Case study

Airfreight transportation solution

The challenge

The cargo bay in the world’s largest cargo aircraft is just tall enough to carry one of the world’s largest aircraft engines, with 45mm to spare (discounting crane beams). But for the engine to fit safely in the cargo bay, it must sit at exactly 5.5º nose-up to offer its minimum height. With this in mind, Frazer-Nash was asked to design a bespoke transportation frame which would support the engine during shipping. This needed to be low-profile, resistant to an entirely different set of load cases than normally seen by jet engine trolleys, structurally efficient and lightweight.

Our solution

Due to the unusual requirements of this project, we set about establishing a multidisciplinary project team of design and structural experts who would work together to capture the requirements and design a structure that would support the engine. Using design analysis tools such as CAD and Finite Element Analysis, the team then evaluated a number of potential design solutions, taking into account proof load testing, trial operation, trial fitting and first flight. The design proposals were agreed and using this technology, the manufacturing team were able to bypass the traditional 2D detail drawing route and build a prototype directly from the 3D model.

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Transportation frame showing available aircraft envelope
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Actual transportation frame

Benefits

The key challenge was the particularly tight deadlines in which to deliver this project. Frazer-Nash worked closely with all customers, the manufacturers, the carrier and all other stakeholders to manage the project well within the timelines, which resulted in substantial cost savings for the client.

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