US 3829126 A
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United States Patent [191 Lohr et al.
[ CHILD 'S VEHICLE SIMULATING JET AIRCRAFT  Inventors: Raymond J. Lohr; Calvin S. Cook; William K. Seiersen, all of Erie, Pa.
 Assignee: Louis Marx & Co., Inc.
 Field of Search 46/76 R, 76 A; 280/1.1 R, 280/l.12, 1.14, 1.21, 240, 242, 246; Dl2/l08, 112; D34/l5 AM, 15 HH 7 [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,309,855 7/1919 Johnson 280/240 1,624,627 ,4/1927 Schaeffer 280/l.12 1,801,526 4/1931 Neuman 280/240 2,698,756 l/l955 Berg 280/l.l4 X D150,755 8/1948 Cerasoli 280/121 UX Primary Examiner-Leo Friaglia Assistant Examiner-Randall A. Schrecengost Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Blum Moscovitz Friedman & Kaplan [111! 3,829,126 Aug. 13, 1974  ABSTRACT The vehicle has a body'shaped to simulate a jet aircraft including a pilots compartment of flight deck adjacent the front end. The rear end of the body is supported by struts on a pair of wheels, and the front end of the body is supported on a dirigible wheel which may be driven by oscillation of a joy stick" at the pilots compartment, the joy stick also being turnable to steer the vehicle. The joy stick projects upwardly through a slot in a cover plate secured on the upper surface of the body and covering an opening in the body, the slot increasing in width from a narrow center portion to both ends and defining the limits of movement of the upper end of the joy stick. A shield plate underlies the cover plate and is secured for movement with the joy stick so as to completely close the slot in all positions of the joystick. A control panel is secured on the upper end of the joy stick and has an easily accessible handle for a siren-type device of a novel nature which, when operated, provides a sound simulating the noise of a jet engine. The vehicle may be steered by the feet, engaging a pair of rods extending outwardly to both sides of the front wheel, or by hand by gripping'a pair of handles extending from r the control panel.
10 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures 1 CHILD'S VEHICLE SIMULATING JET AIRCRAFT FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to childs vehicles of the type which can be propelled by oscillating or reciprocating a handle or the like and, more particularly, to a novel vehicle of this type which simulates a jet aircraft including the sound of a jet engine.
There are known childrens vehicles which are operated by oscillating a propelling handle, the propelling handle being connected either to crank means or to one-way ratchet type drives for driving the rear wheels of the vehicle. Generally, the vehicle is steered by the feet. In such a vehicle, which is steered by the feet, there are generally no safety problems involved with the oscillating propelling handle. However, when it is attempted to use a single handle bothfor propelling the vehicle and for steering the vehicle, some problemsare encountered with respect to safety, particularly when the vehicle is to be used by small children. Thus, for example, care must be taken to prevent any possibility of the childs hands or fingers being injured by the operating mechanism.
It is furthermore highly desirable to provide selfpropelled childrens vehicles with noisemakers which can be operated by the child using the vehicle. Where the vehicle is propelled by hand, as by oscillating a drive or operating lever, there isa problem with respect to providing a noisemaker, such as asiren or the like, in a position for convenient actuation of the noisemaker by the child while propelling the vehicle.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordancewith the invention, a childs vehicle of the above-mentioned type, propelled by oscillation of an operating handle, is provided with a body simulating a jet aircraft including the fuselage, flight deck, wings, tail section and jet engines. The rear end of the body is supported on a pair of wheels, and the front end of the body is supported on a dirigible wheel which may be a dual wheel. This-front wheel is adjacent the flight deck, and is supported in a fork for angular displacement about a vertical axis. The axle of the front wheel extends outwardly on both sides so that a child may place his feet thereon to steer the vehicle. The child sits on the fuselage of the jet aircraft.
An operating handle, in the nature of a joy stick is oscillatably mounted, intermediate its ends, in the front wheel fork, and its lower end has associated therewith driving means for propelling the front wheel by oscillation of the joy stick. The joy stick extends upwardly through an opening in the body which is closed by a dome-shape cover plate having therein a slot which widens in both directions from a narrow center section at which the width of the slot is only slightly greater than that of the joy stick. In effect, the slot has the general form of two diametrically opposite equal sectors of a circle. The slot provides for reciprocation of the joy stick, to propel the vehicle, and irrespective of the angular orientation of the joy stick within a limited range of angular adjustment of the front wheel about the mentioned vertical axis.
As a feature of the invention, and to prevent any possible harm to a child using the vehicle as by getting a hand or finger caught in the slot, a dome-shaped shield is secured to the joy stick to underlie the cover plate, and closes the slotin all positions of the joy stick, so that it is not possible for a child to poke a finger into the slot.
As a feature of the invention, a control panel is secured to the upper end of the joy stick, and has a pair of bars or handles extending in opposite directions therefrom and serving as grips for operation of the joy stick and for steering of the vehicle. In addition, and as an important feature of the invention, this control panel includes an operating handle or crank for driving a novel noisemaker of the air siren type and which produces a sound resembling the whine of jet engines. By virtue of its location in the control handle, the siren is readily accessible to a child who is operating the joy I simulates a jetaircraft.
A further object of the invention is to provide such a vehicle including a relatively easily accessible noisemaker which, when operated, produces a sound resembling the whine of jet engines.
Still another object of the invention is to provide such a vehicle in which an operating slot, provided for oscillation of the operating member or handle, is completely closed atall times to prevent injury to a child.
Still other objects and advantages of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part be apparent from the specification.
The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combinations of elements, and arrangement of parts which Will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For afuller understanding of the invention, reference is had to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a childs vehicle embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view, taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. I, of the control panel;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view of the control panel taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a horizontal sectional view of the control panel taken on the line 4--4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a partial plan view illustrating the cover plate and shield plate in association with the joy stick;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken on the line 8--8 of FIG. 5. I
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring first to FIG. 1, a childs vehicle 10 embodying the invention is illustrated as simulating a jet aircraft having a fuselage 11, a flight deck 12, wings 13,
tail section 14, and a pair of jet engines 16. A strut 17 at the rear end of fuselage 11 serves to support the body of the vehicle on a pair of rear wheels 15. The fuselage 11, as well as the other parts associated therewith, are perfectly formed by molding from a plastic composition material, and the" fuselage 11, which serves as a seat for a child, preferably is hollow to decrease the weight of the vehicle 10.
The front end of the vehicle is supported, adjacent the flight deck or pilots compartment 12, by a fork 20, mounted in the body in a manner described more fully hereinafter, and rotatably supporting a front wheel 25 which may be a dual wheel, wheel 25 being rotatable on an axle 26 which is extended outwardly a substantial distance on both sides of fork 20 to provide a foot rest for a child sitting on the fuselage 11. Fork 20 is mounted in body 11 for limited angular displacement about a substantially vertical axis, so that front wheel is'a dirigible wheel as well as being a driven wheel of the vehicle. Front wheel 25 is driven by a joy stick which is oscillatably mounted, intermediate its ends, in fork 20. The drive of wheel 25 by oscillation of joy stick or operating handle 30 is effected by the lower end of the joy stick through a mechanism of the type shown and-described in co-pending Application Ser. No. 239,156, filed Mar. 29, 1972 and now abandoned, and assigned to the assignee of the present application. As shown in the mentioned co-pending application, the lower end of an operating member, such as the joy stick 30, is provided with a sector gear which, through other gearing, operates a pawl and ratchet arrangement for rotating a wheel, such as the wheel 25.
Joy stick 30 projects upwardly through an opening in the upper surface of fuselage 11 and through a slot 36 in a cover plate secured to fuselage 11 and generally closing this opening. A control panel, generally indicated at 40, is secured on the upper end of joy stick 30 to extend forwardly therefrom, and includes a body 41 from which there project, in opposite directions, two handles or grips 42 which may be gripped by a child not only for oscillating joy stick 30 to drive the vehicle but also to steer the vehicle. To prevent a child from injury by sticking a hand or a finger into the slot 36, a shield plate 45 is secured to joy stick 30 to closely underlie cover plate and close slot 36 in all positions of joy stick 30. The upper surface of body 41 of control panel has a substantially cylindrical recess 43 in which there is-disposed an operating handle or crank 51 for a siren 50, forming part of the control panel, and producing a sound simulating the whine of a jet engine.
Referring now to FIGS. 5, 6, 7 and 8, fork 20 comprises a lower cylindrical bearing member 21 having a circular wall 22 extending through a circular opening in fuselage 11 and having a radial lip 23 on which the fuselage is supported. Diametrically opposite ribs 24 on wall 22 engage in respective arcuate recesses in the opening in the fuselage, and limit angular movement of plate 21. Plate 21 is formed with a substantially square opening 27, and a pair of substantially parallel, elongated and flat fork legs 28 extend upwardly and downwardly from apair of opposite edges of opening 27. Front wheel 25 is supported between legs 28 on axle 26 adjacent the bottom ends of the legs, as best seen in FIG. 1. ln vertical alignment above plate 21, fuselage 11 is formed with a recess 18 whose substantially planar bottom wall 19 is formed with a circular opening 31 centered with respect to plate 21. An annular bearing 32 has a cylindrical wall engaged in opening 31, and a radial lip 33 underlying recess bottom wall 19. Upper bearing 32 is integral with the upper ends of the fork legs 28. A pivot 29 extends between legs 28 somewhat below upper bearing 32, and pivotally supports a hub 34 forming part of joy stick 30. Joy stick 30 further includes a substantially flat and elongated leg 37 extending downwardly from hub 34 adjacent one end of the latter and extending through the square opening 27 in lower bearing 21. Joy stick 30 further includes a cylindrical cross-section leg 38 extending from hub 34 diametrically opposite to the direction of lower leg 37. A circular upper plate 44 has a peripheral recess-fitting over the upper end of upper bearing 32 and engaging the upper surface of wall 19 of recess 18, plate 44 being secured to bearing 32, for angular movement therewith, by screws 48 threaded into threaded apertures in lugs 46 on upper bearing 32. Plate 44 is formed with an elongated rectangular aperture 47 having rounded ends, and arm 38 of joy stick 30 extends outwardly through this slot and through the slot 36 in cover plate 35. The joy stick is completed by an upper tubular member telescoped over arm 38 and secured in position by a two-part clamp 61 and a bolt 62. For a purpose to be described, the planar wall of recess 18 is formed with a pair of diametrically opposite arcuate slots 63 spaced outwardly from the cylindrical wall of upper bearing 32, and centered on a diameter comprising the center line of slot 47 of plate 44.
Slots 63 conformingly receive the ends of shield plate 45 which is arcuate both longitudinally and transversely, and has a circular aperture 49 substantially centrally thereof receiving tubular extension 60 of joy stick 30, so that shield plate 45 is movable with the joy stick. The arcuate extent transversely of the ends of shield plate 45 is somewhat less than the arcuate extent of arcuate slots 63, so as to allow for angular movement of upper bearing 32, its cover plate 44, joy stick 30 and fork 20.
As best seen in FIGS. 1, 6 and 7, the slot 36 in cover plate 35 widens, in both directions, from a relatively narrow central portion having a width only slightly greater than the diameter of joy stick member 60. In effect, the slot 30 comprises two diametrically opposite sectors of a circle, whose normally arcuate outer ends are flattened as best seen in FIG. 6. The slot 36 thus allows reciprocation of joy stick 30 in any one of its possible angular positions used in steering the vehicle. Cover plate 30 is fixedly secured to fuselage 11 by screws 39 threaded into a pair of diametrically opposite threaded apertures in the'base wall 19 of recess 18. Cover plate 35, which is upwardly convex to conform to shield plate 45, has a downwardly extending peripheral rim 64 engaged within the peripheral wall of recess 18, as best seen in H6. 5.
Body 41 of control panel 40 has the configuration illustrated more particularly in FlGS. 2, 3 and 4 as including a substantially flat bottom wall 66 bounded by an upstanding peripheral wall 67 from which the hollow handles 42 extend radially outwardly. Adjacent its rear end, body 41 is formed with a downwardly extending portion 68, which is generally cylindrical in crosssection, and which is formed with a bore 71 fitting over the upper end of tubular member 60 of joy stick 30, the body 41 being secured to member 60 by a transverse pin 72. Thus, control panel 40 is secured for angular displacement with joy stick 30. Adjacent its forward end, the bottom wall of body 41 of control panel 40 is formed with a cylindrical recess 65 for receiving a portion of siren 50. The upper periphery of the recess 65 is formed with a shoulder seating an annular plate 74 constituting an upper closure for recess 65 and serving to mount elements of siren 50. The recess 43 in the upper surface of control panel 40 is actually formed in a cover member 75 for the body 41 of the control panel, with the configuration of cover member 75 being most clearly illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. As therein illustrated, cover member 75 has a peripheral portion conforming to the upper peripheral edge of body 41 of the control panel and seating thereon. The recess 43 is formed substantially centrally of cover member 75, and cover member 75 has thickened or reinforced portions 76 which are diametrically opposite each other and aligned on a diameter extending transversely of the axis of the handles 42. The rear reinforced portions 76 is aligned with the depending portion 68 of control panel body 40.
Siren operating handle5l' includes a knob 52 rotatably mounted on the upper end of a bent shaft 53 having an axle portion 54 secured to rotate with a relatively large diameter gear 55 having a hub whose upper end 56 bears in a central aperture 77 in the bottom wall of recess 43, axle portion 54 extending throughthe hub of gear 55 and engaging in an aperture 78 in bottom wall 66 of body 41. Gear 55 meshes with a small diameter pinion 57 integral with an intermediate diameter gear 58, the gear member 57, 58 having stub axles 59 engaged in apertures in the bottom wall of recess 43 and in the annular plate 74. For a purpose to be described, the apertures 79, 79, in which the stub axles 59, 59 are engaged are slot-shaped in form.
Gear 58 is arranged to mesh with an axially elongated pinion 81 having stub axles 82 engaged in bearings 83 in the bottom wall of recess 43 and in the bottom wall of recess 65. The lower end of axially elongated pinion 81 is formed with a polygonal flange 84 which is seated in a mating polygonal'recess in the hub 86 of a siren rotor 80 which has an aperture through which the lower stub shaft 82 extends.
Siren rotor 80 has trapezoidal vanes 85 extending, in uniformly angularly spaced relation, upwardly from a lower wall 87 forming a circular extension of hub 86. Wall 87 is formed with two circular series of apertures 90, including an outer series of radially elongated apertures and an inner series of radially elongated apertures each aligned with a respective blade 85. A bowed wire spring 88 has its ends anchored in anchors 91 on the upper surface of annular plate 74, anchors 91 being located diametrically opposite each other and slightly upwardly of the periphery of gear 58. intermediate its ends, spring 88 bears on the periphery of a lower hub portion 92 of gear 58 to bias gear 58 out of engagement with axially elongated pinion 81, by biasing stub axles 59 toward those ends of slots 79 remote from pinion 81. However, when gear 55 is rotated by handle 51 in the direction indicated by the arrow 93 in FIG. 4, this forces pinion 57 to move in a direction in which stub axles 59 are engaged in those ends of slots 79 nearest to pinion 81, so that gear 58 meshes with axially elongated pinion 81. When siren handle 51 is released, spring 88 again biases gear 58 out of engagement with pin 81. The arrangement thus constitutes, in effect, a one-way drive for siren rotor 85.
When a child riding on vehicle 10 grasps knob 52 and rotates siren handle 51 clockwise, in the direction indicated by the arrow 93 in H0. 4, rotor 85 is likewise rotated clockwise. The cooperation of the apertures 90 in rotor wall 87 and the apertures :in bottom wall 73 of recess 65 produces a sound closely simulating the whine of jet engines. By virtue of its location in the recess 43 of the cover of control panel 51), the operating handle 51 is easily accessible to a child steering or propelling the vehicle through the medium of the handles 42. Thus, not only does the vehicle Ml resemble a jet aircraft in appearance but also a child operating the vehicle can produce a sound simulating the whine of jet engines, so that a very realistic effect is produced. Furthermore, due to the provision of the shield plate 45, a child operating the vehicle cannot under any circumstances get a finger caught between the operating handle 30and the edges of the slot 36in cover plate 35. Consequently, vehicle 10 has a very safe construction considered fromthe standpoint of safety of operation by a child using the vehicle.
It will thus be seen that the object set forth above, and those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above construction without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.
What is claimed is:
1. A childs vehicle comprising, in combination, a body shaped to simulate a jet aircraft including a fuselage having a simulatedpilots compartment and a tail section including simulated jet engines; a pair of rotatable rear support wheels supporting said body beneath said tail section; said body forming a seat adapted to be straddled by a child sitting thereon; a fork mounted in said body adjacent said simulated pilots compartment and having a lower end projecting downwardly from said body; wheel means rotatably mounted in the lower end of said fork; bearing means supporting said body on said wheel means and providing limited angular movement of said wheel means about a vertical axis; a steering and operating handle pivotally mounted, intermediate its ends, in said fork within said body for oscillation about a horizontal pivot extending across said fork, and having a lower arm connected to propulsion mechanism for said wheel means; said handle having an upper arm extending through an opening in the upper surface of said body; a cover plate secured to said body and covering said opening, said cover plate having a slot therein increasing in width from a narrow center portion to both ends and defining the limits of movement of said upper arm in steering said wheel means and operating the propulsion mechanism; a shield plate underlying and slidably engaging said cover plate and secured to said upper arm, said shield plate completely closing slot in all positions of said upper arm; a simulated control panel, including steering and operating handles, secured to the outer end of said upper arm; and a manually operable siren, producing a sound simulating the whine of a jet engine, mounted in said simulated control panel and having an exposed operating handle for ready access by a child steering and propelling said vehicle.
2. A childs vehicle, as claimed in claim 1, in which said simulated control panel includes a body portion formed with an elongated bore telescoping over the upper end of said upper arm, said control panel extending forwardly from said upper arm; the upper surface of said control panel being formed with a circular cross-section recess therein defined by an annular side wall and a circular lower wall; said operating handle being rotatably mounted substantially centrally in said lower wall, and the depth of said recess being at least equal to the height of said operating handle above said lower wall, whereby said operating handle is disposed substantially completely within said recess.
3. A childs vehicle, as claimed in claim 2, in which said simulated control panel includes a body having said body portion formed with said bore at one end thereof; said body including a lower wall extending fori wardly from said body portion below the upper end of said upper arm and bounded by a peripheral wall to define an upwardly opening body cavity; said simulated control panel including a cover seated on and closing the open upper end of said body cavity; said cover being formed with said circular cross-section recess; a substantially cylindrical siren housing depending from the bottom wall of said body; a siren rotor rotatable in said siren housing; and gearing in said body cavity connecting said operating handle to said siren rotor.
4. A childs vehicle, as claimed in claim 3, in which said siren housing comprises an imperforate side wall and a circular bottom wall; said siren housing bottom wall being formed with a circular series of radially elongated and substantially uniformly angularly spaced apertures therethrough; said siren rotor comprising a circular plate superposed on said siren housing bottom wall and being formed with a circular series of radially elongated substantially uniformly angularly spaced apertures therein each alignable with a respective aperture in said siren housing bottom wall; said siren rotor further including a plurality of radially extending uniformly spaced radial blades on the upper surface of said circular plate.
5. A childs vehicle, as claimed in claim 4, in which said gearing includes a drive gear secured to rotate with said siren operating handle, an intermediate pinion meshing with said drive gear, an intermediate gear fixed to rotate with said intermediate pinion, and a driven pinion secured to rotate with said rotor; said intermediate pinion and said intermediate gear having respective stub shafts engaged in slots in the bottom wall of said cover recess and in the lower wall of said body; and spring means engaged with one of said intermediate pinion and intermediate gear and normally biasing said intermediate pinion and said intermediate gear out of engagement with said driven pinion; said intermediate gear, responsive to operation of said driving gear by said operating handle in one direction of rotation, being engaged with said driven pinion in opposition to said spring.
6. A childs vehicle, as claimed in claim 4, in which said rotor blades are substantially trapezoidal increasing in height from their radial inner ends to their radially outer ends.
7. A childs vehicle, as claimed in claim 1, in which said opening in the upper surface of said vehicle body is a substantially circular opening defined by an inwardly extending annular wall terminating in a radially inwardly extending flange; said bearing means comprising an angular cross-section annular member constituting the upper element of said fork and having a radially outwardly extending flange underlying said radially inwardly extending flange; said radially outwardly extending flange being formed with a pair of diametrically opposite concentric circular grooves therein; said shield plate being relatively elongated and arcuate longitudinally thereof, with theends thereof extending through said slots.
8. A childs vehicle, as claimed in claim 7, in which said vehicle body has a wall forming a lower surface and formed with a circular opening defining a radially inwardly extending flange; said fork including a lower circular plate member integral therewith and having a radially outwardly extending flange underlying said last-named radially inwardly extending flange; said lastnamed radially inwardly extending flange having a pair of diametrically opposite elongated arcuate recesses therein and said plate-like member having a pair of diametrically opposite lugs extending radially outwardly therefrom and engaged in said recesses to limit angular displacement of said fork.
9. A childs vehicle, as claimed in claim 8, in which said last-mentioned plate member includes a circular upper wall having a rectangular slot therein; said lower arm of said steering and operating handle being oscillatable in said slot.
10. A childs vehicle, as claimed in claim 7, in which said cover plate is circular and seated on said radially inwardly extending flange and secured to said radially outwardly extending flange; said cover plate having a dome-shaped central portion formed with said slot.