Textron has developed an active vibration control system for rotor hubs in aircraft, reducing rotor-induced vibrations. The system includes motors driving weights to generate shear forces, controlled by a controller based on sensor feedback. This innovation allows for vibration attenuation at multiple frequencies, enhancing aircraft performance. GlobalData’s report on Textron gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Textron, Regenerative braking was a key innovation area identified from patents. Textron's grant share as of January 2024 was 68%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Active vibration control system for rotor hub in aircraft

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Textron Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11884385B2) discloses an active vibration control system designed for a rotor hub of a tiltrotor aircraft. The system includes a standpipe with bearings allowing rotation of the mast relative to the standpipe, and a force generator with multiple weights independently driven by motors to generate oscillatory shear forces. A controller receives input signals and commands the motors to control the generated forces, while a sensor measures vibrations for feedback. The unique design of the system allows for attenuation of vibrations at multiple frequencies by rotating weight sets at different speeds and in opposite directions, with the axis of rotation offset from the mast axis.

Furthermore, the patent claims specify that the controller and force generator are mounted to the outer end of the narrowed portion of the standpipe, emphasizing the integration of these components into the system. The force generator's ability to produce oscillatory shear forces that are transferred into the mast through the bearings highlights the innovative approach to actively controlling vibrations in the rotor hub of a tiltrotor aircraft. This technology could potentially enhance the overall performance and stability of such aircraft by reducing the impact of vibrations during operation.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.