US 3893557 A
A system for moving a projectile from one deck level to a lower deck level having a pneumatic tube slightly larger in diameter than the diameter of the projectile to be lowered. A resilient boot is temporarily attached to one end of a projectile to be lowered and the resilient boot is engageable with the inner wall of the pneumatic tube to provide an air seal. A plurality of orifices are provided in the pneumatic tube to regulate the rate of fall of a projectile. An unloading device is provided at the bottom of the tube to facilitate removal of a projectile.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Frenk 1 PNEUMATIC STRIKEDOWN SYSTEM FOR PROJECTILES  Inventor: J. Luis Frenk, Washington, DC.
 Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy, Washington, DC.
 Filed: Mar. 29, 1974  Appl. No.: 456,082
 US. Cl. 193/32; 86/45; 243/23  Int. C1. 865G 11/20  Field of Search 193/2 R, 17, 21, 31, 32;
[ 51 July 8,1975
Primary ExaminerRichard A. Schacher Assistant Examiner-James L. Rowland Attorney, Agent, or Firm--R. S. Sciascia; Paul S. Collignon  ABSTRACT A system for moving a projectile from one deck level to a lower deck level having a pneumatic tube slightly larger in diameter than the diameter of the projectile to be lowered. A resilient boot is temporarily attached to one end of a projectile to be lowered and the resilient boot is engageable with the inner wall of the pneumatic tube to provide an air seal. A plurality of orifices are provided in the pneumatic tube to regulate the rate of fall of a projectile. An unloading device is provided at the bottom of the tube to facilitate re moval of a projectile.
1 Claim, 4 Drawing Figures 1 PNEUMATIC STRIKEDOWN SYSTEM FOR PROJECTILES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a device for moving a heavy projectile from one deck level to a lower deck level and more particularly to a pneumatic system for moving projectiles.
In various gun systems, such as those found aboard naval vessels, ammunition is stored in a magazine at one deck level and must be moved to another location for loading into a gun. When needed, such as during a battle, the ammunition must be moved rapidly and safely from one level to another. When the ammunition is at a higher level than the gun loading position, the force of gravity can be used, however, the rate of descent of the ammunition must be controlled so it will not be damaged.
Various heretofore-known devices have been used to regulate or control the rate of descent of items being moved by the force of gravity. For example, in US. Pat. No. 2,931,478, entitled, Hydraulic Arrestor For Inclined Ramp, which issued Apr. 5, 1960, to Louis Campbell, there is shown a device for retarding movement of large cylindrical articles. A ramp is provided for rolling the cylindrical article to a lower level and a shaft is arranged below and transversed to the ramp and provided with a plurality of stops that are engageable with the cylindrical article. Rotation of the shaft is controlled by pneumatic means.
In US. Pat. No. 3,464,529, entitled, Fruit Handling Device, which issued Sept. 2, i969, fruit is moved through a vertically-extending pipe which is provided with a plurality of pneumatically inflated bladders for retarding the fruit falling through the pipe.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a pneumatic strikedown system for lowering projectiles to a gun-loading position. A vertically-extending pipe is positioned between an upper and lower deck and is provided with a plurality of orifices that can bleed air when a projectile moves through the pipe. A resilient boot is temporarily positioned on one end and is engageable with the inner wall surface of the pipe to provide an air seal. As a pro jectile is dropped through the pipe, air is compressed in the pipe and slows the descent of the projectile. The size and number of orifices in the pipe determine the rate of descent of the projectile. Various unloading devices can be provided at the bottom of the pipe and can be arranged so that a projectile will not be dropped down an open pipe.
It is therefore a general object of the present invention to provide an improved device for rapidly moving projectile aboard a naval vessel.
Other objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side view of one embodiment of the invention showing a projectile in motion;
FIG. 2 is a side view showing a projectile being unloaded after having been lowered from an upper deck;
P16. 3 is a side view of another embodiment of the invention showing an unloading station; and
FIG. 4 is a side view of a third embodiment of the invention showing a self-powered unloading station.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, there is shown a tube 11 extending below a deck 12 and the inner diameter of tube 11 is slightly larger than the diameter of a projectile 13 that is to pass through tube 11. Prior to placing a projectile 13 into tube 1 l, a resilient boot 14 is attached to one end of projectile 13 and when projectile l3 enters tube 11, boot 14 engages the inner wall of tube 11 to provide an air seal. As projectile 13 drops through tube 14,'air is prevented from escaping around projectile l3 and the trapped air forms a pneumatic cushion which decelerates the projectile as it nears the bottom of the tube. One or more orifices 15 are provided in the sides of tube 11 in order to increase the rate of descent of projectile 13 by allowing air to escape as it is being compressed.
As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, a lower portion of tube 11 is pivotable about shaft 16 thereby permitting projectile 13 to be readily removed from tube 11. It can be seen, however, that when the lower portion of tube 11 is pivoted as shown in FIG. 2, tube 11 is opened and, in the event a projectile is dropped into tube 11, it would fall without retardation and could be damaged or cause injury to a person nearby. Accordingly, the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 would preferably be equipped with a safety arrangement that would prevent dropping a projectile into tube 11 when the bottom portion is open. By way of example, a door might be provided at the top of tube 11 and an interlock system provided which would prevent this door from opening when the lower portion of tube 11 is pivoted.
Another arrangement for unloading projectiles 13 from tube 11 is shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings. A drum 21 is rotatably mounted on shaft 17 and is provided with three cavities 18, 19, and 20 that are equally spaced from one another. Projectiles 13 can be loaded into cavity 18 that is aligned with tube 11 and when drum 21 is rotated about degrees, the projectile will slide-out of the cavity onto a rack 22. Thus one projectile 13 can be loaded into drum 21 and, simultaneously, a projectile 13 can be unloaded from drum 21 onto rack 22. In the event that drum 21 is between cavities when a projectile 13 is dropped into tube 1 1, there is no danger, as the falling projectile will still be retarded and will be supported by the outer peripheral surface of drum 21 until a cavity becomes aligned with tube 11 to receive the projectile.
A modification of the drum 21 is shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings. The centerlines of the cavities are offset a distance D from the center of rotation of drum 21, and when a projectile 13 is loaded into cavity 18, an unbalanced condition is created which rotates drum 21.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the 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.
1. A handling device for a projectile having a temporarily mounted resilient boot on one end comprising,
a vertically oriented tube having an inner diameter slightly larger than the diameter of said projectile tally oriented shaft offset a first fixed distance from the central axis of said vertically oriented tube, and at least three cavities in said drum each having its central axis ofl'set a fixed distance equal to said first fixed distance whereby said central axis of each said cavity is alignable with the central axis of said vertically oriented tube and whereby loading of a projectile through said vertically oriented tube into one of said cavities causes rotation of said drum.
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