US 3880466 A
In a vehicular seating unit having arm rest means between adjacent seats, each intermediate arm rest means is constructed to be lifted slightly for disengagement from a holding member and, additionally, designed to be forwardly pivotable about a pin connection to the lower end of a leg support section such that the arm rest means will then repose in a generally vertical position having a resulting upper extremity that is flush with, or below, the level of the adjacent seating surfaces.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Brennan 1 1 Apr. 29, 1975  FORWARD-FOLDING ARM REST FOR 3169772 8/1966 Brunskole 297/417 X VEHKCULAR SEATING 3351.377 11/1967 Anderson l. 297/417 X  Inventor: Edward J. Brennan, Litchfield FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Conn. 951194 3/1939 Sweden l. 297/417 .23 395( 1' H2  Assignee: Universal ()il Products Company. 7% i] H 3 L mud kingdom 97/417 DOS Plumes Primary EvumiiwrPaul R. Gilliam 122] Filed: June 14, 1973 Arm/vie}; Age/1!, or FirmJames R. HOZIISOIL Jr.; pp NO: 370,200 Philip T. Liggett; William H. Page. 11
 ABSTRACT 152 297/417 In a vehicular seating unit having arm rest means be- 151] Cl A47c 7/54; 1/06 tween adjacent seats each intermediate arm rest  Field of Search 297/40, 114 X 416 447 I b d h], f
AF/4T) means is constructt. to e ite sig t or isengagement from a holding member and, additionally, designed to be forwardly pivotable about a pin eon- 156] H References H nection to the lower end of a leg support section such UNI] ED STATES PA TEN 15 that the arm rest means will then repose in a generally 2.316484 4/1943 Maurcr 7. 297/40 vertical position having a resulting upper extremity 1 .3 10/1946 g s 3 7/417 X that is flush with or below the level of the adjacent 2,592.702 4/1952 Sprungm 297/417 Seating surfuces 2,955 648 10/1961) Krajewski 297/417 1103x130 9/1963 Pitts et a1 297/417 x 5 l im 3 Drawing Figures FORWARD-FOLDING ARM REST FOR VEHICULAR SEATING,
This invention relates to a forward-folding arm rest for vehicle seating. More particularly. the invention is directed to the support and attachment of a movable arm rest such that it can be merely lifted a slight amount to be disengaged and then rotated forwardly to be out of the way of the scat occupants.
The advantage of having folding or removable arm rest means for aircraft or other vehicular seating is that there can be added living space between adjacent seats and. in particular. there can be added space for a passenger when an adjacent seat is unoccupied. Ho\vever. entirely removable arm rests present a problem in that they are difficult for the average person to pull out and to rcinsert. They are also easily scattered about the airplane or other carrier and provide problems for maintenance crews.
Prior types of constructions have also provided a fold-up" arm rest arrangement but. generally. these have been found to provide hard surfaces or protrusions in the shoulder area that are undesirable. Also. if one seat back is reclined relative to an adjacent seat back. the folded-up arm will be too far ahead or too far behind relative to the other back. In still other instances. there have been constructions which permit the arm rest means to be lowered. while staying in a generally horizontal position. so as to come to rest between seating cushions. However. it is obvious that such types ofarrangements require a large gap or spacing between bottom seat cushions to allow for the lowering of the arm rest.
It is thus a principal object of the present invention to provide a forward-folding arm rest construction where the arm rest means moves forwardly through an approximate 90 turn and comes to rest in generally vertical. out-of-the-way, position.
It is also an object of the invention to provide an operation where the arm rest means are not entirely unplugged or removed from the seating unit such that they can be scattered about the aircraft.
It may be considered a further object of this invention to provide a movable arm rest arrangement where there is no need to have large gaps between the seat backs or between seating cushions and there is merely a narrow slot required between seat cushions.
In a broad aspect the present invention provides that in connection with arm rest means on single seat units or with a multiple placement vehicular seating unit making use of an integrated support frame and having generally horizontal arm rest means provided between the adjacent seats of the unit. there can be the im' proved construction permitting the folding of such arm rest means forwardly and out of a between-the-seat positioning. which comprises, having a generally support vertical section extend downwardly from a rearward portion ofthe arm rest means to pivotally connect with a pin means on the seat support framing. providing a vertically slotted opening in said supporting section at the pivot pin connection to permit a slight raising and lowering thereof. further providing a notch means on said support section and a holding member on said seat support framing to engage with said notch means. whereby there is an engagement therebetween except when said vertical supporting section with said arm means is lifted out of the engagement and there is a forward pivoting of the combination to cause the arm means to hang in front of such seat support framing.
In many multiple seat arrangements. there is continuity of framing between adjacent portions of the multiple seat unit and it is therefore desirable that the arm rest construction be such that it is open and unobstructed below the upper horizontal arm rest section such that upon the forward 90 rotation there will be no portion of the arm rest means to contact transverse seat support framing. However. there may be a specific portion of the arm rest means which is designed and arranged to rest upon an upper transverse seat framing member which extends between adjacent seating portions and thereby provide a stop or limiting member for the forward and downward movement of the arm rest section as it is rotated out of the way. In the event that the seating unit has the supporting frame means designed such that there is no transverse member along the front upper portion thereof, generally about the level upon which the seating cushion rests. then other stop means may be provided from the seat support framing in order to prevent the downward movement of the arm rest means beyond a predetermined desired position. Normally, the arm rest means will be rotated forwardly and downwardly into a position where the back portion of the arm rest means will come to rest substantially level with the top of the cushions of the adjacent seats.
Reference to the accompanying drawing and the following descriptions thereof will serve to illustrate the present improved form of arm rest means and the arrangement for rotating such means forwardly into an out-of-the-way position.
FIG. I of the drawing is a diagrammatic sectional elevational view indicating the present rotatable arm rest means in the raised or normal position.
FIG. 2 of the drawing illustrates in a sectional elevational view how the arm rest means may be rotated forwardly into a generally vertical position and out of the way with respect to adjacent seats.
FIG. 3 of the drawing is an enlarged diagrammatic view illustrating one form of holding arrangement between the arm rest support leg and seat support framing. as well as means for effecting disengagement.
Referring now particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawing. there is illustrated an arm rest means 1 in eon nection with a vehicle seat, generally indicated as 2, and in turn having a lower seat support framing portion 3, a movable back portion 4, and a seat cushion 5. Specifically. the seat support frame 3 for the present embodiment has spaced front leg members 6 and rear leg members 7 which carry downwardly to be attached to the vehicle flooring at points 8 and 9, respectively. There is also indicated a continuous horizontal framing member 10 at the front upper portion of the support framing as well as an upper and rearward framing member II, which would extend between individual seats of a multiple seat unit. Additionally. there will be front-torear framing members. such as 12, at the top of the seat framing. members 13 along the lower portion of the seat framing, and diagonal framing 14. There is also in dicated a pan member 15 which is utilized to extend across the upper seat support framing members of each seat in order to support the seat cushion 5 of each individual seat section.
The arm rest member 1 will have a generally horizontal arm resting section 16 and a generally vertical or up right support section 17 which in turn will pivotally connect to and engage with the seat support framing. As best shown in the enlarged scale in FIG. 3 of the drawing, the lower portion of supporting leg 17 will have a slot at 18 to engage a bolt or pin member 1) which in turn engages a supporting lug 20 from framing member 12 as a part of the seat support framing 3. Additionally, there is shown a notched or recessed portion 21 within supporting member 17 which is positioned to rest over and become engaged with a pin member 22 extending directly from the side portion of framing member 12. This slot or recess 21 when positioned downwardly over pin 22 will, of course, preclude any forward or backward movement for the arm rest member 1 with respect to the seating unit. On the other hand, when the arm rest means 1, along with supporting leg 17, is lifted sufficiently to have notch 21 clear the pin member 22 then the entire arm rest means 1 will be free to rotate forwardly around the pin means 19. The slot 18 will, of course, be sufficiently long to permit a lifting of leg 17 and arm rest means 1 to a distance which will permit notch means 21 to clear pin 22.
Upon the forward rotation of the arm rest means 1 and supporting leg 17 then the lower end of the latter will move forwardly into the dotted position shown in FIG. 3. Also as shown in FIG. 2, the arm rest means 1 and the supporting member 17 can rotate forwardly approximately 90 such that the normally horizontal portion 16 will be in a substantially vertical position forward of the vehicle seating means but. of course. in each instance, between passengers and the adjacent sections of a seating unit. It may be further noted in connection with the embodiment illustrated, that the upper and forward curved portion 171! of leg support member 17 will come to rest on the transverse framing member 10 which serves as a limit or stop to the forward and downward movement of the entire arm rest section 1.
It may be further noted that in connection with a preferred design and arrangement that the dimensioning of the upper arm rest section 16 with respect to the length of supporting member 17 and the position of the pivot point at pin means 19, and the like. will provide that the rearward end portion of the arm rest means will be generally below the upper front edge portion of the seat cushion means after the arm rest means has been moved forward and downward to the out-of-the-way position. In those instances where the seat framing for the multiple seat unit is such that there is no continuous framing member, such as 10, extending between adjacent seating sections, then there may be suitable stop means from the side of the seat support framing which will engage a frontal edge portion of supporting leg 17 to form a stop member for forward movement. Alternatively, there may be a stop means provided along the lower portion of the seat framing. such as from leg member 6, to engage a lower portion of the arm rest section 16 whereby there is a suitable stop for the downward movement of the arm rest means. It may also be noted that if there is no continuous member between seating sections then the portion under arm rest section 16 may have additional leg support means or paneling in the manner of partitioning between adjacent seats. However, in most instances, it has been found that seat support framing will have one or more continuous members extending laterally between adjacent portions of the seating unit along the upper seating level thereof and it will be necessary to have a forward unobstructed construction for the arm rest means to permit the full rotation thereof between seating sections.
In order to lift an arm rest means from the lower portion, such as in FIG. 2, back into the raised and usuable position, such as shown in FIG. 1, it is merely necessary to rotate the entire arm rest means 1 upwardly and backwardly into the position of FIG. 1, except that as a final adjustment it may be necessary to raise the en tire arm rest means a slight amount and then lower it to insure that the recess means 21 will be lifted over pin means 22 to be then lowered thereover and make a tight engagement which will preclude either forward or backward movement of the arm rest means 1.
It is to be realized that other shapes and designs may be embodied in providing movable arm rest means 1, as well as various shapes and designs effected for the leg supporting means 17. It is also within the scope of the present invention to provide different forms of notches or recessing means such as in 21 to engage various types of holding members such as 22 which will connect to the seat framing means. In some instances, it may be desirable to add spring biasing or the like to insure the retention of the entire arm rest means down and around, or over, a suitable engagement means; however, typically the arm rest means together with a supporting leg member will have sufficient weight to retain itself in a locked or engaged position with respect to a recess and a suitable holding member. The upper portion of the arm rest means 1 may also have varying shapes or designs and it is not intended to limit the invention to any one form. Normally, a major portion of the arm rest means will be suitably padded to be comfortable for seat occupants and embody any of the conventional shapes and configurations.
Also, as may be desired. the frontal portion of the arm rest means may be designed and constructed to have a passenger control unit with plug-in" means for earphones, a seat back recline button, etc., at 23, as well as an ashtray means 24. Thus, where the seat adjustment means and/or entertainment plug-in means may be provided in the arm rest structure, then suitable flexible cables or wiring may carry through the interior of the horizontal portion of arm section 16 and then th'rough channel means 25 or a hollow portion of the leg support 17 so as to exit at the lower end portion of the support means 17 and carry to any desired location. Normally the cables and/or wiring, such as 26 in FIG. 3, will be in turn encased within suitable flexible tubing that can carry downwardly through a channel in the relatively thin hollow portion of support leg member 17 and still be undisturbed by 90 rotational movement of leg member 17 when it is lowered as well as raised in usage, particularly where movement is minimal by having the exit point near the pivot point at 19.
It appears that the folding arm system of the present invention is generally desired for multiple placement units. however, the same construction can well be used on a single seat unit and be of advantage for sliding sidewardly into, or outwardly from, the individual seat. Thus. the improved construction need not be limited to multiple side-by-side seating units.
I claim as my invention:
1. In a passenger vehicle seating unit making use of an integrated support frame and having generally horizontal arm rest means and adapted to be positioned between adjacent seats in a multiple seat unit the im proved construction permitting the folding of such arm rest means forwardly and out of the way which comprises. having a generally vertical supporting section extend downwardly from a rearward portion of the arm rest means to a single pivotal connection with a pin means connecting to the seat support framing below the seat level. providing a vertically slotted opening in said supporting section at the pivot pin connection to permit a slight raising and lowering thereof further providing a separate notch and pin engagement between the lower portion of said supporting section and said seat support framing, whereby there is an engagement therebetween except when said supporting sec tion together with said arm means is lifted out of the engagement and there is a forward pivoting of the combination through about 90 to hang in front of such seat support framing in such position that the back portion of said arm rest means is located substantially level with the top of adjacent seats.
2. The seating unit of claim I further characterized in that the arm rest means has a generally horizontal upper arm rest section extending forwardly from said supporting section and there is an unobstructed forward portion from the latter whereby there can be the rotation of said upper arm rest section over and around any front seat support framing which may extend between adjacent sections of the seating unit.
3. The seating unit of claim 1 further characterized in that a notch means is provided on said supporting section in the form of an open-ended slot and a pin-like member extends from a side portion of said seat support framing to be engageable with said notch means.
4. The seating unit of claim 1 further characterized in that channel means extend through the interior of said arm rest means, including said vertical supporting section, to thereby accommodate cable and wiring from passenger control means mounted on said arm rest means, and said channel means exit from the lower portion of said support section close to said pivot pin means such that there is only a small movement of Cable and wiring means when the arm rest means is rotated in either direction.
5. The seating unit of claim 1 further characterized in that the seating unit has multiple placements and at least the intermediate arm rest means between adjacent seats of the unit are movable to lift up and pivot forwardly to hang in front of the seat support framing.
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