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Publication numberUS2304781 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 15, 1942
Filing dateApr 11, 1941
Priority dateApr 11, 1941
Publication numberUS 2304781 A, US 2304781A, US-A-2304781, US2304781 A, US2304781A
InventorsDillon Frederick P
Original AssigneeDillon Frederick P
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic dive bomber pilot's seat
US 2304781 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

. 1942- F-. P. DILLON 2,304,781

AUTOMATIC DIVE BOMBER PILOTYS SEAT Filed April 11, 1941 s Sheets-Sheet 1 I INVENTOR; ikiaew/cxfl 0/4404,


- still further.

Patented Dec. 15, 1942 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE I 2,304,781 AUTOMATIC DIVE BOMBER PILOTS SEAT Frederick P. Dillon, Los Angeles, Calif. Application April 11, 1941, Serial No. 388,091

6 Claims.

This invention relates to aircraft and has particular utility in connection with dive bombers. 'It comprises primarily an automaticdive bomber pilot's seat; and secondarily, a coupling to automatically cut in the gyro (automatic pilot) in connection with the bomb release and operation of the pilot's seat. 1

In dive bombing tactics the airplane is put into an almost vertical dive which involves speeds of several hundred miles an hour, the bomb is released while in the vertical dive, and the ship is pulled out of the dive in a pullout which normally describes a compound curve at the end of which some of the altitude lost has been regained and the ship leveled off.

A condition known as black out, in which the pilot frequently loses consciousness, is one of the chief problems encountered in this maneuver. The black out is known to be caused by the effect of centrifugal force on the blood stream during the pullout from the dive. In the pullout from the high dive it is known that the centrifugal force often reaches thirteen times gravity (usually expressed as 13G). With possible higher diving speeds this force may be increased The present airplane structures will stand up under forces as high as 15G, but the pilots can endure only about 6G to 8G when in upright position relative to the plane of the earths surface.

The explanation for the black out is that in the present upright position of the pilot the centrifugal force acts substantially parallel to the principal blood vessels, and retards the movement of blood from the heart to the brain. If

the pilot is in either a prone or supine position the heart and brain are approximately on the same horizontal plane, and the blood stream continues to flow without material impairment.

Thus, with the pilot sitting in what is normally an upright position with respect to the axis of the airplane he attains a crouching or what.

amounts to a prone position with his face down during the dive because of the almost vertical direction taken by the airplane In the pullout from the dive, however, the pilot suddenly assumes an upright position with respect to gravity, and although it is sometimes customary for him to turn the control over to a gyro (automatic pilot) after he has released the bomb, the frequently resulting black out wherein'he becomes dizzy and often completely loses consciousness, is a severe strain on the pilot as well as resulting in subsequent hazards in flight due to the loss of his faculties.

, My invention has two principal objects: First, to provide a reclining chair or pilot's seat which is automatically" actuated in synchronism, with the bomb release mechanism to lower the pilot into a supine position through the pullout from the dive and during the period of greatest centrifugal force, and automatically raise the chair and restore the pilot to his normal upright flying position as the airplane substantially levels off after the pullout, and second, to couple the bomb release mechanism with' the automatic pilot control so that synchronously withthe release of the bomb or in a properly timed interval thereafter the automatic pilot is brought into use without additional manual efiort on the part of the human pilot.

These and other objects of my invention will be made more apparent from a consideration of the entire specification and drawings.

The use of my invention not only spares the pilot from the physical impairment resulting from the effect of a black out, but removes a psychological hazard in dive bombing by eliminating the mental strain of an anticipated black out, and consequently improves concentration on the objective.

In the drawings:

Figure 1 is a diagrammatic view illustrating an airplane in flight and the respective positions of the pilot when employing my invention during a dive, the pullout, and the leveling off.

Figure 2 is a vertical elevation partly in section of my invention, illustrating certain conventional elements diagrammatically.

Figure 3 is an elevation showing the pilots seat with the back dropped.

Figure 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of a seat lock and release mechanism comprising part ofmy invention.

. Figure 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 55 of Figure 4.

Figure 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 6-6 of Figure 2 illustrating the mounting of the pilots seat frame.

Referring to Figure 1, an airplane I0 is shown in its various positions relative to the horizon during a-dive illustrated by the dotted line H,

the pullout l2, and the leveling off l3. The dotted line Ha represents the path. of a bomb M which was released at a point designated l 5.

The pilots seat of my invention is illustrated at IS, the human pilot is IT. The relative positions of the heart and brain of the pilot are in dicated at l8 and I9 respectively.

7 With the plane in the position shown for div tion lllc the airplane is climbing, and approach-' ing the leveling ofl position, and with the resulting decrease in centrifugal forceexerted on the pilot the pilots seat has begun to be elevated. In position d the plane is leveling off and the pilots seat has been returned to normal upright position.

The lowering of the backof the pilot's seat which is shown in progress in position to rotate the pilot himself. around an axis approximately representedby his pelvis, and in that a manner to exert a counter centrifugal force at the beginning of the pullout which to some extent aids the natural pumping action of the heart to send blood into the brain. The elevation of the back of the pilots seat which is shown in progress at position I00 is preferably so controlled with relation to the flight of the airplane as directed by the automatic pilot that the human pilot in effect remains in a a substantial part of the climb, giving him ample opportunity to pass through, the curve of injurious centrifugal force before being restored to his full upright position which is accomplished substantially, simultaneously with the leveling off of the airplane.

Referring to Figure 2 and subsequent figures, the outline of the upper part of the fuselage of the plane III is indicated by the broken lines 20. The floor of the pilots compartment is shown at 21, and the panel or bulk head at the forward end of the compartment is indicated by the broken lines 22. I show a pilots wheel 23 on a control stick 24, and a bomb release mechanism 25 including a pivoted lever 26, to the lower end of which are connected cables 21 and 28.

The pilots chair and a back 3| which ,are hinged together at32. The back 3| may be upholstered in the conventional manner as illustrated. The seat cushion 33 may be an upholstered cushion but is usually a parachute pack, and is designed to restin the frame 30. The frame is mounted upon a base 34, the latter being secured to the floor 21. The manner of mounting is as follows: On the base 34 is attached a track 35, this track being in duplicate at opposite sides of the base 34. The frame 30 has attached to its plates 36 upon which are mounted rollers 31 whereby the fore and aft position of the seat frame 30 is made adjustable, the rollers 31 resting upon the tracks 35. Each upper flange a of the track 35 is formed with notches 31 and 38, the rear notch 31 preferably having an abrupt drop rearwardly and a more gradual incline forwardly, and the notch 38 having an abrupt drop forwardly and a more inclined wall rearwardly. These notches 31 and 38 are adapted to .receive rollers 39 which are mounted on the seat frame 30 whereby the fore or aft position of the seat is yieldably maintained. When the seat slides forwardlyfrom the position shown in Figure 2, the rollers 35 ride up and out of the notches 31, and if the seat is pushed forward far enough the rollers will supine position for is at the bottom of the curve 15 comprises a seat frame 30 drop into the notches 33. I may provide an in turned flange 40 along the lower edge of each 'plate 33, the flange tending to engage with the under side of track 35 and prevent the seat frame from jumping off the track. Any other suitable form of temporary latching arrangement for the fore and aft position of the seat frame may be utilized.

The back 3| of the seat is retained in normal upright position by duplicate latching devices 50 coacting with arcuate tracks 5|.

The form of latching device chosen for illustration comprises a housing 52 (see'Figures 4 and 5) bolted to any stationary panel or framework 52a mounted within or forming a part of the fuselage of the airplane, Slidably mounted within the housing 52 is a plunger 53 formed with an annular flange 54, and an upwardly projecting latch member 55. A compression spring 55a is disposed in'the housing and abuts at one end against the lower end thereof and at its upper end against the flange 54. The latch member 55 is thus normally and yieldably maintained in its upwardly extended position as shown in Fig ure 4 wherein it engages on its vertical face with a roller or pin 55 secured by means of a bracket 51 to the seat back 3|. This roller 56 extends through an opening, as illustrated, into the arcuate track 5|, which is preferably U shaped in cross section as shown in Figure 5. It is made in duplicate, each track being mounted on opposite sides of the seat It, upon the panel or frame 52;: by means of screws of bolts 58, and is anchored at its lower end on a cross piece 59 permanently secured in or as a part of the panel or frame 52a. The arcuate tracks 5| act as a support and guide for the seat back 3| when it is raised and lowered.

Assuming the seat back 3| to be in the upright position shown in Figure 2, being retained in that position by the latching devices 50, the seat back may be released for lowering by the bomb release lever 26, which pulls cables 21 forwardly, these cables being carried over an idler pulley 21a, and the cables in turn being connected to the plungers 53. Movement of the cables 21 withdraws the latch members 55 against the action of the springs-55a whereby the rollers are freed to roll downwardly in the tracks 5|.

The preferred device for lowering and raising the seat back 3! is a hydraulic jack 10, comprising a cylinder 1i swivelly mounted at 12 on the floor 2i and incorporating a piston 13 acting through a connecting rod 14 which is pivotally attached to the seat back 3! to support the seat back in its upright, lower, and intermediate positions. When the seat back is fully lowered as illustrated in Figure 3, it may properly rest upon the cross piece 59.

Flexible hydraulic hose 15 and 15 connect the hydraulic cylinder 11 with the necessary hy draulic lines hereinafter described.

The-hydraulic system used for operating the hydraulic jack 10 is illustrated diagrammatically, inasmuch as the conduits, valves, and other parts thereof are of conventional design. The specific details thereof need not be described because modern dive bombers and many other types of airplane utilize various hydraulic controls as standard equipment, and it is only the modifications thereof and the novel combination of certain of the elements which need be described in their relation to the objects to be accomplished by my invention.

pulling back on A line 80 coupled with the hose 15 supplies pressure for lowering the seat back 3I, and a, line 8I coupled with the conduit I6 affords pressure for elevating the seat back 3|. These two lines are shunted by a line 82 incorporating an emergency valve 83 which should be located within reach of the pilot and is manually operatable to be opened so that the seat back 3| may be raised manually if anything goes wrong with the automatic hydraulic control. In the line 8| I also provide a restrictor valve 84 which is adjustable to control th flow of hydraulic fluid to and from the jack and thus to regulate the speed at which the seat back is raised and lowered.

The primary line from the hydraulic pump (not shown) is designated 90, and the return line 9|. These lines connect with a double unit valve 92, one unit 93 of which is the pilots seat and automatic pilot master valve, and the other of which is the bomb release valve. These valves are simultaneously actuated by a yoke 95 which is shifted by a pull on the cable 28, the latter being attached to the lower end of the bomb release lever 26. The cable 28 is trainedover idler pulleys 28a and 28b. The effect of opening the valve unit 93 is to introduce pressure through lines I and IM to the automatic pilot I02 conventionally referred to as a gyro. At the. same instant the valve unit 94 is opened to send pressure through the line I03 to the bomb release mechamsm.

The gyro I02 through a conventional elevator servo cylinder I04 actuates'a bell crank I05, to arms I06 of which elevator cables III! are attached. The same bell crankthrough an arm I08 actuates a secondary two-way seat-valve I09 to send pressure through the line 80 returning through the line 8| whereby the hydraulic jack 10 operates to lower the teat back 3I into the position shown in Figure 3. The human pilot is thus lowered into supine position where he remains as previously described through the pullout illustrated in Figure 1, until the airplane has passed the lowermost part of the pullout and the force of gravity has begun to lessen on the ascent. As the gyro operates to level off the airplane after the pullout, the secondary seat valve I09 is actuated by the arm I08 of the bell crank I05 to reverse the direction of pressure through the lines 80 and BI which results in the seat back 3| being elevated into the upright position, at the end of which movement the latch mechanism 50 automatically engages and retains the seat back in its upright position. There is a time lag between the operation of the gyro to lower the elevator for leveling off and the response of the airplane, which results in the back of the pilots seat beginning to be elevated while the airplane is yet climbing.

It is not necessary that the position of the bomb release lever 26 exert any control over the automatic pilot seat position mechanism after the initial pull-back which throws the yoke 95 of the valve 92. The subsequent control may be entirely automatic, the elevator servo cylinder actuating the secondary seat valve I09 to elevate the seat back in response to theaction of the gyro in leveling off after the turnout. Or, if desirable, a type of valve may be employed whereby after a time interval allowing for the airplane to pass the point of highest gravity the seat back will begradually elevated under control of the valve itself until the back has reached its full upright position as the plane levels "oil? into position I 0b.

Although I have herein shown and described my invention in what I have conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of my invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent structures.

While I prefer to mount the bottom frame of the pilots seat in the manner described, or by equivalent means so that the seatbottom will remain in horizontal position relative to the axis of the fuselage, and I also prefer to provide longitudinal movement of it, this invention is not limited to this detail, nor'to any of the other details shown. So far as I am aware, I am the first to conceive and disclose a pilots seat the back of which can be lowered 'to place the pilot in a supine position, and means automatically controlling the position of the seat back. This automatic control is not necessarily actuated by the bomb release lever, although in a dive bomber that type of coupling is indicated as preferred. Substantially the same result may be achieved by associating the seat and gyro master valve with any automatic or manual control by which the flight direction is surrendered to the gyro. Moreover, while the hydraulic jack for raising and lowering the seat is the most satisfactory, in my opinion, this function may, within the scope of my invention, be performed by other means, suchfor example, as an electric motor. Or it may be accomplished by centrifugal force, employing a seat frame.

damping device to prevent the seat from dropping back to quickly. Thus, the seat may be mounted so that upon the latches being released, the thrust of the airplane as its course changes from the dive to the pullout will cause the seat to fall back. I may elevate the, seat by a counterbalance on the forward part, or simply by manual means. It may prove feasible to allow the seat to tilt back as a whole, instead of hinging the back and the While recognizing these and other possible adaptations of the invention, I have shown, and described it in the form I conceive to be most effective, at least in the environment of a dive bomber.

Another important phase of my invention, al-

though not essential, is the setting of the gyro by the action of the bomb release lever. I do not believe that this has ever been proposed before.

It enables the pilot to concentrate on the bomb target and toinstantly relax upon releasing the bomb.

My invention is obviously not restricted to the particular arrangement of flight controls and bomb release mechanism illustrated. It applies as well to any arrangement of crew accommodations, and by the term pilots seat I include any seat in the aeroplane, whether occupied by the actual pilot or some other member of the crew. The same automatic controls can be utilized to operate one or any number of seats, and can be as well employed where the flight control and the bomb release mechanism ar separately located for use by different members of the crew. In the latter case, the coupling of the seat control and the gyro with the bomb control lever assumes more importance becaus upon release of the bomb the pullout from the dive should be immediately started, and the pilots seat lowered. Even without the gyro, some of the advantages of my reclining seat mechanism may be obtained, in that if manual flight control is maintained during the pullout from a dive, the hydraulic jack may be so adjusted as to lower the seat back to the maximum position at which the pilot can still reach the stick.

Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. In a dive bomber, a pilots seat comprisin a back adapted to be positioned in upright or substantially horizontal positions relative to th fuselage, a bomb release mechanism, power means, means operatively connecting said power means to the seat back, and means coupled with the bomb release mechanism controlling the power means to lower the seat back when the bomb release mechanism is operated for discharging the bomb load.

2. In an airplane, a bomb release mechanism, an automatic flight control pilot, and a coupling between the said mechanism and the automatic pilot to actuate the latter upon operation of the said mechanism to discharge the bombload.

3. In an airplane, a reclinable pilot's seat, a hydraulic jack to raise and lower the seat, manually controlled means to govern the action of the hydraulic jack for lowering the seat, and means actuated by the flight controls of the airplane to govern the action of the hydraulic jack for raising the seat.

, 4. In an airplane, a reciinable pilot's seat comprising a bottom section mounted in th fuselage for shifting longitudinally thereof and a backhinged to the bottom for swinging up and down, a hydraulic jack to raise and lower th back, the

.bottom section sliding forward upon the back being lowered and sliding rearwardly upon the back being raised,'manually operated means to control the action or the hydi aulic jack for lowering the back, and means actuated by the flight controls of the-airplane to control the action of thehydraulic jack for raising the seat.

5. In a device of the character described, a reclinable seat, a hydraulic jack to control the position of the seat. an automatic flight control pilot,

a manually operated master valve in the line to the hydraulic jack, and a secondary valve in said line operatedby th automatic pilot to change the direction of hydraulic pressure inthe said jack whereby the seat is raised and lowered.

6. In an airplane, a reclinable seat, means to release the seat so that it can drop back from upright to lowered position when the airplane pulls out from a dive, and means actuated by the elevator controls to raise the seat a the airplane resumes substantially level flight.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2488287 *Oct 6, 1945Nov 15, 1949Esther C GoddardApparatus for vacuum tube transportation
US2611562 *Jun 19, 1948Sep 23, 1952Exton Jr WilliamBody supporting mechanism for occupants of high-speed conveyances
US3022976 *Sep 6, 1960Feb 27, 1962Zia Yee CSafety adjustable-seat mounting for front seat of a vehicle
US3098631 *Dec 22, 1961Jul 23, 1963Hall Archie ASupinating pilot's seat
US3123326 *Jul 3, 1961Mar 3, 1964 Figure
US3981465 *May 5, 1975Sep 21, 1976Mcdonnell Douglas CorporationSupinating seat and control display for aircraft cockpits
US5979827 *Apr 23, 1998Nov 9, 1999Corcoran; Bruce AlanProgressive G-force alignment platform for high performance aerial and spaceborne vehicles
WO2008142002A1May 15, 2008Nov 27, 2008Astrium SasSpacecraft seat and spacecraft equipped with such seat
U.S. Classification244/1.00R, 244/122.00R, 297/354.13
International ClassificationB64D11/06, B64D11/00
Cooperative ClassificationB64D11/0689
European ClassificationB64D11/06B