“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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Tex Special Projects Ltd. will be attending the INMEX SMM India in Mumbai with Eurotex International Ltd. and G&M Tex Ltd. on the 3-5th October 2017. Our stand number is F64 and we would love to meet you there to discuss your maritime requirements.