Stroud engineering firm earns roles in Hollywood blockbuster movies
By James Young | 15th November 2019
An engineering firm from Stroud has become something of a star of the silver screen with parts in a series of Hollywood Blockbuster movies.
Howdon Power Transmission are perhaps not obvious contenders to be playing a part in big films, but their torque limiters and industrial brakes are proving invaluable.
The company have been supplying the limiters and brakes since 1977 and in that time they have been asked to provide solutions for many different large pieces of machinery.
The company's products are used in all sorts of applications, from car production to agriculture and now Hollywood film sets.
Howard Miles, managing director of Howdon, said: "Over the years we get these types of odd enquiries from various film companies around the world.
"Sometimes we know the movies our kit will be used in and other times it's all top secret.
"On the 2017 movie 'The Mummy' - at the time we didn't know that our industrial brakes would be used to slow down a massive spinning aeroplane set with Tom Cruise inside.
"And I'm glad to say our brake performed beautifully and we didn't kill him."
Erik Nash, Production and Visual Effects Supervisor on 'The Mummy' said: "The gimbal was a pretty spectacular piece of engineering itself.
"It was basically the entire cargo hold of a C-130, built to be able to rotate and roll 360 degrees continuously.
"I think they could do up to nine consecutive revolutions at up to five seconds per revolution and the reason they couldn't go continuously is that all the cabling to power the lights and everything else inside the set would get wound up."
Howard Miles added "It just goes to show that a career in engineering and can lead anywhere and into many different problems to solve.
"At present our products are being used in another blockbuster, due for release next year but we can't say which one!"
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