Touchdown

Commander Nathan Gray (Royal Navy Test Pilot), Peter Wilson (Test Pilot) and Commodore Jerry Kid (Commanding Officer, HMS Queen Elizabeth) put HMS Queen Elizabeth and F-35 to the test in this BBC Video Top Story recording F-35 fighter jets taking off and landing on HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time. The single engine swivels 90 degrees during short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) mode and the F-35 hangs eerily in the air as LiftFan blasts 20,000 pounds of unheated air towards the deck. With a wing span of 10.7 m (35 ft), 15.4 m (50.5 ft) in length and a 42.7 m² (460 ft²) wing area, the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is capable of speeds up to 1,200 mph.

Part of Tex Holdings PLC, Tex ATC Division also has vast experience in air traffic control room design and their projects include Manchester Airport, various towers in UAE and Oman, and ‘Suvarnabhumi’ International Airport (SBIA) Bangkok, Thailand, the world’s tallest control tower.
HMS Queen Elizabeth, featuring the Flying Control Room (FLYCO) by Tex Special Projects.

The innovative Flying Control Room (FLYCO) on board HMS Queen Elizabeth was designed and manufactured by Tex Special Projects. Subsidiaries of UK manufacturing group Tex Holdings, Tex Special Projects and Tex ATC specialise in radio frequency-blocking glazing for both civilian and military applications and the design and manufacture of air traffic control rooms. Clients include BAE Systems, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Feka, Morgan Sindall, NATS and Thales. Tex ATC have been employed as consultants on numerous air traffic control room projects including Manchester Airport (UK), Mina Mussafah Harbour, Abu Dhabi (UAE), Muscat International Airport (Oman), RAFO Thumrait (Oman) and Suvarnabhumi Bangkok International Airport (Thailand).

Main picture, the first of the UK’s F-35B Lightning II jets to be flown to the UK.

World’s First Aircraft Carrier

Air Traffic Control Room by Tex Special Projects and Tex ATC

100 years after the design of HMS Hermes – the world’s first aircraft carrier – F-35 stealth jets will take off from another record breaker this autumn. Weighing in at 65,000-tonnes, HMS Queen Elizabeth is longer than the Houses of Parliament and her flight deck could accommodate three football pitches; she is the biggest warships ever built for the Royal Navy. Still under construction, the second of the Queen Elizabeth class carriers, HMS Prince of Wales will enter active service from 2020.

Air traffic control room design by Tex ATC
HMS Queen Elizabeth sailing from her home in Portsmouth for the first time.

A BBC news article The UK’s Giant Aircraft Carriers illustrates a century of extraordinary shipbuilding and explains some of the many advanced features of Britain’s new carriers. Perhaps the most distinctive aspect are the twin islands and especially the aft island which takes the form of a flight control tower. Dubbed the “Flyco”, the innovative air traffic control room was designed and manufactured by Tex Special Projects.

Subsidiaries of UK manufacturing group Tex Holdings, Tex Special Projects and Tex ATC specialise in radio frequency-blocking glazing for both civilian and military applications and the design and manufacture of air traffic control rooms. Clients include BAE Systems, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Feka, Morgan Sindall, NATS and Thales.

Tex ATC have been employed as consultants on numerous air traffic control room projects including Manchester Airport (UK), Mina Mussafah Harbour, Abu Dhabi (UAE), Muscat International Airport (Oman), RAFO Thumrait (Oman) and Suvarnabhumi Bangkok International Airport (Thailand).

Britain’s Biggest Warship

Tex Special Projects designed, manufactured and integrated the innovative HMS Queen Elizabeth “FLYCO” visual control room and installed the navigation windows.

What makes HMS Queen Elizabeth so unique? Three years in the making and with unprecedented access, a new BBC series tells the story of “Britain’s Biggest Warship.” Series 1:1 “Crewing Up”, first shown 15 April 2018 on BBC 2, documents Captain Jerry Kyd and his 700 crew as they embark on seal trials in the North Sea.

Tex Special Projects designed, manufactured and integrated the innovative HMS Queen Elizabeth “FLYCO” visual control room and installed the navigation windows. Specialists in EMC/EMI/RFI shielding, IR screening, acoustic attenuation, and ballistic/impact resistance, Tex Special Projects design bespoke structural, engineering and glazing systems for both military and civilian application, and undertake research, design and development for leading edge engineering consultancies.

Specialists in EMC/EMI/RFI shielding, IR screening, acoustic attenuation, and ballistic/impact resistance, Tex Special Projects design bespoke structural, engineering and glazing systems for both military and civilian application, and undertake research, design and development for leading edge engineering consultancies.
Simulator view of the FLYCO.

Tex Special Projects are a division of Tex ATC, the world-renowned supplier of air traffic control rooms, prefabricated VCR’s and VCR refurbishment.

“Britain’s Biggest Warship”: now available on BBC iPlayer.

Project Design Engineer

Tex ATC air traffic control room CAD visual

Tex ATC Division are looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated individual to join their team at Claydon Business Park, Great Blakenham near Ipswich. Established in 1996 they are owned by the parent company Tex Holdings plc who are listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Tex ATC Division consists of two subsidiaries:

  • Tex ATC Services Ltd, a niche engineering group who specialise in design, manufacture and installation of Visual Control Rooms (VCR’s) for both civilian and military applications worldwide including provision of specialist consultancy on many international projects.
  • Tex Special Projects Ltd, who design and fabricate specialist civilian and military engineering solutions, undertaking research and development for leading edge engineering projects.

With leading expertise in production of bespoke steel structures and client specific glazing technology, Tex Division use experience, knowledge of material applications and continual research and development to provide products that are value engineered to provide the optimum operational performance in many exciting worldwide projects. We pride ourselves on a relaxed, professional and friendly working regime with a great team spirit.

The Role

This is a great opportunity for a Designer who is seeking to move their career to the next level with project ownership and 360 Degree Design responsibilities.

As a lead member of a small design team, you will be responsible for the design, development and costs of current and future projects. You will be responsible for all aspects of the design process using the latest software, from the initial conceptual design, through to completion and acceptance at site. The freedom of creativity is actively encouraged to broaden individual potential and company innovation with excellent opportunities for international travel.

Responsibilities and activities will include but not be limited to:

  • Concept generation including the presentation of ideas
  • Creating general arrangement, detailed and working drawings to fulfil both presentation and manufacture
  • Manage project resource, schedule, costs and administrative tasks
  • Undertaking R&D to develop concepts in a rational and thorough process
  • Work closely with production to ensure correct interface of design
  • Oversee product and component selection to fulfil design requirements
  • Attend project review meetings and report progress
  • Interaction with clients, representing the design team
  • Visiting site and undertaking consultation and problem solving
  • Undertake customer approvals
  • Opportunities for both UK and Overseas Travel
  • Manage technical documentation and production of O&M Manuals
  • Internal/external project progress reviews

Candidate Profile

You will have experience within a design office in the architectural, engineering or construction industry. You will ideally have an understanding of steel structures, facades, building principles and electrical design.

Qualifications

You will have a minimum of GCSE grade C in English and Maths, and an HNC/HND/Degree qualification in a Design or Engineering related discipline.

You will be computer literate and be conversant with the following software:

  • 3D modelling software (ideally Solidworks)
  • AutoCAD 2D software
  • Microsoft Office (Word and Excel as a minimum)
  • A working knowledge of Microsoft Project and PowerPoint would be an advantage, but not essential

Notes

Due to the sensitivity of the material held and employed within the role, the candidate may be required to undergo Security Background Checks. Tex ATC regret that we can only accept applications from candidates who have a valid legal permit or right to work in the United Kingdom. We operate a Company pension scheme, bonus scheme, employee private healthcare and 25 days of leave plus statutory bank holidays.

Salary

Salary is negotiable depending upon experience. Please send CV’s and cover letter with your salary expectation for the attention of Damian Lummis: damian@tex-atc.co.uk.

See listing on Indeed.co.uk. No agencies.

A Tribute to Mike McCarthy

Tex Special Projects design, manufacture and integrate bespoke structural, engineering and glazing systems for both military and civilian application, and undertake research, design and development for leading edge engineering consultancies. Projects include navigation windows and modular flying control rooms for the Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers and engineered systems for the Indian Navy.

“Imagine the glass of a flying control tower so strong that it could withstand a strike equivalent to a direct hit from the blade tip of a Chinook helicopter… The FLYCO provides the operators with an unparalleled operational working space, with three metre tall specially glazed panels, giving more than 290 degrees of view over the flight deck… Welcome on board HMS Queen Elizabeth.”

Read more about this feat of engineering in a special Thales tribute to the late Mike McCarthy who was the Managing Director and lead designer at Tex Special Projects for the Queen Elizabeth Class programme.

HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Commissioning Ceremony

HMS Queen Elizabeth as she sailed into her home port of Portsmouth. Flyco by Tex Special Projects

UK’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy, entered service in Portsmouth today, 7 Dec 2017. The Queen, ship’s company and 3,700 guests attended to see the Royal Navy White Ensign raised on the vessel for the first time.

Tex Special Projects designed and manufactured the innovative Flying Control Room (FLYCO) and installed the glazing throughout the ship.

FLYCO design by Tex Special Projects
The 65,000-tonne carrier was met with the warmest of welcomes as she arrived in her home port.

The Queen described the ship as “… the most powerful and capable ship ever to raise the White Ensign. At the forefront of these responsibilities will be the men and women of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, supported by the Army, Royal Air Force and by coalition partners. As the daughter, wife and mother of naval officers, I recognise the unique demands our nation asks of you and I will always value my special link to HMS Queen Elizabeth, her ship’s company and their families.”

FLYCO design by Tex special Projects
The ship berthed at the newly-opened Princess Royal Jetty at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth.

Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, described how today’s events confirmed Britain’s place “… among the world’s great maritime powers in the most majestic and muscular terms.” He added: “We have been on a long, complicated – but committed – journey to get to this point and commissioning the ship is a key milestone. The point of the big grey ship is it’s enormously big, flexible, capable and adaptable. The Queen Elizabeth-class carriers will sit at the heart of a modernised and emboldened Royal Navy, capable of projecting power and influence at sea, in the air, over the land and in cyberspace… ”

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: “Congratulations from the Royal Air Force to the Royal Navy on achieving another important milestone in the UK’s Carrier Strike capability. I know the RAF and RN F-35 crews are looking forward to starting to fly from HMS Queen Elizabeth next year.”

8ft-long (2.44m) cake replica of the ship.
8ft-long (2.44m) cake replica of the ship!

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin visits Tex Special Projects

Air Traffic Control Room

HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s new 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier and the largest ship ever built for the Royal Navy, is soon to be formally commissioned into the Royal Navy fleet by Her Majesty the Queen. Tex Special Projects designed and manufactured the innovative Flying Control Room (FLYCO) and installed the glazing throughout the ship. Over 10 years’ of feasibility studies, design and Finite Element Analysis was carried out at Tex’s UK site.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin visits Tex Special Projects on 23 November 2017
Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin visits Tex Special Projects on 23 November 2017.

Harriett Baldwin explained “Soon our sailors will be watching, through these panes of glass, our F-35 fighter jets take off to defend our country. Our new aircraft carriers are a floating example of British industrial ingenuity and have helped to boost local businesses right up and down the UK.”

Chris Parker, Director reported “Tex Holdings have long been involved in a variety of Ministry of Defence projects such as designing visual control rooms within air traffic control centres for Royal Air Force and Royal Navy air stations across the UK. For this project we had to design and overcome some very demanding technical challenges, delivering a near uninterrupted 290-degree field of view of the flight deck, which is unparalleled in any nation’s warships. We feel incredibly privileged to have been a part of this very prestigious capital project. For 12 years we have provided our technical expertise and supplied the FLYCO and all the ship’s windows, wipers and blades. Without the Queen Elizabeth Class programme the Special Projects Company would never have been formed, so we are extremely grateful for the exceptional opportunity it afforded us.”

Other Tex ATC Division projects include the air traffic control room at Manchester Airport, towers in UAE, and the visual control room at SBIA Bangkok, the world’s tallest control tower.

Read more about Harriett Baldwin’s visit on the HM Government GOV.UK and Ipswich Star.

Award Winning Design at INMEX SMM India 2017

The Tex Special Projects stand featured UK’s Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier, the biggest and most powerful warship ever constructed for the Royal Navy, and showcased the technologically advanced FLYCO (Flying Control Room) designed and manufactured by Tex. In recognition of the contribution to both the project and the innovation of such an advance in glazing for the maritime environment, Tex Special Projects was awarded the industry coveted BAE Systems Design Award.

INMEX SMM India 2017 was a great success and Tex Special Projects would like to send out a big thank you to colleagues, partners, clients and industry leaders from 32 countries. Once again INMEX has proved to be an unrivalled venue and allowed us to demonstrate our unrivalled expertise in advanced glazing systems for both military and civilian application.

The Tex Special Projects stand featured UK’s Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier, the biggest and most powerful warship ever constructed for the Royal Navy, and showcased the technologically advanced FLYCO (Flying Control Room) designed and manufactured by Tex. In recognition of the contribution to both the project and the innovation of such an advance in glazing for the maritime environment, Tex Special Projects was awarded the industry coveted BAE Systems Design Award.
INMEX SMM India 2017 was a great success.

The Tex Special Projects stand featured UK’s Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier, the biggest and most powerful warship ever constructed for the Royal Navy, and showcased the technologically advanced FLYCO (Flying Control Room) designed and manufactured by Tex. In recognition of the contribution to both the project and the innovation of such an advance in glazing for the maritime environment, Tex Special Projects was awarded the industry coveted BAE Systems Design Award.

The Tex Special Projects stand featured UK’s Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier, the biggest and most powerful warship ever constructed for the Royal Navy, and showcased the technologically advanced FLYCO (Flying Control Room) designed and manufactured by Tex. In recognition of the contribution to both the project and the innovation of such an advance in glazing for the maritime environment, Tex Special Projects was awarded the industry coveted BAE Systems Design Award.
A big thank you to colleagues, partners, clients and industry leaders from 32 countries.

Key members from the Pratex Power Vision Group were able to attend (see picture at top of page), including (from left to right) Shankar Mathur (Director, Pratex Power Vision), Ratee Prasad (Managing Director, Pratex Power Vision), Amanda Ritchie (Technical Consultant), Stephen Codd (Managing Director, Eurotex International), David Ritchie (Technical Consultant, Tex Special Projects), and Greg Chadwick (Managing Director, G&M Tex).

Sea Trials

Tex ATC Division supplier of air traffic control rooms VCR refurbishment and bespoke structural engineering and glazing system solutions for military and civilian applications
Sea Trials – First Merlin Helicopter Landing on HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The 27th of June 2017 was a landmark day for HMS Queen Elizabeth as she sailed out of Rosyth Dockyard on her first sea trials, conducting a number of evolutions to prove conduct of air execution and navigation. These manoeuvres were supported by the key TEX ATC Division products of Flying Control Room (FLYCO) , Ship Windows, WIndow Wiper Wash System and Window Blinds.

The FLYCO on the aft island consists of two cantilevered steelwork sponsons and a glazing system affording the Royal Navy an unparalleled, virtually uninterrupted, 290 degree field of view of the flight deck, aircraft lifts and the aircraft visual circuit pattern. It is a unique operating space, being a world first in the defence maritime environment. The FLYCO is the key ship compartment to conduct air execution to and from the flight deck, hangar and within the carrier control zone. Ship navigation is conducted from the navigation bridge located on the forward island.

FLYCO, HMS Queen Elizabeth.