(19)
(11)EP 3 187 416 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/19

(21)Application number: 16192320.6

(22)Date of filing:  05.10.2016
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B64D 11/00  (2006.01)

(54)

PASSENGER CABIN WITH SLIDING CLOSET

PASSAGIERKABINE MIT AUSZIEHBAREM SCHRANK

CABINE AVEC ARMOIRE COULISSANTE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 04.01.2016 US 201614987348

(43)Date of publication of application:
05.07.2017 Bulletin 2017/27

(73)Proprietor: The Boeing Company
Chicago, IL 60606-2016 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • ANDERSON, Anthony Earl
    Chicago, IL 60606-2016 (US)
  • MARA, Dennis Nantin
    Chicago, IL 60606-2016 (US)

(74)Representative: Plasseraud IP 
66, rue de la Chaussée d'Antin
75440 Paris Cedex 09
75440 Paris Cedex 09 (FR)


(56)References cited: : 
GB-A- 2 000 960
US-A- 6 007 025
US-A1- 2003 025 036
US-A1- 2012 248 245
US-B1- 8 519 824
US-A- 5 083 727
US-A1- 2002 062 521
US-A1- 2012 119 029
US-A1- 2015 115 100
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION


    1. Field:



    [0001] The present disclosure relates generally to storage of items and, in particular, to storage of smaller items. Still more particularly, the present disclosure relates to a sliding closet for storing smaller items in an aircraft.

    2. Background:



    [0002] In commercial aviation, passengers may bring carry-on items, such as jackets, clothing, or other small items into the passenger cabin. Small items may be stored within a passenger cabin in storage areas. Storage areas in the passenger cabin include areas on the floor underneath the passenger seats, overhead compartments, and closets in the front of each passenger cabin.

    [0003] Conventional closets on airplanes may face towards the entry aisle, providing a closet with a greater width than depth. Passengers may place small items into the conventional closets upon entering the airplane.

    [0004] Some conventional closets may face into the aisle of the passenger cabin. These conventional closets may have a width less than the depth. As a result, it may be undesirably difficult to access items in the back of the closet. Some of these conventional closets may have internal panels that prevent items from getting out of reach of the passengers. These internal panels may decrease the depth of the closet. The internal panels may create wasted volume in the aircraft.

    [0005] An example of a moveable closet for storing articles in an aircraft is disclosed in US 2003/0025036.

    [0006] US 8,519,824 discloses a modular environment for a vehicle which may include a configurable service space with a mounting system within the vehicle that has a number of modules configured to releasably engage the mounting system. The module environment also may include a service space control system able to electronically communicate with and identify at least one of the modules. The modular environment may also include an arch framework that supports a number of fixed modules and a number of configurable modules. A further embodiment is shown of a method for using a service space control system that controls a modular environment for a vehicle having a configurable service, and including a mounting system configured to releaseably engage a number of modules in a service space. The service space control system electronically communicates with and can identify at least one of the modules and limit its use to only authorized users

    [0007] GB 2000960 discloses a sliding-storage unit which can slide and has the shape of a parallelepiped, whose face adjacent to a cupboard is open and has storage shelves, and a retaining partition is arranged against the said shelves.

    [0008] Therefore, it would be desirable to have a method and apparatus that take into account at least some of the issues discussed above, as well as other possible issues. For example, it may be desirable to create useable closets with a width less than a depth.

    SUMMARY



    [0009] In one illustrative embodiment, an aircraft according to claim 1 is provided.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0010] The novel features believed characteristic of the illustrative embodiments are set forth in the appended claims. The illustrative embodiments, however, as well as a preferred mode of use, further objectives and features thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment of the present disclosure when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

    Figure 1 is an illustration of an aircraft in which an illustrative embodiment may be implemented;

    Figure 2 is an illustration of a block diagram of a manufacturing environment in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 3 is an illustration of an isometric view of a passenger cabin with a load-bearing wall in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 4 is an illustration of a side view of a passenger cabin with a load-bearing wall in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 5 is an illustration of an isometric view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 6 is an illustration of a side view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 7 is an illustration of an isometric view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 8 is an illustration of a back isometric view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 9 is another illustration of an isometric view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 10 is another illustration of a side view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 11 is another illustration of an isometric view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 12 is another illustration of a back isometric view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 13 is an illustration of an isometric view of a passenger cabin with a decorative panel on a load-bearing wall in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 14 is an illustration of a side view of a passenger cabin with a decorative panel on a load-bearing wall in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 15 is an illustration of a flowchart of a method for creating an assembly in a passenger cabin of a vehicle in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;

    Figure 16 is an illustration of an aircraft manufacturing and service method in the form of a block diagram in accordance with an illustrative embodiment; and

    Figure 17 is an illustration of an aircraft in the form of a block diagram in which an illustrative embodiment may be implemented.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0011] The different illustrative embodiments recognize and take into account one or more different considerations. For example, the illustrative embodiments recognize and take into account that design of aircraft interiors may take an undesirable amount of time. For example, each customer may have a desirable layout for a passenger cabin. By changing some components, loads may be recalculated for load-bearing walls in the passenger cabin. The load-bearing walls may be redesigned for each consumer passenger cabin design. Redesigns may take an undesirable amount of design time or manufacturing time.

    [0012] The different illustrative embodiments also recognize and take into account that consumers may wish to retroactively add features to pre-existing passenger cabins. For example, a consumer may wish to change the finishes or decor of a bulkhead after delivery and receipt. Alternatively, a consumer may wish to add or remove storage to a passenger cabin after delivery and receipt.

    [0013] With reference now to the figures and, in particular, with reference to Figure 1, an illustration of an aircraft is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. In this illustrative example, aircraft 100 has wing 102 and wing 104 attached to body 106. Aircraft 100 includes engine 108 attached to wing 102 and engine 110 attached to wing 104.

    [0014] Body 106 has tail section 112. Horizontal stabilizer 114, horizontal stabilizer 116, and vertical stabilizer 118 are attached to tail section 112 of body 106.

    [0015] Body 106 also has cockpit 120 and passenger cabin 122. In this example, passenger cabin 122 may include passenger seating in seating area 124. Passenger seating may include a number of aircraft seats. As used herein, a "number of" items means one or more items. For example, a number of aircraft seats means one or more aircraft seats.

    [0016] Further, seating area 124 in passenger cabin 122 may also include storage areas, such as a number of overhead compartments. Passenger cabin 122 also may include lavatory 126 and galley area 128. These two areas may be partitioned or separated from seating area 124 by a partitioning structure such as, for example, without limitation, a wall.

    [0017] This illustration of aircraft 100 is provided for purposes of illustrating one environment in which the different illustrative embodiments may be implemented. The illustration of aircraft 100 in Figure 1 is not meant to imply architectural limitations as to the manner in which different illustrative embodiments may be implemented. For example, aircraft 100 is shown as a commercial passenger aircraft. The different illustrative embodiments may be applied to other types of aircraft, such as a private passenger aircraft, a rotorcraft, or other suitable types of aircraft. Also, other areas may be present in addition to seating area 124, lavatory 126, and galley area 128. Other areas may include, for example, without limitation, closets, storage areas, lounges, or other suitable areas for passenger seating. As another example, airplane seats within seating area 124 may be arranged differently from the depicted example. In other illustrative embodiments, some seats may be grouped into sets of single seats instead of three seats or pairs of seats, as is illustrated in seating area 124.

    [0018] With reference now to Figure 2, an illustration of a block diagram of a manufacturing environment is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. In Figure 2, platform 200 may be one implementation of aircraft 100 in Figure 1. Although the illustrative examples for an illustrative embodiment are described with respect to an aircraft, an illustrative embodiment may be applied to other types of platforms. Platform 200 may be, for example, a mobile platform, a stationary platform, a land-based structure, an aquatic-based structure, or a space-based structure. More specifically, platform 200 may be a surface ship, a tank, a personnel carrier, a train, a spacecraft, a submarine, an automobile, a house, a manufacturing facility, a building, or other suitable platforms. In some illustrative examples, platform 200 may take the form of vehicle 201.

    [0019] A number of components may be installed within platform 200 in manufacturing environment 202. A component that may be installed in platform 200 includes load-bearing wall 204. In some illustrative examples, load-bearing wall 204 may be originally installed in platform 200. Load-bearing wall 204 may be an original component of platform 200. In other illustrative examples, load-bearing wall 204 may be retrofit into platform 200. A different wall may be present in platform 200 originally. Load-bearing wall 204 may replace the original wall.

    [0020] Load-bearing wall 204 is installed in passenger cabin 206 of platform 200. Load-bearing wall 204 may take the form of bulkhead 208 in interior 210 of aircraft 212. Load-bearing wall 204 in aircraft 212 is not merely cosmetic. Load-bearing wall 204 carries a load from airframe 214 of aircraft 212. Load-bearing wall 204 is substantially rigid 216 to carry a load from airframe 214. Load-bearing wall 204 is substantially rigid 216 to hold sliding closet 218.

    [0021] Sliding closet 218 includes exterior wall 220, first wall 222, second wall 224, movement system 226, number of openings 228, and number of cavities 230. Exterior wall 220 faces into passenger cabin 206 of vehicle 201. Exterior wall 220 may form a back for sliding closet 218. Exterior wall 220 may face seats 232 of passenger cabin 206. Exterior wall 220 may have any desirable aesthetic finish.

    [0022] In some illustrative examples, exterior wall 220 may be referred to as panel 221. In other illustrative examples, panel 221 may be a decorative panel attached to exterior wall 220. Panel 221 may face seats 232 of passenger cabin 206.

    [0023] First wall 222 and second wall 224 are perpendicular to exterior wall 220. First wall 222 and second wall 224 may form sides of sliding closet 218. First wall 222 faces into passenger cabin 206 of vehicle 201. First wall 222 may face aisle 234 of passenger cabin 206.

    [0024] First wall 222 has width 235. Second wall 224 has width 236. Width 235 and width 236 are the same. Changing width 235 of first wall 222 and width 236 of second wall 224 changes depth 237 of sliding closet 218.

    [0025] Movement system 226 takes the form of at least one of number of channels 238 parallel to number of openings 228 or number of rails 239 parallel to number of openings 228. As used herein, the phrase "at least one of," when used with a list of items, means different combinations of one or more of the listed items may be used, and only one of each item in the list may be needed. In other words, "at least one of" means any combination of items and number of items may be used from the list, but not all of the items in the list are required. The item may be a particular object, thing, or a category.

    [0026] For example, "at least one of item A, item B, or item C" may include, without limitation, item A, item A and item B, or item B. This example also may include item A, item B, and item C or item B and item C. Of course, any combinations of these items may be present. In other examples, "at least one of" may be, for example, without limitation, two of item A; one of item B; and ten of item C; four of item B and seven of item C; or other suitable combinations.

    [0027] When movement system 226 includes number of channels 238, load-bearing wall 204 includes number of rails 240. In this example, number of channels 238 is configured to connect to number of rails 240 such that sliding closet 218 may move along number of rails 240. When movement system 226 includes number of rails 239, load-bearing wall 204 includes number of channels 241. In this example, number of rails 239 is configured to connect to number of channels 241 such that sliding closet 218 may move along number of channels 241.
    Number of openings 228 is parallel to exterior wall 220. Items may be placed into sliding closet 218 through number of openings 228.

    [0028] Number of cavities 230 is formed by exterior wall 220, first wall 222, second wall 224, and number of openings 228. Items may be placed into and stored within number of cavities 230 of sliding closet 218. In some illustrative examples, sliding closet 218 may also include divider 242. When sliding closet 218 includes divider 242, number of cavities 230 is further formed by divider 242. Divider 242 may increase the quantity of number of cavities 230.

    [0029] In some illustrative examples, sliding closet 218 may be installed in platform 200 in manufacturing environment 202. In other illustrative examples, sliding closet 218 may be installed in platform 200 while platform 200 is undergoing maintenance. In some examples, sliding closet 218 may be installed in platform 200 while platform 200 is in service.

    [0030] In some illustrative examples, sliding closet 218 may be initially installed in platform 200. In other illustrative examples, sliding closet 218 may be retroactively applied. When sliding closet 218 is retroactively applied, sliding closet 218 may replace a previously installed component.

    [0031] For example, sliding closet 218 may replace panel 243. Panel 243 may be a decorative panel. Panel 243 may remain stationary when connected to load-bearing wall 204.

    [0032] As used herein, a first component "connected to" a second component means that the first component can be connected directly or indirectly to the second component. In other words, additional components may be present between the first component and the second component. The first component is considered to be indirectly connected to the second component when one or more additional components are present between the two components. When the first component is directly connected to the second component, no additional components are present between the two components.

    [0033] Panel 243 may have at least one of number of channels 244 or number of rails 245 to interface with load-bearing wall 204. In some illustrative examples, panel 243 may be connected to load-bearing wall 204 when a sliding closet, such as sliding closet 218, is not desired in platform 200. In these illustrative examples, panel 243 may disguise at least one of number of channels 241 or number of rails 240. In one example, panel 243 may serve other functions other than aesthetics. For example, panel 243 may provide advertising.

    [0034] In some illustrative examples, panel 243 may be connected to load-bearing wall 204 as a placeholder until a sliding closet may be installed. In these illustrative examples, panel 243 may be removed when a sliding closet is being installed. For example, panel 243 may be removed and sliding closet 254 or sliding closet 218 may be installed.

    [0035] Sliding closet 218 may move relative to load-bearing wall 204 using movement system 226. To place sliding closet 218 into open position 246, sliding closet 218 may move towards aisle 234.

    [0036] When sliding closet 218 is in open position 246, number of cavities 230 is accessible. When sliding closet 218 is in closed position 248, number of cavities 230 is not accessible. When sliding closet 218 is in open position 246, number of cavities 230 faces away from seats 232. When sliding closet 218 is in open position 246, number of cavities 230 may face entry aisle 250 of aircraft 212.

    [0037] When platform 200 is aircraft 212, exterior wall 220 may have curved side 251. Curved side 251 may follow a curve formed by airframe 214. For example, curved side 251 may follow the interior curve of body 106 of aircraft 100 of Figure 1. Curved side 251 may be complementary to an interior surface of passenger cabin 206 of the aircraft 212.

    [0038] To restrain sliding closet 218 from movement, sliding closet 218 includes number of locking mechanisms 252. Number of locking mechanisms 252 may include at least one of a hook and eye latch, a bolt latch, a box latch, a magnetic lock, or any other desirable type of locking mechanism. In some illustrative examples, number of locking mechanisms 252 may be positioned within movement system 226. In one example, number of locking mechanisms 252 may lock automatically when sliding closet 218 is placed into closed position 248. By releasing number of locking mechanisms 252, sliding closet 218 may be free to move relative to load-bearing wall 204.

    [0039] Sliding closet 218 may be one option of a component that may be connected to load-bearing wall 204. Other components such as panel 243 or sliding closet 254 may be connected to load-bearing wall 204. Sliding closet 218 may be referred to as part of a modular system. In some illustrative examples, sliding closet 218, panel 243, or sliding closet 254 may be interchanged for each other.

    [0040] Sliding closet 254 includes exterior wall 256, first wall 258, second wall 260, movement system 262, number of openings 264, and number of cavities 266. First wall 258 has width 268. Second wall 260 has width 270. Width 268 and width 270 are the same. Changing width 268 of first wall 258 and width 270 of second wall 260 will change depth 272 of sliding closet 254. Depth 272 of sliding closet 254 may be different than width 236 of sliding closet 218. By offering both width 236 and width 270, customers may customize the interior of platform 200.

    [0041] The illustration of platform 200 in Figure 2 is not meant to imply physical or architectural limitations to the manner in which an illustrative embodiment may be implemented. Other components in addition to or in place of the ones illustrated may be used. Some components may be unnecessary. Also, the blocks are presented to illustrate some functional components. One or more of these blocks may be combined, divided, or combined and divided into different blocks when implemented in an illustrative embodiment.

    [0042] For example, sliding closet 218 may optionally interface with a track or other type of mechanism in the floor of passenger cabin 206. By interfacing with a track or other mechanism in the floor of passenger cabin 206, sliding closet 218 may move smoothly.

    [0043] Turning now to Figure 3, an illustration of an isometric view of a passenger cabin with a load-bearing wall is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. Passenger cabin 300 may be a portion of passenger cabin 122 of Figure 1. Passenger cabin 300 may be a physical implementation of a portion of passenger cabin 206 of Figure 2.

    [0044] As depicted, passenger cabin 300 has seats 302, curved wall 304, and load-bearing wall 306. Load-bearing wall 306 may be a physical implementation of load-bearing wall 204.

    [0045] Load-bearing wall 306 carries some portion of the load of the structure of passenger cabin 300. Load-bearing wall 306 is not entirely cosmetic. However, load-bearing wall 306 may include desirable cosmetic finishes on at least one side. In this illustrative example, load-bearing wall 306 has number of channels 308. Any desirable component may be connected to-load-bearing wall 306 using number of channels 308. In other illustrative examples, load-bearing wall 306 may include a number of rails or any other desirable type of connection. Turning now to Figure 4, an illustration of a side view of a passenger cabin with a load-bearing wall is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. View 400 is a side view of passenger cabin 300 of Figure 3. As can be seen in view 400, load-bearing wall 306 may function as bulkhead 402 in passenger cabin 300.

    [0046] Turning now to Figure 5, an illustration of an isometric view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. Passenger cabin 500 may be a portion of passenger cabin 122 of Figure 1. Passenger cabin 500 may be a physical implementation of a portion of passenger cabin 206 of Figure 2.

    [0047] As depicted, passenger cabin 500 has seats 502, curved wall 504, load-bearing wall 506, and sliding closet 508. Load-bearing wall 506 may be a physical implementation of load-bearing wall 204 of Figure 2. Sliding closet 508 may be a physical implementation of sliding closet 218 of Figure 2.

    [0048] Load-bearing wall 506 carries some portion of the load of the structure of passenger cabin 500. Load-bearing wall 506 is not entirely cosmetic. However, load-bearing wall 506 may include desirable cosmetic finishes on at least one side.

    [0049] In this illustrative example, sliding closet 508 is connected to load-bearing wall 506. Sliding closet 508 is moveable relative to load-bearing wall 506. Sliding closet 508 has exterior wall 510 and first wall 512. Exterior wall 510 faces into passenger cabin 500. Specifically, exterior wall 510 faces seats 502. In this illustrative example, exterior wall 510 has curved edge 514.

    [0050] First wall 512 faces into passenger cabin 500. More specifically, first wall 512 is perpendicular to exterior wall 510 and faces aisle 516.

    [0051] Turning now to Figure 6, an illustration of a side view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. View 600 is a side view of passenger cabin 500 of Figure 5. As can be seen in view 600, sliding closet 508 and load-bearing wall 506 may function as bulkhead 602 in passenger cabin 500.

    [0052] Further, first wall 512 has width 604. Width 604 of first wall 512 affects depth 606 of sliding closet 508. Increasing width 604 of first wall 512 may also increase depth 606 of sliding closet 508. Decreasing width 604 of first wall 512 may also decrease depth 606 of sliding closet 508.

    [0053] Turning now to Figure 7, an illustration of an isometric view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. View 700 is an isometric view of passenger cabin 500. In view 700, sliding closet 508 has moved in direction 701 relative to load-bearing wall 506.

    [0054] In this illustrative example, sliding closet 508 has moved relative to load-bearing wall 506 along number of rails 702 of load-bearing wall 506. As depicted, sliding closet 508 may be described as being in open position 704. When sliding closet 508 is in open position 704, items may be placed into sliding closet 508.

    [0055] To move sliding closet 508 in direction 701, a number of locking mechanisms (not depicted) may be released. To restrain sliding closet 508 from movement relative to load-bearing wall 506, the number of locking mechanisms (not depicted) may be activated.

    [0056] Turning now to Figure 8, an illustration of a back isometric view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. View 800 is a back isometric view of passenger cabin 500 of Figure 5. View 800 is another view of passenger cabin 500 after sliding closet 508 has moved in direction 701 of Figure 7 relative to load-bearing wall 506.

    [0057] In view 800, number of openings 802, divider 804, number of cavities 806, and number of channels 808 are visible. Number of channels 808 may interact with number of rails 702 of Figure 7 of load-bearing wall 506 to provide sliding movement of sliding closet 508. Number of channels 808 may be referred to as a movement system for sliding closet 508.

    [0058] Items may be placed into sliding closet 508 by placing the items through one of number of openings 802 and into one of number of cavities 806. Divider 804 causes the quantity of number of cavities 806 to be two total cavities. Upper cavity 809 of number of cavities 806 may be used to store smaller items such as hats, gloves, or small packages. Lower cavity 810 of number of cavities 806 may be used to store larger or longer items such as umbrellas, jackets, or large packages. To place sliding closet 508 into a closed position, sliding closet 508 may be moved in direction 812.

    [0059] Turning now to Figure 9, another illustration of an isometric view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. Passenger cabin 900 may be a portion of passenger cabin 122 of Figure 1. Passenger cabin 900 may be a physical implementation of a portion of passenger cabin 206 of Figure 2.

    [0060] As depicted, passenger cabin 900 has seats 902, curved wall 904, load-bearing wall 906, and sliding closet 908. Load-bearing wall 906 may be a physical implementation of load-bearing wall 204 of Figure 2. Sliding closet 908 may be a physical implementation of sliding closet 218 of Figure 2.

    [0061] Load-bearing wall 906 carries some portion of the load of the structure of passenger cabin 900. Load-bearing wall 906 is not entirely cosmetic. However, load-bearing wall 906 may include desirable cosmetic finishes on at least one side.

    [0062] In this illustrative example, sliding closet 908 is connected to load-bearing wall 906. Sliding closet 908 is moveable relative to load-bearing wall 906. Sliding closet 908 has exterior wall 910 and first wall 912. Exterior wall 910 faces into passenger cabin 900. Specifically, exterior wall 910 faces seats 902. In this illustrative example, exterior wall 910 has curved edge 914.

    [0063] First wall 912 faces into passenger cabin 900. More specifically, first wall 912 is perpendicular to exterior wall 910 and faces aisle 916.

    [0064] Sliding closet 908 may have the same types of components as sliding closet 508 of Figure 5. However, sliding closet 908 may have different dimensions than sliding closet 508. Sliding closet 908 and sliding closet 508 may be interchangeable options for an aircraft.

    [0065] However, as depicted, the quantity of rows in seats 902 may be lower than the quantity of rows in seats 502 of Figure 5. Accordingly, some redesign of the seats within passenger cabin 900 may occur to exchange sliding closet 908 for sliding closet 508 or vice versa.

    [0066] However, sliding closet 908 or sliding closet 508 may be exchanged without removing load-bearing wall 906. Load-bearing wall 906 may be configured to carry loads and also be connected to any of a number of sliding closets with different dimensions. For this reason, load-bearing wall 906 may be referred to as a universal wall. Load-bearing wall 906 may be referred to as a standard component. This universal wall need not be exchanged when exchanging sliding closet 908 for another component. Turning now to Figure 10, another illustration of a side view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. View 1000 is a side view of passenger cabin 900 of Figure 9. As can be seen in view 1000, sliding closet 908 and load-bearing wall 906 may function as bulkhead 1002 in passenger cabin 900.

    [0067] Further, first wall 912 has width 1004. Width 1004 of first wall 912 affects depth 1006 of sliding closet 908. Increasing width 1004 of first wall 912 may also increase depth 1006 of sliding closet 908. Decreasing width 1004 of first wall 912 may also decrease depth 1006 of sliding closet 908.

    [0068] As can be seen, width 1004 is greater than width 604 of Figure 6. Likewise, depth 1006 of sliding closet 908 is greater than depth 606 of sliding closet 508 of Figure 6.

    [0069] Turning now to Figure 11, another illustration of an isometric view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. View 1100 is an isometric view of passenger cabin 500. In view 1100, sliding closet 908 has moved in direction 1101 relative to load-bearing wall 906.

    [0070] In this illustrative example, sliding closet 908 has moved relative to load-bearing wall 906 along number of rails 1102 of load-bearing wall 906. As depicted, sliding closet 908 may be described as being in open position 1104. When sliding closet 908 is in open position 1104, items may be placed into sliding closet 908.

    [0071] To move sliding closet 908 in direction 1101, a number of locking mechanisms (not depicted) may be released. To restrain sliding closet 908 from movement relative to load-bearing wall 906, the number of locking mechanisms (not depicted) may be activated.

    [0072] Turning now to Figure 12, another illustration of a back isometric view of a passenger cabin with a sliding closet is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. View 1200 is a back isometric view of passenger cabin 900 of Figure 9. View 1200 is another view of passenger cabin 900 after sliding closet 908 has moved in direction 1101 of Figure 11 relative to load-bearing wall 906.

    [0073] In view 1200, number of openings 1202, divider 1204, number of cavities 1206, and number of channels 1208 are visible. Number of channels 1208 may interact with number of rails 1102 of Figure 11 of load-bearing wall 906 to provide sliding movement of sliding closet 908. Number of channels 1208 may be referred to as a movement system for sliding closet 908.

    [0074] Items may be placed into sliding closet 908 by placing the items through one of number of openings 1202 and into one of number of cavities 1206. Divider 1204 causes the quantity of number of cavities 1206 to be two total cavities. Upper cavity 1209 of number of cavities 1206 may be used to store smaller items such as hats, gloves, or small packages. Lower cavity 1210 of number of cavities 1206 may be used to store larger or longer items such as umbrellas, jackets, or large packages. To place sliding closet 908 into a closed position, sliding closet 908 may be moved in direction 1212.

    [0075] Turning now to Figure 13, an illustration of an isometric view of a passenger cabin with a decorative panel on a load-bearing wall is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. Passenger cabin 1300 may be a portion of passenger cabin 122 of Figure 1. Passenger cabin 1300 may be a physical implementation of a portion of passenger cabin 206 of Figure 2. As depicted, passenger cabin 1300 has seats 1302, curved wall 1304, load-bearing wall 1306, and panel 1308. Load-bearing wall 1306 may be a physical implementation of load-bearing wall 204 of Figure 2.

    [0076] Load-bearing wall 1306 carries some portion of the load of the structure of passenger cabin 1300. Load-bearing wall 1306 is not entirely cosmetic. However, load-bearing wall 1306 may include desirable cosmetic finishes on at least one side.

    [0077] In this illustrative example, panel 1308 is connected to load-bearing wall 1306. Panel 1308 is not moveable relative to load-bearing wall 1306. Panel 1308 faces seats 1302. Panel 1308 may also be described as a decorative panel. Panel 1308 may have any desirable finish. Panel 1308 may serve as a cover for any number of channels or any number of rails of load-bearing wall 1306.

    [0078] In some illustrative examples, panel 1308 may be permanent. For example, a sliding closet may not be desired. Panel 1308 may cover a number of rails or a number of channels of load-bearing wall 1306. Panel 1308 may provide desirable aesthetics. In some illustrative examples, panel 1308 may provide additional functionality. For example, panel 1308 may also provide advertising.

    [0079] In some examples, panel 1308 may be temporary. Panel 1308 may be a placeholder until a sliding closet is ordered and installed. Because panel 1308 is interchangeable, a customer may be able to exchange panel 1308 for other desirable components at a later date.

    [0080] Turning now to Figure 14, an illustration of a side view of a passenger cabin with a decorative panel on a load-bearing wall is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. View 1400 is a side view of passenger cabin 1300 of Figure 13. As can be seen in view 1400, panel 1308 and load-bearing wall 1306 may function as bulkhead 1402 in passenger cabin 1300.

    [0081] The different components shown in Figure 1 and Figures 3-14 may be combined with components in Figure 2, used with components in Figure 2, or a combination of the two. Additionally, some of the components in Figure 1 and Figures 3-14 may be illustrative examples of how components shown in block form in Figure 2 can be implemented as physical structures. Turning now to Figure 15, an illustration of a flowchart of a method for creating an assembly in a passenger cabin of a vehicle is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. Process 1500 may be used to install components in passenger cabin 206 of Figure 2. Process 1500 may be used to install components of Figures 5-14. For example, process 1500 may be used to install sliding closet 508 of Figure 5, sliding closet 908 of Figure 9, or panel 1308 of Figure 13.

    [0082] Process 1500 first installs a load-bearing wall having a number of rails in a passenger cabin of a vehicle (operation 1502). Process 1500 then connects a panel associated with a number of channels to the load-bearing wall using the number of channels and the number of rails (operation 1504). Afterwards the process terminates. The panel may be directly or indirectly connected to the load-bearing wall. The panel may be any desirable component. For example, the panel may be a decorative panel such as panel 1308 of Figure 13. In some illustrative examples, the panel may be a component of a sliding closet. For example, the panel may be exterior wall 510 of sliding closet 508 or exterior wall 910 of sliding closet 908.

    [0083] The flowcharts and block diagrams in the different depicted embodiments illustrate the architecture, functionality, and operation of some possible implementations of apparatus and methods in an illustrative embodiment. In this regard, each block in the flowcharts or block diagrams may represent a module, a segment, a function, and/or a portion of an operation or step.

    [0084] In some alternative implementations of an illustrative embodiment, the function or functions noted in the blocks may occur out of the order noted in the figures. For example, in some cases, two blocks shown in succession may be executed substantially concurrently, or the blocks may sometimes be performed in the reverse order, depending upon the functionality involved. Also, other blocks may be added in addition to the illustrated blocks in a flowchart or block diagram.

    [0085] For example, process 1500 may further comprise restraining the sliding closet using a locking mechanism. Process 1500 may also comprise releasing the locking mechanism and moving the sliding closet along the number of rails using the number of channels.

    [0086] As another example, the panel is a decorative panel facing into a passenger cabin of a vehicle. In this example, process 1500 may further comprise removing the panel from the load-bearing wall and connecting a sliding closet associated with a number of channels to the load-bearing wall using the number of channels and the number of rails.

    [0087] Illustrative embodiments of the disclosure may be described in the context of aircraft manufacturing and service method 1600, as shown in Figure 16, and aircraft 1700, as shown in Figure 17. Turning first to Figure 16, an illustration of an aircraft manufacturing and service method is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. During pre-production, aircraft manufacturing and service method 1600 may include specification and design 1602 of aircraft 1700 and material procurement 1604.

    [0088] During production, component and subassembly manufacturing 1606 and system integration 1608 of aircraft 1700 in Figure 17 takes place. Thereafter, aircraft 1700may go through certification and delivery 1610 in order to be placed in service 1612. While in service 1612 by a customer, aircraft 1700is scheduled for routine maintenance and service 1614, which may include modification, reconfiguration, refurbishment, and other maintenance or service.

    [0089] Each of the processes of aircraft manufacturing and service method 1600 may be performed or carried out by a system integrator, a third party, and/or an operator. In these examples, the operator may be a customer. For the purposes of this description, a system integrator may include, without limitation, any number of aircraft manufacturers and major-system subcontractors; a third party may include, without limitation, any number of vendors, subcontractors, and suppliers; and an operator may be an airline, a leasing company, a military entity, a service organization, and so on.

    [0090] With reference now to Figure 17, an illustration of an aircraft is depicted in which an illustrative embodiment may be implemented. In this example, aircraft 1700 is produced by aircraft manufacturing and service method 1600 in Figure 16, and may include airframe 1702 with plurality of systems 1704 and interior 1706. Examples of systems 1704 include one or more of propulsion system 1708, electrical system 1710, hydraulic system 1712, and environmental system 1714. Any number of other systems may be included.

    [0091] Apparatuses and methods embodied herein may be employed during at least one of the stages of aircraft manufacturing and service method 1600 in Figure 16.

    [0092] One or more illustrative embodiments may be used during component and subassembly manufacturing 1606. For example, load-bearing wall 204 in Figure 2 may be installed during component and subassembly manufacturing 1606. Further, sliding closet 218 may be connected to load-bearing wall 204 during either component and subassembly manufacturing 1606 or maintenance and service 1614. For example, aircraft 1700 may be inspected during scheduled maintenance for aircraft 1700.

    [0093] Thus, one or more illustrative embodiments may provide an aircraft comprising an apparatus for creating storage. A load-bearing wall is associated with at least one of a number of rails or a number of channels. A panel is connected to the load-bearing wall using at least one of the number of rails or the number of channels. The panel may take the form of a decorative panel or a portion of a sliding closet.

    [0094] By having a sliding closet, passengers may have a greater volume for storage. Further, ease of use of a closet in a bulkhead may be increased.

    [0095] Yet further, passenger cabins may be retroactively updated with any one of a number of interchangeable components. For example, a decorative panel, a sliding closet, or other component may be removed and replaced with any other desirable component.

    [0096] Yet further, the time for design of passenger cabins may be reduced. Specifically, the use of a universal load-bearing wall may reduce design time by eliminating load-bearing calculations each time a closet is added to a passenger cabin.

    [0097] The description of the different illustrative embodiments has been presented for purposes of illustration and description, and is not intended to be exhaustive or limited to the embodiments in the form disclosed. Many modifications and variations will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. Further, different illustrative embodiments may provide different features as compared to other desirable embodiments. The embodiment or embodiments selected are chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the embodiments, the practical application, and to enable others of ordinary skill in the art to understand the disclosure for various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated.


    Claims

    1. An aircraft (212) having an airframe (214), a vehicle passenger cabin (206), a load-bearing wall (204) inside the passenger cabin (206), said load-bearing wall (204) carrying a load from said airframe (214), and a sliding closet (218) movable relative to said load-bearing wall (204) between an open position (246) and a closed position (248), said sliding closet (218) comprising:

    an exterior wall (220), wherein the exterior wall (220) faces into said passenger cabin (206);

    a first wall (222) and a second wall (224) perpendicular to the exterior wall (220);

    a number of openings (228) parallel to the exterior wall (220), said openings (228) being accessible in the open position (246) and not accessible in the closed position (248);

    a movement system (226); and

    a number of cavities (230) formed by the exterior wall (220), the first wall (222), the second wall (224), and the number of openings (228), said cavities (230) facing an entry aisle (250) of said aircraft (212) when said sliding closet (218) is in open position,

    wherein either movement system (226) includes number of channels (238) and load-bearing wall (204) includes number of rails (240) where number of channels (238) is configured to connect to number of rails (240) such that sliding closet (218) may move along number of rails (240), or movement system (226) includes number of rails (239) and load-bearing wall (204) includes number of channels (241) where number of rails (239) is configured to connect to number of channels (241) such that sliding closet (218) may move along number of channels (241).
     
    2. The aircraft (212) of claim 1, wherein the first wall (222) faces into the passenger cabin (206).
     
    3. The aircraft (212) of any one of claims 1 or 2, wherein changing a width (235) of the first wall (222) and the second wall (224) changes a depth (237) of the sliding closet (218).
     
    4. The aircraft (212) of any one of claims 1-3 further comprising:
    a divider (242) perpendicular to the exterior wall (220), the first wall (222), and the second wall (224), wherein the divider (242) forms the number of cavities (230).
     
    5. The aircraft (212) of any one of claims 1-4 further comprising:
    a number of locking mechanisms (252) configured to restrain movement of the sliding closet (218).
     
    6. The aircraft (212) of any one of claims 1-5, wherein the exterior wall (220) has a curved side (251), and wherein the curved side (251) is complementary to an interior surface of the passenger cabin (206) of the aircraft (212).
     
    7. The aircraft (212) of any one of the preceding claims, wherein:

    said load-bearing wall (204) has a number of rails (240); and

    a panel (221, 256, or 243) of said exterior wall (220) is connected to the load-bearing wall (204) using the number of rails (240).


     
    8. The aircraft (212) of claim 7, wherein the load-bearing wall (204) is a standard component, and wherein the panel (221, 256, or 243) is an interchangeable component.
     
    9. The aircraft (212) of any one of claims 7 or 8, wherein the panel (221, 256, or 243) is a decorative panel (243) facing into the passenger cabin (206).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Flugzeug (212) mit einer Flugzeugzelle (214), einer Flugzeugpassagierkabine (206), einer lasttragenden Wand (204), die innerhalb der Passagierkabine (206) angeordnet ist und eine Last aus der Flugzeugzelle trägt, und einem ausziehbaren Schrank (218), der relativ zu der lasttragenden Wand (204) zwischen einer offenen Position (246) und einer geschlossenen Position (248) bewegbar ist, wobei der ausziehbare Schrank (218) aufweist:

    eine Außenwand (220), die der Passagierkabine (206) zugewandt ist;

    eine erste Wand (222) und eine zweite Wand (224) senkrecht zur Außenwand (220);

    mehrere Öffnungen (228) parallel zur Außenwand (220), wobei in der offenen Position (246) die Öffnungen (228) zugänglich sind und in der geschlossenen Position (248) nicht zugänglich sind;

    ein Bewegungssystem (226); und

    mehrere Hohlräume (230), die von der Außenwand (220), der ersten Wand (222), der zweiten Wand (224) und den mehreren Öffnungen (228) gebildet sind, wobei die Hohlräume (230) einem Eintrittsgang (250) des Flugzeugs (212) zugewandt sind, wenn der ausziehbare Schrank (218) in der offenen Position ist,

    wobei

    entweder das Bewegungssystem (226) mehrere Rillen (238) aufweist und die lasttragende Wand (204) mehrere Schienen (240) aufweist, wobei die mehreren Rillen (238) konfiguriert sind, mit den mehreren Schienen (240) zu koppeln, so dass der ausziehbare Schrank (218) sich entlang der mehreren Schienen (240) bewegen kann,

    oder das Bewegungssystem (226) mehrere Schienen (239) aufweist und die lasttragende Wand (204) mehrere Rillen (241) aufweist, wobei die mehreren Schienen (239) konfiguriert sind, mit den mehreren Rillen (241) zu koppeln, so dass der ausziehbare Schrank (218) sich entlang der mehreren Rillen (241) bewegen kann.


     
    2. Flugzeug (212) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die erste Wand (222) der Passagierkabine (206) zugewandt ist.
     
    3. Flugzeug (212) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 oder 2, wobei ein Ändern einer Breite (235) der ersten Wand (222) und der zweiten Wand (224) eine Tiefe (237) des ausziehbaren Schranks (218) ändert.
     
    4. Flugzeug (212) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, weiterhin aufweisend:
    eine Trennwand (242), die senkrecht zur Außenwand (220), der ersten Wand (222) und der zweiten Wand (224) ist, wobei die Trennwand (242) die mehreren Hohlräume (230) bildet.
     
    5. Flugzeug (212) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, weiterhin aufweisend:
    mehrere Verriegelungsmechanismen (252), die konfiguriert sind, eine Bewegung des ausziehbaren Schranks (218) zu beschränken.
     
    6. Flugzeug (212) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, wobei die Außenwand (220) eine gewölbte Seite (251) hat, und wobei die gewölbte Seite (251) komplementär zu einer Innenfläche der Passagierkabine (206) des Flugzeugs (212) ist.
     
    7. Flugzeug (212) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei:

    die lasttragende Wand (204) mehrere Schienen (240) hat; und

    unter Verwendung der mehreren Schienen (240) ein Paneel (221, 256 oder 243) der Außenwand (220) mit der lasttragenden Wand (204) verbunden ist.


     
    8. Flugzeug (212) nach Anspruch 7, wobei die lasttragende Wand (204) eine Standardkomponente ist, und wobei das Paneel (221, 256 oder 243) eine auswechselbare Komponente ist.
     
    9. Flugzeug (212) nach einem der Ansprüche 7 oder 8, wobei das Paneel (221, 256 oder 243) ein der Passagierkabine (206) zugewandtes dekoratives Paneel ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Aéronef (212) ayant une cellule (214), une cabine passagers (206) de véhicule, une paroi porteuse (204) à l'intérieur de la cabine passagers (206), ladite paroi porteuse (204) supportant une charge à partir de ladite cellule (214), et un placard coulissant (218) mobile par rapport à ladite paroi porteuse (204) entre une position ouverte (246) et une position fermée (248), ledit placard coulissant (218) comprenant :

    une paroi extérieure (220), dans lequel la paroi extérieure (220) fait face dans ladite cabine passagers (206) ;

    une première paroi (222) et une seconde paroi (224) perpendiculaires à la paroi extérieure (220) ;

    un nombre d'ouvertures (228) parallèle à la paroi extérieure (220), lesdites ouvertures (228) étant accessibles dans la position ouverte (246) et non accessibles dans la position fermée (248) ;

    un système de déplacement (226) ; et

    un nombre de cavités (230) formé par la paroi extérieure (220), la première paroi (222), la seconde paroi (224), et le nombre d'ouvertures (228), lesdites cavités (230) faisant face à un couloir d'entrée (250) dudit aéronef (212) lorsque ledit placard coulissant (218) est en position ouverte,

    dans lequel soit un système de déplacement (226) inclut un nombre de rainures (238) et une paroi porteuse (204) inclut un nombre de rails (240) où un nombre de rainures (238) est configuré pour être relié à un nombre de rails (240) de telle sorte qu'un placard coulissant (218) puisse se déplacer le long d'un nombre de rails (240), soit un système de déplacement (226) inclut un nombre de rails (239) et une paroi porteuse (204) inclut un nombre de rainures (241) où un nombre de rails (239) est configuré pour être relié à un nombre de rainures (241) de telle sorte qu'un placard coulissant (218) puisse se déplacer le long d'un nombre de rainures (241).


     
    2. Aéronef (212) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la première paroi (222) fait face dans la cabine passagers (206).
     
    3. Aéronef (212) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 ou 2, dans lequel un changement d'une largeur (235) de la première paroi (222) et de la seconde paroi (224) change une profondeur (237) du placard coulissant (218).
     
    4. Aéronef (212) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3 comprenant en outre :
    une cloison (242) perpendiculaire à la paroi extérieure (220), à la première paroi (222), et à la seconde paroi (224), dans lequel la cloison (242) forme le nombre de cavités (230).
     
    5. Aéronef (212) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4 comprenant en outre :
    un nombre de mécanismes de blocage (252) configuré pour limiter un déplacement du placard coulissant (218).
     
    6. Aéronef (212) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans lequel la paroi extérieure (220) a un côté incurvé (251), et dans lequel le côté incurvé (251) est complémentaire d'une surface intérieure de la cabine passagers (206) de l'aéronef (212).
     
    7. Aéronef (212) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel :

    ladite paroi porteuse (204) a un nombre de rails (240) ; et

    un panneau (221, 256, ou 243) de ladite paroi extérieure (220) est relié à la paroi porteuse (204) à l'aide du nombre de rails (240).


     
    8. Aéronef (212) selon la revendication 7, dans lequel la paroi porteuse (204) est un élément standard, et dans lequel le panneau (221, 256, ou 243) est un élément interchangeable.
     
    9. Aéronef (212) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 7 ou 8, dans lequel le panneau (221, 256, ou 243) est un panneau décoratif (243) faisant face dans la cabine passagers (206).
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description