Since the last bubble update we have completed the load test, built the loading and unloading ramps and passed our inspection with the State of Vermont.
The load test is a pretty cool operation. We used a bunch of barrels (which happened to be blue; weird) and filled them with water to simulate the weight of passengers on the chairs.
As the lift spins with the barrels on the chairs our operators keep a close eye on the many gauges and switches to make sure everything is functioning properly. After a bunch of rotations at different speeds and no snafus, the load test was complete and everything checked out.
The loading gates at the bottom terminal have been put into place. There are six gates and they will open two at a time as the bubble chair gets into the bottom terminal for ease of travel for skiers and riders to get to the loading area.
They are directly connected to sensors that tell the gates when a chair has entered the bottom terminal and how fast that chair is going so the timing of when the gates open is always spot on.
Our lift operators have been practicing the procedure for launching the bubble chairs out of the storage barn and they have it dialed in. I was watching them do this the other day and it is a pretty well choreographed process.
The terminal actually buzzes every time it’s ready to have the next chair be launched onto the haul rope to ensure the spacing is correct. Even if the spacing is off a bit from when the chair was launched, the lift will automatically correct the spacing before the chairs exit the top terminal. Seriously, the Bluebird Express is wicked smaaaaht!
We took the shrink wrap off the bubbles a few days ago and they look sooooo good! Wait until you see this thing in operation (which will be soon); it is truly a sight to behold.
So, the Bluebird Express is ready to fly! Now we just need the cold temperatures to continue so we can keep flexing our snowmaking muscle and get this place open for skiing and riding. Keep checking the snow report for the most up-to-date info on opening day and our celebration of the First Flight of the Bluebird Express. Until then, be sure those skis and boards tuned up and get stoked! Winter will be here soon, I promise.
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