Tex Special Projects were approached in 2005, in a consultancy capacity, to investigate the feasibility for integrating a typical land based visual control room (VCR) design into the aircraft carrier island structural design as a Flying Control Room (FLYCO). Following delivery of a feasibility study report, the client project team engaged Tex Special Projects to further develop the design to a mature stage and then a manufacturing contract was placed in 2007. Furthermore, Tex Special Projects were privileged to supply all of the QEC ship windows, wipers and blinds.
Being a sea going platform, the requirements for the FLYCO were extremely testing and covered the full spectrum of usual land based VCR requirements; all in one go. Shock, ship motion, noise and electromagnetic attenuation, solar gain, blast, heated glass and CBRN.
The glazing incorporated a laminate build-up which addressed all requirement issues and Tex Special Projects also designed, delivered and installed the cantilevered steelwork sponsons, which were the subject of finite element analysis (FEA) allowing enhanced structural optimisation. The design also incorporated a lost motion system at the top to isolate the glazing from the loading due to ship motion.
The FLYCO offers a superlative air execution operating space which is completely unique in maritime defence and offers the operators a near uninterrupted 290 degree field of regard of the while flight deck. Legacy platform FLYCOs are typically cramped and limited in the ability to see and control air operations.
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 were awarded the industry coveted BAE Systems Design Award.