Spotlight Projects:

The Hopper Engineering Associates team provides practical and exciting solutions to unique problems in several industries. To showcase our recent work we choose a project of the month. An archive of previous winners can be found here.

November 2015 Project:

Spaceship Cockpit Set Tilt Table
Spaceship Cockpit Set Tilt Table

Hopper Engineering was asked to perform a structural analysis and risk assessment of a special effects hydraulic tilting platform. The tilting platform was built to have an interior spaceship cockpit set piece (pictured top right and bottom left) attached such that actors could be suspended down through the cockpit to simulate a zero gravity environment. The platform would rest horizontal and then be tilted 90 degrees to the vertical. The set piece also had the ability to turn 180 degrees so the filming crew could have a choice of shooting orientation.


Our engineering team developed a 3D structural analysis computer model of the tilting platform, including the rotating table, utilizing a 3D CAD representation provided by the client. We then evaluated the proposed structure to determine if it had adequate capacity for the cockpit set and subsequent dynamic loads being exerted from the main driving hydraulic cylinder. Major stiffening and bracing were added due to the large forces exerted by the shallow cylinder angle at the outset.

HEA has completed numerous jobs similar to the one shown above (Similar Projects)