Chicago Flyhouse Blog

Macy's Flag Raising

Posted by Flyhouse on May 26, 2017 12:00:26 PM

While the tradition of having a flag hang in Macy's (previously Marshall Fields building) atrium began in 1916, Chicago Flyhouse has assisted in making the flag happen since 2003. Hanging over seven stories high, the flag is an amazing site to behold. See the video below to get a quick glimpse of how we made it happen.

 

 

Topics: Hoist, Hoist System, Video, Flyhouse Projects

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Ability Lab: Part Two

Posted by Flyhouse on Mar 27, 2017 9:48:14 AM

When Flyhouse envisioned a system for the new Ability Lab, we had a distinctive train of thought. We know it might frighten you to be inside our head, but let us walk you through it.

The aesthetics of a room is important. It can create an open and bright environment on the path to recovery or it can create a sterile hospital feel. We knew we had to keep in mind that the beautiful two-story glass view of the lake from the 19th floor should not be compromised by installing a fully exposed system but at the same time, it should safely protect a patient from any fall on the grand staircase. Hide the motors from sight and make sure all components are quiet when operating. The system should also be simple enough to fully train the therapist in control of it in less than two hours. Above all, the patient should have little to no distractions which will allow them to focus solely on their recovery.

In the summer of 2016, Flyhouse created a mock up within our shop to ensure it worked the way we wanted it to within the restrictions presented at the hospital. The three-month mock-up included an entire functioning system that closely mimicked the size of the stairs and facility dimensions in which we had to work.

(Pre-Installation at Flyhouse Shop)

While the shop built stairs and installed the necessary components to test the system, the electrical shop began the development of a simplified software to allow for ease of use once completed. In each step of the process, Flyhouse had the patient and therapist in mind.

So what’s within this simplified system?

A custom console located near the bottom of the coordinated system’s steps and an ergonomically designed handheld wireless controller which controls the coordinated system with both operating simultaneously. The console shows the system use in real time including the patient's path, speed, the amount of load for each axis point and the max load. This is also the area where if something happens within the system, both the console and the controller would notify the user. If for any reason the system needs to be stopped immediately, the console and controller have E-Stops which can be engaged.

The simplified software eliminates the need for advanced training by making the system intuitive to the operator.

“The key for Flyhouse was to create a system that looked beautiful in the room, functioned well, intuitive to operate, and didn’t interfere with the goal of rehabbing the patient,” Witteveen said.

In September 2016, Executives and Physical Therapists from the Ability Lab came to Flyhouse for a first-hand look at the system in action. Not only did we demonstrate the system, we got a physical therapist in a harness and had them walk the entire path of the system while another used the controller to recreate scenarios commonly seen in their day-to-day work.

Topics: Hoist, Performer Flying, Hoist System, Insider

Making a Star Rise: Chi-Town Rising Returns

Posted by Flyhouse on Dec 2, 2016 9:37:51 AM

When you start a New Year’s Eve tradition on a massive scale in the third largest city in the country, you need to make a statement.

To ring in 2016, Arena Partners connected with Chicago Flyhouse and others to create Chi-Town Rising; an event and memorable night for the nearly 100,000 in attendance waiting for a New Year to begin.

How could this event rival other established events around the world? The answer is simple: feature a Chicago icon rising.

The second star of the city of Chicago flag represents the Great Chicago Fire which destroyed the city and how the city rose from the ashes.

A project of this scale requires meticulous planning to make sure the event and actual raising of the Star has no issues. From full conceptualization to full completion, Flyhouse and its event partners had approximately two and a half months to make it happen.

The New York City event lowers a ball 12-feet in diameter to usher in the New Year. Collaborators for the Chicago event knew the Star should be larger in comparison. Standing at 70 feet from top to bottom (eight stories tall on the building) and weighing over 12,000 pounds, it is safe to say there is no comparison to other events.

Chi Town Rising Star Shell

The structure of the Star is made up of 2,600 feet (or a half mile) of 2” tube and 850 feet of 1” tube. The design by Flyhouse and ONE618 also incorporates the use of four cables and roof-mounted hoists. The four custom built Flyhouse hoist motors each provide a 30-horsepower capacity and weigh 950 pounds each giving the Star a rate of ascension at three feet per second. Flyhouse also fabricated custom 16” sheaves allowing 1,400 feet of wire rope to raise the Star.

The real challenge came in the form of having this enormous structure rise 360 feet up the side of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago to countdown to 2016.

To do this, Flyhouse permanently placed 86 steel plates on the building allowing for steel tracks to be connected each year. The plates provide a way to install two 360-foot steel I-beams (24,000 pounds) to the face of the building to act as a guide for the Star to rise. Another 10,000 pounds on the top of the building support the cantilever and Star. The four roof-mounted hoists have a 4,000-pound capacity each and provide redundancy and safety for the ascension; if any one of the motors were to fail, the Star would still rise.

Timing became a major factor during the installation. The most efficient method to install the steel beams and motors on the roof was to have a helicopter bring the material up so the team could secure it. The helicopter was only available one day during the set-up and with its help, the process only took 17 minutes to get the materials on the roof.

Other partners in the design process, ONE618 and CULTURE22, gave the Star LED video capabilities allowing for images of the event and promotional material to be shown on the Star to catch the attention of all onlookers below.

When the time came, the months of fabrication and hours of installation paid off. At midnight, the Star made its ascent to the top of the building bringing Chicago into 2016.

Flyhouse is doing it all over again for 2017.

Chi Town Rising Star

Want to see more of the event? Take a look back at our previous Chi-Town Rising post.

Topics: Hoist, News, Flyhouse History, Project Recaps, Chi Town Rising