Today we had our first Test flight of the 2011 campaign. The Zeppelin,equipped with the Nucleation Package (Cabin Layout 9), took off at 3:45 pm. The airship flew to the forest Altendorfer Wald where it reached its maximum altitude of 3200 ft.After a fog warning from the tower at Friedrichshafen Airport the airship had to return and reached the hangar at 5 pm.
An important test today was the switching from the ground power supply to the generator power supply of the Zeppelin. After some tests the switching went well. All the instruments measured during the flight.
Beforehand it was considered that the APi-TOF and NAIS might not see any ions due to static charge forming on the surface of the Zeppelin. Both instruments measured ion concentrations within the expected range.
In the evening, the cabin layout was changed from the nucleation package (CL 9) to the SOA (Secondary Organic Aerosol) package (CL5). During campaign, the cabin layout will be changed to address different scientific questions or simply to safe weight on transfer flights.
Racks with a weight of up to 135 kg can be lifted into the cabin by means of a winch constructed by ZLT. As we found out yesterday, removing an instrument from the gondola takes about 10 minutes, installation lasts about 20 minutes (including electrical connection).