Friday, March 5, 2010
Where There's Smoke...
Here, the crew is unpacking the third and final helium storage bag, as Eureka tops off the second, the base of which is beginning to fill out in the left side of the photo.
When all Eureka's salvageable helium (~6,900 cubic meters) has been stowed away in our three helium storage bags, the main difference between blimps and Zeppelins becomes apparent - she's not deflated!
Eureka's internal frame supports her from the inside, while struts and the mast truck hold and support her from below. And, while it normally would balance the ship's weight, there's really no need for all this ballast in such a heavy airship. What's the point of all this work, though? Matt and his team need access to all parts of the the ship for the annual inspection, and that includes the inside of the pressure envelope!
It might look like a fire, but it's actually just a test of our high-capacity smoke machine, used to inspect the hull for leaks. We warned the fire department already, just in case anyone thinks we've lit the place on fire, but
Stay tuned for scenes from inside!