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Largest crane in the western hemisphere that I worked on

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  • Largest crane in the western hemisphere that I worked on

    Click on the link to see a very large crane I worked on back in 1965. It is used to build the super carriers at Newport News shipbuilding in Virginia.

    The crane is the very large blue one that says "Newport News Shipbuilding" on it. It spans over the aircraft carrier.

    It can pick up 1000 tons. I forget the span.

    You can click through the slides and there are quite a few different views of it.

    I remember the year I worked on it because I was driving a new 1965 Gran Prix, so it was 1965. It was built by Alliance Machine in Alliance, Ohio where I worked.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/s...326-story.html

    Here is a video about "Big Blue". This video has a lot of false info about it through in the write up about the video.

    Krupp might have done the uprating,( so it can pick up 1000 metric tons now); but it was built by Alliance machine. The reason they had Krupp quote the uprating is because Alliance machine was out of business by 1976 when they had it done.

    http://gizmodo.com/5946017/the-233-f...craft-carriers

    A metric ton is 1000 kilograms or about 2200 pounds, or about 10% more than a regular ton.

  • #2
    It weighs 10 million pounds? What a behemoth. If it fell over it would put a hole in the earth. You didn't park near it, did you, Lou? =)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Baruch View Post
      It weighs 10 million pounds? What a behemoth. If it fell over it would put a hole in the earth. You didn't park near it, did you, Lou? =)
      It is large. It is as tall as a 20 story building, yet it moves. But the span is like a 50 story building.

      Seeing this brought back memories of long ago. It is rewarding to see that it is still being used to build super carriers.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post
        It is large. It is as tall as a 20 story building, yet it moves. But the span is like a 50 story building.

        Seeing this brought back memories of long ago. It is rewarding to see that it is still being used to build super carriers.
        1965 is 50 years ago this year. Apparently it was built better than they thought, since they uprated it. Not many people can say they had a part in equipment that functioned so long and well. I'd consider that a rewarding legacy, as earthly things go.

        That machine is an enduring servant, and who is given the glory in the world of machines? The carriers that the servant built, and the fighter jets and the long-range fuel tanks. Hm.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Baruch View Post
          1965 is 50 years ago this year. Apparently it was built better than they thought, since they uprated it. Not many people can say they had a part in equipment that functioned so long and well. I'd consider that a rewarding legacy, as earthly things go.

          That machine is an enduring servant, and who is given the glory in the world of machines? The carriers that the servant built, and the fighter jets and the long-range fuel tanks. Hm.
          Thanks for those good thoughts Barry.

          We started in 1965 but did not finish until much later

          It was not fabricated until well after that

          Then it had to be shipped by barge even later

          Then it took about a year to erect it in site

          I do not remember when it made it's first lift - but maybe around 1975

          But you are right that is a long time especially the way things are built today

          Not only that but it may be being used 50 years from now, or even longer

          I designed all the machinery for a much taller crane than that one. It does not lift near as heavy of a load, but it is almost 400 feet tall and moves. That is a 40 story building that moves. I did all the machinery that makes it move and that lifts the loads. I worked at a place called PACECO in Gulfport Miss then.

          BTW, these cranes are calculated to be able to withstand hurricanes winds. Although I did not do that part, so can not say they will or not.

          I was not the project leader on that crane. the project leader told me to use a certain size for the beams of the machinery base. I said, are you sure, that does not seem large enough. Well no problem i can calculate them to make sure. he told me NOT to calculate them, but just use that size.

          I was bothered by this, so I made the calculations on the sly. I could not ask anyone for the weights I needed and other info, so the calculations were several times more time consuming that necessary. I also had to hide the fact that i was doing them. I finally came up with a stress of 55,000 PSI on mild steel. That is way over the yield strength.

          The whole machinery house would have taken a permanent bend in it when they lifted it while erecting the crane. It would have been embarrassing beyond belief for everyone involved. My name would have been on the drawings.

          I went to the structural engineer that did all the cals for the main structure while the PL was out. i told him the whole story. he was very concerned and told me that he would run all the calculations on his computer using all the weights and info that was on the job.

          He came to me the next day and said the base was stressed to 55,000 PSI just as i said. It would have been ruined during erection on site.

          He said he would take care of it.

          A short while later, him, the project leader, the chief engineer, and the president of the company were all around my board. I had the machinery house all done.

          I told them I drew it with this in mind and I could make the corrections in a day. Everyone was very relieved. But the project leader was not pleased with me. I have no hard feelings for him and would enjoy seeing him if he is still alive.

          I do not know what else i could have done. i did everything to try to convince him to allow me to run the calculations. he refused several times. I had to go around him or it would fail. He never once came to me to thank me for saving his project.

          The politics among mere men are always difficult.

          There is One and Only One who is always Righteous and full or mercy and grace. There never has to be hard feeling with Jesus. He never makes a mistake, and He always forgives if we confess.

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