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Publication numberUS3469340 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 30, 1969
Filing dateJul 12, 1967
Priority dateJul 12, 1967
Publication numberUS 3469340 A, US 3469340A, US-A-3469340, US3469340 A, US3469340A
InventorsBreneman Jack L, Gruber Milan
Original AssigneeBreneman Jack L, Gruber Milan
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system
US 3469340 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

J. L. BRENEMAN ET AL 3,469,340

PNEUMATIC TOY VEHICLE PROPULSION SYSTEM Sept. 30, 1969 3 Sheets-Shem 1 Filed July 12.

5 E m omame m au ENE VEG. 0 NE I. MMW M 5m d mm Sept. 30, 1969" J. 1.. BRENEMAN ET AL. 3,469,340

PNEUMATIC TOY VEHICLE PROPULSION SYSTEM Filed July 12, 196'? 3 Sheets-Sheet S i INVENTORS JA cKLfiMMEM/W BY MILAN GRUEER 04m mans (hear/152s 4 75-151? A rranuz v.5

Sept. 30, 1969 J L, BRENEMAN ET AL 3,469,340

PNEUMATIC TOY VEHICLE PROPULSION SYSTEM Filed July 12) 196'? 3 SheetsSheet 3 A /5-'?r-* K JAM I K 37 z M Q LZ a 27 Zl l;

THEM A Tram/E Y5 United States Patent 3,469,340 PNEUMATIC TOY VEHICLE PROPULSION SYSTEM Jack L. Breneman, 9400 Eabcock Blvd. at Kummer Road, Allison Park, Pa. 15101, and Milan Gruber, 3012 Green Garden Road, Aliquippa, Pa. 15001 Filed July 12, 1967, Ser. No. 652,775

Int. Cl. A6311 29/16 US. C]. 46-44 24 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to pneumatic toys and more particularly to a pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system wherein a toy vehicle is moved through a tube by means of a pneumatic pump.

Powered toy vehicles which are moved on tracks or the like have become increasingly popular over the years; however, the toy industry has failed to produce or conceive a novel and economical, pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system wherein a toy vehicle is moved through a transparent conveyor tube. The artof pneumatically conveying an article through a tube is well known as wit-- nessed in the art of pneumatic dispatch systems as used in department stores for changing money from a centrally located station. However, the principles and teachings of this art are neither applicable nor practical or economical in the toy art. Such dispatch systems are not only toosophisticated for the toy art, but they also provide little insight as to how a simple and economical, pneumatic toy might be constructed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides an economical, pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system wherein atoy vehicle is carried in a tube which is either open at both ends or is continuous and a pneumatic pump is connected to the interior of the tube to move the toy vehicle. A one-way valve means closes the tube but permits the passage of the vehicle and is spaced in cooperative arrangement with the pump'connection or connections to the tube to permit and provide movement of the vehicle past the pump connections and throughout the entire tube.

The one-way valve means may consist of one or more simple one-way valves such as clack valves which close oil. the tube and operate to permit passage of the vehicle and fluid flow in a given direction. The valve means acts'to direct the fluid flow in the desired direction.

The pneumatic pump may be a motorized blower or a simple positive displacement pump such as an accordion or bellows type pump or a reciprocating piston pump. The latter type pumps may be hand operated or motorized and of the single acting or double acting type as desired.

The one-way valve or valves may be arranged in several dilferent ways in relation to the pump connections made to the tube and the air exhaust and intake ports provided in the tube when it is used as a continuous closed loop.

This arrangement depends upon the type-of pump employed, i.'e., continuous fio-w type as a blower or interrupted flow type as a bellows pump, the number of one- 3,469,340 Patented Sept. 30, 1969 way valves employed in the valve means and whether the vehicle conveyor tube is to be used with both ends open or as a continuous closed loop circuit.

The system is preferably arranged such that the vehicle conveyor tube may be used either with both ends open or as a continuous closed loop as the operator may desire. In this arrangement, the pump connections to the tube, the air exhaust and intake ports to the outside atmosphere in the tube, and the one-way valve or valves are positioned with respect to each other such that the vehicle is moved in a selected direction through the entire tube by both thepneumatic pressure output and the suction intake of th pump when the tube is connected to form a continuous loop. When the tube is left open at both ends, the vehicle will be drawn from one end of the tube by the suction intake of the pump to the pump connections made to the tube and forced out the other end of the tube by the pressure output of the pump. In this latter situation, both the pump output and intake cannot operate to move the vehicle in the same given area of tube length, as is possible when the tube forms a closed loop.

The ability to operate the system when the tube is broken, permits the operator to insert open jumps and loops or similar obstacles between the open ends of the tube through which the vehicle must maneuver for added enjoyment of the operator. The vehicle will also travel at any attitude the conveyor tube is given including vertically upward which permits many unusual track or tube layouts. The tube may be flexible to provide curves or it may be comprisesd of rigid tube lengths, elbows, sleeve connectors, Y-shaped switches and the like.

Other objects and advantages appear hereinafter in the following description and claims.

'The accompanying drawings show for the purpose of exemplification, without limiting the invention thereto, certain practical embodiments of the present invention wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pneumatic pumping station illustrating an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a simplified expanded view of the pneumatic propulsion system shown in FIG. 1 with parts removed.

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic sketch of the toy vehicle propulsion system shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic sketch illustrating the employment of a double acting reciprocatory pump in the system shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic sketch illustrating another embodiment of the present invention.

' FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic sketch illustrating another embodiment of the present invention wherein a motorized blower is employed.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the pumping station 1 consists of housing 2, preferably moulded of a plastic, upon which is mounted a bellows pump 3 which also may be moulded of a flexible plastic. The bellows pump 3 is provide'dwith an integrally moulded handle 4 by which an operator may work the bellows.

, As shown best in FIG. 2, the open annularend 5 of the bellows pump 3 is seated in air tight engagement with a matingcollar 6 provided on the annular pump closure 7. The annular end 5 of the bellows is preferably bonded to the collar 6 by a strong glue such as an epoxy resin base glue. The closure 7 is received in the annular recess 8 of the housing 1. The recess 8 contains inlet check valve 10 and outlet check valve 11 which are simple clack valves hinged from the top on each side. The check valves 10 and 11 direct the air flow to and from the common chamber 12 therebetween which is open to the interior of the bellows 3 through the opening 13 in the bottom of the closure 7.

The side walls and bottom walls of the chamber -12, with the exception of the check valves 10 and 11, are

integrally moulded with the housing 1. In a similar manner, an outlet chamber 14 and an inlet chamber 15 are provided on the outer sides of the check valves 11 and 10, respectively. When the closure 7 is seated in the recess 8, the bottom of the closure rests on the top of the side walls of chambers 12, 14 and 15 to effectively seal ofl? one chamber from the other.

The closure 7 is maintained in place by means of the machine screws 16 which pass through the openings 17 in the closure and are threadably received by the studs 18. The opening 13 in the closure is shaped and positioned such that it only exposes the common chamber 12.

The chambers 14 and 15 are provided with ports 20 and 21, respectively, which lead directly to the interior of the vehicle conveyor tube 22. The tube 22 consists of the transparent tube 23 and the tube section provided at the pumping station 1 by the moulded tube sections or halves 24 and 25. The tube half 25 provides a mount for the one-way valve means, consisting of the spaced oneway valves 26 and 27, and the exhaust valve 28 and intake valve 30.

The one-way valves 26 and 27 are identical and are hinged at the bottom and maintained in an upright closed position by means of the counterweights 31. Both one-way valves open in the same direction as indicated by the arrows.

Adjacent valves 26 and 27 are clearance recesses 32 and 33, respectively, which permit the valves to open sufiiciently wide to pass the toy vehicle 34. The intake valve 30 is a clack valve which lies on the bottom of recess 32 and is hinged as indicated at 35. When the open ends 36 and 37 of the transparent tube sections 23 are mated and joined, the valve 30 operates to supply air to the system on demand of the pump.

The exhaust valve 28 is hinged to the bottom of the recess 33 as indicated at 38 and is counterweighted by the weight 40 to maintain the exhaust port 40 normally closed. When tube ends 36 and 37 are joined to form a closed loop, valve 28 exhausts air from the system on the demand of the pump.

The tube half 25 is mated and secured to the tube half 24, which is a moulded integral part of the housing 2, to form the conveyor tube 22 along with the transparent tube 23. When the halves 24 and 25 are secured together, the one-way valves 26 and 27 close the tube 22.

The toy vehicle 34 may take on most any shape, such as a racing car as shown or a rocket or the like, so long as it substantially closes the tube 22 for at least a portion of the length of the vehicle. However, the vehicle must fit the interior of the tube with sufficient clearance to maneuver corners and the like as'it slides through the tube.

The open end 37 of tube 22 is provided with a funnel 39 to illustrate how the system may be employed with the tube ends open. The vehicle is propelled out of end 36, shot through the air, and received in the funnel 39 where it reenters tube 23. Other obstacles may be provided, such as an open loop shaped track which requires the vehicle to make a vertical loop before reentering the tube. These maneuvers require skill on the part of the operator by requiring him to provide the proper pump pressure necessary to jump the vehicle the desired distance or to make an upside down loop.

The operation of the system shown in FIG. 2 can be more readily understood by referring to the diagrammatic sketch of FIG. 3 wherein similar parts are numbered the same as those found in FIGS. 1 and 2. The uniform dashed line in FIG. 3 indicates the fluid flow when the handle 4 is pulled upward and the alternate short and long dashed line indicates the fluid flow when the handle 4 is pressed downward to contract the pump chamber 41. The one-way valves 26 and 27 close off the tube 22 such that they form a tube chamber therebetween with the interior of the tube. Valve 27 functions as an 4 inlet valve to the chamber 42 and valve 26 as an outlet valve.

Intake valve 30 and exhaust valve 28 do not operate when the tube ends 36 and 37 are not joined as their tube ends function as an exhaust and intake themselves, respectively. Thus, when the tube ends 36 and 37 are left unconnected, it can be readily seen that when the vehicle 34 is in tube 22 and positioned to the left of oneway valve 26, the vehicle will be moved to the left only when the pump handle is pushed downward. Similarly, when the vehicle is positioned to the right of one-way valve 27, the vehicle is moved to the left only when the pump handle 4 is drawn upward. However, when the tube 22 is made a continuous closed loop, the vehicle will be moved to the left by either an up or a down stroke of handle 4 throughout the entire tube.

The one-Way valves 26 and 27 in cooperation with the pump inlet and outlet connection 43 and 44, respectively, serve to direct the fluid flow in the same direction throughout the tube 22 no matter Whether the pump is on its pressure stroke or suction stroke and to move the vehicle through tube chamber 42 past the pump connections. The connections 43 and 44 and valves 26 and 27 may be spaced cooperatively with each other and one another to effectively move the vehicle through the chamber 42. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the connections 43 and 44 are spaced as wide as or wider than the width W of the portion of the vehicle 34 which substantially closes tube 22. In this manner, the vehicle may be drawn past outlet connection 44 by an upward stroke of handle 4 so that the vehicle will be forced out of chamber 42 through valve 26 on the succeeding pressure stroke. If the vehicle is given sufficient momentum on the suction stroke, it will continue on past inlet connection 43 or port 21 and on out of chamber 42 past outlet valve 26 without need of a succeeding pressure stroke.

Referring again to FIG. 1, tube 22 is provided with a short hinged canopy 45 on the housing 2. Canopy 45 is hinged to housing 2 as indicated at 46 and permits access to the interior of tube 22 for the insertion of vehicle 34 or a similar vehicle. An extending lip 47 on the canopy permits the same to be clamped in its closed position by the lug 48 which may be rotated to engage the upper surface of lip 47.

In order to stop the vehicle 34 under the canopy 45 for removal, button 50 is pressed to raise the abutment 51 into the interior of tube 22 to prevent the vehicle from continuing on through the tube. Abutment 51 is merely the end or tip of a lever arm which is pivoted to the housing 2 and has its opposite end secured to button 50. The canopy 45 and its associated elements have been omitted from the other figures for the sake of simplicity.

FIG. 4 illustrates the application of a double acting pump to the system and is very similar to the system as shown in FIG. 3. Pump 3' utilizes both sides of its piston and therefore duplicates pump 3 of FIG. 3. Chambers 14' and 15 are connected with the interior of tube 22 as indicated at 44 and 43', respectively. This eliminates the need of intake valve 30 and exhaust valve 28 as shown in FIG. 3, when the system or tube forms a closed loop. However, chambers 14 and 15' may be connected directly to chambers 14 and 15 or connections 44 and 43, respectively, instead of making connectrons 44 and 43. In this latter mentioned hookup, the valves 30 and 28 would have to remain as shown 1n FIG. 3 when the system is used with tube 22 forming a closed loop.

FIG. 5 represents still another possible manner in which the pump hookup may be made. However, the hookup or configuration of FIG. 5 requires the tube 22 be maintained as a closed loop at all times to ensure the passage of the vehicle through chamber 42.

In FIG. 5 the exhaust and intake valves, valves 28' and 30', are positioned in chamber 42 and the pump connections, 44 and 43', are made outside the tube chamber 42. It may be readily observed by comparison that the hookup shown in FIG. 5 operates very similarly to that shown in FIG. 3. It should also be noted that the connections shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 may be combined in several dilferent ways. For example, chamber or passage 15 may be connected to tube 22 at both connections 43 and 43' at the same time. So also, passage or chamber 14 may be connected to tube 22 at both connections 44 and 44 at the same time. This is seen by comparing FIGS. 3 and 5.

The diagrammatic sketch of FIG. 6 illustrates a pneumatic hookup for the system of the present invention wherein the valve means includes only one one-way valve '52. The toy vehicle is propelled past valve 52 by its acquired momentum. A hand operated pump may be employed in this configuration, however, if the toy vehicle has not obtained suflicient momentum to continue past valve 52, difliculty may be experienced in thereafter pumping the vehicle past the pump connections 54 and 55. To alleviate this problem, the toy vehicle traveling through tube 22 may be given the configuration indicated by the dashed line 56. The piston heads '57 and 58 cooperate with the pump connections 54 and 55 to permit the vehicle 56 to be both pushed and drawn past the pump connections at the same time when vehicle 56 is positioned as shown.

When the pump is motorized, as indicated by. the motorized fan pump 53, no such problems arise since the toy vehicle is given a substantially constant and continuous momentum.

.If the tube 22 as depicted in FIG. 6 is used as a continuous closed loop, the pump inlet connections 55 may be removed such that passage 61 is immediately open to the atmosphere and replaced with an exhaust valve such as valve 28 in FIG. 3 or connection 54 may be removed such that passage 60 is immediately open to the atmosphere and replaced with an intake valve such as valve 30 in FIG. 3. This simplifies the fan housing structure in which the fan is mounted. For example, the structure of FIG. 2 would be modified by elimination of the bellows 3, closure 7, 'and clack valves 10 and 11 and port 20v would be closed. A small electric fan, powered by batteries or a conventional AC power source found in the home, would be mounted to studs 18 such that the fan pulls air from tube 22 through port 21 and pushes it vertically upward into the surrounding atmosphere. A perforated guard or cage may cover the recess 8 and fan blade. Exhaust valve 28 and one-way valve 27 would also be removed and'exhiaust port 40 would be closed and, thus, although the expense of a small motorizedfan is added, the moving parts and simplicity of the housing 2 and bottom tube half or section 25 is enhanced. The motorized pump is preferably provided with means to vary the fan output.

The conveyor tube 22 is preferably transparent to permit enjoyable viewing of the vehicle movement. The tube may be slightly flexible plastic which will bend to form corners without deforming too greatly or the tube may also consist of rigid transparent plastic tube sections which are joined by sleeves or collars which may be stnaight 0r bent to form elbows.

It has been discovered that the vehicle tube 22 may be given any desired attitude. The vehicle is more than adequately propelled even upward when the tube is vertical. Thus, many unusual tube layout configurations may be employed and changed for continued enjoyment.

Switches of simple configuration may be employed in the system. For example, substantially Y-shaped tube sections may be provided with an oval shaped clack valve hinged within the Y-shaped tube at the intersection of its top or upper stems, or in other words at the inside apex of the V portion of the Y-shaped tube, such that the oval shaped valve may be swung or hinged to close off one or the other of the two top or upper tubes forming the V- shaped portion of the Y. A rod shaped hinge is employed on the valve and extends externally of the Y-shaped tube for manual operation of the switch.

We claim:

1. A pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system comprising a tube of substantially uniform cross-section, a vehicle carried in said tube and substantially closing the same, one-way valve means closing said tube and operable to permit fluid flow and the passage of said vehicle in one direction, pneumatic pump means connected to the interior of said tube in cooperative arrangement with said one-way valve means to move said vehicle throughout said tube in said one direction.

2. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 1 characterized by a spaced pair of one-way valves opnable in the same direction providing said one-way valve means and forming the end walls of a chamber in said tube, said one-way valves providing respectively an inlet and an outlet to said tube chamber.

3. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 2 wherein said pump means includes a pneumatic pump having an expansible and contractible chamber therein with a one-Way inlet passage connected with said tube chamber and a one-way outlet passage connected with said tube chamber intermediate said inlet passage connection and said inlet one-way valve.

4. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 3 characterized in that said vehicle substantially closes said tube for a given length of said vehicle and the spacing between the connections of said pump inlet and outlet passages with said tube chamber is greater than said given length.

5. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 4 characterized in that said pump inlet connection and said pump outlet connection are adjacent said outlet one-way valve and said inlet one-way valve respectively.

6. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 3 characterized in that the spacing between the connection of said pump inlet passage with said inlet one-way valve is greater than overall length of said vehicle.

7. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 6 characterized in that said vehicle substantially closes said tube for a given length of said vehicle and said pump outlet connection is spaced from said pump inlet connection at a distance greater than said given length.

8. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 3 characterized in that said tube has two open ends.

9. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 3 wherein said pneumatic pump means includes a one-way intake vent in said tube adjacent said outlet one-way valve and outside said tube chamber and a oneway' exhaust vent in said tube adjacent said inlet oneway valve and outside said tube chamber operable to flow air into said tube and out of said tube respectively on demand of said pneumatic pump, said tube forming a continuous closed loop.

10. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 3 wherein said pneumatic pump is a bellows pump.

11. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 2 characterized in that said pneumatic pump means includes a double acting reciprocating pump having a pair of opposed expansible and contractible chambers therein.

12. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 11 characterized in that each of said opposed pump chambers has a one-way inlet passage and a one-way outlet passage, said inlet and outlet passages of one of said pump chambers being connected with said tube chamber such that the pump outlet passage is spaced intermediate said inlet one-way valve and the pump inlet passage and said inlet and outlet passages of said other pump chamber being connected with the interior of said tube outside of said tube chamber such that the pump outlet passage is adjacent said outlet one-way valve and the pump inlet passage is adjacent said inlet one-way valve.

13. The pneumatic toy vehicle of claim 2 wherein said pneumatic pump means includes a pneumatic pump having an expansible and contractible chamber therein with a one-Way outlet passage connected with the interior of said tube outside of said tube chamber and adjacent said outlet one-way valve and a one-way inlet passage connected with the interior of said tube outside of said tube chamber and adjacent said inlet one-Way valve, a oneway exhaust vent in said tube and exposed to said tube chamber, and a one-way intake vent in said tube and spaced intermediate said exhaust vent and said inlet oneway valve, said tube forming a continuous closed loop.

14. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 1 characterized by a one-way valve providing said one-way valve means, said pump means including a pneumatic pump connected to the interior of said tube adjacent said one-way valve.

15. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 1 characterized in that said pump means has a pump outlet and a pump inlet connected to the interior of said tube adjacent the outlet and inlet face respectively of said one-way valve means.

16. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 14 characterized by an air exhaust vent in said tube adjacent the inlet face of said one-way valve, said pump having a pump outlet connected to the interior of said tube adjacent the outlet face of said one-way valve, said tube forming a continuous closed loop.

17. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 14 characterized by an air intake vent in said tube adjacent the outlet face of said one-way valve, said pump having a pump inlet connected to the interior of said tube adjacent the inlet face of said one-way valve, said tube forming a continuous closed loop.

18. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 14 characterized by an electric motor coupled to said pneumatic pump to drive the same.

19. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 18 characterized by variable power means connected to said motor to vary the volume rate of fluid flow through said tube.

20. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 3 characterized by a second one-way pump outlet passage connected with the interior of said tube adjacent said outlet one-way valve and outside of said tube chamber.

21. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 3 characterized by a second one-way pump inlet passage connected with the interior of said tube adjacent said inlet one-way valve and outside of said tube chamber.

22. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 21 characterized by a second one-way pump outlet passage connected with the interior of said tube adjacent said outlet one-way valve and outside of said tube chamber.

23. A pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system consisting of a pneumatic pump having an expansible and contractible chamber therein, a substantially uniform tube open at both ends, a vehicle carried in said tube and substantially closing the same, a spaced pair of normally closed one-way valves each closing said tube and providing a chamber therebetween in said tube intermediate its ends, said one-way valves providing respectively an inlet and an outlet to said tube chamber and being operable to permit fluid flow and the passage of said vehicle in one and the same direction, an intake passage connecting said pump chamber with said tube chamber, a check valve closing said intake passage and operable to permit fluid flow into said pump chamber, and outlet passage connecting said pump chamber with said tube chamber intermediate said intake passage and said inlet one-way valve, a check valve closing said outlet passage and operable to permit fluid flow out of said pump chamber, said inlet one-way valve and said outlet one-way valve and the connection of said intake passage to said tube chamber and the connection of said outlet passage to said tube chamber being cooperatively spaced with respect to each other and the dimensions of said vehicle to provide effective passage thereof through said tube chamber.

24. The pneumatic toy vehicle propulsion system of claim 20 characterized by an intake vent in said tube adjacent said outlet one-way valve and outside of said tube chamber, a check valve closing said vent and operable to flow fluid into said tube, an exhaust vent in said tube adjacent said inlet one-way valve and outside of said tube chamber, a check valve closing said exhaust vent and operable to flow fluid out of said tube, said tube forming a continuous closed loop.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,813,625 7/1931 Knox 104 2,604,055 7/1952 Snowden 27386.4 3,080,859 3/1963 Benkoe 124-11 3,106,394 10/1963 Gelbart 46-44X 3,224,771 12/1965 Altieri 273-864 3,367,658 2/1968 Bayha 46-44x 3,377,741 4/1968 Ryan 46202 F. BARRY SHAY, Primary Examiner H. DINITZ, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 104155

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Classifications
U.S. Classification446/197, 104/155
International ClassificationA63H29/16, A63H29/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H29/16
European ClassificationA63H29/16