The Crane Used For Building Aircraft Carriers


Aircraft carriers are extremely large in size, and building one is a difficult task. The construction process of the aircraft carriers requires the use of large cranes with great power and lifting capacities, like the Gizmodo Big Blue. This large crane is generally used for building aircraft carriers and other big-sized construction projects. The Gizmodo Big Blue is a 4600 ton gantry-style crane, and is 71 meter tall, while the span of this large crane is around 164 meters long.

The Big Blue was manufactured in 1976 by Krupp, a German manufacturer of heavy machines. Currently, this crane is employed by Newport News Shipbuilding, where the first Ford-class aircraft carrier is being assembled. There is a pair of rails on each side of the crane, so that the Big Blue can move up and down along the length of the ship. This large crane is capable of lifting loads of 900-plus tons. However, for the construction of the Ford-class aircraft carrier, the manufacturers of the Big Blue were required to increase its lifting capabilities. Today, every hook of the Big Blue (three in total) has the power to lift and move loads of 350 tons. This means the overall lifting capacity of the crane was increased to 1050 tons.

Unlike other large cranes, the Big Blue features an elevator that takes the operator to the top. As it slowly moves, the trip seems to last for eternity. When the operator is on the top of the crane, he has a full view of the whole city and a perfect view of the Ford-class aircraft carrier that is being assembled below. The Big Blue may not be as powerful as the Taisun, the holder of few world’s records, but it has been heavily used for building aircraft carriers since 1981.

The power and the lifting capabilities of the large cranes are needed for performing super lifts. These capabilities are very helpful, especially for building aircraft carriers. Flat and firm surfaces ease the building process of the aircraft carriers. When super lifts are needed, the large cranes such as Gizmodo Big Blue, can pick up and steadily maneuver the loads where they need to be permanently installed.