Title:
Airplane simulator playhouse
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A playhouse that simulates an airplane in a manner that will permit a child to simulate being a member of a flight crew aboard a commercial airline flight. The playhouse can include an audio system which will generate educational material, such as geography facts, population facts, historical facts, weather facts, culture, food, language etc. and the like, in a manner that will simulate announcements provided on an aircraft during flight. The sections of the playhouse, DVDs, video and CDs can be bought separately to suit the consumers pocket.



Inventors:
Flexen, Emma (Epping Green Essex, GB)
Application Number:
11/500855
Publication Date:
02/14/2008
Filing Date:
08/08/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H6/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
IHEZIE, JOSHUA K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SUNG I. OH, PROFESSIONAL LAW CORPORATION (710 QUAIL VALLEY LANE, WEST COVINA, CA, 91791, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A playhouse comprising: A) an outer shell which includes (1) a first end portion which is a forward end when the shell is in use, the first end being hollow and including a nose section and a port window section, and (2) a second end portion connected to the first end portion and which is cylindrical and hollow and forms a continuation of the first end portion and which includes an entranceway into the interior of the second end portion and windows; B) a panel located in the first end portion adjacent to the port window section, the panel including a video screen; C) two chairs located in the first end portion adjacent to the panel; D) a control stick located in the first end portion adjacent to the chairs; E) a galley section located in the second end portion and which includes (a) a countertop, (b) a refrigerator-like cabinet located beneath the countertop, (c) a storage cabinet located beneath the countertop and adjacent to the refrigerator-like cabinet, (d) a shelf located above the countertop, (e) a pull-down seat attached to the galley section to move between a stored condition and a deployed condition, and (f) a telephone-like element mounted on the galley section; F) a seating section in the second end portion adjacent to the galley section, the seating section including a seat located adjacent to a window; G) an audio system which includes (1) a CD player located in the first end section, (2) speakers located in the second end section, and (3) a headphone set located adjacent to the seats in the first end portion; and H) a video player system which includes (1) a DVD player located in the first end section, and (3) a DVD display connected to the video screen located in the panel of the first end portion.

2. A playhouse comprising: A) an outer shell which includes (1) a first end portion which is hollow and is in the shape of an airplane nose section and which includes a port window section, and (2) a second end portion connected to the first end portion and which is in the shape of an airplane fuselage and is hollow and forms a continuation of the first end portion and which includes an entranceway into the interior of the second end portion and windows; B) a panel located in the first end portion adjacent to the port window section, the panel including a video screen; C) two chairs located in the first end portion adjacent to the panel; D) a control stick located in the first end portion adjacent to the chairs; E) a galley section located in the second end portion and which includes (a) a countertop, (b) a refrigerator-like cabinet located beneath the countertop, (c) a storage cabinet located beneath the countertop and adjacent to the refrigerator-like cabinet, (d) a shelf located above the countertop, (e) a pull-down seat attached to the galley section to move between a stored condition and a deployed condition, and (f) a telephone-like element mounted on the galley section; F) a seating section in the second end portion, the seating section including a seat located adjacent to a window; G) an audio system which includes (1) a CD player located in the first end section, (2) speakers located in the second end section, and (3) a headphone set located adjacent to the seats in the first end portion; and H) a video player system which includes (1) a DVD player located in the first end section, and (3) a DVD display connected to the video screen located in the panel of the first end portion.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the general art of enclosures and static structures, and to the particular field of playhouses.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Playhouses provide much enjoyment for children because they simulate the ownership of a house which can be lived in and because they simulate exclusive possession in that the house may have play furnishings and small scale appurtenances.

A variety of conventional walk-in child playhouses are known in the art. For the most part, these playhouses include four walls, a roof and a hinged doorway for entry into the playhouse, and are constructed of sturdy molded plastic. Many include other features to make them more closely simulate real houses. For example, Little Tikes® Evergreen® Playhouse has a realistic brick-styled chimney, windows with opening shutters, Dutch doors that open to an interior area and a drop-leaf table. Little Tikes® Country Cottage has a pretend sink, swivel faucet, stovetop with clicking knobs, a push-button play phone and four windows, all having opening shutters. Little Tikes® Log Cabin is a playhouse resembling a log cabin having realistic log detailing, shake roof and opening shutters. Little Tikes® Castle is an outdoor play enclosure resembling a castle having a secret crawl-through door behind the fireplace and a swing-door with a latch. The Cozy Condo® Playhouse manufactured by The Flexible Flyer Company has, in addition to four walls, a roof and a hinged door, a skylight, a porthole, shutters that open and close and an outside fold down table. The Drive-In Playhouse manufactured by Step 2 is a playhouse that doubles as a garage.

The prior art thus includes playhouses having different themes and related features. Most playhouses, however, do not fulfill the need of children to simulate play in many areas other than home ownership. For example, children enjoy simulating many adult activities such as shopping or the like. A playhouse that will permit a child to simulate such adult activities would be very well received; however, the inventor is not aware of any such playhouse.

While the inventor is aware of items such as flight simulators, or simulators that are used in connection with video games, the inventor is not aware of any playhouse as such that will permit a child to engage in a specific adult activity. In particular, the inventor is not aware of any such playhouse that will simulate the environment of an airplane, specifically, the environment of an airplane cockpit whereby the child could simulate the adult activity of flying an airplane or being a part of a crew of a commercial airplane.

Therefore, there is a need for a playhouse that can simulate the environment of an airplane crew conducting a commercial flight.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above-discussed disadvantages of the prior art are overcome by a playhouse that simulates an airplane in a manner that will permit a child to simulate being a member of a flight crew aboard a commercial airline flight. The playhouse can include an audio system which will generate educational material, such as geography facts, population facts, historical facts, weather facts, culture, and the like, in a manner that will simulate announcements provided on an aircraft during flight.

Using the playhouse embodying the present invention will permit a child to simulate being a part of a flight crew while, at the same time, receiving educational information.

Other systems, methods, features, and advantages of the invention will be, or will become, apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following figure and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the invention, and be protected by the following claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

The invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings and description. The components in the figures are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention. Moreover, in the figures, like referenced numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the different views.

FIG. 1 is a cutaway perspective view of a commercial aircraft interior simulating playhouse embodying the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a galley portion that is included in the playhouse.

FIG. 3 shows a view of the cockpit portion included in the playhouse.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the figures, it can be understood that the present invention is embodied in a playhouse 10 which can be used to simulate an airplane flight with children acting as a flight crew and/or passengers. Playhouse 10 comprises an outer shell 12 which includes a first end portion 14 which resembles the nose section of an airliner and is a forward end when the shell is in use. The first end is hollow and resembles an airline cockpit in the nose section of the airliner. A port window section 16 is formed in the first end portion and children can look out through the port window in the manner of an airline pilot and first officer.

A second end portion 20 is connected to the first end portion and resembles a fuselage of a commercial airplane. The second end portion is cylindrical and hollow and forms a continuation of the first end portion and includes an entranceway 22 into the interior of the second end portion. Windows, such as window 24, are located in the second end portion. Interior 26 of the second end portion resembles the inside passenger portion of an airplane.

A panel 30 is located in the first end portion adjacent to port window section 16. Panel 30 resembles an instrument panel on an airplane and includes video screens 32. Two chairs 36 and 38 resemble the chairs used by a pilot or captain and the first officer or the navigator and are located in the first end portion adjacent to panel 30. A control stick 40 is located in the first end portion adjacent to the chairs and simulates a control stick used by the captain to control the airplane.

The overall effect is to simulate a control cockpit 42 of an airplane. A galley section 50 is located in the second end portion and includes a countertop 52 which simulates the countertop on which a stewardess will prepare food F, a refrigerator-like cabinet 54 located beneath the countertop, storage cabinet 56 located beneath the countertop and adjacent to the refrigerator-like cabinet and pedals 58. A shelf 60 simulates a shelf for a coffee maker 62 and is located above the countertop.

A pull-down seat 70 simulates a crew jump seat and is attached to the galley section to move between a stored condition and a deployed condition as indicated by double-headed arrow 74. A telephone-like element 76 resembles the unit used by a crew member to make announcements to the passengers and is mounted on the galley section. A seating section 80 is located in the second end portion adjacent to the galley section. The seating section resembles the seating section in an airplane and includes at least one seat 82 located adjacent to a window. A drop down tray 84 is located adjacent to the seat.

Playhouse 10 further includes an audio system 90 which simulates the audio system on an airplane and includes a CD player 92 located in the first end section, speakers 94 located throughout the playhouse, and in particular in the second end section. A headphone set 96 is located adjacent to the seats in the first end portion and can include two headphones.

Various CDs can be played through the speakers and/or the headphones. The CDs can contain educational material, such as a video player system which includes geography facts, population facts, historical facts, weather facts, culture, cuisine facts and recipes, languages, words and conversations, different currency and safety cards to help with math, English and reading and the like for various areas. This permits the children to simulate traveling to such areas while providing educational material to the listeners. A DVD player 100 can be located in the first end section and a DVD display 102 is connected to the video screen 32 located in the panel of the first end portion. The DVD player can also generate educational material including maps and the like.

Those skilled in the art will understand that additional items, such as plates, cups, saucers, flatware and the like can be added to enhance the simulation. Both boys and girls can enjoy playhouse 10. The playhouse can be disassembled and folded up for storage when necessary.

While various embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that many more embodiments and implementations are possible within the scope of this invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be restricted except in light of the attached claims and their equivalents.