US 3249385 A
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May 3, 1966 w. c. BOYCE ETAL 3,249,385
ZIPPER LIMB RESTRAINT SYSTEM Filed Feb. 27, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTO WILLIAM C- BOYCE 5"?! Haw/ma E. F EEMAN BY ATT RNEYS y 3, 1966 w. c. BOYCE ETAL 3,249,385
ZIPPER LIMB RESTRAINT SYSTEM 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 27, 1964 INVENTORJ. WILL/AM C. BOYCE and How/mo E. FR EMAN a/ A T'ra mum y 1966 w. c. BOYCE ETAL 3, ,385
ZIPPER LIME RESTRAINT SYSTEM 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Feb. 2'7, 1964 INVENTORS- WILL/AM c- BoY E and HowAw E.FREE'MAM BY 4 nrmavzks United States Patent This invention relates to restraint systems for the protection of astronauts or occupants of high performance aircraft and, more particularly, to a zipper arrangement for positioning the limbs of such occupants.
Various means have been employed to protect the arms, legs, hands and feet of astronauts in restraint systems. Straps, gauntlets and bands have been used, but they are hard to get into or out of. Some have to be positioned by cables attached thereto and retracted by winding said cables on reels or drums actuated by motors. This action is frequently jerky and unpleasant to the astronaut when restraint is applied, especially in the case of'straps, which are apt to be too tight. Rigid gauntlets or casings which come in place too suddenly and with too much force also cause discomfort.
It is an object of this invention to overcome these objections by employing a zipper arrangement which starts at the point where the limb joins the torso and progressively encases the member to its extremity.
It is a further object to employ zippers closed by cables and take-up reels which employ an action that is progressive and gentle, and which gradually retracts the astronauts arm firmly into contoured recesses in the seat structure and his legs into a resilient tube attached to said structure.
It is another object to provide a means to achieve the above objectives which is easy to get into and out of and which is simple to operate and which is comfortable, safe and secure for the wearer.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a zipper-restraint system which is easily constructed of conventional, currently available materials that lend themselves to standard mass production manufacturing techniques.
Briefly, this invention comprises, for the arm restraint, a half zipper sewed to the flight suit with the other half of said zipper fastened to an arm rest. The zipper is started at a point behind the shoulder and pulled in position by a cable or trolley system on the arm rest which pulls the slide fastener. For leg restraint the astronauts legs repose in open tubes with zipper halves on both sides of each leg. The tube is secured to the seat and leg rests. To operate the leg restraint system, the occupant pulls the upper corners of the tube together and engages the zipper, the slide fastener of which is fastened to a cable or trolley system which can then close the zipper.
The above and other advantages, features and objects of the invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the following drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a schematic representation of the arm restraint system showing an arm extended with the zipper in the cruise, or open position;
FIGURE 2 is a schematic view of the leg restraint sysem showing the leg restraint with the zipper hooked at the starting end, near the hip, before restraint is-applied;
FIGURE 3 is a view similar to that of FIGURE 2 with the zipper pulled down to the knee as restraint is applied;
FIGURE 4 shows the zipper of the leg restraint system of FIGURES 2 and 3 in its completely closed position with the leg encased under full restraint;
FIGURE 5 shows a trolley system for closing and opening the zippers of this invention; and
FIGURE 6 is a schematic representation of the trolley systemv applied to the leg restraint system.
In the drawings 10 represents the arm of an astronaut which is encased in his suit and 12 illustrates a half zipper with its webbing 13 sewed to the suit arm. The other half of the zipper, indicated at 14, is fastened by its web to the arm rest 24 of the seat structure 16. A cord, or cable 18 is shown attached to a slider 20 which closes the zipper when the cable 18 is retracted by a reel or trolley system (not shown). Another cable 22 is attached to the end of the zipper in order to pull the arm 10 back into the seat structure when the cable 18 has closed the zipper and pulled the said arm into the contoured arm rest 24. The restraint action is progressive, startingat the shoulder and gradually encasing the arm from shoulder to wrist. It is gentle and effective. Only the left arm is shown since the right arm would have the same components and be subject to the same controls and restraints. A track Way is attached to the seat structure and has mounted therein for slideable movement a guide ring 62 which has a projection 64 in engagement with a slot 66 in the track 60. Extension of the cord 18 to the guide ring 62 and thence to a take-up reel will allow for the proper direction of force to the slider 20 in order to close the zipper. The guide ring 62 is biased by spring 68 to hold the ring toward the elbow position until it is engaged by the slider 20.
In FIGURE 2, the left leg of an astronaut is shown resting in an opened, flexible nylon leg tube 32 with two halves 28 and 30 of a zipper attached to it. A zipper slide fastener 35 is shown engaging the two halves of the zipper at its upper end, and attached to it is a cable 26- which passes through a ring guide 36 and thence through a cable guide 40 which is attached to the seat structure 16. The ring guide 36 is attached to a spring 34 which is fastened at a convenient place on the seat structure 16 of the vehicle, its purpose being to guide the cable 26. The cable 26, after being threaded through cable guide 40, is extended back through the ring guide 36 to a reel (not shown), the arrowhead indicating the direction of pull required to close the zipper.
In FIGURE 3, the zipper slide fastener 35 is shown closing the zipper halves 28 and 30 almost to the knee cap of the astronaut and in FIGURE 4 it has closed it to the ankle. The astronauts leg is now completely encased in the nylon tube 32, which being fixed to the seat structure 16, holds the astronauts limbs firmly, yet gently in place and protects him from accelerations or decelerations in any direction and from the so-called submarining effect. The right leg is encased in a similar tube having a similar zipper and controls. Both the arm enclosure of FIGURE 1 and the leg enclosure of FIG- URES 2, 3 and 4 are part of a restraint system and the cables for closing the zippers are actuated and may be controlled by a master system.
An alternative mode of operating the cables to open and close the zipper restraint systems may be by means of a track and trolley arrangement as illustrated in FIG- URES 5 and 6. Although the track-trolley arrangement is shown applied to a leg restraint arrangement, it should be understood that it is equally applicable to the arm restraint system where the tracks are contoured to the shape of the arm rest and separate tracks are utilized for each arm. The trolley arrangement illustrated in FIGURES 5 and 6 comprises a track 48, fastened to the seat structure between the legs of the seated astronaut. This track is essentially a channel 48 in which rides a trolley 50 having wheels 52 in engagement with the walls of the channel. Attached to the trolley 50 at both ends is a cable 42, which in effect is an endless belt. This cable passes over a drive pulley 46 which is connected to a reversible motor 44.. The trolley 50 carries a pole 54 and a cross piece 56, which is attached at each end to cables 26. The cables 26 have hooks 58 suitable for attachment to zipper closures 35. When the said hooks are engaged in the closures 35 and motor 44 turns in a counterclockwise direction, the cable 42 pulls the trolley 50 away from the torso of the astronaut, thus closing the zippers. When the motor is reversed the trolley 50 reverses its direction and the zippers are opened. The cable 42 rides on idler pulleys 47 and in the track 48.
We have thus described protective devices for the limbs of astronauts to :be used in conjunction with a restraint system, said devices employing the novel arrangement of zipper closures starting at the torso and gradually enclosing the limbs to the extremities.
Although the invention has been described with reference to particular embodiments, it will be understood to those skilled in the art that-the invention is capable of a variety of alternative embodiments within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1.v In a restraint system for the protection of the limbs of astronauts or occupants of high performance vehicles, zippered means including a zipper and means for enclosing a limb, said zippered means extending from the point of joinder of a limb to a point proximate to the extremity of the limb, said zippered means having a portion along its length fixedly secured to structure of said vehicle, and means for gradually closing the Zipper of said zippered means from the point of joinder of the limb with the torso to the end of said zippered means proximate to the extremity of the limb.
2. A restraint system as defined in claim 1 wherein said zippered means comprises an enclosure for an arm of a vehicle occupant, one-half of said zipper being seclosure and a motor and reel means for winding said cable on said reel to close said zipper and force the limb of said occupant to said structure of said vehicle.
4. A restraint system as described in claim 1 wherein the means for closing said zipper comprises a zipper slide, a trolley track secured to said structure of said vehicle, a trolley riding in said track, an endless cable attached to said trolley, a trolley poleon said trolley having a hook attached to said zipper slide, and a reversible motor to draw said cable to close or open said zipper.
5. A restraint system as defined invclaim 1 wherein,
said :means for enclosing a limb comprises an open fabric tube for the leg of a vehicle occupant, said zipper forming a closure for said tube and said tube providing the portion for attachment to said structure of said vehicle.
6. A restraint system as described in claim 5 for the protection of the legs of said occupant wherein the means for closing said zipper comprises a zipper slide, a track fastened to said vehicle, a trolley in engagement with said track, an endless cable attached to said trolley, said trolley being in engagement with said zipper slide, and a drive pulley attached to a reversible motor, said cable passing over said drive pulley to pull said trolley .to open or close said zippers.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES 'PATENTS 1,706,634 3/1929 Seils 297-413 2,004,765 6/1935 Molter 297-388 X 2,257,099 9/ 1941 Beirise 297-388 X 2,611,363 9/1952 Peters 297-305 X 2,657,688 11/1953 Tucker 128-134 2,679,842 6/1954 Brill 128-134 2,836,382 5/1958 Martin 244-122 2,871,849 2/1959 Chatham et a1 2-2 2,940,701 6/1960 Beem et al. 244-122 2,982,969 5/1961 Parker et a1 2-84 X 3,099,261 7/1963 Doss et al. 128-1 3,165,356 1/1965 Geier et a1 297-216 FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.
R. B. FARLEY, Assistant Examiner.