Publication World Defence Systems got to learn a creative company in Rotterdam which happens to manufacture customized military air cargo equipment.
And so it happened that VRR was awarded with an article. To read the article, please find the text below:
Rapid deployment requiring air cargo? VRR, based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, may very well be able to supply the right solutions with its customised air cargo containers and pallets.
Since the late 1970s military and civilian organisations have demanded the efficiency and security provided by air cargo containers and pallets. While these products continued to improve and be adapted to new generations of freighter aircraft, it became apparent that standard solutions were incapable of satisfying all needs.
To VRR, a company based on engineering expertise, such challenges inspired both development and manufacture. Achieving success on such projects, the company quickly gained a reputation for providing innovative custom-built air cargo equipment solutions.
Nowadays, VRR’s core competence is still the ability to listen to clients’ needs and problems and to translate the information into a tangible and workable solution. The products provided are - nearly always - structural units adapted to the on-board cargo loading system, without requiring any further tie-down or netting to make them air transport-worthy. The units are supplied with their own airworthiness approvals.
Both tactical and mission dedicated air cargo transport products have been developed. As existing products may be unsuitable to meet emerging requirements, VRR will continue develop palletised systems to meet them.
Rapid deployment appears to be increasingly important. Military commands need solutions to be available at short notice. Although perhaps not everything can be planned for, foresight and preparation can facilitate a smooth and fast roll out when required.
A recently won contract for NATO included bespoke B707 containers to transport B707 and AWACS aircraft spare parts to facilitate local maintenance inremote areas. Containers are preloaded and can remain on standby as mobile workshop stocks for any operation. The containers feature a complete interior, providing storage for anything from nuts and bolts to, say, actuators and aircraft tyres. The containers are also suitable for outdoor storage onsite.
For safe transport of vaccines, drugs, blood plasma or foodstuff, VRR’s coolcontainers assist in medical relief and catering services to troops around the world. Besides superb insulation, cooling is achieved with dry-ice based systems.
Regular D-cell batteries allow users to set the required temperature via a digital control unit that controls fans and stores temperature data. For ultimate proof of safe, unbroken cool chain shipment, the data from calibrated sensors can be exported to MS Excel with a standard memory card. These containers withstand the harsh environment to which air cargo subject them and needless to say, they comply with all airworthiness regulations including electromagnetic interference (EMI) for on-board usage.
C-130 VIP comfort cabins
High profile passenger transport required a different seating layout from the traditional longitudinal seating arrangement in the C-130. VRR developed a set of comfort cabin containers for positioning directly on 463L cargo loading system.
The cabins reduce noise levels and provide comfortable air travel using seating similar to that found on civilian business class travel. Originally developed for C-130 aircraft, the design could be well converted to other aircraft operating 88in-wide cargo loading systems.
Standard workhorses in military operations for use on 88in-wide cargo loading systems are HCU-6/E pallets. These can be manoeuvred around using forklift trucks and provide ideal on-site materials storage.
As HCU-6/E functioned as a bottom support for test gear for the Airbus A400M, it required a stronger pallet than industry standard. The design therefore exceeds the military specification for improved service life and also allows for the use of commercial fittings for improved economics and flexibility.
Liquid oxygen (LOX) is required to support jet fighter operations. LOX is not easily purchased in remote areas and therefore has to be flown in. Due to the highly inflammable and explosive nature of LOX, this has to be done with the utmost care. Dutch defence services required temporary anti-ballistic protection onboard their C-130 aircraft for use when transporting LOX.
VRR developed a 108 by 144in footprint, anti-ballistic material-lined pallet for direct use in the 463L loading system. The LOX container is rolled on top and the stainless steel top face of the pallet resists LOX should any leakage occur.
VRR offers both tactical transport aircraft and commercial freighters the possibility of palletised seating configurations. Seat pallets have been developed for military and civil applications with customers including aircraft operators, conversion companies and air forces.
An innovative anti-rattle system (ARS) reduces the traditional play between the cargo loading system and the pallet itself, resulting from the required clearances. Galley bases, pedestals and cabinets can be integrated into the design to provide storage space for auxiliary equipment or just flush walkways.
Fire containment containers
When transporting troops and cargo in one hold, a conflict in air cargo regulations may occur. Regulations for the transport of passengers differ vastly from those for transport of cargo in general and, in particular, with regard to fire retardancy.
Cargo and passengers need to be separated and while such provision is standard in some cargo holds, in certain aircraft configurations this is simply not feasible or cost effective. Taking flight safety seriously and adopting FAA standards, the Spanish Air Force approached VRR to take part in discussions regarding B707 combi transport. VRR’s expertise in this field came in useful when building crew rest containers for the Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft.
Fire containment containers were provided with a fire suppression system to facilitate combi transport.
VRR was founded in 1946 originally as a sheet metal shop, known as Brothers van Riemsdijk. Both brothers first started careers at a shipyard and later both moved on to the airframe manufacturer Koolhoven. An interest in aviation quickly led to a more focused approach and from the early 1950s, military ground support equipment formed a significant part of the company’s business, along with aviation maintenance services.
In the 1970s VRR saw the opportunities presented by air-freight’s customers’ growing interest in preloading cargo, and it soon became an expert in the field. Today the company supplies a variety of air cargo products to air forces, NATO, airliners and to airframe manufacturers Airbus, Fokker and Agusta Westland.
VRR is also an AS9100-approved supplier to Airbus with products ranging from protection panels to security boxes and toolkit boxes for A319CJ, A330, A340, A380 and A400M.
VRR is headquartered in Rotterdam in The Netherlands where sales, engineering, certification and production are based. Maintenance is provided through the company’s facility at nearby Amsterdam Airport. A sales office in Singapore supports VRR’s Asian clientele.
VRR holds design, production and maintenance EASA airworthiness approvals along with an AS9100 quality approval.
Thijs van Riemsdijk
3079 DN Rotterdam
Tel: +31 10 479 81 00
Fax: +31 10 479 54 78