US 2153315 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 4, 19397 E. F. RICHTER v 2,153,315
CATAPULT Filed June 18, 1956 3 sheets-sheet 1 v @D O Q I 'u 5/ 6,5/ jij?. 5
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CATAPULT Filed June 18, 1936 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 I'wenor Emu.. F R|CHTER April 4, 1939. E. F. RICHTER 2,153,315
CATAPULT Filed June 1S, 193e 3 sheets-sheet s ILe/ZO?" EMM. F Riem-ER forney.
Patented Apr. 4, 1939 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 4 Claims.
This invention relates generally to catapults for use in hurling projectiles of various kinds and for different purposes, it being among the principal objects of the invention to provide a catapult for propelling a projectile through a considerable distance without any appreciable concussion or jar.
A further object is to provide a catapult of such design and capable of such operation that the projectile which is hurled into space may be directed along a predeterminedly fixed trajectory to thereby insure its delivery to the proximate point desired.
Still another object is to provide a catapult capable of throwing into space various types of projectiles without imparting to the projectile any such shock or jar as may affect the direction of its intended travel or the distance to which it is intended tov be thrown and which includes a runway angularly adjustable with respect to the horizontal and along which the p-rojectile is propelled during the interval in which propelling motion is initially 'imparted to the projectile.
Still other objects of the invention are to provide a catapult having great throwing power although of relatively light and compact construction, which is capable of operation without any attending danger to the operator, and which is adjustableto vary the trajectory and direction of travel of the projectile as well as the distance to which it is thrown within extremely wide limits.
Still other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more fully hereinafter.
The invention consists substantially in the combination, construction, location and relative arrangement of parts, all as will be described in detail hereinafter, as shown in the accompanying drawings, and as finally pointed out in the appended claims.
In the said accompanying drawings, the catapult of the present invention is shown adapted for use in casting a fishingline into the water, the projectile which is hurled from the catapult being in that case a weighted lure or the like secured to the end of the line. This adaptation of the catapult, it will be understood, is for the sole purpose of illustrating the operation of the catapult, it being further understood that the catapult as constructed in vaccordance with and embodying the present invention may be employed not only for throwing shing trawls, but also for projecting targets into the air, for throwing explosive projectiles, such as grenades and bombs, for casting life lines to a particular point, and for many other different uses.
In the said accompanying drawings:
Figure 1 is a perspective View showing the catapult constructed in accordance with and 5 embodying the principles of the .present invention;
Figure 2 is a side .elevational view thereof showing the catapult in inoperative condition;
Figure 3 is a vertical cross-sectional View of the catapult showing the parts thereof in position preliminarily to the discharge of the projectile;
Figures 4 and 5 are front and rear elevational views, respectively, of the catapult;
Figure 6 is a top plan view of the catapult as shown in Figure 2;
Figure 7 is a view thereof taken along the line 'I-l of Figure 2;
Figure 8 is an enlarged elevational View of theupright arms of the catapult between which the projectile-guiding member is adjustably mounted;
Figure l9 is a View taken along the line 9-9 of Figure 8;
Figure 10 is a top plan view of the projectileguiding member and certain parts immediately associated therewith;
Figure 11 is a view showing the detent-releasing wheel and parts immediately associated therewith;
Figure 12 is a detail view of the cam-actuated detent; and
Figure 13 is a View showing a form of bobbin for use in connection with the catapult when the projectile is equipped with a line which is adapted to be extended to a given point.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings. it will be observed that the catapult of the present invention, which is designated generally by the reference numeral I0, is mounted upon a foundation platform II. This foundation platform I I is preferably inclined somewhat with respect to the horizontal and is equipped adjacent the front and rear ends thereof with wheel 45 axles I2 and I3. Wheels I4 are journalled upon the extremities of these axles to thereby permit easy movement of the catapult from one place to another. Preferably, the front axle I2 of the catapult under structure is secured to the founda- 5o tion platform I I by a stirrup I5 rotatably secured tothe platform to provide for free turning of the front wheels about a vertical axis.
Disposed immediately above the foundation platform II is a base member I6 of rectangular 55 outline, this member I6 being pivotally secured to the foundation platform I I by a bolt I1 (see more particularly Figure 3). This pivot bolt I1 permits the member I6 to be rotated in the plane of said member and about the bolt I1 as an axis. Secured to the upper surface of the foundation platform II at the forward extremity thereof is a plate I8 extending laterally to either side of the foundation platform and provided in its upper surface with an arcuated grooved track I9. Secured to and extending forwardly of the base member I6 is an extension 28 which is adapted to rest upon the plate I8. This extension of the base member I6 serves as the front bearing for said base member and rides over the surface of the plate I8 in one direction or an-V other as the base member I6 is angularly adjusted about its pivot bolt I1. In order to reduce to a minimum the friction encountered as the extension 20 slides over the surface of the plate I8 a ball bearing 2I or other such antifriction means is interposed between the extension 20 and the plate I8. The arcuated grooved tracks I9 in the plate I8 serves as the lower raceway for the ball bearing 2I. Before proceeding further with the description of the catapult, it will be understood, of course, that the foundation platform II serves as a relatively fixed support for the catapult proper and that the base member I6, which constitutes a part of the catapult proper, is shiftable relatively to the fixed foundation platform about the pivot bolt I1 as an axis and within the limits defined by the arcuated track I9 to vary the direction in which the projectile is throw-n.
Fixedly secured to the base member I6 and projecting upwardly therefrom in laterally spaced parallel relation are a pair of arms 22-22. Journalled between these arms 22-22 is a transversely extending rod 23. Secured to each of the arms 22, as by bolts 24, is an extension arm 25, it being noted that by loosening the bolts 24 the extension arms 25 may be angularly adjusted with respect to the fixed supporting arms 22. Thus, in Figure 2, the extension arms 2,5 are shown practically in rectilinear alignment with their respective supporting arms 22, while in Figure 3 the arms 25 are shown in a dotted line position rearwardly inclined with respect to the supporting arms 22. The advantage of providing these articulated, joints between the lower arms 22 and their respective upper extensions 25 will more clearly appear hereinafter.
Also secured to the base member I6 of the catapult at the fore end thereof is an upstanding member 26 to the top of which are secured the fore ends of a pair of laterally spaced rearwardly extending rods 21--21. These rods are arranged in parallel relation with their rear extremities projecting through laterally spaced apertures 28-28 provided in a rear bracket 29 secured to the base member I6 adjacent the rear end thereof. These rods 21-.2'1 are, respectively, provided with enlarged collars 30--30 or the like adjacent their forward extremities and with similar collars 3I-3I immediately in advance of the rear bracket 29. Compression springs 32-32 respectively embrace the rods 21-21 in such manner that in their normally extended condition the opposite ends of these compression springs respectively abut against the collars 30 and 3|. Preferably, the springs 32-32 are, respectively, provided with followers 33 -33 secured to the rear extremities of the springs, these followers being interconnected by a cross bar 34'. It will thus be apparent that when a force is applied to the cross bar 34 to urge it in a forward direction, both of the compression springs 33-33 will be compressed to the same extent and degree. When the pressure so applied to the cross bar 34 is released, the compressed springs are operated immediately to force the followers 33-33 into abutting contact with the fixed abutments 3I-3I on the rods 21-21.
Fixedly secured to the rod 23 extending transversely and journalled between the laterally spaced upstanding arms 22--22 is a lever 35. If desired, the arm 35 may be formed integrally with the cross rod 23. This lever is disposed centrally between the vertical planes of the arms 22-22 and is of the character most clearly shown in Figures 1, 2 and 3. The lower extremity of this lever arm 35 is oppositely notched, as at 36, (see Figures 2 and 12) While the forward longitudinal edge thereof is preferably of arcuated shape in at least the upper portion thereof, as designated by the numeral 31 in Figure 10. The lever arm 35 is so proportioned that when it is drawn from the position shown in Figure 2 into that shown in Figure 3, the lower extremity thereof engages the interconnecting cross bar 34 between the compression spring followers and so causes the said followers to shift forwardly along the rods 21-21 to compress the coiled compression springs 32-32.
Carried upon the base plate I6 of the catapult is a detent mechanism 38 for retaining the lever arm 35 in the position shown in Figure 3 with the springs 33 in compressed condition. This `detent mechanism 38 generally comprises a fixed bracket member 39 having laterally spaced upstanding side members 40-48. These side members are respectively provided with elongated slots 4I through which is projected a detent bearing pin 42. Carried by this pin 42 centrally between the slotted side walls of the bracket 39 is a detent 43 the rear end of which is notched, as at 44', to receive the notched lower extremity of the lever arm 35. This detent 43 isv provided at its forward end with a lifting knob 45 and it will be observed that by lifting upwardly on the knob 45 of the detent the rear notched extremity thereof may be disengaged from the lever arm, thereby effecting the release of the latter and subjecting it to the influence of the coiled compression springs 32.-32. 'I'he elongated slots 4I in the side walls 4U of the bracket 39 provide the necessary looseness or play between the detent bearing pin 42 and the bracket in effecting the engagement or vdisengagement of the detent with the lever arm 35.
It is desirable, of course, to effect the release and engagement of the lever arm by the detent by means more convenient toV the operator than the knob 45 and to that end a second bracket 46 is secured4 to the base member I6 immediately in advance of the bracket 39, this. second bracket 46 having journalled between the side walls thereof a pin 4.1upon whichA is eccentrically fastened a cam disc 48. This cam disc is located immediately beneath the forward end of the detent 43 and is arranged for rotation in the vertical plane of the detent so that upon rotation thereof it will causef the detent to oscillate about its bearing 42 tov alternately release the lever arm 35 from the detent and effect its engagement therewith. Secured to one side extremity of the cam pin 4.1 isa handle type lever 49, this lever being connectedy by meansy of a link or rod to a hand wheel 5| journalled upon one of the side arms 22. This hand wheel 5I is provided with a laterally projecting handle 52 and it will be observed that when this handle is rotated in clockwise direction (see Figures 1 and 2) the rod 50 is drawn upwardly and rearwardly and so raise the handle lever 49 suiiiciently to cause the cam 48 to rotate into ldetent lifting position, as the result of which the detent is released from its engagement with the lever arm 35. Immediately that the detent is so actuated to release the lever arm, the latter, under the inuence of the coiled compression springs, is shifted with considerable force and momentum from the position shown in Figure 3 into that shown in Figure 2, the upper extremity of the lever arm passing through an arc described by the broken lines in Figures 2 and 3.
If desired, in order to increase the force and momentum with which the lever arm 35 is projected through the said arc, the axis of which latter is the cross rod 23 extending between the side arms 22-22,'a pair of tension springs 53-53 may be employed, these springs acting in conjunction with and being additive to the cornpression springs 32-32. The rear ends of these tension springs 53-53 are respectively connected to opposite sides of the lever arm 35 above the pivot 23 for the latter, while the forward extremities thereof are connected to a hook 54 or similar device xedly secured to the front mounting 26. It will be seen that as the lever arm 35 is rotated into its position shown in Figure 3, the compression springs 32--32 are compressed, while the tension springs are extended so that upon release of the detent 43, in the manner above described, the compression springs act against the lower extremity of the lever arm and the tension springs pull upon the upper part of that arm to throw it into a position shown in Figure 2.
Extending upwardly from the front end of the catapult, preferably from the forward extension 26 of the base member I8, are a pair of rods 55-55 which carry in fixed relation a plate 56 and a plurality of superposed shock absorbing elements 51. The rods 55-55 which support the shock absorber elements 51, which latter may be formed of rubber or other such suitable material, straddle the vertical plane of movement of the lever arm 33 so that the latter strikes the upper surface of the shock absorber substantially centrally between the rods 55.
So far, the mechanism for effecting the operation of the lever arm 35 has been described. This lever arm serves as the propelling member for hurling the projectile into space and the mechanism for effecting this result, without appreciably jarring or imparting any shock to the projectile, will now be described. Mention has already been made of the laterally spaced arms 25 which are secured to the arms 22 in extension of the latter and which may be adjusted angularly with respect thereto. Disposed between the upper extremities of these extension arms 25 is a guide mechanism, designated generally by the reference numeral 58, which operates in association with the projectile propelling arm 35 to insure accuracy of projection of the projectile. This guiding mechanism is shown most clearly in Figures 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 and comprises a pair of laterally spaced parallel bars 59-59 which are joined together at their front and rear ends by cross members 60 and 6|. The bars 59-59 are spaced apart a distance only slightly greater than the width or thickness of the propelling arm 35 and it will be understood that the longitudinal inner edges 62 of these bars serve as parallel tracks upon which the projectile 63 may be projected.
Secured to each of the parallel track bars 59-59 is a mounting hub 64 for maintaining the projectile guiding tracks in adjusted position between the extension arms 25--25 and with respect to the projectile throwing arm 36. These mounting hubs 64--64 are disposed in opposed relation and are fixed to the guide track bars at points located intermediate` the lengths thereof. As appears most clearly in Figures 1, 8 and 9, the mounting hub is in the form of a circular disc 65 adapted for disposition iiatwise against the inner face of an extension arm 25, this disc being provided with an integrally formed concentric hub 66 having in turn a projecting nub 61. The nubs 61--61 are each provided with attened surfaces 68 affording seats upon which the guide track bars 59-59 are respectively mounted and secured, as by welding or brazing. The disc 65, hub 66 and nub 61 are preferably formed of one piece of stock, all of these parts having a common central axis. Formed in each disc 65 are a pair of arcuated slots 69-69, the center of curvature of which is coincident with the said central axis of the hub mounting 64. The bolts 1U having wing nuts 1I are projected through the extension arms 25-25 and the arcuated slots 69-69 of each disc 65 to secure the opposed hub mountings 64-64 in position to support the guide track composed of the bars 59-59 between the said extension arms. By loosening the wing nuts 1|, the slotted discs 65-65 may be angularly adjusted with respect to the extension arms 25-25 to vary the inclination of the projectile track with respect to the horizontal by rotating the discs 65 within the limits defined by the arcuated slots 69, but such angular adjustment may also be effected by varying the angular relation between the extension arms 25-25 and their relatively lixed supporting arms 22--22. Or a combination of these two adjustments may be elfected to provide the desired inclination of the projectile track with respect to the horizontal, as shown by the dotted lines in Figure 3, in which the projectile track is shown rotated with respect to the extension arms 25-25 and the latter are shown inclined with respect to their respective supporting arms 22-22.
It will be understood, of course, that in any adjustment of the projectile track, the throwing arm 35 must necessarily project upwardly through the space between the bars 59--59 of the track. Moreover, it will be understood that in any such adjustment the arc described by the upper extremity of the throwing arm as it passes from the position shown in Figure 3 into that shown in Figure 2 must pass between the bars 59-59 of the track at a point rearwardly or inwardly of the forward cross member 60, because otherwise the latter would impede the free movement of the throwing arm.
The projectile 63 which is to be propelled into space by the catapult is initially positioned upon the projectile track in contact with the front edge of the propelling arm 35 when the latter is disposed in the position shown in Figure 3, it being understood from the foregoing description that in order to effect this latter position the arm 35 is drawn upwardly and rearwardly against the action of the compression springs 32-32 and the tension springs 53-53 to an extent sucient to cause the notched extremity 44 of the detent 43 to engage the correspondingly'notched lower extremity of the arm 35. In this position, which is the starting position for the catapult, thedetent positively retains the arm against movement, the forward extremity of the detent being then in engagement with the low point of the detent actuated cam 48. Upon lifting the. handle lever 49 or rotating the handle 5i, the detent is disengaged from the throwing arm and the latter, under the powerful influence of the compression springs 32-32 and the tension springs 53-53, is drawn forwardly and downwardly at very considerable velocity through the space defined by the bars 59-59 of the projectile track. In this movement of the arm 35, the forward grooved edge 31 thereof wipes against the projectile 63 and propels it with considerable velocity along the spaced rectilinearly extending edges 62 of the track bars. In connection with this action, it will be observed that the projectile continues into space after it leaves the track bars and it will also be observed that at no instant during this action is the projectile subjected to any appreciable shock or jar. Instead, the projectile is caused to traverse the guide track. and pass into space at a substantially uniform rate of speed, the upper extremity of the propelling arm 35 passing out of contact with the projectile prior to any interruption in the movement of the propelling arm. Thus, the shock of contact between the propelling arm and the shock absorber unit 51 occurs after the projectile has passed out of contact with the propelling arm and so does not affect in any manner whatsoever the throw of the projectile from the catapult. Also, the bars 59-59 of the projectile track serve to insure a true and accurate direction of travel of the projectile inasmuch as during the initial propulsion of the projectile and while it is being propelled with great force and velocity by the propelling arm 35, it is constrained to follow a fixed rectilinear path of movement. By varying the inclination of the projectile track with respect to the horizontal, the trajectory of the projectile may be varied within extremely wide limits. Thus, when the projectile track is in the adjusted position shown in Figure 2, only slightly inclined with respect to the horizontal, a substantially fiat trajectory is obtained and the projectile traverses a considerable distance. By adjusting the track into the inclined position shown by the dotted lines in Figure 3, a position almost normal to the horizontal, the projectile is hurled to a considerable height with a minimum of forward travel. Obviously, an experienced operator of the catapult of the present invention may, by suitably adjusting the projectile track to afford the proper inclination with respect to the horizontal, traject the projectile through a predetermined trajectory to reach a given point. If it is desired to change the direction of travel of the projectile, it will be understood that this may be accomplished by the simple expedient of positioning the catapult so that the projectile track points in the proper direction. This may be effected by shifting the position of the unit bodily or, in case the unit is not mounted on wheels, or, in case the wheels rest in checks to steady the wheel-equipped catapult and which make it inexpedient or difficult to bodily shift the latter into the desired position, the catapult mechanism proper may be angularly adjusted with respect to its supporting under structure by shifting the same about the pivot bolt I1.
The wide application of the catapult of the present invention has already been indicated. In those cases Where it is desired to employ the catapult to cast a fishing line or life line into space, it may be desirable to equip the catapult with a line reel or bobbin 12. Such a reel is shown more particularly in Figure 13 and may comprise a conically shaped bobbin 13 upon which the line is adapted to be wound and from which the line may be withdrawn without danger of entanglement as the weighted extremity thereof is propelled from the catapult. This reel mechanism is preferably provided with a handle 14 for winding the line on the bobbin during the operation of pulling in the line. Preferably, the line reel mechanism is mounted upon the upper extremity of one of the extension arms 25 through the intervention of a suitable universal joint, the constructional details of which may be varied as desired and are, therefore, not shown or described in detail herein, this universal joint permitting .i
the reel to be adjusted so that the axis of the bobbin may extend parallel or substantially parallel to the line of flight of the line-equipped projectile when the latter is propelled from the catapult, while at the same time permittingr the reel to be turned into a position at right angles to this line of flight in order to facilitate the rewinding of the line on the bobbin.
It will be understood, of course, that the invention is susceptible of various changes from time to time without departing from the real spirit or general principles thereof and it is accordingly intended to claim the same broadly, as well as specifically, as indicated by the appended claims.
What is claimed as new and useful is:-
l. A catapult comprising a longitudinally slotted member affording a guide track for a projectile, a relatively fixed support for said member, an arm pivoted upon said support and having a branch thereof projecting through said slot for rotation in the plane thereof to propel the projectile along the track and into space, and means for angularly adjusting said track support about a horizontally disposed axis as Well as for independent angular adjustment of said track with respect to its support.
2. A catapult comprising a longitudinally slotted member affording a guide track for a projectile, a relatively fixed support for said member, a spring-operated arm having a rectilinearly extending projectile-engaging edge pivoted upon said support and having a branch thereof projecting through said slot for rotation in the plane thereof to propel the projectile along the track and into space, and means for angularly adjusting said track support about a horizontally disposed axis as well as for independent angular adjustment of said track with respect to its support.
3. A catapult comprising a pair of parallel bars arranged in laterally spaced relation to afford a guide track for a projectile, means for supporting said bars in the relation aforesaid, an arm having a rectilinearly extending projectile-engaging.
the said arm until the free extremity of the latter passes out of contact with the projectile, and means for angularly adjusting said track support about a horizontally disposed axis as well as for independent angular adjustment of said track 5 with respect to its support.
EMIL F. RICHTER.