Raising the Dauntless

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

Project ManagIMG_7106er 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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