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J. R. Clancy Introduces its First Performer Flying Hoist
J. R. Clancy, Inc. has introduced a performer-flying hoist that brings together the company’s 127 years of rigging expertise with safety features engineered for the 21st century.
Clancy makes this unprecedented move to develop a performer flying hoist as an outgrowth of its introduction of its new SceneControl 5000 line of rigging controllers. The new SceneControl 5000 family has the capability to control performer flying hoists as well as automated rigging for scenery, lighting, and sound equipment. Now users can purchase both the performer flying hoist and the controller from one manufacturer.
“Performer flying hoists are a natural extension of our product line,” said Larry Eschelbacher, J. R. Clancy director of engineering. “As the industry develops ANSI standards for performer flying and best practices are being established, this is the right time for us to bring our safety expertise to the table and become part of that conversation. Our SceneControl 5000 line provided the catalyst, by giving us the connection we needed between the hoist and the controller.”
Clancy now has a comprehensive offering for companies that fly people on a regular basis. “We are an equipment manufacturer, so we have no plans to become a people-flying company,” said Eschelbacher. “We encourage venues to continue to engage theatrical flying service companies and to put every safety precaution in place when flying people. Our performer flying hoist will help venues maximize safety for performers in the air.”
As with all Clancy products, the new performer flying hoist has safety features that reduce risk to the performer and the venue, noted Pete Svitavsky, P.E., the lead engineer on the project. “This hoist has redundant brakes, and redundant encoders — devices that measure the rotation of the shaft — that are designed to look for faults in the drive train,” he said. “The encoders provide redundant feedback as well. The chassis of the hoist is designed so that if any one component were to break, the hoist will not release the performer in midair.
“Reliable equipment is just one of the elements of a responsible design for performer flying,” said Svitavsky. “The difference between a person and a piece of scenery is that you can leave a piece of scenery in the air overnight until a repair can be made. You can’t do that with a person. While all of our equipment is built to last for many years without breakdowns, you have to have a plan in place for when the electrical power is lost while someone is in the air. You need to be ready to react quickly. This is an element of theatrical production that is best left to professionals, and we have designed our equipment to suit their needs.”
Most Clancy equipment is designed for permanent installation in a fixed location, but the new performer flying hoist can be moved at the discretion of the director. Special finishes provide the hoist with long-term durability, even if it gets handled and moved on a daily basis.
24th May 2013
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