Italian lift specialist Fagioli played a key role in the construction of Heathrow Airport's new air traffic control tower last autumn when it transported the top section of the tower, weighing 900t, 2km across the airfield.
To minimise disruption to aircraft movements, the new tower was prefabricated off site and moved to site in large pieces during night time airport closures. The first delivery was the fully assembled cab, with mast sections connected underneath this and jacked up into the air (NCE 24 February).
The move was executed by clamping a triangular yoke around the stub of mast on which the cab was delivered.
This was harnessed to three multi-wheeled transporters. All three vehicles were computer controlled to synchronise steering.
Fagioli then jacked the tower using three 16m high towers on which 600t strand jacks were mounted. Lifting from the yoke again, each lift raised the tower 12m. This allowed a new 12m section of mast to be installed beneath the cab. After bolting the new section to the mast above, another 12m lift was carried out and the procedure repeated. The final height of the tower is 87m.
To stabilise the tower Fagioli supplied six strand jacks in tension frames, three of which were simultaneously tensioned through the lifting jack control system software while the other three jacks served as storm guys and remained under low load. These were operated by a stand alone system simultaneously with the lifting jack control system.