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Title:
HELMET ATTACHMENT SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/029551
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
Various helmet systems as well as their methods of use are described. In one embodiment, a helmet system includes an anchor and a carrier that include corresponding interlocking features that interact to support and maintain an orientation of the carrier relative to the helmet shell when mounted thereon. In another embodiment, a helmet system includes a carrier connected to a helmet shell, and an accessory attachment mount that is selectively connected to the carrier. In yet another embodiment, a helmet system includes a connection and corresponding alignment features between a helmet shell and an accessory attachment mount to both support and maintain an alignment of the accessory attachment mount when it is attached to the helmet shell.

Inventors:
GIROUX BERNIER, Dominic (2400 Rue French, Montreal Quebec, H1L 4R7, H1L 4R7, CA)
GENDRON, Marie-Pierre (5 Rue Antoine Couillard, Mercier Quebec, J6R 0A4, J6R 0A4, CA)
LEBEL, Stéphane (1234 rue Henri-Louis Beaudoin, St. Redempteur Quebec, G6K 1N3, G6K 1N3, CA)
Application Number:
IB2016/001235
Publication Date:
February 23, 2017
Filing Date:
August 12, 2016
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
REVISION MILITARY S.A.R.L. (61 avenue de la Gare, 1611 Luxembourg, 1611 Luxembourg, L-1611, LU)
International Classes:
A42B3/04
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOFFMANN EITLE (Arabellastrasse 30, München, 81925, DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A helmet system comprising:

a helmet shell;

an anchor connected to the helmet shell; and

a carrier that selectively attaches one or more accessories to the helmet shell, wherein a first interlocking feature associated with the anchor and a corresponding second interlocking feature associated with the carrier interact to support the carrier and maintain an orientation of the carrier relative to the helmet shell when mounted thereon, wherein the interlocking feature of the carrier and interlocking feature of the anchor are engagable with one another when the carrier is mounted on the helmet shell with the anchor already connected to the helmet shell.

2. The helmet system of claim 1, wherein at least one of the anchor and the carrier are boltlessly connected to the helmet shell.

3. The helmet system of claim 2, wherein at least one of the anchor and the carrier are integrally formed with the helmet shell.

4. The helmet system of claim 1, wherein the first and second interlocking features include a tab and an indentation correspondingly sized and shaped relative to the tab.

5. The helmet system of claim 1, wherein the anchor is received in an opening in the carrier.

6. The helmet system of claim 1, wherein at least one of the anchor and the carrier

include a first portion of a connector that selectively attaches an accessory attachment mount.

7. The helmet system of claim 1, wherein the connection includes a hook and a slot.

8. The helmet system of claim 1, wherein the first interlocking feature is located on a lateral side of the anchor, and the second interlocking feature is located on a lateral side of the carrier.

9. A helmet system comprising:

a helmet shell;

a carrier connected to the helmet shell; and

an accessory attachment mount selectively connectable to the carrier, wherein the selective connection between the accessory attachment mount and the carrier does not include a bolt passing through the helmet shell, and wherein the accessory attachment mount is also selectively connectable to one or more accessories, wherein an alignment feature associated with the carrier interacts with an alignment feature on the accessory attachment to maintain an orientation of the accessory attachment mount relative to the helmet shell.

10. The helmet system of claim 9, wherein the accessory attachment mount includes a receptacle that selectively attaches an accessory to the accessory attachment mount.

11. The helmet system of claim 9, wherein the carrier is boltlessly connected to the

helmet shell.

12. The helmet system of claim 9, wherein the selective connection between the carrier and the accessory attachment mount includes a clip connection.

13. The helmet system of claim 9, wherein the alignment feature associated with the carrier includes at least one of a groove, slot, lip, pin, hole, tab, indentation, recess, projection, and an arrangement of magnetic materials.

14. The helmet system of claim 9, wherein the alignment feature associated with the carrier is located on a lateral side of the carrier, and the alignment feature on the accessory attachment is located on a lateral side of the accessory attachment.

15. A helmet system comprising:

a helmet shell;

a first portion of a connection disposed on the helmet shell;

a first alignment feature disposed on the helmet shell; and

an accessory attachment mount including a second portion of the connection and a second alignment feature, wherein the first and second portions of the connection are selectively connectable to attach the accessory attachment mount to the helmet shell and the first and second alignment features interact to maintain an orientation of the accessory attachment mount relative to the helmet shell when the accessory attachment mount is attached thereto.

16. The helmet system of claim 15, wherein the accessory attachment mount includes a receptacle that selectively attaches an accessory to the accessory attachment mount.

17. The helmet system of claim 15, further comprising a carrier connected to the helmet shell, wherein the carrier includes the first portion of the connection.

18. The helmet system of claim 17, wherein the carrier includes the first alignment

feature.

19. The helmet system of claim 17, wherein the carrier is boltlessly connected to the

helmet shell.

20. The helmet system of claim 15, wherein the first and second alignment features

include at least one of a groove, slot, lip, pin, hole, tab, indentation, recess, projection, and an arrangement of magnetic materials.

21. The helmet system of claim 15, wherein the connection is a clip connection.

22. The helmet system of claim 21, wherein the first and second portions of the clip connection include a hook and slot.

23. The helmet system of claim 15, wherein the first alignment feature is located on an anchor attached to the helmet shell, and the first alignment feature is located on lateral side of the anchor.

24. The helmet system of claim 23, wherein the second alignment feature is located on a lateral side of the accessory attachment mount.

25. A method for assembling a helmet system, the method comprising:

connecting an anchor to a helmet shell;

mounting a carrier to the helmet shell, wherein the carrier selectively attaches one or more accessories;

engaging a first interlocking feature associated with the anchor to a corresponding second interlocking feature associated with the carrier when the carrier is mounted on the helmet shell with the anchor already connected to the helmet shell, wherein the first and second interlocking features interact to support the carrier and maintain an orientation of the carrier relative to the helmet shell when mounted thereon.

26. The method of claim 25, wherein connecting the anchor to the helmet shell further comprises boltlessly connecting the anchor to the helmet shell.

27. The method of claim 25, wherein mounting the carrier to the helmet shell further comprises boltlessly mounting the carrier to the helmet shell.

28. The method of claim 25, wherein the first interlocking feature is located on a lateral side of the anchor.

Description:
HELMET ATTACHMENT SYSTEM

FIELD

[0001] Disclosed embodiments are related to helmet attachment systems.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Those who are at risk of exposure to trauma to the head (e.g., soldiers, emergency responders, law enforcement officers, military personnel, etc.) may wear protective headgear, such as a helmet. In some cases, it may be desirable for helmets to include an accessory, such as an illuminator, camera, video recorder, laser pointer, communications device, identification friend or foe (IFF) device, night vision goggles, or other item, to aid the helmet wearer in the performance of duties while in the field. Such accessories are sometimes removably attached to a helmet via a mounting plate.

SUMMARY

[0003] In one embodiment, a helmet system includes a helmet shell, an anchor connected to the helmet shell, and a carrier that selectively attaches one or more accessories to the helmet shell. A first interlocking feature associated with the anchor and a

corresponding second interlocking feature associated with the carrier interact to support and maintain an orientation of the carrier relative to the helmet shell when mounted thereon. The interlocking feature of the carrier and interlocking feature of the anchor are engagable with one another when the carrier is mounted on the helmet shell with the anchor already connected to the helmet shell.

[0004] In another embodiment, a helmet system includes a helmet shell, a carrier connected to the helmet shell, and an accessory attachment mount selectively connectable to the carrier. The selective connection between the accessory attachment mount and the carrier does not include a bolt passing through the helmet shell. Additionally, the accessory attachment mount is selectively connectable to one or more accessories.

[0005] In yet another embodiment, a helmet system includes a helmet shell, a first portion of a connection disposed on the helmet shell, and a first alignment feature disposed on the helmet shell. The helmet system also includes an accessory attachment mount including a second portion of the connection and a second alignment feature. The first and second portions of the connection are selectively connectable to attach the accessory attachment mount to the helmet shell and the first and second alignment features interact to maintain an orientation of the accessory attachment mount relative to the helmet shell when the accessory attachment mount is attached thereto.

[0006] In another embodiment, a method for assembling a helmet system includes: connecting an anchor to a helmet shell; mounting a carrier that selectively attaches one or more accessories to the helmet shell; and engaging a first interlocking feature associated with the anchor and a corresponding second interlocking feature associated with the carrier when the carrier is mounted on the helmet shell with the anchor already connected to the helmet shell. The first and second interlocking features interact to support and maintain an orientation of the carrier relative to the helmet shell when mounted thereon.

[0007] It should be appreciated that the foregoing concepts, and additional concepts discussed below, may be arranged in any suitable combination, as the present disclosure is not limited in this respect. Further, other advantages and novel features of the present disclosure will become apparent from the following detailed description of various non- limiting embodiments when considered in conjunction with the accompanying figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0008] The accompanying drawings are not intended to be drawn to scale. In the drawings, each identical or nearly identical component that is illustrated in various figures may be represented by a like numeral. For purposes of clarity, not every component may be labeled in every drawing. In the drawings:

[0009] Fig. 1 is a front view of one embodiment of a helmet shell and attached accessory;

[0010] Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the helmet shell and attached accessory of Fig. l ;

[0011] Fig. 3 is a front view of one embodiment of a helmet shell with an attached carrier and accessory attachment mount;

[0012] Fig. 4 is a perspective view of the helmet shell and attached carrier and accessory attachment mount of Fig. 3; [0013] Fig. 5 is an exploded perspective view of one embodiment of a helmet shell, carrier, accessory attachment mount, and mounting interface;

[0014] Fig. 6 is a front view of one embodiment of a helmet shell with an attached carrier and anchor;

[0015] Fig. 7 is a perspective view of the helmet shell with the attached carrier and anchor of Fig. 6;

[0016] Fig. 8 is a front view of one embodiment of a helmet shell with an attached anchor;

[0017] Fig. 9 is a perspective view of the helmet shell and attached anchor of Fig. 8;

[0018] Fig. 10 is a perspective view of one embodiment of an anchor;

[0019] Fig. 11 is a front view of the anchor of Fig. 10;

[0020] Fig. 12 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a carrier;

[0021] Fig. 13 is a front view of the carrier of Fig. 12; and

[0022] Fig. 14 is a front view of one embodiment of an accessory attachment mount;

[0023] Fig. 15 is a side view of the accessory attachment mount of Fig. 14;

[0024] Fig. 16 is a rear view of the accessory attachment mount of Fig. 14;

[0025] Fig. 17 is a rear perspective view of the accessory attachment mount of Fig.

14; and

[0026] Fig. 18 is a cross-sectional view of a helmet shell and the associated carrier, accessory attachment mount, and anchor.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0027] The inventors have recognized that typical helmet attachments include a bolt, or other structures such as rivets, that pass through a helmet shell resulting in holes being present in the helmet shell. Eliminating or redirecting the number of holes through the helmet shell may strengthen the final structure which may be desirable in some applications. The inventors have recognized the benefits associated with various types of connections for quickly and securely connecting accessories to a helmet shell which, in some instances, may not include connections that pass through the helmet shell.

[0028] In some embodiments, it may be desirable to provide a structure which aids in positioning and maintaining the orientation of one or more components relative to a helmet shell. In one such embodiment, a helmet system includes a helmet shell, an anchor connected to the helmet shell, and/or a carrier. The carrier is selectively attachable to the helmet shell and to one or more accessories. Thus, the carrier may be used to selectively attach the one or more accessories to the helmet shell. The carrier and the anchor include one or more corresponding interlocking features. The interlocking features are arranged such that they interact with one another to support and maintain an orientation of the carrier relative to the helmet shell when the carrier is mounted thereon.

[0029] In other instances, it may be desirable to connect one or more components to a helmet shell without the use of connections that pass through the helmet shell as noted above. In one such embodiment, a carrier is connected to a helmet shell. A corresponding accessory attachment mount is selectively connectable to the carrier. In addition, one or more accessories are attached to the accessory attachment mount using any appropriate connection mechanism. For example, in some embodiments, a receptacle formed in the accessory attachment mount may receive a mounting interface, such as a mounting plate or other type of attachment, for attaching an accessory thereto. Thus, the accessory attachment mount may be used to selectively attach one or more accessories to a helmet shell via a connection to the carrier.

[0030] In yet another embodiment, a helmet system may provide a quick and easy-to- use connection that maintains the orientation of an attached accessory. Such a system may include a clip connection associated with the helmet shell and a corresponding accessory attachment mount. Depending on the particular embodiment, the clip connection may simply hold the accessory attachment mount proximate to the helmet shell. In other embodiments, the connection also may support the accessory attachment mount relative to the helmet shell. One or more corresponding alignment features associated with the helmet shell and accessory attachment mount also may interact with one another to maintain an orientation of the accessory attachment mount when positioned on the helmet shell. Thus, the clip connection and the alignment features may interact to both support and maintain an orientation of an accessory relative to the helmet shell when attached thereto.

[0031] The accessory attachment systems described herein may be used to mount any number of different accessories to a helmet or other appropriate structure. For example, suitable accessories may include, but are not limited to, an illuminator, camera, video recorder, laser pointer, communications device, identification friend or foe (IFF) device, night vision goggles, and/or any other item that may be suitable for carriage by a helmet or as may be dictated by a mission specific requirement.

[0032] In addition to the above, it should also be noted that any suitable type of connection may be used to attach any of the components described herein together. The connection types may include the use of bolts, rivets, screws, or other connections that pass through a helmet shell. However, in some embodiments, a boltless connection between two or more components may be used. In such an instance, any suitable manner of connecting two or more components together without the use of a bolt or other mechanism that passes through both, or one, of the components may be used. Examples of boltless connections include, but are not limited to, adhesives, welds, brazes, mechanically interlocking features (e.g. pins, protrusions, holes, snaps, interference fits, clip connections, etc.), touch fasteners, integrally formed features, and/or any other suitable attachment mechanism.

[0033] For the sake of clarity, the embodiments described herein are directed to an accessory attachment system for a helmet system. However, the current disclosure is not limited in this fashion, and it should be understood that the accessory attachment systems described herein could be used with any appropriate device, protective article, vehicle, or other appropriate structure that includes one or more surfaces where a carrier and/or accessory attachment mount may be supported.

[0034] Turning now to the figures, several non-limiting embodiments are described in more detail. However, it should be understood that the current disclosure should not be limited to only the depicted embodiments. Instead, various embodiments, features, components, and methods and/or their alternatives may be combined in an appropriate manner as the disclosure is not so limited.

[0035] Figs. 1A-1B depict one embodiment of a helmet shell 2 with an attached accessory 4. In the depicted embodiment, the accessory is attached to an accessory attachment mount 6. Correspondingly, the accessory attachment mount is attached to a carrier 8 which is disposed on, and attached to, the helmet shell. Depending on the particular embodiment, the attachments between the various components noted above may either be permanently attached or selectively attachable to one another as the disclosure is not so limited. For example, in one specific embodiment, the carrier 8 is boltlessly attached to the helmet shell and the accessory attachment mount 6 is selectively attachable to the carrier 8. Correspondingly, the accessory is selectively attachable to the accessory attachment mount. In addition to the above, one or more of the depicted components may be integrally formed with the helmet shell as the disclosure is not so limited.

[0036] Figs. 2A-2B present a view of a helmet attachment system without an attached accessory. In addition to the carrier 8 and accessory attachment mount 6 described above, in some embodiments, the carrier is at least partially supported by an associated anchor 12 as described in more detail below and shown in the exploded view of Fig. 5. Further, the attachment system also may include a mounting interface 10 such as a mounting plate for night vision goggles. In such an embodiment, the mounting interface 10 is attached to the accessory attachment mount using any suitable method. For example, in one embodiment, a permanent attachment between the mounting interface and accessory attachment mount is achieved using methods such as adhesives, welding, brazing, press fits or any other suitable method. Alternatively, in other embodiments, a selective attachment between the mounting interface and accessory attachment mount such as bolts, clips, magnets, and other suitable attachment methods may be used. In yet another embodiment, the mounting interface may be integrated with the accessory attachment mount. In such an embodiment, the accessory attachment mount may interface directly with the corresponding accessory. In either case, the mounting interface may be used to attach any suitable accessory to the accessory attachment mount. These various structures and their interactions when assembled onto a helmet shell are described in more detail below.

[0037] As illustrated in Figs. 5-11, an anchor 12 may be attached to a desired position on a helmet shell 2. In the depicted embodiment, the anchor is positioned at a location corresponding to a front mount location on the helmet shell. Depending on the particular embodiment, the anchor may be attached in any suitable manner. For example, the anchor may be boltlessly attached to the helmet shell. As best illustrated in Figs. 10 and 11, the anchor also includes a first portion of a of a clip connection corresponding to slot 12a. The anchor also includes one or more interlocking features such as indentations 12b that interact with the carrier to support the carrier and maintain an orientation of the carrier relative to the helmet shell. Both the clip connection and interlocking features are detailed more below. [0038] As shown in Figs. 5-7 and 12-13, in some embodiments, carrier 8 includes a central portion 8a with arms 8g extending away from the central portion. The arms extend rearward and around the helmet shell. The arms may be used for attaching additional accessories to a helmet shell and/or for aiding in attachment of the carrier to the helmet shell. Depending on the particular embodiment, the carrier may be boltlessly connected to the helmet shell, or it may be attached using a typical bolted connection, as the disclosure is not so limited.

[0039] In addition to the above features, a carrier also may include an opening 8b formed in a central portion of the carrier. In one embodiment, the opening 8b is formed in the carrier 8 is sized and shaped to receive a correspondingly sized and shaped anchor 12, see Figs. 5-7. As shown in the figures, a top side of the opening abuts the top side of the anchor when both the anchor and carrier are attached to the helmet shell 2. Thus, a side of the carrier is supported by a side of the anchor, which maintains the carrier at a particular position on the helmet shell. It should be understood that while a particular arrangement has been illustrated, other sides and/or features of the carrier may be supported by a different side of the anchor as the disclosure is not limited to any particular arrangement.

[0040] In some embodiments, it also may be desirable to maintain an orientation of a carrier 8 relative to a helmet shell 2. Thus, a carrier may include one or more interlocking features such as tabs 8c illustrated in Figs. 6-7 and 12-13. In the depicted embodiment the interlocking features are located on one or more lateral sides of the carrier, though

embodiments in which the interlocking features are located on another side of the carrier are also contemplated. These interlocking features on the carrier interact with corresponding interlocking features located on the anchor 12, such as the indentations 12b described above, each of which are sized and shaped to form an interlocking connection when positioned on the helmet shell. The corresponding interlocking features located on the anchor may be located one or both of lateral sides of the anchor. As noted above, the anchor is locked in place on the helmet shell, and the interlocked features of the anchor and carrier resist movement and/or rotation of the carrier relative to the anchor. Thus, the interlocking features can resist movement and/or rotation of the carrier relative to the helmet shell which may help to maintain both a position and orientation of the carrier relative to the helmet shell. [0041] Referring again to Figs. 5-7, the assembly of anchor 12 and associated carrier

8 to helmet shell 2 is will now be described in detail. An anchor 12 is first positioned at a desired location on a helmet shell 2. In this particular embodiment, the anchor is located at a front brow location on the helmet shell. However, any desired attachment position might be used as the disclosure is not so limited. Once appropriately positioned, the anchor is attached to the helmet shell in any appropriate manner, including boltlessly. For example, the anchor may be positioned at a desired location by bonding the anchor to the helmet shell using an adhesive or other appropriate bonding method.

[0042] After attaching an anchor to the helmet shell, a carrier 8 is then moved proximate to the anchor such that anchor is received in an opening 8b of a central portion 8a of the carrier. In the depicted embodiment, the arms 8g are positioned such that they extend rearwardly from the central portion of the carrier and toward a temple region of an individual wearing the helmet. In addition to the above, as the carrier is positioned on the anchor, the interlocking features 8c and 12b of the carrier and anchor are engaged with one another as the anchor is received in the carrier opening. Similarly, in some embodiments, one or more sides of the anchor are engaged with one or more sides of the carrier opening. This engagement between the interlocking features and/or sides of the anchor and carrier opening may help to maintain a position and orientation of the carrier relative to the helmet shell. Once appropriately positioned on the helmet shell relative to the anchor, the carrier is then attached to the helmet shell using any suitable manner including boltless attachment methods. While a carrier including an opening for receiving the anchor has been described above, instances where the anchor is received in a cavity, separate structure, or other feature are also contemplated.

[0043] Turning now to Figs. 14-17, an accessory attachment mount 6 is described in more detail. In the depicted embodiment, the accessory attachment mount includes a frame 6a that engages with corresponding portions of a carrier to selectively attach the accessory mount to a helmet shell. In some embodiments, the accessory attachment mount includes a receptacle 6b sized and shaped to receive a mounting interface such as a mounting plate of a night vision goggle system. Alternatively, the receptacle or other portion of the accessory attachment mount may be directly attach to an accessory without the need for a separate mounting interface as the disclosure is not so limited. [0044] In instances where additional support is desired, an accessory attachment mount may include one or more support features such as wings 6c that extend outwardly from the frame. The wings are sized and shaped to rest against a corresponding surface, and/or engage a corresponding support feature, of a carrier. For example, the wings 6c may rest against an upper surface of the carrier arms 8g and be engaged with similarly shaped wing 8e extending out from a central portion 8a of the carrier as shown in Figs. 6-7 and 12- 13. To aid the engagement between the corresponding wings of the carrier and accessory attachment mount, the wings 6c of the accessory attachment mount may include a recess 6h formed on a rear surface of the wing, see Figs. 7C and 7D. The recess, or other suitable feature that engages with the accessory attachment mount, is sized and shaped to receive the correspondingly shaped wing 8e of the carrier such that at least one surface of the recess engages a corresponding surface of the wings on the carrier. This engagement between the support features and/or various surfaces of the carrier and accessory attachment mount may help to align and/or support the accessory attachment mount on the helmet shell.

[0045] In some embodiments, it is desirable to attach an accessory attachment mount to a helmet shell using a connection to the carrier that avoids the use of an attachment that passes through the helmet shell. In such an embodiment, the wings, or other appropriate portion of the accessory attachment mount, include a connection point for attachment to any desired portion of the carrier. Suitable connections include snap connections, interference fits, bolts, adhesives, welding, brazing, touch fasteners, or any other appropriate attachment method. For example, as depicted in the figures, through holes 6e are formed in a portion of the accessory attachment mount frame 6a, such as the wings 6c, and are aligned with the threaded holes 8d located on the carrier when the accessory attachment mount is attached thereto, see Figs. 5 and 12-17. Depending on the particular embodiment, the threaded holes located on, or in, the carrier may be formed in any number of ways. For example, as depicted in the figures, a threaded insert may be press fit, or otherwise bonded, in correspondingly sized and shaped holes formed in the carrier to provide a threaded hole in the carrier.

However, other configurations, including threaded holes formed directly in the material of the carrier, are also contemplated as the disclosure is not so limited. Additionally, while a particular connection between the accessory attachment mount and carrier is described above, it should be understood that embodiments in which a typical bolted connection between the accessory attachment mount and helmet shell is used are also contemplated as the disclosure is not so limited.

[0046] Depending on the embodiment, an accessory attachment mount may include a clip connection for attachment to an associated helmet shell. This connection may provide benefits such as quick and simple attachment of an accessory to the helmet shell. Figs. 10-11 and 14-18 illustrate one such embodiment of an accessory attachment mount 6 that includes a clip connection to a corresponding helmet shell 2. The clip connection may be formed between the accessory attachment mount and any appropriate portion of the helmet shell and/or component attached thereto. However, in the embodiment depicted in the figures, the clip connection includes a first portion corresponding to a slot 12a formed in an anchor 12 that is attached to the helmet shell as described above. The accessory attachment mount includes a second portion of the clip connection corresponding to a hook 6f extending rearwardly and downwardly from an accessory attachment mount frame 6a towards the helmet shell when attached thereto. The slot is sized and shaped to accept and retain the hook therein for attaching the accessory attachment mount to the helmet shell. A cross-section of the hook when positioned in the slot of the anchor is shown in Fig. 18. The mounting interface 10 has been omitted from Fig. 18 for clarity.

[0047] While a particular clip connection has been described above including a hook and slot combination, it should be understood that any appropriate connection capable of attaching an accessory attachment mount to the helmet shell may be used. For example, other possible connections that might be used include, but are not limited to: a hook and slot arrangement oriented in different directions and/or located in different positions; flexible interlocking elements such as spring arms associated with corresponding grooves and/or slots; corresponding magnets; touch fasteners; deformable interlocking features such as a mushroom head received in a hole formed in a deformable elastomeric material; as well as any other appropriate attachment mechanism as the disclosure is not so limited.

[0048] As noted previously, in some embodiments, it may be desirable to aid in maintaining an orientation of an accessory attachment mount 6 relative to a helmet shell 2. In such an embodiment, one or more alignment features may be associated with the accessory attachment mount as well as the helmet shell. Depending on the particular embodiment, alignment features associated with the helmet shell may either be attached to, disposed on, and/or integrated with one or more of the helmet shell itself or an anchor 12 disposed on the helmet shell, a carrier 8 disposed on the helmet shell, and/or any other appropriate component associated with the helmet shell. Referring Figs. 12-13 and 16-17, a carrier may include alignment features 8f, and the accessory attachment mount may include corresponding alignment features 6g. As depicted in the figures, the alignment features on the carrier may correspond to two elongated protrusions extending outwardly from the carrier and helmet exterior surfaces. The corresponding alignment feature on the accessory attachment mount in the depicted embodiment is a lip which extends around a rearward facing surface of the accessory attachment mount frame 6a and faces the carrier and helmet shell when attached thereto. The lip defines an outer perimeter of a recess that at least partially complements the size and shape of the elongated protrusions of the carrier when they are received in the accessory attachment mount. Consequently, when the elongated protrusions are positioned in the recess such that they are in contact with the lip, the elongated protrusions are locked in place, and the accessory attachment mount is unable to rotate relative to the helmet shell.

[0049] While a particular pair of corresponding alignment features are described above, it should be understood that any appropriate combination of features capable of maintaining an orientation of the accessory attachment mount relative to the helmet shell may be used. For example, suitable features include, but are not limited to, grooves, slots, lips, pins, holes, tabs, indentations, recesses, projections, as well as arrangements of magnetic materials to name a few.

[0050] As noted above, a mounting interface 10 may be used to selectively attach an accessory to an accessory attachment mount 6. In some embodiments, to facilitate the attachment of the mounting interface to the accessory attachment mount, the accessory attachment mount includes a receptacle 6a formed therein. The receptacle is sized and shaped to receive at least a portion of the mounting interface. Once received in the receptacle, through holes 6d formed in the accessory attachment mount are aligned with corresponding threaded holes formed in the mounting interface (not shown). The mounting interface is then attached to the accessory attachment mount using a suitable fastener.

However, other attachment mechanisms as previously discussed herein might also be used.

[0051] In instances where water may flow into the a slot 12a formed in an anchor, or other appropriate structure, it may be desirable to provide drainage to prevent the buildup and retention of water. In some embodiments, a slot may include one or more drainage points that provide fluid communication between the slot interior and an exterior of the component in which the slot is formed. For example, one or more drainage holes 12c are located in a bottom portion of the slot opposite the slot opening as best illustrated in Figs. 10 and 11. Consequently, any water flowing into the slot will subsequently flow out through the drainage holes.

[0052] Having described the various components of a mounting interface, an accessory attachment mount, a carrier, and an anchor, the assembly of a mounting interface and accessory attachment mount to a helmet shell including an assembled anchor and carrier is described in more detail with reference to Figs. 5 and 18.

[0053] Initially, a mounting interface 10 is positioned in a receptacle 6a of an accessory attachment mount 6 to align through holes 6d with a corresponding pair of threaded features on the mounting interface, not depicted. A pair of threaded fasteners 14 are then passed through the through holes 6d and are bolted into the threaded features on the mounting interface.

[0054] As an accessory attachment mount 6 is moved proximate to a carrier 8 disposed on a helmet shell 2, the first and second portions of a clip connection corresponding to a slot 12a and hook 6f formed on the accessory attachment mechanism and an anchor disposed on the helmet shell are engaged with one another to retain the accessory attachment mount on the helmet shell. As the clip connection is engaged, alignment features 6g and 8f of the accessory attachment mount and the carrier are brought into engagement to properly orient the accessory attachment mount relative to the helmet shell. Further, in some embodiments, additional support features such as wings 8e of the carrier are positioned in corresponding recesses 6h formed in similarly shaped wings 6c of the accessory attachment mount. As depicted in the figures, one or more surfaces of the wings 6c of the accessory attachment mount also may rest on an appropriate support surface such as the arms 8g of the carrier or other appropriate structure. Once the accessory attachment mount is properly seated, through holes 6d formed in a portion of the accessory attachment mount carrier frame 6a are aligned with corresponding threaded holes 8d formed in the carrier. Threaded fasteners 16 are then passed through the through holes and attached to the threaded holes in the carrier to further secure the accessory attachment mount to the carrier and helmet shell. However, other types of attachment methods as discussed herein also may be used.

[0055] When it is desirable to disassemble an accessory attachment system, or remove an accessory, the reverse of the above noted fastening steps may be performed. Depending on what is being done, in some instances, the disassembly may be a partial disassembly. For example a user may only removing the accessory attachment mount to remove and/or change an accessory which is subsequently attached to the helmet shell.

Alternatively, in some embodiments, the entire accessory attachment system may be removed from the helmet shell.

[0056] It should be understood that while a combination of various attachment and orientation features are described above, different types and/or combinations of attachment features may be used for attaching an accessory to a helmet shell as the current disclosure is not limited to any particular connection type or arrangement of features. Additionally, while the present teachings have been described in conjunction with various embodiments and examples, it is not intended that the present teachings be limited to such embodiments or examples. On the contrary, the present teachings encompass various alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as will be appreciated by those of skill in the art.

Accordingly, the foregoing description and drawings are by way of example only.