Inflatable Hangar for Solar Impulse

AU0E4554.jpgSolar Impulse was on the ground at Moffett for over a week while they waited for a good weather window for the next leg to Phoenix.  They kindly invited me to go and have a look around in the more relaxed time compared to the arrival!  The hangar was located on the apron at Moffett and they weren’t able to have a secure way to have visitors so, sadly, they could not have everything open to the public.

AU0E4640.jpgThe hangar itself was pretty hot.  It was white so reflective but it still warmed up quickly in the sun.  The batteries were the only part of the aircraft for which this was a problem so they were permanently connected to air conditioning packs that kept them at the required temperature.  I was a touch jealous.

AU0E4601.jpgThe aircraft fitted snugly into the hangar given that it was custom designed.  The air data boom had to be folded out of the way thought.  The maintenance team were pretty busy checking out systems ready for the next leg whenever it would occur.  Meanwhile, media attention was high and I wasn’t the only one there.  A local TV crew were conducting interviews with Bertrand.  When they had finished, he was happy to chat for a while.

AU0E4537.jpgThe team were very generous with time and access but were very nervous about touching the aircraft itself.  I wasn’t about to upset them so managed to get what I needed without causing any trouble.

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