Canada & USA.
Although there have been irregular consignments to & from both the USA and Canada, the highlight contract was the transfer of a launch gantry from Hucknall near Nottingham, to the NASA engine test facility at Stennis, Mississippi.
We’d start by explaining that a launch gantry is a tower, from which a Rolls Royce Trent engine is attached, mimicking the engine being suspended from the wing of an aircraft, to enable testing for extended periods.
Working with our various partners, STGs task was to remove the critical gantry section, dismantle and catalogue the components, pack where necessary and transport to Prestwick airport, for loading to a Jumbo freighter. The aircraft then flew direct to Atlanta where a workshop was standing by to refurbish the unit – essentially cleaning to bare metal, x-ray testing for stress cracks and repainting – we always remember that the paint cost £48 a litre!
The final stage was the leg from Atlanta to Stennis and reassembly, bringing back into play the engineers from the UK, who had originally dismantled the unit at Hucknall. This in itself was no mean feat – given the security clearances at Stennis, the warnings to avoid the rattlesnakes and instructions to evacuate the tower, should a thunderstorm be on its way!.
STG were responsible, in the absolute sense, for the standard and performance of all the contributing parties – more particularly for achieving the contracted time frame, ensuring that the test program suffered the minimum disruption, in the run up to the launch of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.