Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Libraries, Ventilation, and Hercules

Our days in Aars were quite exciting as we got to visit a number of local businesses. These included the site of a new wind farm, a leading library and luggage sorting systems manfufacturer, a unique air systems manfucaturer, and the Royal Danish Airforce base at Aalborg International Airport.

The use of wind power in a nation like Denmark is a bit of a no brainer. It sits squarely in the path of windstreams which sweep across the peninsula. While the public politley does not state their wish to end dependence on middle eastern oil, the reasons for the Danes to find alternative and clean energies are much like the US. At this site outside of Aars, six new turbines are being erected, standing about 80 meters tall, and having blades 50 meters in length. You can stand up inside the blades and walk into them!

Our visit to the RAF base was really fun as well. We visited the search and rescue pilots and helicoptor as well as the home of the Dane's C130J's (also called the hercules!) We had a great tour of the hangars and also the control tower which negotiates the needs of both the civilian airport and the airforce. The Aalborg airport was created during the second world war by the German Luftwaffe and taken over by the civilian and RAF authorities after the occupation. The old bunkers are still used for testing the RAF's F-16 fighter jets. Many cold war elements still remain from the airport's role in security for Northern Europe. And yes, that's me at the helm of a C130J. There were a lot of buttons. Even a red one I was not allowed to push. :-)

I'm now in the town of Sindal, after saying goodbye to my awesome hosts in Aars (and their adorable cocker spaniel who tried to get in the car with me when we left). We are presenting to the rotary club in town tonight and will spend the next few days in the area, including a trip to Skagen, Denmark's most northern point.

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