Hangar vision becomes reality with VR

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A structural steel firm used cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) technology to help win a major new contract with Southeast Asia’s largest airline.

John Reid & Sons Ltd (REIDsteel) is designing and manufacturing the 175,000 square feet (16,335 sq m) hangar for Lion Air at Batam Airport, a short ferry ride from Singapore.

A team from Dorset-based REIDsteel used VR headsets to impress senior airline executives with a virtual 3D tour of the proposed development as part of their presentation to win the multi-million pound project.

Now 130-strong REIDsteel is setting its sights on delivering the first steelwork later this year and will supervise construction of the hangar – for maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft.

Bid Manager, Benjamin Riviere said: “This is our first development for Lion Air and our first at Batam Airport.

“The VR presentation was key because we were able to transform their brief into a virtual world with the hangar taking shape before their eyes on VR headsets.

“We were able to give them an exciting opportunity to see how the hangar would realistically look and work at a very early stage.

“Our ability to create these cutting-edge VR presentations for an immersive experience is a tremendous asset for us.”

Benjamin added: “Lion Air is the largest airline in Southeast Asia and a very prestigious client for us. We are delighted to be chosen for this phase of their expansion which will eventually take the facility’s capacity to 70 narrow bodied aircraft.

“We are delighted to work with them on this important project and hope to develop a long-term relationship moving forward.

“Despite the coronavirus lockdown and restrictions, we have been able to avoid delays on this and other projects, especially when time is such a critical factor for many of our clients.”

The new hangar will measure 99m by 165m with six aircraft bays and a multi-span underslung crane. Special features include two sets of bottom rolling hangar doors measuring 97m by 17m to enable a 77m clear opening to the left, right or centre.

The complex includes 1,200 tonnes of structural steel and 23,000 sq m of single skin cladding.

REIDsteel was the first structural steel company to sign up to the UK steel charter and is proud to be using British Steel for the project.

Batam Airport is on the Indonesian island of Batam, about 30km from Singapore across the Singapore Strait and in a central location for South East Asia.

Based in Jakarta, Lion Air was launched in 1999 and carries more than 36.8million passengers a year, according to latest figures.

REIDsteel specialises in providing entire steel frame and building envelope solutions all under one roof.

Thanks to its in-house capabilities and expertise, it is regularly contracted to design, manufacture and supply complete steel structures including the cladding, glazing, louvres and staircases for projects anywhere in the UK, Europe and across the world.

They include aircraft hangars, bridges, automotive showrooms, sports stadia, commercial units, multi-storey car parks, churches, schools, marine units, hospitals and defensive structures and barriers.

Visit http://www.reidsteel.com for more details.