Qantas jet base, Mascot, NSW


$5 million

Structural and civil engineer;
project manager


The Qantas blast deflector fence is a multi-award winning project by Woolacotts Consulting Engineers.

Woolacotts was engaged by long term client Qantas to provide an original and highly specialised design
for a brand new blast deflector fence.

Jet blasts have the power to uproot trees, shatter windows, overturn cars and trucks and injure people. Blast deflector fences protect people and
property during post-maintenance engine testing.

Innovative design

Woolacotts created an original and highly specialised design that could accommodate the massive size of the A380 aircraft.

Woolacotts investigated several options and fence configurations. The adopted design is a unique, hybrid approach that combines the elements of vane and solid deflector fences.

Air flow was modelled by the University of Wollongong using specalist software, allowing the fences to be optimised to satisfy the design criteria.

The innovative design is a 120 metre long fence constructed from standard lightweight galvanised steel shapes. The fence is rail mounted to run full
circle, allowing the fence to be positioned behind aircraft to suit the wind direction. This is a unique facility, as typically the fences are fixed in position allowing testing in only a limited range of conditions.

Mounting the fence on rails also allows the required extent of fence to be significantly reduced. It also provides the ability to ‘park’ the
fence when not in use, maximising the available hardstand space – a significant advantage at the jet base, where space is at a premium.

The programme was carefully managed and coordinated to allow the continued operation of the jet base.

Multi-award winning project

The project has won several awards, including silver at the Consult Australia Awards, highly commended at the Australian Steel Institute Awards and was a finalist in the Engineers Australia innovation award.

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