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Publication numberUS3514785 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 2, 1970
Filing dateFeb 24, 1966
Priority dateFeb 24, 1966
Publication numberUS 3514785 A, US 3514785A, US-A-3514785, US3514785 A, US3514785A
InventorsSmith Harvey A
Original AssigneeUnited Aircraft Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Emergency space-suit helmet
US 3514785 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 2, 1970 H. A. SMITH 3,514,785

EMERGENCY SPACE-SUIT HELMET Filed Feb* 24, 196e 2 sheets-sheet y1 June 2, 1970 H. A. SMITH 3,514,185

EMERGENCY SPACE-SUIT HELMET Filed Feb. 24, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent O 3,514,785 EMERGENCY SPACE-SUIT HELMET Harvey A. Smith, Hampden, Mass., assignor to United Aircraft Corporation, East Hartford, Conn., a corporation of Delaware Filed Feb. 24, 1966, Ser. No. 529,884

Int. Cl. B63c U.S. Cl. 2-2.1 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A frusto-conically shaped distensible member when inlated encircles a portion of the -wearers head and carries a collapsible member automatically extending over the remaining portion of the head and engages a seat formed by a surface of the distensible member. A pulley arrangement secured between the walls of the distensible member automatically extends and retracts the collapsible member. The unit when deflated is carried on the back of the wearer so as to provide an automatic emergency space-suit helmet.

This invention relates to helmets particularly of the type that envelop the wearers head so as to be pressurized and that are particularly adapted to be utilized in outer space.

With the advent of outer space exploration the need has arisen for supplying to the astronauts an emergency type of helmet that is deployed, positioned, and closed automatically, and always attached to the wearer so that it will be readily accessible. Thus, the helmet should be collapsible so that it can be carried by the wearer in such a manner that it will not interfere with his normal activities. This invention solves the particular problem by being collapsible, automatically extensible, and suitably and comfortably attached to the Wearers suit in a location that will not interfere with or hinder his normal activities. The helmet is inflatable in such a manner that it can easily be actuated to encapsulate his entire head so as to be pressurized to afford safety to the wearer.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an emergency space helmet that snugly lits about the shoulders of the wearer when in the retracted position and is inflatable so as to be formed and positioned in an easy and convenient manner to completely encapsulate the head of the wearer so as to be pressurized.

Other features and advantages Iwill be apparent from the specification and claims and from the accompanying drawings which illustrate an embodiment of the invention.

FIIG. 1 is a side elevation view showing the helmet in the retracted dellated position mounted on the wearer.

FIG. 2 is a side elevation showing the helmet in its inilated position.

FIG. 3 is a front elevation of the helmet when inflated.

FIG. 4 is a side view partly in section and partly in full showing the details of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line 5 5 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the l-ine 6 6 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. `6.

FIG. 8 is an elevated view of the side seal element, and

FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along line 9 9 of FIG. 2.

Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 1 through 9 which show the details of this invention wherein FIG. l shows the helmet generally illustrated by numeral 10 in the retracted position. As can be seen *from FIG. 2, the helmet comprises an inflatable type of pylon 12 which when inflated forms a double-peaked cylindrically shaped p ,ice

member with its apexes terminating adjacent the central side portion of the wearers head. The lower or bottom extremity of the pylon is suitably attached to the upper garment 14 along seam 18 which seam completely encircles the wearer about the neck. While the disclosure shows the helmet integrally attached to the rest of the suit, it is deemed within the scope of this invention to secure the two by any retractable means such as zippers, fasteners or the like, yet assuring that there is a suitable seal at this point to prevent pressurized air from leaking externally. Secured in a retractable manner to the pylon 12 in a manner to be described hereinbelow is a headcovering generally illustrated by numeral 20. The headcovering,when the pylon is inflated, is rotated about an axis point formed at the apexes of pylon 12 to completely n sealing member 28 at its free end. Sealing member 28 engages complementary lip seal 30 which is attached to the upper front edge of pylon 12. A suitable latch 32 of the type illustrated in FIG. 9 may be provided to assure that the joint remains fixed during pressurization.

As is apparent from FIG. 5, the pylon is constructed with two parallel spaced walls generally illustrated by numerals 40 and 42. Each wall is constructed with an inner layer 44 formed from a closely woven nylon fabric coated with neoprene forming a leak-tight bladder and outer layer 46 formed from a nylon woven fabric. A shape-retention fabric -43 disposed in wave-like fashion between walls 40 and 42 is bonded to the surfaces of the bladder at alternate bends so as to assure that pylon 12 retains its shape when inllated. Inner bladder 48 defining a closed chamber 50 is disposed centrally on one side of pylon 12 for housing the actuating mechanism generally illustrated by numeral 52. Actuation of the helmet is accomplished by admitting pressurized fluid through the opening provided at 51 to enter into the space between walls 40` and 42 exclusive of chamber 50 causing the pylon 22 to inilate and become erect vertically about the neck and face portions as illustrated in the drawings. When the pressure reaches a predetermined Value, that is, upon the point where the pylon is fully erected and sulliciently rigid, the pressure overcomes spring loaded valve 56 admitting pressurized lluid into chamber 58 which chamber is formed in chamber 50 by the partition created by the llexible diaphragm 60. Pressure acting in chamber 58 acts on the inner surface of flexible diaphragm 60 for causing it to move downwardly. Cable 62 is suitably attached to diaphragm 60 in any well-known manner which has one end secured to pulley 64 the details of which are illustrated in FIG. 6. Pulley 64 is secured to shaft 66 which is journalled in bushing 68 lixed to bladder 44. The other end of shaft 66 protrudes through the other wall 46 and is secured to the sealing member 28. Sealing member 28 is generally U-shaped and engages lip 30 in the closed position as can best -be seen in FIG. 3. Flexible sealing member 70 made from a neoprene material is disposed between the helmet member 20` and the sealing member 28 in proximity to the pulley. As can be seen from FIG. 8, it is slotted along the path shown by reference numeral 72 and terminates in a relief aperture 74. The portion above the slot is bonded to the edge of sealing member 28 and the portion below the slot is bonded to the lip 30. Of course, lip 30 is molded or bonded to the inner surface of the pylon 12. The helmet shell 20V which preferably is made from a nylon woven fabric bonded to neoprene to make it airtight extends along the rear of the helmet adjacent the inner surface of the pylon 12 where it is bonded thereto.

As can be seen in FIG. 7, when the helmet is in a position other than the closed position, the edges of seal member 70 adjacent slot 72 will separate. This illustrates how the seal member 70y will not interfere with the retraction of the helmet.

To actuate the helmet pressure applied internally through opening 51 infiates the pylon. Then the valve 56 opens and forces diaphragm 60 to actuate the pulley. The retracted helmet shell consisting of member 20 and 24 which are folded in an accordion pleated manner is carried by pulley 64 and unfolds until the sealing member 28 engages the seal lip 30. The latch 32 automatically engages and locks the helmet in position. Pressure can then be applied internally in any suitable manner to pressurize the helmet. As noted, this system lends itself to be actuated automatically and may be tied in any suitable manner to the overall cabin pressure and sensing sysem.

As can be seen from FIG. 9, latch 32 comprises housing 80` having opening 82 closed at one end. Plunger 84 projects through opening 82 and one end is accessible to the wearer. Flange 86 formed on plunger 84 bears against the inner wall of housing 80 adjacent opening 82 to prevent the plunger from falling out. Spring 8S abuts the other end wall of housing 80 and collar 87 firmly secured to plunger 84 for urging the plunger leftwardly so that flange 86 is constantly urged toward the end wall. Latch 90 adjacent opening 82 projects through opening 92 formed on the bottom wall of housing 80* and extends into recess 94 formed in housing 96. Housing 96 is suitably secured to the pylon 12. Projection 98 adjacent opening 94 is formed by the top wall of housing 96 to define shoulder 100. This shoulder engages the radial extension 93 of latch 90 for locking member 24 to pylon 12. To open the helmet the wearer merely depresses plunger 84 which moves latch 90 beyond lip or shoulder 98 to retract the latch and allow the two pieces to separate. It will be appreciated that latching is completely automatic. Latch 90 aligns itself with recess 94 and owing to the beveled face forces latch 90 to the right. Spring 88 forces the latch leftwardly and when below lip 98 the radial extension 93 fits into position.

It should be understood that the invention is not limited to the particular embodiments shown and described herein, but that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of this novel concept as defined by the following claims.

I claim:

1. An emergency type of distensible helmet adapted to encapsulate the head of the wearer and be pressurized, including a frusto-conically shaped distensible member bifurcated at one end such that the apexes of the bifurcated ends are disposed substantially adjacent the central point of the head of the wearer when extended and are in diametrically opposed relationship, said frusto-conically shaped member having spaced side walls being closed at the bottom and top dening a pressure receiving chamber, a rotary member supported in one leg of said bifurcated end about an axis substantially in coincidence with the center of the side of the head of the wearer, a partially spherically-shaped foldable member made from a flexible material connected to said rotary member and having one end attached to the surface of said bifurcated end extending along a distance suicient to encircle the posterior portion of the head of the wearer and seal means carried by the other end of said foldable member, a seat formed at another surface of said bifuracted end extending along a distance sufiicient to encircle the anterior portion of the head of the wearer, said seal means being adapted to extend along said another surface and engage said seat, and. actuating means between said spaced side walls for actuating said rotary member for rotating said foldable member for engaging said sealing means and encapsulating the head of the wearer.

2. An emergency type of helmet as claimed in claim 1 wherein the partially spherically-shaped folded member is made from at least two members, a forward extending member disposed in front of the face of the wearer being made from a iiexible type of transparent plastic nonporous material and the other member disposed in the rear of the head of the wearer being made from a fiexible nonporous material and being seamed along complementary edges extending from the diametrically disposed apexes of the bifurcated ends substantially adjacent the top of the head of the wearer.

3. An emergency type of helmet as claimed in claim 2 wherein the material of the transparent nonporous material is a polyvinylchloride plastic and the material of the rear extending member is two coextensive layers, the outer layer being a woven nylon fabric and the inner layer being a synthetic rubber material.

4. An emergency type of helmet as claimed in claim 1 wherein said actuating means includes wall means between said spaced side walls defining a subcharnber, a valve in an opening formed in said wall means adapted to open when said frustoconically shaped distensible member is in the extended position, a flexible diaphragm extending to diametrically opposed vertical walls of said wall means and a chord having one end attached to said diaphragm and the other end attached to said rotary means.

S. An emergency type of helmet as claimed in claim 4 wherein said rotary means includes a pulley journalled in one of said spaced side walls of said frusto-conically shaped distensible member and a shaft secured to said pulley and projecting beyond said other spaced side wall and connecting said seal means.

6. An emergency type of helmet as claimed in claim 5 wherein said seal means includes a U-shaped partially hoop-like member pivotally mounted about the apexes of said bifurcated ends.

7. An emergency type of helmet as claimed in claim 6 including a iiat plate seal formed from a synthetic rubber material having a slit formed substantially centrally therein and extending axially to a junction point and angularly relative thereto to a point below the edge thereof so as to permit bending of said seal when said spherically-shaped folded member is folded and unfolded, the portion above said slit of said seal being bonded to one leg of said U-shaped member and the portion below said slit being bonded to the seat carried by said frusto-conically shaped distensible member.

8. An emergency type of helmet as claimed in claim 7 including latch means mounted centrally on said U-shaped partially hooplike member and catch means adapted to receive said latch means mounted on said frusto-conically shaped distensible member.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,978,708 4/ 1961 Williams et al 2-3 3,050,735 8/1962 Newman et al. 2 6 3,284,805 11/1966 Seeler 12S-142.5

- FOREIGN PATENTS 975,576 11/ 1964 Great Britain.

JAMES R. BOLER, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 2 6; 12S-142,5

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2978708 *Sep 5, 1958Apr 11, 1961Vickers LtdHead-pieces for pressurized clothing
US3050735 *Mar 24, 1959Aug 28, 1962Redwing LtdApparatus for automatically pivoting a hinged closure into closed position
US3284805 *Apr 30, 1964Nov 15, 1966Henry W SeelerCombined cabin uniform and mechanical partial pressure suit complete with helmet
GB975576A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4291417 *Oct 12, 1979Sep 29, 1981Pagano Alice LProtective head covering
US4400591 *Jul 17, 1981Aug 23, 1983Jennings Daniel ESimulated space helmet
US5318018 *Dec 18, 1991Jun 7, 1994Northrop CorporationAdvanced aircrew protection system
US6925966 *Jul 29, 2003Aug 9, 2005Toby WexlerApparatus and method for partially encapsulating an animal's head
US7398562Mar 10, 2004Jul 15, 2008Easy Rhino Designs, Inc.Article with 3-dimensional secondary element
US8621672 *May 6, 2011Jan 7, 2014John CHUBACKHead and neck protection apparatus
US20120278980 *May 6, 2011Nov 8, 2012Chuback JohnHead and neck protection apparatus
EP2180286A1 *Oct 23, 2008Apr 28, 2010TNO Institute of Industrial TechnologyBallistic collar
WO2010047598A1 *Oct 23, 2009Apr 29, 2010Nederlandse Organisatie Voor Toegepast- Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek TnoBallistic collar
U.S. Classification2/410, 2/2.11, D24/110.3, 128/202.11
International ClassificationB64G6/00, A62B18/04, A62B18/00
Cooperative ClassificationB64G6/00, A62B18/04
European ClassificationA62B18/04, B64G6/00