Friday, August 19, 2011
In a shipyard in Scotland the future of the Royal Navy is slowly taking shape. But the construction of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is a mammoth task.
Imagine an aircraft carrier as a 65,000-tonne jigsaw puzzle and you have got a good idea of the scale of the building of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The pieces are being built at six shipyards around the UK and will be slotted together at Rosyth in Fife using an enormous crane which was transported by sea from China.
Around 10,000 workers across Britain are employed on the £5bn project with up to 25,000 engaged in building components for the Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft.
The carrier will have 12 F-35s, or Joint Strike Fighters, costing around £65m each.
"It's the biggest shipbuilding project for the Royal Navy ever and is second only in engineering terms to the Olympics," says the man in charge of the whole project, David Downs, engineering director with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) consortium.
"All my nights are sleepless, worrying about it," he jokes.
The Queen Elizabeth and sister ship Prince of Wales will be far bigger than the Ark Royal but still significantly smaller than US equivalents.
Explore the zoomable image below to see how a QE Class aircraft carrier (left) would compare in dry dock alongside HMS Illustrious.
Downs and his team designed the ships using computer software - every inch mapped out electronically with laser-guided measurements which ensure each part fits together.
Uniquely, a team of assessors from Lloyd's Register are on hand at all the yards to check the work as it proceeds.
BAE Systems is part of ACA and at its Govan yard in Glasgow, integrated work teams manager David Thomas gives a tour around one huge segment of the ship.
Things have changed - in 1924 the Navy's aircraft carriers were converted battleships Clambering under the hulk, wearing only a hard hat for protection, it's hard not to think of what would happen if the frame holding up 14,000 tons of steel gave way. But Thomas is reassuring on the yard's safety record.
He has been supervising the insertion of some of the 450 prefabricated cabins and 150 shower rooms - made by a firm on Teesside - in the ship's innards. He carries with him a small manual showing where everything fitted.
Anyone who finds the instructions to flatpack furniture a challenge would find it mind-boggling.
The whole process starts with the arrival of huge sheets of steel. They are "burned" into various shapes and sizes - some of them quite small - which are welded into position.
Gradually the sections become bigger as deck after deck is welded together.
One of the Govan team is Lyn Gordon, 23, an apprentice fabricator and one of a number of women working on the project.
"My fascination with shipbuilding came from living on the Clyde," she says. "I realise that it will eventually be an aircraft carrier and I will get to see it turning from a sheet of a metal, to a component, to HMS Queen Elizabeth."
The first segment from Govan should be ready this summer and will be towed by barge, around the northern tip of Scotland, to Rosyth.
At Rosyth the dry dock is ready for the assembly process. Last month the crane arrived from Shanghai, having squeezed under the Forth Bridge at low tide.
Rosyth has List X status, meaning everyone working there has to be security cleared, including the 50 Chinese workers who are helping to erect the 93m crane.
The first piece of steel was cut in 2009 but HMS Queen Elizabeth will not be finished until 2016 at the earliest, and may not be ready for action until 2020.
The construction of her sister ship, the HMS Prince of Wales, will overlap and the current plan is for one of them to be operational while the other would be kept in "extended readiness".
With the Ark Royal's fleet of Harrier jump jets being decommissioned the Navy will be without carrier-based planes for almost a decade.
Recent events in Libya have showed the importance of mobile air power.
The MoD complicated matters in October when it decided, in the Strategic Defence Review, to fit the carriers with catapults and arrester wires.
The "cats and traps" will enable them to fly the carrier variant F-35 and will also enable US and French jets to land on the deck. But it will also delay the completion of the carriers.
"If they get the two ships in the form they are expected they will be enormously capable ships. It's like having a piece of Britain you can place anywhere in the world," says naval historian Nick Hewitt.
Aircraft carriers are arguably the ultimate symbol of military prestige, a mobile projection of military might.
The Royal Navy pioneered carriers, explains Hewitt, head of attractions and collections at the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust. The first carriers were converted battlecruisers like the 7,500 ton Ark Royal, whose biplanes first saw action in February 1915 against the Turks in the Dardanelles.
Since the 1930s, US carriers have dwarfed their British allies, Hewitt notes.
"The US carriers were designed for the Pacific and to be away from base indefinitely. The British carriers were designed to operate in the North Sea, the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic or from bases in Singapore or India."
HMS Invincible, which fought in the Falklands, and HMS Ark Royal, which was recently pensioned off, weighed in at a puny 22,000 tons compared to the American carriers such as the USS George H W Bush, at 101,000 tons. The QE Class weighs in in between - at 65,000 tonnes full displacement.
When it is finally ready the Queen Elizabeth will only be able to navigate the Forth Bridge and reach the open sea by waiting for low tide, and even then they will have to retract the radar masts.
The project has had its critics.
The former deputy chairman of Babcock - which is part of the ACA - Lord Hesketh resigned in November after describing the project as a "disaster".
He told the BBC the carriers could have been built for a fraction of the cost at a shipyard in South Korea and claims the project only went ahead in its present form because of the number of jobs it preserved.
Posted by Bashir Ahmed Mughal at 5:32 PM
The Boeing 777 is a widebody long-range aircraft, manufactured by Boeing.
Boeing 777 is the largest bi-plane jet in the world, with the most powerful engine ever produced.
It can carry between 283 and 368 passengers in a typically three classes configuration, up to 17,000 km, linking the main cities nonstop.
The visual characteristics of the Boeing 777, which differ from other aircrafts, are the diameter of its engines (they are the world's largest), its landing gear with six tires each (total 12), and its fuselage circular and Long
Boeing 787 pictures
It will be the first commercial aircraft to be manufactured primarily with composite material and carbon fiber. Replace the Boeing 767 and Boeing 757. Designed to be a long-range aircraft, will make nonstop flights between cities far away, who never had a direct connection. It is expected that the scope of the Boeing 787 is the average of 6500 km (-3 model, higher passenger capacity) to 15,000 km (models -8 and -9).
The Boeing 787 is produced with 50% composite materials and aluminum 20%, 15% titanium, 10% steel and 5% other materials. The Boeing 777 has only 12% of composite materials and 50% aluminum. Another interesting factor is that it autodetect errors and passes immediately to the ground, thus causing the plane landed, the maintenance staff know what to do it.
It has three engines - RR / GE - the range varies from 4,650 km (787-3) to 15,750 km (787-8), the first was developed for the Japanese market by replacing the A300-600R, and even 767-200/-300 the 777-200 on some routes.
Your cost per mile is 12% lower than airplanes of similar size and thanks to its composite structure, it weighs only 130 tons, against 180 of the A330, which is considered a direct competitor. In addition, the fuel consumption of 787 is 20% smaller than its more modern competitors, which dramatically changed the interest from prospective buyers of Airbus aircraft, in support of this modern launch of Boeing.
Furthermore it is 60% quieter than any jet. While a Boeing 767 needs every six years to do a thorough review, the 787 is twelve years.
Boeing 747 pictures
The Boeing 747 is a widebody long-range aircraft, designed and produced by American company Boeing. First widebody in history, measuring two and a half times the size of the Boeing 707, until then the largest long-range aircraft of the 1960s.
Nicknamed Jumbo, is the most famous aircraft in aviation history and kept a record of passengers carried by 37 years since its first flight in 1970.
It is a four turbojet that produced the first double decker configuration (two floors in part of the aircraft) of aviation, which is its most notable physical feature: the superior-anterior hump.
The Airbus A380 is a airplane designed and built by Airbus SA, is the largest commercial airplane in history.
The plane, often called the Superjumbo, made its maiden flight on April 27, 2005 in Toulouse, France.
The Airbus A380 took over ten years and about 12 billion euros to develop.
Egypt Air has officially confirmed that it will be adjusting capacity on itsFar East routes from the on set of the IATA Summer 09 timetable. The main highlights are as follows:
PEK - flights via BKK to be suspended and instead 3 weekly nonstop flights will be launched using a 2 class A 330-200.
CAN - frequencies increased to 4 weekly flights using a B 772ER all flown via BKK.
Radical New Discovery - Egypt - Pyramids!!!
Gregory Volz Northwest UFO Chasers - Pyramid combines Salt, Water and Creates Bubble Reaction, HUGE BATTERY, Taps power and ejects LIGHT @ ORION's Belt. Pyramid is Giant Hydrogen Powered Battery + Wireless Transfer of Electric Power Through Quartz Crystal Obelisks.
Batteries (Pyramids) were built all over the planet to eject light into night sky. in and around the Stonehenge location has giant batteries too!
The layout of Stonehenge points to ORIONS belt and the Pleiades to try and make contact with our Alien Intelligent Fore Fathers who genetically modified Australopythicus which ultimately developed into Atlantis at its center of land mass. The golden age of the world stretched from Atlantis to the Dalai Llama through east India, as far south as Antarctica, as far east as Easter Island, As far North as North Canada. They had flight, they had diamond tipped stone cutters second to none. The had Harmonic Resonation High Frequency balancers that could instantaneously heal the human body! Northwest UFO Chasers
This is a MUST WATCH -
Pyramid Code - Carmen Boulter PhD - Alien Intelligent Contact from ORION'S Belt
Thursday, August 11, 2011
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