Kong

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Kong
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Quick Stats
ColorRed, Yellow and Green
Max. load capacity1350mt / 1500ust
Max. hoist height220m / 720ft
Max. radius164m / 540ft
Current Configuration (10/3/2021-...)
ConfigurationLR11350-P1800 PDB2
Main boomP (Powerboom) 108m / 354ft
DerrickD 42m / 137ft
Max. lift capacity775mt / 854ust
Third Configuration (7/10/2021 - 10/3/2021)
ConfigurationLR11350-P1800 PDWB2
Main boomP (Powerboom) 108m / 354ft
Luffing fly jibW 54m / 177ft
DerrickD 42m / 137ft
Max. lift capacity294mt / 324ust
Second Configuration (6/4/2021 - 7/10/2021)
ConfigurationLR11350-P1800 PDWB2
Main boomP (Powerboom) 102m / 334ft
Luffing fly jibW 48m / 157ft
DerrickD 42m / 137ft
Max. lift capacity358mt / 394ust
First Configuration (5/21/2021-6/4/2021)
ConfigurationLR11350-P1800 PDB2
Main boomP (Powerboom) 102m / 334ft
DerrickD 42m / 137ft
Max. lift capacity823mt / 907ust

Kong is a Liebherr LR 11350 crawler crane supplied by Fagioli. It is one of the most powerful crawler cranes in the world. Kong is mainly used to stack the prefabricated OLIT segments and mounting the launch tower related ground support equipment.

In its first configuration Kong was only able to reach a height of 102m. For stacking the complete OLIT, they have added a luffing jib, which was later removed again for some further work in less height.

You may hear the name Frankencrane, mainly from NSF (the SpaceX employees cal it Frankencrane too?) because of it's bizzare colour. It is the same crane, just an other name.

If you wonder, why they change the counterweights very often: for lowering the boom to the ground, they need more CW than for lifting an OLIT section. The hook at the end of Kong's boom has a mass of 24mt / 26ust, and the hook is as it is lifted at a downrange of about 120m. at 96m Kong can lift only about 115mt...

An FAA document was released, because of the height the crane will reach: https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/searchAction.jsp?action=displayOECase&oeCaseID=474117314&row=10

Activities of Kong

Nr. Date What?
1. April 2. 2021 Delivery and start of assembling of Kong NSF video
2. May 21. 2021 Erection of the crane
3. May 24. 2021 1st Lift of Kong was the OLIT Section 2
4. May 28. 2021 2nd Lift: OLIT Section 3
5. June 2. 2021 the hook was unhooked for the following extension of the boom
6. June 4. 2021 the old boom tip was removed and a new one as well as two jib struts were added
7. June 5. 2021 the two struts were risen
8. June 6. 2021 the 6 segments and the top of the 48m / 157ft luffing jib were added
9. June 10. 2021 the boom was first slightly lifted to hook on the hook and then fully lifted.
10. June 13. 2021 3. Lift: OLIT Section 4
11. June 16. 2021 4. Lift: OLIT Section 5
12. June 19. 2021 5. Lift: The ADS 30Q hoist was lifted and mounted to the side of the base of the OLIT.
13. June 27. 2021 6. Lift: OLIT Section 6
14. July 1. 2021 7. Lift: OLIT Section 7
15. July 3. 2021 The boom was lowered to extend the boom for lifting the 8. OLIT Section
16. July 7. 2021 The luffing jib was disconnected for the extension of the main boom.
17. July 8. 2021 The tip of the main boom was disconnected to extend the main boom.
18. July 10. 2021 A new 12m segment was placed between the existing boom and the previously removed tip, leading to a main boom length of 108m.
19. July 11. 2021 The luffing jib, which is now extended to 54m, was mounted back on to the main boom and the main boom was lifted slightly

to connect the hook to the boom. In the late evening, Kong raised its boom completely.

20. July 18. 2021 8. Lift: OLIT Section 8.
21. July 28. 2021 9. Lift: OLIT Section 8b/9. The last Section, lifted at 6am CDT with a american flag attached to it.
22. July 31. 2021 10. Lift: Kong and Buucky lifted the OLT (Orbital L(a)unch Table) together on to the pillars.
23. August 4. 2021 11. Lift: Booster 4 was lifted on to the OLT after its historical ride dow the highway 4.
24. August 6. 2021 12. Lift: Ship 20 was lifted on to Booster 4 for fit check and creating the ludicrous combination 4-20 of Booster and Ship for the first time. Only ana hour later, S20 was lifted down on to the transport stand again.
25. August 10. 2021 13. Lift: Booster 4 was removed fro the OLT again in preparation to move back to the building site, where some final work will be done to get B4 ready for some serious testing.
26. August 28. 2021 14. Lift: The QD (Quick Disconnect) arm was flipped with the help from two other smaller cranes, prior to its lift on to the OLIT.
27. August 29. 2021 15. Lift: The QD arm was lifted on to the OLIT, where the crew mounted it on to the hinges, which were added a while ago.
28. September 8. 2021 16. Lift: B4 was lifted on to the OLM again, after it was worked on in the HB and moved back to the launch site.
29. September 12. 2021 Kong lowered its boom in preperation of the torpical storm Nicholas
30. September 14. 2021 Kong raised its boom again after Nicholas passed over
31. September 23. 2021 17. Lift: The QD arm extension was lifted and mounted onto the QD arm.
32. September 25. 2021 18. Lift: Booster 4 was lifted of the orbital launch mount, probably tho make room for the catching arm installation.
33. September 30. 2021 Kong lowered its boom
34. October 1. 2021 the flying jib was removed
35. October 3. 2021 Kong raised its boom after a reconfiguration, most likely for the installation of the catching arm carriage and the catching arms. Speculations are, that it had to be reconfigured for reaching under the overhang at the top of the tower for the carriage installation.
36. October 6. 2021 The Chopstick carriage was flipped with the help of Grover and then placed on to the red support structure, which was built earlier.
37. October 9. 2021 19. Lift: The first Chopstick was lifted over to the Chopstick carriage to preassemble the catching arm structure in order to install it on to the tower.
38. October 19. 2021 Mechazilla (the Chopstick aparatus) was lifted slightely for leveling and prepearing it for the final lift.
39. October 20. 2021 20. Lift: The Mechazilla catching arm mechanism was lifted and mounted on to the sleds, which were already at the OLIT.
40. October 27. 2021 On September 30. 2021 Kong laid down its boom for the last time on Starbase. After nearly 7 months of hard and complex work, Kong has started to be disassembled.
41. November 5. 2021 The cabine and winches left the launchsite. Only the tracks are left but not long anymore.
42. November 6. 2021 Dear Kong, it was an honor to be able to watch your impressive, physically nearly impossible and immensely important work. You did a great job and gave your best, to help build up Starbase as fast as it gets. Alongside to Bluto, you reached an iconic Crane-Hero state, which will never be forgotten. You will forever be in our minds.

Minor lifts, like the elevators segments and scaffolding arent in this table, even if they where the ones which toke the longest time (like on June 28., when a elevator Segment was lifted in to the 6th segment of the OLIT and shortly after that it was removed again and lowered all the way back down to the ground. This took over 1.5 hour).