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Publication numberUS3079917 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 5, 1963
Filing dateMar 21, 1958
Priority dateMar 21, 1958
Publication numberUS 3079917 A, US 3079917A, US-A-3079917, US3079917 A, US3079917A
InventorsGodfrey Pate William
Original AssigneeGodfrey Pate William
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Oxygen mask assembly and adjustable suspension means therefor
US 3079917 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 1963 w. G. PATE OXYGEN MASK ASSEMBLY AND ADJUSTABLE SUSPENSION MEANS THEREFOR Filed March 21, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1' WILLIAM G. PATE March 5, 1963 w. G. PATE 3,079,917

OXYGEN MASK ASSEMBLY AND ADJUSTABLE SUSPENSION MEANS THEREFOR Filed March 21, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 WILLIAM 6. PA TE by; g l umm Unite States 3,079,917 OXYGEN MASK ASSEMBLY AND ADJlJ-dTABLE SUSPENSION MEANS THEREFOR William Godfrey Pate, RR. 1, King, Ontario, Canada Filed Mar. 21, 1958, Se No. 722,987 Claims. (Cl. 128-446) This application relates generally to oxygen mask assemblies and more particularly to means for adjusting oxygen masks worn by flyers.

The necessity for oxygen masks for pilots and aircrew flying at alitude is well known. Generally an oxygen mask forms a part of a flyers equipment. It is not necessarily worn all the time but is usually available so that it may be quickly donned. It is also general to place the pilots or aircrews microphone in the oxygen mask so that communications will not be interrupted when masks have to be worn. For this reason it is usual for the mask to be suspended fairly close to the face when it is not in use. When the mask is being WOFJJ at low altitudes where a certain amount of oxygen supply is required, it is not essential that the mask fit too tightly against the face, but, as the altitude increases it becomes necessary that the mask =be fitted snugly to the face to prevent the escape of oxygen under conditions known as pressure breathing. For this reason, means has to be provided whereby the mask may be adjusted to fit comfortably and securely on the wearers face.

In masks of the prior art, it has been known to attach the mask to the flyers helmet by means of a strap which can be fastened to each side of the helmet. The flyer adjusts the strap so that the mask fits snugly on his face. When it is not required to use the mask the flyer unbuckles it at one side and it hangs from the buckle on the other side. When the mask is not being worn and if the flyer wishes to use the microphone, the mask has to be held temporarily in front of the face. When the flyer places the mask in position for using oxygen, it is immediately clamped tightly to his face in the position required for pressure breathing at high altitudes mentioned above, which is not always necessary. In some types of masks, wire connections between each side of the mask and the helmet are used, and a turnbuckle adjustment is provided at each side. Other masks are provided with a ratchet like adjustment at each side, and when the mask is to be positioned for use the ratchets on both sides of the helmet have to be adjusted to position the mask comfortably on the face. Such adjusment is not convenient and where wire supports are used, the supports form an awkward obstruction when the mask is not in use.

It is thus an object of this invention to provide a means for adjusting an oxygen mask whereby the oxygen mask may be suspended below the face in the ready position and quickly adjusted to the in-use position.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a readily self-adjusting means for supporting an oxygen mask whereby the oxygen mask may be moved quickly from a suspended position below the operators face to a secured in-use position without prior adjustments by the operator.

It is also an object of this invention to provide a means for adjusting an oxygen mask whereby the tension of the supports for the oxygen mask may be readily adjusted when the mask is in the in-use position.

It is a further object of this invention to provide means whereby such adjustment may be made simply with one hand, and whereby the tension of the supports on each side of the face are simultaneously adjusted.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an oxygen mask assembly having supporting and adjusting means whereby the mask may be suspended in a ready position substantially centrally and below the operators face, and

3,07 9,917 Patented Mar. 5, 1963 2 may be speedily adjusted to an in-use position by means of a single handed operation without the necessity for prior adjustment of the support means to suit the individual operator.

The invention generally concerns an oxygen mask assembly adapted to be applied to an operators face comprising in combination: a face engaging oxygen mask; a pressure plate attached to said mask; adjustment means mounted upon said pressure plate; and suspension means for said mask said suspension means having a flexible portion engaging said adjustment means.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will 'become apparent from a consideration of the following de. scription in conjunction with the drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 shows a flyer wearing a helmet and an oxygen mask assembly and adjustable suspension means of the invention in the loose or ready position;

FIGURE 2 shows a flyer wearing a helmet and an oxygen mask assembly and adjustable suspension means of the invention in the in-use position;

FIGURE 3 shows an enlarged view of the adjustment means of the invention;

FIGURE 4 shows a partial sectional view of the adjustment means along the line 4 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 shows a detailed sectional view of the gear portion of the adjustment means of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 6 shows the T-bar release for the adjustment means;

FIGURE 7 shows a cross section of the adjustment means along the line 77 of FIGURE 4; and

FIGURE 8 shows an exploded View of the adjustment means of the invention.

Referring to the drawings, an operator is shown wearing a flying helmet 10. Flying helmets differ, but the invention is equally usable with the hard type or crash helmet shown in FIGURE 1, or the soft helmet, often used as an inner helmet shown in part of FIGURE 2.

Oxygen mask 11 is suspended from flying helmet 10 by means of suspension means 12 which may be in the form of a webbing tape. Suspension means 12 is provided at each end with attachment means 13 which may be in the form of a buckle or press stud, and is attachable to corresponding press stud or buckle attachment means 14 on the flying helmet 10. Oxygen mask 11 is provided with pressure plate 15 which conforms to the outer shape of oxygen mask '11 and fits thereover. Pressure plate 15 is provided with guide means 16 on either side thereof. Suspension means 12 passes through guide means 16 to adjustment means 17 which is mounted on pressure plate 15, by means of screws (not shown).

Oxygen mask 11 is adapted to fit closely over the operators nose and mouth. It is provided with a downwardly depending oxygen inlet portion 18. Pressure plate '15 conforms closely to the shape of oxygen mask 11 and plate 15 fit around oxygen inlet portion 18 of mask '11.

The upper portion 20 of pressure plate 15 is provided with outwardly depending tabs 21. Oxygen mask 11 is provided with outwardly-extending loop portions 22. Pressure plate 15 is mounted upon oxygen mask 11 by sliding the lower portions 19 over oxygen inlet portion 18. Forwardly extending tabs 21 on pressure plate 15 are formed leaving slot-like holes 23. Loops 22 on oxygen mask 11 extend forwardly through slots 23 and are snapped over tabs 21 to hold pressure plate 15 in cooperation with oxygen mask 11. Pressure plate 15 is further provided with a cut-out portion 24 to allow for the forward projection of the microphone housing 25 in the oxygen mask 11. It is not essential that pressure plate 15 be provided with cut-out portion 24, it could instead be molded to fit over the projection in the front of oxygen mask 11. Nevertheless, it is practical to proproceeds.

vide a cut-out portion so as to save as much weight as possible. Guide means 16 are provided one on either side of pressure plate 15. These guide means maybe in the form of small loop brackets which may be attached to pressure plate or may be punched out therefrom in any suitable manner. Suspension means 12 passes through guide means 16 to adjustment means 17, the operation of which will be described in. further detail hereafter.

The use of pressure plate 15 conforming to the shape of oxygen mask '11 presents advantages, in that the upper portion 20 which is bent inwardly to conform to the shape of the nose portion of the mask, prevents the mask from spreading outwardly when it is pressed closev to the operators face under pressure breathing conditions. It is thus possible to ensure a better contact of the mask with the operators face, Although oxygen mask 11 may be of conventional design, it will be noted thatit is possible because of the better contact ensured by use of pressure plate 15 to do away with the face engaging side flanges often used. This enables a saving in the weight and size of the. oxygen mask.

Adjustment means 17 is mounted upon pressure plate 15. Outer casing 28 of adjustment means17 is provided with slots 29 in each side. Suspension means 12. passes through slots 29 in outer casing 28'and through slot 30 in adjustment spool 31 supported'within outer casing 28. The-end 32 of adjustment spool 31 is designed to be rotatably supportedin bearing portion 33 in outer casing 28. The other end 34'of spool 3'1'is adapted to rotatably carry worm gear. 35, and attached hub 36. Hub 36 abuts shoulder 37- on spool 31, hub 36 and shoulder 37 being of the same diameter. End 34 of spool 31 projects beyond worm gear 35,. anclgisv provided with an internal axial bore 38 which extends to. the end of slot 30. The outer end 39 of axial bore 38 is of increased diameter for reasons which will become apparent as the, description The face of hub 36 which abuts shoulder 34 is provided with diametricalslots 40. of width substantially equal to slot 30. T-bar 41 consists of rod 42 pro vided with- T-head-43. T-bar 41 is inserted in slot 30 of spool 31 and rod 42 is inserted in bore 38, and moved longitudinally into. position. In the assembled" position head 43 rides in slot 30 and'engages one of diametrical slots 40. The endof rod42'projects beyond the end 34 of spool 31. A compression spring 44 is provided having one end supported'in outer end 39 of bore 38. Cap-45 isattached by suitable means to the end'of'rod 42 andsupports the other end of spring 44. The l'engthof rod 42' is such that cap 4.5. may be depressed against the force of' spring 44 so; as to release head 43 from engagement with diametrical: slot 40. In this position, spool 31 will be-free to rotate independently of worm gear 35.

Spring means in the form of a helical. strip spring 46 is woundabout' spool 31 adjacent collar 34 on the opposite side; to ,worm gear '35.. Washers 47 and, 48] are placed on either side of spring 46'and serve bothto protect it and to help support, spool 31 as hereinafter, de-.. scribed; The inner end 49 of spring 46ispassed through slot 30 and retained therein by any. convenient means,

usually by igeversingthe end in a118, form. The outer end50- of spring, 46 is fastened to outer casing 28 in the; assembled position as by pin 66; In order to retain the assembly sofar describedin outer casing 28, end

casing 51 is provided adapted' to fit closely within the end of outer casing 28. End casing 51 is provided, with 'internal flange 52 having a hole 53 therethr'ough. Hole 53 is adapted torotatably. support the end 34 of spool 31 projecting beyond worm gear 35. Washer 48 abuts the inner end 54" ofend casing-51., Washers, 4.7 and 48 are of'thesa l fi outside diameter as end casingSLand thus 'fit closely within outer casing 28 forming additional support for spoo1.31. As previously stated the end 32 of :spool31 is supportedwithin bearing portion 33 in outer casing 28; Push button 55 made of plastic or other suita- ,It should be seen that equal lengths of suspension means casing 51. The inner side 49 of push button 55 engages the end of cap 45.

When the assembly and end casing 51 are inserted in outer casing 28, Worm 57 supported upon worm shaft 58 is inserted through holes 59, in outer casing 28, and corresponding cylindrical cut away portioncl'f in end casing 51. Worm 57 is adapted to engage worm gear 35 which is adjacent flange 52 and the ends of Worm shaft 58 project through holes 59, 6% in outer casing and are adapted to receive adjnstmentknobs 62, 63. These knobs are similar. a suitable knurled flange 64, and has an inwardly projeoting cylindrical portion of reduced diameter, Portions 65 are adapted to be rotatably supported within holes 59 and 60 of the outer casing. and rotatably engage cut away portion 61 of end casing 51. Thus when 'knobs 62 and 63 are inserted, the inwardly projecting portions 65 thereof lock end casing 51 against axial or rotary movement' The ends of worm shaft 58,.pass through knobs 62 and 63 which are non-rotatably secured thereto, as by means of lock nuts. V

Rotation of either of knobs 62 or 63 willcause spool 31 to be rotated by virtue of the cooperation of worm 57, wormgear 35 and the engagement of head 43 in slots 30 and 40. Upon depression of push button 55, head 43 will be pushed out of engagement with slot 40 and spool 31 will be free to rotate under the influence of'spring 46.

To assemble suspension means 12 on spool 31, it is simply. necessary to wind up spring, 46 by means, of'adjustmen-t knobs 62 or 63, until spring 46 is compressed. Suspension means 12 is then fed through slots 29 in outer casing .28 and slot 30 in spool 31. The ends. of suspension means 12 are passed through respectiveguide means l6and the press studs, or buckles are attached.

12 project from either side of adjustment means 17. Push button 55 may then be depressedwhereupon spring 46 will unwind'causing spool 31 to rotate, and wind up suspension means 12. The press studs or buckles will engage guide means 16 and prevent suspension means be screwed together.

In operation the invention works as follows: Attachment means or press studs. 13 are attached to press studs 14 on flying helmet 10. Push button 55 is depressed thus releasing head 43 of T-bar 41 from engagement from slot 40. Adjustment spool 31 is now free to rotate against the force. of spring means 46. Withpush button 5.5 depressed the oxygen mask assembly maybe drawn away from the helmet. When push button 55.is released head 43v of T-bar 41 will beur ged'intoengagement with. one of; slots 40. by spring 44 thus. locking adjustment spool 31 and Worm gear 35. together. Further rotation of adjustment spool 3-1 under theiniluence. of spring means, 46 will thus be prevented 'by reason of the engagement of worm gear 35 with worm 5.7.. When the helmet and attached oxygen mask assembly is donned the oxygen mask assembly will be suspended by suspen- V push button 55 which will release adjustment spool 31 a "to rotate under the influenceof spring means 46. Spring means '46 will immediately urge spool 31 to rotate in a direction so as to wind up or shorten suspension means Each knob is provided with "12 thus raising the oxygen mask to the Wearers face, the exact positioning of the oxygen mask being guided by the operators hand. Upon releasing push button 55 head 43 will engage one of slots 40 as previously described and maintain the oxygen mask assembly in its new position.

Spring means 46 is designed to be of a strength sufficient to take up all slack in the suspension means 12, and hold the oxygen mask assembly firmly against the face of the operator without exerting undue pressure. Once the oxygen mask assembly is positioned on the face of the operator further adjustment to increase or decrease the pressure of the oxygen mask on the face may be made by means of rotating adjustment spool 31 manually. This is effected by turning one of adjustment knobs 62 or 63 which in turn cause worm 57 and Worm gear 35 to rotate. The rotary movement of worm gear 35 is transmitted to adjustment spool 31 by means of head 43 of T-bar 41. Thus the oxygen mask assembly may be positioned quickly on the operators face and by means of pushing push button 55 the suspension means 12 will be automatically adjusted to retain the mask in the new position. The final pressure may be swiftly adjusted by means of single handed operation in adjusting one of knobs 62 or 63. To remove the oxygen mask assembly from the face it is simply necessary to push button 55 and draw the assembly away from the face to any distance required. Push button 55 is then released and the assembly will remain in the new position. The action of drawing the oxygen assembly away from the operators face will of course cause suspension means 12 to unwind from adjustment spool 31. The resultant rotation of adjustment spool 31 will be against the force of spring means 46 and will wind up spring means 46 and increase its tension so that it will be ready to rewind suspension means 12 on adjustment spool 31 when required.

When the oxygen mask assembly is worn in the ready or suspended position, it is conveniently located centrally below the face and by virtue of the fact that suspension means 12 is flexible and is attached to the lower part of the helmet 16 the assembly permits freedom of movement of the operators head, at the same time remaining in a position whereby it may be instantly adjusted for use. The oxygen mask assembly of the invention provides many advantages. It is adjustable to any operator and suspension means '12 do not have to be separately adjusted as in many conventional assemblies. Also, the mask assembly requires no supports other than suspension means 12 to ensure adequate facial contact. The positioning of adjustment means '17 is such that pressure plate 15 is urged squarely towards the area of the face covered by the mask 11.

The outer casing 28 and end casing 51 of adjustment means 17 and adjustment spool 31 are preferably made of nylon or similar material. The advantage of such a construction is that it is light, durable and substantially inert. Moreover, the rotatable bearing contacts will not be likely to seize, or require lubrication. The gears may be of cadmium plated steel or other suitable material.

Pressure plate 15 is of an aluminum alloy. It may, however, be made of fiber-glass or nylon suitably strengthened. To save weight, pressure plate 15 can be suitably perforated. Spring means 46 may be of any suitably durable and resilient material such as Phosphor bronze or beryllium copper.

It will be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the exact construction shown and described, but that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the invention, as defined in the appended claims.

What I claim as my invention is:

1. An oxygen mask assembly adapted to be applied to an operators face comprising in combination: an oxygen mask; constraining means mountable on said mask to constrain at least a portion of said mask against distortion; means retaining said mask and said constraining means in associated relationship; an adjustment spool rotatably mounted on said constraining means; a strap for suspending said mask adjacent the face of an operator; said strap engaging said spool whereby upon rotation of said spool in one direction said strap is taken-up thereon and upon rotation of said spool in the opposite direction is unwound therefrom to alter the effective length of said strap and regulate the position of said mask relative to the face of an operator.

2. An oxygen mask assembly adapted to be applied to an operators face comprising in combination: an oxygen mask; a pressure plate adapted to fit closely on said oxygen mask; means retaining said oxygen mask and pressure plate in close co-operation; an adjustment spool rotatably mounted on said pressure plate; a strap for suspending said m-ask adjacent the face of an operator; said strap engaging said spool whereby upon rotation of said spool in one direction said strap is taken-up thereon and upon rotation of said spool in the opposite direction is unwound therefrom to alter the effective length of said strap and regulate the position of said mask relative to the face of an operator; and guide means on said pressure plate for said strap.

3. An oxygen mask assembly adapted to be applied to an operators face comprising in combination: an oxygen mask; a pressure plate adapted to fit closely on said oxygen mask; means retaining said oxygen mask and pressure plate in close cooperation; an adjustment spool rotatably mounted on said pressure plate; a strap for suspending said mask adjacent the face of an operator; said strap engaging said spool whereby upon rotation of said spool in one direction said strap is taken-up thereon and upon rotation of said spool in the opposite direction is unwound therefrom; and a manually rotatable gear train normally engaging said adjustment spool for manual rotation thereof to adjust said mask relative to the face of an operator.

4. An oxygen mask assembly adapted to be applied to an operators face comprising in combination: oxygen mask; a pressure plate adapted to fit on said oxygen mask; means retaining said oxygen mask and pressure plate in close relationship; a strap for suspending said mask adjacent the face of an operator; said strap engaging said spool whereby upon rotation of said spool in one direction said strap is taken-up thereon and upon rotation of said spool in the opposite direction is unwound therefrom; spring means co-operating with said adjustment spool and urging rotation thereof to take-up said strap; gear means normally engaging said spool to resist automatic rotation thereof; and manually disengageable means connecting said spool and said gear means.

5. An oxygen mask assembly adapted to be applied to an operators face comprising in combination: an oxygen mask; a pressure plate adapted to fit on said oxygen mask; means retaining said oxygen mask and pressure plate in close relationship; an adjustment spool rotatably mounted on said pressure plate; suspension means having a flexible portion engaging said adjustment spool, and windable thereon; spring means cooperating with said adjustment spool and urging rotation thereof to wind up said suspension means; manually rotatable means normally engaging said spool; manually disengageable means connecting said spool and said manually rotatable means; and means resisting automatic rotation of said manually rotatable means.

6. An oxygen mask assembly adapted to be applied to an operators face comprising in combination: an oxygen mask; a pressure plate adapted to fit on said oxygen mask; means retaining said oxygen mask and pressure plate in close relationship; an adjustment spool rotatably mounted on said pressure plate; suspension means having a flexible portion engaging said adjustment spool and windabl'e thereon; spring means cooperating with said adjustment spool and urging rotation thereof to wind up said sus- 7 pension, means; a worm gear rotatable independently of Said; spool and coaxial therewith; manually disengageable means connecting said spool and said'worm gear; a worm engagingsaid worm gear; and means for manually rotating said worm.

7. An oxygen mask assembly adapted to be applied to an operators face comprising in combination: an oxygen mask; a pressure plate conforming closely to the shape, of; said mask and fitting thereon; means retaining saidv mask and said pressure plate in close cooperation; adjustment means on said pressure plate; a first rotatable element within said adjustment means; flexible suspension means engaging said rotatable element and windable thereon; spring means urging rotation of said first rotatable'element; a second rotatable element; releasable means normally coupling said first and said second rotatable elements; means manually operable to release said releasable means from normal engagement with one of said rotatable elements thereby allowing independent rotation of said elements with respect to each other; and means manually operable to effect rotation of said second rotatable element said means resisting independent rotation of said second rotatable element.

8 An oxygen mask assembly adapted to be applied to an operators face comprising in combination: an oxygerrmask; a pressure plate conforming closely to the shape of said mask and fitting thereon; retaining means maintaining said mask and pressure plate in close cooperation; guide means on said pressure plate; adjustment means fixed to said pressure plate; a first rotatable element within said adjustment means; a slot in said first rotatable element; a flexible suspension means passing through said guide means. and said slot in said first ro- 2 tatableelement; spring means urging rotation of said first rotatable element; a second rotatable element independently rotatable of said first rotatable elment; means manually operable to effect rotation of said second r0.- tata-ble element and resisting independent rotation of said second rotatable element; movable engagement means connecting; said first and said second rotatable elements; sp igvmeans normally urging said movable engagement means into position coupling said first and second 10- tatable elements; and means manually operable to move said movable engagement means to disengage said first and second rotatable elements.

9; An oxygen mask assembly adapted to be applied to an operators face comprising-in combination: an oxygen mask; a pressure plate conforming closely to the shape of said mask and fitting thereon; cooperating loops and'tabs on said maskrand said pressure plate respectively retaining said mask and pressureplate in close cooperation; guide means on said pressure plate; adjustment means mounted on said pressure plate; a rotatable element rotatably supported in said adjustment means; a slot in said rotatable element; a flexible suspension means passing through said guide means and saidslot in said rotatable element; helical spring means urging rotation of said rotatable element; a worm gear rotatably mounted on said rotatable element, a hub on said worm gear; a plurality of slots in said hub; movable means engaging said slot in said rotatable element and at least one of said slots in said hub; spring means normally urging said movable means into engagement with said slots; means manually operable to disengage said movable means from said at least one slot in said hub; whereby saidrotatable element is independently rotatable of said Worm gear and said hub; and manually rotatable means connecting said worm whereby rotation of said worm gear may be effected by an operator.

'10. An oxygen mask assembly adapted tobe applied to an operators face comprising in combination: an oxygen mask; a pressure. plate adapted to fit closely on said oxygen mask; means retaining said oxygen mask and pressure plate in close co-operation; an adjustment spool rotatably mounted on said pressure plate; a strap for suspending said mask adjacent the face of an opera tor; said strap engaging said spool whereby upon rotation of said spool in one direction said strap is taken-up thereon and upon rotation of said spool in the opposite'direotion is unwound therefrom; 'a worm gear having a hub normally engaging said spool;,a manually rotatable worm for rotating said worm gear; and manually operable means for disengaging said worm gear and said spool.

References Cited in the file of'this patent I UNITED STATES PATENTS 613,841 Lord Nov. sjlsss 903,169 Brennan Nov. 10, 1908 962,099 Reinh-art June 21, 19 10 2,383,649 Heidbrink Aug. 28,1945 2,742,039 Bloom Apr. 11,1956 2,814,293 Gabb et al Nov. 26, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS,

219,489 Australia Mar. 21, 1957

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US3234939 *Aug 26, 1960Feb 15, 1966Sierra Eng CoQuick-donning mask suspension
US3234940 *Sep 17, 1962Feb 15, 1966Sierra Eng CoRetention for quick donning mask
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Classifications
U.S. Classification128/206.27, 128/201.23
International ClassificationA62B18/08, A62B18/00
Cooperative ClassificationA62B18/084
European ClassificationA62B18/08B