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iWeiss News

Raising the Dauntless

iWeiss has completed another Airplane Rigging project with Century Aviation of East Wenatchee WA.

Raising the DauntlessProject Manager Russ Dusek worked with Century Aviation owner Mark Smith on the planning and engineering for the rigging of restored Sikorsky HRS-2 and UH-34D helicopters, along with a WW II SBD Dauntless hung – overhead in a dive attitude -for the expansion of the National Marine Corps Museum in Virginia.

For the Dauntless the factory installed lift points were designed for hoisting the aircraft onto a ship so the challenge here was to engineer new points to support the dive attitude required by the museum. Working with Mike Rolfs of Pacific Engineering, Russ & Mark designed and fabricated new attachment points that would provide the necessary strength for a “dive hang” without compromising the integrity or appearance of the 6,000 lb. aircraft -guts removed. As the plane had to be flown over an existing floor exhibit, once engineered load tests were performed we employed chain hoists to lift and laterally move the plane and place it into the desired bank and attitude. Once approved, permanent rigging cables were installed and the hoists removed.

The 8,000lb UH-34D Helicopter was mounted in a 9 degree nose down position on steel stands built by Century. As overhead lifting was not possible due to a Jet display, we employed a 12,000 lb capacity tele-handler to lift the copter from its main rotor head with a second lift at the tail wheel to achieve final attitude on the stands.

iWeiss continues its relationship with Century Aviation later this year with the installation of an F/A-18A Hornet in a newly constructed section of the museum.

 


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Curved Austrian for Chicago Shakespeare Theater

iWeiss recently fabricated and installed a curved motorized Austrian curtain for the new production of “A Flea in Her Ear” at Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater. The rigging system was custom designed and all components, including the curved truss were custom-built in our shop to accommodate the very limited overhead space, and ensure smooth and quiet operation. 

The 46’ wide by 25’ high Austrian Curtain hangs in front of the proscenium, with no floor space for the winch in the immediate vicinity. It was, therefore, installed overhead, which proved to be difficult due to several catwalks and lighting equipment obstructing the ceiling area in every direction. In a standard lift system, the lift lines are connected to a clew then to a drive line attached to the winch to lift the curtain. In this case, the 25’ of travel necessary was not available. iWeiss built a “2 to 1” clew to provide a 2’ lift for every 1’ of clew travel and thus allow us to install the winch on a side catwalk. Since the Austrian hangs from a curved truss, all equipment was modified to provide the proper angles and minimum friction for each cable. We used a custom fabricated variable speed lifting motor with a remote control and a single-line “yoyo” drum to avoid unwanted fleet angles. 
The Austrian curtain was fabricated of Super Vel, an inherently flame retardant light weight velour-like fabric that provided a rich theatrical look while allowing the curtain to take up less than 4’ when in gathered or raised position.

A Flea in her Ear will be playing from March 10th to April 23rd 2006. To find out more about the show please visit Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

For more information on this project, please contact Richard Parks.