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Publication numberUS3130739 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 28, 1964
Filing dateAug 18, 1961
Priority dateAug 18, 1961
Publication numberUS 3130739 A, US 3130739A, US-A-3130739, US3130739 A, US3130739A
InventorsVon Kohorn Ralph S
Original AssigneeVon Kohorn Ralph S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Overhead structures
US 3130739 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 1964 R. s. VON KOHORN 3,130,739

' OVERHEAD STRUCTURES Filed Aug. 18, 1961 ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,13e,7s9 OVERHEAD STRUCTURES Ralph S. Von Kohorn, Westchester County, N.Y. (511 North St, White Plains, N.Y.) Filed Aug. 18, 1961, Ser. No. 132,348 4 Claims. (Cl. 135-5) The present invention relates generally to overhead structures and relates more particularly to an improved collapsible roof structure.

The conventional structures for supporting a roof in an unimpaired fashion over a large area generally includes a plurality of upright columns which support between them a large number of arch or truss structures over which cross-pieces and a skin is laid to form the roof wall per se. Such a structure is necessarily expensive, requiring the use of heavy columns, particularly when the area covered is of considerable extent and also requires the use of relatively heavy trusses or arches. Furthermore, the width of the area which is unimpaired by columns is greatly limited.

It is therefore a principal object of the present invention to provide an improved overhead structure.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved roof structure.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a collapsible roof structure which is capable of covering relatively large areas in the absence of intermediate columns or other structures.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved roof structure of the above nature characterized by its simplicity and relatively low cost.

The above and other objects of the present invention will become apparent from a reading of the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings herein.

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention. FIGURE 2 is an enlarged sectional detailed view of the upper end of a support strut, and FIGURE 3 is an enlarged detailed view of the base of a support strut.

In a sense the present invention contemplates the provision of a roof structure comprising a plurality of upwardly directed struts, means of fastening the lower ends of said struts to the ground around the periphery of a predetermined area, a concave-convex roof member formed of a flexible material secured along its periphery to the upper ends of said struts and means of directing a flow of air into the concavity of said roof member whereby to apply an upward pressure thereto.

In accordance with the preferred form of the present invention the struts are formed of tubular members, the lower ends of which are connected to high-velocity airpumps of any suitable type. The roof' member includes a skin portion which may be reinforced by diametrically extending flexible ribs which may be nylon or wire ropes or the like, the ends of which are attached to the upper ends of struts, and the periphery of the roof skin member is reinforced by peripherally extending flexible member such as rope or the like.

One or more openings are formed in the skin member to provide a release for the entering air as is well-known in parachutes. The air is directed from the upper ends of the struts to the under-surface of the roof member to expand the roof member and expand it on the upflowing air.

Referring now to the drawings which illustrate a prefered embodiment of the present invention of the roof, numeral designates a circular area over which it is desired to support a roof or canopy. It should be noted that whereas the area 10 is illustrated as circular it can 3,130,739 Patented Apr. 28, 1964 be of any desirable configuration and contour. Embedded about the periphery of the area 10 are a plurality of base members 11 each of which carries a bracket member 12 to which is pinned a support arm 13. The support arm 13 tightly engages the lower section of a corresponding strut 14 which is directed upwardly and dilated outwardly relative to the area 10. The strut 14 projecting below the support arm 13 is in the form of a tube which may be reinforced if desired to withstand tension as we hereinafter set forth. The lower end of the tubular strut 14 communicates with the outlet of a suitably mounted driven high-velocity fan or pump 16 of any well-known construction.

The canopy or roof member 17 is mounted atop the free ends of the struts 14 and includes a concave-convex skin 18 formed of any suitable material such as for example thin woven nylon, polyester, cotton, silk or other suitable high-strength light-weight fibers. The skin 18 may likewise be formed of a non-fibrous web such as a polyester film or the like and may be transparent or opaque as desired. Furthermore, there are formed in the skin 18 one or a plurality of spaced openings 19 to insure against overstressing of the skin 18 as is wellknown in similar structures. The skin 18 may be reinforced by peripherally diametrically extending flexible rib members 20. A reinforcing band 21 may extend along the periphery of the skin 18. It should be noted that the reinforcing members 20 and 21 may be formed of nylon or Wire rope or the like and are suitably secured to the skin 18, preferably along its upper surface.

The lower ends of each reinforcing cross-rib member 20 is provided with a coupling shackle 26 to facilitate the mounting of the canopy 17. The upper ends of each of the tubular struts 14 carry an outwardly projecting bracket arm 22 and a hookeye 23 which is engaged by the shackle 26. A baffle 24 is mounted atop each of the support struts 14 to direct the efiluent air against the inner surface of the canopy 17.

In operation the canopy 17 is attached to the upper ends of the struts 14 by means of the shackle 26 and eyes 23 thereafter the pumps or fans 16 are motivated directing high-velocity flow of air through the respective struts 14 which lead the air into the underface of the canopy 17 to expand the canopy 17 outwardly and upwardly to form the roof structure. It should be noted that the peripheral reinforcing rib 21 serves also to complete the support of the support structure 14 by swinging outwardly. The structure is simply collapsed by deenergizing motors 16 so that the canopy drops whereafter it may be detached from the upper ends of the structures 14 which may be removed from the base structure or lower or swing inwardly or outwardly.

It should further be noted that the air pumped by the fan 16 may be conditioned in any manner whereby to correspondingly condition the space delineated by the area 10 and the canopy 17.

While there has been described and illustrated a preferred embodiment of the present invention it is apparent that numerous alterations or omissions or additions may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.

I claim:

1. A canopy structure comprising a plurality of upwardly directed strut member supported at the lower ends thereof, a concave-convex canopy member, means securing the peripheral edge of said canopy member to the upper ends of said strut members, and air blowing means communicating with the lower ends of said tubular strut members to direct a flow of air into the underface of said canopy member.

2. A canopy structure according to claim 1 wherein said canopy member has a plurality of openings formed therein.

3. A canopy structure according to claim 1 wherein said canopy member includes a skin and flexible reinforcing ribs extending across and secured to said skin, said reinforcing ribs being secured at their ends to the upper ends of said strut members.

4. A canopy structure according to claim 3 including a reinforcing rib extending about the periphery of said canopy member and secured to said cross ribs.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Weston Apr. 23, 1895 Parsons Mar. 31, 1925 Vallinos July 13, 1943 Stevens Aug. 8, 1944

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US538093 *Sep 12, 1894Apr 23, 1895 Milton t
US1531622 *Aug 30, 1921Mar 31, 1925Parsons John EOuting tent
US2324045 *Aug 8, 1940Jul 13, 1943Nicholas VallinosAirplane with self-opening parachute
US2355248 *Nov 26, 1942Aug 8, 1944Stevens Jr Herbert HBuilding with air supported roof and method of constructing the same
Referenced by
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US6892742 *Mar 2, 2003May 17, 2005Ching-Hsuan WangTent
US8001987Dec 2, 2005Aug 23, 2011Let's Go Aero, Inc.Support system for shelters
US9186594 *Mar 15, 2012Nov 17, 2015Seatriever International Holdings LimitedIlluminated balloon
US20040168715 *Mar 2, 2003Sep 2, 2004Ching-Hsuan WangTent
US20070125410 *Dec 2, 2005Jun 7, 2007Let's Go Aero, Inc.Support system for shelters
US20140011420 *Mar 15, 2012Jan 9, 2014Seatriever International Holdings LimitedIlluminated Balloon
U.S. Classification52/2.17, D25/19, 135/93, 135/125, D25/56
International ClassificationE04H15/20, E04H15/22
Cooperative ClassificationE04H15/22
European ClassificationE04H15/22