20,000 volunteers have been blowing into tubes for a fortnight in Oswestry, as the largest inflatable building ever to have been created begins to inflate. Actually they used 40 generators and pumps, seeing as it's a ridiculously massive structure.
The soft building has been created to house a soft thing -- the Goodyear Blimp. Shropshire-based Lindstrand Technologies has built the inflatable hangar to house the famous modern airship, which is to be installed in the Goodyear company's US HQ in California, once it's been deflated, rolled up and sent over.
It's been stitched together from 73 miles of polyester fabric sheet, creating a space that's nearly nine stories high and longer than your average professional football pitch. Total cost: £20m.
Inflatable thing expert and former famous adventurer Per Lindstrand said of his construction: "Air cell structures are advanced constructions made with two layers of material with fabric formers in between. They are self-supporting by means of air fans with no need for foundations, hardware or guy wires. Air cell structures can be used in practically any environment and are ideally suited to both military and civilian applications." [BBC]
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