March 10, 2008

Out of the Hanger

Well we took the airship out of the hanger last night. The picture above is of the hanger doors opening around sunset while the one below is of the ship in the hanger just before we took it out. I was outside checking the wind and thought it was a cool picture though it didn't come out as nice as I'd hope on my camera phone.

An airship is most vulnerable to an incident going in or out of the hanger and going to and from the mast. The wind direction and velocity needs to be meticulously checked around the entire area outside the hanger. Depending on where you are standing, the wind hitting the large surface area of the hanger can cause changes in the airflow around it which need to be taken into account and considered. In ideal conditions, the wind is light and directly on the nose of the airship as it comes out. It keeps the airship from moving off wind and eliminates a lot of the air disturbances caused by the hanger.

Luckily last night the winds remained favorable and we were able to get the airship out without any problems. It takes a lot of planning and coordination between pilot and crew to safely get the blimp outside. I definitely learned a lot from the experience.

The transit east is scheduled to begin tomorrow. I'm looking forward to getting back on the road again.