End structure for airport gangways

Abstract

Claims

1969 N. G. J. w. VAN MARLE v 3, END STRUCTURE FOR AIRPORT GANGWAYS Filed Dec. 19, 1967 v INVENTOR. fl/z calaa: Grade 1J0)? 144271201 M/V M4171 E. United States Patent Int. Cl. B64f 1/30; B65g 11/10 US. Cl. 14-71 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An end structure for a tubular gangway, said structure comprising a deformable hood adaptable to the shape of the fuselage of an airplane, a bottom construction, two upright carrying arms each having their lower end pivoted to said bottom construction, th upper ends of said carrying arms being interconnected by means of a cross-member connected to said upper ends by means of ball joints, said end structure further comprising forward end ribs constitute by flexible cordage elements covered with flexible material, and disposed between said upper and lower ends and between the upper ends, at least the middle portions of the carrying arms and the cross-memher being rearwardly spaced from said forward end ribs. This invention relates to an end structure for tubular gangways said structure being adaptable to the shape of the fuselage of an airplane. Airplane fuselages are curved in two directions, such curvature being different with different airplanes. Furthermore, the angle of an airplane to the gangway may vary. Consequently, it is often difficult to effect a properly closed connection of the end of a gangway to the fuselage of an airplane. It is an object of the present invention to provide an end structure of the above kind, whereby to eliminate such difiiculties. According to the invention, there is provided an end structure for a tubular gangway, said structure comprising a deformable hood adaptable to th shape of the fuselage of an airplane, a bottom construction, two upright carrying arms each having their lower end pivoted to said bottom construction, the upper ends of said carrying arms being interconnected by means of a cross-member connected to said upper ends by means of ball joints, said end structure further comprising forward end ribs constituted by flexible cord-like members covered with flexible material, such as foam rubber, and disposed between said upper and lower ends and between the upper ends, at least the middle portions of the carrying arms and the cross-member being rearwardly spaced from said forward end ribs. By virtue of this construction, the adaptation can be effected both by the deformation of the card-like members and by the mutually independent pivoting movement of the carrying arms and the crossmember connecting these arms. Furthermore, the crossmember distributes lateral wind forces equally over the two carrying arms. In a suitable embodiment of the invention the carrying arms are driven by fluid power operated jacks, independently of each other, for generating the force for forcing the flexible members against the fuselage of an airplane, the cylinder of such jacks being preferably parallel-connected as far as their supply of fluid is concerned, so that the pressure of the flexible members on the fuselage may be uniform throughout. In a specific embodiment of the invention the bottom construction of the end structure is divided into a stationary part and a movable part, one of the carrying arms being connected to the stationary part and the other'to the movable part, the cross-member between the carrying arms being telescopic. By virtue of this design, undue tensions are prevented in such cases when the upper rib and the bottom edge of the end structure have to make relative movements, whose deformation effects on the end structure add up one to the other. In this embodiment, the power fluid supply for the operation of the bottom construction may b parallel connected to that for the operation of the carrying arms. In order to ensure lateral stability against wind forces in the construction with a telescopic cross-member, the carrying arms may be connected to the rigid part of the end structure by means of link mechanisms, which link mechanisms may also be of use in a construction in which the bottom is not divided. In the operating mechanism, particularly in the power fluid circuit for moving the carrying arms and, if there is one, the movable bottom part, there is preferably employed a pressure limiting means, for example, an escape valve. The invention will be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawing, which illustrates, diagrammatically and by way of example, an embodiment of the end structure according to the invention with a divided bottom, part of the cloth-like hood material and part of the flexible covering of the flexible members being omitted. Referring to the drawing, the gangway 1 terminates in an end structure 2. The bottom of the end structure 2 consists of a stationary floor part 3 and a movable floor part 4 which is pivoted to the stationary part 3 at 5, and in its pivoting movement slides under the marginal strip 6 of the stationary part 3. The pivoting movement of the movable part 4 is controlled by a jack 7 disposed under the bottom 3, 4 and permits an adaptation of the bottom edge to the curvature of the fuselage of an airplane as the edge 4 of the bottom section 4 moves through a small angle relative to the edge 3' of the floor part 3. The forward edges of the bottom parts 3 and 4 are covered with foam rubber mouldings 8 and 9, respectively. The forward edge of the bottom may also be a hollow rubber bumper. Pivoted to the stationary bottom part 3 by means of a linear pivot 10 is a carrying arm 11, which can be turned about the pivot 10 by means of a hydraulic jack 12. In the same way, a carrying arm 14 is pivoted to the movable bottom part 4 at 13, and can be moved by means of a jack 15. At their upper ends the carrying arms 11 and 14 are coupled by means of a cross-member connected to them in ball joints 16 and consisting of telescoped sections 17 and 18. Together, sections 17 and 18 and carrying arms 11 and 14 form an inverted U- shaped frame. The carrying arms 11 and 14 are further connected to the stationary part of the end structure by means of link mechanisms 19, 20, which permit pivotal movement of the carrying arms in a plane parallel to the direction of the gangway, but restrain movement in the transverse direction. The carrying arms 11 and 14 are rearwardly curved. The distance between their ends is spanned by flexible members 21, which are covered with. foam rubber 22. The foam rubber 22 is partly omitted in the drawing. The flexible members may, for example, consist of elastic cord as used for shock absorbing purposes. Since the carrying arms are curved and the flexible members 21 are spaced in front of them at the top by means of rods 23, the flexible members 21 can flex backwardly to a sufficient extent for them to be adapted to the shape of the fuselage of an airplane. The flexible members 21, together with the adjacent carrying arms and the cross-member are enclosed in the cloth 24 of the hood as shown in the drawing at 25. In the drawing, the flexible members are shown as rectilinear. However, it is also possible for them to be pre curved by being flexed backwardly with the cloth 24 or by means of separate bands connecting them with the carrying arms and the cross-member, or by separate cloth enclosing the flexible members, the carrying arms and the cross-member. The cloth 24, which for the sake of simplicity is shown as taut, can then only serve for pliably spanning the distance from the carrying arms and the cross-member to the stationary structure. The jacks 12 and 15 of the carrying arms 11 and 14, respectively, and the jack 7 of the bottom section 4 are parallel-connected as far as their supply of hydraulic fluid is concerned. The supply lines are not shown in the drawing. In the simplified embodiment without the movable bottom section, there is no jack 7, the bottom edge may be of one piece, and the link mechanisms for lateral stability are superfluous, since the cross-member need not be telescopic in that case. The fact is that the deformation of the frame constituted by the ribs cannot become so great as in the construction with a movable bottom section. I claim: 1. An end structure for a tubular gangway, said end structure comprising a deformable hood adjustable to the shape of the fuselage of an airplane, a floor construction projecting from said end structure, an inverted U-shaped frame comprised of ball joint connected upright carrying members and an upper cross member with lower ends of said upright members pivoted to said floor construction, a rib structure comprised of flexible cord-like elements covered with deformable material carried by said U- shaped frame forwardly thereof, and means for pivoting said U-shaped frame forwardly for contact of said rib structure with the fuselage of an aircraft. 2. An end structure according to claim 1 wherein said deformable hood includes cloth-like sheet material enclosing said flexible cord-like elements and said U-shaped frame. 3. An end structure according to claim 1 including means for independently pivoting said carrying members forwardly and rearwardly of said end structure. 4. An end structure according to claim 3 wherein said means for independently pivoting said carrying members includes a pair of fluid power operated jacks having cylinders connected in parallel with their power fluid supply. 5. An end structure according to claim 1 including linear pivot means connecting said lower ends of said carrying arms to said floor construction. 6. An end structure according to claim 1 wherein said floor construction includes a first floor part and a second floor part, and means for providing relative movement between said first floor part and said second floor part. 7. An end structure according to claim 6 wherein said relative movement is controlled by jack means operatively connected between said first floor part and said second floor part. 8. An end structure as defined in claim 7 wherein said upper cross member is comprised of a pair of sections telescopically interfitted for allowing relative movement of said upright members. 9. An end structure according to claim 1 including link mechanism means operatively connected to said U-shaped frame for resisting forces lateral of said end structure. References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,892,463 6/1959 Frommelt -5 3,110,048 11/1963 Bolton 147l 3,317,942 5/1967 Wollard l4-71 3,322,132 5/1967 Rieder 1355 3,363,273 1/1968 Chitwood 14-71 JACOB L. NACKENOFF, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 23353? UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION December 23, 1969 Patent No. 3,484,883 Dated Inventor(s) NICOLAAS GRADUS JAN WILLEM van MARLE It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below: FColumn 1, line 4, the assignee's name should read Aviolanda Maatschappij SIGNED AND SEALED JUL141970 $EAL) Edward lLFletcher, Ir. mm 12., m. - Oomisaioner o1 Patents Attestmg Officer

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