Bombardier Aviation Tail Wing Rotation Rig

SCX Special Projects designed a bespoke, radio controlled, semi-automated turning system to allow Bombardier Aviation to safely and accurately lift and rotate delicate tail wings into precise positions during the assembly stages.

The entire handling solution is 'below the hook', and designed to be carried by the existing overhead travelling crane.

The Challenge

The Bombardier assembly team previously used chain hoists and a crude clamping system to lift and rotate the wing. This made the delicate wing structure difficult to manoeuvre, but it was the shift in centre of gravity as the wing turned that made the process very unstable.

A new handling solution was required to smoothly and reliably control the wing throughout the rotation, to reduce forces acting on the wing itself, and to mitigate health and safety risks.

The Solution

SCX Special Projects designed a bespoke, radio controlled lifting frame to allow Bombardier’s assembly team to safely and accurately lift and rotate delicate tail wings into precise positions during the assembly stages. The entire system is hoisted using the facility’s existing overhead crane.

An engineering solution was found in the careful management of forces and angles, through all degrees of rotation, and on all parts of the valuable tail wing assembly.


Truly bespoke handling solutions

  • A bespoke clamp-system lifting attachment distributes pressure evenly along the wing spars
  • Wooden profile boards mate with the wing surface via a thin rubber insert, while shims ensure that the force is kept even
  • The wing and clamp was 3D-modelled to determine stresses and optimum clamping locations


Simplicity through automation

  • A simple radio control provides ease of use for the operator, and also speeding up training for new operators
  • Three preset positions automate the exact orientation for each stage of the process, quickly and safely, via a single push of a button
  • An override option also allows the rig to be manually rotated into any position, should the need arise


Balance, rotation and control

  • Chains attached to the front and rear of the wing clamp are fed through sheaves on an axle and powered by a centrally located positive drive
  • As the axle rotates, the proportionate chain lengths are adjusted, tilting and rotating the wing
  • The design gives full control throughout the rotation, precise positioning during the assembly stages and simple transfer onto a special shipment rig once assembly is complete


Let's talk more about 'below the hook' solutions for advanced mechanical handling

We always find that the best outcomes are achieved by talking with us sooner. That way, we can explore all the possible solutions before committing to a course of action.

Call us on +44 114 262 6199, email us at, or complete the contact form below and we'll be in touch.

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SCX Special Projects Ltd

Roman Ridge Road, Sheffield, S9 1GA, United Kingdom

t:  +44 (0)114 262 6199