An assembly for mounting a visor on a helmet includes a visor assembly having a lens and a fastening element with a pair of latching prongs each with a resiliently displaceable prong end; a casing attached to the helmet and having a pair of channels each for receiving the a latching prong and a pair of fixtures, each fixture for engaging a respective prong end when displaced outwardly; and a lock having a pair of locking prongs, each locking prong being insertable into one channel from an opposite end as the latching prongs and each locking prong having a locking prong end that is positionable under a respective latching prong to prevent displacement of the latching prong end inwardly to disengage from the respective fixture.
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This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 13/236,993, entitled “HELMET ATTACHMENT MECHANISM FOR VISOR”, filed Sep. 20, 2011, which claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/384,389, entitled “HELMET ATTACHMENT MECHANISM FOR VISOR”, filed Sep. 20, 2010, each of which is herein incorporated by reference.TECHNICAL FIELD
The present invention relates to visors for use with helmets, and particularly for a visor and a mechanism for mounting the visor to the helmet to allow controlled actuation of the visor between deployed and stowed positions.BACKGROUND
Visors for use in military and law-enforcement helmets are known such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,901,369 and 4,536,892. These visors provide pivot arrangements on opposite lateral sides of the visor to allow the visor to be pivoted upward away from the user's face when the visor is not deployed. The visor is held in a deployed position in front of the user's face by locking of the pivot arrangements.
This headgear typically takes the form of a helmet having a hard outer shell formed of a synthetic composite material, and an inner foamed polymer lining. The hard outer shell withstands shock loads, while the resiliency of the foamed lining evenly dissipates the forces of the shock load over a wider area. This interaction between the outer shell and liner helps to protect the helmet wearer against head injury, such as a concussion. A visor or face shield is typically attached to the helmet to cover at least a portion of a helmet front opening. The visor protects the face and eyes of the wearer. A mounting mechanism attaches the visor to the helmet to permit raising and lowering of the visor between in use or deployed position and stowed position.
Protective headgear comprising a helmet and a visor which is mounted via a mechanism to permit visor movement between stowed and use positions are generally known. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,901,369; 5,604,930; 5,182,816; 5,012,528; 3,833,935; and 2,860,343 all describe helmet and visor assemblies.
The present inventors have recognized that there is a need for improved protective headgear for soldiers. In particular, present inventors have recognized there is a need for headgear having a mounting mechanism for a visor that allows a soldier to quickly and easily move the visor between deployed and stowed positions and also to quickly and easily remove the visor from the helmet for replacement or cleaning.SUMMARY
The present invention provides a helmet adapted for fitting upon a wearer's head, a visor and a mechanism for mounting the visor to the helmet. The helmet has a forward facing front opening that permits forward viewing by the wearer. The mounting mechanism allows the visor to be moved between a deployed position wherein the visor covers the front opening to protect the wearer's face and eyes, and a stowed position wherein the visor is completely clear of the front opening so as to not obstruct the forward view of the wearer.
The mounting mechanism includes a visor with a lens and a fastening element with a latching prong with a resiliently displaceable prong end, a casing attached to the helmet and having a channel for receiving the latching prong and a fixture for engaging the prong end when displaced outwardly, and a lock having a locking prong that is insertable into the channel from an opposite end as the latching prong and which has a locking prong end that is positionable under the latching prong to prevent displacement of the latching prong end inwardly to disengage from the fixture.
The casing can be pivotally and slidably attached to the helmet.
The lock can be spring biased in the casing to the locked position.
The lock can include a locking detent that is releasably engaged to the casing to hold the lock in the locked position.
The casing can be mounted onto a mounting assembly having an arcuate guide slot. The casing can have a lug that rides in the guide slot as the visor is raised from a deployed position to a tilted-up position.
The casing can be pivotally fastened to a lever that is pivotally fastened to the mounting assembly.
The mounting assembly can include a bracket having hooks that engage a brim of the helmet, a strap that attaches to the bracket, and a guide plate fastened to the bracket. The guide plate can provide the arcuate guide slot. An elastic cord can be fixed to the guide plate at one end and to the casing at an opposite end, the elastic cord channeled along a top of the guide plate.
The mounting assembly can also be pivotally fastened to the helmet.
The latching element can comprise a pair of prongs and the fixture in the casing can comprise edge portions of the casing that define opposite side windows. The latching prongs can be deflected inwardly to enter parallel channels and, when fully inserted, spring outwardly such that the latching prong ends enter the windows with the edges preventing outward retraction of the latching prongs from the casing. The locking prongs can be inserted into the locked position underlying the respective latching prongs in the parallel channels, preventing inward movement of the latching prongs.
The mounting mechanism of the headgear allows a wearer of the helmet to quickly and easily move the visor between deployed and stowed positions or remove the visor from the helmet. In addition, the visor in its stowed position does not obstruct the helmet wearer's line of sight or otherwise interfere with the wearer's forward view through the helmet's front opening. Moreover, the components of the headgear are relatively easy and inexpensive to manufacture.
Numerous other advantages and features of the present invention will be become readily apparent from the following detailed description of the invention and the embodiments thereof, from the claims and from the accompanying drawings.
While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings, and will be described herein in detail, specific embodiments thereof with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated.
At the same time the plug 124 snuggly fits into the central channel 134. The connectors 70 cannot be retracted from the casing 76 due to the presence of the hooks 120a, 122a in the windows 130a, 132a unless the hooks 120a, 122a are deflected toward each other to clear the windows 130a, 132a to be slid back out through the prong channels 130, 132.
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From the foregoing, it will be observed that numerous variations and modifications may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is to be understood that no limitation with respect to the specific apparatus illustrated herein is intended or should be inferred.
All references, including publications, patent applications, and patents, cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference to the extent that the references are not inconsistent with the present disclosure and to the same extent as if each reference were individually and specifically indicated to be incorporated by reference and were set forth in its entirety herein.
1. A fastener comprising:
- a latch including first and second latching prongs, the first latching prong having a first resiliently displaceable prong end, and the second latching prong having a second resiliently displaceable prong end;
- a casing to receive the latch including the first and second latching prongs, and the casing including first and second fixtures to engage the first and second prong ends respectively when the prong ends are displaced outwardly; and
- a lock positioned at least partially in the casing and positionable to be adjacent to each of the first and second latching prongs in a locked position to prevent an inward displacement of the prong ends that is sufficient to disengage the prong ends from the fixtures;
- wherein the lock is biased toward the locked position.
2. A fastener as in claim 1, further comprising a spring, wherein the spring biases the lock toward the locked position.
3. A fastener as in claim 2, wherein the spring is attached to the casing and to the lock, and the spring pulls on the lock to bias the lock toward the locked position.
4. A fastener as in claim 1, wherein the lock comprises first and second locking prongs, the first locking prong positionable adjacent to the first latching prong, and the second locking prong positionable adjacent to the second latching prong.
5. A fastener as in claim 4, wherein each of the first and second locking prongs comprises a tapered engagement end.
6. A fastener as in claim 1, wherein the lock includes a locking detent that is releasably engaged to the casing to hold the lock in the locked position.
7. A fastener as in claim 1, wherein:
- the first and second fixtures comprise first and second edge portions of the casing which define first and second openings;
- the casing includes first and second channels to receive the first and second latching prongs respectively;
- the latching prongs deflect inwardly to enter the channels; and
- when fully inserted, the latching prongs move outwardly such that ends of the latching prongs enter the openings with the edge portions preventing separation of the latch from the casing.
8. A fastener as in claim 1, wherein the casing is attached to a helmet.