For growing audiences around the world, Adilson Santos is fast becoming a household name for the stunning performances he delivers as an acrobat. Adilson is notable for becoming the first and only artist coached by the renowned Russian acrobat, Alexander Dobrynin. Travelling at speeds of up to five meters per second, Adilson executes breath-taking routines that are the hallmark of Dobrynin’s ‘Bungee Straps’ discipline.
In performing such acrobatic feats, safety is the foremost concern and the responsibility of the behind-the-scenes production technical team. Working to European Work at Height directives, every item of equipment used on the stage has to be approved by the entire technical team; including the head riggers and aerial performers. Equipment is carefully inspected before and after every use to ensure the safety of performers as they execute heart-stopping acrobatic feats.
For the rare aerial discipline of Bungee Straps, the main challenge was to find a high-strength pulley with a proven track record and two specific characteristics: it had to be free-rolling under load and certified for use in human suspension to ensure compliance with regulations. Self-engineering a high performance pulley was ruled out due to the high cost and lengthy time associated with such a process. Instead, the solution came in the form of Harken’s 100-mm Black Magic® Air Blocks®.
Designed originally with a high strength-to-weight ratio for high-end racing yachts, this versatile pulley surpassed Adilson’s expectations. It not only met all of his performance needs, it also opened up the possibility of using either synthetic or wire ropes. Certified to the Machinery Directive for goods/equipment with a break load of 60kN (6 tonnes) and Maximum Rated Load of 15kN (1.5 tonnes), this high-performance pulley offered a factor of safety exceeding the “10 x (working load)” industry standard for human suspension.
“With Harken’s excellent technical team within easy reach and their global chain capability, I know I can easily replace a piece of equipment anywhere in the world, should the need arise. It means I am free to focus on pushing the boundaries of my work, setting the bar a little higher each and every time.” said Adilson. “To do that, I need to trust my equipment and know that it has been made from the very best
materials. For that reason, I choose Harken.”