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Publication numberUS3827360 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 6, 1974
Filing dateApr 21, 1972
Priority dateApr 21, 1972
Publication numberUS 3827360 A, US 3827360A, US-A-3827360, US3827360 A, US3827360A
InventorsA Geimer
Original AssigneeA Geimer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pneumatic launcher and combination flare-ignitor
US 3827360 A
Abstract
This invention relates to a pneumatic launcher and to a flare ignitor. The flare ignitor permits the flare to be automatically ignited once it leaves launcher as well as providing a means to readily hand ignite a flare. The launcher permits a plurality of devices to be sequentially launched.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

PAFENTED Alli; 6 74 SHEEY 1 [IF 2 PNEUMATIC LAUNCHER AND COMBINATION FLARE-IGNITOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention is directed to devices which are utilized to launch flares. These launchers are utilized in railroad cars, police cars, or on commercial vehicles which require flares to be launched in case of an accident. However, the device may be readily adapted to launch sonobuoys, beacon transponders, radio receivers or transmitters, chaff and so forth from airplanes or ships. Further, the present invention relates to a flare ignitor which allows the flare to be self-ignited after it is dispensed from the pneumatic launcher. Also, it allows a person to readily ignite a flare without the dispenser.

The prior art in this area provides complicated pneumatic launchers which do not have the simplified and readily repairable system provided by the present invention. Such devices are illustrated by the sonobuoy launcher of the Jones U.S. Pat. No. 3,240,200. This patent is mainly directed to a complicated valve mechanism connected to a launcher barrel through which the sonobuoys are ejected. However, this device only allows a single sonobuoy to be loaded and ejected. The present invention provides for multiple sonobuoys to be ejected in a timed sequence if desired or at intervals without the necessity of reloading after each individual firing. Further, the present invention provides a relatively simplified system for permitting loading or ejecting sonobuoys without depressurizing the airplane cabin.

Likewise, multiple flare ejectors, for railroad cars can be evidenced by the Temple US. Pat. No. 2,462,922. This device, however, requires a special fuse configuration and does not use the ordinary fuse. Also, the Temple ejector requires a special ignition head in order to ignite the flare as it passes through the discharge port. Further, the flares are stacked upon each other and the accidental ignition of one flare would cause all of the flares to ignite. Also, each flare rnust first drop into position before it can be ejected. This feed mechanism is quite different from the turret system of the present invention.

There are many other types of flare launchers utilized in the railroad field but all lack the relatively economic and reliable firing and launching system which is provided by the present invention.

Further, flare ignitors which permit the flares to be ignited in a manner other than the usual manner have not been widely used or manufactured. Flares are still sold and manufactured as they have been for many years. That is, the most prevalent way of igniting flares is by tearing off the headpiece which contains a striking surface and the striking surface on the headpiece is utilized to scratch a circular button-like projection at the top of the flare body which is made of a special igniting compound that upon being scratched causes the flare to ignite. Although patents have been applied for and shown for self-igniting these flares, they have not been generally utilized in that they are not practical, for either a launcher nor are they readily usable by the lay person. Such a patent can be evidenced by McKown US. Pat. No. 2,807,208 granted Sept. 24, 1957. McKown shows a flare ignitor that utilized a tape lever having attached thereto the appropriate striking material for striking the fuse head to ignite it. The problem derived with such a mechanism is that the tape mechanism must be pulled rather strongly and could not be readily operated by a small person. Further, yanking the tape vertically upward and with a fast motion would have the tendency of preventing the striking material from even hitting the head. If this did occur, then of course it would be difficult to ignite the flare.

SUMMARY I have now provided a novel pneumatic launcher as well as a novel flare ignitor which is specifically adapted for use with the launcher as well as for separate hand operation.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a simplified pneumatic launcher for flares and other devices which is economical and operates with relative ease.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a pneumatic launcher which is capable of launching a signal device in controlled sequence.

An additional object of the present invention is to provide a pneumatic launcher which is capable of launching in timed sequence a number of flares as well as launching individual flares and providing a safe sequential firing.

It is another objection of the present invention to provide a pneumatic launcher which has a cylindrical storage and firing means with the cam operating a feed means.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide the combination pneumatic launcher and ignitor which ignites the flare after it leaves the launcher.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a flare ignitor means to permit easy hand ignition of a flare.

Another object of the invention is to provide a flare ignitor which utilizes a handle and lever action for igniting the flare.

Further and additional objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and drawings.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In accordance with one embodiment of this invention there is provided a pneumatic launcher comprising a turret having more than one firing chamber, means to rotate the turret to a predetermined position, and pneumatic means to inject gas into one of the firing chambers when the turret is at said predetermined position.

Another embodiment is the disc drive wheel that is used to drive the turret. This drive wheel has a plurality of teeth in the outer circumference which are interconnected by grooves of a predetermined shape. Each tooth further has a radial slot that is used to turn the drive wheel by a special drive cam. This drive cam is still another embodiment of the invention and comprises a surface which is slightly larger than the grooves between the drive wheel teeth and is shaped to fit in these grooves. Also, the drive cam has a drive pin that is adapted to fit in the radial grooves of the drive'wheel to rotate the drive wheel. Still another embodiment is the flare ignitor which is used in combination with-a flare or with the pneumatic launcher of the present invention. The flare ignitor comprises a cap being adapted to cover the top of a flare, a handle cap, the handle having a hand portion and a head portion means pivotally connecting said handle to said cap, said head portion having a striking surface adapted to scratch a flare ignitor head.

Other embodiments of the invention will become clearer especially when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the pneumatic launcher of the present invention. I

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the launcher taken along lines II-II of FIG. 1 illustrating drive wheel and drive cam.

FIG. 3 is a partial sectional illustrating the connection of the feed line to the turret of the launcher of FIG.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one flare-ignitor combination of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a partial sectional view taken along lines VV of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of the ignitor having a break-away portion to illustrate the pivotal connection of the ignitor handle;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another flare-ignitor combination of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a partial sectional view taken along lines VIII-VIII of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a partial side view of an ignitor handle; and

FIG. 10 is a partial perspective view of an ignitor.

PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The turret, 11, is composed of a plurality of firing barrels or tubes, 16, which are circumferentially spaced from each other. The barrels are metal tubes which may be welded to or pressure-fitted into the circular rear plate 36 (FIG. 3) at one end and welded or pressure-fitted into the drive wheel 13 at the other or outlet end.

Each tube is sufficiently long to accommodate a normal flare and is sized or shaped for any other items which it is intended to be utilized. However, for simplicity purposes only, I am going to describe the pneumatic launcher as being used to dispense or launch flares and it being understood that the various means may be adapted to launch other devices, which have been noted above. The essential feature being the manner in which I have provided'the various components to produce an effective pneumatic launcherv The housing, 12, has a front wall or plate, 17, a rear wall or plate, 18, interconnected by a bottom wall, 19, a pair of top struts, 20. The housing may of course be of more elaborate in construction if desired. It may be enclosed completely if this is desired or is required by the particular manner in which the launcher is to be used.

The drive wheel, 13, and drive cam, 14, are best shown in FIG. 2. The drive wheel has a plurality of slotted teeth, 21. Each tooth has formed therein a radial slot, 21a. This radial slot is adapted to fit the pin, 22, on the drive cam, 14. Each tooth, 21, is separated by a semi-circular groove, 21b. Radially spaced inwardly from the grooves, 21b, are a plurality of holes. Each hole is sized to accommodate the firing tube, 16, and is large enough to permit a flare and flare ignitor to pass therethrough. The holes are spaced so that the radius of the semi-circular slots is contiguous with the radius of the holes and the radius of the drive wheel, 13, there being one hole for each groove, 21b, each tooth, 21, and radial slot, 21a.

Attached to the center of the drive wheel is a rotating axial, 23. The rotating axial, 23, is rotatably connected to the front cover plate, 17, of the pneumatic launcher 10.

Although the drive wheel, 13, is described as being at the exit end of the launcher, it is understood that the drive wheel shown may be positioned anywhere along the axis of the turret simply by permitting the holes therein to be large enough to permit the tubes, 16, to pass therethrough. Likewise, the drive wheel may replace the circular rear plate if so desired. Also, although the drive wheel is shown as being a disc shape, it is obvious that the drive wheel may be a ring type shape using other rotatably support means than the shaft, 23, for rotatably supporting the turret. Further, it is not necessary for the drive wheel to be sized such that it has a diameter larger than the diameter than the turret, but could be sized so that it is smaller than the circumference of the turret tubes with the turret tubes being supported by a circular plate and the smaller drive wheel being attached to the front of the plate or fixedly attached to a shaft such as 23. However, the size of the drive wheel would be predetermined so that it would operate in the manner as hereinafter described in detail.

The drive cam, 14, has a circular disc, 24, projecting from the center of one side of the disc, 24, is a drive shaft, (not shown). Projecting from the other side of the disc, 24, opposite the drive shaft, 16, is an arcuate cam, 25, having a cam surface, 26. The drive pin, 22, is sized to fit into the drive wheel slots, 21a, whereas the cam surface, 26, is adapted to fit within the drive wheel grooves, 21b. In operation, the drive pin, 22, engages, the teeth 21 by fitting in the slots 21a, as the cam, 14, is rotated it rotates the drive wheel, 13, by the drive pin, 22, being in the slots, 21a. As the drive cam, 14, continues to rotate a portion of the cam surface, 26, engages the groove, 21b. When the pin, 22, is disengaged from the slot, 21a, the drive wheel stops rotating. At this time only a portion of the cam surface, 26, is in the groove 21b. The cam continues to rotate without corresponding movement of the drive wheel until the cam surface, 26, is engaged in the grooves, 21b as is shown in FIG. 2. The drive wheel, is now locked into position and cannot rotate on its own without actuation by the drive cam, 14.

To accommodate this operation the cam, 25, is arcuate in shape with its surface, 26, being greater than the semicircular groove, 21b. The are of the surface, 26, is about 200 to 260 and preferably about 225.

It being further understood that it is not necessary for the grooves, 21b, and the cam surface, arcuate in shape, they may have any convenient configuration with the corresponding cam surface, 26, having the same configuration. The reason the cam, 25, and the grooves, 21b, is preferably of an arcuate shape is to allow ready manufacture thereof, without expensive machining or stamping.

Although the turret is shown here and the drive wheel are shown here as containing 18 firing tubes, it is understood that the number of firing tubes will vary according to the desire of the particular user. Six is the preferred minimum in that a lesser number of firing tubes would require a constant reloading and would be inefficient for multiple accident cases where a number of flares must be dispensed.

Referring back to FIG. 1, the drive cam, 14 is rotated by a motor 27. The motor used in this instance is a International Harvester Windshield Wiper Motor. However, any suitable motor or energy of this nature may be used.

The pneumatic firing means 15 is composed of a twoway inline valve 28 having an inlet end 29, and an outlet 30. Connected to the outlet end 30 is a fixed feed line 31. The fixed feed line 31 is positioned so that it will inject gas into a firing tube 16, which is in a predetermined position. The valve, 28, is a solenoid valve operated by a solenoid used to open and close the valve. The inlet end, 29, is connected to a supplemental air tank 32 which in this instance is maintained under a pressure of 50 psi. It is understood that the tank may contain supplemental air under higher pressures if such is desired for the particular use of the launcher. Connected to the supplemental air tank 32 is a pressure regulator valve 33 which is used to maintain the pressure within the tank 32 at 50 psi, or whatever pressure is desired. Connected to the regulator valve 33 is a supply tank 34 which is maintained under a high pressure and is utilized to feed air to the supplemental tank. Although we have discussed this as using air, it is of course understood that any pressurized gas may be used to eject the flares. However, air is the most economical and safest gas to use and that is the reason why I described this invention in relation thereto. However, air is to be considered as a preferred embodiment.

The two-way in-line valve 28 used in this embodiment is the solenoid operated two-way in-line valve manufactured by Norgren Co. The valve operates by supplying a suitable electrical current to the solenoid which will open the valve and cause air to pass into the feed line, 31. As soon as the electrical current is shut off the valve closes.

In order to effectively utilize the pressurized air, the feed line 31 may have connected to the end thereof on the inside of the dispenser and plate, 31, a plastic, rubber or tefelon seal used to abut against the circular end plate and surround the hole leading into the firing tube, 16.

On the exit end of the launcher is a suitable firing barrel 35. The firing barrel 35 is fixedly secured to the end plate, 17, and it is adapted to coincide with one of the firing tubes 16. The purpose of the firing barrel, 35, is so that when the launcher 10 is mounted in a vehicle, for instance, the trunk, of a police car, the barrel, 35, may be used to extend outside of the vehicle. The launcher, 10, is suitably mounted into the trunk of a vehicle by bolting the base plate 19 to the vehicle.

Referring to FIG. 3, there is illustrated the end of the feed line 31 in a fixed position to deliver pressurized air to firing tube 16. The firing tube is attached to the circular rear plate 36 and receives air through the holes 37 formed therein for each firing tube. To enable the launcher to be used under pressurized conditions, for example, a pressurized airplane, the launcher is equipped with a seal means in both the feed line and the firing barrel 35. The feed line seal means is provided by having the end of the feed line counterbored to provide a shoulder 38. Inserted into the feed line to abut against the shoulder 38 is a spring 39. The spring is normally compressed to force a tubular seal 40 outwardly and into sealing engagement with the back plate 36. Also, provided are a pair of spaced O-rings 41 which fit in appropriate grooves in the seal 40. The 0- rings prevent air from leaking between the feed line and the seal. The tubular seal 40 also has its inner end 42 counterbored to provide an arucate shoulder 43. The shoulder 43 aids the spring in forcing the seal into sealing engagement with the rear plate 36 when pressurized air moves in the direction of the rear plate from the feed line.

The firing barrel seal is the same as the feed line seal and is therefore not shown. In a pressurized cabin, the firing barrel would extend out of the cabin. The outside conditions then could only pass through the firing barrel 35 into one firing tube 16 and into the feed line 31. It would then be blocked by the closed valve 28 and would not enter the cabin because of seal 40 in the firing barrel 35 and feed line 31. The seals 40 are preferably made of teflon, but may be made of any suitable material.

Referring to FIG. 4 and 5, we see the combination flare and flare ignitor 44 comprising a flare 45 and flare ignitor 46. The flare, 45, has a cylindrical body which has the normal cardboard outer covering and is filled with a phosphorous-type material. At the top end of the body is a fuse head 46 which is a circular button-like projection of a special igniting compound that causes the fuse to ignite. This compound is ignited when it is scratched by an appropriate striking material. Attached to the flare is the ignitor, 46. The ignitor 46 is constructed to provide on a lower inner diameter 47, a shoulder 48, and a top slot 49. The inner cylindrical diameter 47 is sized to tightly fit around the flare 45, such that it cannot be removed easily but requires more than normal exertion by an ordinary adult.

Spaced inwardly from a top end of the ignitor is the inner shoulder or ridge 48. The inner ridge is used as an abutment for the top end 51 of the flare 4510 prevent it from moving any further in the ignitor and also to provide the distance necessary in the ignitor as will hereinafter be explained.

As is readily understood, the shoulder 48 may be formed by a separate ridge extending inwardly from the inner diameter 47 at a predetermined distance from the top end 50.

The top portion of the ignitor 45 is solid and presents a flat end surface 50 with an appropriate slot 49 formed therein. The circumference of the end 50 is such that it snugly fits within the turret firing tubes 16.

The ignitor 46 also comprises a handle 52 having a hand portion 54 and a head portion 55. The head portion 55 extends perpendicular to the hand portions 54 and is preferably integral therewith. The head 55 has a general rectangular shape with a rounded end 56 formed of striking material adhered therto. The striking surface 56 is made of materials to ignite the flare head 46. A pivot pin 57 is fixedly connected or is integral with the head 55 and extends from both sides of the head 55.

The pivot pin 57 is appropriately connected to the inner walls 58 which form the slot 49. Referring to FIG. 6, there is illustrated the top portion of the ignitor 46 having formed therein the slot 49 which has an upperportion 59, and a lower portion 60 and there is shown a groove 61 that extends the full length of the ignitor. The slot portion 59 accommodates the head 55 and the slot 60 accomodates the pivot pin 57. The slot 60 is slightly narrower than the length (from end to end) of the pin 57 at its entrance and its width is the same as the length of the pin 57 at its inner end 62. This allows the pin to freely pivot within the slot 60 and also prevents the head from falling out of the slot 49.

The same construction is used when the pin 57 is not fixed to or an integral part of the head 55. In that instance, the head is rotatably mounted on the pin 57 and the entire width of the slot 60 is slightly smaller than the length of the pin 57 to insure that the pin is nonrotatably connected to the walls 58 that form the slot portion 60.

The hand portion 54 is sized so that it fits within the groove 61 and its outer surface forms a continuous arc with the outer surface 62 of the ignitor 46. In this manner, the ignitor snugly fits within the firing tube 16. The ignitor handle, 52, has attached thereto a spring 63. The spring is set such that it tends to pivot the handle 54, on the pivot pin 57, away from the ignitor surface 62. In this manner, the striking surface 56, which is normally facing the inner surface of the ignitor is pivoted into contact with the flare head 46 as is shown in dotted lines in 4 and to scratch the flare head and thus ignite the flare. The spring 63 is not necessary either in operating the ignitor by hand or in using the ignitor in the launcher 10, as was shown.

The ignition body is preferably burned at approximately the same rate as the flare body. This is also true of the handle 52. However, any portion or all of the handle 52 may be made of metal if it is so desired.

For safety reasons, it is necessary that no portion of the striking surface 56 comes into contact with the flare head 46 until the handle hand portion 54 has moved through an arc of at least 45. The preferred embodiment being that no ignition takes place until the hand portion moves through an arc of at least 75 with that shown in FIG. 5 being at approximately 90.

Although the ignitor 46 has been illustrated as being cylindrical, with a closed end 50 having a slot 49 therein, it is understood that the groove 61 may be formed such that it forms a slot either partially or totally along the outer surface 62. If a slot is formed, then the body must be made of material which is flexible enough to tightly grip the flare. Also, referring to FIGS. 7 and 8 there is illustrated an ignitor 64 having a body 65 and a handle 66. The handle 66 extends for the full length of the body 65. The handle 66 has a hand portion 67 and a circular head 68 with a striking surface 69 adapted to contact the flare head 46 when the handle is pivoted (as is illustrated in dotted lines in FIG. 8) approximately 60.

The ignitor body is arcuate in shape having a slot 68 extending the entire length thereof. The slot 68 has a lower portion sufficiently wide to accommodate the handle hand portion 67 and an upper portion sufficiently wide to accommodate the circular head 68. The upper portion of the ignitor body has formed therein a slot 70 which is the same as the slot 49 illustrated in FIG. 6. The circular head 68 is preferably integral with the handle hand portion 67 as is the pivot pin 73. However, the circular head 68 may be a separate member which is fixedly connected to the handle hand member 67 and the pivot pin 73 may be a separate member fixedly or rotatably connected to the head 68. The operation of the handle will determine whether the pin and head are pivoted together or the head pivoted about the pin. This being explained above in conjunction with FIGS. 4 to 6.

Referring to FIG. 8, the lower 74 end of the handle is tapered on the inside thereof to provide an air lift pocket 75 between the handle and the ignitor body 65 at the lower ends thereof. The air lift pocket enables the handle to pivot without the necessity of having a spring attached to the handle. The flare exits the firing barrel in the direction of the arrow 76 and air enters the pocket 75 to lift and pivot the handle 66. The lever and air dry action on the handle pivots the handle approximately 60 from the ignitor body where the striking surface 69 on the head 68 comes into ignition contact with the flare head 46 as is shown in dotted lines in FIG. 8.

The pivot pin 73 is connected off center of the circular head 68 to provide a cam type movement. However, the head 68 does not have to be a full circle but can be an arc with the top portion being flat. FIG. 9 illustrates an arcuate head 77 having a flat upper surface 78 and a bottom arcuate surface 79 having adhered at a predetermined location a flare striking material 80. Formed off-center through the head 77 is hole 81. A slot 82 having a diameter less than the hole 81 is formed in the head 77 and extends from the hole 81 to the surface 79. The hole 81 is sized to accommodate a pivot pin. The head 77 is attached to the pivot pin by being pressed thereon. The head is preferably made of plastic and when the pivot pin is forced into slot 82 the slot will spread so that the pin can be placed in the hole 81. This type of construction is especially advantageous when the pivot pin is made as an integral part of the ignitor body or is separately attached to the ignitor body. In this way the head 77 may be connected to the body with relative ease.

The size of the hole 81 is again determined by the type of movement of the pivot pin and head 77. If the pin is to pivot with the head, then the hole has a diameter slightly less than the diameter of the pin. If the head is to pivot about the pin, then the diameter of the hole is slightly larger than the diameter of the pin.

FIG. 10 illustrates another embodiment of the present invention. There is shown a partial top portion 84 of an ignitor body 85. Formed axially through the ignitor body 85 at a predetermined distance from the top end 86 of the body is a hole 87 and a slot 88. The slot 88 extends longitudinally from the hole 87 to the end 86 and has a diameter less than the diameter of the hole 87. The slot 88 is sized to permit a pivot pin to be pressed therethrough into the hole 87. The size of the hole 87 is determined by whether or not it is to fixedly hold the pivot pin or to allow the pivot pin to rotate. Also, formed in the top portion 84 is a slot 89 which is sufficiently large to permit the head portion of an ignitor handle to pivot therein.

Of course, if desired, the slots 82 and 88 of FIGS. 10 and 11 may be eliminated with just having the holes 81 and 87 respectively. These holes being sized to fixedly hold a pivot pin which has been forced therethrough or to rotatably hold a pivot pin.

Also, another embodiment would be to have a tubular shaped ignitor with the inner or shoulder ridge formed by identing the outer surface of the body or by actually forming a ridge on the inner surface of the tube. If desired, the shoulder or abutment for spacing the ignitor head from the flare head a predetermined distance may be formed on the upper portion of the handle.

In the operation of the present invention, the flare and ignitor combination is manufactured so that a removable tape is used to secure the handle portion in the position shown in FIGS. 4 and 7 where the handle is substantially parallel to the axis of the flare. When a person desires to hand ignite the flare, he or she merely removes the tape and pivots the handle away from the body so that the striking surface comes into contact with the flare head as is shown in FIGS. and 8. This will immediately ignite the flare. If the person desires to place the flare in position, this may be done by placing the flare into the earth by way of its spike at one end and then removing the tape and pivoting the handle to ignite the flare. It is thus seen that the hand operation of igniting the flare-ignitor combination of the present invention, provides a simplified and a safe manner of igniting a flare.

In the operation of the flare launcher, flares containing the flare ignitor of the present invention, are inserted into tube 16 with the head portion of the ignitor facing the end plate 18. The flares are fed through an appropriate hole (not shown) in end plate 17. All of the tubes are filled with the combination flare ignitor. Of course, the tape holding the handles down is removed from each of the flares. In the non-operating condition the feed line 31 is aligned with a tube 16 as illustrated in FIG. 3. When it is desired to launch one or more flares from the vehicle, this can be accomplished by turning on a switch which is appropriately attached to the dashboard of the vehicle. The switch operates the drive cam 14. Drive cam 14 rotates the turret 11 until feed line 31 alignes with hole 37 in circular rear plate 36 of adjacent tube 16. At this stage, an electric contact in motion 27 closes to operate solenoid valve 28. As soon as the solenoid is open, pressurized air is allowed through the feed line 31 into the aligned flare tube 16 which pushes the flare ignitor out of the tube 16 of the barrel 35. As soon as the flare-ignitor exits the barrel 35 air current catches the bottom portion of the handle and causes the handle to pivot away from the flare body. The pivoting of the handle may be aided by a spring, if this is so desired. However, the speed at which the flare exits the barrel 35 is sufficient to provide the necessary air pressure to cause the handle to pivot as was described above.

At the stage of firing the cam surface 26 is approximately half-way in the groove 21b and the drive pin 22 is out of the slot 21a. The continued rotation of the drive cam cause the cam 25 to be in its locking position shown in FIG. 2. Just before reaching its locking position the contacts in the motor assembly 27 are opened to cut off the current to the solenoid valve and thus close the valve. If it is desired to launch more than one flare or to continuously launch flares then the switch on the dashboard is kept on so that it will continuously operate the motor assembly 27 and flare-ignitors will be continuously launched from the firing barrel 35 for as long as desired or when all the tubes 16 are empty.

The particular switching mechanism is not a part of this invention and would be evident to the skilled artisan. Therefore, I have not described the circuitry or the specific connections.

I claim that:

1. A flare ignitor comprising a tubular body adapted to cover the top portion of a flare, said tubular body having an inner diameter sized to tightly fit around the flare, an inwardly extending ridge or shoulder means formed on the inner surface of the body, said ridge being spaced a predetermined distance from the top of the body and being positioned to abut against the top of the flare; a handle said handle having an elongated hand portion with a head portion at one end thereof, said head portion extending inwardly from the hand portion, the inward surface of said head portion having a flare striking surface thereon, pivot means mounted on said body above said ridge means, said handle head being mounted on said pivot means so that said head is spaced a predetermined distance above said ridge means, said distance being such that the striking surface of the handle head will only strike an ignition head on the flare when the handle is pivoted a predetermined amount.

2. The ignitor of claim 1 wherein the elongated hand portion of the handle extends axially along the ignitor body and flare and the head portion extending radially inwardly into said ignitor body with the striking surface facing the inner walls of the ignitor body.

3. The ignitor of claim 2, wherein said head portion striking surface is shaped so that when the hand portion of the handle is parallel with the axis of the ignitor body the striking surface is in said inoperative safety position facing the inner surface of the ignitor body, and when the handle portion is pivoted at least 45 to the axis of the ignitor body at least one portion of the striking surface intersects the ignitor body axis.

4. The ignitor of claim 3 wherein the hand portion of the handle must be pivoted at least to the axis before one portion of the striking surface intersects the ignitor body axis.

5. The ignitor of claim 2 wherein the tubular body is a single plastic piece having a solid slotted top portion that is adapted to be above the flare and a cylindrical bottom portion, the top portion is slotted to provide the pivot means for the handle head.

6. The ignitor of claim 2 wherein the handle is a single piece with the head portion extending radially inwardly from one end thereof.

7. The ignitor of claim 6 wherein a pivot pin extends substantially perpendicular from each side of the head portion.

8. The ignitor of claim 1 wherein the other end of the handle hand portion is shaped so that it is spaced to form an air pocket between the handle and the ignitor body or flare to permit the handle to be pivoted by air pressure.

9. The ignitor of claim 1 wherein the handle head has a predetermined arcuate shape and a predetermined portion of the edge of the head has adhered thereto a flare striking composition to form the striking surface.

13. The ignitor of claim 1 wherein the body is made of material that ignites along with the body of a flare.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4380957 *Sep 23, 1980Apr 26, 1983Makainai Jr Jesse KFlare with improved starter cap
US5282455 *Jun 11, 1992Feb 1, 1994The Walt Disney CompanyLauncher for launching multiple fireworks projectiles
US5339741 *Jan 7, 1992Aug 23, 1994The Walt Disney CompanyPrecision fireworks display system having a decreased environmental impact
US5415152 *Nov 12, 1993May 16, 1995Adamson; William G.Method of launching multiple fireworks projectiles
US5526750 *Jul 27, 1993Jun 18, 1996The Walt Disney CompanyExplosive charge connected to detonating fuse contained in shell; priming composition of acetone and black powder added to shell
US5627338 *Jun 6, 1995May 6, 1997The Walt Disney CompanyFireworks projectile having distinct shell configuration
US5739462 *Jun 27, 1995Apr 14, 1998The Walt Disney CompanyMethod and apparatus for creating pyrotechnic effects
US5964586 *Oct 9, 1995Oct 12, 1999Techno Consult A.S.Method, apparatus, and ignition device for ignition of inflammable gases from a flare on a flame tower
US6318350 *Aug 5, 1999Nov 20, 2001Innotek, Inc.Remote controlled mock bird launcher
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EP0795734A2 *Mar 11, 1997Sep 17, 1997COMET GmbH Pyrotechnik-ApparatebauDevice for simulating a projectile
WO1993025861A1 *Jun 11, 1993Dec 23, 1993Walt Disney ProdLauncher for launching multiple fireworks projectiles
Classifications
U.S. Classification102/205, 102/343, 124/82
International ClassificationF42B4/22, F41B11/00
Cooperative ClassificationF42B4/22, F41B11/00, F41B11/57
European ClassificationF41B11/57, F42B4/22, F41B11/00