Behind the luvvies and the cameras and the glitzy awards evening was some serious engineering carried out by Parker Hannifin. After all, Titanic wouldn’t have been much of a film if they couldn’t get the ship to sink.
To get those dramatic sinking sequences, a 55m section of the ship needed to be sunk repeatedly both on the sound stage and in an adjacent 2.7 hectare filming tank and involved tilting the poop deck from a 5 angle to a 90 angle as nearly 100 stunt actors clung to the rail or slid to their doom.
To do this, a 30 by 60m platform operated by a hydraulic system was designed to tilt and sink the 55m section while a hydraulic hinge tilted the poop deck. The hinge was moved by two 200mm bore and one 175mm bore Parker Hannifin hydraulic cylinders with a 2.5m stroke.
Parker Hannifin supplied virtually all the components used in the Titanic hydraulic systems within just six weeks, and was also responsible for controlling the motion on set.