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1. (WO1997018399) IMPROVEMENTS RELATING TO MECHANICAL RELEASE SYSTEMS
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CLAIMS
1. A release mechanism comprising two aligned members coupled together by means whose abutting surfaces are aslant to the direction of alignment in a manner such that a parting force in the direction of alignment will wedge the abutting surfaces free of each other, allowing the members to decouple, an element constrictively encircling the members to resist that wedging action until the encircling element itself is released, and means for holding the encircling element in its constricting mode but disengage-able therefrom by a force substantially less than the maximum parting force sustainable by the coupled and constrictively encircled members.
2. A release mechanism as claimed in Claim 1, wherein said coupling means are hooks on the adjacent ends of said members, the toes of the hooks being aslant to give non-positive interengagement.
3. A release mechanism as claimed in Claim 1, wherein said coupling means includes a bridging member with wedge formations which engage complementary wedge formations on said members and which is also encircled by said element.
4. A release mechanism as claimed in Claim 3 , wherein there is a plurality of such bridging members, equi-spaced around said members.
5. A release mechanism as claimed in Claim 3 or 4 , wherein the wedge formations on said members are formed by screw threads on cylindrical end portions, and the wedge formations on the bridging member (s) are formed by comple- mentary threads.
6. A release mechanism as claimed in Claim 1, wherein the aligned members have an overlap and the overlapping portions are screw threaded to form part of the coupling means, with the threading effectively continuous over the join, and wherein a filament laid in the valley of the screw threading serves as both the other part of the coupling means and the encircling element.
7. A release mechanism as claimed in any preceding Claim, wherein the encircling element is a filament coiled around adjacent end portions of said members with one end held by a trip.
8. A release mechanism as claimed in Claim 7, wherein said one end of the filament has an eye and the trip is a pin through the eye.
9. A release mechanism as claimed in Claim 8, wherein the pin is housed mainly in a transverse passage provided by said members, one end projecting to co-operate with said eye and the other end being for connection to a trigger mechan-ism to pull the pin in a manner to withdraw said one end and release said eye.
10. A release mechanism as claimed in Claim 7, 8 or 9, wherein the other end of said filament is trapped by turns of the coil in the manner of a common whipping.