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Publication numberUS3603638 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 7, 1971
Filing dateFeb 17, 1969
Priority dateFeb 17, 1969
Publication numberUS 3603638 A, US 3603638A, US-A-3603638, US3603638 A, US3603638A
InventorsAlex I Koji, Eugene R Mcgregor
Original AssigneeUniversal Oil Prod Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vehicle seat support structure
US 3603638 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventors Eugene R. McGregor Huntington Beach, Cali1.; Ma 1. Koji, Washington, Conn. [21] Appl. No. 799,668 {221 Filed Feb. 17, 1969 [45] Patented Sept. 7,1971 [73] Assignee Universal Oil Products Company Des Plaines, 111. Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 716,173, Mar. 26, 1968, now abandoned.

[54] VEHICLE SEAT SUPPORT STRUCTURE 10 Claims, 12 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 297/216, 248/429 [51] llnt.Cl ..Fl6m1l/00 [50] Field of Search 297/216, 232, 344, 346; 248/188.1, 440, 429, 924, 420, 399

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,1 10:151 3/1938 Hillman 297/307 Primary ExaminerFrancis K. Zugel Attorneys-James R. Hoatson, Jr. and Philip T. Liggett ABSCT: A seat-supporting structure particularly adapted for aircraft which provides transverse front and rear beam members for attachment to the vehicle floor; a maximum of individual open luggage storage space under the superposed seat and, at the same time, provides for individual forward and down seat movement against the slowly yielding action of a deformable front panel section which works in combination with energy-absorbing means.

PATENTEUSEP mm 3,603,638

SHEI 1 UP 3 I Figure 2 k i INVENTORS Eugene A. McGragar Alex 1. K0]! 4 TTORNYS PATENTEUSEP H971 3.603638 SHEEI 2 [IF 3 r-\ Figure .7

N V E N TORS: Eugene H. McGragor Alex I. Koji A fro/ME Y5 PATH-319D SEP 7 m1 3; 03 53 snmanra Figure 8 '77 r/ 4 I Figure 8a Fig re .90

Figure 9b lNl/E/V TORS:

Eugene R. Mcregor By: Alex I. Koji A TTO%EYS VEHICLE SEAT SUPPORT STRUCTURE RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of our copending application Ser. No. 716,173 filed Mar. 26, 1968, now abandoned.

The present invention relates to an improved form of seat mounting or supporting structure for aircraft or other conveyance seats. More particularly, the improved support structure has a construction which eliminates strong, rigid front legs and incorporates energy absorbing means for yieldably opposing the forward movement of the seat under crash conditions and, in addition, places the upwardly extending rear legs and other supporting members at the side and front portions of the seat whereby there is an individual open space for the legs and luggage of a vehicle passenger being seated to the rear of the support structure.

There are many types and forms of seat-supporting legs and structures for conveyance seats, particularly in the passenger aircraft field. Although aircraft seats are customarily provided to have individual seat cushion support means and separate backs with individual adjustment means, there have been lower structural support systems and leg arrangements which in effect, have reduced the number of legs to a minimum. For example, two sets of front and rear legs have accommodated three or more side-by-side passenger seats. These arrangements have resulted primarily from the fact that seat attachment means must be made to fixed position front-to-rear tracks in the floor of the aircraft with the tracks, in turn, connecting to spaced-apart beams or struts extending across the fuselage of the plane. The present practice, with multiple seats on a reduced number of legs, has meant that unequal loadings have been exerted on certain of the legs under deceleration or crash conditions. For instance, one set of legs may be required to support or overcome the inertia of approximately two passengers, while the next adjacent set of legs will merely take the load of one passenger or of a part of his inertial force.

With respect to energy absorption means, it is not novel to incorporate a tensile or compressive type of energy absorber into a vehicle seat; however, again, it has been the usual practice to use a placement which results in unequal loadings on the two or more energy absorber means in a multiple seat arrangement and support system.

In this instance, it may be considered a principal object of the invention to eliminate inequalities of the action of the support legs and of the energy absorber means so that there is a resulting individual seat movement under any impact or unusual deceleration conditions.

It is a further object of the invention to utilize front and rear lateral beams so that there can be seat attachment to the floor tracks of a plane in a manner separate and apart from rear supporting leg positions.

It is another object of the invention to eliminate typical front legs for the seat support structure and utilize in lieu thereof, a deformable front panel section which has a predetermined compressive load ability and can be bent or crushed when there is a greater load than that for which it is designed to support.

it is a still further object of the invention to provide special seat support beam constructions at the front and side sections of the seat (i.e., in the peripheral locations) such that an individual open luggage storage space is provided under the central portion of each seat and, at the same time, individual leg room is provided for a passenger in a following row.

Briefly, the present invention relates to a vehicle seat support structure for superposed seat and back means so as to provide for an individual luggage storage space under each seat, and, in addition, provide for individual seat movement with energy absorption control means to oppose sudden deceleration conditions, with such support structure comprising in combination a rear lateral beam member and a front lateral beam member each of which is adapted to be con nected to the vehicle floor, a fore-and aft wall section at each side of the support structure which connects said front and rear beam members, upwardly extending deformable front panel support means positioned above and from said front lateral beam section, and rear leg means at each side of said support structure extending upwardly from said rear lateral beam member to the rear portion of the superposed seat and back means, with yielding and deforming means provided with said deformable front panel section, whereby upon an impact or predetermined deceleration of the vehicle there will be a substantially uniform yielding opposition to the resulting forward and downward movement of the superimposed seat and back means.

In a preferred design and arrangement, the rear lateral beam will be of a lightweight tubular construction attached in a manner to hug the floor of the vehicle and permit luggage, as well as a passengers legs, to readily be placed over the beam and enter the space under the seat proper. In connection with a tubular rear beam member there may be welded lugs or fixed attachment means; however, preferably movable rings or clamp means are provided to slip over the tube and effect easy alignment with the fixed position longitudinal tracks or other attachment means which may extend along the vehicle floor level. Also, laterally movable clamp or holding means are preferably used under the front lateral beam member to effect the locking of the front of the seat to the vehicle.

The front lateral beam, as well as the connecting fore-andaft members may be of varying types of fabrication, i.e., of tubing, sheet metal construction, or of extrusions, but, preferably, will be of a lightweight construction for aircraft usage, such as of a hollow or stiffened sheet metal panel-type construction. Such panels shall, of course, be capable of withstanding required compressive loadings or both compression and tension loads in the case of the fore-and-aft connecting members.

The support means for the front of the seat proper, above the front lateral beam, may be bendable or hinged substantially vertical strut members or, normally, will be of reinforced or stiffened sheet metal panel construction and of sufficient height so that they will serve as walls or bulkheads for baggage retention means. However, in view of the fact that the present seat support construction is to permit a forward and downward movement of the superposed seat and a passenger under crash or undue deceleration conditions, then the panel section should be capable of yielding and crushing or alternatively a suitable bend line or yield zone should be provided between the top of the lower front lateral beam and the bottom of the superposed seat supporting structure at the front end of the seating unit. For example, the front face of the lateral beam member and the front face of a superposed seat support means may be contiguous and of one piece, but the upper panel section should be capable of hinging in a bend line at the top edge of the front lateral beam section. Where some stiff struts are used in the panel means, then the strut connections should be hinged or made yieldable above the top of the beam at a given predetermined level. When a plurality of seats are used in side-by-side relationship, the front and rear lateral beam members will normally extend as one piece for more than one seat width without affecting the structural and baggage retention features of the individual space aspects. However, any front panel sections above the front beam may be discontinuous between individual seats.

in accordance with the present improved costruction and arrangement, substantially vertical rear leg means are used at each side of the seat to extend from the rear lateral beam upwardly to the lower end of the seat back and to the rear portion of the seat itself so as to provide the desired open storage space under the seat. in addition, the energy absorption means will be positioned in the rear leg means or as side struts in order to have the under seat area entirely open. For compression-type energy absorbers, they will extend diagonaliy from the top ends of each of the rear legs forwardly and downwardly to the top portion of the front iaterai and to the front end of each of the fore-and-aft beams. This arrangement provides for the energy absorption struts to be compressed during a crash condition, where the inertia of a passenger and his seat and back portion will carry in a forward and downward direction with respect to a pivot point effective from the lower end of the rear leg means. At the same time there will be a bending or hinged movement of the upper seat support means along a plane substantially parallel with the zone of the front connection of the energy absorption strut with the top of the front lateral beam member and the front ends of the fore-and-aft beam. For tensile-type energy absorbers, they will extend from the rear lateral beam diagonally forwardly to the upper and fore portion of the seat support structure or, alternatively, be placed in the position of the rear leg members.

It is not intended to limit the present invention to the use of any one type of energy absorber means inasmuch as there have been various satisfactory designs heretofore utilized and disclosed, such as in connection with U.S. Pat. No. 3,059,966. Generally, the energy absorbing means will be of a telescoping tubular design where one tube will pass through a restricting die section into, or out of, the other tube and provide a yielding but opposing movement with respect to the attached parts acting under crash or fast deceleration conditions. While a compression form of energy absorption strut seems preferable for the present seat support structure, there may be a tension form of energy absorber as heretofore noted. As will also be noted, the front panel section will be deformable and will, in effect, serve as an in situ energy absorbing means.

The present design and arrangement is specifically provided to furnish individual seat and passenger movement in a forward and downward direction under crash conditions so that each seat and its own energy means is serving but one passenger; however, where two or more seats are provided in a side-by-side manner, and the lateral beam members are extended then there will, of course, be additional fore-and-aft beam members to effect the tying together of the rear and front lateral beam members at their extended ends and between the added plurality of seats.

Reference to the accompanying drawing and the following description thereof will serve to more fully set forth the improved construction and arrangement of the present vehicle seat support structure and the advantages obtained in connection therewith.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 of the drawing is a sectional elevational view of one embodiment of the lower seat support structure means.

FIG. 2 of the drawing indicates diagrammatically how a portion of the support structure of FIG. I will be permitted to move, or be reoriented, under crash conditions, with the superposed seat moving forwardly and downwardly as determined by the movement of the pivoted rear leg and the bending of the front support structure at a bend line" above the lower front lateral beam at the Zone of the front connection of the energy absorption struts.

FIG. 3 of the drawing shows, in a diagrammatic sectional view, one theory of operation of the telescoping tube energy absorption strut used in the seat support structure.

FIG. 4 of the drawing shows, in a partial isometric type view, an arrangement for effecting attachments of rear legs to a tubular form rear lateral beam member.

FIG. 5 shows, in a partial sectional view, one means of effecting track attachment for the rear lateral beam member by the use of a slip ring and shear pin connection to a lower stud fitting in turn adapted to engage a fixed vehicle track.

FIGS. 6 and 7 indicate diagrammatically modified energy absorption arrangement, with the absorbers being of the tensile type, but still capable of permitting a controlled forward and downward movement of the seat and occupant.

FIG. 8 indicates another seat support system where the front panel section is crushably deformable, while FIG. 8a

shows diagrammatically the crushed front panel section as a result of impact conditions.

FIGS. 9 and Qu show still another form of seat support system, where there is a special energy absorption strut in lieu of the rear leg means and a deformable front panel section capable of bending above the level of the lateral front beam member upon the occasion of excessive vehicle deceleration.

FIG. 9b shows a modification of the arrangement of FIG. 9 by utilizing a combined hinged strut and front panel section as the front support means in the seat support system.

Referring now specifically to FIG. 1 of the drawing there is indicated a superposed passenger seat I with a lower seat cushion holding frame or pan 2 (both shown in dashed lines) adapted to be mounted upon seat-supporting structural means in accordance with the present invention. The embodiment shown utilizes a rear lateral beam member 3 and a front lateral beam member 4, with each adapted to be adjacent to the vehicle floor. The rear beam member 3 is indicated as being of a tubular design with suitable eircumscribing ring members 5 and clevis means 6 adapted to hold rear leg members 7. Preferably, only two rear legs or struts will be utilized for each individual seat section and each leg 7 will be positioned under or near the respective side rear portions of each seat so that there is an open space below and from the rear of each seat to permit leg room and/or the stowage of luggage and packages under the seat itself. In this instance, an upper clevislike portion 8 is provided on each leg 7 so as to provide a pin connection to a lug or projection 9' on the underside portion of the seat pan 2. It is, however, not intended to limit the present improved construction and arrangement to the use of pin connectors or any one type of connecting means for the legs and the strut members at the Zone of the beam members.

The front lateral beam section 4 is indicated as being fabricated of sheet metal with a front sheet or panel 10 and a back panel lll along with ribs or stiffener means 12, I3 and 14. The lower stiffener is of an inverted U" arrangement between sheets 10 and Ill and may be adapted to hold a slidable stud member 15 which in turn is normally designed to have a lower flanged portion 16 to fit into a slotted floor track, such as is commonly used with passenger airplanes. The front beam member 4 and the rear lateral beam member 3 are indicated as being substantially rigidly connected with fore and aft beam members 17. Beam members 17 are placed along each side of the unitary structure such that there are resulting side panels or walls to define an open luggage storage space below the central portion of the seat proper. Various fabrications may be used, but in this embodiment each of the fore-and-aft beams 17 are indicated as being of stiffened sheet metal construction (as better shown in FIG. 4) so as to provide lightweight characteristics along with suitable stiffness and strength to insure the proper spacing and connecting of the rear and front beam members under normal loading as well as impact stress conditions.

Positioned above and coextensive with the upper portion of beam member 4 is shown a vertical seat support panel section 18, which serves to carry the load of the front edge of seat pan 2 and the seat 1. The support member l8 may be fabricated to be a vertical extension of front panel 10 with sufficient ribs or stiffener means so as to adequately carry the load exerted upon the front edge portion of the superposed seat and its occupant. However, in accordance with a preferred construction of the present invention, there may be minimal ribbing or vertical stiffening just above the plane of the top of the lower front lateral beam member 4 such that in the event of a crash or any unduly rapid deceleration condition, where energy absorption of the seat and occupant is required, then there is permissible bending of the lower portion of support member l8 along its lower horizontal edge, as better shown as the bend line 23 in FIG. 2 of the drawing. Alternatively, where openness is desired, there may be merely spaced vertical struts extending upwardly from the top of beam a.

As a particular feature of the present improved seat supporting arrangement, there is utilized a pair of energy absorption struts 19, one strut being positioned along each side portion of the seat supporting unit. In this instance, an upper end of a yieldable strut section 19 has a pin connection with the seat lug 9', while the lower end portion of strut 19 has a pin connection 21 with beam juncture-connecting means 22. The latter is located at the top edge portion of lateral beam section 4 and the upper and fore portion of the fore and aft beam 17. This arrangement permits each individual seat and occupant to have a forward and downward movement under a predetermined impact load condition which will in turn cause a compressive action on each of the diagonal energy absorbing struts 19. In this connection, reference is made specifically to FIG. 2 of the drawing where there is indicated the location of the superposed seat portions 1 and 2 in forward and lowered positions with respect to a bend zone 23. As hereinbefore noted, the bending will be effected at the lower portion of the vertical support section 18 or at the zone of the pin 21 used between strut 19 and the top edge of front beam member 4. At the same time, there is indicated the movement of rear leg member 7 along the are A from the initial position 7 with the pivot point being from the lower pin means 24 provided between clevis means 6 and the lower end portions of legs 7.

In connection with FIG. 2, it will also be noted that there has been a compression of the energy absorbing strut members 19, with a telescoping tube portion of each unit being permitted to push into an accompanying tubular section through suitable restricting die means such as may be located within a ferrule section 25. As previously set forth, it is not intended to limit the invention to any one type of energy absorbing means, such means may be compressible as shown or tensile in a modified bracing scheme. However, the present seat support structure requires that the units be of a telescoping nature and provide an action so as to slowly and yieldably oppose the forward and downward movement of the superposed seat and back structures along with the seat occupant.

In FIG. 3 of the drawing, there is indicated diagrammatically a simplified embodiment of the action of one type of telescoping tube energy absorbing unit, where a ferrule sec tion with an internal die section 26 will serve to restrict and slow down the inward movement of a tube, such as 19' into a somewhat larger tube 19". In other words, the same principal may be utilized in connection with the present energy absorber unit as is set forth in the above-noted U.S. Letters Pat. No. 3.059966. The same extrusion principal is used in a reverse action tension arrangement where one telescoping tube is drawn through a die member, such as set forth in US. Pat. No. 2,959,207. In any case, the energy absorption feature as used in compression in the lower support structure and in the present diagonal manner is of particular advantage to reduce the rate of movement of the seat occupant and lessen his chances of injury. Still further, the use of a pair of improved energy absorbing units which are constructed to preclude a reverse movement, after being compressed, will serve to eliminate a whiplash on the occupant after the initial crash or rapid deceleration effect.

In FIG. 4 of the drawing, there is indicated the utilization of circumscribing connector means 6 for rear beam 3 at the zone of the rear legs 7 as well as for the connection of foreand-aft members 17 to such beam 3. In other words, the clevis portion 6 for legs 7 may be part of a ring section 6' adapted to be a slide fit over the tube 3. Also, where more than one seat is desired in a side-to-side arrangement then special ring sections 6" (see FIG. 4) may be utilized to have a pair of clevis sections so as to in turn accommodate a next adjacent rear leg 7 for a next adjacent individual seat. Thus, there is provided the desired unblocked open space beneath each of the superposed seat units. The use of the lower tube 3 of course provides rigidity and beam strength with a smooth form of lateral beam section which will not cause injury to an occupant or to packages or luggage which may slide over the member in normal day to day usage. Actually, the low tubular form beam can serve as a foot rest for a passenger to the rear and as a retention for the shifting of underseat baggage during a takeoff and climb condition for an airplane.

Various methods may be utilized to connect the fore-andaft members 17 to the rear lateral beam member 3; however, one arrangement, as indicated, provides that pin means 27 can effect a removable-type connection between the rear end portion of a fore-and-aft beam member 17 and a projecting lug or stud section 28 from ring section 6'. In a similar manner at the opposing side of the seat a fore-and-aft member 17 may connect by means of pin 29 through a lug 30 from ring section 6". It is of course not intended to limit the present construction to any one type of connector means between or for beam members inasmuch as the connections may make use of pins or bolts and related removable means or use rivets, welding or other fixed types of connections.

As noted hereinbefore and particularly with respect to aircraft seating, where there is generally attachment to spaced floor track means, then rear beam member 3 may have at least one slidable circumscribing ring section 31 (such as shown in both FIGS. 4 and 5) to effect the desired alignment and attachment with a lower channel-type track 32 in the aircraft floor. Various means may, of course, be utilized to effect the direct attachment to the track; however, as best shown diagrammatically in FIG. 5, there may be a lower projecting pin member 33 from the lower portion of each ring 31 and a separate but connectable stud-fitting section 34 which has a hole or slide fit opening 35 to receive pin 33 and permit a lateral pin connection through the respective hold means 36 and 37. The pin 33 will be sized to fit down into a hole in the top portion of track means 32 and preclude fore-and-aft movement of stud fitting 34. Stud projections 38 below the fitting 34 will be sized to also fit through spaced holes in the top of track channel 32 and then slide along in the track to a halfway point and serve to engage and bear against nodes (between holes) along the upper flange portion of the track 32 so as to result in a locking of the seat to the floor. The pin 33 is shown in dashed line position 39 when in the locking position.

Although not shown in detail in the drawing, the stud-fitting elements 15 and 16 for the front lateral beam 4, as indicated in FIG. 1, may be of a design similar to that shown with stud portions 38 in FIG. 5 so as to result in the desired locking of the front end of seat support structure to the track 32. in the aircraft floor. Of course, where the present type of seating arrangement is to be utilized with train coaches, buses, or other land-type passenger conveyances which do not use the floor track arrangement, then conventional floor bolting arrangements may be connected to the rear and front lateral beam members to accomplish the tight attachment of each seat.

In FIG. 6 of the drawing, there is indicated a seat 1' with a slightly modified seat support, in that the energy absorber units 40 are placed to operate in tension instead of in compression. In other words, units M extend from the rear lateral beam 3 forwardly and upwardly to a pivot point 41 at the top of a front seat support means 13', however, this arrangement still permits the restrained forward and downward movement for the seat and the occupant under crash conditions. As best shown in FIG. '7, it will be noted that the bend line will still take place at the top of the front lateral beam 4' by reason of the latter being stiffened and held by the top fore portions of fore and aft beam members 17.

Referring now to FIG. 8 of the drawing, there is indicated still another modified seat support system in that the front panel section 18" will serve as the primary energy absorbing member. In other words, upon the occasion of rapid vehicle deceleration or vehicle impact, there wiil be a forward and downward effect of the occupant with the superposed seat 1 and a resulting deformation and crushing of the panel section 18" as shown in FIG. 3a. The front panel section will thus necessarily be designed to adequately support the front por' tion of the superposed seat I" and an occupant under normal loadings but will be capable of deforming under a predetermined Ioading level equivalent to perhaps 6 Us or more. It is not intended to limit the side framing and rear support legs to any one special design in the present system; however, as indicated, there will be side paneling 42 extending upwardly from above the floor Ievei and the fcre-and-aft beam sections 17" so as to provide an encased luggage-storing area, as well as a leg zone for an occupant to the rear of the seat. There will also be rear leg means 7" and diagonal stiffener means 53 in combination with the side panels 42. Where desired, still further paneling may be provided in the upper portion of the side zones at 44 but in most instances, there will be a minimum of stiffening so as to insure that there may be folding and crushing of such section along with the bending and crushing of the front panel section l8 at a predetermined impact level for the seat and occupant in the vehicle. As with the other embodiments, there will be a transverse rear beam member 3 with fittings 6 providing a connection to the leg members 7" as well as a front lateral beam member 4" which will have means to laterally accommodate track adjustment members into track means 32. In the present embodiment, it may be noted that an extruded member 45 is used in combination with a lower portion of the lower beam member in 4" and is adapted to accommodate the varying position stud fitting elements or attachment means 15.

With regard to FIGS. 9 and 9a, there is indicated still another seat-supporting system which is somewhat similar to that of FIGS. 1 and 2. However, in this latter modification it will be noted that energy absorber means 46 are to be used in lieu of the rear leg members 7 and will provide a controlled energy absorbing means upon the occasion of a vehicle impact or rapid deceleration. The overall supporting system shows a transverse rear beam member 3 with tube fitting members 6 to attach to the lower portion of the energy absorbers 46, while a front lateral beam member 4", and fore and aft beam members 17 effect the connection of the rear and front lateral beam sections. In addition there is shown a deformable or bendable upper front panel section 18" above the lateral front beam section 4" which will extend to the underside of the seat 1". Additional struts are shown as 47 and 48, with the former extending from the upper portion of the front lateral beam section to the bracket 49 which is in turn at the top level of the energy absorbing means 46. In this arrange ment, upon vehicle impact conditions, there will normally be a bending of the lower portion of the front panel section 18" at the level above the lower front beam member and the controlled expansion of the elongatable energy absorbing unit 46, whereby the rear portion of the seat 1 will be permitted to raise and, in effect, pivot about the front bend line as shown in FIG. 9a of the drawing.

In FIG. 9!; there is indicated a variation of the arrangement of FIG. 9 in that in the entire deformation or hinging in the front seat support section is accomplished by the hinging of spaced-apart struts 50 at their zones of connection 511 with lateral front beam members 4". In this embodiment, there is also indicated the use of tubular stiffeners or bracing for the members 4l7 and 48' in the lower seat support system. Thus it should be noted that the term deformable," as used in the present application as applied to the front seat support section of the support system, will encompass means to effect bending or hinging, as well as a folding or crushing, when such section is to be subjected to giving way under impact-type loadings on the seat and occupant.

It is also to be reiterated that the various individual lock or pin means, the configuration of struts and beams, types of materials, etc., as described and indicated in the accompanying drawings are merely diagrammatic of one embodiment and that various other designs may be used to effect the desired requirements and strength for the lower seat support structure. However, in all cases the members shall be designed to withstand impact-type stresses except, of course, in the case of the bend line zone between the lower front lateral beam member 4 and the upper support means 13. The yield of the energy absorption units 19, 40 and 46 may also be varied, but generally will be in a design range of providing 9 to 12 Gs for an occupied seat.

We claim as our invention:

1. A vehicle seat support structure for superposed seat and back means providing for an individual luggage storage space thereunder and individual seat movement with energy absorption control under sudden deceleration conditions, with such support structure comprising in combination, a rear lateral beam member and a front lateral beam member each of which is adapted to be connected to the vehicle floor, a fore-and-aft beam section at each side of the support structure which connects said front and rear beam members, said front lateral beam member having a vertical height sufficient to serve as a bulkhead for baggage retention means and cooperating with the beam sections at each side to define an open luggage storage space below the central portion of the seat, a rear supporting leg at each side of said support structure extending upwardly from said rear lateral beam member to the rear portion of the superposed seat and back means, and an upwardly ex tending deformable front support panel positioned above said front lateral beam member to effect support for the front portion of the superposed seat, with said deformable front panel having limited vertical stiffening therein to thereby permit bending thereof and to operate in combination with at least one other portion of the seat support structure a controlled energy absorption system upon the impact of predetermined deceleration of the vehicle.

2. The vehicle seat support structure of claim 1 further characterized in that said rear lateral beam member is of a tubular configuration having a substantially smooth exterior surface and slidable ringlike members are utilized over such beam member to effect proper positioning and connector means for the rear legs and for the fore-and-aft beam sections.

3. The vehicle seat support structure of claim ll further characterized in that said front lateral beam member and said fore-and-aft beam sections are of a stiffened sheet metal panel construction so as to provide strong, lightweight construction.

4. The vehicle seat support structure of claim 1 further characterized in that each rear supporting leg includes a yieldable form energy absorbing means whereby to work in combination with a bending of said front support panel to yieldably oppose impact and deceleration loading conditions.

5. The vehicle seat support structure of claim l further characterized in that a substantially unstiffened bend zone is provided along the plane of the juncture between the top of the front lateral beam member and the lower portion of the front support panel so as to permit a hinge-type bend line along such juncture under impact conditions.

6. The vehicle seat support of claim 4 still further characterized in that the front seat support panel extends downwardly to be in part coextensive with said front lateral beam.

7. The vehicle seat support of claim Ll still further characterized in that the front support panel is crushably deformable to a collapsed, nonreturnable position and will provide in situ energy absorption.

8. The vehicle seat support structure of claim l further characterized in that slidable and removable seat attachment means are provided as extending downwardly from said front and rear lateral beam members whereby there may be a variable transverse position seat attachment to fixed position track means in the floor of a vehicle.

9. A vehicle seat support structure for superposed seat and back means providing for an individual luggage storage space thereunder and individual seat movement with energy absorption control under sudden deceleration conditions, with such support structure comprising in combination, a rear lateral beam member and a front lateral beam member each of which is adapted to be connected to the vehicle floor, a fore and aft beam section at each side of the support structure which con nects said front and rear beam members, a rear supporting leg at each side of said support structure extending upwardly from said rear lateral beam member to the rear portion of the superposed seat and back means, and an upwardly extending deformable front support section positioned above said front lateral beam section to effect support for the front portion of the superposed seat, with said deformable front section having limited vertical stiffening therein to thereby permit bending system upon the impact of predetermined deceleration of the vehicle.

10. The vehicle seat support structure of claim 9 further characterized in that the energy-absorbing means are of the compressible type and each one extends from the top end of the rear leg to an upper edge portion of said front lateral beam member.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3714859 *Sep 18, 1970Feb 6, 1973Omark Industries IncEnergy absorbing structures
US3734562 *Jun 28, 1971May 22, 1973Peugeot & RenaultAutomotive seats with safety harnesses
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US4349167 *Oct 30, 1979Sep 14, 1982The Boeing CompanyCrash load attenuating passenger seat
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Classifications
U.S. Classification297/216.2, 248/429
International ClassificationB60N2/42, B64D25/04, B64D11/06, B63B29/04, B60N2/427
Cooperative ClassificationB60N2/42736, B60N2/4221, B64D11/06, B63B2709/00, B64D25/04, B60N2/42709, B64D2011/0644, B63B29/04, B64D2011/0627
European ClassificationB63B29/04, B60N2/427D, B64D11/06, B60N2/427R2, B64D25/04, B60N2/42D2F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 20, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: PTC AEROSPACE INC., 182 NASSAU STREET, PRINCETON,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:UOP INC.;REEL/FRAME:004320/0154
Effective date: 19840224
Jun 19, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: PTC AEROSPACE INC., BANTAM, CT. 06750 A DE CORP.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:UOP INC., A DE CORP;REEL/FRAME:004275/0969
Effective date: 19840518