US 9,809,304 B1
Aerial vehicle propeller ducts with active airflow channels
Brian C. Beckman, Newcastle, WA (US); and Gur Kimchi, Bellevue, WA (US)
Assigned to Amazon Technologies, Inc., Seattle, WA (US)
Filed by Amazon Technologies, Inc., Seattle, WA (US)
Filed on Dec. 18, 2015, as Appl. No. 14/975,548.
Int. Cl. B64C 39/06 (2006.01); B64C 27/20 (2006.01); B64C 39/02 (2006.01)
CPC B64C 27/20 (2013.01) [B64C 39/024 (2013.01); B64C 39/064 (2013.01); B64C 2201/108 (2013.01); B64C 2201/162 (2013.01)] 20 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. An aerial vehicle, comprising:
a frame;
a lifting motor coupled to the frame;
a lifting propeller having a first diameter, the lifting propeller coupled to the lifting motor and rotatable at a first speed by the lifting motor;
a duct coupled to the frame and encompassing the lifting motor and the lifting propeller, the duct having an interior surface area of a substantially cylindrical shape, the substantially cylindrical shape of the interior surface area having a second diameter that is greater than the first diameter so that the lifting propeller can rotate within the duct without contacting the interior surface area of the duct, the duct further including:
a plurality of rotating members positioned adjacent the interior surface area of the duct and aligned along a length of the duct, each of the plurality of rotating members including:
a plurality of paddles affixed to the rotating member and configured to rotate with a rotation of the rotating member such that at least one of the plurality of paddles affixed to the rotating member is substantially aligned with the interior surface area of the duct and at least one of the plurality of paddles is not aligned with the interior surface area of the duct; and
wherein the plurality of rotating members are configured to rotate at a second speed that corresponds with the first speed such that an active airflow channel formed by at least some of the paddles of each of the plurality of rotating members follows a position of a blade of the propeller.