Bernard Hunter positions full-scale model fighter jet in Edinburgh

6 September 2017 by Sotiris Kanaris

Edinburgh-based rental firm Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes has used two mobile cranes, a loader crane and Modulift spreader beams to position a 10t model of an F35 Lightning II jet fighter at the entrance to Edinburgh Castle's esplanade for this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (REMT).

The F35 featured alongside a Lynx Mk III helicopter and a CGI projection onto the castle walls of an aircraft taking off from the deck.

Integral to the suspension phase of the project were four Modulift spreader beams—three MOD 24s and a MOD 50—sourced from Bernard Hunter’s below-the-hook equipment stock.

The beams were configured so the largest was beneath two smaller ones above the back of the plane that were rigged into the ceiling, and the final MOD 24 suspended the front of the plane. Nylon slings were each rated at 10t working load limit.

The rig was installed the night before the lift using a Palfinger loader crane, also from Bernard Hunter’s fleet. The following day, a 50t capacity Liebherr LTM1050-3.1 mobile crane and 20t capacity Kato CR200Ri city crane were selected for the lift, based on the space restrictions and lifting capacity required.

The F35 was lifted from ground level, directly upwards to its final position. An aerial working platform was used to access the rig.

Mark Rafferty, managing director at Bernard Hunter, said: “The plane had three lifting eyes manufactured into its design, one at the front and two at the back. Both cranes were rigged with slings below-the-hook; the Kato crane lifted the front and the Liebherr the back.”

Rafferty added that there were height restrictions associated with working underneath the stand the primary focus. “We were working with only millimetres to spare above the cranes,” he said.