US 2470783 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
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.operating personnel afloat.
Patented May 24, 1949 V I 2,470,783" UNITED STATES PATENT oar-"ice PLANE MARKER Boo! Vincent A. Mead, United States Navy Application May 15, 1945, Serial No. 593,898 18 Claims. (Cl. 9-9) (Granted under the act of March 3, 1883, as amended April 30, 1928; 370 0. G. 757) This invention relates to air-sea rescue devices and more particularly to a new and improved position indicator for aircraft.
It is well known that it is diificult to locate objects at sea and more particularly when the sea is rough. For this reason, the survivors of crash landings at sea stand little chance of being seen and rescued unless they are provided with adequate signaling means.
Heretofore, life rafts and emergency'flotation equipment have been provided to aid in keeping However, in many cases the aircraft may sink before such rescue equipment can be used. For aviators and others who are forced down at sea therefore, the present invention is of particular importance and, because of its automatic operation, it is eifective no matter what local conditions may exist.
In air-sea operations there are several means which may be employed to indicate visually the presence of a sunken craft and to lead rescue craft to their location. One of those contemplated by the present invention is the automatic release of a marker dye to discolor the surface of the water, a second indicia, is a surface float, whose visibility is enhanced by the provision of an upwardly extending pennant bearing stafi; to aid in locating the object atnight, electric lights are provided and are automatically turned on when required; in addition to, or. in place of, the pennant, a radar wave reflecting surface may be suspended from the stafi; and in one embodiment means are provided which-automatically erects an aerial and operates a suitable radio transmitter to summon aid.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved air-sea rescue device which occupies a minimum amount of space upon an aircraft and which, upon submersion of the craft, is automatically and positively released to float to the surface and is actuated to emit rescue summoning impulses.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an air-sea rescue device which is simple in construction, positive in actuation and which automatically initiates a number of rescue summoning signals upon submersion within a body of liquid.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a novel release mechanism which is responsive to hydrostatic pressure, inertia forces, or both.
An additional object of the present invention is to provide in a compact unit an automatically releasable buoy which contains dye marker, an illuminating device, a flag or expansible radar wave reflecting device, and an antenna erecting and radio signaling mechanism, all within a compact streamlined housing.
Still another object is to provide an improved release mechanism for sea rescue equipment wherein the equipment is released promptly and positively upon immersion.
Further objects will be apparent from the specification and the appended drawings in which;
Fig. 1 is a pictorial view showing one embodiment of the present device in use:
Fig. 2 is a view similar to Fig. 1 showing the anismand switch arrangement employed in the embodiment illustrated in Figs. 3 to 5;
Fig. 7 is a change position view of the release mechanism shown in Fig. 6;
Fig. 7A is an enlarged detailed vertical section through a portion of the hold down latch;
Fig. 7B is an enlarged detailed side elevation with a portion broken away of a slide actuatmg arm;
Fig. 8 is a top plan view partially in section of another embodiment of the present invention;
Fig. 9 is a side elevation partially in section of the embodiment illustrated in Fig. 8;
Fig. 10 is a detailed sectional view of the forward portion of the embodiment illustrated in Figs. 8 and 9 taken along a line substantially corresponding to line iB-Ifi of Fig. 8;
Fig. 11 is a perspective view of the release mechanism employed in the embodiment illustrated in Figs. 8 to 10;
Fig. 12 is a detailed enlarged view of a portion Fig. 15 is a detailed view of the spring employed to kick the after portion of the device away from the sunken aircraft;
Fig. 16 is a change position view showing the manner in which the device is freed from a sunken craft;
Fig. 17 is a diagrammatic drawing of a simple electric circuit employed in the embodiment illustrated in Figs. 3 to 7 inclusive;
Fig. 18 is a diagrammatic drawing of the electrio circuit some. in t e embodiment i tratedbym 813014:
I oizthc'release mechanism of the present inven fion'toadoororhatchy' A 1 fiazlisasectional view partiallyin elevation ofthereleasecylindershowninfigflm;
' 1 lmnrkc'r'releasegrommetwith a waterisoluble 18m 2015 a plan View showing: the application.
Fig. 22 is an enlarged detailed side elevation g l broken away of one oithe release arms employed in the embodiment oi 'Flg. 20;
1 1g. 23 Lisa detailedside elevation partially in of its in Fig; lwhere a submerged aircraft I0, is shown with the irony l'l released and icon i i w a theretoby an anchor line'l2. The buoy l is'shown floating on the surface of the water surrounded by a'dye-marker smear l3 which isparw ticularly visible: from the Electrically ii p lights M'andanuprightstandard l5.
3 pennant were provided to aidin at-,
air-sea rescue services andcffect an n w-flyrcscueoftheplanc personnel. i p In Fig. 2. the buoy: ll is shown provided with me li ts; 'i mounted upon a hinged cover and of, the. buoy this cover swings out,
' i of way to permittheerection of a suitable reflecting pennant 18 of any desired design.
' ts detection by the usual radar detec-q p p non means; In addition this embodiment pro I rides a huoyantballoon [9 which is automaticalmy cd with alightgas and lifts aloft a radio antenna-'23. Aradio transmitting setwithin the I Qhnoy' then automatically sends a distress signal upon a. selected crash frequency to direct airsea rescue services to the scene.
In. the embodiment illustrated in Figs. 3-7 inclusive, the huoy H may be secured to the plane's fuselage 2! by quick release means hereinafter to he described, and is preferably mounted in an out or the way location but where it is not likely to become entangled when released such as immediately ahait the cockpit enclosure of the plane. In order to secure the buoy in place a mounting platform 22 may he provided which is securely to the fuselage of the plane in any suitable manner, such as by aircraft rivets, and this platform may have spaced upwardly extending latch plates 23 thereon with which releasable latch members on the buoy may engage to hold the buoy on the plane. The platform 22 includes a cup like upwardly formed forward portion 24 within which the nose of the buoy nests when in The buoy housing has a bottom plate 25 which msts upon the platform 22 and has elongated slots 26 therein to receive the upwardly extending latch plates 23. Suitable hydrostatically opemted release latches within the buoy engage latch plates 23 by mechanism hereinafter to he described to releasably retain the buoy in place upon the plane. The remainder of the housing includes an outer formed cover or hood 2i which, as shown, may -be aerodynamically a an ed tolessen wind resistance.
In this embodiment the lights [4 are mounted at the forward end within an enclosure 28 of welcome is the retracted pennant bearing staff 1 1:. 19 is avertical cross-section'through a dye opening 25 lnthe enclosure 23.
6 of the housing and spaced therefrom by means of a wallso as to provide a dye-marker chamber 7 I 32 therebetwcen. Suitable dye-marker material j is located within theichambcr so formed- Access cof sea water to this; chamber to afford release of I 10 thedye is gained through the water soluble seals i 33, shown in detailiinFig; 19. Theseseals may he in the former sodium chloridetablets which i W111 soon dissolveupon immersion in water.
I Alongside the buoyancy chamber may, be 15 mounted electric batteries 34 toprovidea source i v of current for the lights i l. These batterlesarc to press therea rv of thepiston and force ,thepis- 25 mechanism. v
' 3 52. These slides are secured to a toggle arrangement, including toggle arms #3 and 44 (shown in i l v 35' detail in Fig. 7B) which arms are extensible;
In Fig. 7B the'details of the toggle armsas shown include anarm stem-M having awasher: "j I 43 secured thereon whichwasher bears against p hthe end of a comp'ressionspringB-S. At theop-i d0 posite end of the spring and telescoping over the i end of the arm 44 is a slideable head 41 which has a similar washer 48 against which the end of the spring 46 boats. The axial opening 49 in this head receives the end of the arm 44 and there is provided in the wall of the head an elongated slot 50. The end of. the stem 44 has a guiding pin 5| which rides in the slot 50 and keeps the parts of the toggle arm and head from relative rotationso that they cannot be worked into an inop- 50 erative position. Toggle arm 43 may be similar to the above although the guide pin and slot arrangement 5| and 50 may be eliminated in one of the toggle arms if desired.
The slides 4| and 42 may have cut-away portions adjacent each end which bear against movement limiting posts 52 to prevent undue separation of the parts. At each outward corner of thefirst mounted thereon by any suitable means such as aircraft rivets. The latch mechanism may then be set by moving the knee of the toggle arms past the center and against the adjustable head 38a, of the stem 38. The buoy may then bodily be installed in place with the latch plates 23 extending into the slots 26 in the base plate 25 of I51 whlch when extended, passes i through an wiunn. the housing; is located buoyanc I chamber 39 supported upon the bottom plate 25 I spaced above a: hydrostatic pressure responsive:
trip mechanism operable to releasethe buoy from I 'theplane upon immerslonand whichmechanism. 29', comprises a cylinder 35 having a movable piston I p 35 therein and provided with an inletnipple 3T r f at one and throu h whichsea water may enter Y The release mechanism for the buoy has. been i p 1 designed for uick and positive'operation m me, I diately upon immersion of theplane. and is shown I p j i in detail in Figs. 6 to 7B inclusive. It includes a 3o latch slide supporting rackhaving spaced tracks 39' and. 46 each having grooved portions which i are opposed to receive the edges of, slides. M and p I the buoy. In this position the latch ears 53 will be immediately above the latch plates 23 as shown in dotted lines in Fig. 7A and, when forced downwardly, the rounded under portion of the ears forces the slides backwardly and permits the parts to latch together.
In the embodiment illustrated'in Figs. 8 to 14 inclusive the mechanism contained within the buoy is modified to permit the installation of a radar wave reflecting means and also means for emitting a radio signal of a desired frequency so that the buoy may be located by the use of radio signal detection equipment of conventional design. This embodiment is therefore capable of being detected from a much greater distance than the embodiment just described and consequently increases the chances of an early rescue by the search party.
In this second embodiment, in addition to the above additional location signaling means, there is provided a novel control circuit whereby the electric battery of the sunken craft may be connected in parallel with the battery in the buoy andwill provide additional power for operating the radio signal emitting device and buoy illumi- L nating means. As shown by Figs. 8 and 9 this embodiment comprises a buoyancy chamber 56 of modified shape which provides additional room in the upper portion of the buoy so that a radio 51, an antenna reel 58 and an antenna lifting balloon l9 may be located therein as shown.
In both embodiments it will be noted that one side of the piston 36 is vented into the buoyancy chamber by a vent pipe 59 so as to assure free movement of the operating piston by hydro-' static pressure.
In this embodiment the nose of the buoy includes a hinged cover 60 which is preferably made of plastic or some transparent material and is normally retained in closed position by means of a catch including a detent 6| on the cover which may be engagedby the end of a forwardly projecting latch rod 62. An enlarged view of this catch is shown in the latched position in Figs. 11 and 12 and in the released position in Figs. 13 and 14. The latch rod may be mounted for longi tudinal sliding movement in clips 63. As shown in Figs. 11 to 14 inclusive the rod is withdrawn for release of the cover by means of a reverse motion connection comprising arm 64 hinged at 65 and having an enlarged end 66 located in the path of the'knee of the toggle type latch release mechanism. Operation of the latter moves the shaft 62 and simultaneously opens the cover 60. A spring hinge 61 may be employed to aid in the opening of the cover. In this embodiment the electric lights I! may be mounted upon the hinged cover 60.
the medium of a stationary switch block II and a moveable electrode bearing member 12 which parts are shown in the normal separated position in Fig. 11 and in the closed operating position in Fig. 14. When closed the switch arms'13 and 14 are engaged by clips 15 and 16 respectively to connect the radio set power supply wires 11 to wires 78 which supply power in parallel from the battery 34 and through a supply reel and a specially constructed anchor line l2a from the batteries of the sunken plane.
In order to connect the buoy to the plane both embodiments employ an anchor reel 80 which is rotatable upon an upright axle shaft 8| mounted upon the base plate 25. A ratchet in the form of a'fiexible tongue 82 registers with radially arranged notches on the undersurface of the reel 80 to keep the anchor line taut.
In Figs. 17 and 18 are shown schematic wiring diagrams which may be employed in the embodiments hereinbefore described.
Fig. 17 shows a simple wiring diagram wherein the lights [4 have one side grounded as at 83 and their other side is connected to one side of the buoys battery 34. The opposite side of battery 34 is grounded through a suitable switch 84 having prongs 85 which engage with the edge portion 86 of one of the slides-42 to ground the battery and provide an electrical circuit through the I lights 14.
In the second embodiment there is provided means for automatically initiating action of the radio and for taking-current from the batteries of the sunken plane which batteries are connected in parallel with the buoys battery during at least a portion of the time of their use.
As shown in Fig. 18, wires 81 and 88 extend from the buoy battery 34 to contacts 89 and 90 supported adjacent the top of the reel 80 and adapted to provide electrical contact with the current collector rings 9| and 92 respectively.
Current may pass fromthe planes battery 93 through the Wires 94 and 95 as shown to plug in connections 96 which permit separation of the wires 94 and 95 when desired for purposes hereinafter described.
From the diagram in Fig. 18 it will 'be apparent v that the planes batteries are thus connected in The mouth 68 of the antenna raising balloon of a gas generator 10 which may be of any ap- 7 proved design as is well known in the art so that upon immersion in water. it generates a lighter than air gas such as hydrogen and inflates the balloon l9. As the balloon inflates it becomes more buoyant until it finally pulls loose from the outlet 69 and rises into the air raising the antenna 20 which uncoils from its storage reel 58. Loss of buoyant gas from the mouth of the balloon may be prevented by the use of any suitable one way check valve located in the mouth of the balloon.
In order to start the radio 51 to sending out a position indicating distress signal it may be connected tothe'sunken planes batteries through parallel through the collector rings 9| and 92 so that the radio 51 may be provided with cur-- rent from these batteries. In order to actuate the radio the switch comprising stationary switch H and movable switch block 12 is engaged to supply current to the radio 51.
When the buoy is submerged with a sinking plane the latch means is released by the hydrostatic pressure and the buoy is freed and may rise to the surface of the water by means of its own buoyancy. In order to assist the separation of the buoy from the plane there may be provided a resilient member such as the leaf spring 98 which is normally compressed and upon release of the latch positively urges the buoy away from the plane. This device serves to kick free (such as 48 hours) will dissolve and release the anchor 99. The above arrangement is for the I purpose of insuring that the buoy will be eventually released from the plane if the plane sinks to a depth which is greater than the length of the anchor line.
The pennant bearing staflf I may be of the telescoping type shown in detail in Fig. wherein the telescopic portions are shown to have compressed a plurality of compression springs and, upon release of the buoy these springs cause the telescoped portions of the staff I5 to extend.
In Figs. to 23 inclusive there is shown a modified adaptation of the hydrostatic release mechanism of the present invention shown applied to a cover or hatch whereby the cover may automatically be released upon the submersion of the craft bearing same. device may be employed for the automatic release of life saving equipment such as life rafts and the like in addition to its use as hereinbefore described.
As shown in the drawings hatch or cover I02 may be provided-at one end with a flange I03 which may engage under one edge of an opening in the plane's fuselage. At the opposite end the cover may be provided a pair of spaced spring biased catches I04 and I05 details of which are shown in Fig. 23 which is a longitudinal sectional view through one of the catches. As there shown they are provided with a carrier I06 housing a bolt I01 which has a longitudinalslot I08. Post I09 passes through this slot in the manner shown. A compression spring IIO disposed in the slot and bearing against the post normally urges the bolt I01 forward. To the bolt of each of the catches may be secured flexible operating lines III adapted to be actuated in unison by the toggle means hereinbefore described. In the presentembodiment this toggle means includes toggle arms I I2 and H3 pivoted at I I4 and hinged together at II5 to provide a knee against which the end of an actuating rod 6 bears. The rod H6 can be operated by a hydrostatic pressure cylinder I I! which functions in the manner here'- inbefore described in detail whenever the device is submerged. A r
The details of the interior of the actuating cylinder III are shown in Fig. 21 whereinthere is provided a piston including a leather seal II8 having a backing plate II9 to keep the seal in intimate contact with the cylinder walls. In this embodiment water may enter through opening I20 into the chamber I2! and force the piston forward against the air in chamber I22. This air compresses sufficiently to permit movement of the actuating arm I I6 and release of the toggle mechanism.
' In order to insure a positive separation of the hatch from the plane upon operation of the release catches I04 and I05 resistant members |2| may be provided. These members may be in the form of spring strips located between the edge of the hatch and the edge of the opening in the plane. An adjustment is provided on the stem I I6 by means of an adjustment cap I22.
In the various modifications of the release mechanism herein shown the device is preferably installed so that it will be actuated by a sudden stoppage such as would be occasioned when an aircraft strikes the surface of a body of water in a crash. To accomplish this the cylinder 35 or I I1 may be aligned with the longitudinal axis of the aircraft so that inertia accumulated in,the piston and stem will assure This automatic release those parts to move and strike the knee of the toggle to release the buoy.
While there is shown a particular embodiment of the present invention it will be understood that'it is not desired that this invention be limited thereto since many modifications may be made by those skilled in the art. it is therefore contemplated by the appended claims to cover 2o location of submerged aircraft, comprising a housing releasably secured to the aircraft, a buoyant chamber within the'housing, hydrostatic release means including slidable catches operable upon submersion of the housing torelease the housing from the aircraft, an anchor line for connecting the housing to the aircraft, and
visual indicating means energized by actuation of the hydrostatic release means to indicate the location of the buoy and'the aircraft.
2. An air-sea rescue device for indicating the location of submerged aircraft, comprising a buoy removably secured to the aircraft, a buoyant chamber within the buoy, release means normally securing the buoy to the aircraft andoperable by increasing hydrostatic pressure upon submergenc'e to free the buoy from the aircraft, and resilient means operable to forceably separate the buoy from the aircraft upon its release.
3. An air-sea rescue device for indicating the 40 location of a submerged plane, comprising a housing, a buoyancy chamber within the housing, release means for freeing the housing from the plane upon submergence of the plane, and
a dye marker chamber within the housing havmg. access openings for the penetration of sea water, said openings being normally closed by a water-soluble seal.
4. An air-sea rescue device for indicating the location of submerged planes, comprising a housing a buoyancy chamber within the housing, a release device operable upon submergence of the housing to free the housing, a radio transmitter located within the housing, and means actuated by the release device for initiating operation of the radio transmitter.
5. An air-sea rescue device for indicating the.
location of submerged aircraft, comprising a housing, an automatic radio transmitter within the housing, antenna means for the radio transmitter including an expansible balloon and gas generating means for inflating the balloon, and means for actuating the radio and releasing the antenna means upon submergence of the housing,
whereby the antenna of the radio transmitter 5 may be raised aloft and a signal automatically emitted upon release of the housing from the plane.
6. An airsea rescue device for indicating the location of submerged planes, comprising a housing, a buoyant chamber within the housing, re-
lease means normally securing the housing to the plane and operable upon submersion to free the housing, automatically operating radio transmitting means within the housing, an anchor line for connecting the housing to the plane 1. An air-sea rescue device for indicating the 4 mounted upon the location signaling lease mechanism mounted in said housing-and when-freed, and an electric power and anchor cable'extending with the anchor line from the housing to the plane for conducting current from the plane's batteries to the radio transmitter.
7. An air-sea rescue device-for indicating the location of submerged aircraft, comprising ahousing, a buoyant chamber within the housing,
a dye marker chamber within the housing and Y having access openings therein normally closed by water-soluble plugs, automatically operable normally engaging a release means for freeing'the'housing from the' plane, a radio transmitter within the housing,
electric conduit means for conducting current I from the plane's batteries to the radio.transmit-' ter after release of the housing, and release means for the conduit including an anchor embedded in water-soluble material and jack plugs adjacent the anchor and separable upon release I of the anchor by disintegration of the water soluble material.
8. An air-sea rescue device for indicatingthe location of submerged aircraft, comprising a housing, a buoyancy chamber within the housing, automatically'operable release means actu ated by hydrostatic pressure for'freeing the housing from a plane upon submergence, a visual indicator within the housing, and means for actuating the visual indicator upon operation of the automatically operable release means.
9. An air-sea rescue device for indicating the location of submerged aircraft, comprising a housing, a buoyancy chamber within the housing. a dye marker within the housing, automati cally operable quick release means within the housing, a radio transmitter within the housing,
an antenna lofting apparatus within the housing and means for conducting electric current from the planes batteries to the radio after release of the housing from the plane.
10. A release mechanism. for an air-sea rescue device wherein-a buoyant housing is carried by anaircraft and adapted to be released upon submergence of the aircraft, comprising a'slide, latch means on the slide normally securing the housing to the plane, resilient means tending to withdraw the slide, an arm restraining the slide from movement by the resilient means, and means for rendering said arm ineffective and permitting withdrawal of the vslide including a member re-' sponsive to hydrostatic pressure.
portion of the plane, and a pressure responsive control for-actuating the release mechanism and initiating action of the location indicating device.
14. An air-sea rescue device having a plurality of' location indicating means adapted to reveal the location of a sunken plane, compris ing a housing,:location indicating means within the housing, an extensible connection between the plane and the housing including a reel -mount ed within the housing, a release mechanism, and means forautomatically actuating the release mechanism upon immersion of the entire unit toa predetermined depth whereby the device is freed from the plane to rise to the surface but is anchored by the extensible connection.
15. A release mechanism for an air-sea rescue chamber, comprising oppositely disposed slot enthe craft.
said buoy to release it from the aircraft, said 1 11. A release mechanism for an air-sea rescue chamber, comprising a slide track, a slide operable in the track, latch means on the slide normally securing the housing to the plane, resilient means tending to release .the latch, an arm nor- 'mally blocking release of the latch by the resilient means, and means operable upon submerg- ;ence of theplane to render the arm ineffective and'permitting the release means to free the 1 housing from the plane.
' 12. ,An air-sea rescue indicator for airplanes,
comprising a base, a buoyancy chamber mounted upon'said base, a dye container mounted upon the base, illuminating signal lights mounted upon the base. a telescoping flag-bearing standard base, and a' release operable by hydrostaticpressure to simultaneously free the device from the: plane, illuminate the lights and freethe flag 13. An air-sea rescuedevlce, comprising in combinationga housing enclosing a plurality of means, a hold-down and rebearing standard for'e'rection.
- 17. An air-sea rescue device for indicating the location of submerged aircraft, including a buoy releasably secured to the aircraft, release means including a latch operable upon submergence of release means including a chamber, a piston ,member in said chamber, said chamber on one side of said piston enclosing a gas at approximately atmospheric pressure, the chamber on the opposite side of said piston having an opening to the outside whereby influx of water upon submergence produces a pressure against said piston causing it to compress the gas and cause movement of said piston, and mechanism actuated by movement of said piston to cause release of said latch.-
' 18, An air-sea rescue device for indicating the location of a submerged craft, comprising a buoy,
fasteners for securing the buoy upon the craft,
emergency release mechanism operable by bydrostatic pressure connected to said fasteners, normally quiescent emergency signal means carried by the buoy, and separate water-responsive means adapted-to actuate said signal means upon submergence of the craft. VINCENT A. MEAD,
REFERENCES crrEn The following references are file of this patent:
STATES PATENTS Number Name I 1,836,495 Paulson Dec. 15', 1981 1,860,327 Kuhn May 24, 1932 2,149,808 Ellis Mar. 7, 1939 2,192,450 Miller M'ar. 5, 1940 2,317,285 Marple Apr. 20, 1943 2,357,417 Marple Sept.'5, 1944- of record in the