US 20070295861 A9
A carrier system for receiving a component comprises a bottom plate integrated in the design of a conventional ball mat in order to introduce forces, e.g., acting on the ball mat, into the structure, for example an aircraft structure.
1. Carrier system for receiving a component, the structure comprising
a bottom plate;
a member secured to the bottom plate for receiving the component; and
an attachment device rigidly connected with the bottom plate to secure the component in such a manner that forces acting on the component are guided into the structure.
2. Carrier system according to
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This application claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/609,999 filed Sep. 15, 2004, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.
The loading section of an airplane cargo space is a very sensitive area in light of its omni-directional function. Other than the fact that ULDs (unit load devices) are transported from a transverse direction in a longitudinal direction or vice versa, the stresses caused by a transfer from the loader into the cargo space must also be absorbed.
For this purpose, the prior art uses ball elements that are incorporated into so-called ball mats and intended to form as enclosed a surface as possible, which is only interrupted by necessary cargo components, such as locks or PDUs (power drive units).
The installation of additional ULD types requires the incorporation of other cargo components, making it necessary to cut the ball mats. Since this produces a significant change, additional cargo component options are very difficult to retrofit at the customer.
Further, exposing the structure to forces, e.g., from locking components, involves a considerable structural outlay.
The invention relates to a carrier system for receiving components, in particular a combined carrier system for receiving locking components, guiding elements and transport elements for a cargo loading system in an airplane cargo space.
In order to accommodate a component, e.g., a locking component, guiding component or transport component, the structure according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention comprises a bottom plate, to which a member for receiving the component is secured. An attachment device may be fixedly connected to the bottom plate (mill frame bottom plate), so that forces acting on the component are guided into the structure.
According to an exemplary embodiment of the invention, a carrier system is created that makes it possible to easily incorporate additional cargo components, e.g., locking components, into a cargo loading system after the fact, wherein high forces acting on the locking components can be introduced into the structure.
According to an exemplary embodiment of the invention, a structure for receiving a component may be provided which comprises a bottom plate integrated in the design of a conventional ball mat in order to introduce forces, e.g., acting on the ball mat, into the structure.
In a further exemplary embodiment of the invention, the attachment device has a base (for instance a housing or a reception) rigidly connected with the bottom plate. The base may comprise an inner thread that can accommodate a screw to secure the component or the carrier system to the structure.
The attachment device may contain a spring, which exerts a force on the screw as the screw is screwed into the base or into the housing.
In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the base of the attachment device is riveted to the bottom plate. The base or the housing can also be welded to the bottom plate. The member that accommodates a component may be a milled part according to a further exemplary embodiment of the invention.
The design of the structure according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention is based on an existing BM (ball mat) technology, and is adapted for absorbing Y forces. According to an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the conventional BM technology or design is modified in such a way as to replace the bottom sheet including supporting strip with a milling frame with reinforced ribs. A C profile and a BM profile are riveted to this bottom group, for example, and an enclosed surface is generated with cover sheets.
According to an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the known BM technology does not require a structural change. Also achieved are a smaller number of parts, and hence lower storage costs at the customer.
An exemplary embodiment of the invention will be described below with reference to the attached drawings. Shown on:
Identical parts are denoted with the same reference numbers in the figures.
The carrier system 1 according to the invention comprises a bottom plate 2. C-profiles 3 are secured on this bottom plate 2 by means of rivets (not shown) according to the preferred exemplary embodiment. The C-profile 3 is a milled part and serves to receive locking/guiding components (not shown on
Turning the screw 6 into the base 5 screws a BM (ball mat, not shown on
A BM is screwed (attached) to the structure 1 or to an aircraft structure by means of the screw 6 of the attachment device 4 by turning it into the base 5 of the attachment device 4.
The carrier system 1 comprises a plurality of transport elements (e.g., ball elements, so-called BTUs (ball transfer units)) 9. Two locking components 11 are shown in an area 10 of the carrier system 1.
As illustrated in
Although the invention was described above with reference to a preferred exemplary embodiment, it goes without saying that modifications can be introduced without departing from the scope of protection of the invention, as long as a conventional BM design is adapted to integrate a milled carrier frame (bottom plate) in order to introduce high forces, e.g., that act on the locking components, into the structure.
It should be noted that the term “comprising” does not exclude other elements or steps and the “a” or “an” does not exclude a plurality. Also elements described in association with different embodiments may be combined.
It should also be noted that reference signs in the claims shall not be construed as limiting the scope of the claims.
Although the invention herein has been described with reference to particular embodiments, it is to be understood that these embodiments are merely illustrative of the principles and applications of the present invention. It is therefore to be understood that numerous modifications may be made to the illustrative embodiments and that other arrangements may be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims