Title:
Shade structure for a small aircraft
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is an enclosure for sheltering a small aircraft, and provides an arcuate roof frame supported by a base frame. The roof frame has a fixed roof portion engaging a movable roof portion and a hydraulic system for adjusting the position of the movable roof. The fixed and movable roof portions are mutually engaged by a hinge system enabling vertical arcuate motion of the movable roof portion relative to the fixed roof portion. A fabric or thin sheet material cover is mounted over the fixed and the movable roofs so as to protect an aircraft stored within the shelter.



Inventors:
Ross, James M. (Anaheim Hills, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/905765
Publication Date:
12/20/2001
Filing Date:
07/13/2001
Assignee:
ROSS JAMES M.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/64, 135/87, 135/115, 135/121
International Classes:
E04H6/44; (IPC1-7): E04B1/346
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN-SHUE, ALVIN CONSTANTINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENT LAW & VENTURE GROUP (1668 E. Verde Blvd., San Tan Valley, AZ, 85140, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An aircraft sheltering apparatus comprising: an arcuate roof frame comprising spaced apart arcuate roof members joined by transverse roof beams and covered by a roof skin, the arcuate roof frame supported by a supporting frame above a base frame adapted for resting on a supporting surface; the arcuate roof frame providing a fixed roof portion pivotally engaging a movable roof portion; a force producing means engaged between the fixed and movable roof portions for adjusting, through a vertical arc, the movable roof portion between a lowered position adapted for enclosing an aircraft within the apparatus, and a raised position adapted for providing egress to the aircraft.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the fixed roof portion and the movable roof portion are mutually engaged by a sliding and hinging means enabled for directing swinging motion of the movable roof portion relative to the fixed roof portion.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the force producing means is a hydraulically operated system enabled for linear extension and retraction and pivotally mounted at one end thereof to the fixed roof portion, and pivotally mounted at another end thereof to the movable roof portion.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the transverse roof beams are of linear in shape.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the transverse roof beams are bowed in shape.

6. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the sliding and hinging means comprises a pair of elongated links, each of the links providing a slot having a first slot leg aligned with a longitudinal axis of the elongated link, and a second slot leg extending at an angle to the first slot leg, such that the movable roof portion is adapted to move with three distinct sequential motions; away and up, linearly away, and rotational, all relative to the fixed roof portion.

Description:

[0001] The present application is a continuation in part of pending application Ser. No. 09/595,602, filed on Jun. 15, 2000.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] This invention relates generally to light weight and portable shelters and more particularly to an enclosure for sheltering a small aircraft.

[0004] 2. Description of Related Art

[0005] The following art defines the present state of this field:

[0006] Ahlborn, U.S. D75,199 relates to the ornamental design for an airplane hanger.

[0007] Clark, U.S. D138,436 relates to the ornamental design for an implement shed.

[0008] Goodrich, U.S. Pat. No. 1,350,493 describes a knock down building, including joists, supports, and a connecting member for securing the supports to the joists comprising a body portion, wings extending along the longitudinal edges of the body portion and bent at right angles thereto to form a socket for the reception of the end of a joist and spaced apart wings at one end of the body portion bent at right angles thereto and spaced from the first mentioned wings and lying in a plane at right angles to the planes of said first wings and forming a socket for the reception of the end of the supports.

[0009] Merritt, U.S. Pat. No. 2,532,456 describes an in door construction, a door member, an inwardly projecting frame carried by said door member, means for pivotally mounting the inner end of said frame for swinging movement about a horizontal axis, and arcuate extension movably bodily with said door member and forming a component part thereof, a vertically disposed cantilever-type supporting post structure having one end thereof secured to a stationary foundation and disposed immediately adjacent to said door member extension in concentric relation about the axis of turning movement of said door member, an arcuate guide formed by said post structure, antifriction devices carried by said extension and engageable in the guide of said post structure, and counterbalancing means for said member carried by said extension.

[0010] McKee et al., U.S. Pat. No. 2,610,366 describes a building having a wall formed substantially horizontally disposed cylinder, said wall having an opening to form a doorway therein, a door for closing said opening, said door also being formed as a portion of a cylinder and being located within said building and behind said wall, said door being sufficiently rigid to be self-supporting, a single horizontal pivot to the rear of said door and adjacent each end thereof, supports for said pivots, a pair of arms attached to the door at each end thereof and rotatably mounted on the adjacent pivot whereby said door can be swung into an overhead position about an axis established by said pivots, sealing means on the peripheral edges of the front face of said door and cooperating curved jambs bordering said doorway opening, the vertically extending peripheral edges of said door and said sealing means conforming in curvature to the curvature of the jambs to adapt the door to be brought into sealing engagement with said jambs when the door is in its lowermost position, one arm of each pair being shorter than the other whereby said pivots are eccentrically located relative to the axis of curvature of said doorjamb so as to break the bond between said sealing means and said jamb upon initial upward movement of the door from closed position.

[0011] McKee et al., U.S. Pat. No. 2,664,597 describes a counterbalanced door for a building having a wall formed substantially as a portion of a substantially horizontally disposed cylinder, and wherein the wall has an opening to form a doorway therein, said door being located within the building and behind said wall, said door being sufficiently rigid to be self-supporting and having rearwardly extending A-shaped supporting arms at opposite ends thereof, said arms having horizontal pivot points adjacent their apices whereby said door can be swung into an overhead open position about an axis established by said pivot points, a pair of counterweights, a cable attached to each counter weight, and overhead pulley for each cable, and means attaching each cable to one of said arms intermediate its apex and said door, said means being constructed so that the total weight of the counterweights multiplied by their effective lever arm about said pivotal axis is equal to the total weight of the door times its effective lever arm about said pivotal axis for all positions of the door.

[0012] Younger, U.S. Pat. No. 2,837,780 describes an airplane hangar having a floor level and a door opening above said floor level, a door panel adapted to register with said opening when said panel is closed, a compartment below said floor level for receiving said panel when the latter is open, said door panel being curved along its vertical extent to a circular arc, said panel being provided with a rigid extension extending into said compartment when said panel is closed, a pair of rollers in said compartment and respectively engaging opposite side of said extension for providing a couple resisting the couple due to the action of gravity on said panel when said panel is closed, means for swinging said panel through its circular arc about the center of curvature of said panel between said open and closed positions with said rollers in rolling engagement with said panel at all times.

[0013] Ray, U.S. Pat. No. 3,766,691 describes a swimming pool enclosure comprising a plurality of arched supporting beams which extend from ground level up over an area to be enclosed, and a series of panel members arranged between each adjacent pair of supporting beams and hinged to one another for movement along such beams between extended enclosing positions and retracted open positions, the panels in the latter positions being folded and stacked relative to one another.

[0014] Pierce, U.S. Pat. No. 3,818,652 describes a portable apparatus for shelter and protection of small airplanes which may be utilized with standardized mooring ring arrays existing at small craft mooring areas of airports. The apparatus is of inexpensive, light-weight pre-fabricated design such that it is capable of rapid assembly and disassembly, ease of tranport, yet strudy weather-resistant stability; the components of the pre-fabricated structure are constructed along essentially planar design with rectangular/parallel bracing, and in assembled form they constitute a main housing for receiving the fuselage of the airplane and oppositely extending wind coverage nacelles extending on each side of the main housing in position to receive the wings of the airplane. The structure is readily adaptable to receive any of the many types of small aircraft or it may be converted with aid of special accessory structure to receive the larger twin engine aircraft.

[0015] Brown, U.S. Pat. No. 4,014,133 describes a greenhouse structure for growing vegetables, flowers, and like plants inside under good conditions particularly in the fall, winter, and early spring portions of the year includes a building structure having a rear wall and opposite end walls and a roof defining an enclosed space having an open front side and a closure member movable between an open position and a closed position with the closure member being adapted to close the open front side of the building structure. Power means are operatively connected to the closure member for moving same between the open position and the closed position in response to temperature measurement within the building structure for controlling some growing conditions of the plants.

[0016] Kumode, U.S. Pat. No. 4,175,361 describes an openable canopy housing having a series of movable, telescoping transparent arched panels which form the combination roof and sides. Part of the roof of the housing is formed by a horizontal beam which runs the length of the structure. The transparent panels can be selectively opened or closed to provide a structure which can be used for indoor as well as outdoor use.

[0017] Milinic, U.S. Pat. No. 4,280,306 describes a convertible tennis-court enclosure, comprising a plurality of parallel supporting beams and two closure elements between two of the supporting beams to be extended simultaneously along the supporting beams, each element including a series of purlins arranged to slide on the supporting beams and connected in two's by a portion of a canvas fixed to the purlins, of which the length is equal to half that of the beams.

[0018] Kyner, Jr., U.S. Pat. No. 4,542,759 describes a geodesic type shelter having the shape of a semi-ellipsoid of revolution having a large opening in one side and being constructed of elements which are all removably connected together so that it is particularly useful as a portable airplane hangar.

[0019] Taylor, U.S. Pat. No. 5,507,121 describes a garage generally comprises a pair of side walls that are vertical, parallel and semi-circular, and a peripheral wall spanning between the periphery of the side walls to form an enclosure. The peripheral wall includes a front door and a rear door. Front and rear door support paths are located on the inside of each side wall near the wall's peripheral edge. Each door path is parallel, semi-circular and supports a side edge of a door. The front and rear door paths are of different radius such that the door panels may overlap. Latching mechanisms, located at approximately midway up on the marginal side of each side wall are moveable to a latching position connecting a door to side walls such that the door cannot slide and such that the door prevents the side walls from outward movement at that location.

[0020] Meyer, WO 98/06625 describes a sound proof hangar for airplanes with a wide entrance for aircraft. To provide a sound barrier at the open side, the entrance opening is limited, at least on one side, by a series of deflecting surfaces, the inner edges of which are directed, in horizontal section towards the hangar interior and the external edges of which are directed laterally. The deflecting surfaces can be moved between a closed position which partly or completely closes the entrance opening and a position which opens the entrance opening.

[0021] The prior art teaches a variety of enclosures and hangers and especially doors for such, knock-down buildings, portable structures, and it particularly teaches arcuate door structures. However, the prior art does not teach a structure as herein disclosed and claimed having advantages as described in the following summary.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0022] The present invention teaches certain benefits in construction and use which give rise to the objectives described below.

[0023] The present invention is an enclosure for sheltering a small aircraft, and provides an arcuate roof frame supported by a base frame. The roof frame has a fixed roof portion engaging a movable roof portion and a hydraulic system for adjusting the position of the movable roof. The fixed and movable roof portions are mutually engaged by a hinge system enabling arcuate motion of the movable roof portion relative to the fixed roof portion. A fabric or thin sheet material cover is mounted over the fixed and the movable roofs so as to protect an aircraft stored within the shelter.

[0024] A primary objective of the present invention is to provide a shelter or enclosure for small aircraft having advantages not taught by the prior art.

[0025] Another objective is to provide such an invention having a relatively small footprint.

[0026] A further objective is to provide such an invention producible at low cost.

[0027] A still further objective is to provide such an invention capable of providing a simple three part sequential motion for providing roof section clearance and for enabling engagement and disengagement of constructional elements of the apparatus when operated.

[0028] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0029] The accompanying drawings illustrate the present invention. In such drawings:

[0030] FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views of a preferred embodiment of the present invention showing a movable roof portion of the invention in a lowered position and in a raised position respectively;

[0031] FIGS. 3 and 4 are partial side elevation views thereof showing simple pivotal motion;

[0032] FIG. 5 is a further perspective view thereof;

[0033] FIG. 6 is a perspective views of a further preferred embodiment of the present invention showing a construction using bowed transverse rafters;

[0034] FIGS. 7-9 are partial side elevation views thereof, showing three part motion of the movable portion of the invention; and

[0035] FIGS. 10-12 are side elevation view of the further embodiment showing means for decoupling and unlocking the movable portion of the structure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0036] The above described drawing FIGS. 1-11 illustrate the invention, an aircraft sheltering apparatus comprising an arcuate roof frame 10, made of metal tubing welded construction, and having spaced apart arcuate roof members 20, 30 joined by transverse roof beams 40, either linear (FIGS. 1 and 2) or bowed (FIGS. 6 and 10-12), and covered by a roof skin 50. The arcuate roof frame 10 is held in place by a supporting frame 60 above a base frame 70 adapted for resting on a supporting surface (not shown). The arcuate roof frame 10 provides a fixed roof portion 12 pivotally engaging a movable roof portion 14. A force producing means 80 is engaged between the fixed and movable roof portions 12, 14 for adjusting, through a vertical arc, the movable roof portion 14 between a lowered position “L,” (FIG. 10) adapted for enclosing an aircraft 90 within the apparatus, and a raised position “R” (FIG. 12) adapted, by its position, for providing egress to the aircraft 90 which is shown in FIG. 5. This motion occurs about pivot element 91.

[0037] The fixed roof portion 12 and the movable roof portion 14 are mutually engaged by a sliding and hinging means 100 enabled by its shape and features, as will be described below, for directing swinging motion of the movable roof portion 14 relative to the fixed roof portion 12. Preferably, the force producing means 80 is a hydraulically operated system, including hydraulic pressure motor 82 and hydraulic cylinders 84, enabled, by their construction, for linear extension and retraction and pivotally mounted at one end thereof 81 to the fixed roof portion 12, and pivotally mounted at an opposing end thereof 83 to the movable roof portion 14. This action is clearly defined in FIGS. 7-9.

[0038] Preferably, the sliding and hinging means 100 comprises a pair of elongated links 102, each of the links 102 provides a slot 104 having a first slot leg 106 aligned with a longitudinal axis of the elongated link 102, and a second slot leg 108 extending at an angle to the first slot leg 106, such that the movable roof portion 14 is adapted to move with three distinct sequential motions under the force of force producing means 80; away and up, linearly away, and rotational, all relative to the fixed roof portion. This sequence is demonstrated in FIGS. 7-9.

[0039] Preferably a rear frame extension 110 and fabric cover 120 are fixed and positioned as shown in FIG. 5 to provide shelter to the empennage of the aircraft 90. Side frame extensions 130 and covers 140 provide shelter to the opposing wing tips of the aircraft 90. FIGS. 10-12 show the benefits of the three part motion in that elements 62 are able to first slide linearly to disengage from elements 64 as shown in FIG. 12. Also shown is the action of finger 68 with respect to lock hasp 66. With fingers 68 (one on each side) engaged in hasps 66, the movable roof portion 14 is locked in place and cannot be lifted to gain access to the aircraft 90.

[0040] While the invention has been described with reference to at least one preferred embodiment, it is to be clearly understood by those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited thereto. Rather, the scope of the invention is to be interpreted only in conjunction with the appended claims.