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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A Christmas Poem by Russ Dusek

‘Twas the night before Christmas and I work for iWeiss

the shop has fallen silent, not a drill, not a vice.

My quotes are all tucked in the folder with care,

in the hopes that purchase orders soon will be there;

I just spoke with David and my proposals are signed;

Now on to the contracts, who knows what he’ll find.

Jo sent me tracking ’cause she just shipped my stuff.

With luck it will get there, I hope they don’t treat it too rough.

Then just when I think I have my jobs under control,

My email blows up so I sit down to scroll.

The installers need guidance and I think I have a chance

but the dogs are barking now and I’m taking Hannah to dance.

Rich won’t respond to texts or to calls,

so I’ll have to call Shannon but she’s already running 17 install.

Turns out I need Paul with his knowledge of control,

because the rigging won’t go up and after all, that is the goal. 

So I send him some pictures and he emails me some code,

we program the console and like that, we’re back on the road.

I touch base with Jen ’cause she always calms me down,

her words of wisdom, always practical, I feel less like a clown.

Now I have to tell Misha that I screwed up a size,

I mixed up the drape, not the height but length wise.

I pick up the phone and lay the problem out with zest.

But I can tell by her tone, Misha’s not impressed.

I check in with Chris on some drapes that he’s priced,

He’s made some assumptions, hopefully the client’s enticed

Nicole’s quoting pipe girds, to who I don’t know

But the question I have is, where do these all go?

Jaclyn’s here now and we’ve had some good talks

I hope she drinks the iWeiss cool-aid before she’s had it, and walks.

Oh Lauren, my Lauren, you and I, we relate.

Please share with us your wisdom before your due date

Van needs Chicago’s payroll or no one gets paid.

And if I mess it up again, she’ll be throwin’ me some shade.

Angie, oh Angie it’s been one of those days.

Let’s get these bids out and hope for some praise.

Alex is back! His new role is PM.

I’m having trouble with the rhyme… did you know that smoking causes phlegm?

Now back to my family.  It’s Christmas after all.

I need down time from worrying about things that might fall.

Starting the New Year, I’ve got more motivation than ever,

but right now I’m exhausted from trying to be clever.

So that’s iWeiss before Christmas as told by this guy.

If I said I didn’t love it, I’d be telling a lie.

by:  Russ Dusek (Dr. Dusek to us)

History, Restaged

The Theatre at the Ace Hotel (formally The United Artists Theatre) in Los Angeles was looking to update its rigging system in a very fast turn around.

Richard Parks, iWeiss VP, traveled to Los Angeles with our draftsman to do a survey and drafting on site. The old j bar guide system did not have standard spacing and there were other challenges including the installation of a new projection screen.  H & H Specialties, located in California worked with the iWeiss drawings to produce the equipment while the sewing shop back East produced all of the new soft goods for the theatre.

All in all, from contract to survey to manufacturing and installation of new counterweight equipment, projection screen and drapery, the project was completed in under 3 months.

The LA Register recently ran a great article about the recent changes in Los Angeles’ downtown Broadway Theater District

Check it out here:  LA Register Article



A Person Worth Knowing

Has anyone seen their Lighting & Sound America magazine yet?

Check out “People Worth Knowing” on the page 107.. our very own President is a “person worth knowing”.

Read the digital edition online today!


A Person Worth Knowing

Check out those lighting cages

71 Cages

We have another project under our belts, as we recently completed a new space at Public School 71 in Staten Island.

Our ETCP Project Manager Nick Belton, worked with the New York City School Construction Authority, General Contractor Pavarini McGoven, and Theatre Consultant Havery Marshall Berling Associates, and we able to complete the project in a very tight timeline with a start in April and completion in July.

Designed by Kliment Halsband Architects, the facility will serve 800 students with a new “gymnatorium”. Our contribution to the new space is a new mounting grid to hang all of the theatrical equipment, including a new Da-Lite projection screen, Thern motorized roll drop, pipe battens, and a new drapery package.  The new drapery will hang from six, custom curved, bi-parting H&H Specialties 300 Series Tracks to allow the curtains to store offstage while the space is use as a gymnasium.

iWeiss designed and fabricated custom steel lighting enclosures to protect the theatrical lighting in the space. Each of the custom enclosures was designed to house two parallel pipe battens and associated lighting dimmers.

We are proud to have worked on another exciting endeavor to enhance our future generation’s school experience.

Another Project Complete

What has…..?

13.7 tons of lifting capacity

8,725 linear feet of pipe custom powder coated in three colors

2,450 running feet of curtain track

4,100 yards of fabric

over 2000 concrete anchors

and is 800 miles away from iWeiss?

Answer:   DePaul University Theatre School

iWeiss had the pleasure of providing automation, rigging, and curtains for the newly constructed Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago IL.   We were excited to be working again with Cannon Design and Schuler Shook on this project.

The scope of the work included 18 multi-purpose studios outfitted with pipe grids with perimeter curtains tracks, a black box theatre, a single level lobby pipe grid, and a thrust theatre with 25 axis’ of automation manufactured and controlled by Stage Technologies.   Acoustical clouds designed and built by iWeiss, variable acoustical curtains, manual rigging, and a complete stage curtain package were also part of the project.

The work  required the entire iWeiss staff and was headed up by Senior Project Manager Richard Parks and Associate Project Manager Shannon Sullivan.

The job had a total duration of 23 months from start to finish with multiple trade coordination from the first concrete pour until opening.

We are proud to have been involved with this project and to be a part of the education that DePaul will be able to provide to their students with this new building.

Previous Work with Cannon Design – Roosevelt High School

Previous Work with Schuler Shook – McCaw Hall, David H. Koch Theatre, Sarasota Opera, Boston Opera House, and more..