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Skyjack Scissor Lifts Help at RAF Museum

Skyjack Scissor Lifts Help at RAF Museum

Linamar Corporation’s Skyjack division is helping with the delicate process of installing a sprinkler system at a Royal Air Force museum in the UK.

Two SJIII 4632 DC electric scissor lifts are providing aerial access to the ceiling above priceless aircraft while also working near visitors, at RAF Museum Cosford.

“Skyjack’s scissor lifts were chosen specifically for their ability to work in confined spaces, as there is not much floor space available at the RAF museum,” said Michael Tibbitts, project engineer at Hall & Kay Fire Engineering, which carried out the work. “The ability to drive the machines at height has allowed us to increase productivity and the extension deck allows us to work over the planes.”

Since June, workers at RAF Museum Cosford, near Birmingham, have used the scissor lifts to install a sprinkler system at height in the ceiling of the museum-– while the museum has remained open to the public. The museum has more than 70 fascinating aircraft on display, spanning WWI and WWII, the "Cold War," and through to recent years.

Some of the planes on display include a Bristol M1c monoplane, several Supermarine Spitfires, a Hawker Siddeley Vulcan B2 bomber, a Messerschmitt Mc 163B-1a, a Gloster Javelin FAW1 (the first twin jet delta-wing fighter), and a de Havilland Comet 1XB (the first jet airliner).

The museum also displays other military vehicles, including tanks, a dental wagon, and a folding motorbike from WWII.

“We managed the work by planning carefully with the museum, as they did not want to move the planes,” Tibbitts said. “It was a priority for the Skyjack machines to be able to access all areas of the hangar roof from a set location at floor level, and with their small footprint and available reach, this challenge has been achieved.”

Ideal choice

The SJIII 4632 DC electric scissor lift has a working height of 38 ft (11.75 m), maximum weight capacity of 700 lbs. (317 kg), and platform length of 7 ft (2.13 m). It is drivable at full height, with an inside turning radius of 4 ft. (1.21 m). Its excellent maneuverability combined with a roll-out extension deck of 4 ft. (1.22 m) and rated load lift time of 59 seconds, make it an ideal choice for working efficiently and safely in tight spaces without the need for ladders or scaffolding. Its solid rubber non-marking tires also enable it to be used on polished flooring.

“When you see planes like these at RAF Cosford, and the service’s motto “Per ardua ad astra” (“Through adversity to the stars”) it’s inspiring to consider the engineering and craftsmanship which have gone into creating them,” said Malcolm Early, vice president of marketing, Skyjack. “It’s great that they are on public display and imperative that they are preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. I am very pleased that Skyjack has played its part in maintaining the museum, especially as my admiration for the Royal Air Force and associated Commonwealth services past and present is unbounded.”

Reliable for the task at hand

Rental company Quick Reach, which has depots in Scotland, London and Manchester, supplied the scissor lifts to Hall & Kay Fire Engineering.

“The planes at the museum are priceless so it’s important that Hall & Kay have been able to use the right machines for the job,” said John Barton, director of Quick Reach. “The creep control on the SJIII 4632 is excellent, so it’s a really easy machine to maneuver.”

Hall & Kay Fire Engineering has offices in Birmingham, Manchester and Ascot near London, and has been in operation since 1878. It is now the UK’s foremost fire protection company, providing services such as detection and alarm systems, water storage, pumps and foam dispensers, to many large commercial and industrial buildings as well as residential homes.

“We are reliant on our suppliers to provide the most suitable machine for the task at hand,” Tibbitts said. “We have used Skyjack machines before and like them as they are very reliable.”


Lift & Access is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.