"This is a proud moment, not only for the 20,000 shipbuilders at Newport News Shipbuilding, but for the community we've been a part of for the last 125 years," said Matt Mulherin, corporate vice president and NNS president. "Returning to the Newport News Shipbuilding name and logo under Huntington Ingalls Industries reinforces our heritage and our continued commitment to quality, customer focus and building the world's best military ships."
Shipbuilders from the shipyard's Facilities and Waterfront Support organization and painting contractors contributed hundreds of man-hours to the 33,000 square foot paint job. Shipbuilders provided all the planning and support activities, including installing the paint scaffolding hundreds of feet in the air. Snap Contracting of Hampton painted the crane girder in the traditional "Northyard Crane Blue" paint color. Sign Media of Hampton painted the logos and lettering, which included 96 paper templates to lay out the artwork. At 360 feet long, "Newport News Shipbuilding" is painted "Blueblood" blue. NNS's spear and gear and the HII logos are 28 feet tall in the colors "Blueblood" and "Honeycomb."
Other facts about the 1,050-Metric Ton "Big Blue" Crane:
- It is the largest Goliath gantry crane in the Western Hemisphere
- It was built in 1976 by Krupp and was part of the North Yard expansion project
- The crane's capacity was upgraded in 2008 from 900 metric tons to 1,050 metric tons
- "Big Blue" has assisted in the construction of every aircraft carrier since USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)
- The crane is 233 feet tall with a 540-foot span from leg to leg
- Dead weight of the crane is more than 4,600 metric tons (10 million pounds)
- Each hoist (three total) has more than one mile of 1-5/8-inch diameter wire rope
- At full lift capacity, "Big Blue" uses enough power for 114 homes
November 9, 2011