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Title:
A DEVICE TO FACILITATE THE LOADING OF LUGGAGES INTO AIRCRAFT HOLDS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1989/010870
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A device to facilitate the luggage loading into and the unloading out of aircraft holds (2) consisting of a movable truck (5) which is located in the aircraft hold and receives in succession from the conventional belt elevator (4) the luggage (6) or packages to be conveyed to the operators (7) within the aircraft hold (2), whereupon the movable truck (5) is returned to the starting point to receive another luggage (6) and so on until the loading operation is completed. The luggage unloading operation is performed in the reverse direction.

Inventors:
Pietropaoli, Paolo
Application Number:
PCT/IT1989/000030
Publication Date:
November 16, 1989
Filing Date:
May 02, 1989
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Sefind S.
, L.
International Classes:
B64D9/00; B64F1/32; B65G67/08; (IPC1-7): B64D9/00; B64F1/32; B65G67/08
Domestic Patent References:
WO1987003857A1
Foreign References:
US3756544A
EP0263540A1
US4216927A
Download PDF:
Claims:
1. and is operatively connected to the belt elevator so as to cause the belt elevator to stop upon receiving from the latter a luggage to be forwarded into the aircraft hold, and to start it again upon returning back under empty condition to a position aligned with respect to the belt elevator.
2. 4 The device of claims 1 to 3, charac¬ terized in that the transfer of luggages from belt elevator to truck is carried out by an endless belt mounted on the truck itself, said endless belt being rotated in a crosswise direction with respect to the direction of displacement of the truck and being stopped as a result of the contact between the luggage and a longitudinal handle located along a side of the truck.
3. 5 The device of claims 1 to 4, charac¬ terized in that the reciprocal "shuttle" movement of the truck is controlled by two bumpers which are located at either end of the truck and act on the respective stop and reverse control switches as a result of their contacting the operator's legs and of the taking up of the luggage from the truck, respectively .
4. 6 The device of claims 1 to 5, charac¬ terized in that the movable truck is guided in its displacement within the aircraft hold by a shoe integral with the truck and inserted in a longitudinal guide previously mounted on the bottom of the aircraft hold.
5. 7 The device of claims 1 to 6, charac¬ terized in that the sliding displacement of the truck can be selectively effected to the right hand side or to the left hand side of the hold with respect to the loading door according to a control switch actuated by the operator.
6. 8 The device of claims 1 to 7, charac¬ terized in that the stop of the empty truck at the end of the return stroke in a centered position with respect to the belt elevator is provided by means of a rotary switch mounted on the truck and causing the latter to stop only when the truck is aligned with the belt elevator.
7. 9The device of claims 1 to 8, charac¬ terized in that the motors of the truck and all electrical components of the latter are supplied through a power cable which is wound on a takeup reel and can be unwound therefrom, said cable being the sole connection between the ground facilities and the truck inside the aircraft hold.
8. 10 The device of the preceding claims, characterized in that the motors are pneumatically driven and are supplied by means of a hose which is wound on a takeup drum of the airport ground facilities .
9. 11 Device to facilitate the luggages' loading into and unloading out of aircraft holds according to claims.
10. to 10 essentially as above described and illustrated.
Description:
A DEVICE TO FACILITATE THE LOADING OF LUGGAGES INTO

AIRCRAFT HOLDS.

This invention relates to a device to

facilitate the loading and unloading of luggages for

aircraft holds.

It is beyond doubt that among the ground

facilities of an airport the settlement of luggages

within the aircraft hold should not be disregarded

in view of the efficiency and the quality of the

service. Tha same should be said about the reverse

operation, i.e. the unloading and sorting of

luggages and/or goods at the end of the flight.

Presently such operations are carried out by means of a belt elevator carrying luggages in

succession up to the aircraft hold door. Inside the

hold, in an extremely inconvenient position due to

the very limited height, two or more operators take

up the luggages from the belt elevator and arrange

them in the hold. This method implies several

drawbacks such as the need for equalizing the

operation speed of the operators to the speed of the

beLt elevator, the luggages' accumulation being

consequently caused in addition to the chance of

stopping the elevator itself and damaging the

lugga es, the latter being sometimes hurled from an

operator to another.

In a recent patent application of the same

inventor a device to facilitate the loading and

unloading operation is described, said device

consisting of a belt platform horizontally placed

adjacent the conventional belt elevator in order to

receive in succession from the latter the luggages

to be stowed, said platform being connected through

slideable telescopic members to a wheeled frame

movable on the hold plane so that the pLatform

carrying each luggage moves up to the operator

within the hold and is driven by a roller mounted

between the belt elevator and the belt platform.

However, it has been noticed that in some

case the introduction of the platform into the

aircraft hold could be more quickly effected if the

platform would be independent of the belt elevator,

i.e. the continuity among belt elevator, transfer

roller and wheeled frame would be no longer needed.

This invention seeks to provide a device

which eliminates said drawbacks so that the loading

and unloading operations for the aircraft holds are

made rationaL, quick and convenient, and besides

being absolutely reliable and not expensive does not

need any modification to the aircraft and the ground

facilities as well as assures above all that the

operation within the hold cannot damage the

aircraft .

According to the invention a device is

provided which is comprised of a self-propelled

truck to be located within an aircraft hold, which

truck receives in succession the luggages or

t -ckages from the conventional belt elevator and

carries them within the hold up to an operator

providing for their stowing, whereupon the truck

returns to the starting point and takes up another

luggage and so on until the loading operation is

completed.

Said truck is self-propelling as it is

driven by electrical motors. It is operatively

connected to the belt elevator such as to stop the

latter during the luggage transfer stroke and to

start it again at the end of the return stroke when

the truck is facing the belt elevator according to

the position of a rotary switch actuated by the

tractive force of the power cable which can be

extended during the luggage transfer stroke and is

retracted during the return stroke as it is wound

about a reel integral with the truck.

- 4 - The shuttle movement of the truck is

controlled by two bumbers mounted at the respective

ends of the truck and causing the latter to be

stopped as a consequence of the contact with the

operator's legs and the feed direction to be

reversed as a consequence of the taking up of the

luggage from the truck.

According to the invention said self-

propelling truck is guided in its sliding movement

within the aircraft hold by means of a sliding shoe

integral with the truck and inserted into a

longitudinal guide mounted on the bottom of the

hold. The sliding movement can be selectively

effected to the left hand side or to the right ha,d

side of the hold with respect to the door under

control of the operator.

This invention will be now described with

reference to the annexed drawing showing by way of

an illustrative, non-limitative example a preferred

embodiment of the invention. In the drawing:

Fig. 1 shows schematically an elevation

side view illustrating the arrangement of the

loading holds of a jet-airliner;

Fig. 2 is the plan view corresponding to

Fig. 1:

- 5 -

Fig. 3 shows the shuttle truck according

to the invention in a plan view with some parts

removed for the sake of clearness;

Fig. 4 is a section along the plane B-B of

Fig. 3;

Fig. 5 is a section along the plane B-B of

Fig. 3;

Fig. 6 shows the general electrical

diagram illustrating the operative circuitry of the

device.

Referring to Figs. 1 and 2 an aircraft

generally designated by 1 is provided with several

loading holds designated by 2. Aircraft 1 is by way

of example of the type Douglas Super 80 used by

major Airline Companies but it is self-evident that

such a type is indicative only as the device

according to the invention is applicable to any type

of aircraft provided with hold.

Loading holds 2 have an entrance opening 3

provided with door (not shown) to which a belt

elevator 4 of the conventional type is approached in

order to lift in succession the luggages or packages

up to the level of the hold. The invention provides

a self-propelling truck 5 which is independent of

belt elevator 4, however it is operatively

associated thereto, which truck is manually brought

into the hold (due to the low weight and the small

size thereof) at the beginning of the loading or

unloading operations and is brought away at the end

of the same.

The self-propelling truck 5 receives from

belt elevator 4 "the luggages 6 one at a time, slides

within the hold until it reaches operator 7, stops

so that the operator can take up the luggage and

stow it into the hold rack, whereupon it returns to

the initial position to receive another luggage and

so on until the loading is completed. It should be

appreciated that during the reciprocating motion of

the "shuttle" truck 5 the belt elevator 4 is

stationary. Said operative steps are automatically

performed, as better described hereafter. As better

seen in Fig. 2, the self-propelling truck 5 can

slide in both directions to the left hand and right

hand side with respect to the entrance door 3 such

that the two rooms of the hold at either side of the

entrance are fully stuffed.

In Figs. 3j 4 and 5 the self-propelling

truck according to the invention is shown in detail,

it is comprised of a frame 8 carrying two idle

wheels 9 and two drive wheels 10 actuated by an

electrical motor 11 through a chain gearing 12

provided with reduction gear 13. Wheels 9 and 10

allow the truck to slide along the bottom 13 of the

hold (Fig. 5) by rectilinear displacement guided by

the shoe 14 integral with frame 8 and received in

the longitudinal guide 15 already mounted on the

aircraft hold and used for the engagement of the

nets holding the luggages.

Mounted at either side of the truck is a

roller l6 and 17, respectively, around which a belt

18 is wound. Roller 16 is idle mounted on supports

19 provided with screwed sleeve 20 to adjust the

tension of belt 18, while roller 17 is driven by a

motor 21 provided with a reduction gear 22 through a

chain gearing 23. Pivoted on the shaft of the

driving roller 17 is a pair of lever arms 24

connected by a handle 25- The latter performs the

dual function of handle for manually transporting

the truck upon its initial introduction into the

hold or its removal at the end of the operations,

and of control switch controlling the rotation of

belt 18.

As shown in Fig. 5, handle 25 can assume

two positions: a first position indicated in solid

lines, wherein belt l8 is stationary, and a second

position indicated in phantom, wherein one of the

lever arms 24 acts on switch 26 of Fig. 3 which

controls motor 21.

Mounted at either end of the truck are

bumpers 27 acting on corresponding end switches 28

operatively connected to motor 11 controlling the

slide displacement of the truck in both directions.

The truck is supplied by an outer source 29 (Fig. 6)

through a power cable which is supplied by a reel 30

and is connected to a rotary switch 31 (Fig. 3)

which can rotate in the directions indicated by

arrows according to the position (right hand side,

central or left hand side position) of the truck

with respect to the belt elevator, as better

described hereafter. All operative steps are

controlled and programmed by an electronic card 32

mounted on supports 33•

In the operation, in case of a loading

step, the belt elevator 4 is approached to the

aircraft as shown in Fig. 2, whereupon truck 5 is

placed into the aircraft hold and belt l8 of the

truck is operated. As soon as a luggage 6 is

transferred from elevator 4 to belt 18 of the truck,

said belt is stopped when the luggage contacts and

lets down handle 25- Belt eLevator 4 is stopped too.

Afterwards motor 11 is activated and the truck is

moving to the end of the hold in the right or left

direction with respect to the aircraft hold door

according to the actuation of the respective control

relay. When the truck carrying a luggange reaches

the operator, bumper 27 contacts the latter and

causes the truck to stop. The operator takes up the

luggage and stows it into the rack. The take up of

the luggage causes the handle 25 to return in the

upper position so that the empty truck is returned

to the door. As soon as the truck is aligned with

belt elevator 4 the rotary switch 31 of Fig. 3

causes the belt elevator to be actuated so that

another luggage is transferred to the truck. This

cycle is repeated until the loading operation is

completed.

As far as the unloading operation is

concerned, the described cycle is carried out in the

reverse direction; an empty truck is moving towards

the operator putting luggages down on the truck, the

luggages being then transferred to the belt elevator

and then to the ground.

All above mentioned operating cycles are

shown in the diagram of Fig. ό wherein components SI

and S2 relate to manually operated controls, and

namely a switch SI to select the room of the hold to

be loaded (i.e. right hand or left hand side of the

hold) and a second switch S2 to select a loading or

unloading operation.

A) Loading operation.

When S2 is in the "loading" position,

lines 4, 9 and 12 of the diagram are actuated. Truck

5 is in the control position, belt 18 moves pursuant

to belt elevator 4 so that a luggage is transferred

to the truck and moves thereon up to its contacting

handle 25- At this point steps are evolving as

already described. In the diagram of Fig. 6

references Ml and M2 indicate motors 11 and 21 of

the truck, while references MTD and MTS indicate the

relays which control the right or left direction of

displacement of the truck. References MNC and MNS

indicate in turn the relays which control the

direction of rotation of belt 18 of the truck

according to the loading or unloading operation of a

luggage.

B) Unloading operation.

Truck 5 without load moves in the right or

left direction according to the position of control

switch S2. The truck stops when it contacts the

operator and returns back after having received the

luggage which lets down handle 25- The return

movement is interrupted only when the rotary switch

(S6, S7 or 31 of Fig. 3) is in the central position

(i.e. power cable is aligned with rotary switch)

whereupon belt 18 of the truck is activated for a

few seconds by a timer T in a direction towards belt

elevator 4 which rotates continuosly during the

unloading operation.

In case the truck overcomes the alignement

area with the belt elevator due to inertia, lines 16

and 17 actuate a self-centering means providing for

the right positioning of the truck.

From what above the advantages achieved by

the device according to the invention are

self-evident, among which the independence of the

conventional belt elevator from the truck sliding

within the aircraft hold should be mentioned, said

truck being connected to said belt elevator only by

a multiple power cable which can be wound around or

unwound from a reel (or by a hose in case of

pneumatic system) which is used for supplying the

truck without any mechanical connection. This

eliminates any casual damage of the loading door,

the inlet opening and the aircraft hold as the truck

besides being of small size and light weight

utilizes a sliding guide already provided in the

aircraft hold.

The present invention has been illustrated

and described according to a preferred embodiment.

It is understood that structural modification can be

made without departing from the scope of this

invention.

CLAIMS

1. Device to facilitate the luggages '

loading into and unloading out of aircraft holds,

characterized in that it is comprised of a movable

truck to be located within the aircraft hold, said

truck receiving In succession one at a time the

luggages or packages from the conventional belt

elevator and carrying them to an operator for their

stowing, the truck returning automatically to the

starting point to take up another luggage and so on

until the loading operation is completed.

2. The device of claim 1, characterized in

that said truck moves within the aircraft hold in

both directions without any mechanical connection to

said belt elevator.

3. The device of claims 1 and 2, charac¬

terized in that said movable truck is actuated by

electricaL motors supplied by an outer power source