Archive for October, 2009
The next flight on deck is the Tandem airship. Poor Tandem keeps getting bumped back for paying gigs. We have a tight weather window left. By the end of November the winds aloft will be up over 100 mph and the low morning surface winds will be gone. Tandem is capable of flying in pretty harsh conditions but we want a calm day for the first flight. If the weather goes bad the flight will need to wait till spring. However, the team is pushing hard to get it in this year.
Last night we stripped down the vehicle and did a complete reweighing of all components. We’re making upgrade to all the systems and this weekend reintergration will start.
This picture shows us tuning the configuration. Everything is hanging from the ceiling. The vehicle, boom and chair all needed to be balanced. We need to be sure to keep oscillations low and that any swings would be dampened, pretty tricky with long boom with a camera on the end. On top of that the camera needed to be pointed at the chair at all times, sounds simple but….
The flight chairs weren’t much heaver then our placeholder foamcore chair. There were made in a movie studio model shop. Even inches away you couldn’t tell them from real chairs until you picked them up. The wood was all balsa with hollow sections and the cushions were fabric over balsa frames. We worried all the time about someone accidentally sitting on one!