El “Spirit of Safety II”, sobrevolará esta semana Madrid

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Spirit of Safety II
"Spirit of Safety II" en Villanueva del Pardillo (Madrid) el 10 de junio de 2011

Unos 2000 metros cúbicos de helio contiene la envuelta del dirigible que promociona Goodyear, y que estará operando sobre los cielos madrileños durante toda la próxima semana. Hace ya más de una docena de años que un dirigible no surcaba los cielos de la capital.

Spirit of Safety II

Arduos trámites burocráticos han retrasado la operación de este más ligero que el aire. En principio se hicieron gestiones para que pudiese operar desde Cuatro Vientos, pero ha resultado imposible por la negativa a autorizarlo por distintos motivos. Unos 8 meses de papeleos, y al final tendrá su base en el Campo de Vuelo de la localidad madrileña de Villanueva del Pardillo.
Este campo de vuelo lo utiliza The Balloon Company, una empresa española, dedicada a este tipo de eventos.
A lo largo de esta semana iremos informando puntualmente de las evoluciones del dirigible, todo un acontecimiento aeronáutico sobre los cielos españoles.

Spirit of Safety II Cabina
Cabina del Spirit of Safety II. Con capacidad para dos tripulantes técnicos y dos pasajeros

THE CREW
Each Goodyear airship has a team of highly qualified specialists, safely operating equipment, much of which is specially designed for the airship program. Four pilots, 16 ground crewmembers and a public relations manager support and maintain each operation. As special ambassadors of the company, each associate comes in contact with thousands of people each year. Personnel are selected for their communications skills as well as professional abilities.

Crew on boardThe pilot-in-charge on each operation is responsible for the crew, equipment. Based on weather conditions and other circumstances, the decision to fly on any given day belongs to the pilot-in-charge.

New pilots must undergo a comprehensive Goodyear lighter-than-air (LTA) flight training program that can last up to six months. Following successful Federal Aviation Administration testing, the pilot receives an LTA airship rating.

Crew members serve dual roles. In addition to landing and launching the airship during flight operations, they serve as electronics technicians, airship and vehicle mechanics, riggers and administrative assistants.

The airship and all the vehicles are linked by private two-way radio communications.
Panel

It is important to note that in addition to the specific duties and responsibilities listed here all crew and pilots are trained in some form of ground handling, static watch (when the blimp is on the mast for an extended length of time) and safe passenger operations. Crew members have a CDL (Commercial Drivers License) which allows them to drive a bus and 18-wheel tractor-trailer.

The engine provides the blimp's thrust. The blimps use two airplane engines, air cooled, 6 cylinder, AVGAS fueled. They generated 210 horsepower each and can achieve a top speed of about 50 MPH. The blimps usually cruise at between 20 and 40 MPH.

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