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Dec. 17, 1946.
Filed Dec. 27, 1944
2 Sheets-Sheet‘ 1‘
1779: 4.
Dec- 17,. 1946-
‘ 2,412,793.
‘Filed Dec. 271-1944
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
Patented Dec. 17, 1946
Eugene Weissman, Baltimore, Md.
Application December 27, 1944, Serial No. 569,951
10 Claims. (01. 244-102)
This invention relates to pontoon structure for
operative position in depending relation to the
The invention is more particularly concerned
with a pontoon adapted for use with airplane
it will offer minimum air resistance when in
-A still further object of the invention is the
provision of a pontoon which is relatively light
in weight, simple in construction, durable, and
wings and wherein it is swingably supported by
a wing for retraction to an inoperative position
within the wing and for protraction to an oper~
e?icient in operation.
ative position in depending relation to the wing.
Other andfurther objects of the invention will
become more apparent as the description pro
The pontoon is furthermore in?atable and, ex
pansible when moved to the operative position 10 ceeds, when taken in connection with the accom
panying drawings, wherein
‘ .
and de?atable and collapsible when movedlto
the inoperative position.
Figure 1 is a longitudinal vertical section of the
The pontoon structure is substantially as dis
improved pontoon in a preferred physical embodi
closed in my co-pending application, Serial No.
ment thereof and showing the pontoon in‘ ex
456,983, ?led September 2, 1942, and of which 15 panded and in?ated condition.
the present application is a continuation in part.
Fig. 2 is a fragmental view similar. torFig. 1
The present invention further includes means
but showing the pontoon in collapsed‘and dei
for alternately protracting the pontoon to an
?ated condition,
operative ‘position externally of a plane wing
Fig.‘ 3 is a broken perspective view of the
while expanding and in?ating same, and retract 20 pontoon.
ing the pontoon to an inoperative position within
Fig. 4 is an edge view of an end portion of an
the wing while collapsing and de?ating same.
airplane wing showing the pontoon in protracted
It is appreciated that diversi?ed forms of pon
operative position.
, ‘
toons for use with airplanes have heretofore
Fig. 5 is a longitudinal vertical section of an
been proposed or used and which in certain in 25 airplane wing showing the improved pontoon
stances were retractible and protractible; in some
arrangement in operative association therewith,
instances they were collapsible and expansible,
the upper and lower walls of the wing only being
and also in some instances they were in?atable
shown for clarity of illustration.
and de?atable.
In such prior pontoon arrangements, however, 30
plane of ‘line 6-—-6, Fig. 5.
these several desirable features were not em
bodied in a structure in such manner as to
Fig. 7 is a sectional view of a valve for use in
connection with an airsupply and for operation
render the several operations in automatic se
quence with a minimum of effort on the part of
by a pilot.
a pilot.
Fig. v6 is a vertical transverse section in the
, ,
Fig. 8 is a view similar to Fig. 5 with certain
parts omitted and showing a modi?cation of the
It is accordingly a primary object of the pres
ent invention to provide a pontoon arrangement
‘Referring now in detail to the drawings and
of the above noted general character which sub
?rst to Figs. 1, 2 and 3, P designates the pontoon
stantially overcomes objections to prior pontoon
in its entirety and which comprises a shell or
arrangements, with the provision of one which 40 casing In which, as more particularly illustrated
more fully meets the requirements of such struc
in Fig. 3, is stream-lined for minimum air resist.
ance and which casing includes a top wall H.
A further object of the invention is the pro
The casing It is preferably beaded at I2 at its
vision of a pontoon structure having pivotal con
lower open end to avoid cha?ng of a ?exible air‘
nection with the lower wall of an airplane wing 45 impervious member l3 whose upper edge is suit
for alternate retraction through an opening in
ably secured, as at 14, to the lower face of‘a fol
such wall to an inoperative position within the
lower plate I5, and whose lower edge is ‘suitably
wing and for protraction to an operative posi
secured, ‘as at IE, to theupper face of a skimmer
tion in depending relation to the wing, and
wherein the pontoon is expanded and in?ated
when moved to the operative position and col
lapsed and de?ated when moved to the inoper
ative position.
A still further object of the invention is the
provision of a pontoon of. such construction that
A pair of vertically disposed guide rods 18 have
their lower ends suitably secured in or to the
skimmer plate and the rods extend freely through
apertures in the follower plate l5 and the top
plate H, and the‘upper ends of the rodsare
turned towards each other and provided with
cam track follower rollers 19 for a purpose later
to appear.
Upper and lower braces 28 are provided for
and to such extent as to collapse the pontoon suf
?ciently in advance of its entering the opening 3|
in the wing wall, which is of a length approxi
mately equal to the length or heighth of the col
lapsed pontoon. The tracks 39 thereafter extend
concentrically with the pivot 39 in maintaining
the rods I8 in raised position with the pontoon
stabilizing the structure particularly. against
strains laterally of the rods 18, and each of such
braces preferably includes a plate 26 respectively
secured to the plate H and skimmer plate I’!
and a plate 22 in vertically spaced relation to the
To provide for movement of the piston 31 to
plate 2i, and the plates 2| and 22. are rigidly
interconnected by oblique and vertical struts 23 10 wards opposite ends of the cylinder 38 in retract
ing and protracting the pontoon, air under suit
and 24, respectively. The plates 2! and 22 are
apertured for passage of the rods I8 therethrough. j able pressure is alternately admitted to opposite
ends of the cylinder and vented from the oppos
and the upper plates 2!, 22‘slidably receive the
, rods as will appear later. The rods- !8‘ are pref
ing- ends, and for such purpose an air supply con
erably provided with stops E8’ to limit downward 15 duitl4l communicates at one end with each-end
of the cylinder and the opposite ends of the con
movement thereof.
duits communicate with a rotary valve 42, which
A tubular member 25 is suitably secured, as at
includesa ?xed outer member 43 to which the
26, to the plate i l and extends freely through an.
conduits are connected. and an inner rotatable
‘aperture in the follower plate I5. The lower plate
22 is provided with an aperture 2‘! for receiving 20 member 44. The outer member is provided with
a vent aperture 45 and the inner member is pro
the lower end of the tubular member, as in Fig. 2,
vided with a channel 46 and an aperture 41» com
and the’ tubular member is preferably provided’
municating with the air admission central aper
with a gasket 28 to avoid leakage of air between ‘
ture 48. The valve structure is such that the
same‘and the wall of the receiving aperture in
the follower plate ‘when the pontoon is in?ated, 25 conduits maybe successively placed in communi
as in Fig. 1.
i The’ ?exible member G3, in conjunction with
cation with the air aperture 48 with the other
vented through the aperture 45. ‘The valve 42
the follower plate 15 and skimmer plate I7, pro
should, of course, be‘ positioned accessibly toa
Vides an air chamber C into which air is admitted
through the tubular member 25 and from which ‘
air is exhausted through the tubular member in
pilot and may be in connection with ‘a suitable air
a. manner later to appear.
As indicated in Fig. 1, the pontoon P is ex
’ panded with the chamber '0 in?ated and in which
In order to in?ate the chamber C uponpro
traction of the pontoon, the cylinder 38 is pro
vided with an aperture 49 which is closed by the
piston 3'! except when the piston has moved to
the left in Fig. 5 with the pontoon ‘substantially
position, the brace plates 22 are in substantial
protracted, and an air conduit 50 communicates
vspaced relation to the follower plate [5. As in
with the aperture 49 and an aperture 51 adja
dicated in Fig. 2, however, wherein the pontoon
cent the upper end'of the tubular member 25 for
is collapsed and the chamber C de?ated, the
in?ating the chamber C when the pontoon has
plates 22 are in engagement with the follower
plate l5..
40 been protracted and expanded.
The vpontoon P is pivotally supported by the
The valve 42 may be in association with a pres
lower wall of an airplane wing W, and such piv
sure gauge which will ?uctuate and thus warn the
otal connection is preferably effected by a hinge
pilot of complete protraction and in?ation. How
30 secured to wall I I and the lower wing wall ad- ,
ever, the valve need not 1be shut off when the pon
jacent ‘an edge of an opening 3| in such wing 45 toon is protracted or retracted, and preferably
‘should not be.
j y
For effecting swinging movement of the pon
In order to de?ate the chamber C upon retrac
toon on its pivot from retracted inoperative posi
tion and collapsing of the pontoon the tubular
tion within the wing indicated in dot-and-dash
member 25 is provided with a suitable air re
lines in Fig. 5 to a protracted operative position
lease ‘valve 52, including an upwardly spring
in "depending relation to the ‘wing as indicated in
urged head 53 which, when depressed, will per
full lines in Fig. 5, and'vice-versa'the tubular
‘mit escape of air from vchamber C. Accordingly
a cam plate 54 is suspended from ‘the top'of the
member 25 is preferably utilized for imparting
‘effort to the pontoon.
wing by a pair of arms 5'5 Which are at their 0p-v
‘Accordingly, the upper end ‘of the tubular
posite ends pivotally connected to the plate and
a support ‘55; The arms are restrained against
member 25 is provided with a pair of diametri
cally opposed pins 32 which pivotally engage the
swinging movement to the right of their vertical
position by means of stop pins 51, with vthe result
‘that the valve head 53 will be forced downwardly
piston rod 3t-proje'cting from a piston ‘3'! through ca) and the vair allowed to escape from chamber '0
upon retraction of the pontoon. The cam "plate
the end wall of 'a piston~receiving cylinder 38.
With this arrangement, reciprocation of the
54 is, however, free to swing to the left in Fig. 5,
and accordingly valve 52 will remain closed dur
piston 31 from the full line position in Fig. 5 to
ing in?ation of the chamber C.
the dot-‘and-‘dash line position will swing the pon
toon 'P to ‘the ‘inoperative retracted position, and
A modi?cation of the invention is shown in
Fig. 8, wherein the cylinder 38 is pivotally con
nected at 59 to a bracket 69 secured to the wing,
In 'order to effect collapsing and alternate ex
and accordingly the piston, rod 36 may be directly
pansion of ‘the ~pontoon when retracted and pro
tractedgrespectively, a pair of laterally ‘spaced
connected to the tubular member 25 in the
absence of'the link 34. '
"cam ‘tracks 39 are rigidly supported ‘within the
wing'vv'by'mean‘s of 'suitable'bra'c'es 4B. ‘The cam
It is, of course, to be understood that'a similar
pontoon ‘will be used on an opposing wing of an
tracks are of ‘substantially 'U-shape in cross
section and receive ‘the follower rollers 19 on the
airplane provided with any desirable form of
bifurcated end '33 of a link 34 whose opposite end
is pivotally connected at 3-5 to the free end of a
‘rods I8 .and, as indicated in Fig. 5, the cam tracks
‘extend ‘upwardly and to the 'ri'ght'at ‘such "angle
‘body pontoon supporting‘means.
v " _'
A suitable yieldable catch may be ‘provided as
an ‘aid in retainingthe pontoon against inadver
lower plates and providing therewith an air‘cham
ber, means for admitting air to and discharging
same from said chamber, and means for limiting
"tent movement from within the wing, and such
catch may include a skimmer plate engaging
‘member BI urged toward opening 3| by a spring
downward and upward movement of the rods
and skimmer plate secured thereto in the expan
sion and collapsing of the pontoon with the‘ air
'62 surrounding a rod ~63 movable in a rigid sup
port 64,. Such catch, however, may be omitted
chamber in?ated and de?ated respectively.
since the pontoon would remain in inoperative
, 5. A pontoon according to claim 4, wherein
position against the air pressure within the cyl
said air admitting and discharging means com
inder 38. ‘Since the pontoon P is pivotally sup
ported at a point offset from its vertical center 10 prises a tubular member extending through and
secured to the casing top, the lower end of the
plane, a tendency would exist to move the pon
tubular member projecting freely through an
toon toward inoperative position when the weight
aperture in the follower plate, and link engaging
of the wing is on the pontoon. However, such
pins on the upper end of the tubular member for
tendency is resisted by the air pressure against
the right-hand end of the piston 31 as well as 15 movement of the pontoon about its pivotal con
nection with the airplane wing.
by the in?ated chamber C which exerts a down
6. A pontoon according to claim 4, wherein the
ward pressure on the skimmer plate and accord
means for limiting upward movement of the rods
ingly on the rods l8, which must be raised in
movement of the pontoon toward its retracted
comprises bracing members secured to thecasing
20 top and skimmer plate and each including verti
It will be observed from the foregoing disclo
sure that the pontoon P is highly adaptable for
use with airplane wings due to the stream-line
contour of the casing, with consequent minimum
air resistance, the collapsing and retracting of
the pontoon within the wing when not in use and
the protracting, expanding and in?ation of the
chamber C when the pontoon is in use.
The operating means for effecting the different
movements of the pontoon as well as for in?at
ing and de?ating the chamber C are simple in
construction and operative through a single con
trol valve, and while I have disclosed but a single
epeci?c operative embodiment of the pneumatic
operating means, it is to be understood that var
iations therein may be resorted to Within the
scope of the claims.
What I claim and ‘desire to secure by U. S. Let
ters Patent is:
1. A collapsible and expansible pontoon com- _
cally spaced plates having apertures through
which the rods extend.
7. An expansible and collapsible pontoon com
prising a casing having a closed top and an open
lower end, a skimmer plate disposed below the
casing, a pair of vertical guide rods having their
lower ‘ends secured to the skimmer plate and
freely movable through the casing top, a follower
plate within the casing and freely vertically mov
able on the rods, a ?exible air-impervious mem
ber interconnecting the skimmer and follower
plates and providing therewith an in?atable and
de?atable chamber, means for admitting air to
and discharging same from said chamber in the
in?ation and de?ation thereof, means for ver
tically moving said rods for expanding and col
lapsing the pontoon with the air chamber in
?ated and de?ated respectively, and means for
limiting movement of the rods thereby determin
ing the range of expansion and collapsing of the
prising a casing having a closed top and an open
8. A pontoon according to claim 7, wherein
bottom, a skimmer plate below said casing, a pair
said last means comprises a collar on each of the
of vertically disposed rods having their lower
rods for abutment with the casing top in theex
ends secured to the skimmer plate and extending
freely through apertures in the top of the cas 45 panded condition of the pontoon, and braces se
cured to the skimmer plate and easing top and
ing, a follower plate within the casing freely
each including a plate through which the rods
movable on said rods, a ?exible air-impervious
extend, with said plates engageable with opposite
member interconnecting the skimmer and fol
faces of the follower plate in the collapsed condi—
lower plates and providing therewith an air cham
ber and means for limiting movement of the rods . tion of the pontoon.
9. In combination with an airplane wing hav
and skimmer plate in the collapsed and expanded
ing an opening in the lower wall thereof, a pon
condition of the pontoon.
toon comprising a casing having an open end and
2. A pontoon according to claim 1, together
a closed end pivotally secured ‘to said wall adja
with bracing members supported by said closed
cent one edge of said opening, said pontoon fur
' top and said skimmer plate and each including
ther comprising a skimmer plate, a pair of guide
vertically spaced plates having apertures through
rods having corresponding ends secured to the
which said rods extend.
skimmer plate and freely movable through aper
3. A pontoon according to claim 1, together
tures in the closed casing end, a follower plate
with a tubular member extending through and
secured to said casing top, the tubular member 60 within the casing freely movable along said rods,
a ?exible member interconnecting the skimmer
projecting above and below said top and the lower
and follower plates and providing therewith an
end thereof projecting freely through an aper
air chamber, a tubular member secured to the
ture in the follower plate.
4. An expansible and collapsible pontoon com- '
closed casing and freely projecting through said
follower plate into said air chamber, means lim
prising a casing for pivotal connection with the
iting movement of the. skimmer plate relative
lower wall of an airplane wing, the casing open
to said closed casing end, and meanswithin the
ing downwardly and having a closed top, a
wing and operative by a pilot for successively
skimmer plate disposed below the casing, a pair
swinging said pontoon about its pivot from an
of guide rods having their lower ends secured
to the skimmer plate and extending freely 70 inoperative position within the wing to an‘ oper
ative position in depending relation to the wing,
through apertures in the casing top, a follower
expanding the pontoon by movement of the skim
plate disposed within the casing through which
mer plate through the rods away from the cas
said rods freely extend for relative vertical move
ing and in?ating the air chamber by admission of
ment between the Plate and rods, an air-imper
vious member connecting the skimmer and fol 75 air through said tubular member, and vice-versa.
‘1-0. The: structure according ito‘claim?, where“
conduit connecting .saidicylinder. andsaid tubular
in :sa-idmeans comprises ,ainrair cylinder, 2;, piston
withinthe cylinder ‘and having a rod projecting
‘member to admit ‘air to ‘the chamber ‘uponmove
ment of the pontoon to-operative vposition, means
for exhausting vairifrom the chamber upon .move
through an end thereof, ‘a, connection between
said ‘rod and .said tubular member .for swinging
ment of the pontoon to inoperative position,@.and
vthe pontoon upon movement of the piston from
valve means for controlling admission of-airto
one end-to the other of thecylinder, cam means
‘opposite ends of the cylinder andnorresponding
v~formoving ‘said skimmer ‘plate supporting rods
‘upon vswinging movement of the pontoon, an air
venting of the opposed ends. ,
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