Really big elevators

This is the second time in two weeks I’ve heard this, so now I’ve got to know.

The Underwriters Laboratories has a huge, new facility to set things on fire. They have one room, 120’x120’x50’ with a movable roof that weighs some huge amount. In two different TV shows, they’ve stated the roof is actually The World’s Largest Land-Based Elevator.

My questions: are there huge NON land-based elevators? What are they for? And do any of them belong to Dr. Evil?

Just a WAG, but don’t aircraft carriers have some huge-ass elevators? Where’s ChiefScott when you need him?


“Believe those who seek the truth.
Doubt those who find it.” --Andre Gide

The first thing to determine is whether they measure size by dimension (120’ × 120’) or by load lifting capacity.

I don’t remember any aircraft carrier elevators being 120’ × 120’, but they have to be able to lift a lot of weight to move a Viking, an Greyhound, or a Tomcat complete with cargo or weapons from the hangar deck to the flight deck.

There are also combat assault support ships that have elevators to lift fairly large landing craft from storage into launching wells.

The answer could suprise me and be a commercial application, but the newer commercial ships seem to be concentrating on Ro-Ro technology (Roll-on/Roll-off: essentially huge ferries with all their cargo pre-packaged and stored in rail cars or truck trailers).


Just a WAG, but I think that offshore platforms are designed so that the main platform can move up or down on their legs. That might count.

“Drink your coffee! Remember, there are people sleeping in China.”

Dennis Matheson —
Hike, Dive, Ski, Climb —

Not to be picky, but the aircraft carrier thingy sounds like a lift (in the sense of having hydraulic jacks underneath) rather than being raised and lowered by cables. I’ve seen room sized true elevators.

Many elevators, esp. in short [ :)] buildings, are hydraulic. No cables.
As for the “Land based” statement, the people at UL are scientists. Scientists talk funny.