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Publication numberUS3598273 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 10, 1971
Filing dateDec 6, 1968
Priority dateDec 6, 1968
Publication numberUS 3598273 A, US 3598273A, US-A-3598273, US3598273 A, US3598273A
InventorsBuday John M, Feddersen Donald W, Markowski Everett L, Rau Blase C
Original AssigneeAir Cargo Equipment Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container
US 3598273 A
Abstract  available in
Images(11)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

PATENTEU AUG 1 019?:

SHEET FIG. I4

FIG. I6

PATENTEDAUBIOISH 3,598,273

sum as or 11 FIGJB FIG. I9

CONTAINER This invention is directed to a container for use in an air plane, the container being constructed to be lightweight. yet durable.

It is an important object of the present invention to provide a container comprising a base panel, elongated base frame members connected to the base panel at the margins thereof, two side panels respectively connected at one of the margins thereof to two of the base frame members, four elongated corner frame members respectively connected to the generally upstanding margins of the side panels, two elongated side top frame members respectively connected to the side panels at the upper margins thereof, a top panel connected at the side margins thereof to the side top frame members, two elongated end top frame members respectively connected to the top panel at the front and rear margins thereof.

In connection with the foregoing object, another object of the invention is to provide each of the panels with a pair of spaced-apart substantially parallel sheet metal walls and spacer structure and a body of rigid cellular construction disposed between the walls and secured thereto, the spacer structure being disposed between the associated sheet metal walls at the margins thereof and secured thereto and extending around the periphery of the associated body of rigid cellular construction.

In connection with the foregoing objects, it is another object to make the connections between the panels and the adjacent frame members detachablev Another object of the invention is to provide a container comprising a door mounted in the door-receiving opening thereof for closure of the opening and readily removable therefrom for exposing the door-receiving opening.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide an improved container of the type set forth comprising a base panel, elongated base frame members detachably connected to the base panel at the margins thereof, two side panels respectively detachably connected at one of the margins thereof to two of the base frame members, four elongated corner frame members respectively detachably connected to the generally upstanding margins of the side panels, two elongated side top frame members respectively detachably connected to the side panels at the upper margins thereof, a top panel detachably connected at the margins thereof to the side top frame members, two elongated end top frame members respectively detachably connected to the top panel at the front and rear margins thereof, a rear panel detachably connected at the margins thereof to a rear one of the end base frame members and to the rear one of the top frame members and to the rear ones of the corner frame members, and a load-bearing rigidifying panel having a longitudinal extent substantially less than the longitudinal extent of the rear panel, the rigidifying panel having the edges thereof disposed against the top panel and detachably connected thereto and against one of the side panels and detachably connected thereto.

In connection with the foregoing object, another object of the invention is to provide a container of the type set forth and further comprising an elongated T-shaped side stiffener including a mounting flange secured to the other of the side panels and a platelike rib, a pair of elongated L-shaped top stiffeners each including a first attachment flange secured to the top panel and each including a second platelike rib, the second rib of one of the top stiffeners being detachably connected to one side of the first rib adjacent to the corresponding wall of the rigidifying panel, the second rib ofthe other of the top stiffe ners being detachably connected to the other side of the first rib and adjacent to the corresponding wall rigidifying panel.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved container comprising a door adapted for mounting in the doorreceiving opening ofthe container to close the same, a latch rotatably mounted on the door adjacent to the periphery thereof and being rotatable between a latching position for engagement with he keeper structure in the container and a release position for disengagement from the keeper structure, a driven gear rotatably mounted on the door and drivingly connected to the latch for imparting rotation thereto. A driving gear rotatably mounted on the door and drivingly connected to the driven gear for imparting rotation thereto, and a handle drivingly connected to the driving gear for imparting rotation thereto to move the latch between the latching and release positions thereof.

In connection with the foregoing object, it is another object of the invention to provide an improved container wherein the latching mechanism is mounted in a housing fixedly mounted on the door adjacent to the periphery thereof and defining a handle recess, the handle being pivotal between an inner storage position disposed in the recess and an outer operating position disposed out ofthe recess.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a latching mechanism including a latch, a driven gear drivingly connected to the latch for imparting rotation thereto, a driving gear rotatably mounted on the door and drivingly connected to the driven gear for imparting rotation thereto, and a handle drivingly connected to the driving gear for imparting rotation thereto to move the latch between the latching and release positions thereof, the gears being constructed and arranged to cause a given amount of rotation of the handle to impart a substantial lesser amount of rotation to the latch.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved container comprising a body having a door-receving opening therein, a door support mounted on the body adjacent to the door-receiving opening, the door support including a retaining portion extending into the opening and a guide portion extending inwardly from the opening, the retaining portion having an arcuate outer retaining surface and the guide portion having an arcuate inner retaining surface in facing relationship with the outer retaining surface and defining a groove therebetween, a door for removably mounting in the door-receiving opening and having a closed position with respect thereto, a hanger mounted on the door along one edge thereof including a tongue having an arcuate outer bearing surface and an arcuate inner bearing surface, the hunger in the closed position of the door being disposed in the groove with the outer bearing surface in facing relationship with the outer retaining surface and with the inner bearing surface in facing relationship with the inner retaining surface.

ln connection with the foregoing object, it is another object of the invention to provide a container wherein the retaining portion has a convex sliding pivot surface, having a concave sliding pivot surface, the convex pivot surface being disposed in abutting relationship with the concave pivot surface when the tongue is disposed within the groove and during the removal ofthe tongue from the groove.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a door for closing the opening of a container, wherein there is mounted in the door a casing defining a handle recess with a socket therein, a handle pivotally mounted in the socket and pivotal between an inner storage position disposed in the recess and outer operating position disposed out of the recess,

Still another object of the invention is to provide a container comprising a base panel, base frame members on the base panel and each including a pair of outwardly directed spacedapart retaining jaws, elongated side bumpers and end bumpers respectively disposed adjacent to the side and end base frame members, each of the bumpers including a pair of elongated spaced-apart gripping flanges thereon forcibly urged between the associated retaining jaws and respectively biased thereagainst, the bumpers being grippingly held by the associated retaining jaws and removable therefrom by forcibly withdrawing the gripping flanges from the retaining jaws.

ln connection with the foregoing object, it is another object of the invention to provide a container which further includes a plurality of V-shaped corner bumpers each having a pair of diverging legs merging into a curved apex, the corner bumpers being respectively disposed adjacent to the corners of the base panel with legs being respectively aligned with the adjacent side and end bumpers, the corner bumpers being attached to the base frame members and being readily removable therefrom.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a container comprising a base panel with a base frame extending therearound, a plurality of tiedown mechanisms each having an adjustable finger thereon, the base frame having an abutment surface thereon against which the finger of each of the tiedown mechanisms abuts to hold the container in position on the floor.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a container with a plurality of shelf supports detachably connected therein, a pair of shelf panels carried by the shelf supports and detachably connected thereto, and a divider separating the shelf panels from each other.

Further features of the invention pertain to the particular arrangement of the parts whereby the above-outlined and additional features thereof are attained.

The invention, both as to its organization and method of construction, together with other objects and advantages, will best be understood by reference to the following specification taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view ofa cargo container made in accordance with and embodying the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a view in lateral cross section through the fuselage of an airplane showing two of the cargo containers of FIG. 1 in the operative position;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the cargo container in phantom and showing the rigidifying panel in position therein;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view in vertical section through the cargo container of FIG. 1 along the lines 4-4 thereof;

FIG. 5 is a view in horizontal section of one ofthe rigidifying pancl mounting brackets shown in FIG. 4 along the lines 5-5 thcrcol';

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary view in vertical section through the cargo container of FIG. 1 along the lines 6-6 thereof;

FIG. 7 is a view in horizontal section through the side stiffener and side panel of FIG. 6 along the lines 7-7 thereof;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary view in vertical section through the cargo container of FIG. 1 along the lines 8-8 thereof and showing the juncture of the rigidifying panel and the top stiffeners',

FIG. 9 is a view in vertical section through the top stiffeners and top panel of FIG. 8 along the lines 9-9 thereof;

FIG. 10 is a view in vertical section through the rigidifying panel, the splice plates, the top panel and the top stiffeners of FIG. 8 along the lines 10-10 thereof;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the corner of the cargo container of FIG. 1 within the circle 11 thereof, certain portions of the door being broken away to expose the door frame;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged view in vertical section through the door frame and bumpers of FIG. 11 along the line 12-12 thereof;

FIG. 13 is an enlarged fragmentary view in vertical section through the cargo container of FIG. I along the lines 13-13 thereof;

FIG 14 is a top plan view of one of the four corner bumpers installed in the cargo container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 15 is a view in vertical section of the corner bumper of FIG. 14 along the lines 15-15 thereof;

FIG. 16 is an enlarged fragmentary view in vertical section through the cargo container of FIG. I along the lines 16-16 thereof and showing the detail of the hinge mechanism when the door is in the closed position thereof;

FIG. 17 is a view in vertical section similar to that of FIG. 16 but with the hinge mechanism in the condition thereof when the door is being removed from the cargo container;

FIG. 18 is an enlarged view of one of the latching mechanisms of the door in the cargo container of FIG. 1 and showing the handle in its latching and release positions thereof;

FIG. 19 is a further enlarged view in vertical section of the latching mechanism of FIG. 18 along the lines 19-19 thereof, with the handle being shown in its storage position in full lines and in its operating position in broken lines;

FIG. 20 is an elevation view of the gears and latch mechanism of FIG. 19 wherein the latch is shown in both its latching and release positions;

FIG. 21 is a view in lateral cross section of the elongated door-sealing gasket;

FIG. 22 is an enlarged elevation view of one of the handles on the door of the cargo container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 23 is a view in vertical section of the handle of FIG. 22 along the lines 23-23 thereof;

FIG. 24 is a view in vertical section of the tiedown mechanism in the cargo container of FIG. 1 along the lines 24-24 thereof;

FIG. 25 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a baggage container made in accordance with and embodying the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 26 is an enlarged perspective view of a portion of the baggage container of FIG. 25 and showing the mounting of the shelf;

FIG. 27 is an enlarged fragmentary view in vertical section through the baggage container of FIG. 25 along the lines 27-27 thereof and illustrating further aspects of the shelf mounting;

FIG. 28 is an enlarged view in vertical section of the baggage container of FIG. 25 along the lines 28-28 thereof; and

FIG. 29 is an enlarged perspective view of the portion of the baggage container of FIG. 25 shown in the circle 29, and showing further aspects of the shelf mounting.

Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. l to 3 thereof, there is illustrated a cargo container made in accordance with and embodying the principles of the present invention. The cargo container 50 is adapted for use in an aircraft which has the usual parts such as a fuselage 61 and wings 62, with a longitudinally extending upper deck 63 disposed slightly below the midpoint of the aircraft 60, thus to define a passenger compartment 64 in the space above the deck 63. Spaced well below the deck 63 and extending substantially parallel thereto is a lower deck 66, defining a cargo and/or baggage compartment 65 between the decks 63 and 66. In use, there will be provided two rows of cargo containers 50 (or baggage containers as the case may be) in side-by-side relationship and disposed along the length of the fuselage 61. As will be understood more fully hereinafter, a portion of one wall in each of the cargo containers 50 is slanted so as to accommodate a container 50 of the maximum length (along the lateral dimension of the airplane 60).

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 4, the details of construction of the cargo container 50 will be described. The cargo container 50 comprises a base panel including a pair of spacedapart substantially rectangular sheet metal walls extending generally parallel to each other. Disposed between the walls 71 and 72 is a filler 73 in the form of a body of rigid cellular construction preferably formed of aluminum having a honeycomb structure, the filler 73 being secured to the walls 71 and 72 by means oia sheet of epoxy. Disposed between the metal walls 71 and 72 at the margins thereof and extending around the periphery of the filler 73 is a rigid frame or spacer structure 74 in the form of an elongated channel having a U- shaped cross section with a bight 76 carrying flanges 75. The spacer structure 74 is bonded into the panel 70 by use of expanding epoxy disposed between the bight 76 and the adjacent portion of the filler 73, and by use of epoxy between the flanges 75 and the adjacent portions of the walls 71 and 72. Preferably for the sake of minimizing the weight, maximizing the strength, and simplifying the manufacture, the spacer structure 74 is formed of an aluminum extrusion. The spacer structure 74 lends rigidity to the base panel 70 and, in addition, provides a means for attaching the base panel 70 to other parts of the cargo container 50. Disposed around the margin of the base panel 70 and extending through the wall 72 and through the flanges 75 is a plurality of holes through which bolts may be inserted for use in connecting other parts of the cargo container 50 to the base panel 70. For this purpose, there is provided a plurality of nuts 77 respectively in alignment with the holes in the wall 72.

The cargo container 50, as shown in FIG. 4, comprises an elongated side base frame member 80 disposed against the base panel 70 along the left-hand margin thereof as viewed in FIG. 1. The side base frame member 80 includes a body portion 81 carrying an inwardly directed attachment flange 82 and an upstanding flange 83, the upstanding flange 83 carrying an out-turned flange 84 having on the outer end thereof an upturned flange 85 directed upwardly and outwardly. The upper surface of the body portion 81 defines an engagement surface 87 for use with a plurality of locking mechanisms 67 mounted on the lower deck 66 of the aircraft 60. The locking mechanisms 67, one of which is shown in phantom. in FIG. 4, include a finger 68 which may be swiveled from a disengaging position to a position where it is disposed against the engagement surface 87 and tightened thereagainst to hold the cargo container 50 in place. It is to be understood that there are similar locking mechanisms disposed adjacent to other parts of the cargo container 50 and operated in a similar fashion as will be explained more fully hereinafter.

Projecting outwardly from the body portion 81 is a pair of longitudinally extending and spaced-apart retaining jaws 88. In order to minimize the weight yet provide maximum strength, the side base frame member 80 is preferably formed of an aluminum extrusion having therein a longitudinally extending bore 89 so as to minimize the amount of aluminum required. The side base frame member 80 is disposed adjacent to the left side (as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 4) of the base panel 70, with the attachment flange 82 disposed against the lefthand margin of the top wall 72. A threaded bolt 94 is passed through an opening in the attachment flange and through openings in the wall 72 and the flange 75 and threadably engages the nut 77 to secure the base frame member 80 in place. It is to be understood that there is a plurality of holes along the longitudinal extent of the attachment flange 82 corresponding in number to the holes in the wall 72 for use in securing the attachment flange 82 along the length thereof.

Although not shown in the drawings, the base frame member 80 does not have the cross section shown in FIG. 4 from the front of the base panel 70 to the rear thereof. For reasons that will become more clear subsequently, only the flanges 84 and 85 continue throughout the entire lateral extent of the base panel 70, the remainder of the parts, namely, the body portion 81, the attachment flange 82, the upstanding flange 83, and the retaining jaws 88, being somewhat shorter than the lateral extent of the base panel 70.

There is provided an elongated side bumper 95 preferably formed of an extruded length of aluminum and includes a body 96 having a rounded or curved outer surface 97. Integral with the body 96 is a pair of spaced-apart gripping flanges 98 which are biased away from each other. The side bumper 95 is installed on the base frame member 80 by urging the gripping flanges 98 into the space between the retaining jaws 88. Because the gripping flanges are biased away from one another, they will respectively abut against the retaining jaws 88 so as to be grippingly held thereby and removable therefrom by forcibly withdrawing the gripping flanges 98. The bumper 95 protects the left side (as viewed in FIG. 1) of the cargo container 50 as it is being moved and jostled about during loading and unloading thereof. It is to be understood that the lateral extent of the bumper 95 is less than the lateral extent of the base panel 70 and is equal in length to the length ofthe retaining jaws 88.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 6 of the drawings, the cargo container 50 further comprises an elongated side base frame member 100 disposed against the base panel 70 along the right-hand margin thereof as viewed in FIG. 1. The side base frame member 100 includes a body portion 101 carrying an inwardly directed attachment flange 102 and an upstanding flange 103, the upstanding flange 103 carrying an out'turned flange 104 having on the outer end thereof an upturned flange 105. The upper surface of the body portion 101 defines an engagement surface 107 for use with the locking mechanisms 67 mounted on the lower deck 66 of the aircraft 60 (see FIG. 24). As explained with respect to the frame member 80, the locking mechanisms 67 include a finger 68 which may be swiveled from a disengaging position to a position where it is disposed against the engagement surface 107 and tightened thereagainst to hold the cargo container 50in place.

Projecting outwardly from the body portion 10] is a pair of longitudinally extending and spacedapart retaining jaws 108. In order to minimize the weight, yet provide maximum strength, the side base frame member 100 is preferably formed of an aluminum extrusion having therein a longitudinally extending bore 109 so as to minimize the amount of aluminum required. The side base frame member 100 is disposed adjacent to the right-hand side (as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 6) of the base panel 70, with the attachment flange 102 disposed against the right-hand margin of the top wall 72. A threaded bolt 114 is passed through an opening in the attachment flange 102 and through openings in the wall 72 and the flange and threadably engages the nut 77 to secure the base frame member in place. It is to be understood that there is a plurality of holes along the longitudinal extent of the attachment flange 102 corresponding in number to the holes in the wall 72 for use in securing the attachment flange 102 along the length thereof.

Although not shown in the drawings, the base frame member 100 does not have the cross section shown in FIG. 6 from the front of the base panel 70 to the rear thereof. For reasons that will become more clear subsequently, only the flanges 104 and continue through the entire lateral extent of the base panel 70, the remainder of the parts, namely, the body portion 101, the attachment flange 102, the upstanding flange 103, and the retaining jaws 108, being somewhat shorter than the lateral extent of the base panel 70.

There is provided an elongated side bumper 115 preferably formed of an extruded length of aluminum and includes a body 116 having a rounded or curved outer surface 117. lntegral with the body 116 is a pair of spaced-apart gripping flanges 118 which are biased away from each other. The side bumper 115 is installed on the base frame member 100 by urging the gripping flanges 118 into the space between the retaining jaws 108. Because the gripping flanges are biased away from one another, they will respectively abut against the retaining jaws 108 so as to be grippingly held thereby and removable therefrom by forcibly withdrawing the gripping flanges 118. The bumper 115 protects the right side (as viewed in FIG. 1) of the cargo container 50 as it is being moved and jostled about during loading and unloading thereof. It is to be understood that the lateral extent of the bumper 115 is less than the lateral extent of the base panel 70 and is equal in length to the length of the retaining jaws 108.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 13 of the drawings, the cargo container 50 further comprises an elongated end base frame member 120 disposed against the base panel 70 along the front or forward margin thereof as viewed in FIG. 1. The end base frame member 120 includes a body portion 121 carrying an inwardly directed attachment flange 122 and an upstanding flange 123, the upstanding flange 123 carrying a channel shaped portion 124 defined by a pair of spaced-apart elongated lips 125a and 125b extending generally parallel to each other. For reasons to be explained, the lower surface of the lip 125a defines an abutment surface 126. The upper surface of the body portion 121 defines an engagement surface 127 for use with the locking mechanisms 67 mounted on the lower deck 66 of the aircraft 60. The locking mechanisms 67, one of which is shown in phantom in FIG. 13, includes a finger 68 which may be swiveled from a disengaging position to a position where it is disposed against the engagement surface 127 and tightened thereagainst to hold the cargo container 50 in place.

The base frame member 120 does not have the cross section shown in FIG. 13 from one side of the base panel 70 to the other side thereof. For reasons that will become more clear subsequently, only the channel-shaped portion 124 continues throughout the entire longitudinal extent of the base panel 70, the remainder of the parts, namely, the body portion 121, the attachment flange 122, the upstanding flange I23, and the retaining jaws 128, being somewhat shorter than the longitudinal extent of the base panel 70.

Projecting outwardly from the body portion 121 is a pair of longitudinally extending and spaced-apart retaining jaws 128. In order to minimize the weight,- yet provide maximum strength, the end base frame member 120 is preferably formed of an aluminum extrusion having therein a longitudinally extending bore 129 so as to minimize the amount of aluminum required. The end base frame member 120 is disposed adjacent to the one side (as viewed in FIGS. 1 to 4) of the base panel 70, with the attachment flange 122 disposed against the left-hand margin of the top wall 72. A threaded bolt 134 is passed through an opening in the attachment flange 122 and through openings in the wall 72 and the flange 75 and threadably engages the nut 77 to secure the base frame member in place. It is to be understood that there is a plurality of holes along the longitudinal extent of the attachment flange 122 corresponding in number to the holes in the wall 72 for use in securing the attachment flange 122 along the length thereof.

There is provided an elongated side bumper 135 preferably formed of an extruded length of aluminum metal and includes a body 136 having a rounded or outer curved surface 137. Integral with the body 136 is a pair of spaced-apart gripping flanges 138 which are biased away from each other. The side bumper 135 is installed on the ba e frame member 120 by urging the gripping flanges 138 into the space between the retaining jaws 128. Because the gripping flanges are biased away from one another, they will respectively abut against the retaining jaws 128 so as to be grippingly held thereby and removable therefrom by forcibly withdrawing the gripping flanges 138 from the retainingjaws 128. The bumper I protects the front (as viewed in FIG. 1) of the cargo container as it is being moved and jostled about during loading and unloading thereof. It is to be understood that the lateral extent of the bumper 135 is less than the longitudinal extent of the base panel 70 and is equal in length to the length of the retaining jaws 128.

Although not shown, it is to be understood that there is provided an end base frame member at the rear of the base panel 70 and having a construction like the base frame member 100. As is the case with the front end base frame member 120, the rear end base frame member (not shown) is shorter than the longitudinal extent of the base panel 70. Also the bumper (not shown) carried by the rear end base frame member is shorter than the longitudinal extent of the base panel 70. As will be explained in detail, the corner bumpers 420 fill the gaps left by the shorter side and end bumpers.

Referring now to FIG. 4, the cargo container 50 is therein shown to include a sloping side panel 140 having a construction similar to the other panels in the container 50, the panel 140 including a pair of spaced-apart substantially rectangular sheet metal walls 141 and 142 disposed generally parallel to one another. A filler 143 formed of a body of rigid cellular construction, is disposed between the walls 141 and 142 and secured thereto. A rigid frame or elongated spacer structure I44, preferably in the form of a solid aluminum extrusion, is disposed between the walls 141 and 142 at the margins thereof and extends around the periphery of the filler 143. The spacer structure 144 is secured both to the filler 143 and to the walls 141 and 142 to lend strength to the panel 140. Formed in the spacer structure 144 is a plurality of spaced-apart openings therethrough for use in receiving fasteners to attach the panel to other parts of the cargo container 50. One of the margins of the sloping side panel 140 is disposed against the upturned flange 85 of the side base member 80 and is supported thereby, so as to slant upwardly and outwardly from the base panel 70. Bolts 146 pass through aligned openings in the upturned flange 85, the walls 141 and 142 and the spacer structure 144 and engage nuts to secure the panel 140 in place.

There is also provided a vertical side panel 150 having a construction like that of the sloping side panel I40, and including a pair of spaced-apart substantially rectangular sheet metal walls 151 and 152 disposed parallel to one another. Disposed between the walls 151 and 152 is a flller 153 in the form ofa body of rigid cellular construction, with a rigid frame or elongated spacer structure 154 extending around the periphery of the filler 153. There is provided a plurality of spaced-apart holes in the spacer structure 154 for use in attaching the panel 150 to other parts of the cargo container 50.

To interconnect the panels 140 and 150, there is provided an integral elongated connecting frame member including attachment flanges 161 and 162 diverging at an obtuse angle, with a protrusion 163 being disposed between the attachment flanges I61 and 162. The connecting frame member 160 is disposed such that the protrusion 163 is between the adjacent ends of the panels 140 and 150, the attachment flange 161 being disposed against the wall 141 of the panel 140 adjacent to the margin thereof. A bolt 167 is passed through an opening in the flange 161 and aligned openings in the walls 141 and 142 and in the spacer structure 144 and engages a nut 166, thus to attach the connecting frame member 160 to the panel 140. It is to be understood that additional fasteners are provided along the length of the member 160. The flange 162 is disposed against the wall 151 of the panel 150 at the lower margin thereof. A bolt 169 is passed through an opening in the flange 162 and aligned openings in the walls 151 and 152 and in the spacer structure 154 and engages a nut 168, thus to attach the connecting frame member 160 to the panel 150. It is to be understood that additional fasteners are provided along the length of the member 160.

By virtue of the above described construction, the panel 150 will be disposed generally vertically and the panel 140 will slant from the lower end of the panel 150 inwardly and toward the base panel 70.

There is provided a left-hand (as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 4) top frame member 170 which includes an elongated body I71 and attachment flanges 173 and 174 disposed in planes generally normal to each other. Preferably, the frame member 170 is in the form of an aluminum extrusion having a longitudinal bore 172 therein to minimize the weight of the member 170 without any loss in strength thereof. The top frame member 170 is disposed on top of the side panel 150, with the attachment flange 174 being disposed against the wall 151 of the panel 150 at the margin thereof. Bolts 176 pass through openings in the flange 174 and through openings in the walls 151 and 152 and the spacer structure 154 and engage nuts 175, thus to mount the top frame member 170 upon the side panel 150.

Referring now to FIG. 6, details of the right-hand (as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 6) side panel 180 will be described, the side panel 180 including a pair of spaced-apart substantially rectangular sheet metal walls IBI and 182 and disposed generally parallel to each other. A filler 183 formed of a body of rigid cellular construction is disposed between the walls 181 and 182 and secured thereto. A rigid frame or elongated spacer structure 184, preferably in the form of a solid aluminum extrusion, is disposed between the walls 181 and 182 at the margins thereof and extends around the periphery of the filler 183. The spacer structure 184 is secured both to the filler 183 and to the walls 181 and 182 to lend strength to the panel 180. Formed in the spacer structure is a plurality of spacedapart openings therethrough for use in receiving fasteners to attach the panel 180 to other parts of the cargo container 50.

The lower margin of the inner surface of the side panel 180 is disposed against the upturned flange 105 of the side base member 100 and is supported thereby. Bolts 186 pass through aligned openings in the upturned flange 105, the walls 181 and 182 and the spacer structure 184 and engage nuts 185 to secure the panel 180 in place.

Disposed on top of the side panel 180 is a top frame member 190 which includes an elongated body 191 and attachment flanges 193 and 194 disposed in planes normal to each other. Preferably, the frame member 190 is in a form of an aluminum extrusion having a longitudinal bore 192 therein to minimize the weight ofthe member I90 without any loss in strength thereof. The top frame member I90 is disposed on top of the side panel 180, with the attachment flange 194 being disposed against the wall 181 of the panel 180 at the margin thereof. Bolts I96 pass through openings in the flange 194 and through openings in the walls 181 and 182 and the spacer structure 184 and engage nuts 195, thus to mount the top frame member [90 upon the side panel 180.

The cargo container 50 further comprises a top panel 200 including a pair of spaced-apart substantially rectangular sheet metal walls 201 and 202 and a filler 203 in the form ofa body of rigid cellular construction. There is also provided a rigid frame or spacer structure 204 disposed between the sheet metal walls 201 and 202, secured thereto and extending around the periphery of the flller 203. Formed in the spacer structure 204 in the opposite sides thereof adjacent to the frame members 170 and 190 is a pair of laterally extending recesses or rabbets 205. To connect the top panel 200 to the side panel [80, the attachment flange 193 of the right-hand top frame member 190 is disposed within the rabbet 205 on the right side of the top panel 200. A plurality of bolts 207 passes through openings in the flange I93 located at spacedapart points thereon and through openings in the spacer structure 204 and in the wall 202 and respectively engages a plurality of nuts 206, thus to attach the top panel 200 to the side panel 180. To connect the top panel 200 to the side panel I50, the attachment flange I73 of the left-hand top frame member 170 is disposed within the rabbet 205 on the left side of the top panel 200. A plurality of bolts 207 passes through openings in the flange 173 located at spaced-apart points thereon and through openings in the spacer structure 204 and in the wall 202 and respectively engages a plurality of nuts 206, thus to attach the top panel 200 to the side panel 150. The depth of each of the rabbets 205 is equal to the thickness of the attachment flanges 173 and 193 so that the upper surfaces of the attachment flanges I73 and 193 and the upper surface of the top panel 200 are substantially flush with one another and present a smooth, substantially continuous surface, thereby preventing collection of water on the top panel 200.

Referring now to FIGS. 1, ll, and 19, it may be seen that the cargo container 50 includes a slanting corner frame member 220 that forms a continuation of the front end base frame member 120 and includes an attachment flange 22! carrying thereon a channel-shaped portion 222, the purpose for which will be described in detail hereinafter. The attachment flange 221 is secured to the sloping side panel 140 at the front margin thereof by utilizing nuts and bolts in a fashion similar to that described with reference to others of the panelframe member interconnections. The channel-shaped portion 222 defines a keeper surface 223 and includes an out-turned lip 224, the bottom surface ofthe out-turned lip 224 providing an abutment surface 225 for use as will be described in more detail hereinafter.

There is also provided a vertical corner frame 230 member disposed on top of the slanting corner frame member 220 and secured to the vertical side panel 150 in a similar fashion. Although not shown, the vertical corner frame member 230 has a channel-shaped portion similar to the channel-shaped portion 222. A vertical corner frame member 240 is disposed adjacent to the right-hand (as viewed in FIG. 1) side of the cargo container 50 and has a construction like that described with reference to the corner frame member 230 and includes an attachment flange secured by means of nuts and bolts to the side panel 180. There is also provided a rear slanting corner frame member 250 secured to the rear end of the slanting side panel by means of nuts and bolts in the same fashion as previously described. The slanting corner frame member 250 may have a construction similar to the top frame members and 190. Disposed on top of the slanting corner frame member 250 and having a construction similar thereto is a vertical corner frame member 260 secured to the vertical side panel 150 adjacent to the rear margin thereof. Disposed adjacent to the side panel adjacent to the rear end thereof is a vertically extending corner frame member 270 having a construction similar to the construction of the corner frame member 260 and directed generally parallel thereto. One of the flanges of the corner frame member 270 is secured to the side panel 180 at the margin thereof by means of nuts and bolts in a fashion like that described with reference to others of the panels and frame members.

A top frame member 290 having a construction similar to the top frame members 170 and is disposed at the rear of the top panel 200, with one of the attachment flanges of the member 290 being secured by means of nuts and bolts to the top panel 200 at the rear margin thereof. There is also provided a rear panel 310 having a rectangular shape but with one corner thereof sliced off so as to conform to the shape of a cross section of the cargo container 50 laterally therethrough. The rear panel 310 is disposed against the rear base frame member (not shown), against the corner frame members 250, 260, and 270, and against the top frame member 290. The rear panel 310 is secured to said last-mentioned frame members by means of nuts and bolts. If desired, the rear panel 3l0 could be a removable door such as the door 450 presently to be described.

What has been described thus far is a cargo container of exceptionally strong construction by virtue of the body of rigid cellular construction in each of the panels. yet lightweight, due to the panels being constructed preferably of aluminum. Without sacrificing any loss in strength, the cargo container 50 can be completely disassembled within a very short period of time because all of the panels are secured to the frame members by nuts and bolts which can easily be removed. There are a number of desirable ramifications of this feature. For example, if one panel becomes damaged at a point far removed from the situs of the manufacturing facility of the cargo container 50, the user merely calls the manufacturing facility and asks that the panel or the frame member which has become damaged be shipped out immediately to the place where it is needed. Since the replacement part is relatively small and consumes a small amount of space, it can find room to be transported with very short notice. Also the manufacturer of the cargo containers can ship them in a knockdown condition, thereby utilizing less space on the vehicle used to transport them and accordingly reducing the manufacturer cost.

To strengthen the cargo container 50, there is shown, in FIGS. 1, 2, and 4, a rigidifying panel 320, including a pair of spaced-apart sheet metal walls 321 and 322 and a filler 323 in the form of a body of rigid cellular construction between the walls 321 and 322 and secured thereto by means of epoxy as previously described with reference to others of the panels in the cargo container 50. There is also provided spacer structure 324 around the periphery of the filler 323 (see FIG. Ill). The rigidifying panel 320 is in the form ofa rectangle, but with one corner thereof sliced away.

As shown in more detail in FIG. 5, to mount the rigidifying panel 320 centrally within the cargo container 50, there is provided a bracket 325, the bracket 325 including a generally vertically extending attachment flange 326 which, in turn, carries a pair of spaced-apart substantially parallel side attachment flanges 327 extending upwardly and outwardly from the attachment flange 326. The side attachment flanges 327 respectively carry a pair of attachment flanges 328 lying in the same plane and inclined with respect to the attachment flange 326. There are provided bolts 330 that pass through openings in the upstanding flange 83 of the side base frame member 80 and engage nuts 329 to mount the bracket 325 on the frame member 80. The bolts 146, in addition to passing through the upturned flange 85 of the side base frame member 80 and through the side panel 140, also pass through the inclined attachment flanges 328 and engage the nuts 145. Also, bolts 321 pass through the side attachment flanges 327 and through the portion of the rigidifying panel 320 disposed therebetween and engage nuts 332, thereby to interconnect the rigidifying panel 320, the side panel 140, and the frame member 80.

There is also provided a second bracket 335 including an at tat'limi-nt flange 336 liavuig the shape iii a flattened V, the attachment flange 336 carrying thereon further attachment flanges 337 and 338. The bolts 167, in addition to passing through the connecting frame member 160 and through the panel 140, also pass through the attachment flange 337 and engage the nuts 166. Similarly, the bolts 169, in addition to passing through the connecting frame member 160 and the side panel 150 also pass through the attachment flange 338 and engage the nuts 168. There is provided adjacent to the opposite wall 322 of the rigidifying panel 320 a bracket (not shown) like the bracket 335 and aligned therewith. A plurality of bolts 339 passes through the attachment flange 336 and the attachment flange on the opposing bracket (not shown) and through the rigidifying panel 320 disposed therebetween, and respectively engages a plurality of nuts (not shown), thereby to interconnect the rigidifying panel 320 with the slanting side panel 140 and the vertical side panel 150.

There is also provided a third bracket 340 including an attachment flange 341 having a generally square shape but with a corner thereof sliced off, the attachment flange 341 carrying thereon attachment flanges 342 and 343 disposed in planes directed generally normal to each other. The bolts 207 pass, not only through the attachment flange 173 and the top panel 200, but also through the attachment flange 343 and engage the nuts 206. Similarly, the bolts 176 pass, not only through the attachment flange 174 and through the side panel 150, but also through the attachment flange 342. It is to be understood that a bracket (not shown) similar to the bracket 340 is disposed on the opposite wall 322 of the rigidifying panel 320 and aligned with the bracket 340. A plurality of bolts 344 passes through the attachment flange 341 and the corresponding attachment flange on the opposing bracket (not shown) and through the rigidifying panel 320 and engages in nuts on the opposite side, thereby to interconnect the rigidifying panel 320 with the frame member 170, the side panel 150, and the top panel 200.

Referring now to FIGS. 1, 6 and 7, further details of the means for strengthening the cargo container 50 will be described. There is provided an elongated T-shaped side stiffener 350 including a mounting flange 351 and a platelike rib 352 directed normally thereto. The rib 352 is cut out adjacent to the bottom thereof, indicated by the reference numeral 353. The T-shaped side stiffener 350 is mounted in the container with the mounting flange 351 disposed against the wall 182 of the panel 180 approximately centrally thereof. THe bolts 186 extend not only through the flange 105 and through the panel 180 but also through the mounting flange 351 and respectively engage nuts 185. Similarly, the bolts [96 pass not only through the flange 194 and the panel 180, but also through the mounting flange 351 adjacent to the top thereof and respectively engage the nuts 195. It is to be understood that there are similar nuts and bolts toward the rear side of the platelike rib 352 extending into the mounting flange 351. ln addition there are provided bolts 356 that pass through the flange 351 and engage in nuts imbedded in the panel 180 so as to be hidden from view.

There is further provided an L-shaped bracket 360 disposed on both sides of the platelike rib 352 (only the front bracket 360 is shown), the bracket 360 including a pair of attachment flanges 361 and 362. The flange 362 is attached to the upstanding flange 103 of the side base frame member 100 by means ofa bolt 364 and a nut 363. The attachment flange 361 of each of the brackets 360 is attached to the platelike rib 352 also by means of nuts and bolts.

Referring now to FIGS. 6 to 10, the cargo container 50 also comprises a front elongated L-shaped top stiffener including an attachment flange 371 and a platelike nut 372 disposed normal thereto. The attachment flange 371 is joined to the top panel 200 by means of bolts 373, engaging in nuts imbedded in the top panel 200 so as to be hidden from view.

There is also provided a rear elongated L-shaped top stiffener 380 including an attachment flange 381 and a platelike rib 382 disposed normally thereto. The attachment flange 381 is joined to the top panel 200 by means of bolts 383 threaded into nuts imbedded into the top panel 200 so as to be hidden from view. The top stiffeners 370 and 380 extend from adjacent to the top frame member 190 to the upper right-hand (as viewed in FIG. 8) corner of the rigidifying panel 320, the forward top stiffener 370 being disposed against the forward side of the T'shaped side stiffener 350 and on the forward side of the rigidifying panel 320, and the rear top stiffener 380 being disposed against the rear of the T-shaped side stiffener 350 and against the rear side of the rigidifying panel 320.

For connecting the stiffeners 370 and 380 to the rigidifying panel 320, there is provided a splice plate 390 including an attachment flange 391 and an offset flange 392. Also, there is provided a splice plate 400 including an attachment flange 401 and offset flange 402. A pair of bolts 405 extends through openings in the attachment flanges 391 and 401 and in the rigidifying panel 320 and engage nuts 404. Also there are pro vided bolts 407 passing the offset flanges 392 and 402, through the platelike ribs 372 and 382 and through the rigidifying panel 320 and engage the nuts 408, thereby to interconnect the L-shaped top stiffeners 370 and 380 and the rigidifying panel 320. There may also he provided a spacer 410 disposed between the ribs 372 and 382. A bolt 412 passes through the ribs 372 and 382 and through the spacer 410 and engages the nut 411. The thicknesses of the spacer 410 and the rigidifying panel 320 and the side stiffener 350 are the same so that tightening of the various nuts and bolts as described does not distort any of the members.

Accordingly, the rigidifying panel 320 is firmly attached to the top panel 200, to the vertical side panel and to the sloping side panel 140. The side stiffener 350 is secured to the vertical side panel 180, and the L-shaped top stiffeners 370 and 380 are secured to each other, to the T-shaped side stif fener 350, to the top panel 200 and to the rigidifying panel 320. It may be seen that, with a minimum quantity of metal, an exceptionally strong container has been provided by reason of this rigidifying and stiffening structure. Like the outside panels and the associated frame members, the parts of the rigidifying and stiffening structure are also easily detachable from each other and from the other panels and frame members of the cargo container 50.

As previously described, the left side base frame membe- 80, the right side base frame member 100, the front end base frame member 120, and the rear end base frame member (not shown) do not extend to the corners of the base panel 70. To fill the gaps thereby created at the corners of the base panel 70, there is provided a set of four V-shaped corner bumpers 420, 430, 431 and 432. Each of the four bumpers has the same structure, whereby, in the interest of brevity, only the corner bumper 420 disposed at the forward left-hand corner (as viewed in FIG. 1) of the cargo container 50 will be described. Referring to FIGS. 14 and 15, the corner bumper 420 includes a pair of legs 421 and 422 diverging from each other at an obtuse angle and merging into a curved apex 423. Preferably, each corner bumper 420 is formed of an aluminum extrusion. The corner bumper 420 includes a body portion 425 having a curved outer surface 426 conforming in shape to the curved surface of the adjacent side bumper or end bumper, as the case may be. Depending inwardly upon the body portion 425 is an attachment flange 427, the body portion 425 carrying thereon an upstanding flange 428 which, in turn, carries an out-turned flange 429.

As is mostclearly shown in FIG. 11, the comer bumper 420 is so positioned and placed that the curved outer surface 426 on the leg 421 forms a continuation of the curved outer surface 137 of the front end bumper 135, and the curved surface 426 of the leg 422 forms a continuation of the curved outer surface 97 of the left side bumper 95. The attachment flange 427 is disposed against the wall 72 of the base panel 70 and is removably connected thereto by means of bolts 433 (FIG. 12) extending through the attachment flange 427 and engaging in the nuts 77 in the channel-shaped spacer structure 74.

The corner bumper 420 is joined to the adjacent portion of the front end base frame member [20 by means of a splice plate 440. Bolts 44] pass through the upstanding flange 428 in the leg 421 and through one portion of the splice plate 440 and respectively engage nuts 442. Additional bolts 44! pass through the upstanding flange 123 of the front end base frame member 120 and through another portion of the splice plate 440, thereby securely to attach the corner bumper 420 to the front end base frame member 120. As previously described, the channel-shaped portion 124 continues to the corners of the container 50, the corner bumper 420 being connected to the channel-shaped portion 124 by means of bolts 448 extending through the lip [25b and through the out-turned flange 429 and engaging nuts 449.

The corner bumper 420 is joined to the adjacent portion of the left side base frame member 80 by means of a splice plate 445. Bolts (not shown) pass through the upstanding flange 428 in the leg 422 and through one portion of the splice plate 445 and respectively engage nuts (not shown). Additional bolts (not shown) pass through the upstanding flange 83 of the left side base frame member 80 and through another portion of the splice plate 445, thereby securely to attach the corner bumper 420 to the left side base frame member 80. It is to be understood that the corner bumpers 430, 431, and 432, respectively mounted on the other three comers of the base panel 70, have the same construction as the corner bumper 420 and are respectively secured to the adjacent frame members in much the same way.

Because the legs of each of the corner bumpers diverge at an obtuse angle, the distance between the apex 423 of the corner bumper 420 and the apex of the corner bumper 430 (and the distance between the apexes of the corner bumpers 431 and 432) is less than the corresponding distance between the left side bumper 95 and the right side bumper 115. Also, the distance between the apex 423 of the corner bumper 420 and the apex of the corner bumper 432 (ant the distance between the apexes of the corner bumpers 430 and 431) is less than the distance between the front end bumper 135 and the rear end bumper (not shown). The fact that the corners are closer together than the side facilitates moving the container 50 about.

The corner bumpers 420, 430, 431, and 432, the side bumpers 95 and 115, and the end bumpers 135 (only one is shown) define a continuous bumper extending around the periphery of the base panel 70 to protect it and the cargo container 50 from damage as the container is being moved about. From time to time, therefore, the corner bumpers 420, 430, 43], and 432 may become damaged or worn out and require replacement thereof. To this end, the corner bumpers 420, 430, 43L and 432 are readily detachable by loosening the bolts associated with the splice plates.

Referring now to FlGs. l, 16, and I7, details ofthe door 450 will be described. The door 450 includes a pair of spacedapart generally rectangular sheet metal walls 45! and 452 disposed generally parallel to each other and a filler 453 in the form of a body of rigid cellular construction disposed between the walls 451 and 452 and secured thereto. There is provided spacer structure 454 (see FIG. 19) adjacent to the bottom of the door 450 and disposed between the walls 451 and 452 and secured thereto. There may also be provided spacer structure (not shown) between the walls 451 and 452 adjacent to the sides thereof.

To mount the door 450 in the cargo container 50. there is provided a hinge mechanism 460 including an integral generally F-shaped door support 461 including an attachment portion 462, a retaining portion 463 depending therefrom and a guide portion 466 extending from the attachment portion 462 and away from the retaining portion 463. The retaining portion 463 has an arcuate outer retaining surface 464 that faces toward the interior of the container 50. The guide portion 466 has an inner retaining surface 467 that faces toward the exterior of the container 50, the outer retaining surface 464 being a continuation of the inner retaining surface 467 and in facing relationship therewith to define a groove 468 therebetween. The guide portion 466 finally includes a guide surface 469 disposed toward the outer retaining surface 464 and being a continuation of the inner retaining surface 467. The attachment portion 462 is disposed between the walls 201 and 202 of the top panel 200 adjacent to the forward ends thereof, the attachment portion 462 being secured therein by means of epoxy. With the attachment portion 462 so mounted, the retaining portion 463 extends downwardly into the door-receiving opening 458 and the guide portion 466 extending downwardly and inwardly of the door-receiving opening 458. It is to be understood that the door support 461 extends from one side of the door-receiving opening 458 to the other side thereof. The extremity of the retaining portion 463 is partly bounded by an inwardly facing arcuate convex pivot surface 465.

The hinge mechanism 460 further includes a hanger 480 having an attachment portion 48! disposed between the walls 451 and 452 of the door 450 and secured thereto. The hanger 480 also includes a tongue 482 having an arcuate outer bearing surface 483 facing toward the exterior of the cargo container 50 and an inner bearing surface 484 facing toward the interior of the cargo container 50. The portion of the hanger 480 between the tongue 482 and the attachment portion 481 is in part bounded by an outwardly facing concave pivot surface 485. The hanger finally includes an outwardly directed guide surface 487 that is a continuation of the concave surface 485. It is to be understood that in the preferred embodiment the inner bearing surface 484 and the concave pivot surface 485 are each arcuate. In addition, the outer bearing surface 483 is a continuation of the inner bearing surface 484 and the concave pivot surface 485 is a continuation of the outer bearing surface 483.

in the closed position of the door 450, the tongue 482 is disposed in the groove 468 with the outer bearing surface 483 in facing relationship with the outer retaining surface 464 and with the inner bearing surface 484 in facing relationship with the inner retaining surface 467 of the door support 461. It can be appreciated that, if the opposite end of the door 450 is locked or latched onto the cargo container 50, the door 450 will be held in place by virtue of the above-described hinge mechanism 460. WHen it is desired to remove the door 450, the latching mechanisms will be unlatched, the construction of which will be explained in detail hereinafter, and the door 450 is rotated while maintaining the concave pivot surface 485 in abutting relationship with the convex pivot surface 465 permitting the tongue 482 to be moved out of the groove 468 followed by removal of the door 450 from the door-receiving opening 458.

The guide portion 466, in addition to precluding movement of the door 450 when in the locked position thereof, also serves as a guide for repositioning the door 450 into the doorreceiving opening 458. When the door 450 is to be replaced in the door-receiving opening 458, the operator merely positions the door 450 such that the tongue 482 is placed in contact with the guide surface 469 adjacent to the lower end thereof and such that the guide surface 487 is disposed in contactwith the convex pivot surface 465. The operator then moves the door 450 such that the tongue 482 moves along the guide surface 469 into the groove 468. Also the guide surface 487 moves along the convex pivot surface 465 until the pivot surfaces 465 and 485 are in abutting relationship.

An important feature of the hinge mechanism 460 is the fact that the door 450 can be completely removed from the container 50 so as to permit unobstructed loading and removal of cargo stored therein. Another advantage of the abovedescribed construction resides in the fact that any tendency of the door 450 to rotate about the longitudinal axis of the tongue 482 while the door 450 is locked is precluded because of the abutting relationship of the pivot surfaces 465 and 485. Any tendency of the door 450 to rotate while closed could cause bowing or distortion of the door 450 in response to forces tending to open the door.

It is to be understood that, although the rear panel 310 is shown to be readily detachably connected to the adjacent frame members, it can define a door having the same construction as the door 450. In such case, the rear panel 310 would be mounted by means of a hinge mechanism like the hinge mechanism 460 so that such rear panel 310 would be readily removable from the container 50.

As shown in H0. 1, the door 450 is hinged adjacent to the top thereof and a plurality of latching mechanisms 500 are located at spaced-apart points on the door 450 adjacent to the three free edges thereof, seven such latching mechanisms being shown in the embodiment of FIG. 1.

Referring now to FIGS. 18 through 20, the details of one of the latching mechanisms 500 will be described. it is to be understood that all seven latching mechanisms 500 are identical to one another, whereby the ensuing description with respect to one of them is equally applicable to each of them. The latching mechanism 500 includes a housing 510 including a lip 511 defining the periphery of the housing 510 and having a generally keyhole-shaped outline. The housing 510 includes an inwardly offset wall 512 located adjacent to one end of the housing 510 and merging into an inwardly sloping wall 513 and then to the lip 511 by means of an outwardly sloping wall 514. The housing Sll] further includes a rear wall 515 spaced rearwardly from the inwardly offset wall 512 and disposed generally parallel thereto and spaced therefrom by means of connecting walls 516 (only one is shown), thus to define a compartment 517 between the walls 512, 515 and 516.

The latching mechanism 500 also includes a latch 520 located in the compartment 517 and against the rear wall M5 and rotatably mounted in the housing 510 by means of a gudgeon 521 fixedly secured to the latch 520 and rotatably journaled into the walls 512 and 515. There is also provided a driven gear 524 having gear teeth 525 and partly disposed in the compartment 517, the gear 514 being drivingly connected to the latch 520 for imparting rotation thereto by virtue of its being fixedly mounted onto the gudgeon $21.

The latching mechanism 500 also includes a driving gear 526 disposed in the compartment 517 and fixedly mounted onto a gudgeon 528 that is rotatably journaled into the walls 512 and 515. The driving gear 526 is drivingly connected to the driven gear 524 for imparting rotation thereto by virtue of the gear teeth 527 of the driving gear 526 beingmeshed with the gear teeth 525 and the driven gear 524.

The latching mechanism 500 finally includes a handle 530 including an arm 531 connected to the gudgeon 528 by means of a transverse pin 532. The arm 531 is connected adjacent to the other end thereof to a knob 533 rotatably mounted thereon so that the user in rotating the handle 530 rotates the knob $33 independently of the arm 53! to facilitate rotating of the handle 530. The pin 532 provides a driving connection between the handle 530 and the driving gear 526 so that rotation of the handle 530 rotates the driving gear 526 which in turn rotates the driven gear 524 which in turn rotates the latch 520. in addition. the handle 530 is pivotally movable about the pin 532 in the direction of the axis of the gudgeon 528 toward and away from the housing 510, whereby the handle 530 is pivotal between an inner storage position disposed in a recess Sill represented by the handle 530 shown in solid lines, whereby the handle 530 is relatively inaccessible to a user. By grasping the handle 530, it may be moved to an outer operating position indicated by the phantom lines wherein the handie 530 is disposed out of the recess 518 and is accessible to a user to permit subsequent rotation thereof to move the latch 520.

The latching mechanism 500 is disposed in a door opening with reinforcing structure 456 therearound. The lip S11 is secured to the wall 451 of the door 450 thus to secure the latching mechanism 500 in place. The latch $20 will be disposed slightly to the rear of the keeper surface 223 of the corner frame member 220. it is to be understood that the latching mechanisms $00 disposed adjacent to the corner frame members 230 and 240 will engage similar keeper surfaces disposed thereon. On the other hand, the three latching mechanisms 500 disposed adjacent to the bottom of the door 450 will engage the rear surface of the upstanding flange 123 of the front end base frame member (see FIG. 13).

in operation, the latch mechanism has a latching position wherein the latch 520 engages the keeper surface 223, and the handle 530 is in the position pointing to the designation LOCK," which position is indicated by the solid lines in FIG. 18. The latching mechanism also has an inner storage position wherein the handle 530 is disposed in the recess 518. If it is desired to open the door 450, the user grasps the handle 530 and pivots it about the pin 532 to move the handle 530 from the inner storage position to an outer operating position wherein the handle is disposed out of the recess SIB. Tl-le user then rotates the handle 530 in the clockwise direction which rotates the driving gear 526 in the direction of the arrow 540 which, in turn, imparts rotation to the driven gear 524 in the direction of the arrow 54! which in turn moves the latch 520 in the direction of the arrow 542. When the handle 530 reaches the position pointing to the designation OPEN, which, in turn, is indicated by the broken lines in FIG. 18, the handle has traversed about 340 and the latch 520 disengages the keeper surface 223 to unlock the door 450. The operator then pushes the handle 530 back into the recess 518 to the inner storage position thereof. This operation is carried out for each of the seven latching mechanisms whereupon the door 450 is unlocked and can be pivoted as previously described and pulled out of the door-receiving opening 458 of the cargo container 50.

To replace the door 450, the hanger 480 of the hinge mechanism 460 is inserted into the door support 46] as previously described and each of the latching mechanisms 500 is then locked by first pulling the handle 530 out from the inner storage position thereof into the outer operating position thereof, followed by rotation of the handle 530 in the counter clockwise direction thereof, as viewed in FIG. 18, to move the latch 520 from the release position thereof into the latching position thereof.

By constructing the gears 524 and 526 such that the gear ratio of the former to the latter is substantially greater than l :l and preferably on the order of 4: l the user must impart a substantial rotation to the handle 530 to rotate the latch 520 from the latching position thereof to the release position thereof. This is a desirable aspect since the cargo container 50 is used in an airplane where an unwanted opening during flight would of course damage the contents of the container. An airplane is always susceptible to a good deal of jostling during landing, takeoff and often during the actual flight. Any of these occurrences could of course cause unwanted opening of the container 50. Because the handle 530 must be rotated a substantial amount, on the order from 300' to 360, the chance of such inadvertent rotation of the handle is far less likely to move the latch 520 from the latching position to the release position thereof. Further, because the handle 530 is normally in the storage position thereof, the handle 530 itself is relatively inaccessible so that the chances of inadvertently rotating the handle $30 is also reduced. The combination of these two features, make it extremely unlikely that any unwanted opening of the container 50 could occur.

To minimize side-to-side movement of the door 450 when the door 450 is in the locked position thereof, there is provided an integral elongated restraining member 550 extending

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Classifications
U.S. Classification220/1.5, 312/352, 220/4.28, 220/23.89, 220/668
International ClassificationB65D88/00, B65D88/14
Cooperative ClassificationB65D88/14
European ClassificationB65D88/14