US 3584911 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventor Anthony A. Coletto, Jr.
Cleveland Heights, Ohio Appl. No. 781,230
Filed Dec. 4, 1968 Patented June 15, 1971 Assignee Air Traffic Control Systems, Inc.
Cleveland, Ohio MODULAR MOBILE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER UNIT AND METHOD 11 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.
Int. Cl 862d 63/00 Field of Search 105/340;
296/281, 1, 23;244/l14, ll5
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS D.2l3.l81 1/1969 Criswell D14/3 2,589,997 3/1952 Dean 105/340 2,931,681 4/1960 Keller 296/28.l 3,157,427 11/1964 Reynolds 296/23 Primary Examiner- Philip Goodman Attorney Fay, Sharpe and Mulholland ABSTRACT: A modular mobile air traffic control tower which includes a wheeled trailer frame made up of at least two releasably secured building module supporting frame modules. One of the building modules has an air traffic control observation deck projecting from its roof and the other, which is the wheel mounted module, may be used as an office by the traffic controller.
When the modules are disconnected, the module having the observation deck can become a permanent air traffic control tower mounted on a fixed building roof and the other module may retain its function as a mobile office.
SHEET 3 UF 3 FIG. 7
ANTHONY A. COLETTO JR.
ATTORNEYS MODULAR MOBILE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER UNIT AND METHOD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In their initial stages of development, most airports are nothing more than a landing strip with all available funds going into construction of a desired runway or runways to facilitate the landing and taking off of aircraft. As these airports become more frequently used, however, it becomes necessary to provide an air traffic control tower to insure the safety of aircraft approaching or leaving the area which the airport serves. This increase in traffic and the need for controlling it normally occurs at a time when funds for upgrading the facilities are still being channelled into runway and hangar facilities; accordingly, it has long been a problem that a permanent administration building and air traffic control tower is one of the last stages of development of an airport.
In recent times, to accommodate and control air traffic during the period of time between the opening of the airport and the construction of more permanent facilities, mobile air traffie control towers have been utilized. These mobile air traffic control towers have basically been house trailers with an observation area in the form of a control tower projecting from the roof of the house trailer, the house trailer containing necessary electronic communication and weather equipment and an office area and rest room for the traffic controllers and airport administrators. The problem with mobile air traffic control towers to date, however, has been that, once they have been used to a point beyond their capacity and permanent tower and office facilities are built, the mobile air traffic control tower is a duplication of facility for that particular airport which, of course, may not be able to afford the luxury of both a permanent and a temporary tower.
The present invention is designed to permit the flexibility of a mobile air traffic control tower and office during the initial stages of operation of an airport and then to permit the utilization of the control tower module portion of the mobile unit as a permanent tower facility mounted on top of an office and terminal building while preserving the office module portion of the modular unit as a mobile office for use in the hangar area or for other appropriate locations around the airfield. Accordingly, it will be seen that the expensive purchasing of duplicate tower facilities, including electronic weather and communications gear, is unnecessary because of the particular modular structure of the mobile air traffic control tower of this invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Briefly, the invention is a modular mobile air traffic control tower comprising a wheeled trailer frame made up of at least two frame modules releasably secured together. Each of the frames modules has a building module mounted thereon. At least one of the building modules has an observation area including windows on all four sides projecting from the roof of the module.
Each of the building modules has four walls with two of the walls in substantially face-to-face engagement with a soft material such as foam therebetween. Door openings are provided in each of the adjacent walls in register so as to provide direct access from one module to the other. The modular unit, when releasably secured together, includes a towing hitch on the frame module holding the observation tower; and the other frame module includes springs, wheels and axles thereunder. The hitch is movable from the observation tower supporting frame module to the other module such that, when the building and frame modules are disconnected one from the other and the module having the observation tower is put in place on top'of a permanent structure, as the air control tower thereof, the other frame and building module unit may be towed for use as a mobile office. Provision may be made for mounting trim on the observation area building module to make its appearance compatible from-an aesthetic standpoint with the building upon which it is mounted. 1
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the modular mobile air traffic control tower unit.
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional plan view taken along the lines 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional elevational view taken along the line 3-3 ofFlG. 3.
FIG. 4 is an end elevational view of the modular mobile air traffic control tower.
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the frame for the modular mobile air trafiic control tower.
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the frame of FIG. 4.
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the building module portion of the modular mobile air traffic control tower permanently mounted upon a fixed structure with the other building module converted for use as a mobile office.
PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The numeral 1 generally designates the modular mobile air traffic control tower unit of the-invention. The unit includes a frame module generally designated by the numeral 3 which is releasably secured to a frame module generally designated by the numeral 5. The frame module 3 supports a building module generally designated by the numeral 7 which is releasably secured to a building frame module 5.
The building module 7 includes an observation area and air traffic control tower generally designated by the numeral 10 projecting upwardly from the top of building module 7. The tower 10 has a flat weatherproof roof 11 and slanted 'windows W, preferably of tinted glass, to prevent glare during use. The building module 7 has sidewalls l2 and 13 and end walls 14 and 15 which make up a rectangular houselike structure. In like manner, the building module 9 has sidewalls 16 and 17 and end walls 18 and 19. The glass tower portion 10 projects from a roof 20 of module 7 of an opening thereof such that an air traffic controller can stand on an upper observation deck area 21 raised above the floor 23 of the building module 7 and accessible thereto by steps 24.
In FIG. 2, a control panel 26 of electronic weather and communications instruments are provided on the upper deck 21 as shown in phantom. Other furnishings to aid in traffic control, such as telephones, recorders, files and counters may also be provided within the tower area. Under deck 21 batteries for auxiliary power and backup equipment are stored through an opening 23. On the lower floor level 23, a partition 27 separates the observation area from a washroom area. In like manner, a partition 28 having a door 29 for passage therethrough completes the washroom enclosure. A suitable shelf 30 is typical of other furnishings and accessories which may be provided in the building module.
The building module 9 has a floor area 31 which may be made up in a multitude of ways. It is illustrated typically as having a desk 32, a small range 33, a counter 34, a sink 35 and a washroom and toilet area 36 separated by a suitable L- shaped partition 37 from the rest of the floor area 31. A door 38 permits access to the washroom through the L-shaped partition 37. Appropriate windows W may be provided anywhere in the sidewalls and end walls of the building modules 7 and 9. Access to the building modules 7 and 9, when they are releasably secured together, is through a door 40 in the side 16 of the building module 9. Access to the interior of the building module 7 from the building module 9 is through a flush door 42 which acts as a closure for a door opening in the end wall 19 of the building module 9. The end wall 15 of the building 7 has a door opening and flush door 44 which is in exact register with the opening and door 42, such that direct access between the building module 9 and the building module 7 is available.
The walls of the trailer are made by any standard construction but, as seen in FIG. 3, are generally a sandwich of an outer weatherproof metal or plastic material 46 and an inner decorative wall panelling material 47 with suitable insulation such as fiberglass board 48 disposed therebetween. An air conditioning unit 49 can be provided in either or both of the end walls 18 and 14 in a manner which is conventional in house trailer manufacturing.
The frame module 3 which supports the building module 7 is typically made up-of side channels 51 and 53 with intermediate transverse interconnecting members 54 and 56 welded at opposite ends thereto. An outer transverse frame member 57 and an inner transverse frame member 58 complete the rectangular outline of the frame module 3.
A hitch 60 of conventional type is releasably secured by means of apertured pads 61 mounted on the transverse members 54 and 57. U-bolts 63 pass through the apertures of the plates 61 to hold the legs 64 and 65 of the hitch rigidly against the frame. The frame has a usual ball receiving cup end 67 and a wheeled jack screw 68 for leveling the trailer.
As will be seen in FIGS. 1 and 5, the opposite end of the frame module is similarly equipped with apertured plates 63 for mounting of the hitch 60 at that end after disconnection of the frame module 5. The frame module 5 has side channels 71 and 73 with intermediate transverse interconnecting members 74, 76 and 77 welded at opposite ends thereto. An outer transverse frame member 78 and an inner transverse frame member 79 complete the rectangular outline of the frame module 5. Between the transverse members 74 and 76, extra bracing 80 is provided to strengthen the frame module 5 in the area axles, wheels and suspension system. Their location relative to these braces is shown in phantom in FIG. 6 and is generally designated by the numeral 82. v
The frame modules 3 and 5 are secured with their transverse members 58 and 79 respectively in face-to-face relationship with a soft material such as urethane foam 84 therebetween to prevent squeaks and other objectionable noise during travel of the unit. Bolts 85 and nuts 86 in appropriate number are utilized to maintain this connection in rigid load supporting condition for travel of the unit or use of the unit with the building modules 7 and 9 together. In a similar manner, the end walls and 19 of the building modules 7 and 9 respectively are joined together in face-toface relationship by means of bolts 85 and nuts 86 with a soft material 84 therebetween.
Thus, it will be seen that an integral mobile unit for use as an air traffic control tower can be made up of frame and building modules in the manner described. When it is desired permanently to mount the building module 7 upon a fixed foundation such as the pedestal 90 on the roof of an airport administration building or other suitable structure, generally designated by the FIG. B in FIG. 7, the bolts and nuts 85 and 86 are disassembled and the frame module 3 and building module 7 thereon are separated from the frame module 5 and the building module 9 thereon. The hitch 60 is, of course, removed from the frame module 3 and transferred to the frame module 5 so that the frame module 5 and building module 9 make up a mobile office separate from the frame module 3 and the building module 7. The frame module 3 and building module 7 may then be lifted by a crane or other suitable equipment by means of hooking a cable to lifting eyes 94 welded to the frame module 3 onto the foundation 90, and a suitable aesthetic building facing 96 may be added to the outside of the building module 7 to blend aesthetically with the architecture of the building B.
In the alternative, the facing material may be omitted, and the building module 7 can be made symmetrical by the addition ofa trim hood 98 or the removal of the original trim hood extension of the roof of the building module 7.
It will be readily seen that, in utilizing the frame module 3, it would not be necessary for the building module 7 to be mounted atop a building; but, rather, it could be mounted on a low foundation close to the ground, particularly if there were no obstructing buildings in the immediate area.
For ease of description, the principles of the invention have been set forth in connection with but a few illustrated embodiments. It is not our intention that the illustrated embodiments or the terminology employed in describing them be limiting inasmuch as yariationsjn these may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, but rather, It 15 our desire to be restricted only by the scope of the appended claims.
1. A modular mobile unit, a portion of which is used to form the observation area of an air traffic control tower, comprismg:
a wheeled frame having at least two building modules thereon;
said modules having surfaces adapted to be releasably secured together; at least one of said building modules being releasably secured to said wheeled frame for subsequent removal and mounting in an elevated position on a fixed structure; at least said one of said building modules having observation area windows; said windows having the lower edges thereof lying inwardly of the observation area relative to their respective upper edges to facilitate use of the observation area in an air traffic control tower.
2. The combination of claim 1 in which the wheeled frame has a towing hitch secured thereto.
3. The combination of claim 1 in which each of the building modules has at least four walls.
4. The combination of claim 1 in which means are provided to permit direct access from one building module to the other.
5. The combination of claim 1 in which the observation area windows are mounted in a tower which projects above the rest of the roof area of the building modules and wherein said windows are mounted on at least four sides of said tower.
6. The combination of claim 3 in which a wall of one build-- ing module is releasably secured in substantial face-to-face relationship with a wall of the other building module with a pad of soft solid material therebetween.
7. The combination of claim 6 in which each of said walls that are secured in substantial face-to-face relationship has a door opening in register with a door opening of the other to permit direct access from one building module to the other.
8. The combination of claim 2 in which the hitch is releasably secured to the frame module having the building module with the observation area and the wheels are located under the other of said frame modules.
9. The combination of claim 2 in which the frame module having the building module with the observation area is provided with lifting means.
10. The combination of claim 8 in which the frame module under which the wheels are located has a means adaptable to receive said hitch when said building and frame modules are disconnected from each other.
11. The combination of claim 14 in which means are provided for securing trim to the building module having the observation area when said building and frame modules are disconnected from each other.