use, the bumper assembly 650 is capable of extreme
deflection upon impact. The outboard length 676 of the
bumper support 654 will deflect into contact with the inboard
length 670, if necessary, on impact. The lateral ends 674 will
deform into a smaller radius, upon impact, while both the
inboard and outboard lengths 670, 676 will deform or bow
inwardly toward the center of the bumper support 654.
Deflection of the outboard length 676 of the bumper support
654 allows total deflection of the bumper support 654 in
inboard direction greater than the deflection of the lateral
ends 674. The bumper support 654 will elastically return to
substantially the same position and shape following impact.
The stays 684 of the bumper 656 will also elastically deflect
rearwardly, into a more bowed shape, upon impact. Following
impact, bumper stays 684 will substantially return to the
original shape.
Turning now to FIGS. 10-15, and initially to FIG. 10
thereof, a perspective view of a vehicle chassis 300 with the
body shell 850 removed is depicted, from the right side of the
vehicle chassis 300. Vehicle chassis 300 has a fuel tank 852
secured thereon. Fuel tank 852 has a fill opening 854 and a
hinged filler cap 856. In one embodiment, the fill opening 854
has a rim 855 tipped toward a lateral side of the body shell
850, at an angle with respect to the horizontal plane. In one
embodiment, this angle is between about 10 degrees and 80
degrees and more preferably between about 40 degrees and
50 degrees. By making the opening 854 at an angle, the
opening is more easily accessible for the outside of the body
shell 850 for filling. Furthermore, placing the opening 854 at
an angle allows the fill opening 854 to be placed at the side of
the body shell850. The angle permits a fuel filler bottle nozzle
to be inserted into the opening 854 without turning the bottle
upside down over the vehicle, which reduces spillage. Furthermore, the angle makes the fuel cap easier to open by

means of a direct upward pull on a finger ring pull, in a


manner to be described below.
The angle also allows greater freedom of body shell styles
since a vertical opening would require a fuel neck extension
to accommodate taller body shell styles, such as SUV styles,
or some other cumbersome method of refueling. However,
with the angled opening, many body shell styles of different
heights can be used on the same chassis, without changing the
fill opening 854 or adding a fuel neck extension.
During fueling, air often becomes entrained in the fuel as it
is squeezed into the tank, causing bubbles. These bubbles can
cause foam and "burping" during filling, resulting in spills. To
minimize this problem, the fuel tank 852 can include channels
853 along the inside upper surface of the top wall of the fuel
tank 852, sloped upwardly leading to the inside of the opening
854. These channels allow a path for entrained air in the tank
to escape, toward the inside edges of opening 854, where the
escaping air is less likely to cause foaming or "burping"
during filling.
The fuel tank 852 can have a resiliently closeable cap, such
as a hinged fuel cap 856. Fuel cap 856 can be pivotably
attached to molded eyes 857 of the top of fuel tank 852 and
attached with hinge pins 864. A spring 866 can be installed
between the fuel cap 856 and the tank 852 to resiliently urge
fuel cap 856 into a closed position when it is not being
intentionally physically opened for filling. The cap can also
be closed by a clip that snaps over the opposing endofthe cap
from the hinge and maintains the cap closed position.
Fuel cap 856 also includes a nozzle 858 to which is
attached one end of a pressurization tube 860. The other end
of pressurization tube 860 leads to a nozzle 861 on exhaust
muffler 882. During operation of the engine 500, a slight
amount of back pressure will be present in exhaust muffler
882. Pressurization tube 860 causes this back pressure to
pressurize fuel tank 852, thus assisting fuel flow without the
need to rely on gravity alone and without the need for fuel
pumps.
A finger pull tab 868 having an elongated shaft member
870 is attached to the fuel cap 856. This pull tab 868 permits
an operator to open the fuel cap 856 while keeping the users
hands at a safe distance from hot or rotating objects that could
injure them. This is advantageous because, after operation,
the fuel cap can be soaked with fuel and sufficiently hot to risk
injury from touching the fuel cap or, at the least, an unpleasant
burning sensation.
In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the fuel cap 856 can be opened and closed, and the tank
refilled, without the need to remove the body shell850. However, if desired, the body shell 850 can be removed and
replaced for access to the fuel tank 852, or other components
on chassis 300, without the need to either open the cap 856 or
to remove the finger pull tab 868. However, as can be seen if
FIG. 12, the body shell 850 and the fill opening 876 in the
body shell850 are spaced apart from opening 854 sufficiently
so that the cap 856 can be pulled open inside the shell 850
sufficiently to allow insertion of a fuel filling line or nozzle,
without removing the body shell850. As depicted in FIG. 12,
opening the cap 856 to an approximately horizontal position
is sufficient to provide substantially unimpeded access to the
opening 854, but any degree of opening sufficient to allow
insertion of a fuel filling line or nozzle will suffice.
As can be seen in FIG. 12, the cap 856 can be opened by
means of pulling up on finger pull tab 868, which extends
through an opening 874 in the body shell850. Because FIG.
12 is a sectional view, only one half of opening 874 is
depicted, but it is to be understood that the remainder of the
slot (not shown) is substantially a mirror image of the one half

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of a opening 874 shown. Opening 874 is sized to permit the


tab portion 872 of pull tab 868 to pass without undue interference, to permit removal and replacement of the body shell
850 without removal of pull tab 868. However, since pull tab
868 can be made from a resilient material, such as plastic or
rubber, some deformation of tab portion 872 as it passes
through opening 874 is permissible. Furthermore, having a
separate opening for the finger pull tab 868 provides greater
access to the fuel tank opening 854, since the finger pull tab
868 is safely inside the slot 876, away from opening 854, and
thus does not interfere with the fuel tank opening 854. The
body shell 850 has a fill opening 876 approximately aligned
with the opening 854 in the tank 852.
Turning to FIGS. 16-18 and 19A-B, a vehicle chassis 300
having a secured double looped fuel line 800 in accordance
with an embodiment of the present invention is depicted. Fuel
line 800 has an intake end 802 attached to a nozzle 804 which
extends into fuel tank 852, from which fuel can be withdrawn.
Fuel line 800 has an exit end 806 that is attached to a carburetor 898 on engine 500. Fuel line 800 can be made from any
suitable material, including a plastic or rubber material generally resistant to the type of fuel employed.
As can be seen in FIGS. 19A and B, the middle offuelline
800 does not run straight between the fuel tank 852 and the
carburetor 898, but rather is coiled into a loop portion 808. In
the event the vehicle turns over during operation, fuel generally can no longer be drawn into the entrance of the fuel line
800. Accordingly, the engine will soon stop running. Normally, the vehicle will be operated by radio control and the
operator may be several hundred feet away from the vehicle at
the time the vehicle turns over. Often, this is too far to reach
the vehicle to turn it upright before the engine stops. In the
present invention, the loop portion 808 of the fuel line will
retain additional fuel, giving the operator additional time to
reach and right the vehicle before the engine stops running
from lack of fuel. It should be understood that, although a
double loop is depicted, a single loop or more loops could also
be employed.
Although the loop portion 808 will retain additional fuel,
the coiling of the fuel line undesirably causes the fuel line to
attempt to uncoil. Because the fuel line is nearby many hot
surfaces, including the engine 500 and exhaust pipe, the fuel
line could easily come in contact with these hot surfaces
during rough drives. Accordingly, in accordance with the
present invention, the double loop is secured to the chassis by
upper double clip 810 and lower double clip 812, which are
affixed to a support member such as roll bar 899 which is
attached to chassis 300.
With the loop portion 808 secured, the advantages of using
the loop portion 808 to provide additional fuel capacity in the
fuel line is achieved, without the risk of fuel fires caused by
unintended contact between the fuel line and a hot surface.
As can be seen in FIG. 17, the upper double clip 810 can
have a first fastener having a pair of opposed arcuate surfaces
to grip a first loop of the loop portion 808 and a second
fastener having a pair of opposed arcuate surfaces to grip a
second loop of the loop portion 808. The lower double clip
812 can have a third fastener having a pair of opposed arcuate
surfaces to grip a lower portion of the first loop of the loop
portion 808 and a fourth fastener having a pair of opposed
arcuate surfaces to grip a lower portion of the second loop of
the loop portion 808. At least a portion of one of the opposing
surfaces of the third fastener is spaced farther from the other
opposing surface to receive and retain the curved surface of a
portion of the tube retained by the third fastener. Also, at least
a portion of one of the opposing surfaces of the fourth fastener
can be spaced farther from the other opposing surface to

receive and retain the curved surface of a portion of the tube


retained by the fourth fastener.
The first and third fasteners can be formed as one integral
piece and the second and fourth fasteners can also be formed
as one integral piece. Thus, the third fastener can form an
entrance for placement of a portion of a tube in the first
fastener and the fourth fastener can form at least a portion of
an entrance for placement of a portion of a tube in the second
fastener. Conveniently, either or both double clips 810 and
812 can be molded integrally with roll bar 899, which is
conveniently made of a plastic material. Because both the fuel
line 800 and the double clips 810 and 812 are somewhat
resilient, the fuel lines can be resiliently inserted into the clips
and resiliently retained there during rough driving, while still
being removable intentionally by the operator without difficulty
FIGS. 20A-C through 24 illustrate a slipper clutch assembly 900 for transferring torque from the spur gear 518 shown
in FIG. 1 to a transmission input shaft 902, during operation
of the vehicle. The slipper clutch assembly 900 protects the
spur gear 518 and the engine 500 shown in FIG. 1 from acute
shocks to the drive train, such as when the wheels of the
vehicle are abruptly slowed from a high speed spin to a much
lower rotation when the vehicle lands following a jump. The
slipper clutch can also serve as a torque limiting traction
control aid. The slipper clutch assembly 900 interposes a
friction coupling between the spur gear 518 and the transmission input shaft 902, which momentarily slips, allowing the
spur gear 518 to rotate at a speed faster than the input shaft
902 until the speed is slowed by the friction coupling of the
slipper clutch assembly 900. When acute shocks to the drive
train are not experienced, the slipper clutch assembly 900
preferably transmits rotational torque with little or no slippage.
The slipper clutch assembly 900 is configured to allow
removal of the spur gear 518 without changing the compression setting of the slipper clutch assembly 900. The spur gear
518 is secured directly to the drive plate 904 by bolts 906
extending through substantially equidistant locations on the
body of the spur gear 518. The bolts 906 are threaded into
similarly located receptacles 908 formed on the surface of the
drive plate 904. The spur gear 518 can be removed from the
slipper clutch assembly 900, for service or replacement, by
removing the bolts 906 from the receptacles 908.
The slipper clutch assembly 900 transfers torque between
the spur gear 518 and the input shaft 902, depending upon the
compressive force applied to the drive plate 904 and the
driven plate 910. The compressive force is adjusted by an
adjustment nut 912 threaded on the end of the input shaft 902
extending from the vehicle transmission (not shown). The
adjustment nut 912 abuts and compresses a pair of springs
916 mounted on the input shaft 902 to maintain the desired
compressive force. Although springs 916 are spring washers,
it will be apparent that other suitable springs, such as helical
springs and the like, could be employed. The springs 916, in
turn, press a radial ball bearing assembly 918 against the drive
plate 904. The drive plate 904, in turn, presses clutch pads 920
against a clutch disc 922 held by the driven plate 910 of the
slipper clutch assembly 900. Frictional resistance to movement between the contacting surfaces of the clutch pads 920
and the clutch disc 922 couples the spur gear 518 to the
transmission input shaft 902. The rotational and axial position
of the driven plate 910 is secured by a pin 926 that extends
through a diametrically extending hole 928 through the transmission input shaft 902. Opposing ends of the pin 926 extend
from the hole 928, against the driven plate 910 and prevent
movement of the plate axially along the shaft 902 away from

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the adjustment nut 912. The greater the compressive force


applied to the clutch pads 920 and the clutch disc 922, the
more torque will be required to cause slippage of the slipper
clutch assembly 900.
The ball bearing assembly 918 supports the spur gear 518
for rotation about the transmission input shaft 902, in addition
to transmitting compressive forces from the spring( s) 916. An
aperture 924 in the center of the spur gear 518 preferably fits
snugly over the ball bearing assembly 918. The ball bearing
assembly 918 also fits snugly over the transmission input
shaft 902. This configuration reduces the total clearance
encountered between the input shaft 902 and the teeth of the
spur gear 518, reducing the risk of run out by the spur gear
518.
The clutch pads 920 are each supported by a flange 929
extending outwardly from a central, circular body portion of
the drive plate 904. The clutch pads 920 each include a pair of
indexing holes 930 in their surfaces opposite the clutch plate
922. Indexing posts 932 extending from the flanges 929 insert
into the indexing holes 930, secure the clutch pads 920 from
sliding out of position during operation.
The clutch disc 922 is secured against movement by the
driven plate 910 of the slipper clutch assembly 900. The
clutch disc 922 has a circular outer perimeter substantially
matching the circular perimeter of the driven plate 910. However, a central portion is cut from the clutch disc 922 in an
irregular pattern, substantially matching a similar pattern 934
extending from the surface of the driven plate 910 toward the
drive plate 904. The perimeter of the irregular pattern cut in
the clutch disc 922 fits around the similar pattern extending
from the driven plate 910, to secure the clutch disc 922 for
rotation with the driven plate 910.
The driven plate 910 is secured for rotation with the transmission input shaft 902 by the pin 926, the ends of which
engage an opposing pair of slots 936 formed in a collar 938
extending around the input shaft 902 and away from the drive
plate 904. The pin 926 and the slots 936 cooperate to index
rotationofthe driven plate 910 to the input shaft 902. Rotation
of the driven plate 910 rotates both the pin 926 and the input
shaft 902.
Extending from the surface of the driven plate 910 are a
number of integrally formed vanes 940. The vanes 940 trace
spiral paths outwardly over the area of the driven plate 910
supporting the clutch disc 922. As the driven plate 910 rotates,
the spiral vanes 940 act as cooling fins to dissipate heat caused
by friction between the clutch disc 922 and the clutch pads
920 during operation of the vehicle.
The slipper clutch assembly 900 provides reduced size,
low inertia and enhanced heat dissipation. These features are
provided by use of a semi-metallic, high-friction material to
form the clutch pads 920. Use of such a high-friction material
allows placement of the clutch pads 920 closer to the axis of
rotation of slipper clutch assembly 900, reducing the diameter
of the slipper clutch assembly 900. The reduced diameter
contributes to both reduced size and low inertia. Both the
drive and driven plates 904, 910 are preferably manufactured
from cast aluminum, which is light-weight and a good heat
conductor, further contributing to low inertia and enhanced
heat dissipation.
In prior model vehicle braking pad assemblies, a thin piece
of friction material is supported by a pad support constructed
of a thin piece of sheet metal. A small piston, actuated by a
cam, applies force to the sheet metal plate. The plate applies
force to the friction material and disk. A problem with such
prior braking pad assemblies is that the use of thin and flexible
material for the pad support and friction material results in

poor distribution of pressure, overheating and uneven wear.


As a result, the area directly under the piston wears quickly
and overheats.
In order to overcome these disadvantages of prior model
vehicle braking pad assemblies, in an embodiment of the
present invention, the friction material can be supported by a
very rigid cast pad holder (also called a caliper). The pad
holder geometry is more three dimensional than typical pads
that are stamped from sheet metal. This structure also provides the caliper with a high thermal capacity and better
thermal conductivity for cooling. Furthermore, in an embodiment of the present invention, the caliper can employ an
integrated post with ribs providing additional stiffness to help
evenly distribute the forces from the actuating cam. In another
embodiment, an integrated cam receiving surface on the caliper also helps to evenly distribute the forces from the cam.
FIGS. 25A-D, 26A-B and 27-28 depict a model vehicle
braking pad caliber assembly 1000 in accordance with in an
embodiment of the present invention. The braking pad caliper
assembly 1000 has outboard pad made of a friction material
1002 supported by a very rigid cast pad holder or caliper 1004
on the outboard side of braking disk 1006. On the inboard
side, an embodiment of the invention can include a pad of
friction material 1008 supported by an opposing very rigid
cast pad holder or caliper 1010 on the inboard side of braking
disk 1006. The braking disk 1006 can be made from strong
material, such as steel, aluminum or titanium. The braking
disk further can have slots 1001 and holes 1003 for, respectively, reduction of weight and assisting cooling of the disk.
The calipers 1008 and 1010 can be made from a strong material, such as steel, aluminum or titanium. In an embodiment,
the calipers 1008 and 1010 can be made from cast aluminum,
which has a higher thermal conductivity than steel as well as
a high strength to weight ratio.
Disk 1006 is slidably mounted over drive shaft 1012 but not
affixed to it. That is, the disk 1006 is free to slide axially on the
shaft 1012 to a limited degree. Drive shaft 1012 has opposite
flat surfaces 1013 and 1015 on its end 1011 for receiving a
coupling (not shown). The coupling has two pin keys (not
shown) that extend into opposite ends 1018 and 1020 of slot
1022, that extends from hole 1017 in disk 1006. These pin
keys force the disk 1006 to rotate with the coupling, and hence
with the drive shaft 1012 but permit a limited degree of axial
sliding of the disk 1006 with respect to drive shaft 1012.
As can be seen in FIG. 27 and FIG. 28, in one embodiment,
the brake pad support calipers 1004 and 1010 each support a
brake pad of friction material1002 and 1008 on first iuner
faces 1005 and 1009, respectively, to which the frictionmaterial1002 and 1008 is disposed. In one embodiment, the calipers 1004 and 1010 can each be a single piece of cast aluminum.
In one embodiment, the inboard caliper 1010 has a cam
receiving post or follower 1016 extending from its outside
face 1045. The post 1016 has a cam receiving surface for
receiving compressive force from an actuating cam 1025.
The actuating cam 1025 can take a variety offorms. In one
embodiment, the cam 1025 is the flat surface 1027 of a halfshaft portion of a cam shaft 1023. The cam shaft 1023 is
retained in base 1032 for pivoting about the axis of cam shaft
1023. In one embodiment, base 1032 is the transmission
housing, which is secured to chassis 300. The cam shaft is
pivoted by means of a force applied to yoke 1021, which is
secured to one ofthe ends of cam shaft 1023.
As the cam shaft is pivoted, one side of the flat surface 1027
will compressively press against the cam receiving surface of
post1016. This will, in turn, displace the inboardcaliper1010
and the friction material1008 on it toward the disk 1006.

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The brake calipers 1004 and 1010 can further include a


plurality offastening points 1024, 1026 and 1028 and 1030 at
which the respective caliper is secured directly or indirectly to
the chassis 300 of a model vehicle. As can be seen in FIGS.
25A-D, for example, the fastening points 1024 and 1026 for
the outboard caliper 1004 are where the caliper is attached to
the base 1032 by means of screws through screw holes 1051
and 1053. In the case of the inboard caliper 1010, the caliper
has securing holes 1028 and 1020 at each of its ends, which
can slide over the shafts 1038 and 1040 of securing screws
1034 and 1036. However, the caliper 1020 is not fixedly
secured to the shaft portion of the screws, but instead is
axially free to slide along the shafts of the screws so that the
friction material disposed on the caliper can be pressed
against the disk 1006 during brake actuation.
As indicated above, the disk 1006 is free to slide axially to
some degree along the axis of drive shaft 1012. Thus, as the
inboard caliper 1010 and its friction material1008 are forced
toward the disk 1006, the disk will be free to slide towards the
friction material! 002 on the outboard caliper 1004, which is
fixed in place by means of the heads of the screws 1034 and
1026 securing it to base 1032. Thus, when the brake is actuated by the cam, the axially slidable disk 1006 will be "sandwiched" in between the movable inboard caliper 1010 and the
fixed outboard caliper 1004, effectively applying braking
force to stop rotation of the disk. This will stop rotation of the
drive shaft 1012 which will also cause stopping of the rotation
of all the wheels (not shown) connected to the drive shaft.
As can be seen in FIGS. 25A through D, 26A and B, 27 and
FIG. 28, one or more ribs 1042 and 1007 extend outwardly
across substantially the entire length of the outer surface of
the caliper 1004. The term "inner", when referring to either
caliper 1004, 1010, means the surface in contact with the
friction material. "Outer" means the other surface of the caliper plate 1004, 1010. Ribs 1007 extend substantially parallel
to the circumference of an axle of shaft 1012 to be braked,
while ribs 1042 extend substantially tangentially to the circumference of the axle or shaft 1012. The ribs 1042 act to
stiffen the caliper 1004 to distribute compressive forces
applied to the outside face at one or more locations on the
caliper, as well as to provide cooling. As can be seen best in
FIG. 25C, one or more of the ribs 1042 can be tapered in
height as the rib approaches one of the plurality of plate
fastening points 1034, 1036. Thus, the ribs 1042 are the
highest at the middle of the span, where the bending moment
would be the highest. Furthermore, the one or more ribs 1042
extend across at least a portion of the outer faces of the
calipers in substantial alignment with an imaginary line
drawn through the center point of each of the plurality of
fastening points 1034 and 1036. The plurality of ribs 1007
extend across at least a portion of the outer surface of the
calipers 1004 and 1010, which can facilitate cooling of the
calipers, as well as providing stiffening reinforcement. The
ribs 1007 can each extend from the nearest rib 1042 on the
outer surface of caliper 1004 to curve circumferentially about
the axis of drive shaft 1012 toward an edge of caliper 1004,
thus providing additional stiffness in the direction of applied
frictional force, in addition to providing cooling.
In order to retain the friction material 1002 and 1008 in
position on the respective calipers, the calipers can include
one or more brake pad bosses 1048 extending from the inner
face of the caliper for engaging at least a portion of the
perimeter of a pad offriction material1002 or 1008 supported
on the inner face of the caliper, to resist lateral movement of
a brake pad 1002 or 1008 across the inner surface of the
respective caliper. The bosses 1048 have space between them
so that an operator can visually determine the degree of wear

of friction material without the need for disassembly. The


brake pad bosses 1048 can be sufficient alone to retain the
friction material in position on the caliper without the need for
reliance on other means for fastening the friction material to
the caliper. However, if desired, the friction material can also
be secured to the caliper by adhesive, screws, rivets or other
convenient means
Co-pending U.S. Patent Application of Brent W. Byers
entitled "A Model Vehicle Suspension Control Link", filed
concurrently herewith, is hereby incorporated by reference
for all purposes. Components depicted in this application
having substantially similar construction and function to
those shown in the co-pending application hereby incorporated by reference are identified with the same reference
numeral, followed by a prime(') designation (e.g., 100'). For
example, various components employed in the construction
and operation of the rear suspension arm assembly 100 in the
co-pending application are substantially similar in construction and operation to the components employed in the front
suspension arm assembly 100' shown in FIGS. 29A through
D.
Referring now to FIGS. 29A through D, shown is a front
bulkhead assembly 658, from which laterally extends a suspension arm assembly 100' and a telescoping drive shaft
1100. The telescoping drive shaft 1100 extends and retracts
with upward and downward movement of the suspension arm
assembly 100'. The drive shaft 1100 is secured by a Cardan
joint 1102 (sometimes referred to as a "universal joint") to a
transmission differential assembly shown in FIGS. 29A-D
mounted in a fixed position on the front bulkhead assembly
658. The outboard end of the drive shaft 1100 is secured by a
Cardanjoint 1102 to an axle assembly 1104 (shown in one or
more ofFIGS. 33D, 34 and 35) mounted for rotation within an
axle carrier 140'. The axle carrier 140' is supported on the
outboard end of the suspension arm assembly 1 00'. Extension
and retraction of the telescoping drive shaft 1100 accommodates a different pivotal path followed by the axle carrier 140'
as the suspension arm assembly 100' moves between uppermost and lowermost positions.
Referring now to FIGS. 30A through D, 31A and B, and
32A and B, the telescoping drive shaft 1100 is shown in
greater detail. The drive shaft 1100 comprises an inboard
yoke 1106 for securing a tubular external segment 1108 to the
front transmission differential of the vehicle. An outboard
yoke 1110 forms the outboard end of the drive shaft 1100 for
securing a tubular internal segment 1112 to the Cardanjoint
1102 coupling of the drive shaft 1100 to the axle assembly
1104. The inboard and outboard yokes 1106, 1110 are integrally formed with the remainder of the external and internal
segments 1108, 1112, respectively, in a single-piece construction.
As is best shown in FIGS. 32A and 32B, curved splines
1114, 1116 extend from the internal and external surfaces,
respectively, of the external segment 1108 and the internal
segment 1112 of the drive shaft 1100. The splines 1114, 1116
extend at least along the lengths of the external and internal
segments 1108, 1112 that will overlap when the suspension
arm assembly 100' travels between the uppermost and lowermost positions. The splines 1114, 1116 are aligned with the
longitudinal axis of the shaft segments 1108, 1112, respectively, in a parallel formation. In the embodiment shown, the
splines 1114 extend along substantially the entire length of
the inner wall of the external segment 1108. The curved
surfaces of the splines 1114, 1116 are complementary, each
mating with a corresponding groove formed between adjacent splines of the external and internal segments 1108, 1112,
respectively. The splines 1114, 1116 vary in radius of curva-

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ture at approximately 180 intervals about the rotational axis


of the drive shaft 1100. In the embodiment shown, for
example, indexing splines 1118 of the external segment 1108
and indexing splines 1120 of the internal segment 1112 have
a smaller radius of curvature relative to other of the splines
1114, 1116. The radius of curvature of the corresponding
grooves with which the indexing splines 1118, 1120 mate,
have a similarly smaller radius of curvature. This indexes the
external and internal segments 1108, 1112 when mated, to
assure aligmnent of the yokes 1106, 1110 in substantially the
same rotational position.
The curved splines 1114, 1116 transfer torque between the
yokes 1106,1110, while allowing the segments 1108,1112 of
the drive shaft 1100 to slide with respect to each other, in
telescopic fashion. The curved surfaces of the splines 1114,
1116 allow more splines to be formed than if rectangular
splines were used. The curved surfaces and number of the
splines 1114, 1116 and corresponding grooves reduce or
eliminate stress concentrations experienced by telescopic
drive shafts employing rectangular splines. Stress reduction
and accommodation of a greater number of splines 1114,
1116 is provided by a relatively larger than typical diameter
employed by the drive shaft 1100. These attributes also allow
the walls of the internal and external segments 1108, 1112 to
be thinner and lighter in weight.
The segments 1108, 1112 of the drive shaft 1100 are preferably manufactured from a low-friction, high impact
strength plastic, or other similar material. In the embodiment
shown, the segments 1108, 1112 are made from a suitable
Nylon material. The low-friction attributes of these materials
substantially eliminates the need to lubricate the surfaces of
the segments 1108, 1112.
The drive shaft 1100 is sealed to prevent dust, dirt, debris
and the like from entering and causing abrasion of and friction
between the surfaces of the segments 1108, 1112, which
would reduce performance and longevity. The ends of the
drive shaft 1100 next to the yokes 1106, 1110 each include
respective apertures 1122, 1124 that are sealed by elastomeric
plugs 1126, 1128 secured by a compression fit. The seam
between the surfaces of the external and internal segments
1108, 1112 is sealed by a bellows seal1130.
The bellows seal1130 includes a substantially cylindrical
central portion 1132, having laterally extending folds, allowing both expansion and retraction of the bellows seal 1130
with expansion and contraction of the drive shaft 1100.
Extending from the inboard and outboard ends, respectively,
of the bellows seal1130 are substantially cylindrical, smooth
sealing collars 1134, 1136. The sealing collars 1134, 1136,
respectively, fit snugly over substantially cylindrical, smooth
landing surfaces 1138, 1140 formed on the external surfaces
of the segments 1108, 1112. A seal is formed between the
sealing collars 1134, 1136 and the landing surfaces 1138,
1140, by a compression seal. In addition, the sealing collars
1134, 1136 are secured to the landing surfaces 1138, 1140, by
a suitable glue or adhesive. The bellows seal1130 is preferably made from a suitable rubber compound, such as nitrile
rubber, and the like.
FIGS. 33A through D, 34 and 35 illustrate coupling of the
drive shaft 1100 via the Cardan joint 1102 to a drive axle
assembly 1104 for driving a wheel120' on the front end of the
vehicle. The Cardanjoint 1102 comprises the outboard yoke
1110 of the drive shaft 1100 coupled to a drive axle yoke
1142. The drive axle assembly 1104 is supported by the axle
carrier assembly 140' for rotation. A drive pin 1144 couples
the drive axle yoke 1142 to the drive axle assembly 1104 to
transfer torque from the drive shaft 1100 to the wheel120'.
The drive axle yoke 1142 is supported for rotation within the

axle carrier 140' by an internally mounted radial ball bearing


assembly 1146. Supporting the drive axle assembly 1104 for
rotation is a ball bearing assembly 1148 mounted in the axle
carrier 140' adjacent the wheel120'.
In addition to transferring torque from the yoke 1142 to the
axle assembly 1104, the drive pin 1144 secures the yoke 1142
to the axle assembly 1104. The drive pin 1144 comprises a
substantially smooth, cylindrical pin extending through an
aperture extending diametrically through the outboard shank
of the drive axle yoke 1142 and an aligned aperture extending
diametrically through a portion of the axle assembly 1104
inserted into the shank. The interior surfaces of the apertures
of the shank of the drive axle yoke 1142 and the axle assembly
1104 are preferably smooth and provide sufficient clearance
to allow the drive pin 1144 to be inserted and removed without
difficulty.
The ball bearing assembly 1146 serves the dual purpose of
supporting the drive axle yoke 1142 shank for rotation and
securing the drive pin 1144 within the shank. This configuration allows replacement of the drive axle yoke 1142, for
example, if damaged, without the need to replace the drive
axle assembly 1104 as well. Various manufacturing steps and
associated costs are also reduced or eliminated
FIG. 36 illustrates substantially identical ball joint assemblies 1150 pivotally supporting the axle carrier 140' on the
outboard ends of the upper and lower suspension arms 102',
104'. In FIGS. 36 and 37, the yoke 1142, axle assembly 1104
and related components have been removed. The ball joint
assemblies 1150 allow universal movement of the axle carrier
140' relative to the suspension arms 102', 104' to allow steering, wheel aligmnent and suspension travel.
The ball joint assemblies 1150 each include a substantially
spherical ball 1152 having a threaded shank 1154 securing
each of the balls 1152 to one of the suspension arms 102',
104'. Formed into each of the balls 1152 is a socket 1156,
preferably hexagonal, substantially aligned with the central
axis of the threaded shank 1154. The socket is used to secure
the shanks 1154 to the suspension arms 102', 104' and to
adjust the distance between the balls 1152 and the suspension
arms 102',104'. Adjustment of the balls 1152, in tum, allows
adjustment of the camber of a wheel supported by the suspension arms 102', 104', in particular. Removal of the balls
1152 from their respective suspension arms 102', 104' facilitates maintenance and replacement of parts.
An inboard portion of each of the balls 1152 slides into a
correspondingly shaped inboard end of a ball housing 1158.
Each ball housing 1158 is generally cylindrical and extends
from the outboard surface of the axle carrier 140', beginning
with a diameter large enough to accommodate insertion of the
ball 1152 and forming a substantially a spherical surface
ending in an inboard aperture through which the ball shank
1154 extends. Formed in the surfaces of each housing 1158
are threads 1160 for receiving and securing a pivot ball cap
1162 for retaining each ball1152 within the respective housing 1158.
Each pivot ball cap 1162 is generally tubular, having external threads 1164 mating with housing threads 1160 and an
inboard bearing surface 1166 for securing a ball1152 within
the respective housing 1158. The bearing surface 1166 is
formed about the open, inboard end of each cap 1162 and is
substantially flush with the spherical surface of the associated
ball1152. The pivot ball caps 1162 are tightened to just take
up excess clearance with the balls 1152, the threads have a
mild interference fit with the housing threads 1160 to prevent
loosening of the caps 1162. Removal of the caps 1162 allows
the balls 1152 to be removed from the housings 1158 for
maintenance, repair and replacement. Extending from the

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perimeter of the outboard end of each of the caps 1162 are a


number of fingers 1167, forming a castle gear that is used to
thread and unthread each of the caps 1162. It will be apparent
that the number of fingers 1167 and their configuration may
be varied, as desired.
Seated in each cap 1162 is a self-healing cap seal1168 to
prevent dust, debris, dirt and other contaminants from entering the housings 1158. Each cap seal1168 includes a head
portion 1170 having a radial lip extending to the fingers 1167
of the cap 1162. The head portions 1170 rest on and form a
seal against the throat portions 1172 of the caps 1162 extending inwardly and inboard of the fingers 1167, forming a
landing for the head portions 1170. Extending from the head
portion 1170 of each cap seal1168 is a neck 1174 extending
through and contacting the surfaces of the cap throat portion
1172, forming a further seal. Each cap seal1168 includes a
retaining lip 1176 extending radially from the neck 1174 to
assist in retaining the seal within the respective cap 1162. The
cap seals 1168 are preferably manufactured from a pliable
nitrile rubber that can be deformed, but will elastically return
to the original shape.
Formed in the head portion 1170 of each cap seal1168 is a
self-healing aperture 1178. The self-healing aperture 1178 is
preferably formed by a pair of slits cut through the head
portion 1170 intersecting at substantially 90. The slits normally abut to maintain a seal. However, a hexagonal wrench,
lubricating nozzle or other tool can be inserted through the
self-healing aperture 1178, parting the lips of the slits, to
adjust, remove, maintain or lubricate the associated ball1152.
When the tool is removed, the self-healing aperture 1178
elastically returns to the original, sealed position.
The inboard end of each housing 1158 is sealed by an
elastic boot 1180 that extends between the shank 1154 of each
ball1152 and a landing 1182 formed on the axle carrier 140'
about the inboard aperture of the ball joint housing 1158.
Each boot 1180 is generally conical in shape, extending from
a wider opening adjacent the axle carrier 140', to a smaller
opening that surrounds the associated shank 1154. Each boot
is preferably manufactured from a material similar to that of
the cap seals 1168. The walls of each boot preferably form a
number of folds, allowing the boot 1180 to flex easily with
movement of the axle carrier 140', and without tearing or
binding.
Referring now to FIGS. 37, 38 and 39 A through C, each
boot 1180 is secured to the landing 1182 by a ring 1184 which
fits over and compresses a cylindrical portion of the boot 1180
into sealing engagement with the landing 1182. A lip 1186
extends radially from the cylindrical portion of the boot 1180
and is compressed against a shoulder 1188 formed on the
surface of the axle carrier 140'. Each ring 1184 is held in this
position by a pair of clips 1190 extending substantially perpendicularly from and on diametrically opposed points on the
ring. The clips 1190 are pressed over a pair of clip receptacles
1192 positioned on opposite sides of the associated ball housing 1158. The rings 1184 and clips 1190 are preferably manufactured from a strong, impact-resistant plastic.
The inboard ends of the boots 1180 are each secured to the
associated shanks 1150 by an elastic collar 1194 integrally
formed at the narrower opening of each of the boots 1180. The
elastic collars 1194 are substantially thicker than the walls of
their respective boots 1180 and form a compression seal
against the underlying surface of the associated shank 1154.
Each collar 1194 is retained by an annular insert 1196 formed
about the circumference of the associated shank 1154 at a
location preferably outboard of the respective suspension

arms 1 02', 1 04'. The shoulders of the annular inserts 1196


retain the collars 1194 from sliding over the associated shanks
1154
Turning now to FIGS. 40A-D, 41A-B and 42, a dual arm
centrally mounted steering arm 1200 driven by a pair of
servos 1202 is depicted. The centrally mounted steering arm
1200 is pivotally mounted to a mounting bracket 1204 by
means of a mounting screw 1206, which passes through a
bushing 1208, a center hole 1207 in a retainer 1209, and a
center hole 1210 in steering arm 1200.
At each of the ends 1211 of steering arm 1200 are yokes
1212, to which can be attached a rod assembly 1214. Each rod
assembly 1214 includes two ball joint ends 1216 and a center
rod portion 1218. In one embodiment, the ball joint ends 1216
employ hollow ball bushings 1220. One of the ball joint ends
1216 is pivotally connected to one of the yokes 1212 by
means of screw 1222, which passes through the yoke 1212
and through the hole in the hollow ball bushing 1220. The
other of the ball joint ends 1216 is pivotally connected to an
actuator arm 1217 of one of the pair of servos 1202 by means
of screw 1219 through yoke 1225 at the end of actuator arm
1217. Actuator arm 1217 is, in tum, attached to the output
shaft 1224 of the servo by means of attachment screw 1226.
In operation, when the operator desires to tum the vehicle,
a signal is sent to both of the servos 1202 at substantially the
same time. Each of the servos 1202 will cause their output
shafts 1224 to pivot in opposite directions, at about the same
time. This will cause rod assembly 1214 to extend and retract,
applying force to the yokes 1212 of the steering arm, respectively, pivoting the centrally mounted steering arm 1200.
In order to minimize the potential for damage to the servos
or their connecting rods and arms, a spring and cam servo
saver 1240 assembly is used to connect to a driven steering
arm 1242. Driven steering arm 1242 is, in turn, connected to
a pair of hollow ball end steering control tie rods 1244, one of
which controls the steering position of one of the two front
wheels 120', and the other of which controls the steering
position of the other of the two front wheels. The ball end of
each of the tie rods 1244 is attached to an end 1246 of driven
steering arm 1242 by means of screws 1248. Driven steering
arm 1242 pivots about bushing 1208, which passes through a
hole 1250 in driven steering arm 1242.
The servo saver assembly includes retainer 1209, spring
1252, centrally mounted steering arm 1200 and driven steering arm 1242. Centrally mounted steering arm 1200 includes
a pair of axially ratable arcuate lugs 1254, which act as cam
surfaces, which fit into cooperatively designed hollows 1256
in the facing surface of driven steering arm 1242, which act as
mating cam surfaces. Retainer 1209 is then secured to driven
steering arm 1242 by means of screws 1258, with conical
spring 1252 resiliently urging centrally mounted steering arm
1200 against driven steering arm 1242 so that lugs 1254
center themselves into hollows 1256.
Under normal steering, the resilient force of spring 1252 is
sufficient to keep lugs 1254 in place in hollows 1256 so that
pivoting of centrally mounted steering arm 1200 by driving it
with servos 1202 will cause driven steering arm 1242 to
simultaneously pivot, ultimately resulting in steering of the
wheels through steering control links 1244. However, when
the vehicle wheel strikes an obstruction during rough driving
for example, excessive forces can be imposed on the steering
components that might cause damage to the components.
When this occurs, the driven steering arm 1242 will pivot
relative to centrally mounted steering arm 1200, causing lugs
1254 to rise out of the hollows 1256 against the resilient force
of spring 1252. This relative pivoting limits transmission of
force from driven steering arm 1242 to the rest of the steering

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components, thus minimizing the potential for damage. However, immediately upon removal of the excessive force, the
lugs 1254 will "pop" back into hollows 1256 under the resilient force of spring 1252, thus returning the steering assembly
to normal operation.
By use of a pair of servos 1202 mounted on the left and
right side of the chassis 300, a symmetrical torque is applied
to the steering arm 1200. This results in a huge benefit to
performance minded users due to crisp break away, strong
centering and less looseness and/or hysteresis in the system.
Furthermore, use of a centrally mounted steering arm permits
use of a single, central servo saver, instead of a separate servo
saver for each servo, eliminating additional parts and looseness and/or hysteresis in the system
Turning now to FIGS. 43A-D and 44-46, a mounting system for securely mounting a servo 1202 to the chassis 300 by
means of a clamp style bracket 1300 and a clamp style bracket
1301 is depicted. Servo 1202 includes a housing 1302, which
can conveniently be molded of plastic. Housing 1302
includes attachment ears 1304 extending from the ends
thereof, which can conveniently be molded integrally with the
ends of housing 1302.
Rather than attach the attachment ears 1304 directly to the
chassis 300 by means of screws, for example, as is conventional, in accordance with the present invention, a clamp style
forward bracket 1300 and a clamp style aft bracket 1301 are
employed to secure the attachment ears to the chassis 300.
Forward bracket 1300 has an upper flange 1306 and a lower
flange 1308. Upper flange 1306 has a pair of threaded holes
1309 which are adapted to receive the threaded end of a screw
1311. Upper flange 1306 and lower flange 1308 are connected
at one end by an arcuate live hinge 1310, which can conveniently be molded integrally with upper flange 1306 and
lower flange 1308 from plastic material. In addition, lower
flange 1308 can includes one or more downwardly extending
boss portions 1329A and 1329B, which extend below the
upper surface of chassis 300, into the openings 1307A and
1307B of the chassis, to fix the forward bracket 1300 against
forward/aft movement. Lower flange 1308 has a hole 1313
disposed through it for accepting the shaft 1315 of screw
1311. Hole 1313 need not be threaded.
Aft bracket 1301 has an upper flange 1316 and a lower
flange 1318. Upper flange 1316 has a pair of threaded holes
1319 which are adapted to receive the threaded end of a screw
1311. Upper flange 1316 threaded and lower flange 1318 are
connected at each of their sides by an arcuate live hinge 1320,
which can conveniently be molded integrally with upper
flange 1316 and lower flange 1318 from plastic material.
Lower flange 1318 can have one or more downwardly extending lateral bosses 1330 and 1331, which extend below the
upper surface of chassis 300, into respective openings 1333
and 1335 of the chassis, to fix the aft bracket 1300 against
forward/aft movement. Lower flange 1318 has a hole 1323
disposed through it for accepting the shaft 1325 of screw
1311. Hole 1323 need not be threaded.
To secure the body 1302 of servo 1202, forward bracket
1300 is put onto the end of one of the attachment ears 1304,
and bracket 1301 is put onto the end of the other of the
attachment ears 1304. Then, screws 1311 are secured,
securely clamping one of the ears 1304 between upper flange
1306 and lower flange 1308, and the other of the ears between
upper flange 1316 and lower flange 1318.
Brackets 1300 and 1301 can be manufactured from Zytel
70 G 33 (33% Glass) available from DuPont, which retains
shape and grips screw threads better than plastics without a
glass reinforcing fill.

By use of the clamping type brackets of an embodiment of


the present invention, a wide range of aftermarket dimensions
of servos can be accommodated without requiring additional
parts and without compromise in the mounting integrity. Furthermore, the clamp style interface distributes loads over the
entire mounting ear thereby reducing breakage/distortion of
the mounting ears, overall improvement in durability. In addition, the clamp style mounting type brackets also improve
control performance by increasing the stiffness of the servovehicle interface. Of course, the forward and aft brackets
could be reversed, if desired
FIGS. 47A and B illustrate a vehicle 1400 incorporating
the various features described herein, including in Appendices A, B, C and D hereto, which are incorporated herein by
reference.
Referring now also to FIGS. 1 and 47A through 52, illustrated is a chassis 300, which is also described elsewhere in
connection with other features and components comprising
portions of the vehicle 1400. The chassis 300 is configured to
provide a lower center of gravity than can typically be provided by conventional chasses resembling a relatively flat
surface or plate. This is accomplished by providing chassis
300 with flanges 302 extending laterally from a central channel area 3 04. The lateral flanges 3 02 extend from downwardly
sloping lateral walls 306 of the central charmel area 304 at a
substantially lower level relative to an underlying surface.
The lateral flanges 302 provide support for relatively heavy
components that do not require placement near or in alignment with the drive train of the vehicle 1400. In general, the
flanges 302lower the mounting points of various components
on the chassis 300, at least relative to the transmission assembly 520 and transmission output shaft 521. In addition, the
flanges 302 preferably incline gradually as they extend laterally from the charmel area 304. Upward sloping of the flanges
302 causes the components supported on the flanges 302 to
extend both upwardly and inwardly toward the center of the
vehicle 1400, more tightly packaging the components on the
chassis 300.
The flanges 302 preferably include openings 308, for
example, through which the lower portions of components
can extend, in addition to being secured to the flanges 302 at
a lower level than the central channel area 304. Where convenient, chassis 300 weight is reduced by configuring one or
more flanges 302 as a support arm, such as arms 302A, that
cooperates with other flanges 302 to support components on
the chassis 300. Further, the flanges 302 may preferably
extend laterally and substantially without upward inclination,
if desired to enhance performance of the component or to
satisfy structural or packaging preferences.
The flanges 302 are capable of supporting numerous components of the vehicle 1400 at a level substantially lower than
the central channel area 304. In the embodiment shown, the
flanges 302 support at a lower level, an electronics and battery
package 1402, a fuel tank, the engine assembly 500, a servo
and battery package 1404 and steering servos 1202. Of these
components, the flanges 302 tilt inwardly the engine assembly 500 and the steering servos 1202.
An advantage of the configuration of the chassis 300 is the
ability to mount the engine assembly 500 lower with respect
to the transmission assembly 520. Preferably, the transmission assembly 520 is centrally mounted on the central channel
area 304, while the engine assembly 500 is mounted to the
chassis 300 at a lower point on one or more of the flanges 302.
The chassis 300 is configured in this marmer to preferably
position the drive shaft 501 of the engine assembly 500 within
the range of about 3 mm to 13 mm vertically above (of relative
to the ground) the level of the transmission output shaft 521.

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The chassis 300 is preferably press-formed and cut from a


sheet of anodized aluminum. It will be apparent that the
flanges 302 and a central channel area 304 may be configured
in other the variations and configurations to achieve a lower
center of gravity overall for the vehicle 1400.
In addition to providing a lower center of gravity for the
vehicle 1400, the chassis 300 includes forward and rearward
extension plates 310, 312 positioned at substantially the same
vertical level as the central channel area 304. The forward and
rearward extension plates 310, 312 are preferably formed
integrally with the upper surface of the central channel area
3 04 and support various components of the front suspension,
steering and rear suspension assemblies of a vehicle 1400 at
a higher vertical level than if those assemblies were secured to
the flanges 302. Thus, the chassis 300 maintains desirable
ground clearance beneath the suspension and drive assemblies, while providing a relatively low center of gravity.
In steering systems, for optimum performance, it is important to maintain geometric parameters within certain desired
ranges. Some of these well-known parameters are toe-in,
camber, caster and roll center. Toe-in is the angle that the
wheels make with respect to a line through the centerline the
vehicle, when viewed from above.
Camber is the inclination of the wheel, from vertical, as
viewed from the front of the vehicle. It is usually designed to
vary with wheel travel in order to help keep the tire squarely
on the ground. As described elsewhere in this application,
camber is adjustable on the vehicle.
Caster is defined as the inclination, from vertical, of the
wheel's steering axis as viewed from the side of the vehicle.
That is, generally speaking, caster is a tilt of the steering axis
toward the front or back of the vehicle. Basically viewing
from the side of the vehicle, draw a line through the upper and
lower ball joint of the axle carrier. The angle off of vertical is
the caster. The caster angle is adjusted by moving the mounting point of the upper arm (effectively the upper ball joint)
generally fore and aft with the spacers on the hinge pin of the
upper arm. Adjusting caster changes the steering characteristics of the vehicle.
Roll center is adjusted by moving the inner mounting point
of the upper arm up and down. This changes the front view
Instant Center (I C) of the suspension. The IC partially defines
the roll center.
"Bump steer" can be defined as undesirable steering (toeing in or toeing out) of the wheel/tire during travel (vertical)
of the suspensions, assuming that the steering wheel or actuation mechanism is being held fixed. Bump steer occurs
because the toe change is caused by geometric differences in
the motion arc of the steering control link (toe control link)
and the suspension arms during bump travel of the suspension. Basically, if the vehicle is going straight and then hits a
bump with a wheel, the raising of the wheel due to the bump
changes the toe, causing the vehicle to tend to veer off without
any movement of the steering wheel/steering actuator. Bump
steer tends to be more sensitive to caster and roll center
changes than other parameters.
Bump steer is usually impossible to eliminate due to packaging and design limitations. Generally, a compromise setting is made to optimally minimize at the standard suspensions settings. However, having a way to adjust bump steer is
desirable due to the range of caster and roll center adjustments
available in the suspension.
It is known to attempt to minimize bump steer by varying
the vertical position of the mounting points (front view) of the
steering control link on the axle carrier 140' of the front
wheels. Thus, minimizing bump steer while adjusting caster
and roll center is difficult and complicated, requiring exten-

sive trial and error on the part of the operator. For example,
once an adjustment to caster and/or roll center is made, bump
steer is reintroduced by the new settings unless there is a
provision for "tuning" it back out.
An embodiment of the present invention incorporates an
adjustment feature that allows the bump steer to be optimized
(minimized) for a substantially complete set of possible combinations of suspension settings; i.e., from 5 degrees to 15
degrees of caster, in 2.5 degree increments and for either an
"upper" or "lower" roll center position. Referring to FIGS.
53, 54A-E and 55, this is accomplished by providing the
attachment pin of the axle carrier 140', to which the pivot link
154 at the end of the control link is attached, with clearance
for permitting movement of the pivot link 154 up and down on
the attachment pin 1390. Ring-shaped spacers A, B or C,
taken from a predetermined set of spacers having predetermined thickness are disposed on the pin 1390 above and/or
below the pivot link 154 to take up the clearance and position
the pivot link 154 at the optimum position on the pin. The
predetermined thicknesses for the spacers A, B and C are
predetermined for each combination of caster and roll center
adjustments by geometric calculations and spacers having the
appropriate thicknesses are in a kit, along with a table indicating which spacers to use and where to position them on the
pin.
Referring to FIGS. 53, 54A-E and 55, and initially to FIG.
53 thereof, a perspective view of the suspension assembly
1380 for the left front wheel is depicted. Suspension assembly
1380 includes upper and lower suspension arms 1382 and
1384, to which is attached an axle carrier 140'. Axle carrier
140' has an arm 1386 having generally vertical pin 1390
thereon. Control link 110, which extends from a driven steering arm 1242 (not shown) includes a pivot link 154 pivotably
attached to pin 1390.
FIGS. 54A-E show detailed views of the axle carrier 140',
pin 1390 and pivot link 154 with various predetermined combinations of ring-shaped spacers A-B positioned on the pin,
above and/or below the pivot link 154. It should be noted that,
to replace the spacers, pin 1390 is first removed, the spacers
and pivot link 154 (or 154"") placed onto it, and then the pin
is replaced.
In FIG. 53A, a thick spacer of thickness A is disposed
above pivot link 154 and a thin spacer of thickness B is
disposed below the pivot link 154. As shown in FIG. 55, this
combination is used where there is a 5 degree caster and the
roll center setting is at the "lower" setting. This combination
is also used where there is a 7.5 degree caster and the roll
center setting is at the "lower" setting.
In FIG. 54B, a thick spacer of thickness A is disposed
above pivot link 154 and a thin spacer of thickness B is also
disposed above the pivot link 154. As shown in FIG. 55, this
combination is used where there is a 5 degree caster and the
roll center setting is at the "upper" setting.
In FIG. 54C, a thick spacer of thickness A is disposed
below pivot link 154 and a thin spacer of thickness B is also
disposed below the pivot link 154. As shown in FIG. 55, this
combination is used where there is a 10 degree caster and the
roll center setting is at the "lower" setting. This combination
is also used where there is a 12.5 degree caster and the roll
center setting is at the "upper" setting.
In FIG. 54D, a thick spacer of thickness A is disposed
below pivot link 154 and a thin spacer of thickness B is
disposed above the pivot link 154. As shown in FIG. 55, this
combination is used where there is a 10 degree caster and the
roll center setting is at the "lower" setting. This combination
is also used where there is a 12.5 degree caster and the roll
center setting is at the "upper" setting.

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In FIG. 54E, a "standard" configuration can be employed,


where a standard hollow ball pivot link 154"" is used that has
approximately equal length collars 155 and 157 at its upper
and lower sides that form part of the pivot link 154"". Alternatively, spacers can be used that have the same, medium
thickness "C," thus, positioning the pivot link at the appro ximate midpoint of pin 1390. Such a medium positioning is
listed in the table of FIG. 55 as "tall center hollow ball." This
centered combination is used where there is a 7.5 degree
caster and the roll center setting is at the "lower" setting. This
combination is also used where there is a 10 degree caster and
the roll center setting is at the "upper" setting.
Of course, because the caster angles and roll center settings
will vary by vehicle geometry, weight and other parameters,
the above caster angles and roll center settings are only
examples for a particular vehicle of a particular geometry,
weight and other parameters. Of course, finer increments
(such as 1 degree increments for caster and more increments
for the roll center setting) could be employed, resulting in
more spacer thicknesses and combinations thereof.
FIGS. 56, 57A through D and 58 A through D, illustrate one
configuration of a front suspension assembly 1500 secured to
a front bulkhead assembly 1502 of the vehicle 1400. The
suspension assembly 1500 comprises upper and lower suspension arms 1504 and 1506 pivotally mounted to the bulkhead assembly 1502. A rocker arm 1508 is pivotally mounted
to a post or boss 1510 extending at an angle into the bulkhead
assembly 1502, inboard and above the point of connection of
the upper suspension arm 1504 to the bulkhead assembly
1502. The rocker arm 1508 is pivotally coupled to a push rod
1512 and a damper assembly 1514. The outboard end of the
push rod 1512 is pivotally secured to the outboard end of the
lower suspension arm 1506, urging the suspension arm 1506
outwardly and downwardly. Upward movement of the suspension arm 1506 displaces the push rod 1512 inwardly
toward the rocker arm 1508, which in tum pivots to compress
the damper 1514 against a pivot pin 1516. Downward movement of the suspension arm 1506 displaces the push rod 1512
outwardly, which in tum pivots the rocker arm 1508 to release
the damper 1514. The rocker arm 1508 is generally triangular
in shape. The portion of the rocker arm 1508 pivotally connected to the push rod 1512 is referred to as the input arm. A
portion of the rocker arm 1508 pivotally connected to the
damper assembly 1514 is referred to as the output arm.
The damper 1514 is generally aligned with the longitudinal
axis of the vehicle 1400 and a substantially horizontal position, with a slight upward inclination from the point of connection to the bulkhead assembly 1502 toward the point of
pivotal connection to the rocker arm 1508. The substantially
horizontal position of the damper 1514, mounted adjacent the
points of connection of the suspension arms 1504, 1506 to the
bulkhead assembly 1502, reduces vertical space requirements
and protects the damper 1514 from damage.
The rocker arm 1508 pivots about an axis substantially
perpendicular to the axis of the push rod 1512 at some point
during operation of the suspension assembly 1500. The
rocker arm 1508 pivotal axis is oriented to translate movement of the damper assembly 1514 into substantial alignment
with the push rod 1512 as the rocker arm 1508 pivots. The
push rod 1512 is mounted to the rocker arm 1508 for pivotal
movement along vertical and horizontal axes relative to the
rocker arm 1508. As the suspension assembly 1500 moves,
the push rod 1512 pivots upwardly and downwardly relative
to its point of connection to the rocker arm 1508, following
vertical movement of the outboard end of the suspension arm
1506.

Referring now to FIGS. 57A through D, the suspension


assembly 1500 is shown in the full bump position, with the
suspension arms 1504, 150.6 displaced to their uppermost
extent. This position corresponds with the vehicle 1400
reaching a lowermost position relative to an underlying surface. In this position, the push rod 1512 rotates the rocker arm
1508 toward a damper 1514, substantially fully compressing
the damper 1514.
Referring now to FIGS. 58A through D, the suspension
assembly 1500 and is shown in the full droop position, with
the suspension arms 1504, 1506 extended to their lowermost
extent. This position corresponds with the vehicle 1400
reaching its highest position relative to an underlying surface.
In this position, the damper 1514 rotates the rocker arm 1508
to fully extend the push rod 1512.
A position intermediate to the full bump and full droop
positions is the ride height position. In the ride height position, the suspension assembly 1500 reaches an equilibrium
position in which the force exerted by the push rod 1512
counteracts the vehicle weight placed on the suspension arms
1504, 1506. In general, relative proportions of total travel
distance of the outboard ends of the suspension arms 1504,
1506 at the axle carrier 140' (i) from ride height to full bump
and (ii) from the ride height to full droop is referred to as the
up/down travel distribution. The travel distribution of the
suspension assembly 1500 is approximately two-thirds to one
third. A ride height of the vehicle 1400 can be adjusted by
changing the point of connection of the outboard end of the
push rod 1512 to the outboard and of the suspension arm
1506. This is accomplished by movement of the push rod
1512 outboard end between a number of positioning apertures 1518 to which the push rod is secured by a pin 1520.
The suspension assembly configuration of FIGS. 56
through 64 provides numerous advantages. Amongst many
advantages too numerous to list, but that will nevertheless be
apparent to those skilled in the art, the configuration of the
suspension assembly 1500 is capable of providing relatively
large motion ratios (MR), a relatively large range of travel
between full bump and full droop positions, enhanced progressiveness of the suspension, as well as the ability to relatively accurately adjust the suspension progressiveness over
the range of movement. The motion ratio (MR) is generally
described as the ratio of vertical displacement of the wheel to
displacement of a corresponding suspension spring member.
Depending on the suspension design, motion ratios often vary
over the range of suspension travel. Accordingly, it is often
useful to define the motion ratio at various points in the
suspension travel. The motion ratio at a particular point in the
travel range is referred to as the instantaneous motionratio.A
progressive suspension is generally one in which the suspension spring force at the wheel increases non-linearly as the
suspension spring member is displaced by vertical wheel
travel. Progressiveness can be defined as a change in motion
ratio (MR) of the suspension over some range of travel.
Furthermore, a variety of performance characteristics can
be independently adjusted in the assembly 1500, without
substantially affecting other performance characteristics. For
example, the ride height of the assembly 1500 can be adjusted
without significantly affecting the travel distribution or the
wheel rate. This is because adjustment of the ride height has
a relatively insignificant effect on a motion ratio of the suspension assembly 1500.
For example, progression of the suspension assembly 1500
is primarily affected by the angle between the input and
output arms of the rocker arm 1508, along with the starting
angle between the damper 1514 and the output arm, as shown

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

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27

28

by angle A in FIG. 64. The progression rate can be relatively


easily varied accurately by substitution of rocker arms having
appropriate dimensions.
As described in pages 42 through 43 of the REVO Owners
Manual, appended hereto as Appendix A and incorporated
herein by reference for all purposes, and on pages 42-43
thereof, the progression rate (or progressiveness) of the suspension determines the extent to which the spring force produced at the wheel by one or more suspension spring members being displaced will vary with suspension travel, or
vertical travel of the wheel. A suspension configuration functions progressively when the spring force at the wheel (or
suspension force) increases with movement toward the full
bump position, at a progressively increasing, non-linear rate.
The non-linearly increasing suspension force of a progressively functioning suspension can be achieved using one or
more associated suspension spring members that become
progressively stiffer (i.e., the spring rate increases, as does the
perceived stiffness of the spring member) with displacement.
By comparison, a suspension configuration functions linearly
or at constant-rate when the spring force at the wheel (or
suspension force) increases with movement toward the full
bump position, at a substantially steadily increasing, linear
rate. This linearly increasing suspension force can be
achieved using one or more associated suspension spring
members that do not become substantially stiffer with displacement and an associated suspension assembly linkage
that substantially does not function progressively.
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art, that a suspension can be configured to function progressively through one
or more segments of wheel travel or throughout the entire
range of wheel travel. Moreover, the degree of progressiveness can be varied as desired with wheel travel. The configuration of the suspension and/or variation in the stiffness of the
one or more, associated spring members can be employed to
produce the degree of progressiveness associated with suspension wheel travel desired.
FIGS. 62A and B and 63A and B illustrate, respectively,
rear suspension assembly and front suspension assembly
rocker arms. Variation of the dimensions A, B, C, D andE, as
well as the lengths of associated pushrods will vary the progressiveness of the suspension assemblies. Dimensions associated with a variety of progressiveness and suspension travel
are listed in Table 1. The dimension values listed in Table 1,
except for dimension C (in degrees), can be for millimeters in
an embodiment, or for centimeters in another embodiment, or
for other units of measure in yet other embodiments, depending upon the desired scale or size of the vehicle. Further, the
values presented illustrate the relative proportions of the various components of corresponding embodiments; however, it
will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other dimension
values can be substituted, if desired and that the suspension
disclosed is not limited to the dimension values provided.
FIGS. 59 through 61 identifY dimensions of the left front
and rear suspension assemblies having motion ratios of
approximately 4.5 to 1 and high-performance progressiveness curves. The numerical values of the dimensions identified in FIGS. 59 through 61 are shown in Tables 2 through 5
below. The dimensions listed in Tables 2 through 5 can be for
millimeters in an embodiment, or for centimeters in another
embodiment, or for other units of measure in yet other
embodiments, depending upon the desired scale or size of the
vehicle. Further, the values presented illustrate the relative
proportions of the various components of corresponding
embodiments; however, it will be apparent to those skilled in
the art that other dimension values can be substituted, if
desired, and that the suspension disclosed is not limited to the

dimension values provided. Variations of these dimensions


will yield various motion ratios and progressiveness curves in
the suspension assembly 1500.
TABLE 1
Dimensions of Front and Rear Suspension Assembly
Rocker Arms

10 End

Rocker

Front Progressive
Progressive
Progressive
Long travel
15 Rear Progressive
Progressive
Progressive
Long travel

20

25

30

35

40

45

1
2
3
1
2
3

Pushrod
Length

115.55
120.50
125.25
115.55
115.55
120.50
125.25
115.55

38.20
38.40
39.45
40.00
30.60
30.90
32.00
43.40

20.00
20.00
20.00
15.20
19.00
19.00
19.00
19.00

98.00
88.65
80.50
92.50
85.00
72.80
63.00
81.00

8.10
8.10
8.10
8.10
3.60
3.60
3.60
3.60

16.20
16.20
16.20
16.20
16.70
16.70
16.70
16.70

Referring now to FIG. 59, values of the dimensions x1-x9


and y1-y8 appear in the first part ofTables 2 through 5 below.
Table 2 lists the values of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing P1 (Progressive 1) rocker arms. Table 3 lists the
values of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing P2
(Progressive 2) rocker arms. Table 4lists the values of various
dimensions of the suspension utilizing P3 (Progressive 3)
rocker arms. Table 5 lists the values of various dimensions of
the suspension utilizing LT (Long Travel) rocker arms.
Referring now to FIG. 60, values of dimensions x1-x9 and
dimensions y1-y8 appear in the second part of Tables 2
through 5 below. Table 2 lists the values of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing P1 (Progressive 1) rocker
arms. Table 3 lists the values of various dimensions of the
suspension utilizing P2 (Progressive 2) rocker arms. Table 4
lists the values of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing P3 (Progressive 3) rocker arms. Table 5 lists the values
of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing LT (Long
Travel) rocker arms.
Referring now to FIG. 61, values of dimensions x1-x2 and
z1-z1 0 appear in the third part of Tables 2 through 5 below.
Table 2 lists the values of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing P1 (Progressive 1) rocker arms. Table 3 lists the
values of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing P2
(Progressive 2) rocker arms. Table 4lists the values of dimensions of the suspension utilizing P3 (Progressive 3) rocker
arms. Table 5 lists the values of various dimensions of the
suspension utilizing LT (Long Travel) rocker arms.

50

TABLE2
Suspension Dimensions with Pl Rocker Arms
Name
55

Name

Value What

Front suspension, view from front, Pl rocker anns


x1

60

Value What

x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
x7
x8

65
x9

5.5 LCApivot
12.5
26.5
29.5
39.9
131.8
154.0

Damper on rocker
UCA pivot
Rocker pivot
Pushrod on rocker
Pushrod on LCA
Lower ball joint/pivot
ball
165.5 Center of tire contact
patch
153.3 Upper ball joint

y1
y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7
y8

52.3 Lower ball


joint/pivot ball
58.0 Pushrod on LCA
73.0 LCA pivot
113.3 UCApivot
127.8 Pushrod on rocker
127.0 Rocker pivot
137.3 Damper on rocker
97.3 Upper ball joint

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US 7,793,951 B2

Name

29

30

TABLE 2-continued

TABLE 3-continued

Suspension Dimensions with Pl Rocker Arms

Suspension Dimensions with P2 Rocker Arms

Value What

Name

Name

Value What

Value What

x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
x7
x8
x9

5.5 LCApivot

y1

11.8
27.1
30.5
33.9
127.8
155.3

Damper on rocker
UCApivot
Rocker pivot
Pushrod on rocker
Pushrod on LCA
Lower ball joint/pivot
ball
166.2 Center of tire contact
patch
154.5 Upper ball joint

y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7

52.0 Lower ball


joint/pivot ball
50.8 Pushrod on LCA
73.1 LCApivot
106.8 UCApivot
118.1 Pushrod on rocker
123.5 Rocker pivot
122.8 Damper on rocker

y8

97.7 Upper ball joint

Value What

Top view, P2 rocker arms

Rear suspension, view from rear, Pl rocker arms

x1

Name

x1
10 x2

16.5 Front Damper


Mount
11.8 Rear Damper
Mount

z1

90.0 Front Damper Mount

z2

24.1 Pushrod on Front


Rocker
16.4 Front Pushrod on LCA
10.9 Front Damper on

z3
z4

rocker

z5
z6
z7

15

z8
z9
z10

Top view, P 1 rocker anns

11.3 Front Rocker pivot


88.5 Rear Damper Mount
17.0 Pushrod on Rear
Rocker
14.7 Rear Pushrod on LCA
14.2 Rear Rocker pivot
7.7 Rear Damper on rocker

20
x1

16.5 Front Damper Mount

z1

x2

11.8 Rear Damper Mount

z2

90.0 Front Damper


Mount
23.2 Pushrod on F rant
Rocker
16.4 Front Pushrod
onLCA
11.9 F rant Damper on

z3
z4

LCA Lower control arm


UCA Upper control arm

TABLE4

25

Suspension Dimensions with P3 Rocker Arms

rocker

z5
z6
z7

13.6 Front Rocker pivot


88.5 Rear Damper Mount
16.2 Pushrod on Rear
Rocker
14.7 Rear Pushrod on
LCA
14.2 Rear Rocker pivot
8.6 Rear Damper

z8
z9
z10

on rocker
LCA Lower control arm

Name

Name

Value What

Front suspension, view from front, P3 rocker anns

30
x1
x2
x3
x4
35 x5
x6
x7

UCA Upper control arm

x8

TABLE3

Value What

40

x9

5.5 LCApivot

y1

12.7
26.5
29.5
31.8
131.8
154.0

Damper on rocker
UCA pivot
Rocker pivot
Pushrod on rocker
Pushrod on LCA
Lower ball joint/
pivot ball
165.5 Center of tire
contact patch
153.3 Upper ball joint

y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7

52.3 Lower ball


joint/pivot ball
58.0 Pushrod on LCA
73.0 LCA pivot
113.3 UCA pivot
133.0 Pushrod on rocker
127.0 Rocker pivot
137.4 Damper on rocker

y8

97.3 Upper ball joint

Rear suspension, view from rear, P3 rocker arms

Suspension Dimensions with P2 Rocker Arms

x1
Name

Value What

Name

Front suspension, view from front, P2 rocker arms

x1
x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
x7
x8
x9

5.5 LCApivot
12.6
26.5
29.5
35.7
131.8
154.0

Damper on rocker
UCA pivot
Rocker pivot
Pushrod on rocker
Pushrod on LCA
Lower ball joint/
pivot ball
165.5 Center of tire
contact patch
153.3 Upper ball joint

y1
y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7
y8

52.3 Lower ball


joint/pivot ball
58.0 Pushrod on LCA
73.0 LCA pivot
113.3 UCApivot
130.4 Pushrod on rocker
127.0 Rocker pivot
137.3 Damper on rocker

x2
x3
45 x4
x5
x6
x7
x8
50
x9

x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
x7
x8
x9

5.5 LCApivot

97.3 Upper ball joint

x1
55 x2

12.8
27.1
30.5
29.7
127.8
155.3

Damper on rocker
UCApivot
Rocker pivot
Pushrod on rocker
Pushrod on LCA
Lower ball joint/
pivot ball
166.2 Center of tire
contact patch
154.5 Upper ball joint

y1
y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7
y8

y1
y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7

52.0 Lower ball


joint/pivot ball
50.8 Pushrod on LCA
73.1 LCApivot
106.8 UCA pivot
123.3 Pushrod on rocker
123.5 Rocker pivot
129.0 Damper on rocker

52.0 Lower ball


joint/pivot ball
50.8 Pushrod on LCA
73.1 LCApivot
106.8 UCApivot
120.7 Pushrod on rocker
123.5 Rocker pivot
129.1 Damper on rocker

12.9
27.1
30.5
25.7
127.8
155.3

Damper on rocker
UCApivot
Rocker pivot
Pushrod on rocker
Pushrod on LCA
Lower ball joint/
pivot ball
166.2 Center of tire
contact patch
154.5 Upper ball joint

y8

97.7 Upper ball joint

Top view, P3 rocker arms

Rear suspension, view from rear, P2 rocker arms

x1

5.5 LCApivot

Value What

16.5 Front Damper


Mount
11.8 Rear Damper
Mount

z1

90.0 Front Damper Mount

z2

25.3 Pushrod on Front


Rocker
16.4 Front Pushrod on LCA
10.9 Front Damper on

z3
z4

rocker

z5
z6
z7

60

z8
z9
z10

97.7 Upper ball joint


65

LCA Lower control arm


UCA Upper control arm

13.6 Front Rocker pivot


88.5 Rear Damper Mount
17.9 Pushrod on Rear
Rocker
14.7 Rear Pushrod on LCA
14.2 Rear Rocker pivot
7.3 Rear Damper on rocker

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32

TABLES
Suspension Dimensions with LT Rocker Arms
Name

Value What

Name

Value What

Front suspension, view from front, LT rocker arms


x1
x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
x7
x8
x9

x1
x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
x7
x8
x9

5.5 LCApivot

y1

16.8
26.5
29.5
40.2
131.8
154.0

52.3 Lower ball


joint/pivot ball
58.0 Pushrod on LCA
73.0 LCA pivot
113.3 UCApivot
128.0 Pushrod on rocker
127.0 Rocker pivot
134.9 Damper on rocker

Damper on rocker y2
UCA pivot
y3
Rocker pivot
y4
Pushrod on rocker y5
Pushrod on LCA y6
Lower ball joint/ y7
pivot ball
165.5 Center of tire
y8
97.3 Upper ball joint
contact patch
153.3 Upper ball joint
Rear suspension, view from rear, LT rocker anns
5.5 LCApivot

y1

12.7
27.1
30.5
35.2
127.8
155.3

52.0 Lower ball


joint/pivot ball
50.8 Pushrod on LCA
73.1 LCApivot
106.8 UCApivot
118.4 Pushrod on rocker
123.5 Rocker pivot
129.1 Damper on rocker

Damper on rocker y2
UCApivot
y3
Rocker pivot
y4
Pushrod on rocker y5
Pushrod on LCA y6
Lower ball joint/ y7
pivot ball
y8
97.7 Upper ball joint
166.2 Center of tire
contact patch
154.5 Upper ball joint
Top view, LT rocker anns

10

15

20

25

30
x1
x2

16.5 Front Damper


Mount
11.8 Rear Damper
Mount

z1

90.0 Front Damper Mount

z2

25.0 Pushrod on Front


Rocker
16.4 Front Pushrod on LCA
10.9 Front Damper on
rocker
11.0 Front Rocker pivot
88.5 Rear Damper Mount
29.0 Pushrod on Rear
Rocker
14.7 Rear Pushrod on LCA
14.2 Rear Rocker pivot
8.0 Rear Damper on rocker

z3
z4
z5
z6
z7
z8
z9
z10

35

40

LCA Lower control arm


UCA Upper control arm

Progressiveness can be defined as the change in motion


ratio of the suspension over some range of travel, as described
in Appendix C, "Revo Suspension Claims." Two or more
different ranges of travel can be considered. Moreover, at
each point along any range of travel there is an instantaneous
motion ratio (MR). Over a first range of travel, from fully
extended (full droop) to fully compressed (full bump), the
change in motion ratio is ll.MRl. Over a second range of
travel, from ride height to fully compressed (full bump), the
change in motion ratio is ll.MR2. Additionally, there is an
average motion ratio (MRave), which is the ratio of the full
range of wheel travel to the full range of damper (including
one or more spring members) travel. The average motion ratio
(MRave) is the ratio of vertical displacement of the wheel over
its full range of travel to displacement of one or more corresponding suspension spring members (or associated damper)
over its entire range of travel. It will be apparent to those
skilled in the art that a measure of progressiveness can then be
defined as a ratio of ll.MRn!MRave' or the ratio of one change
in motion ratio over a particular range of travel (ll.MRn) to the
average motion ratio over an entire range of travel (MRave),
where "n" signifies a particular range of motion. For example,

45

50

55

60

65

if ll.MR2 has a value of0.49 and MRave has a value of 4.5:1,


then the measure of progressiveness ll.MR2=0.49/4.5=11 %.
Having thus described the present invention by reference to
certain of its preferred embodiments, it is noted that the
embodiments disclosed are illustrative rather than limiting in
nature and that a wide range of variations, modifications,
changes, and substitutions are contemplated in the foregoing
disclosure and, in some instances, some features of the
present invention may be employed without a corresponding
use of the other features. Many such variations and modifications may be considered obvious and desirable by those
skilled in the art based upon a review of the foregoing description of preferred embodiments. Accordingly, it is appropriate
that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the scope of the invention.
The invention claimed is:
1. A toy model vehicle steering mechanism, comprising:
one or more steering actuators;
a steering control arm pivotally mounted to a toy model
vehicle chassis substantially on a chassis longitudinal
centerline for rotation relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis, the steering control arm being coupled directly
to at least two tie rods, each tie rod controlling the
steering of at least one wheel of the toy model vehicle;
each of the one or more steering actuators being coupled to
the steering control arm to rotate the steering control arm
relative to the toy model vehicle chassis; and
a transmission drive shaft rotatably coupled to at least one
wheel for driving the at least one wheel of the toy model
vehicle, the transmission drive shaft positioned above
the steering control arm, relative to the chassis, and
between the couplings of the steering actuators to the
steering control arm.
2. The steering mechanism of claim 1, further comprising
a torque or force limiting mechanism operating between at
least one steered wheel of the vehicle and the one or more
steering actuators for limiting the transfer load from the at
least one steered wheel to the one or more steering_actuators,
whereby the one or more steering actuators are protected
from being damaged by torque and force applied to the at least
one steered wheel.
3. The steering mechanism of claim 1, further comprising
at least two steering actuators rotating the steering_control
arm relative to the vehicle chassis.
4. The steering mechanism of claim 1, wherein the at least
two steering actuators operate in opposite directions to rotate
the steering control arm relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis.
5. The steering mechanism of claim 1, wherein at least one
of the one or more steering actuators is coupled to the steering
control arm at a position displaced from the axis of rotation of
the steering control arm relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis, to rotate the steering control arm upon actuation of
the coupled steering actuator.
6. The steering mechanism of claim 5, further comprising
at least one member coupling at least one of the one or more
steering actuators to the steering control arm, to rotate the
steering control arm relative to the toy model vehicle chassis
upon actuation of the at least one steering actuator.
7. The steering mechanism of claim 1, wherein at least two
steering actuators are each coupled to the steering control arm
at a position displaced from the axis of rotation of the steering
control arm relative to the toy model vehicle chassis, to rotate
the control arm upon actuation of the coupled steering actuators.
8. The steering mechanism of claim 7, further comprising
one or more members coupling the at least two steering actua-

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33
tors to the steering control arm, to rotate the steering control
arm relative to the frame upon actuation of the steering actuators.
9. The steering mechanism of claim 5, wherein the one or
more steering actuators comprise at least one servo actuator.
10. The steering mechanism of claim 8, wherein eachofthe
at least two steering actuators comprises a servo actuator.
11. The steering mechanism of claim 10, wherein the at
least two steering actuators are positioned on opposite sides
of the chassis longitudinal centerline of the toy model vehicle.
12. The steering mechanism of claim 2, wherein the torque
or force limiting mechanism comprises:
at least one spring; and
wherein the spring operates to urge the steering control arm
toward a desired steering angle of the at least one steered
wheel of the toy model vehicle.
13. The steering mechanism of claim 12, wherein the
torque or force limiting mechanism further comprises:
a first cam surface of the steering control arm cooperating
with the at least one spring to urge the steering control
arm toward a desired steering angle of the at least one
steered wheel of the toy model vehicle.
14. The steering mechanism of claim 13, wherein the
spring comprises a conical spring having a central axis in
substantial alignment with the rotational axis of the steering
control arm.
15. The steering mechanism of claim 14, wherein the
spring urges at least a portion of the steering control arm
toward the first cam surface, to urge the steering control arm
toward a desired steering angle of the at least one steered
wheel of the toy model vehicle.
16. The steering mechanism of claim 15, further comprising:
a second cam surface of the steering control arm mating
with at least a portion of the first cam surface; and
wherein the steering control arm is positioned at a desired
steering angle of the at least one steered wheel of the toy
model vehicle when at least a portion of the first and
second cam surfaces are mated.
17. The steering mechanism of claim 1, wherein the steering control arm further comprises:
an actuator arm coupled to at least one of the one or more
steering actuators;
the actuator arm being offset at the axis of pivotal rotation
of the steering control arm downwardly from the point of
coupling to the at least one or more steering actuators
relative to the toy model vehicle chassis, to provide
clearance for the transmission drive shaft above the
steering control arm.
18. The steering mechanism of claim 17, wherein at least
one of the one or more steering actuators is secured to the toy
model vehicle chassis and extends upwardly and inwardly
relative to the chassis.
19. The steering mechanism of claim 18, wherein the toy
model vehicle chassis comprises a steering actuator support
surface positioned lower and outboard of a central portion of
the toy model vehicle chassis and sloped upwardly and outwardly relative to the central portion of the toy model vehicle
chassis, the steering actuator support surface providing clearance above the steering control arm for the transmission drive
shaft.
20. The steering mechanism of claim 1, wherein the steering control arm further comprises an actuator shock protector
for limiting the transmission of forces received from the at
least one steered wheel of the vehicle to the one or more
steering actuators.

21. A steering mechanism for a toy model vehicle, com-

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

prising:
a vehicle chassis;
a suspension arm supported on the chassis by a first pivot
for substantially vertical pivotal movement relative to
the chassis;
a wheel supported by the suspension arm for steering the
vehicle;
a steering control arm supported on the chassis for substantially horizontal pivotal movement about an arm pivot
axis relative to the chassis, the steering control arm
having a neutral steer position in which the wheel directs
the vehicle in a heading substantially straight ahead;
a tie rod for steering the wheel, the tie rod pivotally secured
to the steering control arm by a second pivot for substantially vertical pivotal movement relative to the chassis;
wherein the first and second pivots are substantially vertically aligned relative to the chassis when the control arm
is in the neutral steer position; and
a transmission drive shaft positioned above the first pivot
and the second pivot, relative to the chassis, wherein the
transmission drive shaft is rotatably coupled to at least
one wheel for driving the at least one wheel of the
vehicle.
22. The steeringmechanismofclaim21, wherein the wheel
has a range of travel of at least about 1 em.
23. The steering mechanism of claim 22, wherein the wheel
has a range of travel of at least about 2.5 em.
24. The steering mechanism of claim 21, wherein the toy
model vehicle is an off-road type vehicle configured for use
over adverse terrain.
25. The steering mechanism of claim 21, wherein the suspension arm and the tie rod are of substantially the same
length.
26. The steering mechanism of claim 21, wherein the transmission drive shaft substantially intersects the arm pivot axis
of the steering control arm.
27. A steering mechanism for a toy model vehicle, comprising:
a vehicle chassis;
a plurality of suspension arms, each supported on opposite
sides of the chassis for substantially vertical pivotal
movement relative to the chassis;
a plurality of wheels, wherein each of the wheels is supported by one of the suspension arms for steering the toy
model vehicle;
a steering control arm pivotally supported on the chassis
substantially on a chassis longitudinal centerline for
substantially horizontal pivotal movement about an arm
pivot axis relative to the chassis;
a plurality of tie rods coupled to the steering control arm for
steering the plurality of wheels and extending in substantially opposite directions, each tie rod supported by
the steering control arm for substantially vertical pivotal
movement relative to the chassis and for inboard and
outboard actuation by the steering control arm to steer
the plurality of wheels; and
wherein the outboard end of the suspension arms each has
a range of travel of at least about 1 em. of vertical
displacement; and
a transmission drive shaft rotatably coupled to at least one
wheel for driving the at least one wheel of the toy model
vehicle, the transmission drive shaft positioned above
the steering control arm, relative to the chassis.
28. The steering mechanism of claim 27, wherein the outboard end of the suspension arms each has a range of travel of
at least about 2.5 em. of vertical displacement.

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35
29. The steering mechanism of claim 27, wherein the toy

model vehicle is an off-road type vehicle configured for use


over adverse terrain.
30. The steering mechanism of claim 27, wherein the outboard end of the suspension arms each has a range of travel of
at least about 2 em. of vertical displacement.
31. The steering mechanism of claim 27, wherein the transmission drive shaft substantially intersects the arm pivot axis
of the steering control arm.
32. A steering mechanism for a toy model vehicle, comprising:
an actuator link member for coupling to one or more steering actuators;
a steering member for coupling to one or more steered
wheels;
the actuator link member and the steering member having
one or more mating surfaces for engaging and transmitting a steering force or steering torque from one or more
steering actuators to one or more steered wheels; and
a spring for urging the mating surfaces of the actuator link
member and the steering member into engagement,
wherein at least a portion of the spring is conically
shaped to allow a plurality of coils to nest as the spring
compresses, thereby reducing the space required for
housing the spring.
33. The steering mechanism of claim 32, wherein the
actuator link member is mounted for pivotal movement about
a rotational axis upon actuation by one or more steering
actuators, wherein the steering member is mounted for pivotal movement with the actuator link member about the rotationa! axis when the mating surfaces are engaged, and
wherein the plurality of coils of the spring surround the rotational axis and urge the mating surfaces of the actuator link
member and the steering member into engagement.
34. The steering mechanism of claim 32, further comprising a vehicle chassis supporting the actuator link member and
the steering member;
a transmission drive shaft for driving one or more steered
wheels; and
wherein portions of the actuator link member and steering
member adjacent the rotational axis are disposed below
the chassis by a predetermined clearance; and
wherein the transmission drive shaft extends between the
chassis and the predetermined clearance between the
actuator link member and the steering member.
35. The steering mechanism of claim 34, wherein the transmission drive shaft extends substantially through the rotational axis of the actuator link member and the steering member.
36. A toy model vehicle, comprising:
a chassis;
one or more steering actuators supported by the chassis;
a plurality of steered wheels;
a steering mechanism for transmitting movement of the
one or more steering actuators to at least one of the
plurality of steered wheels;
a support member supporting the steering mechanism on
the chassis, the support member being offset downwardly relative to and away from the chassis to define a

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

55

space above the steering mechanism and between the


chassis and the steering mechanism; and
a transmission drive shaft rotatably coupled to at least one
of the plurality of steered wheels for driving at least one
steered wheel, wherein the transmission drive shaft
extends through the space between the chassis and the
steering mechanism.
37. The toy model vehicle of claim 36, wherein the space
and the transmission drive shaft are disposed substantially
along the centerline of the chassis.
38. The toy model vehicle of claim 36, further comprising
a pivot pin securing at least a portion of the steering mechanism to the support member for rotation, wherein the pivot pin
does not extend into the space between the chassis and the
steering mechanism.
39. The toy model vehicle of claim 36, wherein the steering
mechanism further comprises an actuator shock protector for
limiting the transmission of forces received from the at least
one of a plurality of steered wheels to the one or more steering
actuators.
40. A toy model vehicle, comprising:
a chassis;
a steering mechanism comprising a steering control arm
for steering one or more steered wheels supporting the
chassis, the steering mechanism further comprising a
pivot pin mounted on a support member, wherein the
support member is offset downwardly relative to and
away from the chassis to define a space above the steering mechanism and between the chassis and the steering
mechanism;
wherein at least a portion of the steering control arm is
mounted on the pivot pin for pivotal movement of the
steering control arm; and
a transmission drive shaft rotatably coupled to the one or
more steered wheels, at least a portion of which extends
through the space between the steering mechanism and
the chassis.
41. The toy model vehicle of claim 40, wherein the pivot
pin does not extend into contact with the drive shaft.
42. The toy model vehicle of claim 40, further comprising
a mechanism for limiting the forces transmitted by the steering mechanism to and from the one or more steered wheels.
43. A toy model vehicle steering mechanism, comprising:
one or more steering actuators;
a steering control arm pivotally mounted to a toy model
vehicle chassis substantially on a chassis longitudinal
centerline for rotation relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis, the steering control arm being coupled directly
to at least two tie rods, each tie rod controlling the
steering of at least one wheel of the toy model vehicle;
each of the one or more steering actuators being coupled to
the steering control arm to rotate the steering control arm
relative to the toy model vehicle chassis; and
a transmission drive shaft rotatably coupled to at least one
wheel for driving the at least one wheel of the toy model
vehicle, the transmission drive shaft positioned above
the steering control arm, relative to the chassis.

* * * * *

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-2 Filed 08/02/16 Page 1 of 14 PageID #: 321

EXHIBIT B
U.S. Patent No. 8,982,541 B1

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111111
1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
US008982541Bl

c12)

United States Patent

(10)

Roberts et al.

(45)

(54)

PROTECTIVE ENCLOSURE FOR MODEL


VEHICLE

(71)

Applicant: Traxxas LP, McKinney, TX (US)

(72)

Inventors: Timothy E. Roberts, Erie, CO (US);


Jon Kenneth Lampert, Allen, TX (US);
Otto Karl Allmendinger, Rowlett, TX
(US)

(73)

Assignee: Traxxas LP, McKinney, TX (US)

( *)

Notice:

U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS


3,187,462 A
3,354,454 A

*
*

6/1965 Licitis ........................... 446/439


1111967 Rueger ..................... 340/815.49

(Continued)

Traxxas LP v. Hobby Shack d/b/a Global Hobby Distributors, Case


No. 2:14-cv-00081, U.S. Dist.Ct. Eastern Div. Texas, Marshall Div.;
"Defendant Hobby Shack's Patent Rule 3-3 and 3-4 Disclosure of
Invalidity Contentions"; Jul. 30, 2014.

Filed:

(Continued)

Nov. 14, 2014


Related U.S. Application Data

(58)

References Cited

This patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer.

(22)

(52)

(56)

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Appl. No.: 14/542,201

(51)

USPC ................... 446/78, 269, 431, 439, 470, 484;


361/622, 679.01, 679.4, 679.58, 725,
361/728
See application file for complete search history.

Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this


patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.

(21)

(63)

Patent No.:
US 8,982,541 Bl
Date of Patent:
*Mar. 17, 2015

Continuation of application No. 13/649,777, filed on


Oct. 11, 2012, which is a continuation of application
No. 11/872,872, filed on Oct. 16, 2007, now Pat. No.
8,315,040.
Int. Cl.
A63H 17126
(2006.01)
(2006.01)
HOSKS/00
(2006.01)
A63H 29/24
(2006.01)
HOJR 4124
U.S. Cl.
CPC A63H 17126 (2013.01); H05K 5/00 (2013.01);
A63H 29/24 (2013.01); HOJR 412429 (2013.01)
USPC ................... 3611679.01; 361/622; 361/679.4;
361/679.58; 361/725; 361/728; 361/752;
446/78; 446/269; 446/431; 446/439; 446/470;
446/484
Field of Classification Search
CPC ....... A63H 17/26; A63H 29/24; H05K 5/069;
HOlR 4/2429

Primary Examiner- Alvin Hunter


Assistant Examiner- Alexander Niconovich
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm- CARR Law Firm PLLC

(57)

ABSTRACT

The present invention provides for a protective enclosure


comprising a base comprising a first continuous mating surface and at least one conveyance aperture, a cover comprising
a second continuous mating surface, wherein the second continuous mating surface is configured to form a seal with the
first continuous mating surface, and a clamp, wherein at least
a portion of the clamp is coupleable to the base, wherein a
mouth of the clamp is configured to be offset from the aperture when the clamp is coupled to the base, wherein the clamp
comprises a first sealing layer, and wherein the clamp is
configured to seal the aperture against contaminants. The
protective enclosure may be configured for use in a remotely
controllable model vehicle to protect a control module.
21 Claims, 7 Drawing Sheets

100

~
104

112

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US 8,982,541 Bl
Page 2

References Cited

(56)

U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS


3,879,255
3,994,555
4,225,655
4,394,692
4,533,201
4,698,459
4,850,884
5,009,612
5,088,010
5,394,208
5,588,856
5,833,486
5,911,594
5,971,792
6,315,596
6,328,592
6,364,736

A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
B1
B1
B1

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

4/1975
1111976
9/1980
7/1983
8/1985
10/1987
7/1989
4/1991
2/1992
2/1995
12/1996
1111998
6/1999
10/1999
1112001
12/2001
4/2002

Mason eta!.
156/527
Konno eta!. ................. 439/472
Pesce ............................ 429/100
Randmae eta!. ............. 348/374
Wasserlein, Jr. .............. 439/404
Drake
174/138 F
Sawai eta!. .................. 439/76.2
Rishworth et a!. ............ 439/403
Winnner et al ............... 3611809
Campbell ..................... 396/429
Collins eta!. ................. 439/204
Shinozaki ..................... 439/404
Baker et a!. ................... 439/404
Lin ............................... 439/404
Chen ............................. 439/417
Burke et al ................... 439/417
Lee ............................... 446/463

6,572,395
6,575,809
6,602,089
7,377,295
7,402,073
7,497,757
7,762,731
7,835,634
8,315,040
8,625,290

B1 * 6/2003 Burlew et al .................. 439/198


B2 * 6/2003 Ogawa et a!. ................. 446/444
B2 * 8/2003 Abe et a!. ...................... 439/404
B2 * 5/2008 Byers eta!.
141198
B2 * 7/2008 Yotsutani ...................... 439/394
B2 * 3/2009 Hamasaki ....................... 446/78
B2 * 7/2010 Arbuckle et al .............. 396/427
B2 * 1112010 Berend et al .................... 396/27
B2 * 1112012 Roberts eta!. ........... 3611679.01
B2 * 112014 Wee eta!. ..................... 361/752

OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Traxxas
Traxxas
Traxxas
Traxxas
Traxxas

LP;
LP;
LP;
LP;
LP;

"VillainEX" photographs; May 2003.


"VillainEX Details" web brochure; May 2003.
"VillainEX" photograph; May 2003.
"VillainEX Model1502 Owners Manual"; May 2003.
"VillainEX Model1502 Exploded Views"; May 2003.

* cited by examiner

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U.S. Patent

Mar.17,2015

Sheet 1 of7

US 8,982,541 Bl

100

~
104

FIG.l

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U.S. Patent

Mar.17,2015

Sheet 2 of7

100

FIG. 2

US 8,982,541 Bl

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-2 Filed 08/02/16 Page 6 of 14 PageID #: 326

U.S. Patent

100

"'
FIG. 3
100

"'

FIG. 4

Mar.17,2015

Sheet 3 of7

US 8,982,541 Bl

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U.S. Patent

Mar.17,2015

US 8,982,541 Bl

Sheet 4 of7

................~....
,{-'---=-~

~1:~

112

"

__,/

502G

FIG. 5
100

FIG.6

7""111111

7 .....

102

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U.S. Patent

Mar.17,2015

US 8,982,541 Bl

Sheet 5 of7

FIG. 7

100

9 ..
104

102

FIG. 8

9 ...

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U.S. Patent

Mar.17,2015

Sheet 6 of7

US 8,982,541 Bl

FIG. 9
1100

1002-..........
1206---......
1106

FIG.ll

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U.S. Patent

Mar.17,2015

Sheet 7 of7

1000

FIG.JO

US 8,982,541 Bl

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-2 Filed 08/02/16 Page 11 of 14 PageID #: 331


US 8,982,541 Bl
1

PROTECTIVE ENCLOSURE FOR MODEL


VEHICLE

FIG. 5 illustrates a top interior view of the protective enclosure of FIG. 1;


FIG. 6 illustrates a rear view of the protective enclosure of
FIG.1;
FIG. 7 illustrates a cutaway side view of the protective
enclosure of FIG. 1;
FIG. 8 illustrates a side view of the protective enclosure of
FIG.1;
FIG. 9 illustrates a cutaway front view of the protective
enclosure of FIG. 1;
FIG. 10 illustrates an embodiment of a remotely controllable car comprising another embodiment of a protective
enclosure; and
FIG. 11 illustrates a cutaway view of the protective enclosure of FIG. 10.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED
APPLICATIONS
This application is a continuation of, and claims the benefit
of the filing date of, co-pending U.S. patent application Ser.
No. 13/649,777 entitled PROTECTIVE ENCLOSURE FOR
MODEL VEHICLE, filed Oct. 11, 2012, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/872,872, filed
Oct. 16, 2007, now U.S. Pat. No. 8,315,040 entitled PROTECTIVE ENCLOSURE FOR MODEL VEHICLE, issued
Nov. 20, 2012.

10

15

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to protective enclosures and,
more particularly, to protective enclosures having provision
for transverse conveyances.
2. Description of the Related Art
Remotely controllable model cars are generally designed
to operate on land, and are often designed to be maintainable
and modifiable by untrained users. Thus, control modules,
including receiver electronics packages, electronic sensors
and mechanical sensors, are typically susceptible to damage
from contaminants such as water, mud, dirt and snow. A
permanently sealed enclosure, which could protect a control
module from contaminants while permitting a transverse conveyance, i.e. a wire or a tube passing from the inside to the
outside, would complicate modification and repair by a typical user.
Assembly, modification and repair of a remotely controllable car may include the addition, removal and/or substitution of control modules, which may result in the use of a
different number of wires and tubes entering a protective
enclosure, as well as the use of wires and tubes of differing
diameters. Consequently, there exists a need for a protective
enclosure that protects a control module from contaminants
while permitting transverse conveyances of differing sizes
and varying numbers, and also retains its sealing properties,
despite multiple episodes of opening and closing the enclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

20

25

30

35

40

45

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION


The present invention provides protective enclosure that
protects a control module from contaminants while permitting entry of transverse conveyances while retaining its sealing properties.

50

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS


55

For a more complete understanding of the present invention and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the
following Detailed Description taken in conjunction with the
accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of a
protective enclosure;
FIG. 2 illustrates an exploded assembly view of the protective enclosure of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 illustrates a cutaway perspective view of the protective enclosure of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 illustrates a top view of the protective enclosure of
FIG.1;

60

65

In the following discussion, numerous specific details are


set forth to provide a thorough understanding of the present
invention. However, those skilled in the art will appreciate
that the present invention may be practiced without such
specific details. In other instances, well-known elements have
been illustrated in schematic or block diagram form in order
not to obscure the present invention in unnecessary detail.
Additionally, for the most part, specific details, and the like
have been omitted inasmuch as such details are not considered necessary to obtain a complete understanding of the
present invention, and are considered to be within the understanding of persons of ordinary skill in the relevant art.
Turning now to FIG. 1, the reference numeral100 generally indicates an embodiment of a protective enclosure. In the
illustrated embodiment, protective enclosure 100 comprises a
base 102, a cover 104 and a clamp 106. Clamp 106, which
may provide strain relief to transverse conveyances, comprises a top portion 106a and a bottom portion 106b, and has
a mouth 108, through which conveyances, such as ribbon
cables 110 and a wire 114 may traverse the enclosure 100. It
should be understood that enclosure 100 may comprise a
single piece of material, in which, for example, clamp portions 106a and 106b are already connected to cover 104 and
base 102, respectively, and cover 104 and base 102 are
hinged. Alternatively, enclosure 100 may multiple pieces, in
which, for example, base 102, cover 104, top clamp portion
106a and bottom clamp portion 106b comprise separate portions that are coupleable, i.e. configured to be assembled
together. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, however,
shows bottom clamp portion 106b and base 102 as a single
piece to which cover 104 and top clamp portion 106a are
coupleable. It should be further understood that transverse
conveyances may include tubes, such as vacuum hose, pressurized hose, or tubes encasing movable cables.
Enclosure 100, as illustrated, is configured to house a control device for a model vehicle, for example a remotely controllable model car, in an environment protected from contaminants, such as water, mud, dirt and snow. The control
device may comprise an electronic module, such as a receiver,
transmitter, sensor, switch or power supply, a mechanical
module, such as a gear, lever or valve assembly, and/or an
electromechanical module, such as a motor, generator, or
mechanically operated electrical switch. Some embodiments
of enclosure 100 may house multiple modules.
FIG. 1 further illustrates conveyance alignment guides
112A-F adjacent to mouth 108 of clamp 106. In order to
illustrate conveyance alignment guides 112A-F, enclosure
100 is illustrated with a splash shield 210 cut away. Splash
shield 210 is illustrated in FIG. 2. The set of conveyance

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US 8,982,541 Bl

alignment guides 112, also shown in FIG. 2, forms a set of


sub-apertures 502A-502G across mouth 108. Sub-apertures
502A-502G are indicated in FIG. 5 for improved clarity, and
are illustrated as having non-identical widths. Conveyance
alignment guides 112A-G align transverse conveyances,
including ribbon cables 110 and wire 114, in clamp 106. In
the illustrated embodiment, conveyance alignment guide
112A and 112B restrict motion of ribbon cables 110, and
conveyance alignment guide 112F restricts motion of wire
114. In some embodiments, sub-apertures 502A-502G are
sized such that the insulation or other external housings of
transverse conveyances effectively blocks out contaminants,
forming a seal. For example, if gaps between the outside of
wire 114 and the interior of sub-aperture 402G are small
enough, contaminants are unlikely to pass through the gaps
and into the inside of enclosure 100. Thus, for some embodiments, the set of conveyance alignment guides 112 may form
a sealing layer for clamp 106. Grommets and/or other flexible
sealing material, such as room temperature vulcanizing
(RTV) rubber, around transverse conveyances may provide
further sealing.
In FIG. 1, clamp 106 is also illustrated as comprising
flexible layers 116 and 118, which also form sealing layers. In
some embodiments flexible layer 116 and/or flexible layer
118 comprise foam rubber, although other compressible
materials may be used. When assembled with ribbon cables
110 and wire 114 in place, flexible layers 116 and 118 compress and conform to the shapes and sizes of the transverse
conveyances. For example, flexible layers 116 and 118 form
a seal 119 to prevent contaminants from entering enclosure
100, even when ribbon cables 110 and wire 114 pass through
mouth 108 of clamp 106. It should be understood that flexible
layers 116 and 118 are able to form the seal119 even where
ribbon cables 110 and wire 114 have differing diameters, or
have been moved from one of sub-apertures 502A-502G to
another. Thus, the illustrated embodiment of enclosure 100
comprises at least three sealing layers: the set of conveyance
alignment guides 112, flexible layer 116 and flexible layer
118. However, it should be understood that some embodiments may comprise a greater or lesser quantity of sealing
layers.
As illustrated, the set of conveyance alignment guides 112
is able to deflect contaminants from at least a portion of
flexible layers 116 and 118, thereby forming a protective
shield for flexible layers 116 and 118. In some embodiments,
flexible layers 116 and 118 are constructed with materials that
may degrade with age, exposure to contaminants, and
repeated opening and closing of clamp 106. The protective
nature of conveyance alignment guides 112A-G can extend
the lifespan of flexible layers 116 and 118. Further, to ensure
durability, some embodiments of enclosure 100 use replaceable flexible layers 116 and 118.
FIG. 2 illustrates an exploded assembly view of enclosure
100. In the illustrated embodiment, splash shield 210 is
attached to top clamp portion 106A, although it should be
understood that splash shield 210 may be a separate piece,
coupleable to enclosure 100. Splash shield 210 obscures at
least a portion of mouth 108 of clamp 106 to deflect contaminants away from mouth 108, further protecting flexible layers
116 and 118. An adhesive strip 208 is illustrated on flexible
layer 116, which affixes flexible layer 116 to clamp top portion 106A. Another adhesive strip 208 on the underside of
flexible layer 118 affixes flexible layer 118 to bottom clamp
portion 106B. In the illustrated embodiment, when flexible
layer 116 or 118 becomes worn, it may be replaced by pulling
it out and affixing the replacement layer 116 or 118 in place
using adhesive strip 208.

Base 102 comprises a conveyance aperture 212, which


permits ribbon cables 110 and wire 114 to traverse enclosure
100, passing from the inside to the outside. Aperture 212 is
configured to be offset from mouth 108 of clamp 106, illustrated as aperture 212 being vertically offset and below the
expected location of mouth 108, when clamp 106 is
assembled. It should be understood, however, that a different
offset, such as a horizontal or diagonal offset, may be used.
Ribbon cables 110 and wire 114 are illustrated as bent as they
would be when enclosure 100 is assembled. It can be seen in
FIG. 2 that the relative positions and orientations of aperture
212, clamp 106 and splash shield 210 force ribbon cables 110
and wire 114 through a curved path, having a total bend of
greater than 90 degrees, although this total bend is comprised
of multiple bends, each of which may be less than 90 degrees.
This curved path further protects the inside of enclosure 100
from the likelihood of contamination through aperture 212.
Aperture 212 is therefore sealed against contaminants by
clamp 106.
The illustrated embodiment of enclosure 100 further comprises a gasket 206, illustrated as a compressible, replaceable
ring, although other embodiments may comprise different
removable and/or permanent gasket types. Gasket 206 is
compressed between mating surfaces 202 and 204 on base
102 and cover 104, respectively. Mating surfaces 202 and 204
are illustrated as continuous, having no gaps or notches for
transverse conveyances. Mating surfaces 202 and 204 are
configured to form a seal in order to keep contaminants out of
enclosure 100 when cover 104 and base 102 are coupled
together. In the illustrated embodiment, mating surface 202
comprises a channel 202A, which is configured to retain
gasket 206 in place during assembly.
FIG. 3 illustrates a cutaway perspective view of enclosure
100, as assembled. A ribbon cable 110 is illustrated traversing
enclosure 100, bending more than 90 degrees as it passes
through aperture 212, mouth 108 of clamp 106, which is
offset from aperture 212, and beneath splash shield 210.
Mating surfaces 202 and 204 are illustrated forming a seal
that includes gasket 206.
FIG. 4 illustrates a top view of enclosure 100, as
assembled, with ribbon cables 110 and wire 114 traversing
enclosure 100. FIG. 5 illustrates a cutaway top view of enclosure 100, showing the interior ofbase 102, with cover 104 and
top clamp portion 106A removed. Sub-apertures 502A-G,
formed adjacent to mouth 108 of clamp 106 by the set of
conveyance alignment guides 112, are identified. Ribbon
cables 110 and wire 114 are illustrated passing above flexible
layer 118.
FIG. 6 illustrates a rear view of enclosure 100, indicating
plane 7 used for the cutaway side view of FIG. 7. In FIG. 7,
enclosure 100 is illustrated as assembled, with ribbon cables
110 passing through aperture 212, disposed between flexible
layers 116 and 118, and bending downward to pass out of
mouth 108 and past splash shield 210.
FIG. 8 illustrates a side view of enclosure 100, indicating
plane 9 used for the cutaway front view of FIG. 7. Plane 9 is
between splash shield 210 and base 102. In FIG. 9, ribbon
cables 110 and wire 114 are illustrated as passing between
flexible layers 116 and118. Flexible layers 116 and 118 of the
seal 119 compress to conform to the shapes and sizes of
ribbon cables 110 and wire 114, sealing gaps 115 in order to
protect the interior of enclosure 100 from contaminants.
FIG. 10 illustrates an embodiment of a remotely controllable car 1000 with another embodiment of a protective
enclosure 1100. Remotely controllable car 1000 also comprises a drive train 1006, which is controlled by control
devices 1002 and 1004 inside enclosure 1100. FIG. 11 illus-

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US 8,982,541 Bl
5
trates a close-up cutaway view of enclosure 1100, which
comprises a base 1102, a cover 1104, a gasket 1206 and a
clamp 1106. It should be understood that remotely controllable car 1000 may comprise multiple protective enclosures
100 and/or 1100. It should be further understood that control
devices 1002 and 1004 may be electronic, mechanical and/or
electromechanical modules, and that a greater or lesser quantity may be used.
Having thus described the present invention by reference to
certain of its preferred embodiments, it is noted that the
embodiments disclosed are illustrative rather than limiting in
nature and that a wide range of variations, modifications,
changes, and substitutions are contemplated in the foregoing
disclosure and, in some instances, some features of the
present invention may be employed without a corresponding
use of the other features. Many such variations and modifications may be considered desirable by those skilled in the art
based upon a review of the foregoing description of preferred
embodiments. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the
appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the scope of the invention.
The invention claimed is:
1. A protective enclosure for a model vehicle component,
comprising:
an enclosure comprising a first enclosure member and a
second enclosure member, wherein the first and second
enclosure members are coupleable together to form the
enclosure;
at least one conveyance extending from inside the enclosure to outside the enclosure, wherein the at least one
conveyance comprises one or more wires separated from
immediate surroundings and preventing passage of contaminants past or between the one or more wires by
electrical insulation material encasing the one or more
wires;
a clamp comprising:
a first clamp surface and a second clamp surface;
wherein at least a portion of each of the first clamp
surface and the second clamp surface is configured to
be positioned in a clamped position forming a clamp
mouth around at least a portion of the at least one
conveyance extending from inside to outside the
enclosure, the clamp mouth restricting the passage of
contaminants; and
wherein the first clamp surface is movable from the
clamped position forming the clamp mouth to an
undamped position relatively farther from the second
clamp surface releasing the at least one conveyance
from the clamp mouth, when the first enclosure member is uncoupled from the second enclosure member;
and
a first seal comprised of compressible sealing material
having one or more flexible surfaces wherein the sealing
material of the first seal is compressed between the first
clamp surface and the second clamp surface, wherein the
flexible surfaces of the first seal are configured to conform around at least a portion of opposite sides of the at
least one conveyance within the clamp mouth when the
first clamp surface is in the clamped position to restrict
passage of contaminants into the enclosed space beyond
the clamp mouth.
2. The protective enclosure of claim 1, wherein the one of
more flexible surfaces of the first seal further comprise
deformable sealing material contacting opposite sides of the
at least one conveyance as the first and second enclosure
members are coupled together.

6
3. The protective enclosure of claim 1, wherein at least a

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50

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65

portion of one or more flexible surfaces of the first seal comprise a substantially flat surface prior to contacting at least a
portion of the at least one conveyance as the first and second
enclosure members are coupled together.
4. The protective enclosure of claim 1, wherein the first
enclosure member comprises one or more walls and wherein
the first clamp surface comprises a dimension extending
along a portion of the length of the at least one conveyance
greater than the thickness of an adjacent portion of the one or
more walls of the first enclosure member.
5. The protective enclosure of claim 4, wherein the second
enclosure member comprises one or more walls and wherein
the second clamp surface comprises a dimension extending
along a portion of the length of the at least one conveyance
greater than the thickness of an adjacent portion of the one or
more walls of the first enclosure member.
6. The protective enclosure of claim 1, wherein at least a
portion of the first clamp surface compressing the sealing
material to conform the one or more flexible surfaces of the
first seal around at least a portion of opposite sides of the at
least one conveyance within the clamp mouth is substantially
planar.
7. The protective enclosure of claim 6, wherein at least a
portion of the second clamp surface compressing the sealing
material to conform the one or more flexible surfaces of the
first seal around at least a portion of opposite sides of the at
least one conveyance within the clamp mouth is substantially
planar.
8. The protective enclosure of claim 1, wherein at least a
portion of each of the first and second clamp surfaces compressing the sealing material to conform the one or more
flexible surfaces of the first seal around at least a portion of
opposite sides of the at least one conveyance are substantially
planar and substantially parallel.
9. The protective enclosure of claim 8, further comprising
at least one coupling seal disposed between at least a portion
of the coupling surfaces of the first and second enclosure
members; and
wherein the at least one coupling seal and the first seal
cooperate to restrict the passage of contaminants into the
enclosure, past at least a portion of the coupling surfaces
of the first and second enclosure members and past the
one or more conveyances extending from within the
enclosure to outside the enclosure.
10. The protective enclosure of claim 1, further comprising
at least one coupling seal disposed between at least a portion
of the coupling surfaces of the first and second enclosure
members.
11. The protective enclosure of claim 10, wherein the at
least one coupling seal and the first seal cooperate to restrict
the passage of contaminants into the enclosure, past at least a
portion of the coupling surfaces of the first and second enclosure members and past the at least one conveyance extending
from within the enclosure to outside the enclosure.
12. A protective enclosure for a model vehicle component,
comprising:
a first enclosure portion, having one or more walls and a
coupling surface;
a second enclosure portion, having one or more walls and
a coupling surface, the second enclosure portion coupleable to the first enclosure portion to form at least an
enclosure;
one or more conveyances, the one or more conveyances
having a length extending from a conveyance origin
within the enclosure to a conveyance terminus outside
the enclosure;

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-2 Filed 08/02/16 Page 14 of 14 PageID #: 334


US 8,982,541 Bl
7

the first enclosure portion supporting a first conveyance


seal support surface;
the second enclosure portion supporting a second conveyance seal support surface;
wherein the first and second conveyance seal support surfaces are configured to apply compressive force to at
least a portion of the one or more conveyances between
the surfaces when the first enclosure portion is coupled
to the second enclosure portion to form at least the
enclosure;
wherein the first conveyance seal support surface comprises a dimension extending along a portion of the
length of the one or more conveyances greater than the
thickness of an adjacent portion of at least one of the one
or more walls of the first enclosure portion; and
one or more seal members disposed between the first and
second conveyance seal support surfaces, on opposite
sides of at least a portion of the one or more conveyances, the one or more seal members configured to be
compressed by the first and second conveyance seal
support surfaces and to conform around at least a portion
of opposite sides of the one or more conveyances to
restrict the passage of contaminants, wherein the one or
more conveyances comprise one or more wires separated from immediate surroundings and preventing passage of contaminants past or between the one or more
wires by electrical insulation material encasing the one
or more w1res.
13. The protective enclosure of claim 12, wherein the one
or more seal members comprise deformable sealing material
for contacting opposite sides of the one or more conveyances
as the first and second enclosure portions are coupled
together.
14. The protective enclosure of claim 12, wherein at least a
portion of one of the one or more seal members having a
substantially flat surface prior to contacting at least a portion
of the one or more conveyances as the first and second enclosure portions are coupled together.
15. The protective enclosure of claim 12, wherein the second conveyance seal support surface comprises a dimension
extending along a portion of the length of the one or more

conveyances greater than the thickness of an adjacent portion


of at least one of the one or more walls of the second enclosure
member.
16. The protective enclosure of claim 12, wherein at least a
portion of the first conveyance seal support surface compressing the one or more seal members to conform around at least
a portion of opposite sides of the one or more conveyances is
substantially planar.
17. The protective enclosure of claim 16, wherein at least a
portion of the second conveyance seal support surface compressing the one or more seal members to conform around at
least a portion of opposite sides of the one or more conveyances is substantially planar.
18. The protective enclosure of claim 12, wherein at least a
portion of each of the first and second conveyance seal support surfaces compressing the one or more seal members to
conform around at least a portion of opposite sides of the one
or more conveyances are substantially planar and substantially parallel.
19. The protective enclosure of claim 18, further comprising at least one coupling seal disposed between at least a
portion of the coupling surfaces of the first and second enclosure portions; and
wherein the at least one coupling seal and the one or more
seal members cooperate to restrict the passage of contaminants into the enclosure, past at least a portion of the
coupling surfaces of the first and second enclosure portions and past the one or more conveyances extending
from a conveyance origin within the enclosure to a conveyance terminus outside the enclosure.
20. The protective enclosure of claim 12, further comprising at least one coupling seal disposed between at least a
portion of the coupling surfaces of the first and second enclosure portions.
21. The protective enclosure of claim 20, wherein the at
least one coupling seal and the one or more seal members
cooperate to restrict the passage of contaminants into the
enclosure, past at least a portion of the coupling surfaces of
the first and second enclosure portions and past the one or
more conveyances extending from a conveyance origin
within the enclosure to a conveyance terminus outside the
enclosure.

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

* * * * *

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 1 of 105 PageID #: 335

EXHIBIT C

U.S. Patent No. 7,883,099 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 2 of 105 PageID #: 336

IIIIII

c12)

1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
US007883099B2

United States Patent

(10)

Byers et al.

(45)

(54)

VEHICLE SUSPENSION FORA MODEL


VEHICLE

(75)

Inventors: Brent Whitfield Byers, Plano, TX (US);


Jon Kenneth Lampert, Garland, TX
(US)

(73)

Assignee: Traxxas LP, Plano, TX (US)

( *)

Notice:

(21)

Appl. No.: 11/348,671

(22)

Filed:

Patent No.:
US 7,883,099 B2
Date of Patent:
Feb.8,2011

1,998,477 A
2,123,681 A
2,126,085 A

4/1935 Wikander
7/1938 Willgoos
8/1938 Balz

(Continued)

Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this


patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(b) by 411 days.

Nov. 23, 2006

Related U.S. Application Data

(63)

Continuation-in-part of application No. 11/102,008,


filed on Apr. 7, 2005, now abandoned, and a continuation-in-part of application No. 29/227,305, filed on
Apr. 7, 2005, now Pat. No. Des. 567,886.

(60)

Provisional application No. 60/669,664, filed on Apr.


7, 2005.

(51)

Int. Cl.
B60G 3120
(2006.01)
U.S. Cl. ............................ 280/124.135; 280/86.75;
280/124.141
Field of Classification Search ............................... .
280/124.134-124.142, 86.75
See application file for complete search history.

(58)

(56)

References Cited

U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS


903,080
951,000
1,135,577
1,647,438
1,695,379

A
A
A
A
A

1111908
3/1910
4/1915
1111927
12/1928

2137757

2/1973

Full size vehicle with suspension linkage #1 (admitted prior art).

(Continued)

Prior Publication Data

US 2006/0264151 Al

(52)

DE

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Feb.6,2006

(65)

FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS

Granieri
Ewing
Hague
De Ram
Keck

Primary Examiner-Paul N Dickson


Assistant Examiner-Timothy D Wilhelm
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Carr LLP

(57)

ABSTRACT

A model vehicle suspension is provided, comprising a vehicle


chassis, a spring for providing a supporting suspension force,
one or more dampers for providing a damping suspension
force, the dampers having an elongated shape, wherein the
dampers are mounted on the chassis with a longitudinal axis
substantially horizontal relative to the chassis and at least a
first suspension member mounted to the chassis for supporting a vehicle wheel, the first suspension member being
mounted for movement upwardly and downwardly at the
location for supporting a vehicle wheel. A coupling mechanism for transmitting suspension forces from one or both of
the spring and the one or more dampers to the first suspension
member at the location for supporting a vehicle wheel is also
provided, the coupling mechanism being configured to transmit suspension forces to the first suspension member, while
allowing movement of the first suspension member at the
point of supporting a wheel.
50 Claims, 77 Drawing Sheets

1500

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 3 of 105 PageID #: 337
US 7,883,099 B2
Page 2
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
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3,177,004
3,448,991
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6,761,372
6,881,122
6,945,843
7,185,902
7,367,573
2002/0041076
2002/0077025
2003/0122336
2003/0209217
2004/0045518

9/1938 Hayermans eta!.


A
111940 Fischer
A
10/1940 Haberstump
A
111952 Kolbe
A
A * 6/1953 Gregoire ...................... 267/28
111957 Bamford
A
1111959 Taber
A
4/1960 Ferand
A
7/1961 Muller
A
A * 4/1965 Schmidt ..................... 280/682
A * 6/1969 Leggett ................... 280/89.11
12/1970 Okuma
A
7/1971 Brando
A
A
111972 Grosseau
A
6/1972 Masuda
A
3/1973 Blanton
A
4/1973 Goodbary et a!.
A
6/1973 Haley
A
111974 Lievore
2/1982 Cowan
s
A
9/1984 Duphily eta!.
s
3/1985 Nakano eta!.
A
8/1985 Grove et a!.
s
12/1985 Heideman eta!.
A
1111988 Takahashi
A * 1111989 Tanaka ................ 280/124.128
A
9/1990 Smith
A * 111992 Kawano eta!. ....... 280/124.142
A * 4/1992 Banse ................... 280/86.757
7/1993 McNab eta!.
s
A
1111997 Regueiro
A
7/1998 Kotani
1111998 Holt
A
12/1998 Davis et al.
A
A
1112000 Kuo-An
S
12/2000 Hanlon et al.
B1*
112001 Laurent eta!. ........... 280/5.508
B2 * 4/2003 Behr ................... 280/124.125
B1
1112003 Lai
B1 * 12/2003 Thompson eta!. ........... 56/15.8
12/2003 Hendriksma eta!.
B2
B2 * 3/2004 Becker et al .......... 280/124.141
B2 * 4/2004 Zadok ................. 280/124.106
B2 * 7/2004 Bryant ................ 280/124.179
B2
4/2005 Bloch eta!.
B1
9/2005 Motosko
B1 * 3/2007 Lloyd .................. 280/124.106
B2
5/2008 Kudo eta!.
A1
4/2002 Becker et al.
A1 * 6/2002 Wu ............................ 446/465
A1 * 7/2003 Zadok ................. 280/124.106
A1
1112003 Hendriksma eta!.
A1
3/2004 Abe

2004/0261739 A1
12/2004 Shimizuya
2005/0040619 A1 * 2/2005 Melcher .............. 280/124.135
2006/0006622 A1
112006 Gesmer et a!.

OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Full size vehicle with suspension linkage #2 (admitted prior art).
U.S. Appl. No. 12/132,163; Office Action; Nov. 9, 2009.
Associated Electrics, "Monster GT' model truck; Associated
Electrics, Inc., Costa Mesa, California, 1 photograph (admitted prior
art).
Associated Electrics, "RC10GT' model vehicle; Associated
Electrics, Inc., Costa Mesa, California, 1 photograph (admitted prior
art).
Bradley, John; "The Racing Motorcycle"; 1996, pp. 246-273, 322325; Broadland Leisure Publications, England.
Ellsworth, Tony; "Suspension Design Enhancements-The
Ellsworth Dare"; Drearmide Mountain Bike Tours and Film Services
Moab, Utah, 2001.
'
Horizon Hobby, "Losi XXX buggy"; Horizon Hobby, Inc.,
Champaigne, Illinois; 1 sketch of suspension geometry (admitted
pnor art).
HPI Racing, "Savage 21" model truck; Hobby Products International, Foothill Ranch, California; 1 sketch of suspension geometry
(admitted prior art).
HyperPRO_USA;
"What
is
Progressive
Suspension?"
HyperPRO_USA.com (admitted prior art).
Kyosho Inferno MP7.5 model car; Kyosho America, Lake Forest,
California; 2 sketches of suspension geometry (admitted prior art).
Milliken, William F. and Milliken, Douglas L.; "Race Car Vehicle
Dynamics" 1995, pp. 580-583, 595-597, 628-631; SAE Publications
Group, Pennsylvania USA.
Phillpotts, Peter; "Rising Rate Suspension"; Off Road Design, 2001.
Race Tech, "Profile--Chalmers Formula SAE Car" Race Tech magazme, Oct./Nov. 2003, p. 74; Racecar Graphic Ltd, London, England.
Racecar Engineering, Jun. 2003-vol. 13 No. 06, pp. 15, 106; Country & Leisure Media Ltd./IPC Media Ltd., Croydon, England.
Salven, Michael; "Progressive Suspension" Nov. 10, 2000;
myTSN-Publication, Netherlands.
Serpent, Veteq; Serpent Model Racing Cars, Noord-Holland, Netherlands; 3 pictures (admitted prior art).
Serpent, Veteq; Serpent Model Racing Cars, Noord-Holland, Netherlands; 1 sketch of suspension geometry (admitted prior art).
Staniforth, Allan; "Competition Car Suspension" 1988, pp. 76-81,
84-85; Haynes Publications, Newbury Park, California.
Tamiya, "Terra Crusher" model truck; Tamiya America, Inc., Aliso
Viejo, California; 1 sketch of suspension geometry (admitted prior
art).
Traxxas, "Nitro Rustler" model vehicle; Traxxas LP, Plano, Texas; 1
photograph (admitted prior art).
Traxxas; "T-MAXX Assemblies, Front Assembly" exploded view;
Traxxas LP, Plano, Texas; (admitted prior art).
Traxxas, "T-MAXX" model vehicle; Traxxas LP, Plano, Texas;
photograph (admitted prior art).

* cited by examiner

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 4 of 105 PageID #: 338

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 1 of77

US 7,883,099 B2

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 6 of 105 PageID #: 340

U.S. Patent

Feb. 8, 2011

Sheet 3 of77

US 7,883,099 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 7 of 105 PageID #: 341

U.S. Patent

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 9 of 105 PageID #: 343

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US 7,883,099 B2

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 12 of 105 PageID #: 346

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 13 of 105 PageID #: 347

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 15 of 105 PageID #: 349

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 17 of 105 PageID #: 351

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 21 of 105 PageID #: 355

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 24 of 105 PageID #: 358

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Sheet 21 of 77

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 25 of 105 PageID #: 359

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.r1100

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=-

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FIG. 32A

FIG. 31A

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 37 of 105 PageID #: 371

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 34 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

1112

FIG. 33A

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 39 of 105 PageID #: 373

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 36 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 40 of 105 PageID #: 374

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 37 of 77

b
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1154

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 42 of 105 PageID #: 376

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 39 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

1190

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 43 of 105 PageID #: 377

FIG. 40A

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 45 of 105 PageID #: 379

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 42 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 46 of 105 PageID #: 380

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 43 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 47 of 105 PageID #: 381

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 44 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

/1-1219

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~1216
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1325

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 53 of 105 PageID #: 387

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 50 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 55 of 105 PageID #: 389

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 52 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 56 of 105 PageID #: 390

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 53 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 57 of 105 PageID #: 391

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 54 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

FIG. 49A

FIG.49C

~508

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 59 of 105 PageID #: 393

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 56 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 60 of 105 PageID #: 394

U.S. Patent

Feb. 8, 2011

Sheet 57 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 61 of 105 PageID #: 395

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 58 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 62 of 105 PageID #: 396

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 59 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

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U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 60 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

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U.s. Patent
Feb. 8, 2011
Sheet 61 of 77

Vs 7,883,099 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 65 of 105 PageID #: 399

U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 62 of 77

154

FIG. 54A

US 7,883,099 B2

,110

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U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 63 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

110

FIG. 54B

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U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

US 7,883,099 B2

Sheet 64 of 77

110

154

FIG. 54C

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U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

US 7,883,099 B2

Sheet 65 of 77

110

154

FIG. 54D

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U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 66 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

110

FIG. 54E

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U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 67 of 77

SPACER COMBINATION

CASTER ANGLE

F'RONT
Outer Toe link End Setup

Caster
7.5 10 12.5 15

so

US 7,883,099 B2

ROLL CENTER
SETTING

Control Arm
Mounting Hole on
Front Bulkhead

. ...... - ..="-'-""""l:"""''"""~-..- ....~""""""'~------

Standard
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.
lower

Thin Shim

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lower

ThkkShlm/

Upper
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lower

ThkkShlm_
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Upper

Hollow Ball
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Thin Shim

Upper

Standard-Hollow Ball

FIG. 55

FIG. 56

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U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

US 7,883,099 B2

Sheet 69 of 77

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U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

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Feb.8,2011

US 7,883,099 B2

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U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

US 7,883,099 B2

Sheet 72 of 77

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U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

Sheet 73 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

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Feb.8,2011

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U.S. Patent

Feb. 8, 2011

Sheet 75 of 77

US 7,883,099 B2

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U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

US 7,883,099 B2

Sheet 76 of 77

1508

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U.S. Patent

Feb.8,2011

US 7,883,099 B2

Sheet 77 of 77

1544

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US 7,883,099 B2
1

VEHICLE SUSPENSION FOR A MODEL


VEHICLE

gitudinal axis substantially horizontal relative to the chassis


and at least a first suspension member mounted to the chassis
for supporting a vehicle wheel, the first suspension member
being mounted for movement upwardly and downwardly at
the location for supporting a vehicle wheel. A coupling
mechanism for transmitting suspension forces from one or
both of the spring and the one or more dampers to the first
suspension member at the location for supporting a vehicle
wheel is also provided, the coupling mechanism being configured to transmit suspension forces to the first suspension
member, while allowing movement of the first suspension
member at the point of supporting a wheel.

RELATED APPLICATIONS
5

This application claims the benefit of priority under 35


U.S.C. 120 of provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/669,
664 entitled "MOTOR OPERATED VEHICLE," filed on Apr.
7, 2005. This application is also a continuation-in-part ofU.S.
patent application Ser. No. 11/102,008 entitled "A MODEL 10
VEHICLE SUSPENSION CONTROL LINK," filed on Apr.
7, 2005 now abandoned and previously incorporated as an
Appendix of the aforementioned provisional patent application, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by referBRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
ence in full as if fully set forth herein. This application is also 15
a continuation-in-part of U.S. design patent application no.
For a more complete understanding of the present inven29/227,305 entitled "VEHICLE MOUNTED COIL SPRING
tion, and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the
AND SHOCK ASSEMBLY" filed on Apr. 7, 2005 now U.S.
following descriptions taken in conjunction with the accomPat. No. D. 567,886, the contents of which are hereby incorpanying drawings, in which:
porated by reference in full as if fully set forth herein.
20
FIG. 1 is in isometric view of a portion of the vehicle
showing an engine mount supporting an engine on a chassis,
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
wherein the engine is coupled to a transmission assembly;
FIGS. 2A through E illustrate an engine mount allowing
The present invention relates to vehicle design and has
adjustment of the center distance between the engine crankparticular application is the design of remote control and 25 shaft and the transmission input shaft or engagement and
model vehicles.
disengagement of a vehicle engine with a transmission;
FIGS. 3A and B are respectively a partial section view,
APPENDICES
taken along the section lines ofFIG. 2B, and in isometric view
of a partial section view;
Also attached and made a part of this application are 30
FIGS. 4A through Care top, front elevation and side views
Appendices A-C. Appendix A is a document entitled "Model
of that portion of the vehicle chassis on which the engine and
5310 Revo Owner's Manual" and describes in further detail
transmission are mounted;
the construction and operation of an embodiment of the
FIG. 5 is a partial section view of the engine and any
invention. Appendix B are documents entitled "Traxxas Seramount,
taken along the section lines of FIG. 4B;
vice and Support Guide" and "Revo Part List," which 35
FIGS. 6A through D are isometric, front elevation, side,
describe in further detail the construction and assembly of
and top views of an engine and throttle link assembly of a
components employed in an embodiment of the invention.
vehicle;
Appendix C is a document entitled "Revo Suspension
FIG. 7 is a detail perspective view of a portion of the
Claims," which describes "progressiveness" in further detail
as related to motion ratios and the change in motion ratio.
40 throttle link assembly illustrated in FIG. 6A;
FIG. 8 is a partial section view of the throttle link assembly,
These Appendices are incorporated by reference in this
taken along the section lines of FIG. 6C;
application in their entireties to the same extent as iffully set
forth herein.
FIGS. 9A through D are perspective, front elevation, side
and top views of a front portion of the vehicle, on which is
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
45 mounted a bumper assembly;
FIG. 9E is a section view, taken along the section line of
Vehicles in a variety of styles and sizes have been made for
FIG. 9C;
many years. However, despite improvements in design of
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a vehicle chassis with the
vehicles over the years, vehicles remain unduly expensive to
body shell removed;
construct, expensive to maintain. Furthermore, vehicles, in 50
FIG.ll is a sectional viewofthevehiclechassis ofFIG.10,
particular, remotely controlled vehicles such as models and
taken through the portion of the vehicle chassis including the
other reduced-size vehicles, do not have optimum handling
fuel tank, filler cap and finger pull tab, with the cap open,
characteristics and are unduly difficult to adjust to obtain
along the line 10-10;
optimum handling characteristics under different driving
FIG. 12 is a perspective sectional view of a vehicle chassis,
conditions.
55
with the body shell installed, taken through the portion of the
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to
vehicle chassis including the fuel tank, filler cap and finger
overcome the foregoing limitations of the prior art.
pull tab, with the cap open, and showing one half of the
opening through with the finger pull tab can pass when the
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
body shell is installed or removed;
60
FIG.13Ais a plan view of the fuel tank, filler cap and finger
These and other objects and advantages are achieved in
pull tab, with the cap open;
accordance with an embodiment of the present invention,
FIG.13B is a side view of the fuel tank, filler cap and finger
wherein a model vehicle suspension is provided, comprising
pull tab, as viewed from the rear of the vehicle, with the cap
a vehicle chassis, a spring for providing a supporting suspension force, one or more dampers for providing a damping 65 open;
suspension force, the dampers having an elongated shape,
FIG. 13C is a perspective view of the fuel tank, filler cap
wherein the dampers are mounted on the chassis with a Ionand finger pull tab, with the cap open;

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US 7,883,099 B2

FIG. 13D is a side plan view of the fuel tank, filler cap and
finger pull tab, as viewed from the right side of the vehicle,
with the cap open;
FIG. 14 is a partially sectional view of the fuel tank, filler
cap and finger pull tab, taken along the line 14-14, with the
cap open;
FIG. 15 is a perspective sectional view of a vehicle chassis,
with the body shell installed, showing the cap opened;
FIG. 16 is a plan view of a vehicle chassis with the body
shell and suspension components removed;
FIG.17 is a sectional view ofthevehiclechassis ofFIG.16,
taken along the line 16-16, with a detail circle K around the
secured double looped fuel line in accordance with an
embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 18 is a perspective view of the vehicle chassis of
FIGS. 16 and 17, showing the secured double looped fuel
line;
FIG. 19A is a detailed perspective view showing the
secured double looped fuel line;
FIG.19B is a detailed cross-sectional view taken within the
detail circle of FIG. 17, showing a cross-section of the
secured double looped fuel line as secured in its chassis
mount;
FIGS. 20A through Care front, side in perspective views of
a slipper clutch assembly for use in a vehicle;
FIGS. 21A and Bare exploded in perspective views of the
slipper clutch assembly;
FIG. 22 is a section view, taken along the section lines of
FIG. 20A;
FIG. 23 is an enlarged detail illustration of a portion of FIG.
22;
FIG. 24 is a partial section view of the slipper clutch assembly;
FIG. 25A is an axial view, looking along the axis of the
brake disk from the outboard side, of a brake pad support
assembly in accordance with one embodiment of the present
invention;
FIG. 25B is a side view of the brake pad support assembly
depicted in FIG. 25A;
FIG. 25C is a plan view of the brake pad support assembly
depicted in FIG. 25A;
FIG. 25D is a perspective view of the brake pad support
assembly depicted in FIG. 25A, as viewed from the outboard
side;
FIG. 26A is a sectional view of the brake pad support
assembly depicted in FIG. 25A, taken along the line 25A-25A
of FIG. 25A;
FIG. 26B is a sectional perspective view of the brake pad
support assembly depicted in FIG. 25D, taken along the line
25D-25D of FIG. 25D;
FIG. 27 is an exploded perspective view of an embodiment
of the brake pad support assembly and base, as viewed from
the outboard side;
FIG. 28 is an exploded perspective view of an embodiment
of the brake pad support assembly and base, as viewed from
the inboard side;
FIGS. 29A through D are rear elevation, side, top and
perspective views of a front bulkhead assembly and suspension arm assembly of the vehicle;
FIGS. 30A through D are front elevation, side, top and
perspective views of a telescoping drive shaft of the vehicle;
FIGS. 31A andB are section and perspective section views,
taken along the section lines 31-31 of FIG. 30A, of the telescoping drive shaft;
FIGS. 32A andB are section and perspective section views,
taken along the section lines 32-32 of FIG. 30A, of the telescoping drive shaft;

FIGS. 33A through D are rear elevation, side, top and


perspective views illustrating coupling of the drive shaft to an
axle assembly supporting a wheel of the vehicle;
FIG. 34 is a section view, taken along the section lines
34-34 of FIG. 33C, illustrating coupling of the drive shaft to
an axle assembly supporting a wheel of the vehicle;
FIG. 35 is a perspective section view, taken along the
section lines 35-35 of FIG. 33C, illustrating coupling of the
drive shaft to an axle assembly supporting a wheel of the
vehicle;
FIG. 36 is a section view substantially bisecting the ball
joint and axle carrier assemblies of the vehicle;
FIG. 37 is a side view of the axle carrier shown in FIG. 36;
FIG. 38 is a perspective exploded view of the axle carrier
showing a sealing boot secured to the carrier;
FIGS. 39A through C are front elevation, side and top
views of the axle carrier shown in FIG. 38;
FIG. 40A is view of the front portion of the vehicle, with
the chassis removed for clarity, showing the dual servos and
center dual arm steering arm, viewed from underneath;
FIG. 40B is view ofthefrontportionofthevehicle, with the
chassis removed for clarity, showing the dual servos and
center dual arm steering arm, viewed from the front end of the
vehicle;
FIG. 40C is view of the frontportionofthe vehicle, with the
chassis removed for clarity, showing the left side front wheel
and left side servo and the center dual arm steering arm,
viewed from the left side of the vehicle;
FIG. 40D is a perspective view of the front portion of the
vehicle, with the chassis removed for clarity, showing the dual
servos and center dual arm steering arm, viewed from underneath the left side of the vehicle;
FIG. 41A is an exploded perspective view of the components of the dual servos and center dual arm steering arm
assembly, as viewed from above the vehicle;
FIG. 41B is an exploded perspective view of the components of the dual servos and center dual arm steering arm
assembly, as viewed from below the vehicle;
FIG. 42 is a perspective view of the dual servos and center
dual arm steering arm assembly, with the other components of
the front end of the vehicle removed for clarity, viewed from
the rear left side of the vehicle;
FIG. 43A is a plan view of a steering servo mounted on the
right side of the chassis;
FIG. 43B is a side view of a steering servo mounted on the
right side of the chassis;
FIG. 43C is a perspective view of a steering servo mounted
on the right side of the chassis;
FIG. 43 D is an end view of a steering servo mounted on the
right side of the chassis, viewed from the front of the vehicle;
FIG. 44 is a sectional view of the mounted steering servo of
FIG. 42A, taken along the line 41A-41A;
FIG. 45 is a perspective view of a steering servo mounted
on the right side of the chassis, and shows a front one of the
mounting brackets;
FIG. 46 is an exploded perspective view of a steering servo,
front and rear mounting brackets, and the portion of the
chassis to which the steering servo is mounted;
FIGS. 47A and Bare side and top plan views showing the
layout of various components supported by the vehicle chasSis;
FIG. 48 is a perspective view of a vehicle chassis alone;
FIGS. 49A through D are side, front, top and perspective
views of the vehicle chassis supporting certain components of
a vehicle;

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FIGS. 50 A andB are section and perspective section views,


taken along section lines ofFIG. 49C, illustrating the shape of
the chassis and relative location of certain components supported by the chassis;
FIGS. 51A andB are section and perspective section views,
taken along section lines ofFIG. 49C, illustrating the shape of
the chassis and relative location of certain components supported by the chassis;
FIG. 52 he is a section view, taken along section lines of
FIG. 49C, illustrating the shape of the chassis and relative
location of certain components supported by the chassis;
FIG. 53, depicts a perspective view of the front suspension
assembly for the left front wheel;
FIGS. 54A-E show detailed views of the axle carrier, pin
and pivot link with various predetermined combinations of
ring-shaped spacers; and
FIG. 55 is a table depicting an example of five different
positionings of the pivot link for different combinations of
caster angle and roll center settings, employing a thick spacer
and a thin spacer in different configuration, as well as a
standard configuration employing a tall center hollow ball
type pivot link.
FIG. 56 is an exploded perspective view of the front left
suspension assembly of the vehicle;
FIGS. 57A through D are front elevation, side, top and
perspective views of the front left suspension assembly of the
vehicle in a full bump position;
FIGS. 58A through D are front elevation, side, top and
perspective views of the front left suspension assembly of the
vehicle in a full droop position;
FIG. 59 is a dimensioned front elevation of the front left
suspension assembly of the vehicle, shown at ride height;
FIG. 60 is a dimensioned rear elevation of the rear left
suspension assembly of the vehicle, shown at ride height;
FIG. 61 is a dimensioned top view of the chassis of the
vehicle showing the front and rear left suspension assemblies
of the vehicle;
FIGS. 62A and B are top and side views of a rocker arm
employed in a rear suspension assembly of the vehicle;
FIGS. 63A and B are top and side views of a rocker arm
employed in the front suspension assembly of the vehicle; and
FIG. 64 is top view of a portion of the front left suspension
assembly of the vehicle showing the damper and rocker arm
employed therein.
FIG. 65 is an exploded perspective view of the rocker arm
assembly of the front left suspension assembly.
FIG. 66 is a side view of the rocker arm of the front left
suspension assembly.
FIG. 67 is a top view of the rocker arm of the front left
suspension assembly.
FIG. 68 is a cross sectional view of the first and second
portions of the rocker arm of the front left suspension assembly taken along line 68 of FIG. 67.

tal space needed on the chassis 300 and accommodates the


multi-level design of the chassis 300.
Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2A through E, 3A and Band 4A
through C, the adjustable engine mount 510 is shown in more
detail. The engine mount 510 comprises a front support 524,
a middle support 526 and a rear support 528. The supports
524, 526 and 528 are preferably manufactured from cast
aluminum; however, other suitable materials having the
required strength and temperature resistance would also be
suitable. The front and rear supports 524, 528 are generally
rib-shaped and are secured on the chassis 300 by outboard
flanges 530 and inboard flanges 532. Bolts 534 are inserted
into threaded apertures 535 formed in the flanges 530, 532
from and through the bottom of the chassis 300. The middle
support 526 is pivotally mounted to the front and rear supports 524, 528 by a pivot bolt 536 extending through a hinge
aperture 538 of a middle support 526 and aligned apertures
540, 542 through the front and rear supports 524, 528 respectively. The pivot bolt 536 comprises a threaded end 554, but
preferably has a smooth surface that extends through the
hinge aperture 538. The threaded end 554 secures the pivot
bolt 536 to a threaded shank 546 extending laterally from and
in alignment with the aperture 540 of the front support 524.
The smooth surface of the pivot bolt 536 reduces friction,
thereby facilitating pivoting of the middle support 526
between the front and rear supports 524, 528.
The middle support 526 includes a pivot arm 547 extending
generally downwardly and inboard from the remainder of the
support 526. The pivot arm 547 positions the hinge aperture
538 so as to impart a horizontal component to the pivotal
movement of the engine 500 when the middle support 526 is
pivoted from the lowest to the uppermost position. The rotational axis of the drive gear 516 is offset in the outboard
direction from the rotational axis of the spur gear 518. Thus,
the horizontal component of movement of the engine 500 as
the middle support 526 pivots upwardly, moves the drive gear
516 axis more directly toward the spur gear 518 axis than
would otherwise be the case, facilitating meshing of the gears
with reduced interference. The pivot arm 547 also positions
the hinge aperture 538 inboard, to impart greater movement
of the engine 500 as the middle support 526 is pivoted. The
pivot arm 547 is formed from a plurality of structural ribs 549,
to reduce the weight of the middle support 526.
Setting of the position of the engine mount 510 is accomplished by an adjustment bolt 546, which extends through an
aperture 548, an adjustment slot 550 and an aperture 552,
through the respective rear support 528, middle support 526
and front support 524. The adjustment slot 550 is located near
the outboard end of the middle support 526, for ease of access
and clearance from the engine 500. A lock washer (not
shown) is positioned over the adjustment bolt 546, between
the surfaces of the rear and middle supports 528, 526 and
between the services of the middle and front supports 526,
524, to secure the surfaces against relative movement when
the adjustment bolt 546 is tightened. The adjustment bolt 546
comprises a threaded end 554, but preferably has a smooth
surface that extends through the adjustment slot 550. The
threaded end 554 secures the adjustment bolt 546 to a
threaded shank 556 extending laterally from and in aligument
with the aperture 552 of the front support 524. The smooth
surface of the adjustment bolt 546 reduces friction, thereby
facilitating pivoting of the middle support 526 between the
front and rear supports 524, 528.
The engine 500 is supported by inboard and outboard
engine support surfaces 558, 560 formed on the engine mount
510 middle support 526. Threaded engine fastening bores 562
are formed through the support surfaces 558, 560, to receive

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DETAILED DESCRIPTION
FIG. 1 illustrates a vehicle engine 500 supported by an
engine mount 510 (partially shown) on the vehicle chassis
300. The engine 500 drive shaft 512 rotates a clutch bell 514
and drive gear 516 assembly that is coupled via a spur gear
518 to a transmission assembly 520. The engine mount 510 is
configured to allow generally vertical movement, shown by
the arrows 522, to accommodate drive and spur gears 516,
518 of different sizes or to allow engagement and disengagement of a vehicle engine with a transmission. Such gear mesh
adjustment, in a generally vertical direction, reduces horizon-

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7

threaded engine fastening bolts 564. The fastening bolts 564


are tightened into the engine fastening bores 562 and through
outboard and inboard flanges 566 extending laterally from the
engine 500, to secure the engine 500 to the pivotable middle
support 526 of the engine mount 510. The engine mount 510
is generally U-shaped between the engine support surfaces
558, 560, to receive the lower end of the engine 500.
In use, the engine mount 510 may be employed to position
the engine 500 drive gear 516 toward and away from the spur
gear 518. The adjustment bolt 546 is loosened, allowing the
outboard end of the middle support 526 of the engine mount
510 to be pivoted to a desired position, about the pivot bolt
536, parting the drive gear 516 and the spur gear 518. The
middle support 526 acts as a hinge relative to the chassis 300
and the transmission assembly 520, which is fixed to the
chassis 300. The range of pivotal movement of the middle
support 526 is determined by the length of the adjustment slot
550. The length of the adjustment slot 550 is determined,
primarily based on the variety of teeth or sizes of the drive
gear 516 and spur gear 518. The centerline of the adjustment
slot 550 substantially tracks a constant radius from the pivot
bolt centerline 536, to allow pivotal movement of the middle
support 526 without substantial interference between the surfaces of the adjustment bolt 546 and the adjustment slot 550.
Once substitution of a different sized drive gear 516 or spur
gear 518 is made, or other modifications or maintenance is
completed, the engine 500 is pivoted upwardly to mesh the
drive gear 516 and spur gear 518, connecting the engine 500
to the transmission assembly 520. The adjustment bolt 546 is
then tightened, securing the middle support 526 in the desired
position for operation of the vehicle engine 500 and transmission assembly 520.
Referring now to FIGS. 6A through D, 7 and 8 a throttle
link assembly 600 is shown that accommodates vertical
movement of the engine 500 by the engine mount 510 without
being uncoupled from the engine 500. The throttle link
assembly 600 is mounted to the middle support 526 of the
engine mount 510, for movement with the engine 500 and the
throttle arm 602 extending downwardly from the engine
throttle 604. The middle support 526 includes a throttle link
support surface 606 (shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 B) extending
towards the front of the vehicle. The throttle link support
surface 606 includes a threaded aperture into which is
threaded a throttle link bolt 608, securing the throttle link
assembly 600 for pivotal movement about an axis generally
perpendicular to the throttle link support surface 606.
The throttle link assembly 600 includes a bell crank 610
secured for pivotal movement about the bolt 608, to actuate
the throttle arm 602 in response to actuation of a servo-link
612. The bell crank 610 includes a central cylindrical shaft
614, through which the bolt 608 extends. The bell crank 610
pivots about bolt 608. A servo-link arm 616 and a throttle
actuation arm 618 extend in substantially perpendicular
directions from bell crank 610. The servo-link 612 and the
throttle arm 602 are both pivotally connected to the servo-link
arm 616 and the throttle actuation arm 618, respectively. The
servo-link 612 is preferably manufactured from a length of
steel wire, which is bent into an aperture 620 formed through
the servo-link arm 616 and secured for pivotal movement.
The throttle actuation arm 618 is positioned higher than the
servo-link arm 616, to provide clearance from the servo-link
612 when the engine throttle 604 is actuated towards an open
position. A slot 622 is formed through the throttle actuation
arm 618, to allow the throttle arm 602 to travel in a relatively
straight line of motion as the throttle actuation arm 618 rotates
about the throttle link bolt 608. The slot 622 is open at the
distal end of the actuation arm 618, to allow the throttle arm

602 to be easily removed. The slot 622 also allows the engine
500 to be removed from the vehicle without disrupting the
throttle link assembly 600, which is secured to the engine
mount 510, rather than to the engine 500.
The throttle 604 is actuated to an open position by servolink 612 pushing against the servo-link arm 616, rotating the
bell crank 610 to move the throttle actuation arm 618 towards
the servo-link 612. The servo-link 612 is secured by a guide
624 and stop 625 to a servo actuation arm 626 of a servo
mechanism 613. The guide 624 allows the servo-link 612 to
slide, while the stop 625 clamps the servo-link 612, preventing further sliding nearer the throttle 604.
The servo mechanism 613 rotates the servo actuation arm
626 about a servo mounting aperture 628 to move the actuation arm 626 towards the bell crank 610. The servo actuation
arm 626 slides along the servo-link 612 until the guide 624
abuts the stop 625, at which point, continued movement of the
actuation arm 626 pushes the servo-link 612 to actuate the
bell crank 610. AS the bell crank 610 actuates, the throttle
actuation arm 618 moves towards the servo-link 612 and the
throttle arm 602 follows, opening the throttle 604. The guide
624 allows the servo actuation arm 626 to be actuated in an
opposite direction, such as to actuate a braking mechanism
(not shown), while leaving the throttle 604 and the throttle
link assembly 600 in the engine idle position (closed) shown.
A spring 615 connected between an enclosure 617 holding
the servo and the end of the servo-link 612 extending out of
aperture 620 of the bell crank 610 returns the throttle 604 and
a throttle link assembly 600 to the engine idle position.
The configuration and position of the throttle link assembly
600 and the servo actuation arm 626 allow adjustment of the
position of middle support 526 of the engine mount 510 and
the engine 500, without requiring decoupling of the throttle
link assembly 600 from the engine or the servo actuation arm
626. Contributing to this is that the pivot points of the bell
crank 610 and servo actuation arm 626 (excepting the pivot
point at the throttle arm 602) form a substantially rectangular
configuration in the unactuated position shown in FIG. 6D.
When actuated, the pivot points form a trapezoid. In addition,
the axis of the servo-link 612 is substantially perpendicular to
the axis of rotation of the bell crank 610 about the bolt 608.
Thus, adjusting the position of the engine 500 by the engine
mount 510 does not require adjustment of the throttle control
link assembly 600.
FIGS. 9A through E illustrate a bumper assembly 650 that
cooperates with a skid plate 652 to protect the front end of the
vehicle shown from impacts. It will be apparent that the
bumper assembly 650 may also be mounted on the rear end of
the vehicle, to protect the back of the vehicle from impacts as
well. The bumper assembly 650 comprises a bumper support
654 and a bumper 656 that are secured to a bumper chassis
mount 658 attached to the vehicle chassis 300. Below the
bumper assembly 650 and mounted to the bulkhead assembly
658 is the skid plate 652.
Referring additionally to FIG. 9E, the bumper support 654
is formed in a generally oval-shape loop and is mounted to the
bulkhead assembly 658 in a horizontal orientation relative to
the chassis 300. The inboard length 670 of the bumper support
654 includes two integrally formed mounting collars 672
extending vertically across the width of the bumper support
654. The mounting collars 672 are longer than the width of the
bumper support 654, to provide greater resistance to and
strength during vertical flexing and twisting of the bumper
support 654. The mounting collars 672 extend vertically, to
avoid interference with flexing of the inboard length 670 of
the bumper support 654. A pair offastening bolts 673 extending through the mounting collars 672 and portions of the

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bulkhead assembly 658 secure the bumper support 654 to the


front of the vehicle. The bumper support 654 also includes
C-shaped, curved lateral ends 674, each of which act as a
curved leaf spring. The mounting collars 672 are positioned
to allow inboard deflection of the lateral ends 674. The outboard length 676 of the bumper support 654 extends between
the lateral ends 674 and bends in a slightly convex curve
relative to the bumper 656. The inboard and outboard lengths
670, 676 of the bumper support 654 also act as leaf springs to
absorb an impact. The outboard length 676 of the bumper
support 654 includes two integrally formed mounting collars
678 extending horizontally and outwardly from the front of
the bumper support 654. The mounting collars 678 preferably
extend outwardly from the outboard length 676 of the bumper
support 654 a sufficient distance to maintain clearance
between the surfaces of the bumper 656 and the bumper
support 654 in extreme impact conditions, when maximum
deflection of the components occurs. The bumper support 654
is preferably manufactured from a strong, elastic plastic, such
as super tough Nylon (Zytel ST 801), available from
DuPont.
The bumper 656 is secured to the mounting collars 678 by
a pair of fastening bolts 680. The bumper 656 includes a
frame member 682, surrounding a middle section of the
length of the bumper 656. The frame member 682 adds rigidity and strength to the middle section of the bumper 656, as
well as supporting a pair of substantially parallel, horizontally
extending bumper stays 684. The outboard lengths of the
bumper stays 684 each act as leaf springs to absorb an impact.
The bumper 656 is formed in a generally convex curve facing
the front of the vehicle, to aid in deflecting the vehicle away
from objects upon impact and to aid in deflecting movable
objects from the path of the vehicle. The rear bumper can be
flat, which is more stable for wheelies. The bumper 656 is
preferably manufactured from a strong, elastic plastic, such
as super tough Nylon (Zytel ST 801), available from
DuPont.
The skid plate 652 is generally rectangular in shape, is
substantially uniform in thickness and is secured to and
extends forwardly from the bulkhead assembly 658. The skid
plate 652 is positioned below and rearward of the bumper
656, and extends upwardly from the bulkhead assembly 658
toward the lower edge of the bumper 656. This orientation
causes the front surface of the skid plate 652 to face forwardly
and downwardly, to deflect obstacles away from the vehicle
and to lift the vehicle's front end upwardly over obstacles in
the path of travel. The skid plate 652 acts as a leaf spring to
absorb and protect the front end and bulkhead assembly 658
from impacts. Sufficient clearance is provided between the
upper edge of skid plate 652 and the bumper 656, to avoid
interference as the skid plate 652 flexes. The skid plate 652 is
preferably manufactured from a strong, elastic plastic, such
as super tough Nylon (Zytel ST 801), available from
DuPont.
In use, the bumper assembly 650 is capable of extreme
deflection upon impact. The outboard length 676 of the
bumper support 654 will deflect into contact with the inboard
length 670, if necessary, on impact. The lateral ends 674 will
deform into a smaller radius, upon impact, while both the
inboard and outboard lengths 670, 676 will deform or bow
inwardly toward the center of the bumper support 654.
Deflection of the outboard length 676 of the bumper support
654 allows total deflection of the bumper support 654 in
inboard direction greater than the deflection of the lateral
ends 674. The bumper support 654 will elastically return to
substantially the same position and shape following impact.
The stays 684 of the bumper 656 will also elastically deflect

rearwardly, into a more bowed shape, upon impact. Following


impact, bumper stays 684 will substantially return to the
original shape.
Turning now to FIGS. 10-15, and initially to FIG. 10
thereof, a perspective view of a vehicle chassis 300 with the
body shell850 removed is depicted, from the right side of the
vehicle chassis 300. Vehicle chassis 300 has a fuel tank 852
secured thereon. Fuel tank 852 has a fill opening 854 and a
hinged filler cap 856. In one embodiment, the fill opening 854
has a rim 855 tipped toward a lateral side of the body shell
850, at an angle with respect to the horizontal plane. In one
embodiment, this angle is between about 10 degrees and 80
degrees and more preferably between about 40 degrees and
50 degrees. By making the opening 854 at an angle, the
opening is more easily accessible for the outside of the body
shell 850 for filling. Furthermore, placing the opening 854 at
an angle allows the fill opening 854 to be placed at the side of
the body shell850. The angle permits afuel filler bottle nozzle
to be inserted into the opening 854 without turning the bottle
upside down over the vehicle, which reduces spillage. Furthermore, the angle makes the fuel cap easier to open by
means of a direct upward pull on a finger ring pull, in a
manner to be described below.
The angle also allows greater freedom of body shell styles
since a vertical opening would require a fuel neck extension
to accommodate taller body shell styles, such as SUV styles,
or some other cumbersome method of refueling. However,
with the angled opening, many body shell styles of different
heights can be used on the same chassis, without changing the
fill opening 854 or adding a fuel neck extension.
During fueling, air often becomes entrained in the fuel as it
is squeezed into the tank, causing bubbles. These bubbles can
cause foam and "burping" during filling, resulting in spills. To
minimize this problem, the fuel tank 852 can include channels
853 along the inside upper surface of the top wall of the fuel
tank 852, sloped upwardly leading to the inside of the opening
854. These channels allow a path for entrained air in the tank
to escape, toward the inside edges of opening 854, where the
escaping air is less likely to cause foaming or "burping"
during filling.
The fuel tank 852 can have a resiliently closeable cap, such
as a hinged fuel cap 856. Fuel cap 856 can be pivotably
attached to molded eyes 857 of the top of fuel tank 852 and
attached with hinge pins 864. A spring 866 can be installed
between the fuel cap 856 and the tank 852 to resiliently urge
fuel cap 856 into a closed position when it is not being
intentionally physically opened for filling. The cap can also
be closed by a clip that snaps over the opposing endofthe cap
from the hinge and maintains the cap closed position.
Fuel cap 856 also includes a nozzle 858 to which is
attached one end of a pressurization tube 860. The other end
of pressurization tube 860 leads to a nozzle 861 on exhaust
muffler 882. During operation of the engine 500, a slight
amount of back pressure will be present in exhaust muffler
882. Pressurization tube 860 causes this back pressure to
pressurize fuel tank 852, thus assisting fuel flow without the
need to rely on gravity alone and without the need for fuel
pumps.
A finger pull tab 868 having an elongated shaft member
870 is attached to the fuel cap 856. This pull tab 868 permits
an operator to open the fuel cap 856 while keeping the users
hands at a safe distance from hot or rotating objects that could
injure them. This is advantageous because, after operation,
the fuel cap can be soaked with fuel and sufficiently hot to risk
injury from touching the fuel cap or, at the least, an unpleasant
burning sensation.

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In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the fuel cap 856 can be opened and closed, and the tank
refilled, without the need to remove the body shell850. However, if desired, the body shell 850 can be removed and
replaced for access to the fuel tank 852, or other components
on chassis 300, without the need to either open the cap 856 or
to remove the finger pull tab 868. However, as can be seen if
FIG. 12, the body shell 850 and the fill opening 876 in the
body shell850 are spaced apart from opening 854 sufficiently
so that the cap 856 can be pulled open inside the shell 850
sufficiently to allow insertion of a fuel filling line or nozzle,
without removing the body shell850. As depicted in FIG. 12,
opening the cap 856 to an approximately horizontal position
is sufficient to provide substantially unimpeded access to the
opening 854, but any degree of opening sufficient to allow
insertion of a fuel filling line or nozzle will suffice.
As can be seen in FIG. 12, the cap 856 can be opened by
means of pulling up on finger pull tab 868, which extends
through an opening 874 in the body shell850. Because FIG.
12 is a sectional view, only one half of opening 874 is
depicted, but it is to be understood that the remainder of the
slot (not shown) is substantially a mirror image of the one half
of a opening 874 shown. Opening 874 is sized to permit the
tab portion 872 of pull tab 868 to pass without undue interference, to permit removal and replacement of the body shell
850 without removal of pull tab 868. However, since pull tab
868 can be made from a resilient material, such as plastic or
rubber, some deformation of tab portion 872 as it passes
through opening 874 is permissible. Furthermore, having a
separate opening for the finger pull tab 868 provides greater
access to the fuel tank opening 854, since the finger pull tab
868 is safely inside the slot 876, away from opening 854, and
thus does not interfere with the fuel tank opening 854. The
body shell 850 has a fill opening 876 approximately aligned
with the opening 854 in the tank 852.
Turning to FIGS. 16-18 and 19A-B, a vehicle chassis 300
having a secured double looped fuel line 800 in accordance
with an embodiment of the present invention is depicted. Fuel
line 800 has an intake end 802 attached to a nozzle 804 which
extends into fuel tank 852, from which fuel can be withdrawn.
Fuel line 800 has an exit end 806 that is attached to a carburetor 898 on engine 500. Fuel line 800 can be made from any
suitable material, including a plastic or rubber material generally resistant to the type of fuel employed.
As can be seen in FIGS. 19A and B, the middle offuelline
800 does not run straight between the fuel tank 852 and the
carburetor 898, but rather is coiled into a loop portion 808. In
the event the vehicle turns over during operation, fuel generally can no longer be drawn into the entrance of the fuel line
800. Accordingly, the engine will soon stop running. Normally, the vehicle will be operated by radio control and the
operator may be several hundred feet away from the vehicle at
the time the vehicle turns over. Often, this is too far to reach
the vehicle to turn it upright before the engine stops. In the
present invention, the loop portion 808 of the fuel line will
retain additional fuel, giving the operator additional time to
reach and right the vehicle before the engine stops running
from lack of fuel. It should be understood that, although a
double loop is depicted, a single loop or more loops could also
be employed.
Although the loop portion 808 will retain additional fuel,
the coiling of the fuel line undesirably causes the fuel line to
attempt to uncoil. Because the fuel line is nearby many hot
surfaces, including the engine 500 and exhaust pipe, the fuel
line could easily come in contact with these hot surfaces
during rough drives. Accordingly, in accordance with the
present invention, the double loop is secured to the chassis by

upper double clip 810 and lower double clip 812, which are
affixed to a support member such as roll bar 899 which is
attached to chassis 300.
With the loop portion 808 secured, the advantages of using
the loop portion 808 to provide additional fuel capacity in the
fuel line is achieved, without the risk of fuel fires caused by
unintended contact between the fuel line and a hot surface.
As can be seen in FIG. 17, the upper double clip 810 can
have a first fastener having a pair of opposed arcuate surfaces
to grip a first loop of the loop portion 808 and a second
fastener having a pair of opposed arcuate surfaces to grip a
second loop of the loop portion 808. The lower double clip
812 can have a third fastener having a pair of opposed arcuate
surfaces to grip a lower portion of the first loop of the loop
portion 808 and a fourth fastener having a pair of opposed
arcuate surfaces to grip a lower portion of the second loop of
the loop portion 808. At least a portion of one of the opposing
surfaces of the third fastener is spaced farther from the other
opposing surface to receive and retain the curved surface of a
portion of the tube retained by the third fastener. Also, at least
a portion of one of the opposing surfaces of the fourth fastener
can be spaced farther from the other opposing surface to
receive and retain the curved surface of a portion of the tube
retained by the fourth fastener.
The first and third fasteners can be formed as one integral
piece and the second and fourth fasteners can also be formed
as one integral piece. Thus, the third fastener can form an
entrance for placement of a portion of a tube in the first
fastener and the fourth fastener can form at least a portion of
an entrance for placement of a portion of a tube in the second
fastener. Conveniently, either or both double clips 810 and
812 can be molded integrally with roll bar 899, which is
conveniently made of a plastic material. Because both the fuel
line 800 and the double clips 810 and 812 are somewhat
resilient, the fuel lines can be resiliently inserted into the clips
and resiliently retained there during rough driving, while still
being removable intentionally by the operator without difficulty
FIGS. 20A-C through 24 illustrate a slipper clutch assembly 900 for transferring torque from the spur gear 518 shown
in FIG. 1 to a transmission input shaft 902, during operation
of the vehicle. The slipper clutch assembly 900 protects the
spur gear 518 and the engine 500 shown in FIG. 1 from acute
shocks to the drive train, such as when the wheels of the
vehicle are abruptly slowed from a high speed spin to a much
lower rotation when the vehicle lands following a jump. The
slipper clutch can also serve as a torque limiting traction
control aid. The slipper clutch assembly 900 interposes a
friction coupling between the spur gear 518 and the transmission input shaft 902, which momentarily slips, allowing the
spur gear 518 to rotate at a speed faster than the input shaft
902 until the speed is slowed by the friction coupling of the
slipper clutch assembly 900. When acute shocks to the drive
train are not experienced, the slipper clutch assembly 900
preferably transmits rotational torque with little or no slippage.
The slipper clutch assembly 900 is configured to allow
removal of the spur gear 518 without changing the compressian setting of the slipper clutch assembly 900. The spur gear
518 is secured directly to the drive plate 904 by bolts 906
extending through substantially equidistant locations on the
body of the spur gear 518. The bolts 906 are threaded into
similarly located receptacles 908 formed on the surface of the
drive plate 904. The spur gear 518 can be removed from the
slipper clutch assembly 900, for service or replacement, by
removing the bolts 906 from the receptacles 908.

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The slipper clutch assembly 900 transfers torque between


the spur gear 518 and the input shaft 902, depending upon the
compressive force applied to the drive plate 904 and the
driven plate 910. The compressive force is adjusted by an
adjustment nut 912 threaded on the end of the input shaft 902
extending from the vehicle transmission (not shown). The
adjustment nut 912 abuts and compresses a pair of springs
916 mounted on the input shaft 902 to maintain the desired
compressive force. Although springs 916 are spring washers,
it will be apparent that other suitable springs, such as helical
springs and the like, could be employed. The springs 916, in
turn, press a radial ball bearing assembly 918 against the drive
plate 904. The drive plate 904, in turn, presses clutch pads 920
against a clutch disc 922 held by the driven plate 910 of the
slipper clutch assembly 900. Frictional resistance to movement between the contacting surfaces of the clutch pads 920
and the clutch disc 922 couples the spur gear 518 to the
transmission input shaft 902. The rotational and axial position
of the driven plate 910 is secured by a pin 926 that extends
through a diametrically extending hole 928 through the transmission input shaft 902. Opposing ends of the pin 926 extend
from the hole 928, against the driven plate 910 and prevent
movement of the plate axially along the shaft 902 away from
the adjustment nut 912. The greater the compressive force
applied to the clutch pads 920 and the clutch disc 922, the
more torque will be required to cause slippage of the slipper
clutch assembly 900.
The ball bearing assembly 918 supports the spur gear 518
for rotation about the transmission input shaft 902, in addition
to transmitting compressive forces from the spring( s) 916. An
aperture 924 in the center of the spur gear 518 preferably fits
snugly over the ball bearing assembly 918. The ball bearing
assembly 918 also fits snugly over the transmission input
shaft 902. This configuration reduces the total clearance
encountered between the input shaft 902 and the teeth of the
spur gear 518, reducing the risk of run out by the spur gear
518.
The clutch pads 920 are each supported by a flange 929
extending outwardly from a central, circular body portion of
the drive plate 904. The clutch pads 920 each include a pair of
indexing holes 930 in their surfaces opposite the clutch plate
922. Indexing posts 932 extending from the flanges 929 insert
into the indexing holes 930, secure the clutch pads 920 from
sliding out of position during operation.
The clutch disc 922 is secured against movement by the
driven plate 910 of the slipper clutch assembly 900. The
clutch disc 922 has a circular outer perimeter substantially
matching the circular perimeter of the driven plate 910. However, a central portion is cut from the clutch disc 922 in an
irregular pattern, substantially matching a similar pattern 934
extending from the surface of the driven plate 910 toward the
drive plate 904. The perimeter of the irregular pattern cut in
the clutch disc 922 fits around the similar pattern extending
from the driven plate 910, to secure the clutch disc 922 for
rotation with the driven plate 910.
The driven plate 910 is secured for rotation with the transmission input shaft 902 by the pin 926, the ends of which
engage an opposing pair of slots 936 formed in a collar 938
extending around the input shaft 902 and away from the drive
plate 904. The pin 926 and the slots 936 cooperate to index
rotationofthe driven plate 910 to the input shaft 902. Rotation
of the driven plate 910 rotates both the pin 926 and the input
shaft 902.
Extending from the surface of the driven plate 910 are a
number of integrally formed vanes 940. The vanes 940 trace
spiral paths outwardly over the area of the driven plate 910
supporting the clutch disc 922. As the driven plate 910 rotates,

the spiral vanes 940 act as cooling fins to dissipate heat caused
by friction between the clutch disc 922 and the clutch pads
920 during operation of the vehicle.
The slipper clutch assembly 900 provides reduced size,
low inertia and enhanced heat dissipation. These features are
provided by use of a semi-metallic, high-friction material to
form the clutch pads 920. Use of such a high-friction material
allows placement of the clutch pads 920 closer to the axis of
rotation of slipper clutch assembly 900, reducing the diameter
of the slipper clutch assembly 900. The reduced diameter
contributes to both reduced size and low inertia. Both the
drive and driven plates 904, 910 are preferably manufactured
from cast aluminum, which is light-weight and a good heat
conductor, further contributing to low inertia and enhanced
heat dissipation.
In prior model vehicle braking pad assemblies, a thin piece
of friction material is supported by a pad support constructed
of a thin piece of sheet metal. A small piston, actuated by a
cam, applies force to the sheet metal plate. The plate applies
force to the friction material and disk. A problem with such
prior braking pad assemblies is that the use of thin and flexible
material for the pad support and friction material results in
poor distribution of pressure, overheating and uneven wear.
As a result, the area directly under the piston wears quickly
and overheats.
In order to overcome these disadvantages of prior model
vehicle braking pad assemblies, in an embodiment of the
present invention, the friction material can be supported by a
very rigid cast pad holder (also called a caliper). The pad
holder geometry is more three dimensional than typical pads
that are stamped from sheet metal. This structure also provides the caliper with a high thermal capacity and better
thermal conductivity for cooling. Furthermore, in an embodiment of the present invention, the caliper can employ an
integrated post with ribs providing additional stiffness to help
evenly distribute the forces from the actuating cam. In another
embodiment, an integrated cam receiving surface on the caliper also helps to evenly distribute the forces from the cam.
FIGS. 25A-D, 26A-B and 27-28 depict a model vehicle
braking pad caliber assembly 1000 in accordance with in an
embodiment of the present invention. The braking pad caliper
assembly 1000 has outboard pad made of a friction material
1002 supported by a very rigid cast pad holder or caliper 1004
on the outboard side of braking disk 1006. On the inboard
side, an embodiment of the invention can include a pad of
friction material 1008 supported by an opposing very rigid
cast pad holder or caliper 1010 on the inboard side of braking
disk 1006. The braking disk 1006 can be made from strong
material, such as steel, aluminum or titanium. The braking
disk further can have slots 1001 and holes 1003 for, respectively, reduction of weight and assisting cooling of the disk.
The calipers 1008 and 1010 can be made from a strong material, such as steel, aluminum or titanium. In an embodiment,
the calipers 1008 and 1010 can be made from cast aluminum,
which has a higher thermal conductivity than steel as well as
a high strength to weight ratio.
Disk 1006 is slidably mounted over drive shaft 1012 but not
affixed to it. That is, the disk 1006 is free to slide axially on the
shaft 1012 to a limited degree. Drive shaft 1012 has opposite
flat surfaces 1013 and 1015 on its end 1011 for receiving a
coupling (not shown). The coupling has two pin keys (not
shown) that extend into opposite ends 1018 and 1020 of slot
1022, that extends from hole 1017 in disk 1006. These pin
keys force the disk 1006 to rotate with the coupling, and hence
with the drive shaft 1012 but permit a limited degree of axial
sliding of the disk 1006 with respect to drive shaft 1012.

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As can be seen in FIG. 27 and FIG. 28, in one embodiment,


the brake pad support calipers 1004 and 1010 each support a
brake pad of friction material1002 and 1008 on first inner
faces 1005 and 1009, respectively, to which the frictionmaterial1002 and 1008 is disposed. In one embodiment, the calipers 1004 and 1010 can each be a single piece of cast aluminum.
In one embodiment, the inboard caliper 1010 has a cam
receiving post or follower 1016 extending from its outside
face 1045. The post 1016 has a cam receiving surface for
receiving compressive force from an actuating cam 1025.
The actuating cam 1025 can take a variety offorms. In one
embodiment, the cam 1025 is the flat surface 1027 of a halfshaft portion of a cam shaft 1023. The cam shaft 1023 is
retained in base 1032 for pivoting about the axis of cam shaft
1023. In one embodiment, base 1032 is the transmission
housing, which is secured to chassis 300. The cam shaft is
pivoted by means of a force applied to yoke 1021, which is
secured to one of the ends of cam shaft 1023.
As the cam shaft is pivoted, one side of the flat surface 1027
will compressively press against the cam receiving surface of
post 1016. This will, in turn, displace the inboard caliper 1010
and the friction material1008 on it toward the disk 1006.
The brake calipers 1004 and 1010 can further include a
plurality offastening points 1024, 1026 and 1028 and 1030 at
which the respective caliper is secured directly or indirectly to
the chassis 300 of a model vehicle. As can be seen in FIGS.
25A-D, for example, the fastening points 1024 and 1026 for
the outboard caliper 1004 are where the caliper is attached to
the base 1032 by means of screws through screw holes 1051
and 1053. In the case of the inboard caliper 1010, the caliper
has securing holes 1028 and 1020 at each of its ends, which
can slide over the shafts 1038 and 1040 of securing screws
1034 and 1036. However, the caliper 1020 is not fixedly
secured to the shaft portion of the screws, but instead is
axially free to slide along the shafts of the screws so that the
friction material disposed on the caliper can be pressed
against the disk 1006 during brake actuation.
As indicated above, the disk 1006 is free to slide axially to
some degree along the axis of drive shaft 1012. Thus, as the
inboard caliper 1010 and its friction material1008 are forced
toward the disk 1006, the disk will be free to slide towards the
friction material! 002 on the outboard caliper 1004, which is
fixed in place by means of the heads of the screws 1034 and
1026 securing it to base 1032. Thus, when the brake is actuated by the cam, the axially slidable disk 1006 will be "sandwiched" in between the movable inboard caliper 1010 and the
fixed outboard caliper 1004, effectively applying braking
force to stop rotation of the disk. This will stop rotation of the
drive shaft 1012 which will also cause stopping of the rotation
of all the wheels (not shown) connected to the drive shaft.
As can be seen in FIGS. 25A through D, 26A and B, 27 and
FIG. 28, one or more ribs 1042 and 1007 extend outwardly
across substantially the entire length of the outer surface of
the caliper 1004. The term "inner", when referring to either
caliper 1004, 1010, means the surface in contact with the
friction material. "Outer" means the other surface of the caliper plate 1004, 1010. Ribs 1007 extend substantially parallel
to the circumference of an axle of shaft 1012 to be braked,
while ribs 1042 extend substantially tangentially to the circumference of the axle or shaft 1012. The ribs 1042 act to
stiffen the caliper 1004 to distribute compressive forces
applied to the outside face at one or more locations on the
caliper, as well as to provide cooling. As can be seen best in
FIG. 25C, one or more of the ribs 1042 can be tapered in
height as the rib approaches one of the plurality of plate
fastening points 1034, 1036. Thus, the ribs 1042 are the

highest at the middle of the span, where the bending moment


would be the highest. Furthermore, the one or more ribs 1042
extend across at least a portion of the outer faces of the
calipers in substantial aligument with an imaginary line
drawn through the center point of each of the plurality of
fastening points 1034 and 1036. The plurality of ribs 1007
extend across at least a portion of the outer surface of the
calipers 1004 and 1010, which can facilitate cooling of the
calipers, as well as providing stiffening reinforcement. The
ribs 1007 can each extend from the nearest rib 1042 on the
outer surface of caliper 1004 to curve circumferentially about
the axis of drive shaft 1012 toward an edge of caliper 1004,
thus providing additional stiffness in the direction of applied
frictional force, in addition to providing cooling.
In order to retain the friction material 1002 and 1008 in
position on the respective calipers, the calipers can include
one or more brake pad bosses 1048 extending from the inner
face of the caliper for engaging at least a portion of the
perimeter of a pad offriction material1002 or 1008 supported
on the inner face of the caliper, to resist lateral movement of
a brake pad 1002 or 1008 across the inner surface of the
respective caliper. The bosses 1048 have space between them
so that an operator can visually determine the degree of wear
of friction material without the need for disassembly. The
brake pad bosses 1048 can be sufficient alone to retain the
friction material in position on the caliper without the need for
reliance on other means for fastening the friction material to
the caliper. However, if desired, the friction material can also
be secured to the caliper by adhesive, screws, rivets or other
convenient means
Co-pending U.S. Patent Application of Brent W. Byers
entitled "A Model Vehicle Suspension Control Link" 11/102,
008, filed concurrently herewith, is hereby incorporated by
reference for all purposes. Components depicted in this application having substantially similar construction and function
to those shown in the co-pending application hereby incorporated by reference are identified with the same reference
numeral, followed by a prime(') designation (e.g., 100'). For
example, various components employed in the construction
and operation of the rear suspension arm assembly 100 in the
co-pending application are substantially similar in construction and operation to the components employed in the front
suspension arm assembly 100' shown in FIGS. 29A through
D.
Referring now to FIGS. 29A through D, shown is a front
bulkhead assembly 658, from which laterally extends a suspension arm assembly 100' and a telescoping drive shaft
1100. The telescoping drive shaft 1100 extends and retracts
with upward and downward movement of the suspension arm
assembly 100'. The drive shaft 1100 is secured by a Cardan
joint 1102 (sometimes referred to as a "universal joint") to a
transmission differential assembly shown in FIGS. 29A-D
mounted in a fixed position on the front bulkhead assembly
658. The outboard end of the drive shaft 1100 is secured by a
Cardanjoint 1102 to an axle assembly 1104 (shown in one or
more ofFIGS. 33D, 34 and 35) mounted for rotation within an
axle carrier 140'. The axle carrier 140' is supported on the
outboard end of the suspension arm assembly 1 00'. Extension
and retraction of the telescoping drive shaft 1100 accommodates a different pivotal path followed by the axle carrier 140'
as the suspension arm assembly 100' moves between uppermost and lowermost positions.
Referring now to FIGS. 30A through D, 31A and B, and
32A and B, the telescoping drive shaft 1100 is shown in
greater detail. The drive shaft 1100 comprises an inboard
yoke 1106 for securing a tubular external segment 1108 to the
front transmission differential of the vehicle. An outboard

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yoke 1110 forms the outboard end of the drive shaft 1100 for
securing a tubular internal segment 1112 to the Cardanjoint
1102 coupling of the drive shaft 1100 to the axle assembly
1104. The inboard and outboard yokes 1106, 1110 are integrally formed with the remainder of the external and internal
segments 1108, 1112, respectively, in a single-piece construction.
As is best shown in FIGS. 32A and 32B, curved splines
1114, 1116 extend from the internal and external surfaces,
respectively, of the external segment 1108 and the internal
segment 1112 of the drive shaft 1100. The splines 1114, 1116
extend at least along the lengths of the external and internal
segments 1108, 1112 that will overlap when the suspension
arm assembly 100' travels between the uppermost and lowermost positions. The splines 1114, 1116 are aligned with the
longitudinal axis of the shaft segments 1108, 1112, respectively, in a parallel formation. In the embodiment shown, the
splines 1114 extend along substantially the entire length of
the inner wall of the external segment 1108. The curved
surfaces of the splines 1114, 1116 are complementary, each
mating with a corresponding groove formed between adjacent splines of the external and internal segments 1108, 1112,
respectively. The splines 1114, 1116 vary in radius of curvature at approximately 180 intervals about the rotational axis
of the drive shaft 1100. In the embodiment shown, for
example, indexing splines 1118 of the external segment 1108
and indexing splines 1120 of the internal segment 1112 have
a smaller radius of curvature relative to other of the splines
1114, 1116. The radius of curvature of the corresponding
grooves with which the indexing splines 1118, 1120 mate,
have a similarly smaller radius of curvature. This indexes the
external and internal segments 1108, 1112 when mated, to
assure alignn1ent of the yokes 1106, 1110 in substantially the
same rotational position.
The curved splines 1114, 1116 transfer torque between the
yokes 1106,1110, while allowing the segments 1108,1112 of
the drive shaft 1100 to slide with respect to each other, in
telescopic fashion. The curved surfaces of the splines 1114,
1116 allow more splines to be formed than if rectangular
splines were used. The curved surfaces and number of the
splines 1114, 1116 and corresponding grooves reduce or
eliminate stress concentrations experienced by telescopic
drive shafts employing rectangular splines. Stress reduction
and accommodation of a greater number of splines 1114,
1116 is provided by a relatively larger than typical diameter
employed by the drive shaft 1100. These attributes also allow
the walls of the internal and external segments 1108, 1112 to
be thinner and lighter in weight.
The segments 1108, 1112 of the drive shaft 1100 are preferably manufactured from a low-friction, high impact
strength plastic, or other similar material. In the embodiment
shown, the segments 1108, 1112 are made from a suitable
Nylon material. The low-friction attributes of these materials
substantially eliminates the need to lubricate the surfaces of
the segments 1108, 1112.
The drive shaft 1100 is sealed to prevent dust, dirt, debris
and the like from entering and causing abrasion of and friction
between the surfaces of the segments 1108, 1112, which
would reduce performance and longevity. The ends of the
drive shaft 1100 next to the yokes 1106, 1110 each include
respective apertures 1122, 1124 that are sealed by elastomeric
plugs 1126, 1128 secured by a compression fit. The seam
between the surfaces of the external and internal segments
1108, 1112 is sealed by a bellows seal1130.
The bellows seal1130 includes a substantially cylindrical
central portion 1132, having laterally extending folds, allowing both expansion and retraction of the bellows seal 1130

with expansion and contraction of the drive shaft 1100.


Extending from the inboard and outboard ends, respectively,
of the bellows seal1130 are substantially cylindrical, smooth
sealing collars 1134, 1136. The sealing collars 1134, 1136,
respectively, fit snugly over substantially cylindrical, smooth
landing surfaces 1138, 1140 formed on the external surfaces
of the segments 1108, 1112. A seal is formed between the
sealing collars 1134, 1136 and the landing surfaces 1138,
1140, by a compression seal. In addition, the sealing collars
1134, 1136 are secured to the landing surfaces 1138, 1140, by
a suitable glue or adhesive. The bellows seal1130 is preferably made from a suitable rubber compound, such as nitrile
rubber, and the like.
FIGS. 33A through D, 34 and 35 illustrate coupling of the
drive shaft 1100 via the Cardan joint 1102 to a drive axle
assembly 1104 for driving a wheel120' on the front end of the
vehicle. The Cardanjoint 1102 comprises the outboard yoke
1110 of the drive shaft 1100 coupled to a drive axle yoke
1142. The drive axle assembly 1104 is supported by the axle
carrier assembly 140' for rotation. A drive pin 1144 couples
the drive axle yoke 1142 to the drive axle assembly 1104 to
transfer torque from the drive shaft 1100 to the wheel120'.
The drive axle yoke 1142 is supported for rotation within the
axle carrier 140' by an internally mounted radial ball bearing
assembly 1146. Supporting the drive axle assembly 1104 for
rotation is a ball bearing assembly 1148 mounted in the axle
carrier 140' adjacent the wheel120'.
In addition to transferring torque from the yoke 1142 to the
axle assembly 1104, the drive pin 1144 secures the yoke 1142
to the axle assembly 1104. The drive pin 1144 comprises a
substantially smooth, cylindrical pin extending through an
aperture extending diametrically through the outboard shank
of the drive axle yoke 1142 and an aligned aperture extending
diametrically through a portion of the axle assembly 1104
inserted into the shank. The interior surfaces of the apertures
of the shank of the drive axle yoke 1142 and the axle assembly
1104 are preferably smooth and provide sufficient clearance
to allow the drive pin 1144 to be inserted and removed without
difficulty.
The ball bearing assembly 1146 serves the dual purpose of
supporting the drive axle yoke 1142 shank for rotation and
securing the drive pin 1144 within the shank. This configuration allows replacement of the drive axle yoke 1142, for
example, if damaged, without the need to replace the drive
axle assembly 1104 as well. Various manufacturing steps and
associated costs are also reduced or eliminated
FIG. 36 illustrates substantially identical ball joint assemblies 1150 pivotally supporting the axle carrier 140' on the
outboard ends of the upper and lower suspension arms 102',
104'. In FIGS. 36 and 37, the yoke 1142, axle assembly 1104
and related components have been removed. The ball joint
assemblies 1150 allow universal movement of the axle carrier
140' relative to the suspension arms 102', 104' to allow steering, wheel alignn1ent and suspension travel.
The ball joint assemblies 1150 each include a substantially
spherical ball 1152 having a threaded shank 1154 securing
each of the balls 1152 to one of the suspension arms 102',
104'. Formed into each of the balls 1152 is a socket 1156,
preferably hexagonal, substantially aligned with the central
axis of the threaded shank 1154. The socket is used to secure
the shanks 1154 to the suspension arms 102', 104' and to
adjust the distance between the balls 1152 and the suspension
arms 102',104'. Adjustment of the balls 1152, in tum, allows
adjustment of the camber of a wheel supported by the suspension arms 102', 104', in particular. Removal of the balls
1152 from their respective suspension arms 102', 104' facilitates maintenance and replacement of parts.

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An inboard portion of each of the balls 1152 slides into a


Referring now to FIGS. 37, 38 and 39A through C, each
boot 1180 is secured to the landing 1182 by a ring 1184 which
correspondingly shaped inboard end of a ball housing 1158.
fits over and compresses a cylindrical portionofthe boot 1180
Each ball housing 1158 is generally cylindrical and extends
into sealing engagement with the landing 1182. A lip 1186
from the outboard surface of the axle carrier 140', beginning
with a diameter large enough to accommodate insertion of the 5 extends radially from the cylindrical portion of the boot 1180
and is compressed against a shoulder 1188 formed on the
ball 1152 and forming a substantially a spherical surface
surface of the axle carrier 140'. Each ring 1184 is held in this
ending in an inboard aperture through which the ball shank
position by a pair of clips 1190 extending substantially per1154 extends. Formed in the surfaces of each housing 1158
pendicularly from and on diametrically opposed points on the
are threads 1160 for receiving and securing a pivot ball cap
1162 for retaining each ball1152 within the respective hous- 10 ring. The clips 1190 are pressed over a pair of clip receptacles
1192 positioned on opposite sides of the associated ball housing 1158.
ing
1158. The rings 1184 and clips 1190 are preferably manuEach pivot ball cap 1162 is generally tubular, having exterfactured from a strong, impact-resistant plastic.
nal threads 1164 mating with housing threads 1160 and an
The inboard ends of the boots 1180 are each secured to the
inboard bearing surface 1166 for securing a ball1152 within
the respective housing 1158. The bearing surface 1166 is 15 associated shanks 1150 by an elastic collar 1194 integrally
formed at the narrower opening of each of the boots 1180. The
formed about the open, inboard end of each cap 1162 and is
elastic collars 1194 are substantially thicker than the walls of
substantially flush with the spherical surface of the associated
their
respective boots 1180 and form a compression seal
ball1152. The pivot ball caps 1162 are tightened to just take
against the underlying surface of the associated shank 1154.
up excess clearance with the balls 1152, the threads have a
mild interference fit with the housing threads 1160 to prevent 20 Each collar 1194 is retained by an armular insert 1196 formed
about the circumference of the associated shank 1154 at a
loosening of the caps 1162. Removal of the caps 1162 allows
location preferably outboard of the respective suspension
the balls 1152 to be removed from the housings 1158 for
arms 1 02', 1 04'. The shoulders of the annular inserts 1196
maintenance, repair and replacement. Extending from the
retain the collars 1194 from sliding over the associated shanks
perimeter of the outboard end of each of the caps 1162 are a
number of fingers 1167, forming a castle gear that is used to 25 1154
Turning now to FIGS. 40A-D, 41A-B and 42, a dual arm
thread and unthread each of the caps 1162. It will be apparent
centrally
mounted steering arm 1200 driven by a pair of
that the number of fingers 1167 and their configuration may
servos
1202
is depicted. The centrally mounted steering arm
be varied, as desired.
1200 is pivotally mounted to a mounting bracket 1204 by
Seated in each cap 1162 is a self-healing cap seal1168 to 30 means of a mounting screw 1206, which passes through a
prevent dust, debris, dirt and other contaminants from enterbushing 1208, a center hole 1207 in a retainer 1209, and a
ing the housings 1158. Each cap seal1168 includes a head
center hole 1210 in steering arm 1200.
portion 1170 having a radial lip extending to the fingers 1167
At each of the ends 1211 of steering arm 1200 are yokes
of the cap 1162. The head portions 1170 rest on and form a
1212, to which can be attached a rod assembly 1214. Each rod
seal against the throat portions 1172 of the caps 1162 extend- 35 assembly 1214 includes two ball joint ends 1216 and a center
ing inwardly and inboard of the fingers 1167, forming a
rod portion 1218. In one embodiment, the ball joint ends 1216
landing for the head portions 1170. Extending from the head
employ hollow ball bushings 1220. One of the ball joint ends
portion 1170 of each cap seal1168 is a neck 1174 extending
1216 is pivotally connected to one of the yokes 1212 by
through and contacting the surfaces of the cap throat portion
means of screw 1222, which passes through the yoke 1212
1172, forming a further seal. Each cap seal1168 includes a 40 and through the hole in the hollow ball bushing 1220. The
retaining lip 1176 extending radially from the neck 1174 to
other of the ball joint ends 1216 is pivotally connected to an
assist in retaining the seal within the respective cap 1162. The
actuator arm 1217 of one of the pair of servos 1202 by means
cap seals 1168 are preferably manufactured from a pliable
of screw 1219 through yoke 1225 at the end of actuator arm
nitrile rubber that can be deformed, but will elastically return
1217. Actuator arm 1217 is, in tum, attached to the output
to the original shape.
45 shaft 1224 of the servo by means of attachment screw 1226.
Formed in the head portion 1170 of each cap seal1168 is a
In operation, when the operator desires to tum the vehicle,
self-healing aperture 1178. The self-healing aperture 1178 is
a signal is sent to both of the servos 1202 at substantially the
preferably formed by a pair of slits cut through the head
same time. Each of the servos 1202 will cause their output
portion 1170 intersecting at substantially 900. The slits norshafts 1224 to pivot in opposite directions, at about the same
mally abut to maintain a seal. However, a hexagonal wrench, 50 time. This will cause rod assembly 1214 to extend and retract,
lubricating nozzle or other tool can be inserted through the
applying force to the yokes 1212 of the steering arm, respecself-healing aperture 1178, parting the lips of the slits, to
tively, pivoting the centrally mounted steering arm 1200.
adjust, remove, maintain or lubricate the associated ball1152.
In order to minimize the potential for damage to the servos
When the tool is removed, the self-healing aperture 1178
or their connecting rods and arms, a spring and cam servo
elastically returns to the original, sealed position.
55 saver 1240 assembly is used to connect to a driven steering
The inboard end of each housing 1158 is sealed by an
arm 1242. Driven steering arm 1242 is, in turn, connected to
elastic boot 1180 that extends between the shank 1154 of each
a pair of hollow ball end steering control tie rods 1244, one of
ball1152 and a landing 1182 formed on the axle carrier 140'
which controls the steering position of one of the two front
about the inboard aperture of the ball joint housing 1158.
wheels 120', and the other of which controls the steering
Each boot 1180 is generally conical in shape, extending from 60 position of the other of the two front wheels. The ball end of
a wider opening adjacent the axle carrier 140', to a smaller
each of the tie rods 1244 is attached to an end 1246 of driven
opening that surrounds the associated shank 1154. Each boot
steering arm 1242 by means of screws 1248. Driven steering
arm 1242 pivots about bushing 1208, which passes through a
is preferably manufactured from a material similar to that of
hole 1250 in driven steering arm 1242.
the cap seals 1168. The walls of each boot preferably form a
number of folds, allowing the boot 1180 to flex easily with 65
The servo saver assembly includes retainer 1209, spring
movement of the axle carrier 140', and without tearing or
1252, centrally mounted steering arm 1200 and driven steerbinding.
ing arm 1242. Centrally mounted steering arm 1200 includes

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a pair of axially ratable arcuate lugs 1254, which act as cam


surfaces, which fit into cooperatively designed hollows 1256
in the facing surface of driven steering arm 1242, which act as
mating cam surfaces. Retainer 1209 is then secured to driven
steering arm 1242 by means of screws 1258, with conical
spring 1252 resiliently urging centrally mounted steering arm
1200 against driven steering arm 1242 so that lugs 1254
center themselves into hollows 1256.
Under normal steering, the resilient force of spring 1252 is
sufficient to keep lugs 1254 in place in hollows 1256 so that
pivoting of centrally mounted steering arm 1200 by driving it
with servos 1202 will cause driven steering arm 1242 to
simultaneously pivot, ultimately resulting in steering of the
wheels through steering control links 1244. However, when
the vehicle wheel strikes an obstruction during rough driving
for example, excessive forces can be imposed on the steering
components that might cause damage to the components.
When this occurs, the driven steering arm 1242 will pivot
relative to centrally mounted steering arm 1200, causing lugs
1254 to rise out of the hollows 1256 against the resilient force
of spring 1252. This relative pivoting limits transmission of
force from driven steering arm 1242 to the rest of the steering
components, thus minimizing the potential for damage. However, immediately upon removal of the excessive force, the
lugs 1254 will "pop" back into hollows 1256 under the resilient force of spring 1252, thus returning the steering assembly
to normal operation.
By use of a pair of servos 1202 mounted on the left and
right side of the chassis 300, a symmetrical torque is applied
to the steering arm 1200. This results in a huge benefit to
performance minded users due to crisp break away, strong
centering and less looseness and/or hysteresis in the system.
Furthermore, use of a centrally mounted steering arm permits
use of a single, central servo saver, instead of a separate servo
saver for each servo, eliminating additional parts and looseness and/or hysteresis in the system
Turning now to FIGS. 43A-D and 44-46, a mounting system for securely mounting a servo 1202 to the chassis 300 by
means of a clamp style bracket 1300 and a clamp style bracket
1301 is depicted. Servo 1202 includes a housing 1302, which
can conveniently be molded of plastic. Housing 1302
includes attachment ears 1304 extending from the ends
thereof, which can conveniently be molded integrally with the
ends of housing 1302.
Rather than attach the attachment ears 1304 directly to the
chassis 300 by means of screws, for example, as is conventional, in accordance with the present invention, a clamp style
forward bracket 1300 and a clamp style aft bracket 1301 are
employed to secure the attachment ears to the chassis 300.
Forward bracket 1300 has an upper flange 1306 and a lower
flange 1308. Upper flange 1306 has a pair of threaded holes
1309 which are adapted to receive the threaded end of a screw
1311. Upper flange 1306 and lower flange 1308 are connected
at one end by an arcuate live hinge 1310, which can conveniently be molded integrally with upper flange 1306 and
lower flange 1308 from plastic material. In addition, lower
flange 1308 can includes one or more downwardly extending
boss portions 1329A and 1329B, which extend below the
upper surface of chassis 300, into the openings 1307A and
1307B of the chassis, to fix the forward bracket 1300 against
forward/aft movement. Lower flange 1308 has a hole 1313
disposed through it for accepting the shaft 1315 of screw
1311. Hole 1313 need not be threaded.
Aft bracket 1301 has an upper flange 1316 and a lower
flange 1318. Upper flange 1316 has a pair of threaded holes
1319 which are adapted to receive the threaded end of a screw
1311. Upper flange 1316 threaded and lower flange 1318 are

connected at each of their sides by an arcuate live hinge 1320,


which can conveniently be molded integrally with upper
flange 1316 and lower flange 1318 from plastic material.
Lower flange 1318 can have one or more downwardly extending lateral bosses 1330 and 1331, which extend below the
upper surface of chassis 300, into respective openings 1333
and 1335 of the chassis, to fix the aft bracket 1300 against
forward/aft movement. Lower flange 1318 has a hole 1323
disposed through it for accepting the shaft 1325 of screw
1311. Hole 1323 need not be threaded.
To secure the body 1302 of servo 1202, forward bracket
1300 is put onto the end of one of the attachment ears 1304,
and bracket 1301 is put onto the end of the other of the
attachment ears 1304. Then, screws 1311 are secured,
securely clamping one of the ears 1304 between upper flange
1306 and lower flange 1308, and the other of the ears between
upper flange 1316 and lower flange 1318.
Brackets 1300 and 1301 can be manufactured from Zytel
70 G 33 (33% Glass) available from DuPont, which retains
shape and grips screw threads better than plastics without a
glass reinforcing fill.
By use of the clamping type brackets of an embodiment of
the present invention, a wide range of aftermarket dimensions
of servos can be accommodated without requiring additional
parts and without compromise in the mounting integrity. Furthermore, the clamp style interface distributes loads over the
entire mounting ear thereby reducing breakage/distortion of
the mounting ears, overall improvement in durability. In addition, the clamp style mounting type brackets also improve
control performance by increasing the stiffness of the servovehicle interface. Of course, the forward and aft brackets
could be reversed, if desired
FIGS. 47A and B illustrate a vehicle 1400 incorporating
the various features described herein, including in Appendices A, B, C and D hereto, which are incorporated herein by
reference.
Referring now also to FIGS. 1 and 47A through 52, illustrated is a chassis 300, which is also described elsewhere in
connection with other features and components comprising
portions of the vehicle 1400. The chassis 300 is configured to
provide a lower center of gravity than can typically be provided by conventional chasses resembling a relatively flat
surface or plate. This is accomplished by providing chassis
300 with flanges 302 extending laterally from a central channel area 3 04. The lateral flanges 3 02 extend from downwardly
sloping lateral walls 306 of the central channel area 304 at a
substantially lower level relative to an underlying surface.
The lateral flanges 302 provide support for relatively heavy
components that do not require placement near or in alignment with the drive train of the vehicle 1400. In general, the
flanges 302lower the mounting points of various components
on the chassis 300, at least relative to the transmission assembly 520 and transmission output shaft 521. In addition, the
flanges 302 preferably incline gradually as they extend laterally from the channel area 304. Upward sloping of the flanges
302 causes the components supported on the flanges 302 to
extend both upwardly and inwardly toward the center of the
vehicle 1400, more tightly packaging the components on the
chassis 300.
The flanges 302 preferably include openings 308, for
example, through which the lower portions of components
can extend, in addition to being secured to the flanges 302 at
a lower level than the central channel area 304. Where convenient, chassis 300 weight is reduced by configuring one or
more flanges 302 as a support arm, such as arms 302A, that
cooperates with other flanges 302 to support components on
the chassis 300. Further, the flanges 302 may preferably

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extend laterally and substantially without upward inclination,


if desired to enhance performance of the component or to
satisfY structural or packaging preferences.
The flanges 302 are capable of supporting numerous components of the vehicle 1400 at a level substantially lower than
the central channel area 304. In the embodiment shown, the
flanges 302 support at a lower level, an electronics and battery
package 1402, a fuel tank, the engine assembly 500, a servo
and battery package 1404 and steering servos 1202. Of these
components, the flanges 302 tilt inwardly the engine assembly 500 and the steering servos 1202.
An advantage of the configuration of the chassis 300 is the
ability to mount the engine assembly 500 lower with respect
to the transmission assembly 520. Preferably, the transmission assembly 520 is centrally mounted on the central channel
area 304, while the engine assembly 500 is mounted to the
chassis 300 at a lower point on one or more of the flanges 302.
The chassis 300 is configured in this manner to preferably
position the drive shaft 501 of the engine assembly 500 within
the range of about 3 mm to 13 mm vertically above (of relative
to the ground) the level of the transmission output shaft 521.
The chassis 300 is preferably press-formed and cut from a
sheet of anodized aluminum. It will be apparent that the
flanges 302 and a central channel area 304 may be configured
in other the variations and configurations to achieve a lower
center of gravity overall for the vehicle 1400.
In addition to providing a lower center of gravity for the
vehicle 1400, the chassis 300 includes forward and rearward
extension plates 310, 312 positioned at substantially the same
vertical level as the central channel area 304. The forward and
rearward extension plates 310, 312 are preferably formed
integrally with the upper surface of the central channel area
3 04 and support various components of the front suspension,
steering and rear suspension assemblies of a vehicle 1400 at
a higher vertical level than if those assemblies were secured to
the flanges 302. Thus, the chassis 300 maintains desirable
ground clearance beneath the suspension and drive assemblies, while providing a relatively low center of gravity.
In steering systems, for optimum performance, it is important to maintain geometric parameters within certain desired
ranges. Some of these well-known parameters are toe-in,
camber, caster and roll center. Toe-in is the angle that the
wheels make with respect to a line through the centerline the
vehicle, when viewed from above.
Camber is the inclination of the wheel, from vertical, as
viewed from the front of the vehicle. It is usually designed to
vary with wheel travel in order to help keep the tire squarely
on the ground. As described elsewhere in this application,
camber is adjustable on the vehicle.
Caster is defined as the inclination, from vertical, of the
wheel's steering axis as viewed from the side of the vehicle.
That is, generally speaking, caster is a tilt of the steering axis
toward the front or back of the vehicle. Basically viewing
from the side of the vehicle, draw a line through the upper and
lower ball joint of the axle carrier. The angle off of vertical is
the caster. The caster angle is adjusted by moving the mounting point of the upper arm (effectively the upper ball joint)
generally fore and aft with the spacers on the hinge pin of the
upper arm. Adjusting caster changes the steering characteristics of the vehicle.
Roll center is adjusted by moving the inner mounting point
of the upper arm up and down. This changes the front view
Instant Center (I C) of the suspension. The IC partially defines
the roll center.
"Bump steer" can be defined as undesirable steering (toeing in or toeing out) of the wheel/tire during travel (vertical)
of the suspensions, assuming that the steering wheel or actua-

tion mechanism is being held fixed. Bump steer occurs


because the toe change is caused by geometric differences in
the motion arc of the steering control link (toe control link)
and the suspension arms during bump travel of the suspension. Basically, if the vehicle is going straight and then hits a
bump with a wheel, the raising of the wheel due to the bump
changes the toe, causing the vehicle to tend to veer off without
any movement of the steering wheel/steering actuator. Bump
steer tends to be more sensitive to caster and roll center
changes than other parameters.
Bump steer is usually impossible to eliminate due to packaging and design limitations. Generally, a compromise setting is made to optimally minimize at the standard suspensions settings. However, having a way to adjust bump steer is
desirable due to the range of caster and roll center adjustments
available in the suspension.
It is known to attempt to minimize bump steer by varying
the vertical position of the monntingpoints (front view) of the
steering control link on the axle carrier 140' of the front
wheels. Thus, minimizing bump steer while adjusting caster
and roll center is difficult and complicated, requiring extensive trial and error on the part of the operator. For example,
once an adjustment to caster and/or roll center is made, bump
steer is reintroduced by the new settings unless there is a
provision for "tuning" it back out.
An embodiment of the present invention incorporates an
adjustment feature that allows the bump steer to be optimized
(minimized) for a substantially complete set of possible combinations of suspension settings; i.e., from 5 degrees to 15
degrees of caster, in 2.5 degree increments and for either an
"upper" or "lower" roll center position. Referring to FIGS.
53, 54A-E and 55, this is accomplished by providing the
attachment pin of the axle carrier 140', to which the pivot link
154 at the end of the control link is attached, with clearance
for permitting movement of the pivot link 154 up and down on
the attachment pin 1390. Ring-shaped spacers A, B or C,
taken from a predetermined set of spacers having predetermined thickness are disposed on the pin 1390 above and/or
below the pivot link 154 to take up the clearance and position
the pivot link 154 at the optimum position on the pin. The
predetermined thicknesses for the spacers A, B and C are
predetermined for each combination of caster and roll center
adjustments by geometric calculations and spacers having the
appropriate thicknesses are in a kit, along with a table indieating which spacers to use and where to position them on the
pin.
Referring to FIGS. 53, 54A-E and 55, and initially to FIG.
53 thereof, a perspective view of the suspension assembly
1380 for the left front wheel is depicted. Suspension assembly
1380 includes upper and lower suspension arms 1382 and
1384, to which is attached an axle carrier 140'. Axle carrier
140' has an arm 1386 having generally vertical pin 1390
thereon. Control link 110, which extends from a driven steering arm 1242 (not shown) includes a pivot link 154 pivotably
attached to pin 1390.
FIGS. 54A-E show detailed views of the axle carrier 140',
pin 1390 and pivot link 154 with various predetermined combinations of ring-shaped spacers A-B positioned on the pin,
above and/or below the pivot link 154. It should be noted that,
to replace the spacers, pin 1390 is first removed, the spacers
and pivot link 154 (or 154"") placed onto it, and then the pin
is replaced.
In FIG. 53A, a thick spacer of thickness A is disposed
above pivot link 154 and a thin spacer of thickness B is
disposed below the pivot link 154. As shown in FIG. 55, this
combination is used where there is a 5 degree caster and the
roll center setting is at the "lower" setting. This combination

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is also used where there is a 7.5 degree caster and the roll
center setting is at the "lower" setting.
In FIG. 54B, a thick spacer of thickness A is disposed
above pivot link 154 and a thin spacer of thickness B is also
disposed above the pivot link 154. As shown in FIG. 55, this
combination is used where there is a 5 degree caster and the
roll center setting is at the "upper" setting.
In FIG. 54C, a thick spacer of thickness A is disposed
below pivot link 154 and a thin spacer of thickness B is also
disposed below the pivot link 154. As shown in FIG. 55, this
combination is used where there is a 10 degree caster and the
roll center setting is at the "lower" setting. This combination
is also used where there is a 12.5 degree caster and the roll
center setting is at the "upper" setting.
In FIG. 54D, a thick spacer of thickness A is disposed
below pivot link 154 and a thin spacer of thickness B is
disposed above the pivot link 154. As shown in FIG. 55, this
combination is used where there is a 10 degree caster and the
roll center setting is at the "lower" setting. This combination
is also used where there is a 12.5 degree caster and the roll
center setting is at the "upper" setting.
In FIG. 54E, a "standard" configuration can be employed,
where a standard hollow ball pivot link 154"" is used that has
approximately equal length collars 155 and 157 at its upper
and lower sides that form part of the pivot link 154"". Alternatively, spacers can be used that have the same, medium
thickness "C," thus, positioning the pivot link at the appro ximate midpoint of pin 1390. Such a medium positioning is
listed in the table of FIG. 55 as "tall center hollow ball." This
centered combination is used where there is a 7.5 degree
caster and the roll center setting is at the "lower" setting. This
combination is also used where there is a 10 degree caster and
the roll center setting is at the "upper" setting.
Of course, because the caster angles and roll center settings
will vary by vehicle geometry, weight and other parameters,
the above caster angles and roll center settings are only
examples for a particular vehicle of a particular geometry,
weight and other parameters. Of course, finer increments
(such as 1 degree increments for caster and more increments
for the roll center setting) could be employed, resulting in
more spacer thicknesses and combinations thereof.
FIGS. 56, 57A through D and 58 A through D, illustrate one
configuration of a front suspension assembly 1500 secured to
a front bulkhead assembly 1502 of the vehicle 1400. The
suspension assembly 1500 comprises upper and lower suspension arms 1504 and 1506 pivotally mounted to the bulkhead assembly 1502. A rocker arm 1508 is pivotally mounted
to a post or boss 1510 extending at an angle into the bulkhead
assembly 1502, inboard and above the point of connection of
the upper suspension arm 1504 to the bulkhead assembly
1502. The rocker arm 1508 is pivotally coupled to a push rod
1512 and a damper assembly 1514. The outboard end of the
push rod 1512 is pivotally secured to the outboard end of the
lower suspension arm 1506, urging the suspension arm 1506
outwardly and downwardly. Upward movement of the suspension arm 1506 displaces the push rod 1512 inwardly
toward the rocker arm 1508, which in tum pivots to compress
the damper 1514 against a pivot pin 1516. Downward movement of the suspension arm 1506 displaces the push rod 1512
outwardly, which in tum pivots the rocker arm 1508 to release
the damper 1514. The rocker arm 1508 is generally triangular
in shape. The portion of the rocker arm 1508 pivotally connected to the push rod 1512 is referred to as the input arm. A
portion of the rocker arm 1508 pivotally connected to the
damper assembly 1514 is referred to as the output arm.
The damper 1514 is generally aligned with the longitudinal
axis of the vehicle 1400 and a substantially horizontal posi-

tion, with a slight upward inclination from the point of connection to the bulkhead assembly 1502 toward the point of
pivotal connection to the rocker arm 1508. The substantially
horizontal position of the damper 1514, mounted adjacent the
points of connection of the suspension arms 1504, 1506 to the
bulkhead assembly 1502, reduces vertical space requirements
and protects the damper, 1514 from damage.
The rocker arm 1508 pivots about an axis substantially
perpendicular to the axis of the push rod 1512 at some point
during operation of the suspension assembly 1500. The
rocker arm 1508 pivotal axis is oriented to translate movement of the damper assembly 1514 into substantial aligument
with the push rod 1512 as the rocker arm 1508 pivots. The
push rod 1512 is mounted to the rocker arm 1508 for pivotal
movement along vertical and horizontal axes relative to the
rocker arm 1508. As the suspension assembly 1500 moves,
the push rod 1512 pivots upwardly and downwardly relative
to its point of connection to the rocker arm 1508, following
vertical movement of the outboard end of the suspension arm
1506.
Referring now to FIGS. 57A through D, the suspension
assembly 1500 is shown in the full bump position, with the
suspension arms 1504, 1506 displaced to their uppermost
extent. This position corresponds with the vehicle 1400
reaching a lowermost position relative to an underlying surface. In this position, the push rod 1512 rotates the rocker arm
1508 toward a damper 1514, substantially fully compressing
the damper 1514.
Referring now to FIGS. 58A through D, the suspension
assembly 1500 and is shown in the full droop position, with
the suspension arms 1504, 1506 extended to their lowermost
extent. This position corresponds with the vehicle 1400
reaching its highest position relative to an underlying surface.
In this position, the damper 1514 rotates the rocker arm 1508
to fully extend the push rod 1512.
A position intermediate to the full bump and full droop
positions is the ride height position. In the ride height position, the suspension assembly 1500 reaches an equilibrium
position in which the force exerted by the push rod 1512
counteracts the vehicle weight placed on the suspension arms
1504, 1506. In general, relative proportions of total travel
distance of the outboard ends of the suspension arms 1504,
1506 at the axle carrier 140' (i) from ride height to full bump
and (ii) from the ride height to full droop is referred to as the
up/down travel distribution. The travel distribution of the
suspension assembly 1500 is approximately two-thirds to one
third. A ride height of the vehicle 1400 can be adjusted by
changing the point of connection of the outboard end of the
push rod 1512 to the outboard and of the suspension arm
1506. This is accomplished by movement of the push rod
1512 outboard end between a number of positioning apertures 1518 to which the push rod is secured by a pin 1520.
The suspension assembly configuration of FIGS. 56
through 64 provides numerous advantages. Amongst many
advantages too numerous to list, but that will nevertheless be
apparent to those skilled in the art, the configuration of the
suspension assembly 1500 is capable of providing relatively
large motion ratios (MR), a relatively large range of travel
between full bump and full droop positions, enhanced progressiveness of the suspension, as well as the ability to relatively accurately adjust the suspension progressiveness over
the range of movement. The motion ratio (MR) is generally
described as the ratio of vertical displacement of the wheel to
displacement of a corresponding suspension spring member.
Depending on the suspension design, motion ratios often vary
over the range of suspension travel. Accordingly, it is often
useful to define the motion ratio at various points in the

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suspension travel. The motion ratio at a particular point in the


travel range is referred to as the instantaneous motion ratio. A
progressive suspension is generally one in which the suspension spring force at the wheel increases non-linearly as the
suspension spring member is displaced by vertical wheel
travel. Progressiveness can be defined as a change in motion
ratio (MR) of the suspension over some range of travel.
Furthermore, a variety of performance characteristics can
be independently adjusted in the assembly 1500, without
substantially affecting other performance characteristics. For
example, the ride height of the assembly 1500 can be adjusted
without significantly affecting the travel distribution or the
wheel rate. This is because adjustment of the ride height has
a relatively insignificant effect on a motion ratio of the suspension assembly 1500.
For example, progression of the suspension assembly 1500
is primarily affected by the angle between the input and
output arms of the rocker arm 1508, along with the starting
angle between the damper 1514 and the output arm, as shown
by angle A in FIG. 64. The progression rate can be relatively
easily varied accurately by substitution of rocker arms having
appropriate dimensions.
As described in pages 42 through 43 of the REVO Owners
Manual, appended hereto as Appendix A and incorporated
herein by reference for all purposes, and on pages 42-43
thereof, the progression rate (or progressiveness) of the suspension determines the extent to which the spring force produced at the wheel by one or more suspension spring members being displaced will vary with suspension travel, or
vertical travel of the wheel. A suspension configuration functions progressively when the spring force at the wheel (or
suspension force) increases with movement toward the full
bump position, at a progressively increasing, non-linear rate.
The non-linearly increasing suspension force of a progressively functioning suspension can be achieved using one or
more associated suspension spring members that become
progressively stiffer (i.e., the spring rate increases, as does the
perceived stiffness of the spring member) with displacement.
By comparison, a suspension configuration functions linearly
or at constant-rate when the spring force at the wheel (or
suspension force) increases with movement toward the full
bump position, at a substantially steadily increasing, linear
rate. This linearly increasing suspension force can be
achieved using one or more associated suspension spring
members that do not become substantially stiffer with displacement and an associated suspension assembly linkage
that substantially does not function progressively.
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art, that a suspension can be configured to function progressively through one
or more segments of wheel travel or throughout the entire
range of wheel travel. Moreover, the degree of progressiveness can be varied as desired with wheel travel. The configuration of the suspension and/or variation in the stiffness of the
one or more associated spring members can be employed to
produce the degree of progressiveness associated with suspension wheel travel desired.
FIGS. 62A and B and 63A and B illustrate, respectively,
rear suspension assembly and front suspension assembly
rocker arms. Variation of the dimensions A, B, C, D andE, as
well as the lengths of associated pushrods will vary the progressiveness of the suspension assemblies. Dimensions associated with a variety of progressiveness and suspension travel
are listed in Table 1. The dimension values listed in Table 1,
except for dimension C (in degrees), can be for millimeters in
an embodiment, or for centimeters in another embodiment, or
for other units of measure in yet other embodiments, depending upon the desired scale or size of the vehicle. Further, the

values presented illustrate the relative proportions of the various components of corresponding embodiments; however, it
will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other dimension
values can be substituted, if desired and that the suspension
disclosed is not limited to the dimension values provided.
FIGS. 59 through 61 identify dimensions of the left front
and rear suspension assemblies having motion ratios of
approximately 4.5 to 1 and high-performance progressiveness curves. The numerical values of the dimensions identified in FIGS. 59 through 61 are shown in Tables 2 through 5
below. The dimensions listed in Tables 2 through 5 can be for
millimeters in an embodiment, or for centimeters in another
embodiment, or for other units of measure in yet other
embodiments, depending upon the desired scale or size of the
vehicle. Further, the values presented illustrate the relative
proportions of the various components of corresponding
embodiments; however, it will be apparent to those skilled in
the art that other dimension values can be substituted, if
desired, and that the suspension disclosed is not limited to the
dimension values provided. Variations of these dimensions
will yield various motion ratios and progressiveness curves in
the suspension assembly 1500.

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TABLE 1

25

Dimensions of Front and Rear Suspension Assembly


Rocker Arms

30 End
Front

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

Rear

Rocker
Progressive
Progressive
Progressive
Long travel
Progressive
Progressive
Progressive
Long travel

1
2
3
1
2
3

Pushrod
Length

115.55
120.50
125.25
115.55
115.55
120.50
125.25
115.55

38.20
38.40
39.45
40.00
30.60
30.90
32.00
43.40

20.00
20.00
20.00
15.20
19.00
19.00
19.00
19.00

98.00
88.65
80.50
92.50
85.00
72.80
63.00
81.00

8.10
8.10
8.10
8.10
3.60
3.60
3.60
3.60

16.20
16.20
16.20
16.20
16.70
16.70
16.70
16.70

Referring now to FIG. 59, values of the dimensions x1-x9


and y1-y8 appear in the first part ofTables 2 through 5 below.
Table 2 lists the values of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing P1 (Progressive 1) rocker arms. Table 3 lists the
values of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing P2
(Progressive 2) rocker arms. Table 4lists the values of various
dimensions of the suspension utilizing P3 (Progressive 3)
rocker arms. Table 5 lists the values of various dimensions of
the suspension utilizing LT (Long Travel) rocker arms.
Referring now to FIG. 60, values of dimensions x1-x9 and
dimensions y1-y8 appear in the second part of Tables 2
through 5 below. Table 2 lists the values of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing P1 (Progressive 1) rocker
arms. Table 3 lists the values of various dimensions of the
suspension utilizing P2 (Progressive 2) rocker arms. Table 4
lists the values of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing P3 (Progressive 3) rocker arms. Table 5 lists the values
of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing LT (Long
Travel) rocker arms.
Referring now to FIG. 61, values of dimensions x1-x2 and
z1-z1 0 appear in the third part of Tables 2 through 5 below.
Table 2 lists the values of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing P1 (Progressive 1) rocker arms. Table 3 lists the
values of various dimensions of the suspension utilizing P2
(Progressive 2) rocker arms. Table 4lists the values of dimensions of the suspension utilizing P3 (Progressive 3) rocker
arms. Table 5 lists the values of various dimensions of the
suspension utilizing LT (Long Travel) rocker arms.

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 95 of 105 PageID #: 429
US 7,883,099 B2

Name

29

30

TABLE2

TABLE 3-continued

Suspension Dimensions with Pl Rocker Arms

Suspension Dimensions with P2 Rocker Arms

Value What

Name

Value What

Front suspension, view from front, Pl rocker arms

x1
x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
x7
x8
x9

5.5 LCA
pivot
12.5 Damper on rocker
26.5 UCA pivot
29.5 Rocker pivot
39.9 Pushrod on rocker
131.8 Pushrod on LCA
154.0 Lower ball joint/pivot
ball
165.5 Center of tire
contact patch
153.3 Upper ball joint

y1
y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7

52.3 Lower ball


joint/pivot ball
58.0 Pushrod on LCA
73.0 LCApivot
113.3 UCApivot
127.8 Pushrod on rocker
127.0 Rocker pivot
137.3 Damper on

y8

97.3 Upper ball joint

rocker

x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
x7
x8
x9

Name

x8

165.5 Center of tire contact


patch
153.3 Upper ball joint

y8

y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7

52.0 Lower ball


joint/pivot ball
50.8 Pushrod on LCA
73.1 LCApivot
106.8 UCApivot
118.1 Pushrod on rocker
123.5 Rocker pivot
122.8 Damper on

x1
x2
x3
x4
15 x5
x6
x7

x9

5.5 LCA
pivot
12.8 Damper on rocker
27.1 UCApivot
30.5 Rocker pivot
29.7 Pushrod on rocker
127.8 Pushrod on LCA
155.3 Lower ball joint/pivot
ball
166.2 Center of tire contact
patch
154.5 Upper ball joint

x1
x2

16.5 Front Damper


Mount
11.8 Rear Damper
Mount

25

x2

16.5 Front Damper


Mount
11.8 Rear Damper
Mount

z2
z3
z4

z8
z9
z10

90.0 Front Damper


Mount
23.2 Pushrod on F rant
Rocker
16.4 Front Pushrod
onLCA
11.9 F rant Damper on
13.6 Front Rocker pivot
88.5 Rear Damper Mount
16.2 Pushrod on Rear
Rocker
14.7 Rear Pushrod
onLCA
14.2 Rear Rocker pivot
8.6 Rear Damper

35

LCA Lower control arm

TABLE3
Suspension Dimensions with P2 Rocker Arms

Name

x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
x7

y1
y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7

z1

90.0

z2

24.1

z4

Front Damper
Mount
Pushrod on F rant
Rocker
16.4 Front Pushrod
onLCA
10.9 Front Damper on

z5

11.3

z6

88.5

z7

17.0

z8

14.7

z9
z10

14.2
7.7

TABLE4
Suspension Dimensions with P3 Rocker Arms

45 Name

Lower ball
joint/pivot ball
58.0 Pushrod on LCA
73.0 LCApivot
113.3 UCApivot
130.4 Pushrod on rocker
127.0 Rocker pivot
137.3 Damper on
rocker

Value What

Name

Value What

Front suspension, view from front, P3 rocker anns

x1

55

x8

Value What

52.3

Front Rocker
pivot
Rear Damper
Mount
Pushrod on Rear
Rocker
Rear Pushrod
onLCA
Rear Rocker pivot
Rear Damper

UCA Upper control arm

x9

5.5 LCA
pivot
12.6 Damper on rocker
26.5 UCA pivot
29.5 Rocker pivot
35.7 Pushrod on rocker
131.8 Pushrod on LCA
154.0 Lower ball joint/pivot
ball

rocker

LCA Lower control arm

Front suspension, view from front, P2 rocker arms

x1

97.7 Upper ball joint

40

50 x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
x7

UCA Upper control arm

Value What

y8

on rocker

on rocker

Name

y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7

Lower ball
joint/pivot ball
50.8 Pushrod on LCA
73.1 LCApivot
106.8 UCApivot
120.7 Pushrod on rocker
123.5 Rocker pivot
129.1 Damper on

97.7 Upper ball joint

rocker

z5
z6
z7

52.0

rocker

30

z1

y1

z3

Top view, P 1 rocker anns

x1

Upper ball joint

Top view, P2 rocker arms

rocker

y8

97.3

Rear suspension, view from rear, P2 rocker arms

x8

y1

Value What

10

20
5.5 LCA
pivot
11.8 Damper on rocker
27.1 UCApivot
30.5 Rocker pivot
33.9 Pushrod on rocker
127.8 Pushrod on LCA
155.3 Lower ball joint/
pivot ball
166.2 Center of tire contact
patch
154.5 Upper ball joint

Value What

x9

Rear suspension, view from rear, Pl rocker arms

x1

Name

5.5 LCA
pivot
12.7 Damper on rocker
26.5 UCA pivot
29.5 Rocker pivot
31.8 Pushrod on rocker
131.8 Pushrod on LCA
154.0 Lower ball joint/pivot
ball
165.5 Center of tire contact
patch
153.3 Upper ball joint

y1
y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7

52.3 Lower ball


joint/pivot ball
58.0 Pushrod on LCA
73.0 LCA pivot
113.3 UCApivot
133.0 Pushrod on rocker
127.0 Rocker pivot
137.4 Damper on
rocker

y8

97.3 Upper ball joint

Rear suspension, view from rear, P3 rocker arms

60

x1

x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
65 x7

5.5 LCA
pivot
12.9 Damper on rocker
27.1 UCApivot
30.5 Rocker pivot
25.7 Pushrod on rocker
127.8 Pushrod on LCA
155.3 Lower ball joint/pivot
ball

y1
y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7

52.0 Lower ball


joint/pivot ball
50.8 Pushrod on LCA
73.1 LCApivot
106.8 UCApivot
123.3 Pushrod on rocker
123.5 Rocker pivot
129.0 Damper on
rocker

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32

TABLE 4-continued

TABLE 5-continued

Suspension Dimensions with P3 Rocker Arms


Name

Value What

x8

166.2 Center of tire contact


y8
97.7 Upper ball joint
patch
154.5 Upper ball joint
Top view, P3 rocker anns

x9

x1
x2

16.5 Front Damper


Mount
11.8 Rear Damper
Mount

Name

z1
z2
z3
z4
z5
z6
z7
z8
z9
z10

Value What

90.0 F rant Damper


Mount
25.3 Pushrod on F rant
Rocker
16.4 F rant Pushrod
onLCA
10.9 Front Damper on
rocker
13.6 F rant Rocker pivot
88.5 Rear Damper Mount
17.9 Pushrod on Rear
Rocker
14.7 Rear Pushrod
onLCA
14.2 Rear Rocker pivot
7.3 Rear Damper
on rocker

Suspension Dimensions with LT Rocker Arms


5

Name

x1
x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
x7
x8
x9

x1
x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
x7
x8
x9

x1
x2

5.5 LCA
y1
pivot
16.8 Damper on rocker
y2
26.5 UCA pivot
y3
29.5 Rocker pivot
y4
40.2 Pushrod on rocker
y5
131.8 Pushrod on LCA
y6
154.0 Lower ball joint/pivot y7
ball
165.5 Center of tire contact
y8
patch
153.3 Upper ball joint
Rear suspension, view from rear,

20

25

16.5 Front Damper


Mount
11.8 Rear Damper
Mount

z1
z2
z3
z4
z5
z6

35

40

45
LT rocker anns

5.5 LCA
y1
52.0
pivot
12.7 Damper on rocker
y2
50.8
27.1 UCApivot
y3
73.1
30.5 Rocker pivot
y4
106.8
35.2 Pushrod on rocker
y5
118.4
127.8 Pushrod on LCA
y6
123.5
155.3 Lower ball joint/pivot y7
129.1
ball
166.2 Center of tire contact
y8
97.7
patch
154.5 Upper ball joint
Top view, LT rocker anns

Lower ball
joint/pivot ball
Pushrod on LCA
LCApivot
UCA pivot
Pushrod on rocker
Rocker pivot
Damper on
rocker
Upper ball joint

90.0 Front Damper


Mount
25.0 Pushrod on F rant
Rocker
16.4 Front Pushrod
onLCA
10.9 Front Damper on
rocker
11.0 F rant Rocker pivot
88.5 Rear Damper Mount

29.0 Pushrod on Rear


Rocker
14.7 Rear Pushrod
onLCA
14.2 Rear Rocker pivot
8.0 Rear Damper
on rocker

15

Value What

52.3 Lower ball


joint/pivot ball
58.0 Pushrod on LCA
73.0 LCApivot
113.3 UCApivot
128.0 Pushrod on rocker
127.0 Rocker pivot
134.9 Damper on
rocker
97.3 Upper ball joint

Value What

LCA Lower control arm


UCA Upper control arm

30

Front suspension, view from front, LT rocker arms

z9
z10

10

Suspension Dimensions with LT Rocker Arms


Value What

Name

z8

UCA Upper control arm

Name

Value What

z7

LCA Lower control arm

TABLES

Name

50

55

60

65

Progressiveness can be defined as the change in motion


ratio of the suspension over some range of travel, as described
in Appendix C, "Revo Suspension Claims." Two or more
different ranges of travel can be considered. Moreover, at
each point along any range of travel there is an instantaneous
motion ratio (MR). Over a first range of travel, from fully
extended (full droop) to fully compressed (full bump), the
change in motion ratio is ll.MRl. Over a second range of
travel, from ride height to fully compressed (full bump), the
change in motion ratio is ll.MR2. Additionally, there is an
average motion ratio (MRave), which is the ratio of the full
range of wheel travel to the full range of damper (including
one or more spring members) travel. The average motion ratio
(MRave) is the ratio of vertical displacement of the wheel over
its full range of travel to displacement of one or more corresponding suspension spring members (or associated damper)
over its entire range of travel. It will be apparent to those
skilled in the art that a measure of progressiveness can then be
defined as a ratio of ll.MRn!MRave' or the ratio of one change
in motion ratio over a particular range of travel (ll.MRn) to the
average motion ratio over an entire range of travel (MRave),
where "n" signifies a particular range of motion. For example,
if ll.MR2 has a value of0.49 and MRave has a value of 4.5:1,
then the measure of progressiveness ll.MR2=0.49/4.5=11 %.
As shown in FIGS. 56 and 65, the rocker arm assembly
1508 of the front left suspension assembly couples by an input
arm 1522 to the push rod 1512 and by an output arm 1524 to
the damper 1514. The input arm 1522 attaches to the inboard
end of the push rod by a suspension input coupling member.
The output arm 1524 attaches to the damper by a suspension
output coupling member. In one embodiment, the suspension
input coupling member may comprise a machine screw 1574
and suspension output coupling member may comprise a
machine screw 1576. It will be apparent to one of ordinary
skill in the art that other types of coupling members may be
used to couple the input arm and output arm to the push rod
and damper, respectively.
In one embodiment, the machine screws 1574, 1576 may
couple the rocker arm 1508 to a ball joint of the push rod 1512
and a ball joint of the damper 1514, respectively. In the
embodiment shown, each ball joint may comprise a hollow
ball1513, 1515.
Referring now to FIGS. 56, 57 A through D, 58A through
D, and 65 the coupling of the machine screws 1574, 1576 to
the respective hollow balls 1513, 1515 may allow both pivoting and rotation of the push rod and damper relative to the
rocker arm assembly 1508, allowing movement with associated components of the front left suspension assembly shown.
The hollow ball1515 of the damper 1514 and the hollow ball
1513 of the push rod 1512 may allow this pivoting and rotation. It will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that
other joints would be suitable to provide a sufficient range of
movement.

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 97 of 105 PageID #: 431
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34

As shown in FIGS. 56 and 65, the rocker arm assembly


1508 may comprise a first portion 1530 and a second portion
1550, which together form the input arm 1522 and the output
arm 1524 of the rocker arm assembly 1508. The first portion
1530 of the rocker arm 1508 comprises a pivot opening 1532
for receiving a pivot member about which the first portion
1530 may rotate, an input arm 1534 extending from the pivot
opening 1532, and an output arm 1536 extending from the
pivot opening 1532. The input arm 1522 may comprise the
input arms 1534 and 1554 of the first and second portions
1530, 1550. The second portion 1550 of the rocker arm
assembly 1508 may comprise a pivot opening 1552 for
receiving a pivot member about which the second portion
1550 may rotate, an input arm 1554 extending from the pivot
opening 1552, and an output arm 1556 extending from the
pivot opening 1552. The output arm 1524 may comprise the
output arms 1536 and 1556 of the first and second portions
1530, 1550.
Referring to FIG. 65, the first and second portions 1530 and
1550 of the rocker arm assembly 1508 may each comprise at
least one input aperture 1540, 1560 on each respective input
arm 1534, 1554 and at least one output aperture 1544, 1564 on
each respective output arm 1536, 1556. Each aperture 1540,
1544, 1560, 1564 may be spaced from the respective pivot
opening 1532, 1552 of the first and second portions 1530,
1550. The machine screw 1574 of the input arm 1522 and the
machine screw 1576 of the output arm 1524 may be secured,
respectively, to the first and second portions 1530, 1550 of the
rocker arm assembly 1508 at respective apertures 1540, 1560
and 1544, 1564.
Referring to FIG. 65, the rocker arm assembly 1508 may
further comprise webs 1570 and 1572 extending between the
input and output arms 1534, 1536 and 1554, 1556 of each of
the first and second portions 1530, 1550 of the rocker arm
assembly 1508. The surface between the input arm 1534 of
the first portion 1530 and the output arm 1536 of the first
portion 1530 may comprise a web 1570 which may extend
from the pivot opening 1532 and comprise the input and
output arms 1534, 1536 of the first portion 1530. The surface
between the input arm 1554 of the second portion 1550 and
the output arm 1556 of the second portion 1550 may form a
web1572whichmayextendfromthepivotopening1552and
comprise the input and output arms 1554, 1556 of the second
portion 1550. The webs 1570, 1572 may typically hold the
respective input and output arms 1534, 1536 and 1554, 1556
in place relative to their respective pivot openings 1532, 1552
as the first and second portions 1530, 1550 rotate. By holding
the input and output arms 1534, 1536 and 1554, 1556 in place,
the webs 1570, 1572 may typically transfer and distribute
compressive and tensile forces between the input and output
arms 1534, 1536 and 1554, 1556. The surfaces of webs 1570,
1572 may each comprise a curved surface to prevent the first
and second portions 1530, 1550 from coming in contact with
other vehicle structure, as shown in FIG. 65 showing the
curvature of web 1572 of the rocker arm assembly 1508. It
willbeapparenttooneofordinaryskillintheartthatthereare
many materials that would be suitable to comprise the first
and second portions 1530, 1550 such that they might be
molded to accomplish the purpose of being functional and
avoiding other vehicle structure.
In one embodiment shown in FIG. 65, the machine screws
1574, 1576 may comprise an input screw and an output screw,
respectively. As shown in FIG. 56, the machine screws 1574,
1576 may secure the respective push rod 1512 and damper
1514 and hollow balls 1513, 1515 to the input and output arms
1522, 1524. The machine screw 1574 passes from the input
aperture 1540 of the first portion 1530 through an opening in

hollow ball 1513 and into the input aperture 1560 of the
second portion 1550. The threaded end of the machine screw
1574 may threadably engage at least one of the input apertures 1540, 1560 of the first and second portions 1530, 1550.
Similarly, the machine screw 1576 passes from the output
aperture 1544 of the first portion 1530 through an opening in
hollow ball 1515 and into the output aperture 1564 of the
second portion 1550. The threaded end of the machine screw
1576 may threadably engage at least one of the output apertures 1544, 1564 of the first and second portions 1530, 1550.
As shown in FIGS. 65, 66, and 68, the rocker arm assembly
may further comprise raised bosses 1542, 1562, 1546, 1566
extending from input and output apertures 1540, 1544 and
1560, 1564 of the first and second portions 1530, 1550. At the
input apertures 1540, 1560 of the first and second portions
1530, 1550, raised bosses 1542, 1562 may extend from the
respective input apertures 1540, 1560 of the first and second
portions 1530, 1550 and engage and surround at least a portion of the hollow ball 1513 of the push rod 1512. At the
output apertures 1544, 1564 of the first and second portions
1530, 1550, raised bosses 1546, 1566 may extend from the
respective output apertures 1544, 1564 of the first and second
portions 1530, 1550 and make contact and surround at least a
portion of the hollow ball1515 of the damper 1515.
Referring now to FIG. 66, the rocker arm assembly 1508
may further comprise first and second portion pivot bosses
1533, 1553 and first and second portion middle bosses 1548,
1568 extending between and coupling the first and second
portions 1530 and 1550 of the rocker arm assembly 1508. In
the embodiment shown, the first portion pivot boss 1533 with
adjacent seating surface 1535 and extending from the first
portion pivot opening 1532 may meet the second portion
pivot boss 1553 extending from the second portion pivot
opening 1552 at the seating surfaces 1535, 1555. Also, the
first portion middle boss 1548, extending from the first portion 1530, and the second portion middle boss 1568, extending from the second portion 1550, meet at their respective
adjacent seating surfaces 1549, 1569.
Referring to FIG. 66, the first and second portions 1530,
1530 engaging each other at the bosses 1533, 1553, 1548,
1568 at their respective seating surfaces 1535, 1555, 1549,
1569 may typically lock together to limit the relative rotation
of the first and second portions 1530, 1550 of the rocker arm
assembly 1508. In the embodiment shown, the seating surfaces 1569, 1549 adjacent to second and first portion middle
bosses 1568, 1548 may comprise a locking means comprised
of a middle boss post 1582 extending from the second portion
middle boss 1568 which may insert at least partially and lock
into a boss receptacle 1580 in first portion middle boss member 1548. It will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art
that other joining structures would be suitable to lock the first
and second portions 1530, 1530 together and limit their relative rotation.
Referring to FIGS. 56, 62B, 63B, and 65, the input arms
1534, 1554 and output arms 1536, 1556 of each of the first and
second portions 1530, 1550 may be spaced apart along the
input and output machine screws 1574, 1576 in the general
direction of the rotational axis. The spacing between the webs
1570 and 1572 is established by the height of bosses 1533,
1553, 1548, 1568. The second and first portion middle bosses
1568, 1548 may be spaced from the pivot openings 1532,
1552 of the first and second portions 1530, 1550 along the
webs 1570, 1572 in order to resist buckling of at least one of
the first and second portions 1530, 1550. Further, the input
arms 1534, 1554 and output arms 1536, 1556 of the first and

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 98 of 105 PageID #: 432
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36

second portions 1530, 1550 of the rocker arm assembly 1508


may support the respective machine screws 1574, 1576 in
double-shear.
The rocker arm assembly 1508 may be secured to a pivot
member about which the rocker arm assembly 1508 may
rotate, as shown in FIG. 56. In the embodiment shown, the
pivot member may comprise a rocker arm post 1510. The
rocker arm assembly 1508 may be pivotally coupled by a
rocker arm coupling member to the rocker arm post 1510. The
rocker arm coupling member may comprise a machine screw
1578, as shown in FIG. 65. The pivot openings 1552, 1532 of
the second and first portions, 1550, 1530, may receive one end
of the rocker arm post 1510 in order to pivotally mount the
first and second portions 1530, 1550 to the bulkhead assembly 1502. The rocker arm post 1520 may pass at least partially
through the openings 1552, 1532 and couple to the machine
screw 1578. The rocker arm post 1510 may fasten to the
machine screw 1578, which may pass at least partially
through the pivot opening 1532 of the first portion 1530 and
a ball bearing 1538, by threadably engaging a portion of the
rocker arm post 1510 machined to accept a screw. It will be
apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that other types of
coupling members may be used to couple the rocker arm
assembly 1508 to the rocker arm post 1510.
In one embodiment, ball bearings 1538, 1558, shown in
FIG. 65, may be secured within each pivot opening 1532,
1552 to allow the first and second portions 1530, 1550 to
rotate about the long axis of the rocker arm post 1510. In the
embodiment shown, a ball bearing 1538 may be inserted to fit
securely into the pivot opening 1532. The bearing aperture
may be sized to leave sufficient space to pass the rocker arm
post 1510 from the second portion pivot opening 1552
through to the first pivot opening 1532, through the bearing
aperture and to engage the bearings. Similarly, a ball bearing
1558 maybe inserted to fit securely in the pivot opening 1552.
The bearing aperture may be sized to leave sufficient space to
pass the rocker arm post 1510 into and through the second
portion pivot opening 1552 of the rocker arm 1508 and at least
partially into the first portion pivot opening 1532 of the rocker
arm 1508. It will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art
that other types of bearings may be used facilitate rotation of
the rocker arm assembly 1508 about the rotational axis
extending through the pivot openings 1532, 1552 and along
the long axis of the rocker arm post 1510.
Having thus described the present invention by reference to
certain of its preferred embodiments, it is noted that the
embodiments disclosed are illustrative rather than limiting in
nature and that a wide range of variations, modifications,
changes, and substitutions are contemplated in the foregoing
disclosure and, in some instances, some features of the
present invention may be employed without a corresponding
use of the other features. Many such variations and modifications may be considered obvious and desirable by those
skilled in the art based upon a review of the foregoing description of preferred embodiments. Accordingly, it is appropriate
that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the scope of the invention.

a first damper for providing a damping suspension force to


the first wheel, the first damper having an elongated
shape, wherein the first damper is mounted to the toy
model vehicle chassis for actuation within a range of first
damper travel that is substantially equal to the range of
first spring travel;
a first suspension member secured to the toy model vehicle
chassis for supporting the first wheel, the first suspension member mounted for a range of first suspension
member travel at substantially a location of the first
wheel, wherein an average motion ratio of the range of
first suspension member travel to the range of first
damper travel is at least about 2.5;
a first coupling mechanism configured to transmit the supporting suspension force from the first spring to the first
wheel through the first suspension member, while allowing movement of the first suspension member substantially at the point of supporting the first wheel; and
wherein the first wheel comprises a first tire, wherein the
first wheel is supported by the first suspension member
for movement of the first wheel and the first tire, and
wherein the first wheel and the first tire have a range of
vertical movement at least about half of a diameter of the
first tire.
2. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 1, wherein
the first spring is a compression spring secured to the toy
model vehicle chassis for linear actuation in a direction substantially horizontal relative to the toy model vehicle chassis.
3. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 1, further
comprising:
a first motion ratio of vertical movement of the first wheel
to movement of the first spring or the first damper that is
progressive over a substantial portion of the range of first
suspension member travel.
4. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 3, wherein
the first motion ratio generally decreases with upward movement of the first wheel.
5. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 3, wherein
the supporting suspension force transmitted from the first
spring to the first wheel by the first suspension member
increases non-linearly over at least a substantial portion of a
range of upward movement of the first wheel.
6. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 1, further
comprising:
a second wheel for supporting at least a portion of the toy
model vehicle chassis above an underlying surface, the
second wheel positioned aft of the first wheel relative to
the toy model vehicle chassis;
a second spring for providing a supporting suspension
force to the second wheel, wherein the second spring is
mounted to the toy model vehicle chassis for deflection
within a range of second spring travel;
a second damper for providing a damping suspension force
to the second wheel, the second damper having an elongated shape, wherein the second damper is mounted to
the toy model vehicle chassis for actuation within a
range of second damper travel that is substantially equal
to the range of second spring travel;
a second suspension member secured to the toy model
vehicle chassis for supporting the second wheel at a
location aft of the first suspension member, the second
suspension member mounted for a range of second suspension member travel at substantially a location for
supporting the second wheel, wherein an average
motion ratio of the range of second suspension member
travel to the range of second damper travel is at least
about 2.5;

The invention claimed is:


1. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:
a toy model vehicle chassis;
a first wheel for supporting at least a portion of the toy
model vehicle chassis above an underlying surface;
a first spring for providing a supporting suspension force to
the first wheel, wherein the first spring is mounted to the
toy model vehicle chassis for deflection within a range of
first spring travel;

10

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37
a second coupling mechanism configured to transmit the
supporting suspension force from the second spring to
the second wheel through the second suspension member, while allowing movement of the second suspension
member substantially at the point of supporting the second wheel; and
wherein the second wheel comprises a second tire, wherein
the second wheel is supported by the second suspension
member for vertical movement of the second wheel and
the second tire, and wherein the second wheel and the
second tire have a range of vertical movement at least
about half of a diameter of the second tire.
7. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 6, wherein
the second spring is a compression spring secured to the toy
model vehicle chassis for linear actuation in a direction substantially horizontal relative to the toy model vehicle chassis.
8. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 6, further
comprising:
a first motion ratio of vertical movement of the first wheel
to movement of the first spring or the first damper that is
progressive over a substantial portion of the range of first
suspension member travel; and
a second motion ratio of vertical movement of the second
wheel to movement of the second spring or the second
damper that is progressive over a substantial portion of
the range of second suspension member travel.
9. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 8, wherein
the second motion ratio generally decreases with upward
movement of the second wheel.
10. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 8, wherein
the supporting suspension force transmitted from the second
spring to the second wheel by the second suspension member
increases non-linearly over at least a substantial portion of a
range of upward movement of the second wheel.
11. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 6, wherein
a second spring rate of the second spring associated with the
second suspension member is greater than a first spring rate of
the first spring associated with the first suspension member.
12. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 8, wherein
the first motion ratio associated with the first suspension
member is substantially similar to the second motion ratio
associated with the second suspension members over the
range of vertical movement of the respective first wheel and
the second wheel.
13. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:
a toy model vehicle chassis;
a spring for providing a supporting suspension force,
wherein the spring is a compression spring mounted on
the toy model vehicle chassis for linear actuation within
a range of spring travel in a direction substantially horizontal relative to the toy model vehicle chassis;
one or more dampers having a range of damper travel for
providing a damping suspension force;
at least a first suspension member mounted to the toy model
vehicle chassis for supporting a toy model vehicle
wheel, the first suspension member mounted for a range
of first suspension member travel upwardly and downwardly at a location for supporting the toy model vehicle
wheel, wherein an average motion ratio of the range of
first suspension member travel to the range of damper
travel is at least about 2.5;
a coupling mechanism for transmitting the suspension
forces from the spring or the one or more dampers or
both to the first suspension member at the location for
supporting the toy model vehicle wheel;
wherein the coupling mechanism is configured to transmit
the suspension forces to the first suspension member,

38

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25

30

35

40

45

50

55

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65

while allowing movement of the first suspension member at the point of supporting the toy model vehicle
wheel; and
wherein the toy model vehicle wheel comprises a first tire,
wherein the toy model vehicle wheel is supported by the
first suspension member for movement of the toy model
vehicle wheel and the first tire, and wherein the toy
model vehicle wheel and the first tire have a range of
vertical movement at least about half of a diameter of the
first tire.
14. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:
a toy model vehicle chassis;
a spring for providing a supporting suspension force;
one or more dampers for providing a damping suspension
force;
at least a first suspension member mounted to the toy model
vehicle chassis for supporting a toy model vehicle
wheel, the first suspension member mounted for movement upwardly and downwardly at a location for supporting the toy model vehicle wheel;
a coupling mechanism for transmitting the suspension
forces from the spring or the one or more dampers or
both to the first suspension member at the location for
supporting the toy model vehicle wheel;
wherein the coupling mechanism is configured to transmit
the suspension forces to the first suspension member,
while allowing movement of the first suspension member at the point of supporting the toy model vehicle
wheel;
wherein a motion ratio of vertical wheel movement to
movement of the associated spring or damper is progressive over a substantial portion of the range of first suspension member travel, and wherein the average motion
ratio over a full range of first suspension member travel
is at least about 2.0; and
wherein the toy model vehicle wheel comprises a first tire,
wherein the toy model vehicle wheel is supported by the
first suspension member for movement of the toy model
vehicle wheel and the first tire, and wherein the toy
model vehicle wheel and the first tire have a range of
vertical movement at least about half of a diameter of the
first tire.
15. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:
a toy model vehicle chassis;
a toy model vehicle wheel supporting at least a portion of
the toy model vehicle chassis;
a spring member coupled to the toy model vehicle chassis
for urging the toy model vehicle wheel in at least a
vertical direction;
at least one suspension assembly supporting the toy model
vehicle wheel for vertical movement relative to the toy
model vehicle chassis, the at least one suspension
assembly coupling the spring member to the toy model
vehicle wheel, and wherein the at least one suspension
assembly comprises a plurality of suspension configurations, each suspension configuration having a range of
motion ratio (MR) characteristics of vertical displacement of the wheel to displacement of the spring member;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly has an average MR (MRAVE)
value determined from the average MR of each suspension configuration over the range of movement of the
wheel between approximately full droop and full bump
positions;

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39
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly has a total wheel displacement
value (TWD) measured from approximately full droop
to full bump positions;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly comprises a first ratio of MR to
MRAVE and a second ratio of vertical wheel displacement (WD) over TWD (WD/TWD) measured from full
droop, where the WD/TWD is defined as 0.0, to full
bump, where the WD/TWD is defined as 1.0;
wherein in a first suspension configuration the first ratio
(MR/MRAVE) varies with the second ratio (WD/TWD)
substantially according to a first mathematical relationship, the first mathematical relationship comprising
about:

10

15

MR/MRAVE~0.0584(WD/TWD) +0.2233(WD/

TWD) 3 -0.9942(WD/TWD)2 +0.7481(WD/


TWD)+0.8876;

wherein, in a second suspension configuration, the first


ratio varies with the WD/TWD substantially according
to a second mathematical relationship, the second mathematical relationship comprising about:

20

TWD)' -0.7888(WD/TWD) +0.4222(WD/


TWD)+1.0154;

wherein, in a third suspension configuration, the first ratio


varies with the WD/TWD substantially according to a
third mathematical relationship, the third mathematical
relationship comprising about:

25

wherein, in a second suspension configuration, the first


ratio varies with the WD/TWD substantially according
to a second mathematical relationship, the second mathematical relationship comprising about:
MR/MRAVE~0.1345(WD/TWD) 4 +0.053(WD/

TWD) 3 -0.7888(WD/TWD)2 +0.4222(WD/


TWD)+1.0154; and
30

MR/MRAVE~0.1318(WD/TWD) 4 +0.0522(WD/

TWD)'-0.7277(WD/TWD)2 +0.1862(WD/
TWD)+1.125; and

wherein the first ratio of the first suspension configuration,


of the second suspension configuration, and of the third
suspension configuration each has a tolerance of about
plus or minus 0.03.
16. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 15, wherein
the at least one suspension assembly further comprises a
plurality of rocker arms interchangeably mountable to the toy
model vehicle chassis for pivotal movement, each rocker arm
having an output arm for coupling to the spring member and
an input arm for coupling to the wheel, and wherein the
plurality of rocker arms having at least output arms of differing configurations or input arms of differing configurations.
17. The model vehicle suspension of claim 15, wherein the
spring member extends and retracts in a substantially horizontal orientation relative to the toy model vehicle chassis.
18. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:
a toy model vehicle chassis;
a wheel supporting at least a portion of the toy model
vehicle chassis;
a spring member coupled to the toy model vehicle chassis
for urging the wheel member in at least a vertical direction;
at least one suspension assembly supporting the wheel for
vertical movement relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis, the at least one suspension assembly coupling
the spring member to the wheel, and wherein the at least
one suspension assembly comprises a plurality of suspension configurations, each suspension configuration
having a range of motion ratio (MR) characteristics of
vertical displacement of the wheel to displacement of
the spring member;
wherein each suspension configuration of at least one the
suspension assembly has an average MR (MRAVE)

MR/MRAVE~0.0584(WD/TWD) 4 +0.2233(WD/

TWD) 3 -0.9942(WD/TWD) 2 +0.7481(WD/


TWD)+0.8876;

MR/MRAVE~0.1345(WD/TWD) 4 +0.053(WD/
2

value determined from the average MR of each suspension configuration over the range of movement of the
wheel between approximately full droop and full bump
positions;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly has a total wheel displacement
value (TWD) measured from approximately full droop
to full bump positions;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly comprises a first ratio of MR to
MRAVE and a second ratio of vertical wheel displacement (WD) over TWD (WD/TWD) measured from full
droop, where the WD/TWD is defined as 0.0, to full
bump, where the WD/TWD is defined as 1.0;
wherein in a first suspension configuration the first ratio
(MR/MRAVE) varies with the second ratio (WD/TWD)
substantially according to a first mathematical relationship, the first mathematical relationship comprising
about:

35

40

wherein the first ratio of the first suspension configuration


and of the second suspension configuration each has a
tolerance of plus or minus about 0.03.
19. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 18, wherein
the at least one suspension assembly further comprises a
plurality of rocker arms interchangeably mountable to the toy
model vehicle chassis for pivotal movement, each rocker arm
having an output arm for coupling to the spring member and
an input arm for coupling to the wheel, and wherein the
plurality of rocker arms having at least output arms of differing configurations or input arms of differing configurations.
20. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 18, wherein
the spring member extends and retracts in a substantially
horizontal orientation relative to the toy model vehicle chas-

45 SIS.

50

55

60

65

21. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:


a toy model vehicle chassis;
a wheel supporting at least a portion of the toy model
vehicle chassis;
a spring member coupled to the toy model vehicle chassis
for urging the wheel member in at least a vertical direction;
at least one suspension assembly supporting the wheel for
vertical movement relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis, the at least one suspension assembly coupling
the spring member to the wheel, and wherein the at least
one suspension assembly comprises a plurality of suspension configurations, each suspension configuration
having a range of motion ratio (MR) characteristics of
vertical displacement of the wheel to displacement of
the spring member;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly has an average MR (MRAVE)
value determined from the average MR of each suspension configuration over the range of movement of the
wheel between approximately full droop and full bump
positions;

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41
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly comprises a first ratio of MR to
MRAVE and a second ratio of vertical wheel displacement (WD) over TWD (WD/TWD) measured from full
droop, where the WD/TWD is defined as 0.0, to full
bump, where the WD/TWD is defined as 1.0;
wherein in a first suspension configuration the first ratio
(MR/MRAVE) varies with the second ratio (WD/TWD)
substantially according to a first mathematical relationship, the first mathematical relationship comprising
about:

droop, where the WD/TWD is defined as 0.0, to full


bump, where the WD/TWD is defined as 1.0;
wherein in the first suspension configuration the first ratio
(MR/MRAVE) varies with the second ratio (WD/TWD)
substantially according to a first mathematical relationship, the first mathematical relationship comprising
about:
MR/MRAVE~0.1345(WD/TWD) 4 +0.053(WD/

MR/MRAVE~0.1345(WD/TWD) 4 +0.053(WD/

TWD)' -0.7888(WD/TWD) 2 +0.4222(WD/


TWD)+1.0154;

wherein, in a second suspension configuration, the first


ratio varies with the WD/TWD substantially according
to a second mathematical relationship, the second mathematical relationship comprising about:
MR/MRAVE~0.1318(WD/TWD) 4 +0.0522(WD/

TWD)'0.7277(WD/TWD)2 +0.1862(WD/TWD)+
1.125; and

wherein the first ratio of the first suspension configuration


and of the second suspension configuration each has a
tolerance of plus or minus about 0.03.
22. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 21, wherein
the at least one suspension assembly further comprises a
plurality of rocker arms interchangeably mountable to the toy
model vehicle chassis for pivotal movement, each rocker arm
having an output arm for coupling to the spring member and
an input arm for coupling to the wheel, and wherein the
plurality of rocker arms having at least output arms of differing configurations or input arms of differing configurations.
23. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 21, wherein
the spring member extends and retracts in a substantially
horizontal orientation relative to the toy model vehicle chas-

15

20

wherein the first ratio of the first suspension configuration


has a tolerance of plus or minus about 0.03.
25. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 24, wherein
the at least one suspension assembly further comprises a
plurality of rocker arms interchangeably mountable to the toy
model vehicle chassis for pivotal movement, each rocker arm
having an output arm for coupling to the spring member and
an input arm for coupling to the wheel, and wherein the
plurality of rocker arms having at least output arms of differing configurations or input arms of differing configurations.
26. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 24, wherein
the spring member extends and retracts in a substantially
horizontal orientation relative to the toy model vehicle chasSIS.

25

30

35

SIS.

24. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:


a toy model vehicle chassis;
a wheel supporting at least a portion of the toy model
vehicle chassis;
a spring member coupled to the toy model vehicle chassis
for urging the wheel member in at least a vertical direction;
at least one suspension assembly supporting the wheel for
vertical movement relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis, the at least one suspension assembly coupling
the spring member to the wheel, and wherein the at least
one suspension assembly comprises at least a first suspension configuration, the first suspension configuration
having a motion ratio (MR) of vertical displacement of
the wheel to displacement of the spring member;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly has an average MR (MRAVE)
value determined from the average MR of the first suspension configuration over the range of movement of the
wheel between approximately full droop and full bump
positions;
wherein the first suspension configuration of at least one
the suspension assembly has a total wheel displacement
value (TWD) measured from approximately full droop
to full bump positions;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly comprises a first ratio ofMR to
MRAVE and a second ratio of vertical wheel displacement (WD) over TWD (WD/TWD) measured from full

TWD) 3 -0.7888(WD/TWD)2 +0.4222(WD/


TWD)+1.0154; and

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45

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27. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:


a toy model vehicle chassis;
a wheel supporting at least a portion of the toy model
vehicle chassis;
a spring member coupled to the toy model vehicle chassis
for urging the wheel member in at least a vertical direction;
at least one suspension assembly supporting the wheel for
vertical movement relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis, the at least one suspension assembly coupling
the spring member to the wheel, and wherein the at least
one suspension assembly comprises at least a first suspension configuration, the first suspension configuration
having a motion ratio (MR) of vertical displacement of
the wheel to displacement of the spring member;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly has an average MR (MRAVE)
value determined from the average MR of the first suspension configuration over the range of movement of the
wheel between approximately full droop and full bump
positions;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly comprises a first ratio ofMR to
MRAVE and a second ratio of vertical wheel displacement (WD) over TWD (WD/TWD) measured from full
droop, where the WD/TWD is defined as 0.0, to full
bump, where the WD/TWD is defined as 1.0;
wherein in the first suspension configuration the first ratio
(MR/MRAVE) varies with the second ratio (WD/TWD)
substantially according to a first mathematical relationship, the first mathematical relationship comprising
about:
MR/MRAVE~0.0584(WD/TWD) 4 +0.2233(WD/

60

65

TWD) 3 -0.9942(WD/TWD) 2 +0.7481(WD/


TWD)+0.8876; and

wherein the first ratio of the first suspension configuration


has a tolerance of plus or minus about 0.03.
28. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 27, wherein
the at least one suspension assembly further comprises a
plurality of rocker arms interchangeably mountable to the toy
model vehicle chassis for pivotal movement, each rocker arm
having an output arm for coupling to the spring member and

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44

an input arm for coupling to the wheel, and wherein the


plurality of rocker arms having at least output arms of differing configurations or input arms of differing configurations.
29. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 27, wherein
the spring member extends and retracts in a substantially
horizontal orientation relative to the toy model vehicle chasSIS.

30. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:


a toy model vehicle chassis;
a wheel supporting at least a portion of the toy model
vehicle chassis;
a spring member coupled to the toy model vehicle chassis
for urging the wheel member in at least a vertical direction;
at least one suspension assembly supporting the wheel for
vertical movement relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis, the at least one suspension assembly coupling
the spring member to the wheel, and wherein the at least
one suspension assembly comprises at least a first suspension configuration, the first suspension configuration
having a motion ratio (MR) of vertical displacement of
the wheel to displacement of the spring member;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly has an average MR (MRAVE)
value determined from the average MR of the first suspension configuration over the range of movement of the
wheel between approximately full droop and full bump
positions;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly comprises a first ratio ofMR to
MRAVE and a second ratio of vertical wheel displacement (WD) over TWD (WD/TWD) measured from full
droop, where the WD/TWD is defined as 0.0, to full
bump, where the WD/TWD is defined as 1.0;
wherein in the first suspension configuration the first ratio
(MR/MRAVE) varies with the second ratio (WD/TWD)
substantially according to a first mathematical relationship, the first mathematical relationship comprising
about:
MR/MRAVE~0.1318(WD/TWD) 4 +0.0522(WD/

10

15

20

25

30

MR/MRAVE~0.0584(WD/TWD) 4 +0.2233(WD/

TWD) 3 -0.9942(WD/TWD) 2 +0.7481(WD/


TWD)+0.8876;
35

40

45

MR/MRAVE~0.1345(WD/TWD) 4 +0.053(WD/

wherein, in a third suspension configuration, the first ratio


varies with the WD/TWD from the ride height position
to the full bump position substantially according to a
third mathematical relationship, the third mathematical
relationship comprising about:
MR/MRAVE~0.1318(WD/TWD) 4 +0.0522(WD/

50

55

SIS.

33. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:


a toy model vehicle chassis;
a toy model vehicle wheel supporting at least a portion of
the toy model vehicle chassis;
a spring member coupled to the toy model vehicle chassis
for urging the toy model vehicle wheel in at least a
vertical direction;
at least one suspension assembly supporting the toy model
vehicle wheel for vertical movement relative to the toy
model vehicle chassis, the at least one suspension

wherein, in a second suspension configuration, the first


ratio varies with the WD/TWD from the ride height
position to the full bump position substantially according to a second mathematical relationship, the second
mathematical relationship comprising about:
TWD) 3 -0.7888(WD/TWD)2 +0.4222(WD/
TWD)+1.0154;

TWD)'-0.7277(WD/TWD) +0.1862(WD/
TWD)+1.125; and

wherein the first ratio of the first suspension configuration


has a tolerance of plus or minus about 0.03.
31. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 30, wherein
the at least one suspension assembly further comprises a
plurality of rocker arms interchangeably mountable to the toy
model vehicle chassis for pivotal movement, each rocker arm
having an output arm for coupling to the spring member and
an input arm for coupling to the wheel, and wherein the
plurality of rocker arms having at least output arms of differing configurations or input arms of differing configurations.
32. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 30, wherein
the spring member extends and retracts in a substantially
horizontal orientation relative to the toy model vehicle chas-

assembly coupling the spring member to the toy model


vehicle wheel, and wherein the at least one suspension
assembly comprises a plurality of suspension configurations, each suspension configuration having a range of
motion ratio (MR) characteristics of vertical displacement of the wheel to displacement of the spring member;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly has an average MR (MRAVE)
value determined from the average MR of each suspension configuration over the range of movement of the
wheel between approximately full droop and full bump
positions;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly has a total wheel displacement
value (TWD) measured from approximately full droop
to full bump positions;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly comprises a first ratio of MR to
MRAVE and a second ratio of vertical wheel displacement (WD) over TWD (WD/TWD) measured from a
ride height position, where the WD/TWD is defined as
approximately in the range of 0.25 to 0.5, to the full
bump position, where the WD/TWD is defined as 1.0;
wherein in a first suspension configuration the first ratio
(MR/MRAVE) varies with the second ratio (WD/TWD)
substantially according to a first mathematical relationship, the first mathematical relationship comprising
about:

60

65

TWD) 3 -0.7277(WD/TWD) 2 +0.1862(WD/


TWD)+1.125; and

wherein the first ratio of the first suspension configuration,


of the second suspension configuration, and of the third
suspension configuration each has a tolerance of about
plus or minus 0.03.
34. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 33, wherein
the at least one suspension assembly further comprises a
plurality of rocker arms interchangeably mountable to the toy
model vehicle chassis for pivotal movement, each rocker arm
having an output arm for coupling to the spring member and
an input arm for coupling to the wheel, and wherein the
plurality of rocker arms having at least output arms of differing configurations or input arms of differing configurations.
35. The model vehicle suspension of claim 33, wherein the
spring member extends and retracts in a substantially horizontal orientation relative to the toy model vehicle chassis.

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45
36. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:

39. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:

a toy model vehicle chassis;


a wheel supporting at least a portion of the toy model
vehicle chassis;
a spring member coupled to the toy model vehicle chassis
for urging the wheel member in at least a vertical direction;
at least one suspension assembly supporting the wheel for
vertical movement relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis, the at least one suspension assembly coupling
the spring member to the wheel, and wherein the at least
one suspension assembly comprises a plurality of suspension configurations, each suspension configuration
having a range of motion ratio (MR) characteristics of
vertical displacement of the wheel to displacement of
the spring member;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly has an average MR (MRAVE)
value determined from the average MR of each suspensian configuration over the range of movement of the
wheel between approximately full droop and full bump
positions;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly has a total wheel displacement
value (TWD) measured from approximately full droop
to full bump positions;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly comprises a first ratio of MR to
MRAVE and a second ratio of vertical wheel displacement (WD) over TWD (WD/TWD) measured from a
ride height position, where the WD/TWD is defined as
approximately in the range of 0.25 to 0.5, to the full
bump position, where the WD/TWD is defined as 1.0;
wherein in a first suspension configuration the first ratio
(MR/MRAVE) varies with the second ratio (WD/TWD)
substantially according to a first mathematical relationship, the first mathematical relationship comprising
about:

a toy model vehicle chassis;


a wheel supporting at least a portion of the toy model
vehicle chassis;
a spring member coupled to the toy model vehicle chassis
for urging the wheel member in at least a vertical direction;
at least one suspension assembly supporting the wheel for
vertical movement relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis, the at least one suspension assembly coupling
the spring member to the wheel, and wherein the at least
one suspension assembly comprises a plurality of suspension configurations, each suspension configuration
having a range of motion ratio (MR) characteristics of
vertical displacement of the wheel to displacement of
the spring member;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly has an average MR (MRAVE)
value determined from the average MR of each suspension configuration over the range of movement of the
wheel between approximately full droop and full bump
positions;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly has a total wheel displacement
value (TWD) measured from approximately full droop
to full bump positions;
wherein each suspension configuration of the at least one
suspension assembly comprises a first ratio of MR to
MRAVE and a second ratio of vertical wheel displacement (WD) over TWD (WD/TWD) measured from a
ride height position, where the WD/TWD is defined as
approximately in the range of 0.25 to 0.5, to the full
bump position, where the WD/TWD is defined as 1.0;
wherein in a first suspension configuration the first ratio
(MR/MRAVE) varies with the second ratio (WD/TWD)
substantially according to a first mathematical relationship, the first mathematical relationship comprising
about:

MR/MRAVE~0.0584(WD/TWD) 4 +0.2233(WD/

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

MR/MRAVE~0.1345(WD/TWD) 4 +0.053(WD/

TWD) 3 -0.9942(WD/TWD)2 +0.7481(WD/


TWD)+0.8876;

wherein, in a second suspension configuration, the first


ratio varies with the WD/TWD from the ride height
position to the full bump position substantially according to a second mathematical relationship, the second
mathematical relationship comprising about:

TWD) 3 -0.7888(WD/TWD)2 +0.4222(WD/


TWD)+1.0154;

45

wherein, in a second suspension configuration, the first


ratio varies with the WD/TWD from the ride height
position to the full bump position substantially according to a second mathematical relationship, the second
mathematical relationship comprising about:

MR/MRAVE~0.1345(WD/TWD) 4 +0.053(WD/

TWD)' -0.7888(WD/TWD) 2 +0.4222(WD/


TWD)+1.0154; and

wherein the first ratio of the first suspension configuration


and of the second suspension configuration each has a
tolerance of plus or minus about 0.03.
37. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 36, wherein
the at least one suspension assembly further comprises a
plurality of rocker arms interchangeably mountable to the toy
model vehicle chassis for pivotal movement, each rocker arm
having an output arm for coupling to the spring member and
an input arm for coupling to the wheel, and wherein the
plurality of rocker arms having at least output arms of differing configurations or input arms of differing configurations.
38. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 36, wherein
the spring member extends and retracts in a substantially
horizontal orientation relative to the toy model vehicle chasSIS.

MR/MRAVE~0.1318(WD/TWD) 4 +0.0522(WD/

50

55

60

65

TWD) 3 -0.7277(WD/TWD) 2 +0.1862(WD/


TWD)+1.125; and

wherein the first ratio of the first suspension configuration


and of the second suspension configuration each has a
tolerance of plus or minus about 0.03.
40. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 39, wherein
the at least one suspension assembly further comprises a
plurality of rocker arms interchangeably mountable to the toy
model vehicle chassis for pivotal movement, each rocker arm
having an output arm for coupling to the spring member and
an input arm for coupling to the wheel, and wherein the
plurality of rocker arms having at least output arms of differing configurations or input arms of differing configurations.
41. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 39, wherein
the spring member extends and retracts in a substantially
horizontal orientation relative to the toy model vehicle chasSIS.

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 104 of 105 PageID #:
438
US 7,883,099 B2

47

48

42. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:

a toy model vehicle chassis;


a wheel supporting at least a portion of the toy model
vehicle chassis;
a spring member coupled to the toy model vehicle chassis
for urging the wheel member in at least a vertical direction;
at least one suspension assembly supporting the wheel for
vertical movement relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis, the at least one suspension assembly coupling
the spring member to the wheel, and wherein the at least
one suspension assembly comprises at least a first suspension configuration, the first suspension configuration
having a motion ratio (MR) of vertical displacement of
the wheel to displacement of the spring member;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly has an average MR (MRAVE)
value determined from the average MR of the first suspension configuration over the range of movement of the
wheel between approximately full droop and full bump
positions;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly has a total wheel displacement
value (TWD) measured from approximately full droop
to full bump positions;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly comprises a first ratio ofMR to
MRAVE and a second ratio of vertical wheel displacement (WD) over TWD (WD/TWD) measured from a
ride height position, where the WD/TWD is defined as
approximately in the range of 0.25 to 0.5, to the full
bump position, where the WD/TWD is defined as 1.0;
wherein in the first suspension configuration the first ratio
(MR/MRAVE) varies with the second ratio (WD/TWD)
substantially according to a first mathematical relationship, the first mathematical relationship comprising
about:

10

15

20

25

MR/MRAVE~0.0584(WD/TWD) 4 +0.2233(WD/

wherein the first ratio of the first suspension configuration


has a tolerance of plus or minus about 0.03.
43. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 42, wherein
the at least one suspension assembly further comprises a
plurality of rocker arms interchangeably mountable to the toy
model vehicle chassis for pivotal movement, each rocker arm
having an output arm for coupling to the spring member and
an input arm for coupling to the wheel, and wherein the
plurality of rocker arms having at least output arms of differing configurations or input arms of differing configurations.
44. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 42, wherein
the spring member extends and retracts in a substantially
horizontal orientation relative to the toy model vehicle chasSIS.

35

40

wherein the first ratio of the first suspension configuration


has a tolerance of plus or minus about 0.03.
46. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 45, wherein
the at least one suspension assembly further comprises a
plurality of rocker arms interchangeably mountable to the toy
model vehicle chassis for pivotal movement, each rocker arm
having an output arm for coupling to the spring member and
an input arm for coupling to the wheel, and wherein the
plurality of rocker arms having at least output arms of differing configurations or input arms of differing configurations.
47. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 45, wherein
the spring member extends and retracts in a substantially
horizontal orientation relative to the toy model vehicle chas-

45 SIS.

50

55

45. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:

a toy model vehicle chassis;


a wheel supporting at least a portion of the toy model
vehicle chassis;
a spring member coupled to the toy model vehicle chassis
for urging the wheel member in at least a vertical direction;
at least one suspension assembly supporting the wheel for
vertical movement relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis, the at least one suspension assembly coupling
the spring member to the wheel, and wherein the at least
one suspension assembly comprises at least a first sus-

TWD) 3 -0.9942(WD/TWD) 2 +0.7481(WD/


TWD)+0.8876; and

30

MR/MRAVE~0.1345(WD/TWD) 4 +0.053(WD/

TWD)' -0.7888(WD/TWD) 2 +0.4222(WD/


TWD)+1.0154; and

pension configuration, the first suspension configuration


having a motion ratio (MR) of vertical displacement of
the wheel to displacement of the spring member;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly has an average MR (MRAVE)
value determined from the average MR of the first suspension configuration over the range of movement of the
wheel between approximately full droop and full bump
positions;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly has a total wheel displacement
value (TWD) measured from approximately full droop
to full bump positions;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly comprises a first ratio ofMR to
MRAVE and a second ratio of vertical wheel displacement (WD) over TWD (WD/TWD) measured from a
ride height position, where the WD/TWD is defined as
approximately in the range of 0.25 to 0.5, to the full
bump position, where the WD/TWD is defined as 1.0;
wherein in the first suspension configuration the first ratio
(MR/MRAVE) varies with the second ratio (WD/TWD)
substantially according to a first mathematical relationship, the first mathematical relationship comprising
about:

60

65

48. A toy model vehicle suspension, comprising:


a toy model vehicle chassis;
a wheel supporting at least a portion of the toy model
vehicle chassis;
a spring member coupled to the toy model vehicle chassis
for urging the wheel member in at least a vertical direction;
at least one suspension assembly supporting the wheel for
vertical movement relative to the toy model vehicle
chassis, the at least one suspension assembly coupling
the spring member to the wheel, and wherein the at least
one suspension assembly comprises at least a first suspension configuration, the first suspension configuration
having a motion ratio (MR) of vertical displacement of
the wheel to displacement of the spring member;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly has an average MR (MRAVE)
value determined from the average MR of the first suspension configuration over the range of movement of the
wheel between approximately full droop and full bump
positions;

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-3 Filed 08/02/16 Page 105 of 105 PageID #:
439
US 7,883,099 B2

50

49
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly has a total wheel displacement
value (TWD) measured from approximately full droop
to full bump positions;
wherein the first suspension configuration of the at least
one suspension assembly comprises a first ratio ofMR to
MRAVE and a second ratio of vertical wheel displacement (WD) over TWD (WD/TWD) measured from a
ride height position, where the WD/TWD is defined as
approximately in the range of 0.25 to 0.5, to the full
bump position, where the WD/TWD is defined as 1.0;
wherein in the first suspension configuration the first ratio
(MR/MRAVE) varies with the second ratio (WD/TWD)
substantially according to a first mathematical relationship, the first mathematical relationship comprising
about:

wherein the first ratio of the first suspension configuration


has a tolerance of plus or minus about 0.03.

10

49. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 48, wherein


the at least one suspension assembly further comprises a
plurality of rocker arms interchangeably mountable to the toy
model vehicle chassis for pivotal movement, each rocker arm
having an output arm for coupling to the spring member and
an input arm for coupling to the wheel, and wherein the
plurality of rocker arms having at least output arms of differing configurations or input arms of differing configurations.
50. The toy model vehicle suspension of claim 48, wherein
the spring member extends and retracts in a substantially
horizontal orientation relative to the toy model vehicle chas-

15 SIS.

MR/MRAVE~0.1318(WD/TWD) 4 +0.0522(WD/

TWD)'-0.7277(WD/TWD)2 +0.1862(WD/
TWD)+1.125; and

* * * * *

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-4 Filed 08/02/16 Page 1 of 7 PageID #: 440

EXHIBIT D

U.S. Patent No. D567,886 S

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-4 Filed 08/02/16 Page 2 of 7 PageID #: 441


111111
1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
USOOD567886S

c12)

United States Design Patent

(10)

Lampert et al.

(45)

(73)
(**)

VEHICLE MOUNTED COIL SPRING AND


SHOCK ASSEMBLY
Inventors: Jon Kenneth Lampert, Garland, TX
(US); Brent Whitfield Byers, Plano,
TX (US)
Assignee: Traxxas LP, Plano, TX (US)
Term:
14 Years

(21)

Appl. No.: 29/227,305

(22)

Filed:

(51)
(52)
(58)

LOC (8) Cl. ................................................. 21-01


U.S. Cl. ..................................................... D21!562
Field of Classification Search ............... D21/561,
D21/562; D12/159; 267/64.28, 118, 126,
267/221; 188/274,322.19,322.21,286,
188/287, 314, 315
See application file for complete search history.

(54)

(75)

US D567,886 S
** Apr. 29, 2008

Traxxas, "REVO Service and Support Guide I Parts List", Traxxas


LP, Plano TX USA; Jul. 2004.
Traxxas, "REVO Power.Precision.Balance" product announcement
web pages, traxxas.com; Traxxas LP, Plano TX USA, Apr. 8, 2004.

* cited by examiner

Primary Examiner-Holly H. Baynham


Assistant Examiner--Cynthia M. Chin
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Carr LLP

(57)

CLAIM

Apr. 7, 2005

(56)

References Cited

U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS


D262,959
D277,952
D281,772
D337,555
6,142,268
D435,236
6,968,931
2006/0006622

Patent No.:
Date of Patent:

*
*
*
s *
A *
S *
B2 *
A1 *
S
S
S

2/1982
3/1985
12/1985
7/1993
1112000
12/2000
11/2005
112006

Cowan ...................... D12/159


Nakano et al ............. D12/159
Heideman eta!. ......... D12/159
McNab eta!. ............. D12/159
Kuo-An ...................... 267/221
Hanlon eta!. ............. D12/159
Huisman .................... 267/221
Gesmer et al ......... 280/87.042

OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Racecar Engineering, Jun. 2003-vol. 13 No. 06; pp. 15, 106; IPC
Media Ltd., Croydon, England.
Race Tech, Oct./Nov. 2003, p. 74; Racecar Graphic Ltd., London
UK.
Serpent, Veteq; Serpent Model Racing Cars, Noord-Holland, Netherlands; 3 pictures.
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Traxxas, www.traxxas.com archive web page Jul. 10, 2004, Traxxas
LP, Plano TX USA, Jul. 10, 2004.
Traxxas, "REVO Owners Manual", Traxxas LP, Plano TX USA;
Jul. 2004.

The ornamental design for a vehicle mounted coil spring and


shock assembly, as shown and described.
DESCRIPTION
FIG. 1 is a plan view showing the top of the vehicle mounted
coil spring and shock assembly, with the body shell
removed;

FIG. 2 is a side view showing the vehicle mounted coil


spring and shock assembly viewed from the left side, with
the body shell removed;
FIG. 3 is a plan view showing the top of the vehicle mounted
coil spring and shock assembly in an alternate environment
with the body shell in place on the chassis;
FIG. 4 is a side view showing the vehicle mounted coil
spring and shock assembly viewed from the left side in
alternate environment with the body shell in place on the
chassis; and,
FIG. 5 is an enlarged partial view showing the vehicle
mounted coil spring and shock assembly from the top.
The appearance of the bottom of the vehicle mounted coil
spring and shock assembly is a mirror image of the top of the
vehicle mounted coil spring and shock assembly. The
appearance of the right side of the vehicle mounted coil
spring and shock assembly is a mirror image of the left side
of the vehicle mounted coil spring and shock assembly.
The broken lines are for illustrative purposes only and form
no part of the claimed design.
The toy vehicle is shown in partial views throughout FIGS.
1-4 for the ease and clarity of illustration.
1 Claim, 5 Drawing Sheets

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-4 Filed 08/02/16 Page 3 of 7 PageID #: 442

U.S. Patent

Apr. 29, 2008

Sheet 1 of 5

US D567,886 S

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-4 Filed 08/02/16 Page 4 of 7 PageID #: 443

U.S. Patent

Apr. 29, 2008

Sheet 2 of 5

US D567,886 S

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-4 Filed 08/02/16 Page 5 of 7 PageID #: 444

U.S. Patent

Apr. 29, 2008

Sheet 3 of 5

US D567,886 S

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-4 Filed 08/02/16 Page 6 of 7 PageID #: 445

U.S. Patent

Apr. 29, 2008

US D567,886 S

Sheet 4 of 5

' '

",',

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lj

/j
lj
lj

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\
\
\

"\
\

..... --~----- ~ ......

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-4 Filed 08/02/16 Page 7 of 7 PageID #: 446

U.S. Patent

Apr. 29, 2008

I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
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I
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Sheet 5 of 5

US D567,886 S

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 1 of 28 PageID #: 447

EXHIBIT E
U.S. Patent No. 9,061,763 B1

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 2 of 28 PageID #: 448


111111
1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
US009061763Bl

c12)

United States Patent

(10)

Christensen et al.

(54)

ROTORCRAFT WITH INTEGRATED LIGHT


PIPE SUPPORT MEMBERS

(71)

Applicant: TRAXXAS LP, McKinney, TX (US)

(72)

Inventors: Casey Christen Jens Christensen,


McKinney, TX (US); Otto Karl
Allmendinger, Rowlett, TX (US);
Richard Douglas Hohnholt, Coppell,
TX (US); Kent Poteet, Lucas, TX (US);
Scott Rollin Michael Schmitz,
Lewisville, TX (US); Thomas
Blackwell, Crossroads, TX (US)

(73)

Assignee: TRAXXAS LP, McKinney, TX (US)

( *)

Notice:

Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this


patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.

(21)

Appl. No.: 14/461,228

(22)

Filed:

Aug. 15, 2014


Related U.S. Application Data

(60)

Provisional application No. 61/866,530, filed on Aug.


15, 2013.

(51)

Int. Cl.
B64C 27100
(2006.01)
(2006.01)
B64C 39102
(2006.01)
A63H 17128
(2006.01)
A63H 27/00
U.S. Cl.
CPC ......... B64C 391024 (2013.01); B64C 2201/027
(2013.01); A63H 27112 (2013.01); A63H 17128
(2013.01)
Field of Classification Search
CPC ............ B64C 39/024; B64C 2201/027; B64C
2201/042; B64C 2201/108; B64C 2201/127;
B64C 39/028; A63H 27/12; A63H 17/28;
A63H 17/32; B64D 47/08; B64D 2203/00
See application file for complete search history.

(52)

(58)

(45)

Patent No.:
Date of Patent:

US 9,061,763 Bl

Jun.23,2015

References Cited

(56)

U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS


4,184,119
5,720,651
6,688,936
6,921,313
7,367,863
D628,658
7,980,740
2002/0098768
2004/0150144
2007/0049159
201110301784

A * 111980 Kerruish ....................... 455/344


A * 2/1998 Chien ............................. 451195
B2 * 2/2004 Davis .............................. 446/37
B2 * 7/2005 Yu ................................... 446/39
B2 * 5/2008 Fosbenner et al ............. 446/438
12/2010 Wurm
S
B2 * 7/2011 Hu ................................ 362/500
A1 * 7/2002 Kuo eta!. ....................... 446/39
A1 * 8/2004 Goepfert eta!. .............. 267/136
A1 * 3/2007 Kulis ............................ 446/438
A1 * 12/2011 Oakley eta!. ..................... 70112

(Continued)
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
DE

202013101170 Ul *

5/2013

........... A63H 27/133

OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Sievers, Steve. "Fundamentals of LED Light Pipes." May 8, 2013.
<electronicdesign.com/components/fundamentals-led-lightpipes>.*

(Continued)

Primary Examiner- Philip J Bonzell


Assistant Examiner- Michael Kreiner
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm- CARR Law Firm PLLC

(57)

ABSTRACT

A radio controlled model rotorcraft implemented with features improving ease of flight and flight performance by
increasing structural stability, increasing rotorcraft visibility
and orientation awareness through the use ofmultifunctioning, configurable, and aesthetically pleasing components,
while also increasing resistance to damage from crashes
through use of impact and vibration absorbing components.
30 Claims, 13 Drawing Sheets

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 3 of 28 PageID #: 449


US 9,061,763 Bl
Page 2
(56)

References Cited

Mulcahy, Chris; "DJI Innovations Phantom RTF-Review";


RCGroups.com; Feb. 5, 2013; http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/
showthread.php?t~l811071.

U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS


2012/0083945
2014/0117149
2014/0131510
2014/0312169

Al * 4/2012
Al * 5/2014
Al * 5/2014
Al * 10/2014

Oakley eta!.
Zhou et a!.
Wangetal.
Fisher eta!.

70112
244/17.23
244/17.23
244/89

OTHER PUBLICATIONS
"Light Up Your Plane With LEDs." Author unknown. Fly RC Magazine. Jan. 1, 2010. <www.flyrc.com/light-up-your-plane-withLEDs/>.*
Jameschen072; "The UDi U839 review"; RC Groups; May 15, 20 14;
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t~2167429.

UDI RC; "U839 Nano 3D RC Quadcopter with 6-Axis Gyro, 2.4


GHz 4-Channel. 306 -Rolling Action"; UDIRCTOYS Industry
Co,. Ltd., Shantou City, Guangdong, China; photographs of typical
unit with manual; Aug. 6, 20 14; via Battery Superstore and amazon.
com.
WL Toys; "Skylark V636 Headless Mode 2.4 G 4CH 6 Axis
Quadcopter RTF"; Shantou Chenghai WL Toys Industrial Co., Ltd.,
Shantou City, Guangdong, China; web page offer for sale, Banggood.
corn/Banggood Ltd., Aug. 13, 2014.
Gemini Industries Ltd. I WL Toys; "Skylark RIC Quadcopter";
Gemini Industry Ltd., Shenzen, China; photographs of typical unit
with manual; Aug. 13, 2014; via Gemini (HK) Ind. Ltd.
Mohr, Tim; "Hobbico/Great Planes at the '14 HobbyTown USA
Convention"; Jul. 11, 20 14; Big Squid RC.com.
Barnes, Jon; "HobbyTown National Convention Held Jul. 9, 10, 20 14
in Lincoln, Nebraska"; Jul. 19, 2014; FLY RC Magazine web page:
http://www.flyrc.com/hobbytown-national-convention-held-july910-20 14-in-lincoln-nebraska/.
Gaui.CO.UK; "Gaui 500X Quad Flyer"; Hinckley, Leicestershire,
20 13;
https://web.archive.org/web/
England;
Apr.
27,
201304 271053 55/http://www.gaui.co .uk/.
Empire Hobby; "Gaui LED Set (2 Red, 2Wh, 4 Lens)"; Mesa, Arizona; Jul. 21, 20ll; http://www.empirerc.com/gaui-led-set-2-red-2wh-4-lens-p-5954.
htrnl?sesF90d4b90f52b3db5305af59d96954e6fa.
Gaui; "Beijing Model Expo-Gaui 50 0X Quad Flyer"; Gaui Tai Shih
Hobby Corp., New Taipei City, Taiwan; photographs of trade show
booth and typical unit; May 1, 2011.

DJI; "Phantom Quick Start Manual Vl.3"; DJI Innovations,


Shenzhen, China; Jan. 22, 2013.
DJI; "Phantom Advanced Manual V 1.1 "; DJI Innovations, Shenzhen,
China; Jan. 15, 2013.
HGT; "DJI Phantom Full inner nudity"; RC Groups; Jan. ll, 2013;
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p~23 788478
&postcount~ 1121.
Draganfly; "DraganFlyer X4-P"; Draganfly Innovations Inc.,
Saskatoon, Canada; Mar. 23, 2013; http://www.draganfly.com/uavhelicopter/draganflyer-x4p/gallery/pictures/.
Draganfly; "Draganflyer X4-P"; Draganfly Innovations Inc.,
Saskatoon, Canada; Apr. 3, 2013; http://www.draganfly.com/uavhelicopter/draganflyer-x4p/gallery/pictures/.
Parrot; "AR.Drone 2.0 User Guide"; Parrot SA, Paris, France; May3,
20 12; http://ardrone2.parrot.corn/support.
Hubsan; "The Hubsan X4 2.4GHz RIC Series 4 Channel Six-Axis
Gyro" photographs of typical unit with manual; ; Hubsan, Tangxia
Town, Dong guan, China; Sep. 10, 2012.
HorizonHobby; "Blade Mqx Ultra Micro Quad Copter";
HorizonHobby, Champaign, IL; photographs of typical unit; Jan. 25,
2012.
Horizonhobby; "Blade Nano QX 18 Gram Quad-Copter";
HorizonHobby, Champaign, IL; photographs of typical unit; Jul. 8,
2013.
DJI; "Phantom"; DJI Innovations, Shenzhen, China; photographs of
typical unit ; Jan. 31, 2013.
Ares; "ETHOS PQ-A Handful of Fun"; Firelands Group, LLC,
Champaign, IL; http://ares-rc.com\ethosPQ/; Jul. 31, 2014.
Big Squid RC; ETHOS PQ Quadcopter; Jul. 31, 20 14; Big Squid RC;
http://www. bi gsqui drc .corn/ethos-pq-quadcopter/.
Hobbytown; "ETHOS PQ Instruction Manual"; Firelands Group
LLC, Champaign, IL; Jul. 31, 2014.
Hobbico; "Dromida Ominus" quadcopter; Hobbico Inc.,
Champaign, IL; photographs of typical unit; Sep. 18, 2014.
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Firelands Group, LLC, Champaign, IL; Jul. 2014.
Parrot; "AR.Drone 2.0" web page; Parrot SA, Paris, France; Jan.
2012.
Wikipedia; "ParrotAR.Drone"; Parrot SA, Paris, France; Jan. 2013.
Parrot; "AR.Drone 2.0" photographs of typical unit; Parrot SA, Paris,
France; May 26, 2012.

* cited by examiner

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 4 of 28 PageID #: 450

U.S. Patent

FIG.l
1000

Jun.23,2015

Sheet 1 of 13

US 9,061,763 Bl

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 5 of 28 PageID #: 451

U.S. Patent

Jun.23,2015

US 9,061,763 Bl

Sheet 2 of 13

FIG. 2
1000

300_.,.

..,__200

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 6 of 28 PageID #: 452

U.S. Patent

Jun.23,2015

Sheet 3 of 13

US 9,061,763 Bl

FIG. 3
1000

175C

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 7 of 28 PageID #: 453

U.S. Patent

Jun.23,2015

Sheet 4 of 13

FIG. 4
1000

5080 )"
510A
.}
"
504
'\_530A
5308

US 9,061,763 Bl

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 8 of 28 PageID #: 454

U.S. Patent

Jun.23,2015

FIG. 5A

US 9,061,763 Bl

Sheet 5 of 13

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140_/f

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FIG. 5B

FIG.5C

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 9 of 28 PageID #: 455

U.S. Patent

Jun.23,2015

US 9,061,763 Bl

Sheet 6 of 13

106

FIG. 6A
106

\..
130A

,-1308

FIG. 6B

{130C

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 10 of 28 PageID #: 456

U.S. Patent

Jun.23,2015

US 9,061,763 Bl

Sheet 7 of 13

FIG. 7
143

FIG. 8

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 11 of 28 PageID #: 457

U.S. Patent

Jun.23,2015

US 9,061,763 Bl

Sheet 8 of 13

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'

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104

FIG. 9

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 12 of 28 PageID #: 458

U.S. Patent

Jun.23,2015

Sheet 9 of 13

FIG.JO

US 9,061,763 Bl

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 13 of 28 PageID #: 459

U.S. Patent

Jun.23,2015

Sheet 10 of 13

518C

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513A

FIG.JJA

518

~517

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 14 of 28 PageID #: 460

U.S. Patent

Jun.23,2015

Sheet 11 of 13

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514

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518A

5248

5188

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FIG.12

511A

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U.S. Patent

Jun.23,2015

US 9,061,763 Bl

Sheet 12 of 13

1000

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FIG.13B

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 16 of 28 PageID #: 462

U.S. Patent

Jun.23,2015

Sheet 13 of 13

FIG.13C

US 9,061,763 Bl

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 17 of 28 PageID #: 463


US 9,061,763 Bl
1
ROTORCRAFT WITH INTEGRATED LIGHT
PIPE SUPPORT MEMBERS

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED
APPLICATIONS
This application relates to, and claims the benefit of the
filing date of, U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No.
61/866,530 entitled QUADCOPTER WITH INTEGRATED
LIGHT PIPE SUPPORT MEMBERS, filed Aug. 15, 2013,
the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.

formance by increasing structural stability, increasing rotorcraft visibility and orientation awareness through the use of
multifunctioning, configurable, and aesthetically pleasing
components, while also increasing resistance to damage from
crashes through use of impact and vibration absorbing components.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
10

For a more complete understanding of the present invention and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the
following Detailed Description taken in conjunction with the
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a quadcopter rotorcraft;
15
1. Field of the Invention
FIG. 2 is a top view of a quadcopter rotorcraft with a pod
The present invention relates to radio controlled model
cover removed for clarity;
rotorcrafts, and, more particularly, to means and methods of
FIG. 3 is a bottom view of a quadcopter rotorcraft;
assembling and retaining components of radio controlled
FIG. 4 is an exploded view of a quadcopter rotorcraft;
model rotorcraft while enhancing aesthetically pleasing
SA is a first cross-sectional view of a rotor assembly
FIG.
aspects of a rotorcraft.
20
of a quadcopter rotorcraft taken along line SA-SA shown in
2. Description of the Related Art
FIG. 2;
Radio controlled model rotorcrafts are propeller driven
remote controlled vehicles configured for flight. Some imporFIG. SB is a cross-sectional view of a second fastener
tant design considerations of particular importance in regard
assembly taken along line SB-SB shown in FIG. SA;
to radio controlled model rotorcrafts are flight performance 25
FIG. SC is a cross-sectional view of a third fastener assemand stability, ease of control by the user, durability, aesthetics,
bly taken along line SC-SC shown in FIG. SB;
and cost. Several characteristics inherent to radio controlled
FIGS. 6A and 6B are a perspective and a bottom view,
model rotorcraft operation and appearance add to the diffirespectively,
of a support member;
culty in adequately addressing these design considerations.
FIG. 7 is a bottom view of a first arm showing wire chanThis is especially true as the number of propellers utilized by
30 nels;
the radio controlled model rotorcraft is increased.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a foot;
Radio controlled model rotorcraft are difficult to operate
FIG. 9 is second cross-sectional view of a rotor assembly of
for several reasons. For one, they are configured to move in
a quadcopter rotorcraft taken along line SA -SA shown in FIG.
three dimensions as opposed to two. Additionally, radio con2;
trolled model rotorcraft are capable of reaching incredible
FIG. 10 is a third cross-sectional view of a rotor assembly
speeds during flight, such as when descending from high 35
altitude, reducing the response time for a user to correct
of a quadcopter rotorcraft taken along line SA-SA shown in
course to avoid a crash.
FIG. 2, wherein the line SA-SA is taken through a torque
Users may also have difficulty discerning the orientation of
transfer assembly;
the radio controlled model rotorcraft during flight, especially
FIGS. llA, B, and Care perspective, top, and rear views,
while performing aerial tricks or when operating a rotorcraft 40 respectively, of a base of a quadcopter rotorcraft;
that has several propellers, causing the radio controlled model
FIG. 12 is a bottom view of a center pod assembly with a
rotorcraft to have a similar appearance from all sides. Confubase removed for clarity;
sion as to the orientation of the radio controlled model rotorFIG. 13A is a bottom view of a quadcopter rotorcraft; FIG.
craft during flight greatly increases the likelihood of a loss of
13B is a cross-sectional view taken along line 13B-13B, the
control by the user and a subsequent crash.
45 view showing a locator recess; and
Stable flight requires the radio controlled model rotorcraft
FIG. 13C is a cross-sectional view taken along line 13Cbody be sufficiently stiff to resist deflection and twisting
13C, the view showing a printed circuit board assembly
during flight, in particular, during acceleration. Increasing
(PCBA) mounted within a housing formed by a cover and
stiffness generally involves using more material and increasbase of a quadcopter rotorcraft.
ing the overall weight of the rotorcraft. Durability may be
enhanced through the use of tougher materials and the addi- 50
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
tion of protective components to sufficiently insulate sensitive parts from vibration and impact, adding weight.
In the following discussion, numerous specific details are
For flying vehicles weight increases are undesirable, howset forth to provide a thorough understanding of the present
ever, since weight increases degrade performance. Further,
weight increase may result in increased cost if higher power 55 invention. However, those skilled in the art will appreciate
that the present invention may be practiced without such
or additional thrust-generating components are used to comspecific details. In other instances, well-known elements have
pensate for the additional weight.
been illustrated in schematic or block diagram form in order
A need exists for a radio controlled model rotorcraft implenot to obscure the present invention in unnecessary detail.
mented with design features that simultaneously promote
flight performance and stability, ease of control by the user, 60 Additionally, and for the most part, details concerning wellknown features and elements have been omitted inasmuch as
and durability without incurring cost or weight penalties, and
such details are not considered necessary to obtain a complete
while also incorporating desirable aesthetic attributes.
understanding of the present invention, and are considered to
SUMMARY
be within the understanding of persons of ordinary skill in the
65 relevant art. Additional details are shown in the Appendix
attached hereto and incorporated by reference for all purProvided is an radio controlled model rotorcraft implemented with features improving ease of flight and flight perposes.

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US 9,061,763 Bl
3

Referring first to FIG. 1, a particular embodiment of a radio


controlled model rotorcraft, a rotorcraft 1000, is shown.
According to the embodiment shown, the rotorcraft 1000 may
comprise four rotor assemblies: a first rotor assembly 100; a
second rotor assembly 200; a third rotor assembly 300; and, a
fourth rotor assembly 400. The rotorcraft 1000 may further
comprise a center pod assembly SOO.
Each of the first rotor assembly 100, the second rotor
assembly 200, the third rotor assembly 300, and the fourth
rotor assembly 400 may be implemented with a first propeller
104, a second propeller 204, a third propeller 304, and a fourth
propeller 404, respectively. A rotorcraft provided with four
propellers, such as the rotorcraft 1000 shown and described
herein, may be referred to as a quadcopter. Airborne motion of
the rotorcraft 1000 may be controlled by rotation of the propellers 104, 204, 304, and 404 and by adjustment of the
angular velocities of each propeller by known methods to
provide adjustment of thrust and torque to support stable
flight of the rotorcraft 1000.
Each of the rotor assemblies 100, 200, 300, and 400 may
couple to the center pod assembly SOO at the inboard end of
the rotor assembly 100, 200, 300, and 400 and may extend,
along its length, away from the center pod assembly SOO. The
rotor assemblies 100, 200, 300, and 400 may rigidly couple
the propellers 104, 204, 304, and 404 to the center pod assembly SOO, fixing the position and orientation of each respective
propeller 104, 204, 304, and 404 relative to each other and to
the center of mass, C1, of the rotorcraft 1000.
Referring to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the
propellers 104, 204, 304, and 404 may be arranged in a
substantially rectangular configuration about the center of
mass C1, which may be within the center pod assembly SOO.
In a particular embodiment, for example, the distance
between the axis of rotation of opposing propellers may be
about 23.5 centimeters (em.) (i.e. between propellers 104 and
304), while the distance between the axis of rotation of adjacent propellers may be about 16.6 em. (i.e. between propellers 104 and 204). In an embodiment, the propellers 104, 204,
304, and 404 may be positioned at a substantially equal distances from the center of mass Cl.
In alternative embodiments, a radio controlled model
rotorcraft may be provided with more, fewer, or additional
components than those shown in the particular embodiment,
the rotorcraft 1000, described herein. Additionally, in alternative embodiments, a radio controlled model rotorcraft may
have a different component arrangement than that shown in
the particular embodiment, the rotorcraft 1000, described
herein. Specifically, alternative embodiments may include
more or fewer rotor assemblies that may be positioned in a
substantially triangular or circular configuration about the
rotorcraft center of mass. Additionally, in an embodiment, the
rotorcraft center of mass may be located at a point external to
the center pod assembly SOO.
The components of the first rotor assembly 100 of a particular radio controlled model rotorcraft embodiment, the
rotorcraft 1000, are described herein. The components of the
rotor assemblies 200, 300, and 400 may have substantially
similar construction and features as the corresponding components of the first rotor assembly 100. Further, the camponents of the rotor assemblies 200, 300, and 400 may perform
substantially the same functions as the corresponding components of the first rotor assembly 100. The convention of
describing components of only the first rotor assembly 100 is
adopted for the purpose of avoiding urmecessary and repetitive language, only, and shall not foreclose from the scope of
this disclosure a wide range of variations, modifications,

changes and substitutions that would be understood by those


skilled in the art as expressly, or implicitly, disclosed here.
Referring to FIGS. 2-10, the first rotor assembly 100 may
include a first arm 102, a first propeller 104, a first support
member 106, and fastener assemblies 108A-D In alternative
embodiments, additional, fewer, or different components
than those shown may be provided.
In an embodiment, the first arm 102 may operatively
couple the first rotor assembly 100 to the center pod assembly
SOO, as shown in FIG. 2. Referring to FIGS. SA and 7, the first
arm 102 may include an inboard end 103, an outboard end
10S, wire charmels 110, a cut through portion 114, and a
plurality of coupling members. In a particular embodiment,
the first arm 102 may be provided with additional, fewer, or
different components.
The first arm 102 may be comprised of a single piece of
rigid or semi-rigid material. For example, in a particular
embodiment, the first arm 102 may be made from nylon or
other similar material. It will be understood by persons of
ordinary skill in the art that the first arm 102 may alternatively
be made from any other suitable material (e.g. plastics, metals, wood, and composites) based on the requirements for
flight of the particular radio controlled model rotorcraft
embodiment and other structural, aesthetic, and cost factors.
As shown in FIGS. 4 and S, in an embodiment, the first arm
102 may couple to, or, alternatively, be integrally formed with
the center pod assembly SOO at the inboard end 103. The first
arm 102 may extend along its length in a direction away from
the center pod assembly SOO. As viewed from the side, the
first arm 102 may have a downwardly sloping arced profile,
whereby the outboard end 10S is disposed below the inboard
end 103. Alternatively, the first arm 102 may have a profile
that is substantially linear, dog-legged, or the like, or may
have a profile with multiple bends or curves.
As shown in FIGS. 1, 4, SB, and SC, the first arm 102 may
have a curved, substantially "C" shaped, outer cross sectional
shape, oriented with the apex of the curve facing upward. In
an embodiment, and as shown in FIGS. SA and SB, within the
inner portion of the curved cross section the first arm 102 may
be provided with an interlocking slot 120.
The interlocking slot 120 may have an open end facing
substantially downward. The interlocking slot 120 may abut
the inner portion of the curve defining the outer cross sectional shape of the arm 102 substantially at the apex of the
curve. The interlocking slot 120 may be formed from two
substantially parallel flanges extending inward from the inner
surface of the first arm 102 curved outer cross section. The
interlocking slot 120 may extend a distance along the length
of the first arm 102 from the outboard end 10S and terminating at the cut through portion 114. The interlocking slot may
function as a fastening feature, as described below, in reference to fastener assembly 108B.
Viewing the first arm 102 from above, as shown in FIG. 2,
the first arm 102 may be curved along each side, whereby the
first arm 102 may be thinner at the outboard end 10S and
wider at the inboard end 103. In an alternative embodiment,
the first arm may have a substantially uniform width along its
length, or, may widen along its length such that the outboard
end 10S is wider than the inboard end 103.
Referring to FIG. 7, the first arm 102 may be provided with
wire charmels 11 OA and 11 OB for retaining and routing electrical wires A, B along the length of the first arm 102. In an
embodiment, wires A, B may be routed between rotor assembly 100 components near the outboard end 1 OS of the first arm
102, like the first motor 101, for example, and controls com-

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US 9,061,763 Bl

ponents that may be enclosed within the center pod assembly


mented with a different quantity of blades having a larger or
500, like the PCBA 506, for example, to support powered
smaller diameter. The first propeller 104 may be rotatably
flight of the rotorcraft 1000.
coupled to the outboard end 105 of the first arm 102, as will be
Each wire channelllOA and HOB may extend along the
described further subsequently, and in reference to the prolength of the first arm 102 from the inboard end 103 to the
peller shaft receptacle assembly 170 and the torque transfer
outboard end 105 along the underside of the first arm 102. The
assembly 180.
wire channels 11 OA and 11 OB may be positioned along either
In an embodiment, the propellers 104, 204, 304, and 404
side of interlocking slot 120. In an embodiment, the first arm
may comprise matched pairs of counterclockwise and clockwise rotating propellers to provide a stable spinning configu102 may have fewer or more wire channels 110 that may
extend along only a portion of the length of the first arm 102, 10 ration in accordance with known methods comprising the
prior art. It will be understood by persons of ordinary skill in
or, alternatively, along substantially the entire length of the
first arm 102.
the art that the number of blades, diameter, pitch, and spinEach wire channelll OA, B may have dimensions, such as
ning configuration may be varied to support agility, stability,
width w, and may be provided with retaining tabs 111A-C and
and efficiency of a rotorcraft, such as the rotorcraft 1000
113 A-C, respectively, for holding wires A, B in place and 15 described herein, in flight.
substantially resisting migration of wires within each wire
Turning now to FIGS. 4-10, several views of the first support member 106 are shown. According to the embodiment
channelllOA, B. In a particular embodiment, for example,
the width, w, of each wire channelllOA, B may be about 0.65
shown, the first support member 106 may perform many
functions, including: providing configurable and decorative
em. The retaining tabs 111, 113 may extend laterally across a
portion of the width, w, of the respective wire channels 110 so 20 lighting along the length of the first rotor assembly 100 for
that the wires A, B may be pushed around the retaining tabs
aiding users in identifYing directional orientation of the rotor111, 113 and into place in the wire channels llOA, B. Altercraft 1000 during flight; providing structural support to the
natively, the retaining tabs 111, 113 may extend across subfirst arm 102, thereby increasing the stiffness of the rotor
stantially the entire width, w, of the wire channels llOA, B
assembly 100 for more stable flight; receiving, coupling, or
with wires A, B being fed through the gap formed.
25 securing other components to the rotorcraft 1000.
In an alternative embodiment, the wire channels 110 A, B
Importantly, in the context of flying devices such as radio
may be provided with fewer or more retaining tabs 111, 113
controlled model rotorcrafts, having a single component perform multiple functions, as the first support member 106 may,
than shown in FIG. 7. Further, in an alternative embodiment,
the wire channels llOA, B may be provided with zero retainmay allow for incorporation of additional features into the
ing tabs 111, 113. In such embodiments, the wire channels A, 30 device without incurring a corresponding "mass penalty,"
B may be implemented with other retaining devices, such as
resulting in a potentially less costly and more capable device.
external clips, ties, and the like. Alternatively, the wire chanAdditionally, the number of component parts may be
reduced, and may provide the benefits of easier assembly and
nels 11 OA, B may not include any retaining devices or external fasteners.
maintenance through a reduction in the number of external
Referring to FIG. 7, the first arm 102 may include a cut 35 fasteners needed, for example, screws, clips, inserts, and the
through portion 114 forming an opening for seeing through a
like.
As shown in FIG. 3, the first support member 106 may
portion of the first arm 102. In an embodiment, the cut
through portion 114 may be disposed along top surface of the
couple to the center pod 500 and to the first arm 102. As
first arm 102, substantially centered about the apex of the
shown in FIGS. 4-6B, in an embodiment, the first support
outer curved surface of the first arm 102 and extending a 40 member 106 may include an exposed surface 116, an inboard
distance along the length of the first arm 102. In the embodiend 122, an outboard end 124, an indented portion 126, and a
ment shown, the cut through portion 114 may have a substanplurality of coupling members comprising components of the
tially trapezoidal shaped perimeter.
fastening assemblies 108A-D. In alternative embodiments,
the first support member may include fewer, additional, or
In alternative embodiments, the first arm 102 may be provided with zero, one, or a plurality of cut through portions 45 different components.
114. Further, in an alternative embodiment, the cut through
In an embodiment, the first support member 106 may comportion, or portions, 114 may be positioned at other locations
prise a piece of semi-rigid or rigid material that may be
along the outer surface of the first arm 102 and, additionally,
transparent or semi-transparent and capable of distributing
may haves different perimeter shape, or shapes. For example,
light received from a light source substantially throughout its
in an embodiment, the first arm may be provided with a so volume, illuminating the surfaces of the transparent or semiplurality of circular cut through portions 114 disposed in an
transparent material. For example, the first support member
irregular pattern along the length of the outer surface of the
106 may be made from an acrylic, polycarbonate, or other like
first arm 102.
material.
The material may appear substantially clear or, alternaThe first arm 102 may also include a plurality of coupling
members comprising components of the fastening assemblies 55 tively, may have a color. Coloring may be provided through
any known methods, such as through tinting, coating, or other
108A-D for coupling with, receiving, or partially forming
known method comprising the prior art. Further, whether the
other rotorcraft 1000 components, such as the motor 101, the
material appears substantially clear, or has a color, the matefirst support 106, the motor receptacle assembly 160, the
propeller shaft receptacle assembly 170, and the torque transrial may be capable of receiving light of a specific color and
fer assembly 180. The coupling members of the first arm 102 60 emitting light of a different color when illuminated. For
example, the first support member 106 may be composed of a
are described in detail below, and in reference to fastening
assemblies 108A-D.
substantially clear material having the properties described
above and may, when receiving white light illuminate and
Turning now to the top-view of the rotorcraft embodiment,
emit light of another color, perhaps green. In another
the rotorcraft 1000, shown in FIG. 2, the first propeller 104 is
shown. In a particular embodiment, the first propeller 104 65 example, the first support member may have a color, perhaps
red, and may illuminate and emit red light upon receiving
may have two blades and a diameter of140 millimeters (mm).
white light or colored light.
In alternative embodiments, the propeller 104 may be imple-

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In certain embodiments, the first support member 106 may


be made entirely of material having the rigidity and illuminating characteristics described above, so that substantially
the entire outer surface of the first support member 106 may
be illuminated when light is received by any portion of the
support member 106. Further, in such an embodiment, the
first support member 106 may be made from a single piece of
material having the properties described above.
In alternative embodiments, the first support member 106
may be composed of two or more materials, with at least one
of the materials having the rigidity and illuminating properties described above. In such an embodiment, the portion of
the first support member 106 composed of the material
capable of being illuminated may be implemented so that it
extends from the inboard end 122 along the length of the first
support member 106, and toward the outboard end 124. Further, in such an embodiment, the portion of the first support
member 106 composed of the material capable of being illuminated may extend along substantially the entire length of
the first support member 106.
As shown FIGS. 3, 6A, and 6B, the first support member
106 may couple to the center pod assembly SOO at the inboard
end 122 and extend along its length in a direction away from
the center pod assembly SOO. Viewed from the side, as shown
in FIG. 9, the first support member 106 may have a downwardly sloping arced profile similar to that of the first arm
102, whereby the outboard end 124 is disposed below the
inboard end 122. In alternative embodiments, the first support
member 106 may have a profile that is substantially linear,
dog-legged, or the like, or may have a profile with multiple
bends or curves.
Referring to FIG. SA, the first support member 106 may be
provided with an exposed surface 116. The exposed surface
may extend through the cut-through portion 114 of the first
arm 102, when the first arm 102 and first support member 106
are coupled. The exposed surface 116 may composed of an
illuminating material as described above so that a portion of
the illuminated first support member 106 may be viewed from
above the rotorcraft through opening formed by the cut
through portion 114 of the first arm 102.
As shown in FIGS. 4 and SA, the exposed surface 116 may
be disposed along the side of the first support member 106 to
which the first arm 102 couples, protruding upward from the
body of the support arm 106. The exposed surface 116 may
extend a distance along the length of the first support member
106. The position of exposed 116 may align with the position
of the cut through portion 114 of the first arm 102 when the
first arm 102 and first support member are coupled.
The exposed surface 116 may be configured to have a
perimeter shape substantially coincident with the perimeter
shape of the cut through portion 114 of the first arm 102. In the
embodiment shown, the cut through portion 114 may have a
substantially trapezoidal shaped perimeter. The exposed surface 116 may fit within the opening in the first arm 102
formed by the cut through portion 114. Further, the exposed
surface 116 may protrude to a height above the surface of the
first support member 106 sufficient to substantially "fill" the
opening formed in the first arm 102 by the cut through portion
114.
In alternative embodiments, the quantity, location, perimeter shape, and height of the exposed surface, or surfaces 116,
may vary in accordance with the corresponding features of
the cut through portion, or portions 114, of the first arm 102,
so that the exposed surface 116 may "fill" the opening formed
in the first arm 102 by the cut through portion 114.
Referring to FIGS. SA-C, the first support member 106
may have a curved, substantially "C" shaped, outer cross

section extending along the portion of its length outboard of


the exposed surface 116. The curved cross sectional shape
may be oriented with the apex of the curved surface facing
substantially downward and with the "open end" facing
upward and toward the first arm 102. The first support member 106 may have an outer cross section configured to mate to
the first arm 102 along the length of each component. The
outer cross section size of the first support member 106 may
be sized to fit within, and extend into, the downwardly facing
open end of the first arm 102 formed by the inner surface of
the outer cross section of the first arm 102.
The first support member 106 may be provided with a ridge
118 extending along a portion of the length of the first support
member 106. The ridge 118 may be disposed along the inner
surface formed by the substantially "C" shaped cross section
of the first support member 106 and protrude a. The ridge 118
is described further below, in regard to the fastening assembly
108B.
As shown in FIG. 6A, the first support member 106 may be
provided with an indented portion 126 disposed at the inboard
end 122 and extending into the body of the first support
member 106 along the length of the first support member 106.
The indented portion 126 may form an open area within the
body of the first support member 106 providing clearance for
a light source S11 to be partially inserted into when the first
support member 106 is coupled to the center pod assembly
SOO, as described below. The indented portion 126 may
extend into the first support member 106 along the length of
the first support member 126 and terminate just inboard of the
exposed surface 116.
Viewed from below, as shown in FIG. 3, the first support
member 106 may have a profile that is curved along each side
so that the width of the first support member 106 thins along
the length of the first support member 106, with the first
support member 106 wider at the inboard end 122 and thinner
at the outboard end 124. In an alternative embodiment, the
first arm may have a substantially uniform width along its
length, or, may widen along its length such that the outboard
end 124 is wider than the inboard end 122.
The profile shape of the support member 106 may be substantially similar to the profile shape of the first support member shown in FIG. 2 and described above. The first support
member 106 profile width may be sufficiently less than that of
the first arm 102 along the length of each component, allowing for the first support member to be slid into and mate with
the first arm 102.
Referring to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and SA, the
first support member 106 may be removably coupled to the
first arm 102. The first support member 106 may structurally
support the first arm 102 against displacement from flexing or
twisting that may result from acceleration or impact during
operation of the rotorcraft 1000. The coupled first arm 102
and first support member 106 may exhibit increase stiffness
along the length of the rotary assembly 100 and provide for
more stable flight of the rotorcraft 1000. Additionally, the
coupled first arm 102 and first support member 106 partially
enclose rotary assembly components, such as the motor 101,
for example, and may trap and protect rotorcraft 1000 components, such as the wires A, B routed within wire channels
110A, Bas shown in FIGS. SA, B (not labeled).
The rotary assembly 100 may include the fastener assemblies 1 08A-C for coupling the first support member 106 to the
first arm 102. In alternative embodiments, the first support
member 106 may be coupled to the first arm 102 using some,
all, or none of the fastener assemblies 108 A-C.
Referring to FIGS. 4 and S, a first fastener assembly 108A
may comprise a hook member 138 extending from the out-

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board end 124 of the first support member 106. The hook
member 138 may be configured to fit within and extend at
least partially through an aperture 140 formed in the outboard
end 1 OS of the first arm 102. An extension of the hook member
138 may catch and extend over a bar portion 142 (also shown
in FIG. SA) of the aperture 140 when the hook member 138 is
inserted in the aperture 140 to secure the outboard end 124 of
the first support member 106 to the outboard end 10S of the
first arm 102.
Referring to FIGS. 4, SA, and9, the first fastener assembly
108A may further comprise a cup member 144 formed from
curved side portions 146, 148 and a bottom surface 1SO.
Edges of the side portions 146, 148 and the bottom surface
1SO may align with edges of the aperture 140 formed in the
outboard end 10S of the first arm 102 to form a housing that
may be a motor cradle assembly 160 for receiving and partially enclosing a motor 101 as is described further, below.
When the hook member 138 is inserted into the aperture 140,
the first support member 106 may be secured against displacement of the first support member 106 in the inboardoutboard direction.
Referring to FIGS. SA and SB, a second fastener assembly
108B may comprise interlocking tabs 112A-C extending
from the ridge 118 a distance further inward and toward the
center of"C" shaped cross section of the first support member
106. The ridge 118 may extend along a length of the first
support member 106 as described above. Each tab 112A-C is
configured to mate with the interlocking slot 120 positioned
on an underside of the first arm 102. Each tab 112A-C may fit
into a portion along the length of the interlocking slot 120 to
establish a snug fit.
When the interlocking tabs 112A-C are fit into the interlocking slot 120, the first support member 106 may be secured
against displacement of the first support member 106 in the
inboard-outboard direction and may resist twisting of the
joined structure comprising first support member 106 and
first arm 102. Although the embodiment shown is implemented with three interlocking tabs 112, in an alternative
embodiment fewer, or additional, interlocking tabs 112 may
be provided. For example, in an embodiment, one continuous
interlocking tab 112 may be provided that may extend along
substantially the entire length of the corresponding interlocking slot 120.
Referring to FIGS. SA, SC, 6A, 6B, and 7, a third fastener
assembly 108C may comprise a series of first snap tabs
128A-C and second snap tabs 130A-C of the first support
member 106. The first snap tabs 128A-C and second snap tabs
130A-C may be disposed opposite one another along the
outer surface of the "C" shaped outer profile of the first
support member 106 near the open end of the "C". The first
snap tabs 128A-C and second snap tabs 130A-C may protrude a distance outward from the outer surface of the first
support member 106 and extend along a portion of the length
of the first support member 106. The first snap tabs 128A-C
and second snap tabs 130A-C, respectively, may fit under and
engage a first lip 132 and a second lip 134, respectively, of the
first arm 102 when the first support member 106 is slid into
the underside of the first arm 102 as described above.
Although the embodiment shown is implemented with
three first snap tabs 128 and second snap tabs 130, in an
alternative embodiment fewer, or additional, snap tabs 128
and second snap tabs 130 may be provided. For example, in an
embodiment, continuous snap tabs 128, 130 may be provided
and may extend along substantially the entire length of the
corresponding lips 132, 134.
The first lip 132 and the second lip 134, respectively, of the
first arm 102 may be disposed opposite one another along the

inner surface of the "C" shaped outer profile of the first arm
102 substantially at the open end of the "C". The first lip 132
and the second lip 134 may protrude a distance inward from
the inner surface of the first arm 102 and extend along a
portion of the length of the first arm 102.
The first lip 132 and second lip 134 may each be a single,
continuous lip extending along substantially the whole
length, or, alternatively, only a portion of the length of the first
arm 102. In another alternative embodiment, additional first
lips 132 and second lips 134 may be provided, with each lip
132, 134 extending along a portion of the length of the first
arm 102 corresponding to a location of a snap tab 128, 130 of
the first support member 106.
The first snap tabs 128A-C and the second snap tabs
130A-C may lock the first support member 106 to the first arm
102, when the snap tabs 128,130 are engaged with the first lip
132 and the second lip 134, respectively. Under a heavy
impact, flexibility in the support member 106 may allow the
first snap tabs 128A-C and the second snap tabs 130A-C to
unsnap from the respective first lip 132 and the second lip 134
to prevent structural damage to other portions of the rotorcraft
1000.
The rotary assembly 100 may also include a fastener
assembly 108 D, as shown in FIGS. 6A, 6B, and 10, for
removably coupling the first support member 106 to the center pod assembly SOO at the inboard end 122 of the first
support member 106.
Referring to FIGS. 6A, 6B, and 10, the fourth fastener
assembly 108D may comprise a collar 13S and a hoop member 121. The hoop member 121 may be disposed at the
inboard end 122 of the first support member 106 extend a
distance along the length of the first support member 106
toward the outboard end 124. The hoop member 121 may
further extend about the cross section of the inboard end 122
of the first support member 106, having a boundary shape as
best shown in FIG. 6A.
The hoop member 121 may abut the collar 13S, with the
collar 13S disposed outboard to the hoop member 121 and
extending about the cross section of the inboard end 122 of
the first support member 106. The collar 13S may form a
groove around a portion of the cross section of the first support member 106. The collar 13S may have a boundary
shaped similarly to that of the hoop member 121 but sized
slightly smaller than that of the hoop member 121 along each
length defining the boundary shape of the hoop member 121.
The hoop member 121 and the collar 13S may be configured to couple with the center pod assembly SOO, by engaging
the collar 13S with an opening formed in the center pod
assembly SOO with a perimeter shape and size substantially
coincident to the boundary shape and size of the collar. The
hoop member may then be trapped within the opening formed
and secure the first support member to the center pod assembly SOO as described below with respect to FIG.10. When the
hoop member 121 and collar 13S are coupled to the center pod
assembly SOO, the first support member 106 may be secured
against disengagement of the first support member 106 from
the center pod assembly SOO, and may resist twisting of the
first support member 106.
When the first support member 106 is mated with the first
arm 102, the structure of the combination of first arm 102 and
first support member 106 is configured to substantially prevent flexing and twisting of the first arm 102 and displacement of the motor relative to the center pod assembly SOO.
Minimizing flexing and twisting of the first arm 102 promotes
stability of control over the rotorcraft 1000 during flight and
may prevent crashes.

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Additionally, with the first support member 106 coupled to


the first arm 102 and the center pod assembly SOO using
fastening assemblies 108A-D, as described, the need for
external fasteners, such as screws, clips, inserts, and the like,
to couple the rotary assembly 100 components may be greatly
reduced, or eliminated. Coupling the rotary assembly 100
components as described above may provide the additional
advantages of ease of assembly and disassembly, while allowing for removable coupling of the rotary assembly 100 components, notably, the first support member 106.
In the embodiment shown and described above, the support
members 106, 206, 306, and 406 may be both removably
coupled to the rotorcraft 1000 and be configured to function
as a light pipe, capable of illuminating along the outer surfaces of the support members 106, 206, 306, and 406 when
receiving light from light source.
The rotorcraft 1000 may further be implemented with a
support member color arrangement configurable by the user
through removal and replacement of an undesired support
member with one having the desired color characteristics at
each rotor assembly. For example, a user may configure both
forward facing support members of rotorcraft 1000 to illuminate red by replacing the forward facing support members
with support members configured to illuminate red in
response the light received from the light source within the
center pod assembly. Users may configure the light arrangement in accordance with their color preference. The configurable light pipe feature may allow for the rotorcraft 1000 to
be easier to fly in low visibility settings, such as in the
evening, or in an indoor enviroument, and may also aid the
user by allowing the orientation of the rotorcraft to be easily
discerned, based on the support member color configuration,
during flight. The ability to determine orientation of the rotorcraft 1000 may be further enhanced by the cut through portion
114 of the first arm, through which the illuminated light from
the support member below may be seen.
With the color configuration viewable from both the top
and bottom of the rotorcraft 1000, the orientation may be
determined by the user while performing tricks during flight
that may cause the rotorcraft to be in an inverted position, as
well as in settings where the user may operate the rotorcraft
1000 from an elevated position.
The first support member 106 may further be configured to
provide aesthetically pleasing lines and features. For
example, when the first support member 106 is mated with the
first arm 102, the first support member 106 may be shaped to
have a curvature that follows or complements the curvature of
the first arm 102 and the curvature of the center pod assembly
SOO, as shown in FIGS. 1 and SA.
The first arm 102 and first support member 106, as coupled
may also form one or more housings for receiving and partially enclosing other rotary assembly 100 components.
Referring to FIGS. 3, 9, and 10, the first arm 102 and first
support member 106 may couple at the outboard ends 10S,
124 of each to form a housing that may be a first motor cradle
160 for receiving and at least partially enclosing a motor 101.
In the embodiment shown, the first motor cradle 160 may
comprise a motor charmel162 extending through a portion of
the outboard end 10S of the first arm 102 and in a direction
that may be substantially perpendicular to the plane P1 in
which the first propeller 104 rotates. It will be understood by
those of ordinary skill in the art that alternative embodiments
may include a motor channel 162 oriented in a direction not
substantially perpendicular to the plane of rotation of the
propellers, with the motor provided with a torque transfer
assembly configured to accommodate the specific motor
channel162 orientation. When the first support member 106

is fully coupled to the first arm 102, the cup member 144 may
form a bottom portion of the motor cradle 160 and may
substantially close the motor channel 162 at a bottom end
161.
In the embodiment shown, the motor charmel 162 may
partially form a substantially cylindrical housing with dimensions configured to fit a cylindrically shaped motor, e.g. the
first motor 101. In alternative embodiments, the motor channel162 may be configured to partially form a housing of a
different shape, configured to accommodate the particular
shape of the motor provided. A bottom portion of the first
motor 101 may be configured to rest in the cup member 144.
The diameter of the motor channel162 may be configured to
substantially prevent shifting of the first motor 101 within the
motor channel162.
In a particular embodiment, the first motor 101 may comprise a careless motor of about 8.5 mm by 20 mm (8.5x20) in
size and configured to provide about 3.5 to 6.0 watts (W). The
first motor 101 may have an operating voltage of about 2.04.0 volts (V), with a no-load speed between 40000 and 50000
revolutions per minute (rpm). The motor 101 may be configured to rotate the motor shaft 109 in either of two directions
about the lengthwise axis of the motor shaft 109, as desired. It
will be understood by persons of ordinary skill in the art that
other types and sizes of motor may be utilized to support
operation of the embodiments of the rotorcraft 1000.
Referring to FIG. 4, the motor charmel 162 may further
comprise a cut -out 16S extending through a side portion of the
motor charmel162. The cut-out 16S may conserve materials
and reduce weight of the outboard end 10S of the first arm
102. The cut-out 16S may comprise a size configured to
provide sufficient structure to block displacement of the first
motor 101 through the cut-out 16S.
Referring to FIGS. SA, 9, and 10, a motor channel rim
forming an opening for a motor shaft may extend around a top
end 163 of the motor charmel 162 opposite from the cup
member 144. A top portion of the first motor 101 comprising
a motor shaft 109 and motor gear 11S, such as a pinion or
bevel gear, may extend through the motor shaft opening
above the motor charmel rim 164. The motor channel rim 164
may comprise a diameter configured to constrain the first
motor 101 within the motor channel rim 164 and prevent the
motor 101 from shifting within the motor channel162.
Referring to FIG. 6B, the bottom surface 1SO of the first
support member 106, which may form the cup member 144,
may comprise a foot hole 141. The foot hole 141 may comprise a size and shape configured to snugly fit a foot 143. The
foot 143 may function as a landing support and as a shock
absorber protecting the first motor 101 from impact forces.
Referring to FIG. 8, in an embodiment, the foot 143 may
comprise a first flange 14S and a second flange 147 coupled
by a stem 149. The foot 143 may comprise an elastic and
resiliently deformable material, such as rubber, foam, and the
like.
The second flange 147 may comprise a shape such as a
substantially disk, conical or semi-conical shape. The shape
of the second flange 147 may be configured to be compressed,
twisted, or deformed to fit into the foot hole 141 (shown also
in FIG. 6B) for installation of the foot 143. Once fit and
pushed through the foot hole 141, the second flange 147 may
expand and return to its original shape. In a particular
embodiment, the second flange 147 may have a diameter of
about 0.65 em. and configured to resist removal of the foot
from the foot hole 141, while the foot hole may have a diameter of about 0.42 em.
The first flange 14S may comprise a shape to support use of
the first flange 14S as a landing support and as a shock

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absorber protecting the first motor 101. A foot having substantially the same construction may be positioned at a foot
hole of each other support member 206, 306, 406 to operate in
combination to cushion landings and crashes of the rotorcraft
1000.
The shape of the first flange may comprise a semi -spherical
shape having a height and base diameter. In some embodiments, the height may comprise about 0.3 em. and the base
diameter may comprise about 0.8 em. A central axis of the
foot 143 and central axis of the motor 101 may align along
lineC, showninFIG.10, toprovideprotectionfromshocksto
the motor 101 at the bottom end of the motor 101.
Referring to FIGS. 3, SA, and 9, in an embodiment, a
portion of the first arm 102 may extend in an outboard direction from the motor channel162 to form a housing that may
be a propeller shaft cradle 170. The propeller shaft cradle 170
may be configured to support rotation of a propeller shaft 107
coupled to the first propeller 104. The propeller shaft cradle
170 may comprise a propeller shaft channel 174 extending
through a portion of the outboard end 1 OS of the first arm 102
in a direction substantially perpendicular to the plane P1 in
which the first propeller 104 rotates. The propeller shaft channel 174 may be offset from the motor channel 162 in an
outboard direction relative to the inboard end 103 of the first
arm 102.
The propeller shaft channel17 4 may comprise a diameter
configured to receive a propeller shaft 107 and bearings
117A, B for supporting rotation of the shaft 107. The propeller shaft channel 174 may be open at a top end to allow the
propeller shaft 107 to extend above the top end of the propeller shaft channel174 and to couple to the first propeller 104.
The propeller shaft cradle 170 may further comprise
spokes 17SA-E extending from the outer surfaces of the propeller shaft channel174. The spokes 17SA-E may extend to a
gear rim 176. The gear rim 176 may comprise a substantially
circular shape centered about the propeller shaft channel174,
and the circular shape may extend in a plane substantially
parallel to the plane in which the first propeller 104 rotates.
The spokes 17SA-E may provide structural support and stability to the gear rim 176 and substantially prevent flexing of
the gear rim 17 6 relative to the propeller shaft channel 174.
The propeller shaft cradle 170 may further comprise cradle
brace members 173A and 173B. Each brace member 173A, B
may bridge the offset between motor channel 162 and the
propeller shaft channel17 4. Each cradle brace member 173A,
B may comprise a plate extending from edges of the cut-out
16S in the motor channel 162 to the side surfaces of the
propeller shaft channel174. Brace members 173A, B may
provide support and stability to the propeller shaft channel
174 to prevent relative displacement between the first motor
101 and first propeller 104, including the gearing that ties the
two components.
The first motor cradle 160 and the propeller shaft cradle
170 may be further supported from flexing, which may cause
instability in powered flight, by bracing members 167A and
167B supporting an inboard side of the first motor cradle 160.
The bracing members 167A, B may comprise a curved structure extending from a surface of the first arm 102 to a side
surface of the first motor cradle 160. The curved surface may
function substantially to prevent pitching during flight or in
response to a hard landing of the first motor cradle 160 and the
propeller shaft cradle 170 back towards the center pod assembly SOO.
Referring to FIGS. 2, 4, SA, 9, and 10, in an embodiment,
the rotor assemblies 100, 200, 300, and 400 may further
comprise a torque transfer assembly 180. In reference to the
first rotor assembly 100 components, the torque transfer

assembly 180 may operably couple the motor shaft 109 to the
first propeller 104. In some embodiments, the torque transfer
assembly 180 may comprise the motor gear 11S fixed to the
motor shaft 109.
In some embodiments, torque is transferred to the motor
gear 11S from the motor shaft 109 by a non-circular "D"
shaped portion of the motor shaft. A central aperture in the
motor gear 11S for receiving the motor shaft 109 may comprise a matching D-shape. The D-shape in the motor shaft
may be machined flat at an initially circular section in the
motor shaft 109. In other embodiments, the motor gear 11S
may be attached to the motor shaft 109 by chemical bonding
or by mechanical fasteners, such as a pin. In other embodiments, the motor gear 11S is formed integrally with the motor
shaft 109.
In an embodiment, the torque transfer assembly 180 may
further comprise a first gear 182 mounted co-axially with the
propeller shaft 107 in the propeller shaft cradle 170. The first
gear 182 may be configured to mechanically mesh with the
motor gear 11S to transfer torque from the motor shaft 109 to
the propeller shaft 107 and to support powered flight of the
rotorcraft 1000. In a particular embodiment, the gear reduction ratio between the motor gear 11S and first gear 182 may
be about 78/11 or 7.1: 1.
The propeller shaft 107 and first propeller 104 may be
mounted in the propeller shaft cradle and supported for rotation by a first bearing 117A and a second bearing 117B. The
first bearing 117A may be a ball bearing with a central aperture. The first bearing 117A may be positioned against a first
internal ridge 166A that extends along the internal walls of
propeller shaft channel174 proximal to the bottom end of the
propeller shaft channel17 4.
The propeller shaft 107 may comprise a shaft ridge 119 at
a base end of the propeller shaft 107. The propeller shaft 107
may be inserted axially into the bottom end of the propeller
shaft channel17 4 and through the central aperture of the first
bearing 117A to constrain the first bearing 117A between the
shaft ridge 119 and the first internal ridge 166A.
The second bearing 117B may comprise a ball bearing with
a central aperture and may be positioned against a second
internal ridge 166B that extends along internal walls of the
propeller shaft channel 174 proximal to the top end of the
propeller shaft channel 174. The propeller shaft 107 may
extend through the central aperture of the second bearing
117B and through the top end 163 of the propeller shaft
channel174.
A portion of the propeller shaft 107 may extend out of and
above propeller shaft channel174. The propeller shaft 107
may comprise a non-circular profile 169 extending along a
length of the propeller shaft 107. The non-circular profile 169
may be configured to extend through a central aperture in the
first gear 182 and mate with a non-circular profile of the
central aperture for the transfer of torque from the first gear
182 to the propeller shaft 107.
The first gear 182 may be mounted on the shaft 107
between the second bearing 117B and the first propeller 104.
The first gear 182 may be positioned substantially within the
perimeter of the gear rim 176. A portion of the gear rim 176
may extend above the plane in which the first gear 182 rotates,
providing protection to the first gear 182 from foreign objects
impacting the first gear 182 from above. The spokes 17SA-E,
which may extend in a plane beneath the plane in which the
first gear 182 rotates, providing protection to the first gear 182
from impacts to the first gear 182 from foreign objects
approaching from beneath the first gear 182. The first propeller 104, which may also extend and rotate in a plane above the
plane in which the first gear 182 rotates, may also provide

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protection to the first gear 182 from foreign objects approaching from above the first gear 182.
Thenon-circularprofile 169 of the propeller shaft 107 may
be further configured to extend through a central aperture a
hub channel133 of a hub 125 of the first propeller 104. The
non-circular profile 169 may mate with a non-circular profile
of the hub channel133 to support the transfer of torque from
the propeller shaft 107 to the first propeller 104.
In some embodiments, the propeller shaft 107 may be
coupled tothefirstpropeller104 by afastener123, which may
be a screw having a head portion. The fastener 123 may
extend through a hub aperture 131 in the hub 125 of the first
propeller 104 and threadably couple to a shaft aperture 168,
whichmayextendaxiallythroughtheportionofthepropeller
shaft 107 located within the hub channel133. The head portion of the screw may be advanced until it sets against a hub
ridge within the hub 125 to secure the first propeller 104 to the
propeller shaft 107.
Referring to FIG. 4, the center pod assembly 500 may
comprise a first cover 502 and base 504 coupled to form a
housing for partially, or substantially, enclosing the control
components of the rotorcraft 1000. The base 504 may be
configured to be removable from the first cover 502. As shown
in FIGS. HB and 12, in an embodiment, the base 504 may be
secured with fasteners 530A-D, for example, screws, extending through base apertures 532A-D and threadably coupling
into corresponding apertures (not shown) in the underside of
the first cover 502.
In some embodiments, the first cover 502 and arms 102,
202, 302, and 402 may be integrally formed from a single
piece of material. In such embodiments, the material forming
the single piece comprising the first cover 502 and arms 102,
202, 302, 402 may be composed of a nylon, or similar, material. Alternatively, the first cover 502 and arms 102, 202, 302,
and 402 may, instead, be separate components and may be
coupled to one another.
In an embodiment, the base 504 may be composed of
ny Ion, or similar, material. It will be understood by persons of
ordinary skill in the art that the components of the center pod
assembly500maybemadefromothersuitablematerials (e.g.
plastics, metals, wood, and composites) based on the requirements for flight of the rotorcraft 1000 and other structural,
aesthetic, and cost factors.
Referring to FIGS. 4 and HA-C, in an embodiment, the
base 504 may comprise a mounting surface 505, side walls
508A-D, a plurality of light receptacles 510, a plurality of
light openings 512, a plurality of front walls 513, and a
plurality of locator recesses 518. In an alternative embodiment, the base 504 may comprise additional, fewer, or different components.
The base 504 may be implemented with side walls 508A-D
for at least partially enclosing the controls components,
which, in an embodiment, may include a printed circuit board
assembly (PCBA) 506, a battery (not shown), and a plurality
oflight sources SHA-E,
In an embodiment, the side walls 508A-D may each be
oriented to form a substantially vertical surface, as best shown
in FIG. HA. The side walls 508A-D may extend upward from
a substantially horizontally oriented surface, a mounting surface 505. The mounting surface 505 may extend a distance
inward from the lower edge of the side walls 508 along the
perimeter of the base 504 for receiving and coupling camponents to the base 504.
As shown in the embodiment of FIG. HA, the light receptacles 510A-D may extend from the comers where the side
surfaces 508A-D meet. Each light receptacle 510A-D may
comprise a generally trapezoidal shaped area that may par-

tially enclose a light source SHA-D, respectively. In an


embodiment, the front walls 513A-D may form the outermost
surface defining the trapezoidal shape, as best shown in FIG.
HA. The front walls 513A-D may each be implemented with
a cutout portion, forming light openings 512A-E.
The light openings 512A-E may be configured to have
boundary shape that is substantially coincident with the cross
sectional shape of the collar 135 of the support members 106,
206, 306, and 406. As described above, the support members
106, 206, 306, and 406 may couple to the base 504, with the
collar 135 sliding into the light openings 512 A-D, trapping
the hoop members 121 within the light receptacles 510 A-D
when the base 504 is coupled to the first cover 502.
The light openings 512 A-E may also provide a passage
through which light emitted by the light sources SH A-E may
reach the exterior of the coupled center pod assembly 500,
accessing the inboard ends of the support members 106, 206,
306, and 406.
Referring to FIG. 12, the light sources SHA-E may be
disposed within the center pod assembly 500 and within the
substantially horizontal plane of the PCBA 506. The light
sources SHA-E may be oriented to face away from PCBA
506 and toward light receptacles 51 OA-E, so the light sources
SHA-E may emit light in a direction substantially towards
and through light openings 512A-E.
In an embodiment, the light sources SHA-E may be configured to emit light of any frequency within the visible spectrum. Further, in an embodiment, each light source SHA-E
may be configured to emit light of the same color, for
example, each light source may be configured to emit substantially 'white' light, or, alternatively some or all of light
sources SHA-E may be configured to emit different 'colors'
of light.
In an embodiment, the light sources SHA-E may be light
emitting diodes (LED). In alternative embodiments, the light
source may be an incandescent lamp, electroluminescent
lamp, gas discharge lamp, laser, or the like.
In an embodiment, and as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13B, each
of the light sources SHA-E may be implemented with a
locator 519A-E. The locators 519A-E may be made from a
flexible or compliant material such as rubber, plastic, foam, or
the like that may be resilient and capable of elastic deformation. The locators 519A-E may be sized to stretch and fit
around a light source SHA-E, coupling snugly to the light
source SH and maintaining frictional contact along substantially the entire portion of the light source SH to which the
locator 519 is attached.
In a particular embodiment, for example, LEDs may be
provided as a light source and rubber, or plastic, 0-rings may
be provided as a locator. In such an embodiment, the 0-ring
may be configured to have an internal circumference length of
slightly less than the perimeter length of the LED to which the
0-ring is applied. The 0-ring may be stretched to fit over the
LED and grip the LED along the 0-ring inner surface, providing frictional resistance to removal of the placed 0-ring.
With the 0-ring in place, the LED may be positioned, onented, and secured in place through fixing the location of the
affixed 0-ring.
Referring to FIGS. H, 12, and 13A-C, in an embodiment,
the base 504 may further comprise a plurality of locator
recesses 518A-D for receiving, positioning, and securing
locators 519A-D, thereby setting the location and orientation
of the light source SHA-D to which the locator 519A-D is
affixed. The locator recesses 518A-D may each be a downwardly extending depression formed into the mounting surface 505 and disposed at the lower portion of each light
receptacle 510A-D. The locator recesses 518A-D may be

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configured to direct the light emitted from the received light


source SHA-D in a desired direction, such as towards a light
opening S12A-D so that the light may access the inboard ends
of the support members 106, 206, 306, and 406.
In an embodiment, a fifth locator recess S18E may be
provided for setting the location and orientation of the taillight, light source SHE. The locator recess S18E may be
located adjacent to side surface S08A and may also be configured to support, position, and secure a light source SHE, so
that the light source S19E may partially pass through the light
opening S12E.
Referring to FIG. 12, the first cover S02 may comprise
locator cradles S20A-D extending from an undersurface of
the first cover S02 at the base of each arm 102, 202, 302, and
402. Each locator cradle S20A-D may comprise a first colunm
S22A-D spaced from a second colunm S23A-D. The width
between the first colunm S22A and the second colunm S23A
may be configured to snugly fit each respective locator
S19A-D mounted around each respective light source
SHA-D in an interference fit. A locator cradle S20E may be
configured in a similar mam1er to locator cradles S20A-D for
supporting the light source SHE. The locator cradle S20E
may comprise a first colunm S22E and second column S23E
spaced from each other for snugly fitting the light source
SHE, having the locator S19E between the colunms S22E,
S23E.
As shown in FIGS. HB, 12, 13B, and 13C, in an embodiment the locator cradles S20A-E may be disposed and oriented within the first cover S02 at locations corresponding to,
and aligning with the locations of the locator recesses S18A-E
of the base S04, so that the locator cradles S20A-E and the
locator recesses S18A-E may simultaneously receive the
locators S19A-E when the base S04 and first cover S02 are
coupled. In alternative embodiments, the locator recesses
S18, alone, or, alternatively, the locator cradles S20, alone,
may be provided for receiving and setting the position of the
locators S19 and light sources SH provided.
Referring to FIG. 4, the PCBA S06 may comprise a main
circuit board including components S07 that would be known
to persons of ordinary skill in the art, including but not limited
to a control processor, a transceiver, a radio-frequency
antenna, sensors (e.g. gyroscopic sensors and accelerometer
sensors) motor controllers, and a data interface. The PCBA
S06 may also comprise power connectors for each light
source SHA-E.
Referring to FIGS. 12 and 13C, the light sources SHA-E
may couple to the PCBA S06 at locations along the perimeter
of the PCBA S06. Referring to FIGS. 4, 12, and 13A-C, in a
particular embodiment, the light sources SHA-E may be
implemented with locators S19A-E and sets ofleads S26A-E
for electrically coupling the light sources SHA-E to the
PCBA S06. Each set ofleads S26A-E may comprise substantially rigid metal conductors, and may be soldered to the
circuit board of the PCBA to create a substantially rigid
connection between each light source SHA-E and the circuit
board.
According to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 12 and 13C,
the PCBA S06 may be coupled to the underside of the first
cover S02 by setting each light source SHA-E having a locator S19A-E mounted around each light source SHA-E into
each respective locator cradle S20A-E so that each locator
S19A-E is snugly fit in an interference fit with each locator
cradle S20A-E. In this configuration, the circuit board of the
PCBA S06 may be coupled to the first cover S02 without
making contact with any internal surfaces of the first cover
S02.

The base S04 may be coupled to the first cover S02 as


described above, and locator recesses S18A-E may receive
the lower portion of the locators S19A-E and fix the location
of each light source SHA-E within the center pod assembly
SOO. The PCBA S06 may be operably coupled to both the first
cover S02 and base S04 within the formed center pod assembly SOO without the PCBA S06 contacting any portion of the
interior surface of the center pod assembly SOO.
In this arrangement, the PCBA S06 may also be vibrationally isolated from the center pod assembly SOO and rotor
assembly 100, 200, 300, and 400 components. The resilient
and elastically deformable material of the locators S19A-E
may provide vibration absorbing protection to the PCBA S06,
insulating the PCBA S06 from impacts during rotorcraft 1000
operation as well as from vibrations induced into the rotorcraft 1000 through rotation of the propellers 104, 204, 304,
and 404.
Vibrationally isolating the controls components of the
rotorcraft 1000 may provide the advantages of prolonging the
useful life of the rotorcraft 1000 through increased crash
damage resistance and may also improve rotorcraft control
and stability during flight, with the controls components protected from vibrations that may affect data collected by controls components for use in flight control.
Referring to FIG. 2, the first cover S02 may further comprise cover members S28A-D comprising bars crossing
between opposing first and third arms 102, 302 and second
and fourth arms 202, 402. The cover members S28A-D may
be configured to crossover the PCBA S06 and provide protection to the PCBA S06 from impacts and foreign objects. It
will be understood by persons of ordinary skill in the art that
the cover members S28A-D may form other patterns or form
a continuous surface according to design requirements for the
rotorcraft 1000.
Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the first cover S02 may further
comprise a connector clip S36 configured to hold a power
connector (not shown) extending from the circuit board of the
PCBA S06. The connector clip S36 may comprise a shelf S38
extending generally perpendicular to the side surface S08C. A
rail S39 may extend from an end of the shelf S38 generally
parallel to the side surface S08C.
A tab S40 may extend from an end of the rail S39. The side
surface S08C, shelf S38, and rail S39 may form at least a
partially enclosed space for retaining a power connector configured to plug into a connector from a battery (not shown).
The tab S40 may be configured to clip onto a side surface of
a power connector to lock the power connector into place. The
shelf S38 and rail S39 may be bent away from the side surface
S08C to release the tab S40 from the power connector.
Referring to FIG. H, the base S04 may further comprise a
battery receptacle S14 configured to hold a substantially prismatically-shaped battery (not shown) to support operation of
the rotorcraft 1000. The battery receptacle S14 may comprise
support plates S1SA, B extending within a first plane and
cross bars S16A, B extending within a second plane offset
from the first plane.
The cross bars S16A, B may be offset from each other by
distance configured to support a length of a battery. A support
beam S17 may extend between the cross bars S16A, B to
further support an underside of a battery. The cross bars
S16A, B may further comprise an approximately ninety (90)
degree bend configured to accommodate a depth of a battery
and support sides of the battery.
The battery may be inserted in the battery receptacle S14
through a battery opening S21 in the base S04 and slid into the
space formed by and between the support plates S1SA, B and
the cross bars S16A, B. The tabs S24A, B may extend in a

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Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 26 of 28 PageID #: 472

19

US 9,061,763 Bl

direction substantially perpendicular to the direction of insertion of the battery and may function as stops to prevent the
battery from falling out through an opening in the battery
receptacle 514 opposite from the battery opening 521. Additionally, the tabs 524A, B may allow the battery to be aligned
properly with the center of gravity C1.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, the center pod assembly 500
may further comprise a pod cover 542 configured to couple on
a top surface of the first cover 502. The pod cover 542 may
comprise aesthetically pleasing curvatures, designs, and
other features. In some embodiments, the pod cover 542 may
be made of a plastic, and may further comprise a two-tone
plastic, for example black and red.
Referring to FIGS. 2, 4, and 12, the pod cover 542 may
couple to the first cover 502 by fasteners 535A-C (e.g. screws)
extending through second cover apertures 534E-G in the pod
cover 542 and threadably coupling with corresponding apertures (not shown) in the underside of the pod cover 542.
Having thus described the present invention by reference to
certain of its exemplary embodiments, it is noted that the
embodiments disclosed are illustrative rather than limiting in
nature and that a wide range of variations, modifications,
changes, and substitutions are contemplated in the foregoing
disclosure and, in some instances, some features of the
present invention may be employed without a corresponding
use of the other features. Additional details are presented the
Appendix attached hereto and incorporated by reference for
all purposes. Many such variations and modifications may be
considered desirable by those skilled in the art based upon a
review of the foregoing description of exemplary embodiments. Accordingly, it is appropriate that any claims supported by this description be construed broadly and in a
manner consistent with the scope of the invention.

10

15

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25

30

35

The invention claimed is:


1. A radio controlled model rotorcraft, comprising:
a first cover, comprising at least one support frame;
at least one light source disposed adjacent the first cover;
and
a plurality of rotor assemblies, each rotor assembly comprising at least one motor;
at least one rotor assembly further comprising:
an arm having a longitudinal length extending outwardly
from the first cover, the arm comprising at least one
illuminating arm portion extending longitudinally
along at least a portion of the length of the arm and
comprising material in the range of at least translucent
to fully transparent; and
wherein the at least one motor is mounted on the arm;
wherein the at least one illuminating arm portion receives
and transmits light longitudinally along at least a portion
of the length of the arm from the at least one light source
disposed adjacent the first cover and illuminates in
response to the light received and transmitted; and
wherein the arm is configured to allow substantially unobstructed transmission of at least a portion oflight emitted
by the at least one light source to the at least one illuminating arm portion.
2. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1,
wherein the at least one illuminating arm portions further
comprise one or more coupling members integrally formed
with the illuminating arm portion for removably coupling the
illuminating arm portion to the arm, wherein the illuminating
arm portion and the arm are coupled without the use of additiona! fastening devices configured to directly contact the
illuminating arm portion.

20

3. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1,

40

45

50

55

60

65

wherein the at least one illuminating arm portion comprises a


single piece of material in the range of at least translucent to
fully transparent.
4. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1, further
comprising:
the at least one rotor assembly further comprising:
one or more foot members, each composed of a resiliently deformable material; and
wherein at least one of the one or more foot members is
disposed beneath the at least one motor, providing
landing support and impact resistance to the at least
one rotor assembly.
5. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 4,
wherein at least one of the one or more foot members is
received by the arm.
6. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1, further
comprising:
one or more electrically conductive wires;
wherein the arm further comprises a channel extending
along at least a portion of the length of the arm; and
wherein at least a portion of the length of at least one of one
or more wires is at least partially enclosed within the
channel.
7. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1, further
comprising a pod cover configured to removably couple to the
first cover.
8. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1, further
comprising:
the at least one illuminating arm portion comprising a first
end proximal to the first cover; and
wherein the at least one illuminating arm portion receives
at least a portion of the light emitted by the at least one
light source substantially at the first end of the at least
one illuminating arm portion.
9. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1,
wherein the at least one illuminating arm portion is configured to be removably couplable to the at least one rotor
assembly.
10. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 9, further comprising:
the first cover comprising one or more openings, with each
opening extending through one or more surfaces of the
first cover;
the at least one rotor assembly further comprising:
the at least one illuminating arm portion comprising a
first end proximal to the first cover and a groove
disposed proximal to the first end; and
wherein at least one of the one or more openings is configured to receive at least a portion of the groove of the at
least one illuminating arm portion, at least partially coupiing the at least one illuminating arm portion to the first
cover.
11. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1,
wherein the at least one illuminating arm portion is configured to have one or more specific illuminating colors in
response to received light.
12. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 11,
wherein the at least one illuminating arm portion is removably coupled to the at least one rotor assembly of the rotorcraft, whereby the color arrangement of the at least one illuminating arm portion of the at least one rotor assembly is
configurable through replacement of one or more of the at
least one illuminating arm portions with one or more illuminating arm portions having the desired illuminating color, or
colors.

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 27 of 28 PageID #: 473

21

US 9,061,763 Bl

13. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 11,

wherein the at least one light source is configured to emit


substantially white light.
14. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1,
wherein the arm further comprises one or more openings
through one or more surfaces of the arm; and wherein at least
a portion of the at least one illuminating arm portion is viewable through at least one of the one or more openings through
the arm.
15. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1, further comprising:
a center housing comprising the first cover and a base
member, wherein the first cover and the base member are
configured to couple to one another, the center housing
further comprising one or more openings through a surface of the center housing; and
wherein at least one of the openings is configured to receive
the at least one illuminating arm portion of the at least
one rotor assembly, coupling the at least one illuminating arm portion to the center housing.
16. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1,
wherein the number of light sources corresponds to at least
the number of rotor assemblies, wherein the arm of the at least
one rotor assembly is optically paired with, and receives light
most intensely from, a single light source from among the at
least one light sources disposed adjacent the first cover.
17. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1,
wherein the
at least one illuminating arm portion comprises at least a
portion of one or more one or more external surfaces of
the arm.
18. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1,
wherein at least one of the one or more foot members is
received by the at least one illuminating arm portion to operatively provide landing support for the at least one rotor assembly.
19. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 1,
wherein the at least one light source is disposed at least
partially within the first cover.
20. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 19,
wherein the at least one light source is configured to emit light
most intensely in one or more first directions, the at least one
light source oriented with at least one of the one or more first
directions substantially aligned with the direction of extensian of the arm.
21. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 19, the
arm further comprising:
a first surface extending along a portion of the length of the
arm and disposed internal to the arm;
a second surface extending along a portion of the length of
the arm and disposed internal to the arm, wherein the
second surface is disposed below, and facing substantially toward, the first surface; and
wherein at least one light source is configured to emit light
onto both the first and second surfaces internal to the
arm.
22. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 19,
further comprising:
a circuit board disposed within the first cover; and
wherein the at least one light source is electrically coupled
directly to the circuit board.
23. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 19,
wherein the arm is configured to allow substantially unobstructed transmission of at least a portion of light emitted by
the at least one light source through the arm to the at least one
illuminating arm portion.

22

24. A radio controlled model rotorcraft, comprising:

10

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25

30

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40

45

50

55

60

65

a first cover, comprising at least one support frame;


a plurality of arms, each arm extending outwardly from the
first cover and comprising:
a first end proximal to the first cover;
a second end distal to the first cover and configured to at
least partially receive a motor; and
at least one support member;
one or more light sources disposed at least partially within
the first cover;
wherein the first cover and at least a portion of each of the
plurality of arms comprise a single piece of material;
wherein each of the support members is configured to
extend along substantially the entire length of the
respective arm of the plurality of arms, from the first end
to the second end of the respective arm;
wherein at least the first end of each of the arms is composed of material in the range of at least translucent to
fully transparent;
wherein each of the arms is configured to allow substantially unobstructed transmission of at least a portion of
light emitted by at least one of the one or more light
sources to the respective support member of the arm at
the first end of the arm; and
wherein each of the support members illuminates along at
least a portion of its length in response to light received
from at least one of the one or more light sources disposed at least partially within the first cover.
25. A radio controlled model rotorcraft, comprising:
a first cover, comprising at least one support frame;
a plurality of rotor assemblies, each rotor assembly comprising at least one motor;
at least one rotor assembly further comprising:
an arm extending outwardly from the first cover, the arm
comprising at least one light transmitting portion
allowing transmission a flight along at least a portion
of the length of the arm, the light transmitting portion
of the arm comprising at least one illuminating arm
portion extending longitudinally along at least a portion of the arm, the at least one illuminating arm
portion comprising material in the range of at least
translucent to fully transparent; and
wherein the at least one motor is mounted on the arm;
at least one light source configured to emit light most
intensely in a first direction substantially aligned with
the direction of extension of at least a portion of the light
transmitting portion of the arm;
wherein at least a portion of the light emitted by the at least
one light source is emitted toward at least a portion of the
at least one illuminating arm portion;
wherein the at least one illuminating arm portion receives
and transmits light longitudinally along at least a portion
of the length of the arm from the at least one light source
and illuminates in response to the light received and
transmitted; and
wherein the arm is configured to allow substantially unobstructed transmission of at least a portion aflight emitted
by the at least one light source to the at least one illuminating arm portion.
26. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 25, the
arm further comprising:
a first internal surface extending along a portion of the
length of the arm;
a second internal surface extending along a portion of the
length of the arm, wherein the second surface is disposed
below, and facing substantially toward, the first surface;
and

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-5 Filed 08/02/16 Page 28 of 28 PageID #: 474

23

US 9,061,763 Bl

wherein at least one light source is configured to emit light


onto both the first and second surfaces.
27. A radio controlled model rotorcraft, comprising:
a first cover, comprising at least one support frame;
a circuit board secured to the first cover;
at least one light source directly coupled to the circuit
board; and
a plurality of rotor assemblies, each rotor assembly comprising at least one motor;
at least one rotor assembly further comprising:
an arm having a longitudinal length extending outwardly
from the first cover, the arm comprising at least one
illuminating arm portion extending longitudinally
along at least a portion of the length of the arm and
comprising material in the range of at least translucent
to fully transparent; and
wherein the at least one motor is mounted on the arm
wherein the at least one illuminating arm portion receiv~s
and transmits light longitudinally along at least a portion

10

15

24

of the length of the arm from the at least one light source
and illuminates in response to the light received and
transmitted; and
wherein the arm is configured to allow substantially unobstructed transmission of at least a portion oflight emitted
by the at least one light source to the at least one illuminating arm portion.
28. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 27
wherein the at least one light source is secured to the circui~
board.
29. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 27
wherein the at least one light source is electrically connected
directly to the circuit board.
30. The radio controlled model rotorcraft of claim 27
wherein the arm is configured to allow substantially unob~
structed transmission of at least a portion of light emitted by
the at least one light source through at least a portion of the
length of the arm to the at least one illuminating arm portion.

* * * * *

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-6 Filed 08/02/16 Page 1 of 27 PageID #: 475

EXHIBIT F
U.S. Patent No. 9,221,539 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-6 Filed 08/02/16 Page 2 of 27 PageID #: 476


111111
1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
US009221539B2

c12)

United States Patent

(10)

Christensen et al.

(45)

(54)

ROTORCRAFT WITH INTEGRATED LIGHT


PIPE SUPPORT MEMBERS

(71)

Applicant: TRAXXAS LP, McKinney, TX (US)

(72)

Inventors: Casey Christen Jens Christensen,


McKinney, TX (US); Otto Karl
Allmendinger, Rowlett, TX (US);
Richard Douglas Hohnholt, Coppell,
TX (US); Kent Poteet, Lucas, TX (US);
Scott Rollin Michael Schmitz,
Lewisville, TX (US); Thomas
Blackwell, Crossroads, TX (US)

(73)

Assignee: TRAXXAS LP, McKinney, TX (US)

( *)

Notice:

Appl. No.: 14/542,503

(22)

Filed:

Dec. 29, 2015

References Cited

U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS


4,184,119 A *
5,720,651 A *
6,688,936 B2 *

111980 Kerruish ....................... 455/344


2/1998 Chien ............................. 451195
2/2004 Davis .............................. 446/37

(Continued)
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS

EP
JP

1245257 A2
H01-201294 A

10/2002
8/1989

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Nov. 14, 2014


Prior Publication Data

US 2015/0245516Al

US 9,221,539 B2

Field of Classification Search


CPC ................... B64C 2201/027; B64C 2201/042;
B64C 2201/108; B64C 2201/127; B64C
39/028; B64C 39/024; B64D 47/08; B64D
2203/00; A63H 27/12; A63H 17/28; A63H
17/32
See application file for complete search history.

(56)

Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this


patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.

(21)

(65)

(58)

Patent No.:
Date of Patent:

Jameschen072; "The UDi U839 review"; RC Groups; May 15, 20 14;


http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t~2167429.

Aug. 27, 2015

(Continued)

Related U.S. Application Data

(62)

Division of application No. 14/461,228, filed on Aug.


15, 2014.

(60)

Provisional application No. 61/866,530, filed on Aug.


15, 2013.

(51)

(52)

Int. Cl.
B64C 27100
(2006.01)
(2006.01)
B64C 39102
(2006.01)
A63H 17128
(2006.01)
A63H 27/00
U.S. Cl.
CPC .............. B64C 391024 (2013.01); A63H 17128
(2013.01); A63H 27112 (2013.01); B64C
2201/027 (2013.01)

Primary Examiner- Philip J Bonzell


Assistant Examiner- Michael Kreiner
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm- CARR Law Firm PLLC

(57)

ABSTRACT

A radio controlled model rotorcraft implemented with features improving ease of flight and flight performance by
increasing structural stability, increasing rotorcraft visibility
and orientation awareness through the use ofmultifunctioning, configurable, and aesthetically pleasing components,
while also increasing resistance to damage from crashes
through use of impact and vibration absorbing components.
30 Claims, 13 Drawing Sheets

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-6 Filed 08/02/16 Page 3 of 27 PageID #: 477


US 9,221,539 B2
Page 2
(56)

References Cited
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6,921,313
7,367,863
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7,980,740
2002/0098768
2004/0150144
2007/0049159
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2012/0083945
2012/0234969
2014/0117149

B2 * 7/2005 Yu ................................... 446/39


B2 * 5/2008 Fosbenner et a!. ............ 446/438
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362/500
Al * 7/2002 Kuo et al . ....................... 446/39
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3/2012 Rhee eta!.
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GHz 4-Channel. 306 -Rolling Action"; UDIRCTOYS Industry
Co,. Ltd., Shantou City, Guangdong, China; photographs of typical
unit with manual; Aug. 6, 20 14; via Battery Superstore and amazon.
com.
WL Toys; "Skylark V636 Headless Mode 2.4 G 4CH 6 Axis
Quadcopter RTF"; Shantou Chenghai WL Toys Industrial Co., Ltd.,
Shantou City, Guangdong, China; web page offer for sale, Banggood.
corn/Banggood Ltd., Aug. 13, 2014.
Gemini Industries Ltd. I WL Toys; "Skylark RIC Quadcopter";
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with manual; Aug. 13, 2014; via Gemini (HK) Ind. Ltd.
Mohr, Tim; "Hobbico/Great Planes at the '14 HobbyTown USA
Convention"; Jul. 11, 20 14; Big Squid RC.com.
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in Lincoln, Nebraska"; Jul. 19, 2014; FLY RC Magazine web page:
http://www.flyrc.com/hobbytown-national-convention-held-july910-20 14-in-lincoln-nebraska/.
GAUI.CO.UK; "Gaui 500X Quad Flyer"; Hinckley, Leicestershire,
England;
Apr.
27,
20 13;
https://web.archive.org/web/
201304 271053 55/http://www.gaui.co .uk/.
Empire Hobby; "Gaui LED Set (2 Red, 2Wh, 4 Lens)"; Mesa, Arizona; Jul. 21, 2011; http://www.empirerc.com/gaui-led-set-2-red-2wh-4-lens-p-5954.
htrnl?sesF90d4b90f52b3db5305af59d96954e6fa.
Gaui; "Beijing Model Expo-Gaui 50 0X Quad Flyer"; Gaui Tai Shih
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DJI; "Phantom Quick Start Manual Vl.3"; DJI Innovations,


Shenzhen, China; Jan. 22, 2013.
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&postcount~ 1121.
Draganfly; "DraganFlyer X4-P"; Draganfly Innovations Inc.,
Saskatoon, Canada; Mar. 23, 2013; http://www.draganfly.com/uavhelicopter/draganflyer-x4p/gallery/pictures/.
Draganfly; "Draganflyer X4-P"; Draganfly Innovations Inc.,
Saskatoon, Canada; Apr. 3, 2013; http://www.draganfly.com/uavhelicopter/draganflyer-x4p/gallery/pictures/.
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20 12; http://ardrone2.parrot.corn/support.
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Gyro" photographs of typical unit with manual; ; Hubsan, Tangxia
Town, Dong guan, China; Sep. 10, 2012.
Horizonhobby; "Blade mQX Ultra Micro Quad Copter";
HorizonHobby, Champaign, IL; photographs of typical unit; Jan. 25,
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Horizonhobby; "Blade Nano Qx 18 Gram Quad-Copter";
HorizonHobby, Champaign, IL; photographs of typical unit; Jul. 8,
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DJI; "Phantom"; DJI Innovations, Shenzhen, China; photographs of
typical unit ; Jan. 31, 2013.
Ares; "ETHOS PQ-A Handful of Fun"; Firelands Group, LLC,
Champaign, IL; http://ares-rc.com\ethosPQ/; Jul. 31, 2014.
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LLC, Champaign, IL; Jul. 31, 2014.
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Champaign, IL; photographs of typical unit; Sep. 18, 2014.
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Firelands Group, LLC, Champaign, II; Jul. 2014.
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Opinion; Dec. 15, 2015.

* cited by examiner

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-6 Filed 08/02/16 Page 4 of 27 PageID #: 478

U.S. Patent

FIG.l
1000

Dec. 29, 2015

Sheet 1 of 13

US 9,221,539 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-6 Filed 08/02/16 Page 5 of 27 PageID #: 479

U.S. Patent

Dec. 29, 2015

US 9,221,539 B2

Sheet 2 of 13

FIG. 2
1000

3oo-

.,_200

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-6 Filed 08/02/16 Page 6 of 27 PageID #: 480

U.S. Patent

Dec. 29, 2015

Sheet 3 of 13

US 9,221,539 B2

FIG. 3
1000

"'

175C

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-6 Filed 08/02/16 Page 7 of 27 PageID #: 481

U.S. Patent

Dec. 29, 2015

Sheet 4 of 13

FIG. 4
1000

148
5100

r.

5300_})~
530C

5080/ )" '"'


510A
504
'\._530A
5308

US 9,221,539 B2

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-6 Filed 08/02/16 Page 8 of 27 PageID #: 482

U.S. Patent

Dec. 29, 2015

Sheet 5 of 13

US 9,221,539 B2

FIG. SA

134
130A "--1 08C

FIG.SB

FIG.SC

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-6 Filed 08/02/16 Page 9 of 27 PageID #: 483

U.S. Patent

Dec. 29, 2015

US 9,221,539 B2

Sheet 6 of 13

106

FIG. 6A
106

\..
130A

,-1308

FIG. 6B

,-130C

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U.S. Patent

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Sheet 7 of 13

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106

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Sheet 9 of 13

FIG.JO

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518C

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513A

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Sheet 12 of 13

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US 9,221,539 B2
1

ROTORCRAFT WITH INTEGRATED LIGHT


PIPE SUPPORT MEMBERS

and durability without incurring cost or weight penalties, and


while also incorporating desirable aesthetic attributes.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED
APPLICATIONS

SUMMARY

This application is a division of, and claims the benefit of


the filing date of, co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No.
14/461,228 entitled ROTORCRAFT WITH INTEGRATED
LIGHT PIPE SUPPORT MEMBERS, filed Aug. 15, 2014,
which claims the benefit of the filing date of, U.S. provisional
patent application Ser. No. 61/866,530 entitled QUADCOPTER WITH INTEGRATED LIGHT PIPE SUPPORT MEMBERS, filed Aug. 15, 2013, the entire contents of which are
incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.

10

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

15

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to radio controlled model
rotorcrafts, and, more particularly, to means and methods of
assembling and retaining components of radio controlled
model rotorcraft while enhancing aesthetically pleasing
aspects of a rotorcraft.
2. Description of the Related Art
Radio controlled model rotorcrafts are propeller driven
remote controlled vehicles configured for flight. Some important design considerations of particular importance in regard
to radio controlled model rotorcrafts are flight performance
and stability, ease of control by the user, durability, aesthetics,
and cost. Several characteristics inherent to radio controlled
model rotorcraft operation and appearance add to the difficulty in adequately addressing these design considerations.
This is especially true as the number of propellers utilized by
the radio controlled model rotorcraft is increased.
Radio controlled model rotorcraft are difficult to operate
for several reasons. For one, they are configured to move in
three dimensions as opposed to two. Additionally, radio controlled model rotorcraft are capable of reaching incredible
speeds during flight, such as when descending from high
altitude, reducing the response time for a user to correct
course to avoid a crash.
Users may also have difficulty discerning the orientation of
the radio controlled model rotorcraft during flight, especially
while performing aerial tricks or when operating a rotorcraft
that has several propellers, causing the radio controlled model
rotorcraft to have a similar appearance from all sides. Confusion as to the orientation of the radio controlled model rotorcraft during flight greatly increases the likelihood of a loss of
control by the user and a subsequent crash.
Stable flight requires the radio controlled model rotorcraft
body be sufficiently stiff to resist deflection and twisting
during flight, in particular, during acceleration. Increasing
stiffness generally involves using more material and increasing the overall weight of the rotorcraft. Durability may be
enhanced through the use of tougher materials and the addition of protective components to sufficiently insulate sensitive parts from vibration and impact, adding weight.
For flying vehicles weight increases are undesirable, however, since weight increases degrade performance. Further,
weight increase may result in increased cost if higher power
or additional thrust-generating components are used to compensate for the additional weight.
A need exists for a radio controlled model rotorcraft implemented with design features that simultaneously promote
flight performance and stability, ease of control by the user,

Provided is an radio controlled model rotorcraft implemented with features improving ease of flight and flight performance by increasing structural stability, increasing rotorcraft visibility and orientation awareness through the use of
multifunctioning, configurable, and aesthetically pleasing
components, while also increasing resistance to damage from
crashes through use of impact and vibration absorbing components.

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For a more complete understanding of the present invention and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the
following Detailed Description taken in conjunction with the
accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a quadcopter rotorcraft;
FIG. 2 is a top view of a quadcopter rotorcraft with a pod
cover removed for clarity;
FIG. 3 is a bottom view of a quadcopter rotorcraft;
FIG. 4 is an exploded view of a quadcopter rotorcraft;
FIG. SA is a first cross-sectional view of a rotor assembly
of a quadcopter rotorcraft taken along line SA-SA shown in
FIG. 2;
FIG. SB is a cross-sectional view of a second fastener
assembly taken along line SB-SB shown in FIG. SA;
FIG. SC is a cross-sectional view of a third fastener assembly taken along line SC-SC shown in FIG. SB;
FIGS. 6A and 6B are a perspective and a bottom view,
respectively, of a support member;
FIG. 7 is a bottom view of a first arm showing wire channels;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a foot;
FIG. 9 is second cross-sectional view of a rotor assembly of
a quadcopter rotorcraft taken along line SA-SA shown in FIG.
2;

FIG. 10 is a third cross-sectional view of a rotor assembly


of a quadcopter rotorcraft taken along line SA-SA shown in
FIG. 2, wherein the line SA-SA is taken through a torque
transfer assembly;
FIGS. llA, B, and Care perspective, top, and rear views,
respectively, of a base of a quadcopter rotorcraft;
FIG. 12 is a bottom view of a center pod assembly with a
base removed for clarity;
FIG. 13A is a bottom view of a quadcopter rotorcraft; FIG.
13B is a cross-sectional view taken along line 13B-13B, the
view showing a locator recess; and
FIG. 13C is a cross-sectional view taken along line 13C13C, the view showing a printed circuit board assembly
(PCBA) mounted within a housing formed by a cover and
base of a quadcopter rotorcraft.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION

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65

In the following discussion, numerous specific details are


set forth to provide a thorough understanding of the present
invention. However, those skilled in the art will appreciate
that the present invention may be practiced without such
specific details. In other instances, well-known elements have
been illustrated in schematic or block diagram form in order
not to obscure the present invention in unnecessary detail.
Additionally, and for the most part, details concerning wellknown features and elements have been omitted inasmuch as

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3

such details are not considered necessary to obtain a complete


understanding of the present invention, and are considered to
be within the understanding of persons of ordinary skill in the
relevant art. Additional details are shown in the Appendix
attached hereto and incorporated by reference for all purposes.
Referring first to FIG. 1, a particular embodiment of a radio
controlled model rotorcraft, a rotorcraft 1000, is shown.
According to the embodiment shown, the rotorcraft 1000 may
comprise four rotor assemblies: a first rotor assembly 100; a
second rotor assembly 200; a third rotor assembly 300; and, a
fourth rotor assembly 400. The rotorcraft 1000 may further
comprise a center pod assembly SOO.
Each of the first rotor assembly 100, the second rotor
assembly 200, the third rotor assembly 300, and the fourth
rotor assembly 400 may be implemented with a first propeller
104, a second propeller 204, a third propeller 304, and a fourth
propeller 404, respectively. A rotorcraft provided with four
propellers, such as the rotorcraft 1000 shown and described
herein, may be referred to as a quadcopter. Airborne motion of
the rotorcraft 1000 may be controlled by rotation of the propellers 104, 204, 304, and 404 and by adjustment of the
angular velocities of each propeller by known methods to
provide adjustment of thrust and torque to support stable
flight of the rotorcraft 1000.
Each of the rotor assemblies 100, 200, 300, and 400 may
couple to the center pod assembly SOO at the inboard end of
the rotor assembly 100, 200, 300, and 400 and may extend,
along its length, away from the center pod assembly SOO. The
rotor assemblies 100, 200, 300, and 400 may rigidly couple
the propellers 104, 204, 304, and 404 to the center pod assembly SOO, fixing the position and orientation of each respective
propeller 104, 204, 304, and 404 relative to each other and to
the center of mass, C1, of the rotorcraft 1000.
Referring to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the
propellers 104, 204, 304, and 404 may be arranged in a
substantially rectangular configuration about the center of
mass C1, which may be within the center pod assembly SOO.
In a particular embodiment, for example, the distance
between the axis of rotation of opposing propellers may be
about 23.5 centimeters (em.) (i.e. between propellers 104 and
304), while the distance between the axis of rotation of adjacent propellers may be about 16.6 em. (i.e. between propellers 104 and 204). In an embodiment, the propellers 104, 204,
304, and 404 may be positioned at a substantially equal distances from the center of mass Cl.
In alternative embodiments, a radio controlled model
rotorcraft may be provided with more, fewer, or additional
components than those shown in the particular embodiment,
the rotorcraft 1000, described herein. Additionally, in alternative embodiments, a radio controlled model rotorcraft may
have a different component arrangement than that shown in
the particular embodiment, the rotorcraft 1000, described
herein. Specifically, alternative embodiments may include
more or fewer rotor assemblies that may be positioned in a
substantially triangular or circular configuration about the
rotorcraft center of mass. Additionally, in an embodiment, the
rotorcraft center of mass may be located at a point external to
the center pod assembly SOO.
The components of the first rotor assembly 100 of a particular radio controlled model rotorcraft embodiment, the
rotorcraft 1000, are described herein. The components of the
rotor assemblies 200, 300, and 400 may have substantially
similar construction and features as the corresponding components of the first rotor assembly 100. Further, the camponents of the rotor assemblies 200, 300, and 400 may perform
substantially the same functions as the corresponding com-

ponents of the first rotor assembly 100. The convention of


describing components of only the first rotor assembly 100 is
adopted for the purpose of avoiding unnecessary and repetitive language, only, and shall not foreclose from the scope of
this disclosure a wide range of variations, modifications,
changes and substitutions that would be understood by those
skilled in the art as expressly, or implicitly, disclosed here.
Referring to FIGS. 2-10, the first rotor assembly 100 may
include a first arm 102, a first propeller 104, a first support
member 106, and fastener assemblies 108A-D In alternative
embodiments, additional, fewer, or different components
than those shown may be provided.
In an embodiment, the first arm 102 may operatively
couple the first rotor assembly 100 to the center pod assembly
SOO, as shown in FIG. 2. Referring to FIGS. SA and 7, the first
arm 102 may include an inboard end 103, an outboard end
10S, wire channels 110, a cut through portion 114, and a
plurality of coupling members. In a particular embodiment,
the first arm 102 may be provided with additional, fewer, or
different components.
The first arm 102 may be comprised of a single piece of
rigid or semi-rigid material. For example, in a particular
embodiment, the first arm 102 may be made from nylon or
other similar material. It will be understood by persons of
ordinary skill in the art that the first arm 102 may alternatively
be made from any other suitable material (e.g. plastics, metals, wood, and composites) based on the requirements for
flight of the particular radio controlled model rotorcraft
embodiment and other structural, aesthetic, and cost factors.
As shown in FIGS. 4 and S, in an embodiment, the first arm
102 may couple to, or, alternatively, be integrally formed with
the center pod assembly SOO at the inboard end 103. The first
arm 102 may extend along its length in a direction away from
the center pod assembly SOO. As viewed from the side, the
first arm 102 may have a downwardly sloping arced profile,
whereby the outboard end 10S is disposed below the inboard
end 103. Alternatively, the first arm 102 may have a profile
that is substantially linear, dog-legged, or the like, or may
have a profile with multiple bends or curves.
As shown in FIGS. 1, 4, SB, and SC, the first arm 102 may
have a curved, substantially "C" shaped, outer cross sectional
shape, oriented with the apex of the curve facing upward. In
an embodiment, and as shown in FIGS. SA and SB, within the
inner portion of the curved cross section the first arm 102 may
be provided with an interlocking slot 120.
The interlocking slot 120 may have an open end facing
substantially downward. The interlocking slot 120 may abut
the inner portion of the curve defining the outer cross sectional shape of the arm 102 substantially at the apex of the
curve. The interlocking slot 120 may be formed from two
substantially parallel flanges extending inward from the inner
surface of the first arm 102 curved outer cross section. The
interlocking slot 120 may extend a distance along the length
of the first arm 102 from the outboard end 10S and terminating at the cut through portion 114. The interlocking slot may
function as a fastening feature, as described below, in reference to fastener assembly 108B.
Viewing the first arm 102 from above, as shown in FIG. 2,
the first arm 102 may be curved along each side, whereby the
first arm 102 may be thinner at the outboard end 10S and
wider at the inboard end 103. In an alternative embodiment,
the first arm may have a substantially uniform width along its
length, or, may widen along its length such that the outboard
end 10S is wider than the inboard end 103.
Referring to FIG. 7, the first arm 102 may be provided with
wire channels 11 OA and 11 OB for retaining and routing electrical wires A, B along the length of the first arm 102. In an

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embodiment, wires A, B may be routed between rotor assembly 100 components near the outboard end 105 of the first arm
102, like the first motor 101, for example, and controls components that may be enclosed within the center pod assembly
500, like the PCBA 506, for example, to support powered
flight of the rotorcraft 1000.
Each wire channelllOA and HOB may extend along the
length of the first arm 102 from the inboard end 103 to the
outboard end 105 along the underside of the first arm 102. The
wire channels 11 OA and 11 OB may be positioned along either
side of interlocking slot 120. In an embodiment, the first arm
102 may have fewer or more wire channels 110 that may
extend along only a portion of the length of the first arm 102,
or, alternatively, along substantially the entire length of the
first arm 102.
Each wire channelll OA, B may have dimensions, such as
width w, and may be provided with retaining tabs 111A-C and
113 A-C, respectively, for holding wires A, B in place and
substantially resisting migration of wires within each wire
channelllOA, B. In a particular embodiment, for example,
the width, w, of each wire channelllOA, B may be about 0.65
em. The retaining tabs 111, 113 may extend laterally across a
portion of the width, w, of the respective wire channels 110 so
that the wires A, B may be pushed around the retaining tabs
111, 113 and into place in the wire channels llOA, B. Alternatively, the retaining tabs 111, 113 may extend across substantially the entire width, w, of the wire channels llOA, B
with wires A, B being fed through the gap formed.
In an alternative embodiment, the wire channels 110 A, B
may be provided with fewer or more retaining tabs 111, 113
than shown in FIG. 7. Further, in an alternative embodiment,
the wire channels llOA, B may be provided with zero retaining tabs 111, 113. In such embodiments, the wire channels A,
B may be implemented with other retaining devices, such as
external clips, ties, and the like. Alternatively, the wire channels 11 OA, B may not include any retaining devices or external fasteners.
Referring to FIG. 7, the first arm 102 may include a cut
through portion 114 forming an opening for seeing through a
portion of the first arm 102. In an embodiment, the cut
through portion 114 may be disposed along top surface of the
first arm 102, substantially centered about the apex of the
outer curved surface of the first arm 102 and extending a
distance along the length of the first arm 102. In the embodiment shown, the cut through portion 114 may have a sub stantially trapezoidal shaped perimeter.
In alternative embodiments, the first arm 102 may be provided with zero, one, or a plurality of cut through portions
114. Further, in an alternative embodiment, the cut through
portion, or portions, 114 may be positioned at other locations
along the outer surface of the first arm 102 and, additionally,
may haves different perimeter shape, or shapes. For example,
in an embodiment, the first arm may be provided with a
plurality of circular cut through portions 114 disposed in an
irregular pattern along the length of the outer surface of the
first arm 102.
The first arm 102 may also include a plurality of coupling
members comprising components of the fastening assemblies
108A-D for coupling with, receiving, or partially forming
other rotorcraft 1000 components, such as the motor 101, the
first support 106, the motor receptacle assembly 160, the
propeller shaft receptacle assembly 170, and the torque transfer assembly 180. The coupling members of the first arm 102
are described in detail below, and in reference to fastening
assemblies 108A-D.
Turning now to the top-view of the rotorcraft embodiment,
the rotorcraft 1000, shown in FIG. 2, the first propeller 104 is

shown. In a particular embodiment, the first propeller 104


may have two blades and a diameter of140 millimeters (mm).
In alternative embodiments, the propeller 104 may be implemented with a different quantity of blades having a larger or
smaller diameter. The first propeller 104 may be rotatably
coupled to the outboard end 105 of the first arm 102, as will be
described further subsequently, and in reference to the propeller shaft receptacle assembly 170 and the torque transfer
assembly 180.
In an embodiment, the propellers 104, 204, 304, and 404
may comprise matched pairs of counterclockwise and clockwise rotating propellers to provide a stable spinning configuration in accordance with known methods comprising the
prior art. It will be understood by persons of ordinary skill in
the art that the number of blades, diameter, pitch, and spinning configuration may be varied to support agility, stability,
and efficiency of a rotorcraft, such as the rotorcraft 1000
described herein, in flight.
Turning now to FIGS. 4-10, several views of the first support member 106 are shown. According to the embodiment
shown, the first support member 106 may perform many
functions, including: providing configurable and decorative
lighting along the length of the first rotor assembly 100 for
aiding users in identifYing directional orientation of the rotorcraft 1000 during flight; providing structural support to the
first arm 102, thereby increasing the stiffness of the rotor
assembly 100 for more stable flight; receiving, coupling, or
securing other components to the rotorcraft 1000.
Importantly, in the context of flying devices such as radio
controlled model rotorcrafts, having a single component perform multiple functions, as the first support member 106 may,
may allow for incorporation of additional features into the
device without incurring a corresponding "mass penalty,"
resulting in a potentially less costly and more capable device.
Additionally, the number of component parts may be
reduced, and may provide the benefits of easier assembly and
maintenance through a reduction in the number of external
fasteners needed, for example, screws, clips, inserts, and the
like.
As shown in FIG. 3, the first support member 106 may
couple to the center pod 500 and to the first arm 102. As
shown in FIGS. 4-6B, in an embodiment, the first support
member 106 may include an exposed surface 116, an inboard
end 122, an outboard end 124, an indented portion 126, and a
plurality of coupling members comprising components of the
fastening assemblies 108A-D. In alternative embodiments,
the first support member may include fewer, additional, or
different components.
In an embodiment, the first support member 106 may comprise a piece of semi-rigid or rigid material that may be
transparent or semi-transparent and capable of distributing
light received from a light source substantially throughout its
volume, illuminating the surfaces of the transparent or semitransparent material. For example, the first support member
106 may be made from an acrylic, polycarbonate, or other like
material.
The material may appear substantially clear or, alternatively, may have a color. Coloring may be provided through
any known methods, such as through tinting, coating, or other
known method comprising the prior art. Further, whether the
material appears substantially clear, or has a color, the material may be capable of receiving light of a specific color and
emitting light of a different color when illuminated. For
example, the first support member 106 may be composed of a
substantially clear material having the properties described
above and may, when receiving white light illuminate and
emit light of another color, perhaps green. In another

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example, the first support member may have a color, perhaps


red, and may illuminate and emit red light upon receiving
white light or colored light.
In certain embodiments, the first support member 106 may
be made entirely of material having the rigidity and illuminating characteristics described above, so that substantially
the entire outer surface of the first support member 106 may
be illuminated when light is received by any portion of the
support member 106. Further, in such an embodiment, the
first support member 106 may be made from a single piece of
material having the properties described above.
In alternative embodiments, the first support member 106
may be composed of two or more materials, with at least one
of the materials having the rigidity and illuminating properties described above. In such an embodiment, the portion of
the first support member 106 composed of the material
capable of being illuminated may be implemented so that it
extends from the inboard end 122 along the length of the first
support member 106, and toward the outboard end 124. Further, in such an embodiment, the portion of the first support
member 106 composed of the material capable of being illuminated may extend along substantially the entire length of
the first support member 106.
As shown FIGS. 3, 6A, and 6B, the first support member
106 may couple to the center pod assembly SOO at the inboard
end 122 and extend along its length in a direction away from
the center pod assembly SOO. Viewed from the side, as shown
in FIG. 9, the first support member 106 may have a downwardly sloping arced profile similar to that of the first arm
102, whereby the outboard end 124 is disposed below the
inboard end 122. In alternative embodiments, the first support
member 106 may have a profile that is substantially linear,
dog-legged, or the like, or may have a profile with multiple
bends or curves.
Referring to FIG. SA, the first support member 106 may be
provided with an exposed surface 116. The exposed surface
may extend through the cut-through portion 114 of the first
arm 102, when the first arm 102 and first support member 106
are coupled. The exposed surface 116 may composed of an
illuminating material as described above so that a portion of
the illuminated first support member 106 may be viewed from
above the rotorcraft through opening formed by the cut
through portion 114 of the first arm 102.
As shown in FIGS. 4 and SA, the exposed surface 116 may
be disposed along the side of the first support member 106 to
which the first arm 102 couples, protruding upward from the
body of the support arm 106. The exposed surface 116 may
extend a distance along the length of the first support member
106. The position of exposed 116 may align with the position
of the cut through portion 114 of the first arm 102 when the
first arm 102 and first support member are coupled.
The exposed surface 116 may be configured to have a
perimeter shape substantially coincident with the perimeter
shape of the cut through portion 114 of the first arm 102. In the
embodiment shown, the cut through portion 114 may have a
substantially trapezoidal shaped perimeter. The exposed surface 116 may fit within the opening in the first arm 102
formed by the cut through portion 114. Further, the exposed
surface 116 may protrude to a height above the surface of the
first support member 106 sufficient to substantially "fill" the
opening formed in the first arm 102 by the cut through portion
114.
In alternative embodiments, the quantity, location, perimeter shape, and height of the exposed surface, or surfaces 116,
may vary in accordance with the corresponding features of
the cut through portion, or portions 114, of the first arm 102,

so that the exposed surface 116 may "fill" the opening formed
in the first arm 102 by the cut through portion 114.
Referring to FIGS. SA-C, the first support member 106
may have a curved, substantially "C" shaped, outer cross
section extending along the portion of its length outboard of
the exposed surface 116. The curved cross sectional shape
may be oriented with the apex of the curved surface facing
substantially downward and with the "open end" facing
upward and toward the first arm 102. The first support member 106 may have an outer cross section configured to mate to
the first arm 102 along the length of each component. The
outer cross section size of the first support member 106 may
be sized to fit within, and extend into, the downwardly facing
open end of the first arm 102 formed by the inner surface of
the outer cross section of the first arm 102.
The first support member 106 may be provided with a ridge
118 extending along a portion of the length of the first support
member 106. The ridge 118 may be disposed along the inner
surface formed by the substantially "C" shaped cross section
of the first support member 106 and protrude a. The ridge 118
is described further below, in regard to the fastening assembly
108B.
As shown in FIG. 6A, the first support member 106 may be
provided with an indented portion 126 disposed at the inboard
end 122 and extending into the body of the first support
member 106 along the length of the first support member 106.
The indented portion 126 may form an open area within the
body of the first support member 106 providing clearance for
a light source S11 to be partially inserted into when the first
support member 106 is coupled to the center pod assembly
SOO, as described below. The indented portion 126 may
extend into the first support member 106 along the length of
the first support member 126 and terminate just inboard of the
exposed surface 116.
Viewed from below, as shown in FIG. 3, the first support
member 106 may have a profile that is curved along each side
so that the width of the first support member 106 thins along
the length of the first support member 106, with the first
support member 106 wider at the inboard end 122 and thinner
at the outboard end 124. In an alternative embodiment, the
first arm may have a substantially uniform width along its
length, or, may widen along its length such that the outboard
end 124 is wider than the inboard end 122.
The profile shape of the support member 106 may be substantially similar to the profile shape of the first support member shown in FIG. 2 and described above. The first support
member 106 profile width may be sufficiently less than that of
the first arm 102 along the length of each component, allowing for the first support member to be slid into and mate with
the first arm 102.
Referring to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and SA, the
first support member 106 may be removably coupled to the
first arm 102. The first support member 106 may structurally
support the first arm 102 against displacement from flexing or
twisting that may result from acceleration or impact during
operation of the rotorcraft 1000. The coupled first arm 102
and first support member 106 may exhibit increase stiffness
along the length of the rotary assembly 100 and provide for
more stable flight of the rotorcraft 1000. Additionally, the
coupled first arm 102 and first support member 106 partially
enclose rotary assembly components, such as the motor 101,
for example, and may trap and protect rotorcraft 1000 components, such as the wires A, B routed within wire channels
110A, Bas shown in FIGS. SA, B (not labeled).
The rotary assembly 100 may include the fastener assemblies 1 08A-C for coupling the first support member 106 to the
first arm 102. In alternative embodiments, the first support

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member 106 may be coupled to the first arm 102 using some,
all, or none of the fastener assemblies 108 A-C.
Referring to FIGS. 4 and S, a first fastener assembly 108A
may comprise a hook member 138 extending from the outboard end 124 of the first support member 106. The hook
member 138 may be configured to fit within and extend at
least partially through an aperture 140 formed in the outboard
end 1 OS of the first arm 102. An extension of the hook member
138 may catch and extend over a bar portion 142 (also shown
in FIG. SA) of the aperture 140 when the hook member 138 is
inserted in the aperture 140 to secure the outboard end 124 of
the first support member 106 to the outboard end 10S of the
first arm 102.
Referring to FIGS. 4, SA, and9, the first fastener assembly
108A may further comprise a cup member 144 formed from
curved side portions 146, 148 and a bottom surface 1SO.
Edges of the side portions 146, 148 and the bottom surface
1SO may align with edges of the aperture 140 formed in the
outboard end 10S of the first arm 102 to form a housing that
may be a motor cradle assembly 160 for receiving and partially enclosing a motor 101 as is described further, below.
When the hook member 138 is inserted into the aperture 140,
the first support member 106 may be secured against displacement of the first support member 106 in the inboardoutboard direction.
Referring to FIGS. SA and SB, a second fastener assembly
108B may comprise interlocking tabs 112A-C extending
from the ridge 118 a distance further inward and toward the
center of"C" shaped cross section of the first support member
106. The ridge 118 may extend along a length of the first
support member 106 as described above. Each tab 112A-C is
configured to mate with the interlocking slot 120 positioned
on an underside of the first arm 102. Each tab 112A-C may fit
into a portion along the length of the interlocking slot 120 to
establish a snug fit.
When the interlocking tabs 112A-C are fit into the interlocking slot 120, the first support member 106 may be secured
against displacement of the first support member 106 in the
inboard-outboard direction and may resist twisting of the
joined structure comprising first support member 106 and
first arm 102. Although the embodiment shown is implemented with three interlocking tabs 112, in an alternative
embodiment fewer, or additional, interlocking tabs 112 may
be provided. For example, in an embodiment, one continuous
interlocking tab 112 may be provided that may extend along
substantially the entire length of the corresponding interlocking slot 120.
Referring to FIGS. SA, SC, 6A, 6B, and 7, a third fastener
assembly 108C may comprise a series of first snap tabs
128A-C and second snap tabs 130A-C of the first support
member 106. The first snap tabs 128A-C and second snap tabs
130A-C may be disposed opposite one another along the
outer surface of the "C" shaped outer profile of the first
support member 106 near the open end of the "C". The first
snap tabs 128A-C and second snap tabs 130A-C may protrude a distance outward from the outer surface of the first
support member 106 and extend along a portion of the length
of the first support member 106. The first snap tabs 128A-C
and second snap tabs 130A-C, respectively, may fit under and
engage a first lip 132 and a second lip 134, respectively, of the
first arm 102 when the first support member 106 is slid into
the underside of the first arm 102 as described above.
Although the embodiment shown is implemented with
three first snap tabs 128 and second snap tabs 130, in an
alternative embodiment fewer, or additional, snap tabs 128
and second snap tabs 130 may be provided. For example, in an

embodiment, continuous snap tabs 128, 130 may be provided


and may extend along substantially the entire length of the
corresponding lips 132, 134.
The first lip 132 and the second lip 134, respectively, of the
first arm 102 may be disposed opposite one another along the
inner surface of the "C" shaped outer profile of the first arm
102 substantially at the open end of the "C". The first lip 132
and the second lip 134 may protrude a distance inward from
the inner surface of the first arm 102 and extend along a
portion of the length of the first arm 102.
The first lip 132 and second lip 134 may each be a single,
continuous lip extending along substantially the whole
length, or, alternatively, only a portion of the length of the first
arm 102. In another alternative embodiment, additional first
lips 132 and second lips 134 may be provided, with each lip
132, 134 extending along a portion of the length of the first
arm 102 corresponding to a location of a snap tab 128, 130 of
the first support member 106.
The first snap tabs 128A-C and the second snap tabs
130A-C may lock the first support member 106 to the first arm
102, when the snap tabs 128,130 are engaged with the first lip
132 and the second lip 134, respectively. Under a heavy
impact, flexibility in the support member 106 may allow the
first snap tabs 128A-C and the second snap tabs 130A-C to
unsnap from the respective first lip 132 and the second lip 134
to prevent structural damage to other portions of the rotorcraft
1000.
The rotary assembly 100 may also include a fastener
assembly 108 D, as shown in FIGS. 6A, 6B, and 10, for
removably coupling the first support member 106 to the center pod assembly SOO at the inboard end 122 of the first
support member 106.
Referring to FIGS. 6A, 6B, and 10, the fourth fastener
assembly 108D may comprise a collar 13S and a hoop member 121. The hoop member 121 may be disposed at the
inboard end 122 of the first support member 106 extend a
distance along the length of the first support member 106
toward the outboard end 124. The hoop member 121 may
further extend about the cross section of the inboard end 122
of the first support member 106, having a boundary shape as
best shown in FIG. 6A.
The hoop member 121 may abut the collar 13S, with the
collar 13S disposed outboard to the hoop member 121 and
extending about the cross section of the inboard end 122 of
the first support member 106. The collar 13S may form a
groove around a portion of the cross section of the first support member 106. The collar 13S may have a boundary
shaped similarly to that of the hoop member 121 but sized
slightly smaller than that of the hoop member 121 along each
length defining the boundary shape of the hoop member 121.
The hoop member 121 and the collar 13S may be configured to couple with the center pod assembly SOO, by engaging
the collar 13S with an opening formed in the center pod
assembly SOO with a perimeter shape and size substantially
coincident to the boundary shape and size of the collar. The
hoop member may then be trapped within the opening formed
and secure the first support member to the center pod assembly SOO as described below with respect to FIG.10. When the
hoop member 121 and collar 13S are coupled to the center pod
assembly SOO, the first support member 106 may be secured
against disengagement of the first support member 106 from
the center pod assembly SOO, and may resist twisting of the
first support member 106.
When the first support member 106 is mated with the first
arm 102, the structure of the combination of first arm 102 and
first support member 106 is configured to substantially prevent flexing and twisting of the first arm 102 and displace-

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ment of the motor relative to the center pod assembly SOO.


Minimizing flexing and twisting of the first arm 102 promotes
stability of control over the rotorcraft 1000 during flight and
may prevent crashes.
Additionally, with the first support member 106 coupled to
the first arm 102 and the center pod assembly SOO using
fastening assemblies 108A-D, as described, the need for
external fasteners, such as screws, clips, inserts, and the like,
to couple the rotary assembly 100 components may be greatly
reduced, or eliminated. Coupling the rotary assembly 100
components as described above may provide the additional
advantages of ease of assembly and disassembly, while allowing for removable coupling of the rotary assembly 100 components, notably, the first support member 106.
In the embodiment shown and described above, the support
members 106, 206, 306, and 406 may be both removably
coupled to the rotorcraft 1000 and be configured to function
as a light pipe, capable of illuminating along the outer surfaces of the support members 106, 206, 306, and 406 when
receiving light from light source.
The rotorcraft 1000 may further be implemented with a
support member color arrangement configurable by the user
through removal and replacement of an undesired support
member with one having the desired color characteristics at
each rotor assembly. For example, a user may configure both
forward facing support members of rotorcraft 1000 to illuminate red by replacing the forward facing support members
with support members configured to illuminate red in
response the light received from the light source within the
center pod assembly. Users may configure the light arrangement in accordance with their color preference. The configurable light pipe feature may allow for the rotorcraft 1000 to
be easier to fly in low visibility settings, such as in the
evening, or in an indoor enviroument, and may also aid the
user by allowing the orientation of the rotorcraft to be easily
discerned, based on the support member color configuration,
during flight. The ability to determine orientation of the rotorcraft 1000 may be further enhanced by the cut through portion
114 of the first arm, through which the illuminated light from
the support member below may be seen.
With the color configuration viewable from both the top
and bottom of the rotorcraft 1000, the orientation may be
determined by the user while performing tricks during flight
that may cause the rotorcraft to be in an inverted position, as
well as in settings where the user may operate the rotorcraft
1000 from an elevated position.
The first support member 106 may further be configured to
provide aesthetically pleasing lines and features. For
example, when the first support member 106 is mated with the
first arm 102, the first support member 106 may be shaped to
have a curvature that follows or complements the curvature of
the first arm 102 and the curvature of the center pod assembly
SOO, as shown in FIGS. 1 and SA.
The first arm 102 and first support member 106, as coupled
may also form one or more housings for receiving and partially enclosing other rotary assembly 100 components.
Referring to FIGS. 3, 9, and 10, the first arm 102 and first
support member 106 may couple at the outboard ends 10S,
124 of each to form a housing that may be a first motor cradle
160 for receiving and at least partially enclosing a motor 101.
In the embodiment shown, the first motor cradle 160 may
comprise a motor channel162 extending through a portion of
the outboard end 10S of the first arm 102 and in a direction
that may be substantially perpendicular to the plane P1 in
which the first propeller 104 rotates. It will be understood by
those of ordinary skill in the art that alternative embodiments
may include a motor channel 162 oriented in a direction not

substantially perpendicular to the plane of rotation of the


propellers, with the motor provided with a torque transfer
assembly configured to accommodate the specific motor
channel162 orientation. When the first support member 106
is fully coupled to the first arm 102, the cup member 144 may
form a bottom portion of the motor cradle 160 and may
substantially close the motor channel 162 at a bottom end
161.
In the embodiment shown, the motor channel 162 may
partially form a substantially cylindrical housing with dimensions configured to fit a cylindrically shaped motor, e.g. the
first motor 101. In alternative embodiments, the motor channel162 may be configured to partially form a housing of a
different shape, configured to accommodate the particular
shape of the motor provided. A bottom portion of the first
motor 101 may be configured to rest in the cup member 144.
The diameter of the motor channel162 may be configured to
substantially prevent shifting of the first motor 101 within the
motor channel162.
In a particular embodiment, the first motor 101 may comprise a careless motor of about 8.5 mm by 20 mm (8.5x20) in
size and configured to provide about 3.5 to 6.0 watts (W). The
first motor 101 may have an operating voltage of about 2.04.0 volts (V), with a no-load speed between 40000 and 50000
revolutions per minute (rpm). The motor 101 may be configured to rotate the motor shaft 109 in either of two directions
about the lengthwise axis of the motor shaft 109, as desired. It
will be understood by persons of ordinary skill in the art that
other types and sizes of motor may be utilized to support
operation of the embodiments of the rotorcraft 1000.
Referring to FIG. 4, the motor channel 162 may further
comprise a cut -out 16S extending through a side portion of the
motor channel162. The cut-out 16S may conserve materials
and reduce weight of the outboard end 10S of the first arm
102. The cut-out 16S may comprise a size configured to
provide sufficient structure to block displacement of the first
motor 101 through the cut-out 16S.
Referring to FIGS. SA, 9, and 10, a motor channel rim
forming an opening for a motor shaft may extend around a top
end 163 of the motor channel 162 opposite from the cup
member 144. A top portion of the first motor 101 comprising
a motor shaft 109 and motor gear 11S, such as a pinion or
bevel gear, may extend through the motor shaft opening
above the motor channel rim 164. The motor channel rim 164
may comprise a diameter configured to constrain the first
motor 101 within the motor channel rim 164 and prevent the
motor 101 from shifting within the motor channel162.
Referring to FIG. 6B, the bottom surface 1SO of the first
support member 106, which may form the cup member 144,
may comprise a foot hole 141. The foot hole 141 may comprise a size and shape configured to snugly fit a foot 143. The
foot 143 may function as a landing support and as a shock
absorber protecting the first motor 101 from impact forces.
Referring to FIG. 8, in an embodiment, the foot 143 may
comprise a first flange 14S and a second flange 147 coupled
by a stem 149. The foot 143 may comprise an elastic and
resiliently deformable material, such as rubber, foam, and the
like.
The second flange 147 may comprise a shape such as a
substantially disk, conical or semi-conical shape. The shape
of the second flange 147 may be configured to be compressed,
twisted, or deformed to fit into the foot hole 141 (shown also
in FIG. 6B) for installation of the foot 143. Once fit and
pushed through the foot hole 141, the second flange 147 may
expand and return to its original shape. In a particular
embodiment, the second flange 147 may have a diameter of

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about 0.65 em. and configured to resist removal of the foot


from the foot hole 141, while the foot hole may have a diameter of about 0.42 em.
The first flange 14S may comprise a shape to support use of
the first flange 14S as a landing support and as a shock
absorber protecting the first motor 101. A foot having substantially the same construction may be positioned at a foot
hole of each other support member 206, 306, 406 to operate in
combination to cushion landings and crashes of the rotorcraft
1000.
The shape of the first flange may comprise a semi -spherical
shape having a height and base diameter. In some embodiments, the height may comprise about 0.3 em. and the base
diameter may comprise about 0.8 em. A central axis of the
foot 143 and central axis of the motor 101 may align along
lineC, showninFIG.10, toprovideprotectionfromshocksto
the motor 101 at the bottom end of the motor 101.
Referring to FIGS. 3, SA, and 9, in an embodiment, a
portion of the first arm 102 may extend in an outboard direction from the motor chamiel162 to form a housing that may
be a propeller shaft cradle 170. The propeller shaft cradle 170
may be configured to support rotation of a propeller shaft 107
coupled to the first propeller 104. The propeller shaft cradle
170 may comprise a propeller shaft channel 174 extending
through a portion of the outboard end 1 OS of the first arm 102
in a direction substantially perpendicular to the plane P1 in
which the first propeller 104 rotates. The propeller shaft channel 174 may be offset from the motor channel 162 in an
outboard direction relative to the inboard end 103 of the first
arm 102.
The propeller shaft channel17 4 may comprise a diameter
configured to receive a propeller shaft 107 and bearings
117A, B for supporting rotation of the shaft 107. The propeller shaft channel 174 may be open at a top end to allow the
propeller shaft 107 to extend above the top end of the propeller shaft channel174 and to couple to the first propeller 104.
The propeller shaft cradle 170 may further comprise
spokes 17SA-E extending from the outer surfaces of the propeller shaft chamiel174. The spokes 17SA-E may extend to a
gear rim 176. The gear rim 176 may comprise a substantially
circular shape centered about the propeller shaft channel174,
and the circular shape may extend in a plane substantially
parallel to the plane in which the first propeller 104 rotates.
The spokes 17SA-E may provide structural support and stability to the gear rim 176 and substantially prevent flexing of
the gear rim 17 6 relative to the propeller shaft channel 174.
The propeller shaft cradle 170 may further comprise cradle
brace members 173A and 173B. Each brace member 173A, B
may bridge the offset between motor cham1el 162 and the
propeller shaft chamiel17 4. Each cradle brace member 173A,
B may comprise a plate extending from edges of the cut-out
16S in the motor channel 162 to the side surfaces of the
propeller shaft chamiel174. Brace members 173A, B may
provide support and stability to the propeller shaft channel
174 to prevent relative displacement between the first motor
101 and first propeller 104, including the gearing that ties the
two components.
The first motor cradle 160 and the propeller shaft cradle
170 may be further supported from flexing, which may cause
instability in powered flight, by bracing members 167A and
167B supporting an inboard side of the first motor cradle 160.
The bracing members 167A, B may comprise a curved structure extending from a surface of the first arm 102 to a side
surface of the first motor cradle 160. The curved surface may
function substantially to prevent pitching during flight or in

response to a hard landing of the first motor cradle 160 and the
propeller shaft cradle 170 back towards the center pod assembly SOO.
Referring to FIGS. 2, 4, SA, 9, and 10, in an embodiment,
the rotor assemblies 100, 200, 300, and 400 may further
comprise a torque transfer assembly 180. In reference to the
first rotor assembly 100 components, the torque transfer
assembly 180 may operably couple the motor shaft 109 to the
first propeller 104. In some embodiments, the torque transfer
assembly 180 may comprise the motor gear 11S fixed to the
motor shaft 109.
In some embodiments, torque is transferred to the motor
gear 11S from the motor shaft 109 by a non-circular "D"
shaped portion of the motor shaft. A central aperture in the
motor gear 11S for receiving the motor shaft 109 may comprise a matching D-shape. The D-shape in the motor shaft
may be machined flat at an initially circular section in the
motor shaft 109. In other embodiments, the motor gear 11S
may be attached to the motor shaft 109 by chemical bonding
or by mechanical fasteners, such as a pin. In other embodiments, the motor gear 11S is formed integrally with the motor
shaft 109.
In an embodiment, the torque transfer assembly 180 may
further comprise a first gear 182 mounted co-axially with the
propeller shaft 107 in the propeller shaft cradle 170. The first
gear 182 may be configured to mechanically mesh with the
motor gear 11S to transfer torque from the motor shaft 109 to
the propeller shaft 107 and to support powered flight of the
rotorcraft 1000. In a particular embodiment, the gear reduction ratio between the motor gear 11S and first gear 182 may
be about 78/11 or 7.1: 1.
The propeller shaft 107 and first propeller 104 may be
mounted in the propeller shaft cradle and supported for rotation by a first bearing 117A and a second bearing 117B. The
first bearing 117A may be a ball bearing with a central aperture. The first bearing 117A may be positioned against a first
internal ridge 166A that extends along the internal walls of
propeller shaft channel174 proximal to the bottom end of the
propeller shaft chamiel17 4.
The propeller shaft 107 may comprise a shaft ridge 119 at
a base end of the propeller shaft 107. The propeller shaft 107
may be inserted axially into the bottom end of the propeller
shaft chamiel17 4 and through the central aperture of the first
bearing 117A to constrain the first bearing 117A between the
shaft ridge 119 and the first internal ridge 166A.
The second bearing 117B may comprise a ball bearing with
a central aperture and may be positioned against a second
internal ridge 166B that extends along internal walls of the
propeller shaft channel 174 proximal to the top end of the
propeller shaft cham1el 174. The propeller shaft 107 may
extend through the central aperture of the second bearing
117B and through the top end 163 of the propeller shaft
channel174.
A portion of the propeller shaft 107 may extend out of and
above propeller shaft channel174. The propeller shaft 107
may comprise a non-circular profile 169 extending along a
length of the propeller shaft 107. The non -circular profile 169
may be configured to extend through a central aperture in the
first gear 182 and mate with a non-circular profile of the
central aperture for the transfer of torque from the first gear
182 to the propeller shaft 107.
The first gear 182 may be mounted on the shaft 107
between the second bearing 117B and the first propeller 104.
The first gear 182 may be positioned substantially within the
perimeter of the gear rim 176. A portion of the gear rim 176
may extend above the plane in which the first gear 182 rotates,
providing protection to the first gear 182 from foreign objects

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impacting the first gear 182 from above. The spokes 175A-E,
inward from the lower edge of the side walls 508 along the
which may extend in a plane beneath the plane in which the
perimeter of the base 504 for receiving and coupling compofirst gear 182 rotates, providing protection to the first gear 182
nents to the base 504.
from impacts to the first gear 182 from foreign objects
As shown in the embodiment of FIG. llA, the light recepapproaching from beneath the first gear 182. The first propel- 5 tacles 510A-D may extend from the corners where the side
surfaces 508A-D meet. Each light receptacle 510A-D may
ler 104, which may also extend and rotate in a plane above the
plane in which the first gear 182 rotates, may also provide
comprise a generally trapezoidal shaped area that may parprotection to the first gear 182 from foreign objects approachtially enclose a light source SHA-D, respectively. In an
ing from above the first gear 182.
embodiment, the front walls 513A-D may form the outermost
The non -circular profile 169 of the propeller shaft 107 may 1o surface defining the trapezoidal shape, as best shown in FIG.
be further configured to extend through a central aperture a
llA. The front walls 513A-D may each be implemented with
hub channel133 of a hub 125 of the first propeller 104. The
a cutout portion, forming light openings 512A-E.
The light openings 512A-E may be configured to have
non-circular profile 169 may mate with a non-circular profile
boundary shape that is substantially coincident with the cross
of the hub channel133 to support the transfer of torque from
the propeller shaft 107 to the first propeller 104.
15 sectional shape of the collar 135 of the support members 106,
206, 306, and 406. As described above, the support members
In some embodiments, the propeller shaft 107 may be
coupled to the first propeller 104 by a fastener 123, which may
106, 206, 306, and 406 may couple to the base 504, with the
be a screw having a head portion. The fastener 123 may
collar 135 sliding into the light openings 512 A-D, trapping
extend through a hub aperture 131 in the hub 125 of the first
the hoop members 121 within the light receptacles 510 A-D
propeller 104 and threadably couple to a shaft aperture 168, 20 when the base 504 is coupled to the first cover 502.
which may extend axially through the portion of the propeller
The light openings 512 A-E may also provide a passage
shaft 107located within the hub channel133. The head porthrough which light emitted by the light sources 511 A-E may
reach the exterior of the coupled center pod assembly 500,
tion of the screw may be advanced until it sets against a hub
ridge within the hub 125 to secure the first propeller 104 to the
accessing the inboard ends of the support members 106, 206,
propeller shaft 107.
25 306, and 406.
Referring to FIG. 12, the light sources 511A-E may be
Referring to FIG. 4, the center pod assembly 500 may
comprise a first cover 502 and base 504 coupled to form a
disposed within the center pod assembly 500 and within the
housing for partially, or substantially, enclosing the control
substantially horizontal plane of the PCBA 506. The light
components of the rotorcraft 1000. The base 504 may be
sources 511A-E may be oriented to face away from PCBA
configured to be removable from the first cover 502. As shown 30 506 and toward light receptacles 510A-E, so the light sources
511A-E may emit light in a direction substantially towards
in FIGS. llB and 12, in an embodiment, the base 504 may be
secured with fasteners 530A-D, for example, screws, extendand through light openings 512A-E.
In an embodiment, the light sources 511A-E may be coning through base apertures 532A-D and threadably coupling
figured to emit light of any frequency within the visible specinto corresponding apertures (not shown) in the underside of
the first cover 502.
35 trum. Further, in an embodiment, each light source 511A-E
may be configured to emit light of the same color, for
In some embodiments, the first cover 502 and arms 102,
202, 302, and 402 may be integrally formed from a single
example, each light source may be configured to emit substantially 'white' light, or, alternatively some or all of light
piece of material. In such embodiments, the material forming
sources 511A-E may be configured to emit different 'colors'
the single piece comprising the first cover 502 and arms 102,
202, 302, 402 may be composed of a nylon, or similar, mate- 40 oflight.
In an embodiment, the light sources 511A-E may be light
rial. Alternatively, the first cover 502 and arms 102, 202, 302,
emitting diodes (LED). In alternative embodiments, the light
and 402 may, instead, be separate components and may be
source may be an incandescent lamp, electroluminescent
coupled to one another.
lamp, gas discharge lamp, laser, or the like.
In an embodiment, the base 504 may be composed of
In an embodiment, and as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13B, each
nylon, or similar, material. It will be understood by persons of 45
ordinary skill in the art that the components of the center pod
of the light sources 511A-E may be implemented with a
locator 519A-E. The locators 519A-E may be made from a
assembly 500 may be made from other suitable materials (e.g.
flexible or compliant material such as rubber, plastic, foam, or
plastics, metals, wood, and composites) based on the requirements for flight of the rotorcraft 1000 and other structural,
the like that may be resilient and capable of elastic deformaaesthetic, and cost factors.
50 tion. The locators 519A-E may be sized to stretch and fit
Referring to FIGS. 4 and llA-C, in an embodiment, the
around a light source 511A-E, coupling snugly to the light
base 504 may comprise a mounting surface 505, side walls
source 511 and maintaining frictional contact along substantially the entire portion of the light source 511 to which the
508A-D, a plurality of light receptacles 510, a plurality of
locator 519 is attached.
light openings 512, a plurality of front walls 513, and a
In a particular embodiment, for example, LEDs may be
plurality of locator recesses 518. In an alternative embodi- 55
provided as a light source and rubber, or plastic, 0-rings may
ment, the base 504 may comprise additional, fewer, or different components.
be provided as a locator. In such an embodiment, the 0-ring
The base 504 may be implemented with side walls 508A-D
may be configured to have an internal circumference length of
for at least partially enclosing the controls components,
slightly less than the perimeter length of the LED to which the
which, in an embodiment, may include a printed circuit board 60 0-ring is applied. The 0-ring may be stretched to fit over the
assembly (PCBA) 506, a battery (not shown), and a plurality
LED and grip the LED along the 0-ring inner surface, providing frictional resistance to removal of the placed 0-ring.
oflight sources 511A-E,
In an embodiment, the side walls 508A-D may each be
With the 0-ring in place, the LED may be positioned, orioriented to form a substantially vertical surface, as best shown
ented, and secured in place through fixing the location of the
in FIG. llA. The side walls 508A-D may extend upward from 65 affixed 0-ring.
a substantially horizontally oriented surface, a mounting surReferring to FIGS. 11, 12, and 13A-C, in an embodiment,
face 505. The mounting surface 505 may extend a distance
the base 504 may further comprise a plurality of locator

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recesses S18A-D for receiving, positioning, and securing


each respective locator cradle S20A-E so that each locator
locators S19A-D, thereby setting the location and orientation
S19A-E is snugly fit in an interference fit with each locator
of the light source SHA-D to which the locator S19A-D is
cradle S20A-E. In this configuration, the circuit board of the
affixed. The locator recesses S18A-D may each be a downPCBA S06 may be coupled to the first cover S02 without
wardly extending depression formed into the mounting sur- 5 making contact with any internal surfaces of the first cover
face SOS and disposed at the lower portion of each light
S02.
receptacle S10A-D. The locator recesses S18A-D may be
The base S04 may be coupled to the first cover S02 as
configured to direct the light emitted from the received light
described above, and locator recesses S18A-E may receive
source SHA-D in a desired direction, such as towards a light
the lower portion of the locators S19A-E and fix the location
opening S12A-D so that the light may access the inboard ends 1o of each light source SHA-E within the center pod assembly
of the support members 106, 206, 306, and 406.
SOO. The PCBA S06 may be operably coupled to both the first
In an embodiment, a fifth locator recess S18E may be
cover S02 and base S04 within the formed center pod assemprovided for setting the location and orientation of the tailbly SOO without the PCBA S06 contacting any portion of the
light, light source SHE. The locator recess S18E may be
interior surface of the center pod assembly SOO.
located adjacent to side surface S08A and may also be con- 15
In this arrangement, the PCBA S06 may also be vibrationally isolated from the center pod assembly SOO and rotor
figured to support, position, and secure a light source SHE, so
that the light source SHE may partially pass through the light
assembly 100, 200, 300, and 400 components. The resilient
opening S12E.
and elastically deformable material of the locators S19A-E
may provide vibration absorbing protection to the PCBA S06,
Referring to FIG. 12, the first cover S02 may comprise
locator cradles S20A-D extending from an undersurface of 20 insulating the PCBA S06 from impacts during rotorcraft 1000
the first cover S02 at the base of each arm 102, 202, 302, and
operation as well as from vibrations induced into the rotor402. Each locator cradle S20A-D may comprise a first colunm
craft 1000 through rotation of the propellers 104, 204, 304,
S22A-D spaced from a second colunm S23A-D. The width
and 404.
between the first colunm S22A and the second colunm S23A
Vibrationally isolating the controls components of the
may be configured to snugly fit each respective locator 25 rotorcraft 1000 may provide the advantages of prolonging the
S19A-D mounted around each respective light source
useful life of the rotorcraft 1000 through increased crash
SHA-D in an interference fit. A locator cradle S20E may be
damage resistance and may also improve rotorcraft control
configured in a similar manner to locator cradles S20A-D for
and stability during flight, with the controls components prosupporting the light source SHE. The locator cradle S20E
tected from vibrations that may affect data collected by conmay comprise a first colunm S22E and second column S23E 30 trois components for use in flight control.
spaced from each other for snugly fitting the light source
Referring to FIG. 2, the first cover S02 may further comSHE, having the locator S19E between the colunms S22E,
prise cover members S28A-D comprising bars crossing
S23E.
between opposing first and third arms 102, 302 and second
As shown in FIGS. HB, 12, 13B, and 13C, in an embodiand fourth arms 202, 402. The cover members S28A-D may
ment the locator cradles S20A-E may be disposed and ori- 35 be configured to crossover the PCBA S06 and provide proented within the first cover S02 at locations corresponding to,
tection to the PCBA S06 from impacts and foreign objects. It
will be understood by persons of ordinary skill in the art that
and aligning with the locations of the locator recesses S18A-E
of the base S04, so that the locator cradles S20A-E and the
the cover members S28A-D may form other patterns or form
locator recesses S18A-E may simultaneously receive the
a continuous surface according to design requirements for the
locators S19A-E when the base S04 and first cover S02 are 40 rotorcraft 1000.
coupled. In alternative embodiments, the locator recesses
Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the first cover S02 may further
S18, alone, or, alternatively, the locator cradles S20, alone,
comprise a connector clip S36 configured to hold a power
may be provided for receiving and setting the position of the
connector (not shown) extending from the circuit board of the
locators S19 and light sources SH provided.
PCBA S06. The connector clip S36 may comprise a shelf S38
Referring to FIG. 4, the PCBA S06 may comprise a main 45 extending generally perpendicular to the side surface S08C. A
circuit board including components S07 that would be known
rail S39 may extend from an end of the shelf S38 generally
to persons of ordinary skill in the art, including but not limited
parallel to the side surface S08C.
A tab S40 may extend from an end of the rail S39. The side
to a control processor, a transceiver, a radio-frequency
surface S08C, shelf S38, and rail S39 may form at least a
antenna, sensors (e.g. gyroscopic sensors and accelerometer
sensors) motor controllers, and a data interface. The PCBA 50 partially enclosed space for retaining a power connector conS06 may also comprise power connectors for each light
figured to plug into a connector from a battery (not shown).
source SHA-E.
The tab S40 may be configured to clip onto a side surface of
Referring to FIGS. 12 and 13C, the light sources SHA-E
a power connector to lock the power connector into place. The
shelf S38 and rail S39 may be bent away from the side surface
may couple to the PCBA S06 at locations along the perimeter
of the PCBA S06. Referring to FIGS. 4, 12, and 13A-C, in a 55 S08C to release the tab S40 from the power connector.
particular embodiment, the light sources SHA-E may be
Referring to FIG. H, the base S04 may further comprise a
implemented with locators S19A-E and sets ofleads S26A-E
battery receptacle S14 configured to hold a substantially prisfor electrically coupling the light sources SHA-E to the
matically-shaped battery (not shown) to support operation of
the rotorcraft 1000. The battery receptacle S14 may comprise
PCBA S06. Each set ofleads S26A-E may comprise substantially rigid metal conductors, and may be soldered to the 60 support plates S1SA, B extending within a first plane and
circuit board of the PCBA to create a substantially rigid
cross bars S16A, B extending within a second plane offset
connection between each light source SHA-E and the circuit
from the first plane.
board.
The cross bars S16A, B may be offset from each other by
According to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 12 and 13C,
distance configured to support a length of a battery. A support
the PCBA S06 may be coupled to the underside of the first 65 beam S17 may extend between the cross bars S16A, B to
cover S02 by setting each light source SHA-E having a locafurther support an underside of a battery. The cross bars
tor S19A-E mounted around each light source SHA-E into
S16A, B may further comprise an approximately ninety (90)

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-6 Filed 08/02/16 Page 26 of 27 PageID #: 500


US 9,221,539 B2
19
degree bend configured to accommodate a depth of a battery
and support sides of the battery.
The battery may be inserted in the battery receptacle 514
through a battery opening 521 in the base 504 and slid into the
space formed by and between the support plates 515A, B and
the cross bars 516A, B. The tabs 524A, B may extend in a
direction substantially perpendicular to the direction of insertion of the battery and may function as stops to prevent the
battery from falling out through an opening in the battery
receptacle 514 opposite from the battery opening 521. Additionally, the tabs 524A, B may allow the battery to be aligned
properly with the center of gravity C1.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, the center pod assembly 500
may further comprise a pod cover 542 configured to couple on
a top surface of the first cover 502. The pod cover 542 may
comprise aesthetically pleasing curvatures, designs, and
other features. In some embodiments, the pod cover 542 may
be made of a plastic, and may further comprise a two-tone
plastic, for example black and red.
Referring to FIGS. 2, 4, and 12, the pod cover 542 may
couple to the first cover 502 by fasteners 535A-C (e.g. screws)
extending through second cover apertures 534E-G in the pod
cover 542 and threadably coupling with corresponding apertures (not shown) in the underside of the pod cover 542.
Having thus described the present invention by reference to
certain of its exemplary embodiments, it is noted that the
embodiments disclosed are illustrative rather than limiting in
nature and that a wide range of variations, modifications,
changes, and substitutions are contemplated in the foregoing
disclosure and, in some instances, some features of the
present invention may be employed without a corresponding
use of the other features. Additional details are presented the
Appendix attached hereto and incorporated by reference for
all purposes. Many such variations and modifications may be
considered desirable by those skilled in the art based upon a
review of the foregoing description of exemplary embodiments. Accordingly, it is appropriate that any claims supported by this description be construed broadly and in a
manner consistent with the scope of the invention.

20
4. The model rotorcraft of claim 3, wherein the at least one

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

The invention claimed is:


1. A radio controlled model rotorcraft having an electronics
compartment, the model rotorcraft comprising:
a circuit board;
at least one light source electrically coupled to the circuit
board; and
a housing, the housing comprising:
a first frame;
a second frame removably coupled to the first frame; and
one or more housing inner surfaces;
wherein the circuit board is mounted to the first frame and
the second frame by the at least one light source;
wherein the circuit board is disposed within the housing
spaced apart from each housing inner surface; and
at least one rotor assembly, the at least one rotor assembly
comprising at least one arm extending from the housing
and at least one rotorcraft component.
2. The model rotorcraft of claim 1, further comprising:
the first frame comprising at least one first recess, the at
least one first recess receiving the at least one light
source; and
wherein the circuit board is mounted to the first frame and
the second frame by the at least one light source received
within the at least first recess.
3. The model rotorcraft of claim 2, further comprising at
least one locator member coupled to the at least one light
source.

45

50

55

60

65

locator member coupled to the at least one light source comprises an elastically deformable material.
5. The model rotorcraft of claim 4, wherein the at least one
locator member coupled to the at least one light source is
configured to at least partially absorb vibration caused by
operation of the at least one rotorcraft component of the at
least one rotor assembly.
6. The model rotorcraft of claim 4, wherein the at least one
locator member coupled to the at least one light source comprises a continuous loop of material.
7. The model rotorcraft of claim 2, the second frame further
comprising at least one second recess, the at least one second
recess cooperating with the at least one first recess to receive
and secure the at least one light source.
8. The model rotorcraft of claim 7, wherein the position of
the at least one light source received within the at least one
first recess and the at least one second recess is fixed by the
respective first and second recesses against movement in at
least three orthogonal directions.
9. The model rotorcraft of claim 2, wherein the at least one
light source received by the at least one first recess is secured
against movement in at least one direction.
10. The model rotorcraft of claim 1, the housing further
comprising at least one opening passing outwardly through at
least one of the one or more inner surfaces of the housing,
wherein the at least one opening is optically paired with, and
receives light most intensely from, the at least one light
source.
11. The model rotorcraft of claim 1, wherein the circuit
board is mounted within the housing solely by a plurality of
the light sources.
12. A radio controlled model rotorcraft, comprising:
a circuit board;
at least one first light source electrically coupled to the
circuit board; and
a housing, comprising:
a first frame, at least a portion of the first frame comprising at least one first light securing surface;
a second frame coupled to the first frame; and
wherein the at least one first light securing surface
secures at least a portion of the at least one first light
source between the coupled first and second frames;
wherein the circuit board is mounted to the first frame by
the at least one first light source secured by the at least
one first light securing surface; and
at least one rotor assembly comprising an arm, the arm
further comprising at least one light transmitting channel extending from the housing, the at least one light
transmitting charmel configured to allow light from the
at least one first light source to be emitted beyond the
housing and into the at least one light transmitting channel.
13. The model rotorcraft of claim 12, wherein at least a
portion of the at least one first light source is disposed within
at least a portion of the at least one light transmitting charmel.
14. The model rotorcraft of claim 12, wherein the light
transmitting charmel comprises light conducting material,
and wherein the light transmitting charmel forms at least a
portion of a socket, the socket receiving at least a portion of
the at least one first light source and transmitting at least a
portion oflight emitted from the at least one first light source
into the light transmitting channel.
15. The model rotorcraft of claim 12, wherein at least a
portion of the second frame comprises at least one second
light securing surface; and

Case 2:16-cv-00768-JRG-RSP Document 8-6 Filed 08/02/16 Page 27 of 27 PageID #: 501


US 9,221,539 B2

21

22

wherein the at least one second light securing surface


23. The compartment of claim 22, wherein the at least one
light source received by the first recess is secured against
secures at least a portion of the at least one first light
movement in at least one direction.
source between the coupled first and second frames.
24. The compartment of claim 23, further comprising at
16. The model rotorcraft of claim 15, wherein the position
least
one locator member coupled to the at least one light
of the first light source is fixed in at least three orthogonal
source received within the at least one first recess.
directions.
25. The compartment of claim 24, wherein the at least one
17. The model rotorcraft of claim 12, further comprising at
locator member comprises a loop of an elastically deformable
least one locator member coupled to the at least one first light
material, configured to snugly fit around the at least one light
source, the at least one first light source at least partially
source.
received by the first frame.
10
26. The compartment of claim 25, wherein the inner surface of the at least one locator member grips the at least one
18. The model rotorcraft of claim 17, wherein the at least
light source, providing frictional resistance to removal of the
one locator member comprises an elastically deformable
locator member from the light source.
material.
27. A compartment for receiving an electronic component
19. The model rotorcraft of claim 17, wherein the at least 15
of
a radio controlled model rotorcraft, comprising:
one locator member is configured to at least partially isolate
a housing at least partially forming an enclosure;
the circuit board from vibration caused by operation of rotora circuit board at least partially enclosed within the houscraft components spaced apart from the circuit board.
ing, the circuit board comprising a substrate portion
20. The model rotorcraft of claim 17, wherein the at least
disposed
substantially within a first plane; and
one locator member comprises a continuous loop of material 20
at least one light source secured to and electrically coupled
and is disposed around the at least one first light source.
to the circuit board;
21. A compartment for receiving an electronic component
wherein the at least one light source is oriented to extend
of a radio controlled model rotorcraft, comprising:
substantially away from the circuit board, along a direca first frame
tion substantially aligned with the first plane; and
a circuit board;
25
wherein the circuit board is disposed within the housing
at least one light source electrically coupled to the circuit
and spaced apart from each inner surface of the housing.
board;
28.
The compartment of claim 27, wherein the at least one
wherein the first frame receives and at least partially
light source comprises one or more leads, each lead soldered
encloses the at least one light source;
wherein the circuit board is mounted within the first frame 30 to the circuit board proximal to an outer edge of the substrate
portion.
by the at least one light source;
29. The compartment of claim 27, wherein the housing
wherein the circuit board is disposed within the first frame
comprises at least one opening passing through at least a
spaced apart from the inner surfaces of the first frame
portion of a surface of the housing, the at least one opening
and
'
wherein the first frame comprises at least one opening 35 disposed in a plane substantially orthogonal to the first plane.
30. The compartment of claim 27, wherein the housing
passing outwardly through a surface of the first frame,
comprises at least one opening passing through at least a
the at least one opening optically paired with, and
portion of a surface of the housing, wherein the at least one
receiving light from the at least one light source.
opening optically paired with, and receives light most
22. The compartment of claim 21, wherein the first frame
intensely from, the at least one light source.
comprises at least one first recess, the at least one first recess
receiving the at least one light source.
* * * * *