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ACE Moves Fighter Jet


BIRMINGHAM - A jet was placed on top of Banks High school in 1958 and has been restored by many volunteers who care about the history of banks and care about cool aircraft. In this Spirit of Alabama.

When: February 4, 2012

Client: Southern Museum of Flight

Project Information:

Alabama Casters & Equipment was contacted in the summer of 2011 by the Southern Museum of Flight.  Jim Griffin, Executive Director and Wayne Novy, Curator and Director of Operations were looking for a way to move a refurbished airplane from a maintenance hanger to its permanent display area.  During our initial meeting we discussed the specifications, logistics, and special needs required.  After hearing all the details, we knew from our experience in metal fabrication, custom material-handling designs and access to heavy-duty industrial casters, we could meet or exceed all the necessary demands for this project. 

The problem was that the airplane's wingspan was too long for it to pull down the road.  It could not pass between the telephone poles lining both sides of the roadway.  The airplane had to be moved sideways.  In order to do this, custom dollies needed to be designed and fabricated.  The factors determining the fabrication where: 1) The dollies needed to fit the airplane's wheels and hold the airplane steady and secure, 2) The dollies needed to be able to support the estimated weight of the airplane, 3) The casters needed to be made of a material that not only could roll over several types of surfaces, but also be able to support the weight of the airplane, 4) The dollies needed to be fabricated where there would be a minimal amount of stress to the airplane's wheels and undercarriage,  5) The cost needed to be within budget. 

After taking physical measurements and doing an on-site inspection, a prototype was designed and built.  We settled on a “tri-pod” style dolly with casters that were conservatively rated to support the required weight.  We also designed the dollies where one out of the three casters on each dolly were “lockable” on order to facilitate easy transportation.  The final design was one that required the airplane to be lifted only three to four inches off the ground in order to reduce the stress it took to place the dollies under the wheels.

Alabama Casters and Equipment solved a big problem for the Southern Museum of Flight.. How to move a fighter jet down a public street sideways.

If you have a big problem you need  solving our just need help with a fabrication project click here and contact us today..

Watch the video below to see the ACE solution in action.


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