US 2558975 A
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July 3, 1951 MORENO HAL 2,558,975
COMBINED DOOR AND LADDER IN THE SIDE OF A CRAFT Filed June 2, 1948 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Inventors ANTHONY MORENO CYRIL. L. FENN y 1951 A. J. MORENO ETAL 2, 58,975
' COMBINED DbOR AND LADDER IN THE SIDE OF A CRAFT Filed June 2, 1948 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Inventors ANTHONY MORENO CYRIL L. FENN FIG. 3.
AHBThey COMBINED DOOR ND LADDER IN .THE SIDE .OF A CRAFT Filed June 2, 1948 July 3, 1951 A. J. MORENO ETAL 4 Sheets-Shea 5 FIG. 5.
Inventors ANTHONY MORENY CYRIL L. FENN y 1951 A. J. MORENO ETAL 2,558,975
. COMBINED DOOR AND LADDER IN THE SIDE OF A CRAFT Filed June 2, 1948 Q 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Inventors} 32 ANTHONY MORENO CYRIL L. FEN N FIG. 6-
5 I v v Patented July 3, 1951 COMBINED DOOR AND LADDER IN THE SIDE OF A CRAFT Anthony J. Moreno, Elmhurst, and Cyril L. Fenn, Flushing, N. Y., assignors to Edo Corporation, a corporation of New York Application June 2, 1948, Serial No. 30,644 Claims; (01. 114-65) This invention relates to retractable ladders adapted for use in vehicles, by which term we include land conveyances, vessels and small boats, and aircraft.
The object of our invention is to provide a ladder which may be let down either by persons outside the vehicle, or, if desired, from within.
It is also an object to provide a ladder which when not in use can be retracted into the side or bottom of the vehicle in such a manner as to effect a streamlining of the hull of the vehicle at the place where the ladder is retracted.
Our ladder is particularly useful in life boats which are launched without occupants from aircraft to rescue survivors of a ship or air accident floundering in the water and who have been located by air search. The invention is also adapted for installation in large military airliners or bombers having fuselages which are high off the ground, for boarding them in the event that external portable ladders or ramps are not available.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of our invention installed in a lifeboat and shown in open or boarding position.
Fig. 2 is an elevation of the door closed within the boat hull, the ladder being retracted therein, the view also showing the location of the elements of the release mechanism.
Fig. 3 is a side elevation of a complete lifeboat, also showing our invention in open or boarding position.
Fig. 4 is a detail elevation of the release mechanism.
Fig. 5 is a side view, partly in section, taken on the line 55 of Fig. 2, of the release spring plunger.
Fig. 6 is a side elevation, partly in section, of the ladder in retracted position taken on the line 6-6 of Fig. 2.
Fig. 7 is a detail elevation, partly in section, of part of one of the ladder sides showing particularly the hinge mechanism in open position; Fig. 7a shows the same hinge mechanism where the element 22 has been moved slightly from open toward folded position with plate 2|a removed.
Fig. 8 is a detail of the tubular hinge junction shown in Fig. '7.
Fig. 9 is a side elevation of the basic tubular members as would appear if seen through the door from the outside.
Fig. 10 is a view, partly in section, taken on the line Ill-I0 of Fig. 9.
Fig. 11 is a section on the line of Fig. 4.
Referring to Fig. 1, a rectangular opening having an inside skin wall Ila is provided in the side of the boats hull l2, and a skin section I? is made to fit into and cover the opening, functioning as a door. When this door I3 is closed, the smooth contour of the side of the boat I2 is unbroken. A backing 3a is secured to the inside of door [3 to make it sturdy and to support the elements fixed thereto as will be described. The lower edge M of the door l3 (in closed position) is appropriately hinged at I5 and I5 to permit the door to be swung open from the top and down to the position shown in Figs. 1 and 3 through an arc of about 170, although the precise angle is not critical. On the inside of the door I3 are secured, by bracket plates I! (Fig. 6), two vertical tubular members l8, l9 (Figs. 1, 6 and 9), each extending almost the full height of the door. Tubular rungs 2!], 2| are joined to members |8, |9 at spaced intervals. These rungs 20, 2| serve as braces and also as steps. The vertical members and rungs thus secured constitute the upper section of the ladder.
Tubular extension members 22, 23 designed to lay parallel to and within members I8, I9 when the ladder is in retracted position, are hinged at IBa, |9a respectively inside the lower (in open position) extremities of members 8, I9. Figs. '7, 7a, 8 and 9 illustrate the detail of our preferred hinge construction, and its operation which is as follows: Near each of the junctures of tubular rung 2| with the vertical members I8, l9, we provide a plate 2|a fixed to rung 2| and receiving a pin I 31) on which is pivoted lug I protruding from and fixed to the end of each member 22, 23. The extremity of each member 22, 23 is arcuately cut at |8d (Figs. '7, 7a) to fit the surface of the rung 2|. Thus, members 22, 23 pivot about the pin l8b, itself so located with respect to rung 2| as to permit complete clearance thereof by the members when swung from their folded position about the pivot until the arcuate extremity |8d of the members 22, 23 abuts rung 2|, thus positively stopping and supporting the members in extended position. Other types of hinges may also be employed, but we have found that the above described hinge construction is well suited for this purpose.
Additional tubular rungs 26, 21 (Fig. 1) are welded to members 22, 23 to form a lower ladder section, these rungs being regularly spaced in relation to rungs 2| 2|. When the ladder is opened outwardly and swung down, the lower section falls into alignment with the upper section, as above described, to constitute a straight ladder projecting into the water from the side of the boat hull in the manner illustrated (Figs. 1, 3).
To the opposite extremities of the member l8, are joined an additional pair of tubular members 28, 29 (Figs. 1, 6) disposed at right angles relative to each other: inia plane normal tothat of the ladder and a similar pair of members 28, 29 is joined to the opposite extremities of member l9. The members 28, 29, constituting each pair, are joined to each other, and to their junction is welded a perforated plate 3| which serves to ":secure by pins 3Ia, the lugs 3lb of oneof the ends of each of the supporting cables'32, .33. The other end of cable 32, which is designed to prevent the door 13 from overswinging and to hold the ladder base at an easily ascendableangle,- is secured to a plate 36 (Figs. 1, 6) in the boats hull within the opening ll; while the other end of cable.33 is secured to a fasteningplate 35 .onthe lower extremities of members 2 2,223. These cables, as thus supported and secured, 'serve as handrails to assist the boarder? of .the boat and also to afiord means by which the ladder maybe pulled up from within the .boat to retract it after boarding. Cables 33 also prevent shock on'the hinge fittings [8b, the, ltd andzla when the door is openedout and the .ladder'drops "downand also eases the strain on the ladder during boarding.
When the boat is to be launched, the ladder is in retractedpositionand folded upas shown in Fig. 6. 'Meansare provided, after .the boat is launched, to enable a person in the water to releasethe ladder-assuming that the boat is unoccupied. This is accomplished by a release cable 31 (Figs.-1, 2, 3, 4) along the water level of the boat, which can be grasped by a person in the the after. end thereof .in a fixedpositionnear the stem. The forward. end of the cable, is brought through. .the eye-brackets 33a, into the aperture 38' in the skin .of the hull and. about the pulley.39 (Fig. 4) above which the. cable is rotatably secured between two release control plates 48. To the opposite sidesof these plates are'a-lso rotatably secured three separate corded I 4,2, 43. 1 4! represents a tension. cord orspring the function'of which is to. hold cable 3'! in tension, but yet allow it and the plates ii) to be'drawn downward upon a strong pullon the .cable "3'1. The thin cord 43, itself, extendingabout apulley 44, leadsto arm 45a of a bell crank, the other arm45b of which engages a slot in a latch 45 spring pressed downwardlyto hold door i3 closed (Figs. 2 and 4). Upon downward pull on cord 43, the spring 'held latch 45 is raised to unlock the door and permit the ladder to fall out. 42 .is a stop-cord having slack which, when .taken upby downward movement of plates 40, prevents the application to cable 4.3 of more pull than is required to release latch 45.
Opening 38 in the hull through Whichcable 37 passes is covered with a streamlined but slightly skewed plate 48 (Fi sfll, 11) which serves-as one of thebearing supports for .the axle'tda or. the pulley 39, other support.being a bracket 3% mounted on the deck 390, or other convenient place. The'pulley is thus ,in a plane which isinclined to guide cable 31 from. the outside to 211 inside of the hull. The cable 3? encounters no substantial friction at the opening 38, most of the direct contact being made on the rotatable pulley 39 itself.
5 While the boats roll and gravity might be relied'upon to drop the ladder into the water after the. latch is, released by pulling on cable 3! as r-.-aboveidescribed, we prefer to insure this result by providing a heavy spring plunger 16 (Figs. 2,
14 4, 5) within the hull, the ramming end of which plunger abuts a small plate 47 secured on the inside of andnear the hinged base of the door l3. This plunger 55 forces the door outwardly -soonas the latch i5 is released. The door swings ,on its hinges i5, it, about 170 into open posi- 1tion .and the lower section of the ladder drops down in alignment with the upper section as pre- "viously stated. The boat is then easily boarded by.-.p ersons in the water. A cable 32 may, of course, be provided forward as well as aft of -the, opening Ii.
vAfter boarding the boat, the person may re- Ltrieve the ladder by simply reaching over the gunwale, pulling up the door and folding the .25 .lower section of the ladder back in retracted posi- ..tion. .The1door. l3 and associated apparatus are thenslammed intothe recess .5 i in the boats hull .and thereby relatched. Mechnical means may vbe. provided, if desired, for retracting the ladder.
.Thedropping of theladder may also be ei ffected from Within the boat by releasing the latch '45 manually.
..In the preferred embodiment of our invention, except for steel cables, all parts including tubu- .larelements, plates, attaching pieces hinges are, made of aluminum alloy, so that the apparatus is light in weight and easy to draw up. The braced door is ordinarilyconstructed of the same material as the boats hull.
.While the adaptation of our invention dc scribed. above is specifically for a lifeboat, it obvious that it may likewise be adapted toaa-ny vehicle to facilitate boarding and where ,ability to. retract-the apparatus completely within .thevehicles body in streamlined fashion is desirable.
:l..-.A ladder adaptedto'fit into an opening in the hull of a vehicle when retracted and, when released, to open outwardly therefrom to permit ascension-thereof, comprising a door :fitting said opening which, in closed position,-blends with the contour of said hull, hinge means securing oneedge of said door to the-lower edge of the opening in said hull and permitting the .doorto swing outwardly, a first ladder section securedon the inside of said door in a position to provide for ascension when the door is;swung 'down to full open position, said first ladder sec- .tion-havinga pair of side bars and at least one rung in the vicinity of the lower extremities .of the-side bars in open position, apexed side supports disposed in planes normal to that of the first ;ladder section and secured to the opposite extremities of each of said sidebars, a second ladder-section-pivotable in the vicinity of said lower rungand having side bars spaced apart less than the distance between the side bars of thesaid .first ladder section whereby in closed position the second ladder section may be folded up and laid substantially parallel to said first ladder section, rungs on said second ladder section, and flexible means extending between points insideof said opening to the apexes .of each of the said side supports and further extending between said apexes and the lower extremities of said second ladder section, whereby said articulated ladder may be supported at an angle to a vertical plane passing through said vehicle and is provided with hand-assisting means for ascension.
2. The ladder as described in claim 1 wherein means are provided for locking the door within the hull and a spring plunger is provided within the opening, constantly urging the door outward.
3. The ladder as described in claim 2 wherein there is provided a cable-like member for releasing the door lock accessible both from Within and Without the hull.
4. In combination with the ladder as described in claim 2 wherein the vehicle is a boat and the hull is provided with an orifice in the vicinity of the water line of the boat, a cable-like member for releasing the door lock which member is extended through said orifice and along said water line whereby when the boat is waterbourne that part of the cable-like member extending along the water line serves as a grab-line as well as a means for releasing the door lock.
5. A ladder as described in claim 1 wherein the pivoting of said second ladder section is accomplished by providing pin in each side bar of the first ladder section in the vicinity of the lower rung and parallel to said rung, lugs to receive said pins adjacent each pivoting extremity of the side bars of the second ladder section and arcuately shaped extremities to conform with part of the perimeter of said lower rung, whereby when said second ladder section has pivoted to approximate alignment with the first ladder section, the arcuate extremities of the second ladder section engage the lower rung of the first ladder section to prevent further swinging beyond said position of alignment.
ANTHONY J. MORENO.
CYRIL L. FENN.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 377,219 Webster Jan. 31, 1888 2,095,392 Marschke Oct. 12, 1937 2,453,937 Ray Nov. 16, 1948 2,531,263 Fink Nov. 21, 1950