Patent application title: Spring assisted articulating window armor system
Michael K. Benjamin (Germantown, TN, US)
Christopher J. Brady (Warren, MI, US)
Matthew R. Fodal (Dearborn Heights, MI, US)
Gerald J. Holmes (Livonia, MI, US)
Alan J. Peleshok (Livonia, MI, US)
Dainius E. Skiotys (Farmington Hills, MI, US)
John J. Sterne (White Lake, MI, US)
IPC8 Class: AF41H526FI
Class name: Shields transportable self-propelled, e.g., tanks, etc.)
Publication date: 2009-02-19
Patent application number: 20090044695
In the spring assisted articulating window armor system invention,
lightweight opaque armor is stored in the down position when not needed.
When the armor is needed, a locking pin is released and two air cylinders
or gas springs move the armor into the protected position. Then the upper
half is hinged to the lower half and the upper armor is raised into
position and the locking pin is reinstalled to hold the armor in
position. The system in the down position allows for a complete
unobstructed viewing area. In the semi-deployed or partial up position,
the system provides partial ballistic coverage for the occupant, and
still allows for some occupant vision capability. In the fully deployed,
or full up position, the system provides full ballistic coverage for the
1. A ballistic armor assembly for use with openable planar windows of
vehicles and boats, the assembly comprising:at least one opaque armor
panel positioned in permanent parallel juxtaposition to said window on a
pair of slide assemblies mounted on a wall surface on opposing sides of
said window inside said vehicle or boat for linear translation thereon
from a first lower position not obstructing said window to a second upper
position at least partially obstructing said window.
2. The ballistic armor assembly recited in claim 1 comprising two said opaque armor panels attached to one another along a common edge in hinged overlapped relation by at least one hinge whereby one such panel may be selectively rotated into coplanar contiguous relation with the other such panel.
3. The ballistic armor assembly recited in claim 1 further comprising at least one spring-based device connected at a first end to said at least one armor panel and connected at a second end to said wall surface for assisting the translation of said at least one armor panel from said first position to said second position.
4. The ballistic armor assembly recited in claim 2 further comprising a pair of spring-based devices positioned on opposed side edges of one of said two armor panels and each being connected at a first end to said one of said two panels and each being connected at a second end to said wall surface for assisting the translation of said hinged panels from said first position to said second position.
5. The ballistic armor assembly recited in claim 3 wherein said spring-based device comprises a gas spring.
6. The ballistic armor assembly recited in claim 4 wherein each of said spring-based devices comprises a gas spring.
7. The ballistic armor assembly recited in claim 2 further comprising a latch affixed to an edge of said rotated panel for attachment of said rotated panel to a first latch retainer affixed to said wall surface above said window to retain said rotated panel in an elevated position.
8. The ballistic armor assembly recited in claim 7 further comprising a second latch retainer affixed to said wall surface below said window to retain said two panels in overlapped rotation.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to the field of window armor and more particularly to a relatively lightweight window armor solution that is especially useful for vehicles and boats. Moreover, the present invention pertains to a window armor that still permits full use of the existing standard production glass window when no threat is present.
2. Background Art
Ballistic-resistant transparent glass is inherently heavier than opaque armor for the same threat level. Thus, the traditional method for providing protection for threats on windows, which requires ballistic glass, can be quite thick and heavy due to the amount of glass needed to stop the threat. In most installations, the production glass is removed and replaced with ballistic glass. Most ballistic glass systems are stationary and can't be opened. Alternatively, they may be provided with motors and special support structure to enable moving the glass up and down or back and forth to open and close the windows. Thus, in addition to the added weight of the ballistic glass, in order to enable one to open a window, there is still more weight for extra motors and special support structure. Such significant added weight is especially disadvantageous on a boat where the added weight may affect speed and balance.
Thus, there is a need to find a way to protect window areas from ballistic threats, which does not unduly add weight and/or make the windows un-openable, especially for boats, which may be readily affected by added weight.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention solves the aforementioned need by protecting windows with opaque armor plates that are nominally positioned to allow use of the original standard glass, plexiglass or other transparent windows.
The spring assisted articulating window armor system is a system which is mounted to the inside of a vehicle or boat leaving the original transparent glass in place and intact.
In the spring assisted articulating window armor system invention, lightweight opaque armor is stored in the down position when not needed. When the armor is needed, a locking pin is released and two air cylinders or gas springs move the armor into the protected position. Then the upper half is hinged to the lower half and the upper armor is raised into position and the locking pin is reinstalled to hold the armor in position.
The system in the down position allows for a complete unobstructed viewing area. In the semi-deployed or partial up position, the system provides partial ballistic coverage for the occupant, and still allows for some occupant vision capability. In the fully deployed, or full up position, the system provides full ballistic coverage for the occupant.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The aforementioned objects and advantages of the present invention, as well as additional objects and advantages thereof, will be more fully understood herein after as a result of a detailed description of a preferred embodiment when taken in conjunction with the following drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a three-dimensional view of a spring assisted articulating window armor assembly shown in its fully open position at the lower end of a conventional glass window; and
FIG. 2 is a three-dimensional view of the window armor assembly of FIG. 1, but shown in a partially closed position where it has been elevated into position by gas springs and is ready for being fully closed for maximum threat protection.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring to the accompanying drawings and initially to FIG. 1, it will be seen that a spring assisted articulating window assembly 10 is shown therein in its fully open position. The preferred embodiment depicted in the accompanying figures comprises a lower window opaque armor panel 11 and an upper window opaque armor panel 12. Lower panel 11 is secured within four brackets 13 (two on each opposing side edge) which are, in turn, secured to a pair of opposing slide assemblies 14, which are, in turn, mounting to the wall of the vehicle or boat adjacent the existing window 24, by four mounting blocks 15, (two on each opposite side of the window).
Lower panel 11 and upper panel 12 are hingedly interconnected by a pair of hinges 16. A latch 18 is affixed to the lower edge of upper panel 12 where it is held by a first retainer 17. A securing strap 19 may also be used to interconnect the lower edges of both panels 11 and 12.
The panels 11 and 12 may be translated from the lower stowed position shown in FIG. 1 to the upper deployment position shown in FIG. 2 with the assistance of a pair of gas springs 23. The gas springs are connected at their lower ends to respective brackets 21 at ball studs 22 and at their upper ends to brackets 20 which are secured to the lower panel 11. After the gas springs 23 are fully extended, the lower panel 11 is translated into the position shown in FIG. 2 along the lower half of window 24 and the upper panel 12 is in position to be hingedly rotated into juxtaposition with the upper half of window 24. This is done after releasing securing strap 19 and latch 18 from the lower latch retainer 17 and then re-latching latch 18 to upper retainer 17.
Once the upper panel 12 is in its fully closed position as shown by the dotted line in the upper left hand corner of FIG. 2, the window 24 is completely secure by being completely covered by a layer of opaque ballistic armor (panels 11 and 12) which is at least as protective as an equivalent, but much thicker and heaver layer, of ballistic glass. After the threat is abated, the upper panel 12 may be released from the upper latch retainer 17 and rotated around hinges 16. The gas springs 23 may then be released thereby allowing the upper and lower panels to be lowered along slide assemblies 14 to the stowed position shown in FIG. 1. In this position, window 24 is again almost fully uncovered, passing light into the boat or vehicle interior and fully accessible to be opened to allow air to enter as well.
It will now be apparent that what has been disclosed herein comprises a novel window armor assembly which provides significant protection against ballistic threats, but with substantially reduced weight and while allowing complete access to the existing original equipment standard window when the armor is in a stowed or standby condition. The preferred embodiment employs gas springs and slide assemblies to assist in lifting two hinged opaque armor panels from the stowed position below the standard window glass into a deployable position adjacent the existing window glass for rotation of an upper panel to close the armor panels into a fully protecting configuration. Those having skill in the window armor art, will now perceive various modifications and additions which may be made to the illustrated embodiment. Accordingly, the scope hereof is to be limited only by the appended claims and their equivalents.
Patent applications by Dainius E. Skiotys, Farmington Hills, MI US
Patent applications in class Self-propelled, e.g., tanks, etc.)
Patent applications in all subclasses Self-propelled, e.g., tanks, etc.)