US 3455571 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
. July 15, 9 v G. E'JALLERA ETAL 3,
INFLATABLE SLED Filed April 15, 1968 United States Patent O F 3,455,571 INFLATABLE SLED Giancarlo Dallera and Luigi Dallera, both of Via Milano 15, Sarouno, Milano, Italy Filed Apr. 15, 1968, Ser. No. 721,291 Claims priority, application Italy, Apr. 17, 1967, 8,559/ 67 Int. Cl. B62b 13/16; A63c /00 U.S. Cl. 280-18 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An inflatable sled comprising two separate bodies fastened to each other and each provided with a valve allowing a ready inflation and deflation thereof. The first body is an elongated flattened tubular member having an upper annular opening. The second body is adapted to be positioned within the annular opening of the first body. The lower surface of the first body is equipped with runner blade means.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an inflatable sled. In winter sports different types of rigid sleds are widely used, such sleds exhibiting, however, considerable disadvantages. Rigid sleds are cumbersome and their size makes transport thereof from one location to another very diflicult.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a very lightweight sled of a ready and reliable use.
It is another object of the invention to provide a sled which when not used or when it has to be transported from one location to another may be reduced in size so as to occupy a very small volume, and which may, particularly, be readily contained within a small suitcase, bag or the like.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The above and other objects are attained by an inflatable sled comprising at least separate structures or bodies that are adapted to be connected to each other. The first of said bodies is an elongated tubular member having an annular opening in the upper surface thereof. The second body is adapted to be positioned within the annular opening of the first body, The lower surface of the first body is equipped with runner blade means. Desirably said two bodies are made of pliable, air impervious material, and provided with means for introducing and removing air into and from said bodies.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In order that the structure and features of the present sled will be more clearly understood, an embodiment thereof will now be described by way of example and not of limitation, reference being made to the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing the upper or top portion of the sled;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view showing the bottom portion of said sled;
FIGURE 3 is a cross-section of the sled taken along line III-III of FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 4 is a longitudinal section of the sled taken along line IVIV of FIGURE 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As seen from the figures, the sled, shown therein in an inflated condition, comprises an elongated, flattened, inflatable tubular body 1 and an inflatable body 2 which is positioned within the annular opening of body 1 and projects upwardly from the upper surface of body 1, as is clearly seen from FIGS. 1, 2 and 4.
Tubular body 1 has an upper and lower surface, a frontal portion and a rear portion 3. Body 2 is located between the frontal and rear portions of body 1. The sled may optionally be provided with undulations 4 that extend lengthwise of said body 1. Such undulations or compartments serve to stiffen the sled. Runner blade means 5 are attached to the lower surface of body 1 and are positioned on body 1 parallel to each other. The blades extend from the bottom portion of the sled, that is from that portion which is opposite to the portion from which body 2 projects relative to the upper surface of body 1. In common practice, blades 5 are located parallel to the longitudinal axis of body 1. At least two runner blade means are employed and are desirably affixed to the rear segment of the lower surface of body 1. The runners are effective to assure a constant and uniform running direction to the sled when placed on snow. A handle 6 is fastened to the upper surface of body 2, whereby a passenger sitting on the sled can grasp thereto.
The sled, as shown in the figures, can be made in a very simple and ready manner. For example, a uniform thermoplastic material sheet, designated by reference numeral 7 and intended to make up all of the lower portion of the sled (including the lower surface of body 2) is thermally welded to a thermoplastic material sheet 8 having an annular opening. Said sheet 8 is welded to sheet 7 along all the outer peripheral edge 9 and along the edge of the annular opening, according to the arrow designated by the reference numeral 10.
Thus, a body having an annular opening in its upper surface is obtained which is readily inflatable and deflatable through a valve formed of a small plastic tube 11. The tube can be closed by a plug and caused to reenter the interior of said flattened tubular body by pressure exerted from outside onto said plug. This small tube will not be further described in detail as being of a well known type in application on inflatable articles.
At the rear end 3 of the annular tubular body both sheet 7 (bottom surface) and sheet 8 (upper surface) are provided with strips of a larger thickness than the sheet areas adjacent thereto, such strips being designated by reference numerals 12 and 13, respectively, Strips 12 and 13 may be obtained, for example, by welding plastic material sheet segments onto sheets 7 and 8, respectively, and are effective to stiffen body 1 at such locations. Tubular body 1, when inflated through small tube 11, takes up the configuration as shown in the figures.
Body 2 is obtained by thermally welding the free edge of a plastic material cap 14 to body 1 at annular rim or edge 10, as clearly seen in FIGURE 4.
Along with the underlying portion of plastic material sheet 7, said cap 14 defines a closed chamber which is inflatable and deflatable through a small tube 15 provided with a plug similar to the device employed with the tube 11.
Runner blade means 5, also formed of a thermoplastic material, and handle 6 are desirably aflixed to the sled by thermowelding, even though the attachment could be accomplished with the use of ordinary glues.
When desiring to use the present sled, one must sit down on undulations 4 stretching out ones legs on either side of body 2 and grasping handle 6. The sled is more comfortable in use than the ordinary rigid sleds.
By removing the plugs from small tubes 11 and 15 an easy and quick deflation of the sled is achieved. The sled can thus befolded up and placed within a bag or suitcase to occupy a remarkably reduced volume. Owing to its low weight, the present sled can be easily and 3 4 quickly transported from one location to another, where (d) means rigidly securing said second body portion it can be as readily inflated for reuse. to said first body portion.
What is claimed is: 2. The sled in accordance with claim 1 including run- 1. An inflatable sled comprising, in combination: ncr means integral with the underside of said leg sections.
(a) a first body portion defined by a first, hollow, 5 3. The sled in accordance with claim 2 wherein said U-shaped chamber consisting of a pair of spaced, runner means are positioned proximate the end of said substantially parallel, tubular leg sections and a leg sections opposite to said curved end section.
curved, tubular end section joining said leg sections, 4. The sled in accordance with claim 1 including a downwardly convex, hollow second chamber posihandle means integral with the top surface of said second tioned between said leg sections of said first chamber body portion.
proximate said curved end section thereof, said sec- 5. The sled in accordance with claim 1 wherein said ond chamber being less thick than said first chamber valve means comprises a separate valve for each said whereby a recess bounded by said leg sections and first and second body portions.
said curved end section of said first chamber is formed above said second chamber and a plurality of hollow, References Cited rib-like, longitudinally extending third chambers UNITED STATES PATENTS defining a seat portion between said leg sections at V t th end thereof o posite said curved end section, Z986751 6/1961 Eaten 9 310 3,307,209 3/1967 'Jackman 93l0 all of said chambers being in fluid communication 3 319 972 5/1967 G n h with each other; a a er 280 18 (b) a second, hollow, upwardly convex, body portion FOREIGN PATENTS positioned on said first body portion within said re- 943 037 11/1963 GmatBritain cess, the top surface of said second body portion being in a plane above the top surface of said leg BENJAMIN HERSPLPfiInaTY Examiner seams; ROBERT R. SONG, Assistant Examiner (c) valve means for introduclng air mm, for maintaining air in and for removing air from said first and U.S. Cl. X.R.
said second body portions, and 9-3l0