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Publication numberUS3369113 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 13, 1968
Filing dateOct 12, 1966
Priority dateOct 12, 1966
Publication numberUS 3369113 A, US 3369113A, US-A-3369113, US3369113 A, US3369113A
InventorsCharles H Loch
Original AssigneeWestinghouse Electric Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Runway centerline light
US 3369113 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 13, 1968 c LOCH 3,369,113

RUNWAY CENTERLINE LIGHT Filed Oct. 12, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent T 3,369,113 RUNWAY CENTERLINE LIGHT Charles H. Loch, Berea, Ohio, assignor to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Oct. 12, 1966, Ser. No. 586,130 Claims. (Cl. 2401.2)

This invention relates to airport runway lights and more particularly to a novel arrangement for mounting and servicing the lamp in a runway centerline, touchdown zone or edge type light.

Light assemblies of this type are generally mounted in holes drilled in the runway pavement of airports at spaced intervals for providing a guide to pilots as they land, taxi or take-off from such runways. These light assemblies must be designed to withstand vibration, shock and dynamic and static loading resulting from normal runway maintenance and aircraft operation such as, for example, contact with snowplow blades, aircraft landing gear and aircraft tailhooks. For these reasons runway lights currently in use generally employ relatively heavy metal castings as the cover plate or principal component of the light assembly. In order to change burned-out lamps within the light assemblies it has been generally necessary for the electrician to remove many bolts and lift a relatively heavy (up to thirty pounds) cover plate out of place to get at and replace a burned-out lamp. This operation consumes considerable time and effort on the runway resulting in excessive runway downtime. In many instances, even after the relatively heavy cover plate is removed, additional work is required to remove the reflector and/ or wire connections in order to complete the operation of gaining access to the burned-out lamp. Upon replacement of the lamp the foregoing operation must be repeated in reverse to return the lamp to service.

The lamp access and mounting arrangement of the present invention permits the changing of lamps from within the lighting assembly by providing ready access to the lamp through a small access cap in the center of the light assembly cover plate or housing, resulting in a significant savings in both time and eitort on the part of the maintenance man. When the lamp is removed it is handled by only its metal base after electrical contacts with said base are positively and completely broken. The assembly of the present invention further provides for the simple, quick and accurate relamping of the light fixture wherein the lamp is accurately positioned with respect to both elevation and azimuth within the optical system of the lighting fixture.

It is an object of the present invention to eliminate the requirement for completely disassembling the runway light in order to relamp.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a lamp mounting and servicing arrangement wherein the lamp bulb is quickly and readily accessible from the eX- terior of the light fixture.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a lamp mounting and access arrangement wherein the lamp is simply and accurately aligned, both in elevation and azimuth, prior to the completing of the electrical connection of the lamp to the electric supply lines.

Although the invention will be described with respect to a runway centerline light it will be apparent that the present invention may be employed equally as we'll in a touchdown zone light or a runway edge type light.

The foregoing objects are accomplished in accordance with the present invention by providing, in a runway centerline having a cover plate and a reflector sealed together to form a light source and optical system containing enclosure and employed for projecting beams of light in opposite directions along the centerline of a runway, a

3,359,113 Patented Feb. 13, 1968 support plate wtihin said enclosure for mounting an inverted light source with its base and electrical contacts above the light-producing filament, said filament being properly aligned by said support plate with respect to said optical system and reflector both in elevation and azimuth. A conductor carrying insulator surrounds the lamp base and provides resilient electrical connection to said lamp contacts, and a centrally disposed threadably seated and sealed access cap overlies said lamp base and applies pressure to said resilient contact to thereby complete electrical connection to said lamp while sealing off the interior of the optical system enclosure.

The foregoing objects, as well as many of the attendant advantages of the present invention, will become more readily apparent as the following detailed description is considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an airport-runway centerline lighting fixture employing the novel lamp access and mounting assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the lighting fixture taken along the line IIII of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the lighting fixture taken along the line IIIIII of FIG. 1 and at 90 from that of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the lamp mounting and access assembly of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the central portion of the cover plate with the lamp access cap removed.

Referring now in detail to the drawings, wherein like reference characters represent like parts throughout the several views, there is shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 the general arrangement of a runway lighting fixture employing the lamp mounting and access assembly of the present invention. The runway light generally designated 10 includes a cover plate 12 which is circular in configuration and is secured to a base member 14 by a plurality of bolts 16. The base member 14 is designed to be embedded in the concrete runway of an airport landing strip along the centerline thereof. A reflector 17 is secured to the underside of the cover plate 12 as for example by bolts 18. The cover plate 12 and reflector 17 define a sealed cavity which forms an enclosure for the lamp and optical system. The seal between the reflector 17 and the underside of the cover plate 12 is provided by a rubber gasket 20. The optical system of the runway centerline light assembly include a lamp 34, a pair of suspended hyperbolic lenses 24 and a pair of light beam refracting prisms 26. This optical system is described in detail in copending application Ser. No. 586,111, filed the same day as this application by the present inventor and owned by the assignee of this invention.

The novel lamp holding and access assembly, as best shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, includes a stepped port 27 which communicates between the optical cavity and the upper surface of the cover plate 12. Secured to the underside of cover plate 12 by means of a plurality of bolts 26' is a support plate 28 which bridges the entrance of port 27 into the optical cavity. The support plate 28 carries on its upper surface a pair of lead-in conductors 30 which are connected to external terminals 32 to provide for the transmission of power to the lamp 34.

The lamp 34 is a conventional single ended quartz iodine lamp having a base portion 36 which carries a pair of electrical contacts 38 and a transparent quartz bulb portion 40 within which a filament 42 is mounted. Separating the bulb portion 40 from the base portion 36 is a positioning ring 44 having a plurality of positioning apertures 4-6 spaced therearound in a predetermined non-uniform relationship. The lamp 34 is positioned through an aperture 47 in the support plate 28 and aligned by means of a plurality of upwardly directed projections or studs 48 which surround the aperture 47. The studs or detents 48 are so positioned about aperture 47 that they will only register with the apertures 46 in positioning ring 44 in one orientation of the lamp 34. When the apertures 46 mate with the detents 48 the positioning ring 44 will lie flush on the upper surface of support plate 28 and the filament 42 of lamp 34 will be properly aligned in both elevation and azimuth with respect to the optical system of the runway centerline light.

A conductor carrying insulating insert 50 having an opening 52 therethrough carries resilient conductors 58 and is adapted to be positioned about the base member 36 of lamp 34. The position of the insulating insert 50 is controlled by the interaction of the oppositely disposed arcuate edges 54 with the sides 60 of the stepped port 27 and the interaction of oppositely disposed parallel straight sides 56 with a pair of upright guide members 62 on support plate 28. When thus aligned each of the resilient conductors 58 is positioned for contact with one of the lead-in conductors 30 and one of the lamp contacts 38.

A threaded lamp access cap 64 is threaded into the upper portion of aperture 27 which communicates between the upper face of the cover plate 12 and the enclosure for the optical system. A flat recessed central portion 66 of the underside of the access cap 64 contacts the top surfaces of upwardly extending shoulders or flanges 68 on insulating insert 50 to force the resilient conductors 58 into contact with the lead-in conductors 30 and lamp contacts 38. After forcing the electrical connection of the lamp 34 the access cap 64 completes the sealing off of the enclosure by means of a gasket 70 positioned on shoulder 72 of the stepped aperture 27 which is contacted by the peripheral underside 74 of access cap 64. The access cap is provided with a plurality of notches 76 which permit removal of the access cap 64 by means of a conventional spanner wrench.

When it is required to relamp a centerline lighting fixture constructed in accordance with the present invention, the lamp access cap 64 is removed from the aperture 27 and the conductor carrying insulating insert 50 is then removed by gripping the upwardly projecting flanges 68 thus breaking electrical contact between the supply line and the lamp. The lamp is then removed and a new lamp inserted through aperture 47 in support plate 28. The new lamp will be automatically correctly oriented both in elevation and azimuth by means of the interaction of the upper surface of support plate 28 and the under surface of positioning ring 44, detents or studs 48, and apertures 46 as previously described. Electrical contact is reinsti- :tuted by then placing the conductor carrying insulating in- :sert 50 over the upwardly extending lamp base and securing the threaded access cap to provide the resilient electrical connections and seal above mentioned.

As can be seen from the foregoing, the lamp holding .and access assembly of the present invention provides a runway centerline light in which the lamp may be removed from the top of the light without removing the entire cover plate with its attendant time consuming and physically exerting requirements. The lamp is further only handled by its metal base which prevents the possible contamination or breaking of the relatively fragile quartz lbulb portion of the lamp. Furthermore, the possibilities of electrical shock are minimized since removal of the conductor carrying insulator breaks the circuit to the lamp prior to the touching of the lamp itself. The assembly further provides for some measure of temperature control at the base end of the lamp due to its remote and comparatively insulated position with respect to the light source in the optical cavity. The sometimes diflicult problem of orienting the lamp filament with respect to the remainder of the optical system in order to provide maximum light output from the fixture is also obviated by the exacting requirements provided by the lamp mounting arrangement.

Since numerous changes may be made in the abovedescribed apparatus and different embodiments of the invention may be made without departing from the spirit thereof, it is intended that all matter contained in the foregoing description or shown in the accompanying drawings, shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

What is claimed is:

1. A self-contained airport runway light comprising:

(a) a metal casting having a top face and a bottom face, said bottom face having .a cavity therein;

(b) a port communicating between said top face and said cavity;

(c) a support plate mounted within said cavity across said port, said support plate including lamp positioning means thereon;

(d) a reflector secured with respect to said support plate and extending about the periphery of said cavity; said reflector and said cavity defining an enclosure;

(e) a pair of oppositely disposed prisms sealed within apertures in said casting communicating with said enclosure, said prisms refracting light from said enclosure to transmit beams of light exteriorly of said casting;

(f) an inverted lamp including a base portion and a bulb portion having a filament therein and locating means therearound positioned within said port, said locating means coacting with said positioning means on said support plate to determine the elevation and azimuth of said filament within said enclosure;

(g) resilient conductor means within said port for conducting electrical power to said lamp; and

(h) access means sealing of the top of said port and forcing said resilient conductor means to establish electrical contact with said lamp.

2. A runway light according to claim 1 wherein said lamp positioning means on said support plate includes an upper centrally located flat surface surrounding a lamp bulb receiving aperture and a plurality of upwardly extending projections disposed about said aperture in predetermined locations.

3. A runway light according to claim 2 wherein said locating means about said lamp includes an annular flange positioned at the juncture of the bulb portion and base portion of said lamp, said flange having a plurality of spaced apertures therein.

4. An airport runway light according to claim 3 wherein said annular flange coacts with said flat surface to determine the elevation of said filament within said enclosure and said apertures in said flange coact with said projections to determine the orientation of said filament in azimuth within said enclosure.

5. An airport runway light according to claim 4 wherein said apertures in said flange will receive said projections on said support plate to permit said flange to coact with said flat surface in only a single rotational position of said lamp.

6. An airport runway light according to claim 1 wherein said resilient conductor means comprises an annular insulating member having an opening centrally therethrough and a pair of resilient electrical coductors thereon, said conductor means being situated on said support plate with said central opening surrounding the base portion of said lamp and each of said resilient electrical conductors overlying electrical contacts on said base portion.

7. An airport runway light according to claim 6 wherein said access means comprises a threaded access cap having a centrally recessed underside which coacts with said annular insulating member to force electrical connection between said resilient conductors and said electrical contacts, said access cap further including a peripheral portion on its underside which coacts with a portion of said port to form a seal.

8. In an airport runway light having a main body portion and a reflector portion defining a sealed enclosure therebetween and an optical system therein for directing beams of light bidirectionally, a lamp mounting and access assembly comprising;

(a) an access opening through said main body portion communicating with said enclosure;

(b) a support plate secured to said body portion and having a lamp receiving port centrally disposed therein and a plurality of lamp positioning studs surrounding the periphery of said lamp receiving port;

(c) a single-ended coil-filament lamp having an envelope portion and a base portion With a positioning ring in the form of a flange surrounding the lamp at the intersection of said base portion and said envelope portion, said positioning ring having a plurality of positioning apertures therein whereby said lamp is positioned on said support plate with the envelope portion extending into said enclosure with its filament aligned through the interconnection of said studs and said apertures in said positioning ring;

(d) a pair of lead-in conductors positioned on said support plate and a pair of contacts on the base of said lamp;

(e) a conductor carrying insulator positioned about said lamp base portion and carrying a pair of spring conductors for electrically connecting each of said lead-in conductors to a separate one of said conductors, and v (f) a lamp access cap threadably secured in said access opening With its inner face contacting the upper surface of said conductor carrying insulator thereby causing said spring conductors to complete electrical contact and firmly secure said lamp within said port.

9. A lamp mounting and access assembly according to claim 8 wherein said support plate secured to said main body portion bridges the juncture of said access opening with said enclosure.

10. A lamp mounting and access assembly according to claim 8 wherein a portion of the inner face of said lamp access cap coacts with a portion of said access opening to seal otf the interior of said enclosure and said access opening.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,184,004 12/ 1939 Pennow 2401.2 2,934,633 .4/1960 Cumming 2401.2 3,015,717 1/1962 Angier 240-12 3,113,726 12/1963 Pennow et al 240-1.2 3,155,321 11/1964 McDonald 2401.2

NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner.

D. L. JACOBSON, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2184004 *Apr 30, 1937Dec 19, 1939Westinghouse Electric & Mfg CoRunway marker light
US2934633 *Nov 18, 1958Apr 26, 1960Commw Of AustraliaLight for aircraft runways and the like
US3015717 *May 21, 1959Jan 2, 1962Structural Electric Products CRunway light
US3113726 *Aug 30, 1960Dec 10, 1963Westinghouse Electric CorpRunway lighting unit
US3155321 *Sep 30, 1960Nov 3, 1964Multi Electric Mfg IncAirport runway light
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3463913 *Mar 31, 1967Aug 26, 1969Crouse Hinds CoAirport runway marker lighting unit
US3999054 *Aug 4, 1975Dec 21, 1976Corning Glass WorksLuminaire and optical system for use therein
US4924364 *Mar 21, 1988May 8, 1990Societe AnonymeFlush-type airport runway light, with removable optical unit
US5414603 *Jun 14, 1993May 9, 1995Conway; David H.Airport lighting unit
US5669691 *Feb 21, 1995Sep 23, 1997Tristar Electric Inc.Airport runway or taxiway light fixture
US5676448 *Aug 27, 1996Oct 14, 1997Thorn EurophaneLight fixture for runways or taxiways
EP0653351A1 *Nov 17, 1994May 17, 1995Thorn EurophaneAirfield runway marker
EP2143990A1 *Jul 9, 2008Jan 13, 2010Safegate International ABA light guiding element, a light assembly and a method for manufacturing said light guiding element
WO1992007758A1 *Nov 5, 1991May 14, 1992David Harrison ConwayAirport lighting unit
WO2003023276A2 *Aug 30, 2002Mar 20, 2003Dialight CorporationLed in-pavement light
WO2003023276A3 *Aug 30, 2002Jul 10, 2003Dialight CorpLed in-pavement light
U.S. Classification362/267
International ClassificationF21S8/00, B64F1/20
Cooperative ClassificationB64F1/20, F21W2111/06, B64F1/205
European ClassificationB64F1/20A, B64F1/20
Legal Events
Oct 25, 1982AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Effective date: 19821001
Oct 25, 1982ASAssignment
Effective date: 19821001