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Title:
UNIVERSAL EXTENSION BELT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/185015
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention discloses an apparatus, system, and related method that enables an aircraft operator to use the same extension belt component on an aircraft that has been configured with seats having lap belts from more than one manufacturer.

Inventors:
PRATT SMITH, Lori (1371 SW 8Th Street Unit #3, Pompano Beach, Florida, 33069, US)
GRILLIOT, Ron (1371 SW 8Th Street Unit #3, Pompano Beach, Florida, 33069, US)
BLACK, Barrington (1371 SW 8Th Street Unit #3, Pompano Beach, Florida, 33069, US)
MEIR ARNDT, Stefan (1371 SW 8Th Street Unit #3, Pompano Beach, Florida, 33069, US)
Application Number:
US2017/028911
Publication Date:
October 26, 2017
Filing Date:
April 21, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SCHROTH SAFETY PRODUCTS, LLC (1371 SW 8Th Street Unit #3, Pompano Beach, Florida, 33069, US)
International Classes:
B60R22/00; A44B11/25; A62B35/00; B60R22/12
Foreign References:
US5836656A1998-11-17
US20120146383A12012-06-14
US20090066071A12009-03-12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SUAREZ, Roberto (1428 Brickell Ave. Suite 100, Miami, Florida, 33131, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
A universal belt apparatus, the apparatus comprising:

a belt portion with a distal end terminating in a first distal end and a second distal end and a proximal end terminating in a first proximal end and a second proximal end;

a first latch fixedly attached to the first distal end of said belt portion; a second latch fixedly attached to the second distal end of said belt portion;

a first buckle slidingly attached near the first proximal end of said belt portion; and

a second buckle slidingly attached near the second proximal end of said belt portion.

A system for providing an aircraft operator with the ability to install lap belts from more than one manufacturer in the same aircraft, the system comprising:

an aircraft;

a plurality of seats with lap belts from more than one manufacturer; and an extension belt component having a one or more latch and a one or more buckle, where the one or more latch and the one or more buckle are compatible with the seats installed on the aircraft so that the aircraft operator can use the same extension belt component to extend any of the lap belts installed, regardless of manufacturer.

Description:
UNIVERSAL EXTENSION BELT

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This PCT application claims the benefit of priority to previously filed US Provisional Patent Application No. 62/325,845, filed on 21 April 2016, currently pending.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

None.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates generally to the field of vehicle restraints and, more specifically, to apparatus for extending aviation lap belts adaptable for use with multiple buckle-latch combinations.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Typically, lap seat belts used in aviation environments utilize buckle- latch systems that are proprietary to each seat belt manufacturer. Likewise, extension belts (a latch-belt-buckle apparatus known and used in the art to enlarge the lap belt circumference) are proprietary and matched to the belts installed in the aircraft seats. Therefore, if an aircraft operator installs lap seat belts from manufacturer "A" then they must also use an extension belt from manufacturer "A". Aircraft operators are reluctant to incorporate more than one manufacturer's lap seat belt due to the current need in the art to then have to stock the aircraft with extension lap belts for each manufacturer's lap seat belt, due to the proprietary buckle-latch hardware used.

[0003] It would, therefore, be desirable to have a universal extension belt apparatus that is configured to releasably attach to aviation lap belts from more than one manufacturer.

[0004] While certain aspects of conventional technologies and methods in the relevant art have been discussed to facilitate disclosure of the invention, Applicant in no way disclaims these technical aspects or methods, and it is contemplated that the claimed invention may encompass one or more of the conventional technical aspects or methods discussed herein.

[0005] In this specification, where a document, act, or item of knowledge is referred to or discussed, this reference or discussion is not an admission that the document, act, or item of knowledge or any combination thereof was, at the priority date, publicly available, known to the public, part of common general knowledge, or otherwise constitutes prior art under the applicable statutory provisions; or is known to be relevant to an attempt to solve any problem with which this specification is concerned. SUMMARY

[0006] In this specification and in the appended claims and drawings, words and phrases have the meanings commonly attributed to them in the relevant art except as otherwise specified herein.

[0007] The present invention may address one or more of the problems and deficiencies of the prior art discussed above. However, it is contemplated that the invention may prove useful in addressing other problems and deficiencies in a number of technical areas. Therefore, the claimed invention should not necessarily be construed as limited to addressing any of the particular problems or deficiencies discussed herein.

[0008] In view of the foregoing, an embodiment of the invention is directed toward universal extension belt apparatus. The apparatus is generally comprised of a one or more lengths of seat belt webbing material with a proximal end and a distal end. A one or more latch from a one or more manufacturer is fixedly attached to the proximal end of the one or more lengths of seat belt webbing material. A one or more buckle from a one or more manufacturer is slidingly attached near the distal end of the one or more lengths of seat belt webbing material. Each buckle is slidingly attached so that the occupant can adjust the length of the extension belt by pulling on the distal end of the seat belt webbing, effectively increasing or decreasing the distance between the latch(es) and the buckle(s) until the desired length is achieved.

[0009] The result is that, by utilizing the invention disclosed herein, aircraft operators may choose one, two, or more different seat belt manufactures depending on their needs without having to be constrained by the need to carry more than one type of extension belt.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings where the attached figures illustrate non-limiting embodiments of the invention disclosed herein.

[0011] FIG 1 illustrates a top view of an embodiment of the present invention showing a belt portion with a distal end and a proximal end, two latches fixedly attached at the distal end, and a buckle slidingly attached near the proximal end.

[0012] FIG 2 illustrates a top view of an embodiment of the present invention showing a belt portion with a distal end and a proximal end, where the belt portion distal end terminates in two separate belt lengths with a different latch style fixedly attached at each, and where the proximal end terminates in two separate belt lengths with a different buckle slidingly attached near each.

[0013] FIG 3 illustrates a side view of an embodiment of the present invention showing : a belt portion with a distal end terminating in a first distal end and a second distal end (as in a Y-split configuration) and a proximal end terminating in a first proximal end and a second proximal end (as in a Y-split configuration); an "A" latch fixedly attached to the first distal end of said belt portion; a "B" latch fixedly attached to the second distal end of said belt portion; an "A" buckle slidingly attached near the first proximal end of said belt portion; and a "B" buckle slidingly attached near the second proximal end of said belt portion.

DESCRIPTION

[0014] In the Summary of the Invention above and in the Description below, and in the accompanying drawings, reference is made to particular features of the invention. It is to be understood that the disclosure of the invention in this specification includes all possible combinations of such particular features. For example, where a particular feature is disclosed in the context of a particular aspect or embodiment of the invention, or a particular claim, that feature can also be used, to the extent possible, in combination with and/or in the context of other particular aspects and embodiments of the invention, and in the invention generally.

[0015] The term "comprises" and grammatical equivalents thereof are used herein to mean that other components, ingredients, steps, etc. are optionally present. For example, an article "comprising" (or "which comprises") components A, B, and C can consist of (i.e., contain only) components A, B, and C, or can contain not only components A, B, and C but also one or more other components.

[0016] The term "at least" followed by a number is used herein to denote the start of a range beginning with that number (which may be a range having an upper limit or no upper limit, depending on the variable being defined). For example, "at least 1" means 1 or more than 1. The term "at most" followed by a number is used herein to denote the end of a range ending with that number (which may be a range having 1 or 0 as its lower limit, or a range having no lower limit, depending upon the variable being defined). For example, "at most 4" means 4 or less than 4, and "at most 40%" means 40% or less than 40%. When, in this specification, a range is given as "(a first number) to (a second number)" or "(a first number) -(a second number)," this means a range whose lower limit is the first number and whose upper limit is the second number. For example, 25 to 100 mm means a range whose lower limit is 25 mm, and whose upper limit is 100 mm.

[0017] In this specification and in the appended claims and drawings, "vehicle", including grammatical equivalents, singular and plural, is to be understood as a means of transport including, but not limited to, cars, trucks, vans, busses, boats, airplanes, or helicopters.

[0018] In this specification and in the appended claims and drawings, "occupant", including grammatical equivalents, singular and plural, is to be understood as a passenger present in a seat in a vehicle.

[0019] In this specification and in the appended claims and drawings, "seat", including grammatical equivalents, singular and plural, is to be understood as a thing made or used for sitting on including, but not limited to, a seat, divan, bench, or sofa.

[0020] The terms "adapted" and "configured" are used interchangeably herein to state that a system or apparatus and machine can perform a certain function and is recited herein to provide guidance to those skilled in the art as to the scope of the claim. [0021] Any element in a claim that does not explicitly state "means for" performing a specified function, or "step for" performing a specific function, is not to be interpreted as a "means" or "step" clause as specified in 35 U.S.C. § 112, Tf 6. In particular, the use of "step of" in the claims herein is not intended to invoke the provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 112, Tf 6.

[0022] While the specification will conclude with claims defining the features of embodiments of the invention that are regarded as novel, it is believed that the invention will be better understood from a consideration of the following description in conjunction with the figures, in which like reference numerals are carried forward.

[0023] The embodiments herein and the various features and advantageous details thereof are explained more fully with reference to the non-limiting embodiments that are illustrated in the accompanying drawings and detailed in the following description. Descriptions of well-known components and processing techniques are omitted so as to not unnecessarily obscure the embodiments herein. The examples used herein are intended merely to facilitate an understanding of ways in which the embodiments herein may be practiced and to further enable those of skill in the art to practice the embodiments herein. Accordingly, the examples should not be construed as limiting the scope of the embodiments herein. Specifically, component names, types, and values, as depicted in the exemplary schematic diagrams, are not intended to limit the scope of the present invention and are presented only as possible embodiments. [0024] The various embodiments of the invention disclosed and described herein are contemplated to be applicable to other types of vehicles as well, regardless of whether for air, land, sea, or space travel.

[0025] We discuss now a preferred embodiment of the present invention in the form of a universal extension belt apparatus comprising: a belt portion with a proximal end and a distal end; a one or more latch fixedly attached to the belt portion proximal end; and a one or more buckle slidingly attached near the belt portion distal end.

[0026] The universal belt apparatus is contemplated to be adapted to have any number of latch styles on one end and any number of buckle styles on the other end. As a non-limiting example, where an aircraft operator utilizes two different seat belt manufacturers ("A" and "B"), an embodiment of the apparatus may comprise: a belt portion with a distal end terminating in a first distal end and a second distal end (as in a Y-split configuration) and a proximal end terminating in a first proximal end and a second proximal end (as in a Y-split configuration); an "A" latch fixedly attached to the first distal end of said belt portion; a "B" latch fixedly attached to the second distal end of said belt portion; an "A" buckle slidingly attached near the first proximal end of said belt portion; and a "B" buckle slidingly attached near the second proximal end of said belt portion.

[0027] An embodiment of the invention in the form of a system for providing an aircraft operator with the ability to install lap belts from more than one manufacturer in the same aircraft comprises an extension belt component, a one or more latch component, and a one or more buckle component, where the one or more latch components, and one or more buckle components are chosen from the styles and manufacturers installed on the aircraft so that the aircraft operator can use the same system to extend any of the lap belts installed, regardless of manufacturer.

[0028] An embodiment of the invention in the form of a related method for providing an aircraft operator with the ability to install lap belts from more than one manufacturer in the same aircraft comprises the steps of: providing a universal extension belt system where the system comprises an extension belt component, a one or more latch component, and a one or more buckle component, where the one or more latch components, and one or more buckle components are chosen from the styles and manufacturers installed on the aircraft so that the aircraft operator can use the same system to extend any of the lap belts installed, regardless of manufacturer.

[0029] For embodiments of the present invention adapted for use in vehicles regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the materials, structures, and manufacturing methods used are contemplated to comply with applicable Federal Aviation Requirements (FARs).

[0030] It will be appreciated that the devices, apparatus, and systems described above are set forth by way of example and not of limitation. Numerous variations, additions, omissions, and other modifications will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.

[0031] While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

[0032] In light of the foregoing description, it should be recognized that embodiments in accordance with the present invention can be realized in numerous configurations contemplated to be within the scope and spirit of the claims. Additionally, the description above is intended by way of example only and is not intended to limit the present invention in any way.