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Publication numberUS3831315 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 27, 1974
Filing dateAug 10, 1973
Priority dateAug 10, 1973
Publication numberUS 3831315 A, US 3831315A, US-A-3831315, US3831315 A, US3831315A
InventorsGilbert B
Original AssigneeGilbert B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toy rocket launching system
US 3831315 A
Abstract
An elongated balloon is inflated and the open end is twisted and positioned over an upstanding peg fixedly secured to a flat launching platform. A lever, attached for pivotal movement to the platform, is pressed into engagement with an intermediate portion of one side of the balloon and held in this position. This presses the opposite side of the intermediate portion of the balloon against a back support which is secured to and extends upwardly from the platform to thereby capture and hold the balloon in an upright position. A plastic space capsule is positioned over the upper end of the held balloon and the lever is released. The pressurized air escapes from the open end of the balloon forcing it upwardly from the launching platform, ultimately the balloon deflates and separates from the launched capsule.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Gilbert Aug. 27, 1974 TOY ROCKET LAUNCHING SYSTEM Bertram C. Gilbert, 4535 Butler St., Fort Meade, Md. 20755 [22] Filed: Aug. 10, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 387,302

Inventor:

Primary Examiner-Antonio F. Guida Assistant Examiner-J. Q. Lever Attorney, Agent, or FirmWalter G. Finch, Esq.

[ ABSIRACT An elongated balloon is inflated and the open end is twisted and positioned over an upstanding peg fixedly secured to a flat launching platform. A lever, attached for pivotal movement to the platform, is pressed into engagement with an intermediate portion of one side of the balloon and held in this position. This presses the opposite side of the intermediate portion of the balloon against a back support which is secured to and extends upwardly from the platform to thereby capture and hold the balloon in an upright position. A plastic space capsule is positioned over the upper end of the held balloon and the lever is released. The pressurized air escapes from the open end of the balloon forcing it upwardly from the launching platform, ultimately the balloon deflates and separates from the launched capsule.

13 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures TOY ROCKET LAUNCHING SYSTEM This invention relates to a toy rocket launching device, and more particularly it pertains to an inflatable device which, when released, propels an object, such as a toy space capsule, into the air.

Many toys utilizing the reaction power principle are unsafe in design and complicated in operation. While such toys are designed for the enjoyment of children, it is usually necessary to require the presence of an adult to safely operate the toy device. Additionally, the complexity of such toys require the dexterity and abilities of an adult to operate.

It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide a reaction powered toy, such as a rocket launcher,

which is safe for operation by a child.

Another object of this invention is to provide a reaction powered toy, such as a rocket launcher, which is uncomplicated in structure and design and inexpensive to make.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a reaction powered toy, such as a rocket launcher, which is sufficiently simple in operation to permit full operation thereof by a child.

A further object of this invention is to provide an educational toy rocket launching device which in operation teaches basic principles of rocket launching, space vehicle separation and return of launched space capsule.

Other objects and attendant advantages of this invention will become more readily apparent and understood from the detailed specification and accompanging drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a pictoral view showing a platform supported launching device for launching and propelling 21 toy space capsule in accordance with principles of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing a releasable support for a launching balloon;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1 showing elements of a latching mechanism; and

FIG. 4 is a partial plan view showing the latching mechanism of FIG. 3.

Referring now to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1, a toy rocket launching device 10. The device includes a launching pad or support platform 12 which supports an L-shaped back support 14. One leg of the back support 14 is fastened to the platform 12 while the other leg extends perpendicularly from the platform. A lower, front support 16 is secured to the platform 12 and is spaced from the back support a distance sufficient to receive an inflated, elongated balloon 18. A stop peg 20 is secured to and extends perpendicularly from the platform 12 in the space between the frontand back supports 16 and 14.

A holding lever 22 is attached to a bracket 24 for pivotal movement relative thereto while the bracket is fixedly secured to the platform 12. The free end of the lever 22 is formed with an arcuately shaped clasp 26 which is contoured to be positioned partially about an not rupture the engaged portion of the balloon. An open loop 30 is formed at an intermediate section of the lever 22 and has a cord 32 tie therethrough. The cord 32 is passed through an eyelet 34 which is secured to the platform 12 and through a cord latching device 36 shown generally in FIG. 1 and specifically in FIGS. 3 and 4.

The latching device 36 includes a preformed metal member 38 which is fastened to the platform 12. One end of the member is formed with side wall and overhang portions which receive and support a pivot pin 40. A coiled spring 42 is positioned about the pin which also provides pivotal support for one end of a clamp bar 44. The opposite end of the clamp bar 44 is formed with a shoulder 46 which is positionable beneath an inwardly biased latch 48 formed at the other end of the member 38. A clamping block 50 is positioned between the member 38 and the clamp bar 44 along an intermediate portion thereof. The cord 32 is positionable between the clamp bar 44 and the clamping block 50 and is held in this position when the shoulder 46 is positioned beneath the latch 48.

In use, the balloon 18 is inflated and the open end is twisted but not tied. The lower end of the inflated balloon 18 is then positioned between the back and front supports 14 and 16 with the twisted, untied end pressed onto the top of the stop peg 20 as shown in FIG. 2. With the balloon 18 held manually in this position, the cord 32 is pulled to position, the clasp 26 into firm engagement with the balloon. The cord 32 is then pulled taut and placed between the clamp bar 44 and the clamping block 50. The clamp bar 44 is then positioned as shown in FIG. 3 so that the shoulder 46 is held by the latch 48. This clamps the cord 32 in the taut condition and holds the clasp 36 in firm engagement with the balloon 18 to thereby preclude the balloon from releasing.

As shown in FIG. 1, a plastic space capsule 52, having a cup-shaped opening, is positioned over the upper free end of the inflated balloon 18. The child then presses the latch 48 to release the clamping bar 44. Due to the biasing action of the coiled spring 42, the clamping bar 44 is pivoted upwardly to release the cord 32. As the cord 32 is released, the confined pressure within the balloon 18 attempts to escape and exerts pressure on the twisted end. This reaction powered pressure causes the end to untwist and lift the ballon 18 from the platform 12 and from between the back and front supports 14 and 16.

The launched balloon 18, with the space capsule 52, follows a trajectory, for example, as shown by the dotted line 54. Eventually the reactive pressure of the balloon l8 expires and the balloon is deflated. As the expiration of the reactive pressure begins to occur, the space capsule 52 departs from the substantially deflated balloon 18 thus giving the appearance of a capsule launching and a separation of launching rocket and launched capsule.

The lever 22 is sufficiently movable to grasp different sizes of balloons as well as balloons of the same size which are inflated to different sizes.

The cord latching device 36 could be designed to provide count down facilities which release the cord 32 after a timed count down. Such a count down facility could include dials and clocks on a panel located distantly from the launching platform 12.

The platform 12 can be provided with rubber retainer legs (not shown) to hold the device 10 in position on the floor. Or the platform 12 could be formed with holes (not shown) to receive pegs therethrough for holding the platform to a fixed surface such as the ground.

The device 10 could be utilized as a game wherein the capsule 52 is aimed toward various types of targets with different children taking turns.

In addition, the toy rocket launching device 10 is educational because it provides for children a safe dem onstration of rocket launching, space vehicle separation and return of the-space capsule.

Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

What is claimed is:

l. A toy rocket launching device, comprising:

a support member;

an inflatable element;

means fixedly secured to said support member for engaging at least a portion of said element when in the inflated condition;

means secured movably to said support and positionable in engagement with another portion of said element in the inflated condition for grasping the inflatable element when in the inflated condition between the fixed engaging means and the movable means;

stop means extending from said support member and located between said fixed means and said movable means for pressing against said inflatable element in the inflated grasped condition to retain inflating pressure within said element; and,

means for releasably latching said movable means in the grasping position whereby said inflatable element is held in the grasped position and is releasable to lift from the support member under escaping reactive pressure contained within said inflatable element.

2. A toy rocket launching device as recited in claim 1, and additionally a light weight toy capsule positionable unsecuredly on top of said inflatable element when in the inflated condition for lift off therewith and separation therefrom.

3. A toy rocket launching device as recited in claim 1 and additionally a friction lining material attached to the surfaces of said fixed and movable means where said fixed and movable means are positioned to grasp said inflatable element.

4. A toy rocket launching device as recited in claim 1, wherein said inflatable element is an elongated balloon having a single opening.

5. A toy rocket launching device as recited in claim 1, wherein said fixed means includes an L-shaped member having one leg thereof secured fixedly to said support member and the other leg extending perpendicularly therefrom with said other leg engaging and supporting a portion of said inflatable element.

6. A toy rocket launching device as recited in claim 1, wherein said movable means includes a lever having one end thereof mounted for pivotal movement to said support member and a clasp formed at the other end thereof, said clasp contoured to be partially positionable about a portion of said inflatable member.

7. A toy rocket launching device as recited in claim 1, wherein said latching means includes a cord having a portion thereof attached to said movable means, means for clamping another portion of said cord so that when said cord is taut after said movable means is in grasping position about said inflatable element said cord is held taut, and means for selectively releasing said clamping means to permit the movable means to be moved away from said inflatable element as said element moves under the reactive pressure escaping therefrom.

8. A toy rocket launching device, comprising:

a support member;

an inflatable element;

means fixedly secured to said support member for engaging at least a portion of said element when in the inflated condition;

means secured movably to said support and positionable in engagement with another portion of said element in the inflated condition for grasping the inflatable element when in the inflated condition between the fixed engaging means and the movable means; and,

means for releasably latching said movable means in the grasping position, said latching means including a cord having a portion thereof attached to said movable means, means for clamping another portion of said cord so that when said cord is taut after said movable means is in grasping position about said inflatable element said cord is held taut, and means for selectively releasing said clamping means to permit the movable means to be moved away from said inflatable element as said element moves under the reactive pressure escaping therefrom.

9. A toy rocket launching device as recited in claim 8, and additionally a stop means extending from said support member and located between said fixed means and said movable means for pressing against said inflatable element in the inflated grasped condition to retain inflating pressure within said element.

10. A toy rocket launching device as recited in claim 8, and additionally a lightweight toy capsule positionable unsecuredly on top of said inflatable element when is the inflated condition for lift off therewith and separation therefrom.

11. A toy rocket launching device as recited in claim 8, and additionally a friction lining material attached to the surfaces of said fixed and movable means where said fixed and movable means are positioned to grasp said inflatable element.

12. A toy rocket launching device as recited in claim 8, wherein said movable means includes a lever having one end thereof mounted for pivotal movement to said support member and a clasp formed at the other end thereof, said clasp contoured to be partially positionable about a portion of said inflatable member.

13. A toy rocket launching device as recited in claim 8, wherein said inflatable element is an elongated balloon having a single opening.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2879624 *Mar 27, 1956Mar 31, 1959Raymond J NovotnyToy jet missile
US3010444 *Apr 10, 1959Nov 28, 1961Finnigan Joseph CToy simulating a ballistic missile
US3229418 *Jan 21, 1964Jan 18, 1966Nicholas DragichInflated toy rocket assembly
US3232001 *Jan 10, 1963Feb 1, 1966Victor StanzelJet propelled model vehicle
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5338242 *Oct 19, 1993Aug 16, 1994Cheng Peter S CDevice for scattering a multitude of objects and method of making same
US8858350 *May 14, 2013Oct 14, 2014John Stanley ChristoffelInflatable rocket assembly
US20130310188 *May 14, 2013Nov 21, 2013John Stanley ChristoffelInflatable Rocket Assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/187, 446/231
International ClassificationA63H27/00, A63H27/14
Cooperative ClassificationA63H27/14
European ClassificationA63H27/14