US 1873917 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 23, 1932. c. ASHLEY AERIALy MAIL EXCHANGE Filed Aug. 12, 1930 gnocnfof SUO un* Patented Ang. 23, 1932" voor cnrcnnsm ASHLEY. or oxLAnom om, OKLAHOMA um nxcmon Application alert august 1S, 1980. Serial No. 474,833.
This invention relates to 'aerial mail eX- changes, and has particular reference to the prov' ion of means whereb an aeroplane or other aircraft will beenab ed to receive and deliver mail in pouches While in flight, thereby doing away .with the necessity of making a landing for that purpose. The present application is particularl directed to an improved mail pouch cato ing y il@ and delivering meanscarried by the aeroview of the upper lend of one of the masts 25 and` 2 v Figure 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of the hook adapted to be suspended from the aeroplane/ for releasing and catching mail pouches. s
Referring more in detail to the drawing, 5 indicates a circular supporting base upon which is mounted a circular turntable 6, r1 'd with and rising from opposite sides of which',
are a pair of hollow upri ht masts 7 having signalling and illuminating lamps 8 upon their upper ends. v
Slidably retained'in undercut grooves 9 provideddn the inner sides of the masts 7 and extending substantially from top to bottom of the latter, are plates 10 having wedge slots 1l therein which taper smaller in a downward direction, and attached to the upper ends of the slide plates 10 areycables 12 which pass upwardly over guide pulleys 1 13, journaled in the upper ends of the masts,n and then pass downwardly through'the lat' ter and to a winding drum mounted as at llfupon the turntable 6 adjacent one of the masts 7 The turntable 6 hasy crossed bars 5@ 1'5 fastened thereon for reinforcing purposes,
.and the masts 7 are mounted upon the ends of one of these bars, which may be hollow as shown in Figure 3 of the aforesaid patent to permit the cable 12 to pass thereunder from` one of the masts to Ithe winding drum mounted adjacent the other' mast. l
Mounted upon the ends of the other bar 15 at the edge of the turntable and intermediate the masts 7 are relatively short posts 16, and supported at its corners by the masts 7 and posts 16 at a suitable elevation above the turntable 6 is a net 17 for receiving pouches of mail, at at 1.8, released from the aeroplane 19, `while in Hight.
The mail pouch shown at 20 is suitably attachedto a flexible rope sling or 10013621,` opposite portions of whiclare folded and wedged downwardly in the slots 11 of plates 10, whereby the mail pouch is suspended from the masts with the loop spread to present a horizontal upper strand that may be readily engaged by the catching hook suspended from the aeroplane aswill later become apparent. I l
suitably suspended fromthe aeroplane 19 by means of a cable 23 is a multiple-bill mail pouchV releasing and catching hook preferably embodying a hollow shank 24 having a plurality of uniformly-spaced bills 25 upon its lower end, with each of which is associated a spring-pressed normally operative pivoted keeper arm 26. The lower end portion of cable 23 enters the hollow shank 24 and encircling this end portion ofthe cable within f shank 24 and between the upper ends` of the shank and an abutmentk 27 provided on the lower end of cable 23, is a compression spring 28. It will thus be seen that,'regardless of the position of the hook, a bill thereof will be l properly presented to engage the loop 21, and due to the elastic connection between the hook and the cable, the shock of suddenly taking on the load will be efectively'cushioned. Any suitable means may be provided on'the aeroplane to facilitate'hoisting of the caught mail pouch into the same. y
Y In use, the-cables 12 are unwound from the drum at 14 so as to lower the slide plates 10 to apoint lwhere an attendant may engage the' folded portions of the loop 21 in 190 the Wedge slotsll, whereupon, the cables are wound upon the drum to raise the slide plates and position the suspended mail pouch 20 at -\the required elevation. The turntable-is then rturned accing tothe direction of flight as governed wind and other conditions so .-that the upper strand of loop 21 will be dis'- posed in the path' of the hookdropped from the aeroplane. Upon continued travel of the aeroplane after engagement of the hook with thc loop, the folded portions of the later will i be slightly lifted for complete release from the wedge slots 11 of plates 10, thereby insuring ready release of the load from the masts with little or no shock'. The masts will aid the pilot in selecting the proper path of travel to insure engagement of the hook with the loop, and by using the lamps 8, the pilot extension 34 on. its lower end through which the plunger 32 slidably projects, and provided in one side of fthe"'eXtension 34.is a notch 35 having a depending re-entrant portion 3,6. The plunger .32 is urged downwardly by a spring 37 to normally position the notch l33 below the entrance ofi notch 35 as shown in 'Figure 3. A spring 37 is mounted in shank .QAfbetWeen the head 31 and a plug 38 secured in shank 24 below abutment 27 and above the'plunger head 31. It vwill'thus be seen that when' a keeper arm 26 strikes the rope 21 to take on theA pouch 20,#,said arm will be swung to -raise plunger 322until the notch' 33 registers with the entra'rIeYev of notch 35, thereby allowing the suspension ring 39 of pouch 18 to pass out of said notches and consequently release pouch 1,8 at a time when it will be directly aboi'e net 17 and not such a great distance therefrom as to permit of the' pouch falling clear of the net or falling with destructive force. Obviously, the ring 33 is suitably attached to the pouch 18'and initially engaged in the notches 33 and 35 while the latter are manually registered by ymoving the plunger 32 upwardly. Further, when the plunger 32 is allowed to lower, the ring 36 will be posi-v tively held in the notch 33 until a keeper arm 26 is depressed to raise the plunger 32 and again bring the notch 33 into registry with thev entrance of notch 35. The re-entrant portion 3,6 of notch 35 permits the ring '39 and plunger 32 to lower-when the ring 39 is engaged in the notches, and ghe extension 34 with the notch 35 forms what may be termed a pouch-suspendin g hook. Likewise, the par@ 32 may be termed a pouch-releasing plunger v in that it acts to substantially disengago the ring 39 from the element or hook 34.
What I claim as new is: l
1. The combination with an aircraft, of a cable adapted to be lowered therefrom, and a catching hook having a shank attached to the lower end of the cable and provided with a plurality of equally spaced bills, each provided with a spring-pressed normally operative keeper element.
2. The combination with an aircraft, of a cable adapted to be lowered therefrom, and a catching hook having a shank attached to the lower end of the cable and provided with a plurality of equally spaced bills, each provided with a spring-pressed normally operative keeper element and an elastic connection between the cable and the shank of said hook.
3. The combination with an aircraft, of a cable adapted to be lowered therefrom, and a catchinghook having a shank attached to the lower end of the cable and provided with an upper end member and a plurality of equally spaced bills, each provided with a spring-pressed normally operative keeper element and an elastic connection betweenthe 'thin said cable and the shank of said hookmbodying'A a spring encircling'the cable shank, and an abutment on the lo er end of the cable, said spring engaging an upper end member of the shank and said abutment.
4. The combination with an aircraft, ofy a cable adapted to be lowered therefrom, anda catching hook having a shank attached to the lower end of the cable and provided with a pluralitypfequally spaced bills, each provided with a spring-pressed normally operative keeper'element, a pouch suspending and re- 1loeasing means including a plunger ncarried y hold said plunger inoperative, and an operative connection between the keeper elements and said plunger for releasing the pouch when a keeper 1s swung to inoperative posi-` tion.
5. A mail pouch delivering and catching device embodying a catching hook having a yieldable normally operative keeper element, al pouch-suspending hook carriedA by sai catching hook, and means to automatically release a pouch froml said pouch-'suspending hook upon movement of the keeper element toinoperative position.
6. A mail pouchdelivering and catching device embodying a catching hook having a yieldable normally operative keeper element, a pouch-suspending hook carried by said catching hook, and means to automatically release Aa pouch from said pouch-suspending hbok up on movement of the keeper element to inoperative position, said last-named means embodying a plunger operatively connected to the keeper element and having a side notch,
said catching hook, means to normally I said pouch-suspending hook embodying a tubular member having a side notch provided with a depending re-entrant portion, said unger being slidable in said tubular mem- In testimony whereof I aiX my signature.
LUCY CHICHESTER ASHLEY.A