US Technologies Inc, (UST) based in Canton, Ohio has been supplying the military with blast media and related services for over 30 years. The blast media is a clean efficient way of stripping paint from aircraft in the refurbishment process. As part of providing the military with blasting media UST became involved with a solution to better access the plane with this media which would allow for a better, quicker, and safer solution.
The normal way to do this would be to use aerial work platforms (scissor lifts and articulating man lifts). The lifts would move around the plane, while operators sprayed blast media at it. This approach comes with its own problems though. Jack Hinsdale, owner of MHS, explains: “This was very time consuming and required a certain amount of clear floor space in order for the lifts to access the perimeter of the planes.”
Instead of using traditional man lifts that operated from the floor. UST helped develop a method that would allow a manned platform or cab fixed with a spray nozzle to be carried around the plane. This was suspended from an overhead crane which gave the operator access to every part of the aircraft. UST called this the Aerial Multi-access Platform, or AMP.
The Systems Design Concept
- AMP is comprised of an upper platform and lower platform.
- Upper platform is composed of 6 winches attached to the trolley frame. Winches will be placed in an equilateral triangle configuration.
- Lower platform is a fixture that will be connected directly to the center wing box to facilitate lift
- Lower platform will also exhibit pitch, roll, and yaw improving precision of CWB placement.
- Lifting frame displays full 360 degree rotation both CCW/CW.
- Lower platform and upper platform will interface with wire ropes.
- A conventional hook can be employed to utilize AMP as an overhead crane.
- System is operated by a belly box control.
The Systems Design Constraints
- Wing box working weight is assumed to be 9120LBF.
- Wing box will be broken loose from fuselage.
- USTS supplied winches will each have a capacity of 6000LBF.
- AMP module must be able to traverse all 3 aircraft bays in BLDG 110E.