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Publication numberUS2437058 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 2, 1948
Filing dateJul 3, 1943
Priority dateJul 3, 1943
Publication numberUS 2437058 A, US 2437058A, US-A-2437058, US2437058 A, US2437058A
InventorsWaters Harry F
Original AssigneeWaters Harry F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible container for air transportation of fluids
US 2437058 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


ATTORNEY March 2,1948. H, F, WATERS 2,437,058


ATTORNEY Mam March 2, 1948. H. F. WATERS I ,0



ATTORNEY March 2, 1948. WATERS 2,437,058



Patented Mar. 2, 1948 COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER FOR *AIR TRANSPORTATION OF FLUIDS Harry FlWaters, New York, N. Y. Application July 3, 1943, Serial No. 493,340

' transport of "aviation gasoline and other products.

Fuels are now improving and the preferred composition is 100% octane gas, comprising 60% of the total mix, plus 40% aromatics. This fuel combination has a much lower boiling point than any of the fuels utilized heretofore. When using such fuels, and with the sudden ascent of a plane, it becomes of extreme importance to quickly equalize pressures in the fuel system, in order to keep the gasoline tanks from havin terrific pressures exerted therein or thereupon (ascent and descent). Asairplane type engines are comin more into use as power plants for automobile tanks, tractors and heavy equipment, generally, this type of fuel will have an increasinglfwidespre'ad use. Consequently, the low boiling points of these fuels will necessitate some method of utilizing the gaseous vapors, even under normal conditions of operation.

Metallic containers, generally, have proven to be unsuited for aerial transport of vaporous liquids. Among the difliculties attendant upon the use of metal containers are the following: Fixed character of the container, requiring its disposal at the end of a trip, or its return as non-payload with the consequent exclusion of pay-load; tendency of the vaporous contents to boil or distil off when subjected to high heat or to rarefied atmospheric conditions obtaining in high altitude flights the liberation of vapor is particularly critical in desert areas where heat-engendered pressures in wing tanks of aircraft have been known to buckle and deform the wing surfaces. Other disabilities attendant upon the use of metal containers are the excessive weight of the containers per unit of gasoline delivered, as well as the inability to stow or pack cylindrical or barrel containers so that a maximum of available cargo space can be utilized.

It. has now been found that relatively lightweight, liquid-tight, collapsible containers, can

be prepared and mounted in aircraft to permit 3 Claims. (Cl. 150-05) of the transportation of a maximum pay-load of aviation gasoline, with'the collapse of the containers at the discharge of the contents, and the utilization of the freed cargo space for maximum pay-load return trip. It has also been found that by connecting the containers to the engine fuel-supply system, a better distribution of the fuel load can be obtained, and the wing space freed for gun installations and other material of non-varying weight and/or volume. In addition, it has been found, and the present invention contemplates the withdrawal of evolved vapors from the fuel tanks or containers into the engine fuel supply, thereby avoiding discharge of highly flammable vapors into the slip-stream of an aircraft, where it would be in imminent danger of ignition from the motor exhaust. This utilization of normally dissipated fuel vapors increases the efllciency of the aircraft as a transportation agency for volatile fuels, because of the fact that any loss in pay-load is compensated for by the use of the loss as direct motor fuel.

It is to be understood that parts of this fuel system, even without the collapsible tank, may be of extreme value in the future and the scope of this invention is not limited to the use of this system in conjunction with collapsible tanks.

The present invention, therefore, envisages and proposes the use of special, collapsible, lightweight containers, for transport of liquids and particularly liquid fuels having a high percentage of vaporous constituents, in standard aircraft, and the elimination of fire hazard by the diversion or controlled direction of any evolved gases or vapors into the fuel system of the aircraft, instead of venting same into the slip-stream.

Some of these tanks can thus be utilized with auxiliary tanks for extended trips without requiring any alterations in existing fuel installations and without requiring transfer of fuel from one container into a stationary fuel tank durin the. course of a trip or flight.

The above, and other desirable features and advantages of the present invention will be deof Fig. 1;

Fig. 4 is a vertical section taken on line 4-4 of Fig. 2; i

Fig. 5 is an enlarged detail of a corner binding tape:

Fig. 6 is a vertical section of a container closure and cap, showing the method of securing the f same to the bladder and easing:

Fig. 7 is a plan view of a portion of a collapsed container and bladder:

Fig. 8 is an elevation of an end-supporting panel;

Fig. 9 is an end elevation of a pair of erected containers as mounted on cradles or stands;

Fig. 10 is a top plan view of the mounted and secured containers of Fig. 9;

Fig. 11 is an elevation of an aeroplane, partly in broken section, showing the installation therein Of collapsible fuel containers;

Fig. 12 is a plan view of the interior of a fuse? lage showing a frame work for receiving collapsible containers;

Fig. 13 is a vertical section taken on line |3--|3 of Fig. 12;

Fig. 14 is a view similar to Fig. 13, showing the liquid containers collapsed and retracted and the freed space filled with cargo, and

Fig. 15 is an elevation of a pair of mounted containers with main feed lines and vapor lines connected to a motor fuel supply.

Referring now to Figs. 1 to 8, there is shown a container comprising a bladder or envelope disposed in a casing 20. The envelope or bladder l0 may comprise a pair of mating sheets of liquid-resistant material, such as fabric impregnated with plastics, including rubber substitutes, or vinyl resin compounds and derivatives, sulphur resins, and other materials which are susceptible of being heat-sealed or vulcanized. These sheets are vulcanized at their mating edges, as indicated at l2, to give a liquid-tight bladder or envelope. The envelope is provided with a plurality of apertures l3 in which are inserted outlets 30, the outlets being disposed in and passing through apertures 2| formed in the container walls. The outlets 30 and their construction and installation will be described more in detail hereinafter.

The bladder I0 is inserted into the container 20, when the latter is in collapsed condition as indicated in Fig. '7. As shown in this figure. the marginal edges of the bladder are folded over to provide slip-joints l4, and an appreciable excess of stock, 5, protrudes from the, ends of the container. The container comprises top wall 22, bottom wall 23, front and back side walls 24, and end sections 26. The top and bottom panels 22, 23 are centrally hinged, as indicated at 21. The side walls are hinged at their edges, as designated generally by the numeral 28, while the end sections are provided with edge hinges, designated generally by the numeral 29.

In the construction of the container 20, the top and bottom and front and rear walls are formed of boards or planks 40 of plywood or plain wood, enclosed in heavy duck or canvas 4|. vas or duck coverings are sewed together adjacent the edges of the boards, as shown at 42. In the construction shown herein, the front and back The can- 4 boards, while the top and bottom are made of a pair of boards, covered as indicated, the canvas covering being sewed along the seam line 21, all as indicated at 43. A plurality of heavy duck straps or tapes 44 are secured to the longitudinal faces of the container, as by stitching, 45, while a plurality of transverse belts or straps 46, secured by stitching 41, are passed around the container. The end panels, as indicated, are trapezoidal segments 25 formed as continuations or extensions of the covering fabric 4|. The strap members 44 are coextensive with these flaps and overlie and are secured to the fabric 4| by the usual stitching 45. At their free edges the flaps are covered by strips or tapes 28 folded in position as indicated in Fig. 4, and extending outwardly at the corners and thereover and therealong to form the edge binding tapes for the assembly. The inner edges of flaps 26 are provided with grommets or eyelets 48 passing through the folded over edge binding tape 28 and securing same to the flap fabric 4|, and associated tapes 44.

When the container 20 and associated bladder III are erected into squared-up position by applying pressure to the fold lines 21, the ends l5 of the bladder are folded inwardly of the container and held in place by end panels 50 conforming to the cross section of the container. The flaps 26 are brought over the inserted panels 50. and laced together by lacings 5| secured by knots 52, all as shown in Figs. 1 and 2. Here it will be seen the lacings are passed through eyelets of opposed tabs in the same manner as the lacing up of a shoe, and then tied securely. This lacing serves to tauten the flaps 26 and clamp the walls down on the end panels 50 in gripping engagement from all sides. The erected container is then ready to receive its cargo or load of aviation gasoline,

1 or the like, which is introduced through the filling or discharge nozzle 30.

The construction of the filling spout or discharge nozzle is as follows. The members 30 comprise a main body or pipe section 3|, having a bottom everted flange 32, with concentric ridges 33. 34 on the top side thereof. Standard threads 35, 36 are provided on the inside and outside surfaces of the pipe or body section 3|. A threaded filler cap 31 having a gasket 38 may be screwed into the threads 35. A pair of screw-threaded clamping rings 39a, 39b complete the assembly. As shown in Fig. 6, the spout or nozzle 30 is fitted in through aperture l3 of bladder II with the ridges 33, 34 in contact with the inner surface of the bladder. It will be noted that the bottom flange 32 extends beyond the aperture 2| to a point well within the enclosing board or container section 40. With the nozzle 3| in place, clamping ring 33:: may be screwed down in place on thread 36 by means of a spanner wrench, so as to cause ridge 33 to bite into and engage its contacting section of bladder i which is held in place by the clamping ring. It is to be noted that this clamping ring fits within the aperture 2| in the wall of container 20, and is nested therein. A second enlarged clamping ring 39b is then screwed down on the threaded outlet, the dimensions of this member-being such that its outer edge or rim overhangs the edge or rim 34 of flange 32. Upon screwing up clamping ring 39b, the section of container 2|] thereunder is clamped and ridge or annulus 34 is forced into the surface of bladder or liner Thus it will be seen that the liner of bladder II is doubly gripped by and between the ridges or rings 33, 34, and the cooperating walls or the containers are made of individual locking nuts 38a and container section 40 and anors 5. its cooperating locking nuts 3912. Upon screwing down or standard threaded filler cap 31, the assembly is complete. v

Referring now to Figs. 9 and 10, the erected containers 20 may be mounted in cradles Bllfor transportation. These-cradle may comprise an outer course of planks 6|, 2 x 10 inches, and an inner abutting course 62 of 2" x 4 stock. The containers are adapted to sit on the rails formed by members 62 fitting snugly within the space formed by members 61. A plurality of staples or securing members 63 are provided around the periphery of members 60, and these serve to receive and hold securing straps or rods 64 having sections 55 in engagement-therewith, and being provided with tightening devices 66 to permit the clamping down of the containers into seated, nested engagement in the cradle 60. With such a construction, it will be seen that the containers 20 will be rigidly held against all shifting during transport, and will be normally safe and secure.

While the method of securing described immediately above is generally applicable to all types of transportation vehicles, certain special problems are presented when aircraft are to serve as the transportation media. i

Turning now to Figs. 11 to 15, there is shown the manner and means for'installing and transporting collapsible containers loaded with. high octane or aviation gasoline. In the set-up shown, an airplane Hill has the usual wings H0, nose I20, fuselage I30, and tail assembly 0. Propellers I50 and associated engines complete the assembly. As shown, the engines may be mounted in individual nacelles Hill. In the fuselage I30, and aft of the front bulkhead Hi, the containers may be arranged in any suitable manner. The center line of the fuselage is designated, for convenience, by the numeral 200, while the transverse equilibrium or normal load line of the plane is designated by the numeral 20!. In the discussion which follows it is to be noted that all assemblies are predicated upon maintaining a proper balance forward and aft of line ZEN-2M.

Referring more particularly to Figs. 12 and 13, it will be noted that the fuselage is developed and built around a plurality of spaced annular ribs 202, here shown as being of L-section. The mode of securing the skin of the fuselage to the supports forming no part of the present invention, details are omitted. In the cargo space at the rear of bulkhead I 3|, a front cross piece or stringer, 2H], is stretched between a pair of ribs 202 and secured thereto by bolts and nuts designated generally by the numeral 2! I. This cross piece or stringer may be of 2" x 10" stock. A duplicate stringer assembly is formed at the rear end of the cargo space. end stringers 2H), are provided pairs of cross pieces MS of similar construction, extending from and secured to opposed hangers 220. The hangers 220 are secured to supports 22!, 222, 223, each of which is fastened to an associated rib 202 by the usual bolt and nut construction 2| l.

Individual cradles or container supports are built in the manner similar to that shown in Fig. 9 for individual containers. The container supports are designated 60 for purposes of convenience. In the installation shown in Figs. 12 to 15, the stringers 6| and 62 are mounted on and between the cross beams or stringers 2M, 2l5. A plurality of intermediate braces 61 may be disposed between and secured to the framing members 82, being secured thereto in any suit- Intermediate the 6 able manner. not shown. A cat-walk or planking a may overlie the central framing members BI and be'secured thereto in the usual manner. With this arrangement the platforms or container beds 60 are suspended in the fuselage and across the ribs thereof, and the plurality of container beds is so arranged that the load can be evenly distributed-in the fuselage and the stresses supported uniformly from the framing -members of the aircraft. With the containers ed generally by the numeral 89. It will be noted that due to the absence of round drums or containers, maximum cargo space is utilized in the shipment of aviation gasoline and the like, and that the containers therefor, when discharged, can be returned without occupying any measurablecargo space, the cargo space thus freed being available for return pay-loads, as indicated. Owing to the weight of gasoline cargoes, the return-pay-load in crude drugs, medicinals, ores, ingots, rubber, and other critical materials, may be worth many times that of the gasoline handled, yet which materials could not hitherto have been transported on return trips due to the lack of available cargo space.

As intimated hereinabove, the improvements of the present invention provide special safety factors in the transport of flammable, vaporous liquids, and assure the delivery of maximum pa loads, due to the fact that none of the transported material is jettisoned, or vented to the atmosphere, without having first been directed through the fuel lines of the engines. This highly important and novel feature will be more clearly appreciated by reference to Figs. 11 and 15, wherein the details of such a system are shown. Where the safety system is incorporated in an airplane or other carrier, the containers 20 are severally provided with bottom discharge valves I0, top gas outlet valves H, and inlet check valves 12, all of which are so constructed and installed as to prevent loss of fuel during looping of the plane in flight. Dumping valves not shown, may also be included in the tank assemblies. for emergency use. The valves 10 are tapped into a common pipe or header 13 provided with a check valve I4, and connected to a motor feed line 15, which is connected to the carburetor ll of any suitable motor. The vapor discharged through gas outlet valves H, is fed into a gas line", having an outlet safety valve 8|, and-connected through an intake check valve 82 to a manifold 88 of an engine. Where a plurality of engines constitutes the power plant of an aircraft, the fuel lines and gas lines will be evenly distributed between them. If, for any reason, the discharge of vapor through line is not utilized, as by chilling of the contents of fuel tanks 20, with shrinkage in volume, any air necessary for maintaining equilibrium in the system will be aspirated in and through the inlet check valves 12. The several fuel valves, gas outlet valves, and check valves can be calibrated and set for the most eflicient operation of the power plant, and to insure the positive withdrawal of any evolved vapors from the containers directly into one or more of the engine units.

thereby positively eliminating any chance of the introduction of flammable vapors into the slipstream of the aircraft.

Having now particularly described and ascertained the nature of my said invention, and in what manner the same is to be performed, I declare that what I claim is:

1. A flat-foldable collapsiblefuel container for aircraft, comprising an inner, inflatable, liquidtight envelope, a fabric covering for the envelope secured thereto in predetermined areas, rectangular stiflening members in the sides of the cover, end flaps at the" ends of the cover and adapted to receive and retain rectangular end-forming panels, means for adjustably securing the end flaps together, and at least one outlet or filling member secured to the envelope and the cover, effective to cause the envelope to be erected from flat, collapsed condition, into rectangular shape with the cover. M

2. A flat-foldable collapsible fuel container for aircraft, comprising an inner, inflatable, liquidtight envelope, a fabric covering for the envelope secured thereto in predetermined areas, the said envelope when expanded having greater cubical capacity than the covering, rectangular stiifening members in the sides of the cover, end flaps at the ends of the cover and adapted to receive and retain rectangular end forming panels, means for adjustably securing the end flaps together, the securing means comprising at least one outlet or filling member secured to the envelope and the cover. whereby to cause the envelope to be erected from flat-flolded, collapsed REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS to Number Name Date 721,101 Skinner Feb. 17, 1903 1,406,478 Mote Feb. 14, 1922 1,594,140 Yerk et al. July 27, 1926 1,662,018 Van Orman Mar. 6, 1928 25 1,774,342 Vought .1 Aug. 26, 1930 2,102,590 Gray et al. Dec. 21, 1937 2,223,463 Rosenthal Dec. 3, 1940 2,274,532 Dach Feb. 24, 1942 2,326,263 Steiner Aug. -10, 1943 30 2,355,084 Kurrle Aug. 8, 1944 2,404,418 Walker ...L July 23, 1946 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 116,812 Great Britain June 27, 1918 538,484 Great Britain Aug. 6, 1941 851,567 France Oct. 2, 1939

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2696235 *Aug 29, 1952Dec 7, 1954Toffolon Roger LCargo container
US2696360 *Aug 17, 1951Dec 7, 1954Louis Toffolon RogerBinder and hitch for cargo pallets
US2731055 *Aug 21, 1951Jan 17, 1956Firestone Tire & Rubber CoNonmetallic enclosure
US2809762 *Sep 25, 1953Oct 15, 1957Fairchild Engine & AirplanePressure vessel
US3098633 *Jul 20, 1959Jul 23, 1963Martin A PriceAircraft auxiliary fuel tank
US3287740 *Jan 7, 1966Nov 29, 1966Andray Products IncPool cover
US3344440 *Nov 16, 1965Oct 3, 1967Andray Products IncSwimming pool cover
US3480058 *Jan 23, 1968Nov 25, 1969Air Logistics CorpContainer safety wall
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US4356869 *Dec 19, 1980Nov 2, 1982The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Department Of EnergyFire suppressing apparatus
US4368086 *Oct 22, 1981Jan 11, 1983The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Air ForceMethod of fabricating an aircraft self-sealing fuel tank
US4909410 *May 24, 1989Mar 20, 1990Better Agricultural Goals, Inc.Protective cover for bulk container
US5022555 *Jul 30, 1990Jun 11, 1991George GreenbaumComply system
US8782995 *Mar 8, 2013Jul 22, 2014Enviro Storage Solutions, LLCCollapsible storage container
US9185854Aug 19, 2013Nov 17, 2015Omar GalalConfigurable fluid receptacles with internal bladders
US20120205370 *Feb 14, 2011Aug 16, 2012James Lynn SmithCollapsible containment structure
US20140319132 *Apr 15, 2014Oct 30, 2014Phea RamReusable, collapsible, storage container
DE10330504B4 *Jul 5, 2003Apr 20, 2006Schleswiger Tauwerkfabrik Oellerking Gmbh & Co KgRückhaltesystem zur Installation im Bereich der türseitigen Öffnung eines beladenen Containers
U.S. Classification220/6, 217/3.0BC, 244/135.00B, 217/12.00R, 220/88.1
International ClassificationB65D88/52, B65D88/00, B65D6/16
Cooperative ClassificationB65D88/522
European ClassificationB65D88/52A