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Publication numberUS3713183 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 30, 1973
Filing dateAug 4, 1971
Priority dateAug 4, 1971
Publication numberUS 3713183 A, US 3713183A, US-A-3713183, US3713183 A, US3713183A
InventorsBelisle W
Original AssigneeBelisle W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Curtains for airport ramps
US 3713183 A
Abstract
Each curtain has a rubber or plastic sponge pad stitched between inner and outer layers of nylon fabric, with fabric sleeves or tunnels stitched on the outside and in which an elastic cord is placed, such as a "bungy" cord. One sleeve and its enclosed elastic cord is positioned generally parallel to the front edge of the curtain, so that when the side of the plane is engaged by the front of the curtain, the front of the curtain will fold and gather against the plane. The other cord and its sleeve are arranged angularly, extending from points adjacent the ends of the front cord and a point adjacent the rear edge of the curtain at its greatest width, with the rear cord also stretching the curtain.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1 1 Jan. 30, 1973 Primary lf.tur11ir10rNile C. Byers, .Ir. Atmrney-Horace B. Van Valkenburgh et al.

[57] ABSTRACT Each curtain has a rubber or plastic sponge pad stitched between inner and outer layers of nylon fabric, with fabric sleeves or tunnels stitched on the outside and in which an elastic cord is placed, such as a bungy" cord. One sleeve and its enclosed elastic cord is positioned generally parallel to the front edge of the curtain, so that when the side of the plane is engaged by the front of the curtain, the front of the curtain will fold and gather against the plane. The other cord and its sleeve are arranged angularly, extending from points adjacent the ends of the front cord and a point adjacent the rear edge of the curtain at its greatest width, with the rear cord also stretching the 13 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures .14/71, 135/5 A .B65g 11/00 14/71;135/5,5 A

R. Belisle, 6027 Esters Court, Arvada, Colo. 80002 Aug. 4, 1971 F 1 r ma r M hn .5 FV

Walter Appl. No.: 168,850

Field of Search.......................

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1971 l2/l969 8/1963 ll/l968 4/1967 2/1972 7/1968 United States Patent Belisle 1 1 CURTAINS FOR AIRPORT RAMPS [76] Inventor:

[22] Filed:

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PATENTEDJAN30I975 3,713,183

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CURTAINS FOR AIRPORT RAMPS This invention relates to curtains for airport ramps, and more particularly to curtains for a cab ofa movable loading ramp adapted to connect the door of a plane with an airport waiting room or the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Ramps for connecting airport waiting rooms and the like with the door of an airplane are normally elevated, telescoping structures which are moved outwardly toward the plane, for connection with the plane, and the transfer of passengers to and from the plane. The more common type of such a ramp is the Jetway, as of the type shown by US. Pat. No. 3,358,308 and 3,412,412. The former shows a so-called nose-in type which is extensible and retractable, as well as rotatable, but the cab or that portion of the ramp at the end which engages the plane is fixed with respect to the outermost tunnel section, while the latter shows a socalled swing model, in which the cab at the outer end of the outermost tunnel section is rotatable. In each, a wheeled driving structure supports the outer tunnel section and is controlled by an operator within the cab, while the inner tunnel structure is attached for pivotal movement about a vertical axis to the airport building structure. As will be evident, after retraction of the tunnel sections, either model may be stored against the airport building, thereby providing more space for the movement of the plane. However, the swing model is particularly desirable for use with larger jet planes.

In both the nose-in and the swing type, the cab at the end of the tunnel structure is provided with a bottom bumper which engages the side of the plane, below the door, and with a top canopy which is lowered against the plane, above the door. In order to protect the passengers, boarding or unboarding the plane, from jet engine blasts and from inclement weather such as a rain storm or a snow storm, as well as to provide a seal against the plane, when the outside temperature is sufficiently high or low that cooled or heated air must be circulated into or flowed through the tunnel for the comfort of passengers, a curtain at each side of the cab is utilized to engage the plane, on each side of the door. Such side curtains have previously been formed principally of a pad of sponge rubber or the like between inner and outer fabric layers and stitched thereto. At approximately the center of the front edge of each curtain, the fabric and sponge pad are cut away, to permit insertion of a generally rectangular section or strip of leather or leather-like plastic at the point at which the curtain first engages the plane, when the ramp cab is moved into position against the plane. The concept of such an insert was that it would be more resistant to wear than fabric and also could be replaced, as it became worn. The latter has turned out to be quite true, since the maintenance costs on such side curtains are excessive, due to the frequent necessity for replacing the wear strip.

SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION The present invention was conceived and developed to overcome the maintenance problem of the previous curtains, particularly those encountered through use of a wear strip. In essence, the solution to the problem was found to lie in making the entire curtain of the same material and backing, such as the rubber or plastic sponge pad stitched between inner and outer layers of fabric, but to provide sleeves or tunnels :in which a resilient cord could be placed, such cords being known as bungy" cords, and being very strong but elastic, normally comprising strands of elastic covered with nylon. The position of these sleeves and elastic cords was found to be highly important, with one sleeve and its enclosed elastic cord being positioned generally parallel to the front edge of the curtain, so that when the side of the plane is engaged by the front of the curtain, the front of the curtain will fold and gather against the plane, and the front elastic cord will be stretched between its end points and an intermediate point corresponding generally to the point at which the cord becomes substantially tangent to the plane. The other cord and its sleeve are arranged angularly, extending from points adjacent the ends of the front cord and a point adjacent the rear edge of the curtain at its greatest width.

Among the objects of this invention are to provide a side curtain for an aircraft ramp cab which will effectively seal the sides of the ramp cab and accommodate variations in contour of various aircraft; to provide such a side curtain which will permit repeated engagements and disengagements with planes without undue wear of the curtain; to provide such a curtain which will accommodate various positions of a top canopy of the ramp cab; to provide such a curtain having means for maintaining the curtain in a stretched condition over a major area thereof; to provide such a curtain which will accommodate variations in the mean diameter of the plane section against which placed, such as occasioned by variations in positioning of the cab laterally of the plane door; to provide such a curtain which can be varied in shape or contour to accommodate different styles and designs of ramps or ramp cabs; and to provide such a curtain which will be efficient and effective in operation, as well as economical to manufacture.

The foregoing objects, advantages, features and results of the present invention, together with various other objects, advantages, features and results thereof which will be evident to those skilled in" the art in the light of this disclosure, may be achieved with the exemplary embodiments of the invention described in detail hereinafter and illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of a swing type ramp having a cab on which is installed side curtains constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation taken from the inside of the left hand curtain of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation taken from the inside of the right hand curtain of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a condensed cross section, or an enlarged scale, taken along line 44 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view, showing the ramp cab of FIG. 1 moved into engagement with a plane, taken from the opposite side of the ramp from FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view, taken from the inside of the ramp cab of FIG. 5 and looking toward the plane;

FIG. 7 is a side elevationgtaken from the outside, of an alternative side curtain for the right side of a differently constructed cab of a swing type ramp;

I FIG. 8 is a side elevation, taken from the outside, of the left hand curtain for the same cab as FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is aside elevation, taken from the outside, of an alternative curtain constructed in accordance with this invention and adapted for use with a cab of a nosein type of ramp; and

FIG. 10 is a side elevation, taken from the outside, of the left side curtain for the same ramp cab as the curtain of FIG. 9.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF INVENTION Referring to FIGS. 1, 5 and 6, the invention is embodied in left and right hand side curtains L and R, respectively, mounted on a cab C of a swing type airplane loading ramp, the cab C being pivotally mounted at the end of the outermost, telescoping tunnel section 10, to the underside of which a conventional drive arrangement for the ramp (not shown) may be attached. The cab C is provided with a top 11, a bottom 12 and arcuate side sections 13 which fit within fixed sections 14 attached to the tunnel section 10. Sides 13 of the cab and arcuate sections 14 attached to the tunnel are conveniently provided with windows 15, to permit light to enter the cab, and the cab may be swung through a predetermined number of degrees, with the side sections 13 fitting within the fixed sections 14. The cab is also provided with a canopy 16 having a front cover 17, adapted to fit against the plane fuselage F, while the plane fuselage, as in FIGS. 5 and 6, may be provided with windows 19 and a door 20. The cab C is adapted to fit against the side of the plane surrounding the door 20, as in FIG. 6, and the fuselage engaged by the canopy cover 17 above the door, with the right and left hand curtains R and L on opposite sides of the door and a bumper 21, at the front of cab bottom 12, engaging the plane below the door.

The right and left hand curtains, as in FIGS. 2-4, are preferably constructed of layers of fabric, such as heavy coated nylon, comprising an outer layer and an inner layer 26,,on opposite sides of a foam rubber or rubber-like pad 27. The cover preferably extends around each end of the pad, as in FIG. 4, and is attached to the pad by stitching, such as along the lines 32, of FIGS. 2 and 3.

In accordance with this invention, relatively strong tension cords 28 and 29, such as the bungy type of cord previously described, are installed within sleeves 30 and 31 which are attached, as by stitching, to the outer fabric layer 25. The sleeve 30, with the curtain in the planar condition of FIGS. 2 or 3 prior to attachment to the cab, is straight, while the sleeve 31 is angled, with the upper and lower ends of sleeve 31 being adjacent the respective upper and lower ends of sleeve 30 and the vertex of the angle preferably being adjacent the point of greatest width of the curtain. Separate cords 28 and 29 may be placed in the sleeves 30 and 31, although it is convenient to use the same cord, extending upwardly through sleeve 30, then through an eyelet (not shown) in the top of the curtain, then downwardly through the sleeve 31, with the extended ends of the cords shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 being stretched taut, after installation, and tied together,

preferably at another eyelet at the bottom edge of the curtain.

Eyelets 33 and 34 at the upper front and lower front corners of the curtain permit attachment to the inside of the canopy cover 17 and the bottom l2.of the cab, with additional eyelets, if desired, at convenient locations around the top rear and bottom periphery of the curtain, for attachment to the canopy 16, the canopy shield 18 and the front edge of sections 13. Other ways of attaching the curtains to the cab, such as by loops sewn to the curtain, by clamps or the like, or other types of attaching devices may be utilized.

As in FIGS. 2 and 3, the front edge 40 of each of the curtains L and R is generally straight but angled in accordance with the normal position of the curtains shown in FIG. 1. The rear edge 41 of each curtain R and R is each angular with the apex of the angle of the left hand curtain L somewhat lower than the apex of the right hand curtain R. The top 42 of the left hand curtain L, between the sleeve 30 and the front edge 40, may be essentially the same length and angularity as the corresponding portion of the top 43 of the right hand curtain R, but the remainder of the top 42 of curtain L is wider than the top 43 of the curtain R, since when the ramp approaches the plane, the outer contour of which tapers inwardly from the door 20 of FIG. 6 to the nose of the plane, the left hand curtain L should be wider than the right hand curtain R to accommodate the greater distance of coverage necessitated by the taper of the plane. Similarly, the bottom 44 of the left hand curtain L may have essentially the same width between the sleeve 30 and the front edge 40 as the bottom 45 of the curtain R, but a greater width rearwardly of the sleeve 31.

In use, when the cab C is moved against the plane, the bumper 21, as in FIG. 6, will engage the plane fuselage F below the door 20, then the canopy 16 may be lowered until the cover 17 of the canopy engages the fuselage above the door 20, as in FIG. 6. As the bumper 21 engages the plane, the lower portion of each side curtain will also engage the side of the plane, on each side of the door 20, and as the canopy 16 is lowered,

the remainder of the curtain will also engage the side of the plane. The front edge of the curtain will fold against the side of the plane in an irregular pattern, as in FIG. 6, while the elastic cord 28 in sleeve 30 will hold the folded and draped cover securely against the plane, the cord 28 and its sleeve 30 normally assuming the position shown in FIG. 3 and being stretched against the side of the plane to engage the plane at a point 46, which is approximately midway of the height of the door, although varying somewhat due to the size and door contour of the fuselage of various planes. By the tight stretch of the cord 28 at and adjacent the side of the plane, the front of the curtain is held securely against the plane, while the folds and drapes of the curtain provide an effective seal against either temperature variation, adverse weather conditions or jet engine blast. In addition, the angular stretch of the cord 29 within the sleeve 31 will tend to maintain the curtain relatively taut between the sleeves 30 and 31, so that the curtain will remain stable against jet engine blast or gusty wind conditions. Furthermore, due to the fact that the inner and outer fabric layers 25 and 26 are quite flexible and the interior foam rubber pad 27 of the curtain is also relatively flexible, the front edge of the curtain will not tend to wear, as in the case of the previous wear sections formed of leather or leather-like plastic. This is apparently due to the fact that, when the front of the curtain folds and drapes against the plane, it assumes a random position normally differing each time the cab is used. Thus, the tendency to wear at any specific point tends to be obviated. Furthermore, since the front edge of the curtain opposite the point 46 of FIG. 5 will normally initially engage the plane, any slight differences in the direction of movement of the cab toward the plane will cause the front edge of the curtain to lap or fold in different directions.

Another factor which reduces wear is the fact that the front edge of the curtain is held tightly against the plane by the elastic cord 28, and there is little opportunity for a rubbing action due to the movement of the curtain from jet engine blast, wind action or the like.

A variation of the curtains R and L of FIGS. 2 and 3 may be utilized for a slightly different style of swing ramp, such as the curtains R and L of FIG. 8. As before, the front edge 40' of each curtain is generally straight but angled, while the rear edges 41' of the curtains R and L will initially be at slightly different angles, because of the difference in width. The bottom edges 44' and 45' of the curtains of FIGS. 7 and 8 are angular as before, but the top edges 42' and 43' are straight, because of the construction of the cab and particularly the canopy therefor, with which the curtains of FIGS. 7 and 8 are particularly adapted to be used.

The alternative curtains R" and L" of FIGS. 9 and 10 are again slightly different in arrangement from the curtains previously described, although the front edges 40" are straight and the rear edges 41 angular, as before. However, both the top edges 42" and 43" are straight and the bottom edges 44" and 45" are straight. Again this difference in peripheral contour is dictated by the construction of the cab and its canopy, with which these alternative curtains are adapted to be used.

In the case of both the curtains R and L of FIGS. 7 and 8 and the curtains R" and L of FIGS. 9 and 10, the sleeves 30 and 30 are generally parallel to the front edges 40' and 40", respectively, although spaced therefrom a slightly greater distance at the top than at the bottom. The sleeves 31 enclosing elastic cords 29' and the sleeves 31 enclosing the elastic cords 29" are again angular, extending from a point adjacent the top and bottom, respectively, of the respective sleeves 30 and 30", with the apex of the angle at a point adjacent the point of maximum width of the curtain. After the curtains of FIGS. 7 and 8 or the curtains of FIGS. 9 and 10 have been installed and the elastic cords 28', 29' and 28", 29" tightened and tied together at the bottom, the elastic cords will act in substantially the same way as the cords 28 and 29, as described previously.

From the foregoing, it will be evident that side curtains for ramp cabs of this invention fulfill to a marked degree the requirements and objects hereinbefore set forth. Thus, wear is considerably reduced because of pleating and folding of the curtains normally in different patterns or slightly different points for different planes and for various engagements of the ramp with planes whose fuselages have the same contour. In addition, the pleating and folding of the curtains will accommodate variations in contour of various aircraft, and the tension of the front elastic cord will hold the curtain against the side of the plane, to provide an effective seal. Thus, wear is also reduced because the curtain is held more firmly against the plane, and there is less rubbing due to movement of the curtain. As will also be evident, the peripheral contour of the curtains may be varied in accordance with the style and size of the ramp cab with which the curtains are to be used, although the general principle of placing a first elastic cord generally parallel to and spaced from the front edge of the curtain and a second elastic ,cord angularly with respect to the curtain and rearwardly with respect to the first elastic cord, will permit the advantages of the curtains of this invention to be obtained, irrespective of the peripheral contour of the curtain.

Although preferred embodiments of this invention have been illustrated and described, it will be understood that other embodiments may exist and that various changes and variations may be made therein, without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A side curtain for a cab or the like of an extensible and retractable ramp for an airplane and the like, comprising:

at least one layer of flexible material adapted to extend between curtain attaching positions at the bottom and at the top of said cab, the front edge of said curtain being engageable with the side of said plane when said cab is moved into engagement with said flange; and

an elastic cord co-extends generally upwardly along said curtain and generally parallel to but spaced from said front edge.

2. A side curtain as defined in claim 1, wherein:

a second elastic cord co-extends along said curtain angularly with respect to said first elastic cord and rearwardly thereof.

3. A side curtain as defined in claim 2, including:

an outer fabric layer;

an inner fabric layer;

a layer of foam rubber-like material between said fabric layers; and

means for attaching said layers together at at least a series of spaced positions.

4. A side curtain as defined in claim 3, including:

a sleeve for each elastic cord and attached to one of said fabric layers.

5. A side curtain as defined in claim 4, wherein:

said elastic cord sleeves are attached to the said outside fabric layer; and

the opposite ends of said sleeve for said second elastic cord are disposed adjacent the ends of said sleeve for said first elastic cord.

6. A side curtain as defined in claim 5, wherein:

said first and second elastic cords are continuous at one end and attached together at the opposite end.

7. A side curtain as defined in claim 2, wherein:

the rear edge of said curtain is angular; and

said second elastic cord extends angularly along said curtain with the apex of said angle adjacent the point of greatest width of said curtain.

8. A side curtain as defined in claim 7, including:

a sleeve for each of said first and second elastic cords for retaining said first cord in a generally straight position and said second cord in said angular position.

9. A pair of side curtains for the left and right sides, respectively, of a cab or the like of an extensible and retractable ramp for an airplane or the like, wherein:

each said curtain is constructed in accordance with claim 2, but with the left curtain being wider than the right curtain; and

said first elastic cords being spaced from the front edges of said curtains approximately the same distance.

10. A pair of side curtains as defined in claim 9, wherein each said curtain comprises:

an outer fabric layer;

an inner fabric layer;

a layer of foam rubber-like material between said fabric layers; and

a sleeve for each elastic cord and attached to said outside fabric layer.

II. A pair of side curtains as defined in claim 10, wherein:

said cab has a bottom, a top, a front bumper on the bottom and an upwardly and downwardly movable canopy attached to the top, said bumper being adapted to engage said plane below the door thereofvand said canopy being adapted to engage said plane above the door thereof; means for attaching said side curtains to said cab with the front edges thereof slanting upwardly and forwardly from said bumper to the front of said canopy; and the rear edge of each curtain being angular. 12. A pair of side curtains as defined in claim 11, wherein:

the upper edge of each curtain is angular. 13. A pair of side curtains as defined in claim 11, wherein:

the upper edge of each curtain is straight.

l 1R k t

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3099847 *Jun 20, 1960Aug 6, 1963Stanray CorpTrack mounted telescoping loading and unloading ramp for aircraft
US3315291 *Nov 29, 1963Apr 25, 1967Wollard Aircraft Service EquipConveyance loading apparatus
US3394720 *Dec 28, 1966Jul 30, 1968Charles W. MossPortable canopy or shelter
US3412412 *Jan 27, 1966Nov 26, 1968Stanray CorpAircraft loading and unloading ramp with pivotable outer passageway
US3484883 *Dec 19, 1967Dec 23, 1969Aviolanda MaatschappijEnd structure for airport gangways
US3581331 *Oct 1, 1968Jun 1, 1971Brown Eng Co IncFire protection shield
US3644952 *Jul 29, 1970Feb 29, 1972Stanray CorpCanopy frame assembly for cab of airplane loading and unloading ramp
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4333195 *Nov 24, 1980Jun 8, 1982Lichti Robert DFire protective walkway apparatus
US4815490 *Mar 3, 1988Mar 28, 1989Trelleborg AbAssembly system for tent and/or vehicle units
US7819363 *Dec 7, 2006Oct 26, 2010The Boeing CompanyMobile cargo loader with a thermal curtain enclosure
US20040088805 *Nov 12, 2002May 13, 2004Hansen Christian M.Actuator-free resilient passenger boarding bridge canopy
US20060277700 *Aug 21, 2006Dec 14, 2006Dew Engineering And Development LimitedBeacon docking system with visual guidance display
US20080138182 *Dec 7, 2006Jun 12, 2008The Boeing CompanyMobile cargo loader with a thermal curtain enclosure
WO2015034412A1 *Mar 14, 2014Mar 12, 2015Fmt International Trade AbPassenger bridges for connection to a door in the side of a ship
Classifications
U.S. Classification14/71.5, 135/115
International ClassificationB64F1/305, B64F1/00
Cooperative ClassificationB64F1/3055
European ClassificationB64F1/305A