Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New at McMurdo: Helicopter and Wind Turbines

The new Kiwi helicopter, a Eurocopter EC-130.

We've had a couple new sights around base this year. The Robs (mechanic and pilot) at Scott Base are now flying a new helicopter, the Eurocopter EC-130. I don't know much about it, but it sure looks pretty. It has an enclosed tail rotor which is supposed to reduce its outside noise level substantially. I'm sure the penguins appreciate it because they get scared when a helicopter flies overhead. I like to think that they bought it based on the similarity of the name to the LC-130 Hercules planes that we use. I suspect that I am wrong, especially since the Kiwis bought it and the Herc is an American plane.

Erecting the wind turbines.

The McMurdo skyline is not memorable. While we do have a lot of antennas, we don't have the tall buildings underneath them. Instead, we have fantastic views in all directions, which is alright with me. Though, this year we have something else to look at, three wind turbines (that may multiply to twelve). They were installed by Scott Base and can supply all of their power and 50% of our power when they are running at maximum capacity. This is a huge boon for the Antarctic program. We have talked for so long about keeping this place clean, but we run everything on fuel. It seems like a move to renewable resources is long overdue.

A wind turbine overlooking Observation Hill.


  1. Hey buddy! Hadn't checked out your blog in a while. Miss you! Can't believe you are leaving so soon. Have a great time in NZ and HAWAII!! I'm so jealous! Hope to talk to you soon.

  2. woohoo! wind turbines are really pretty to look at. we have a lot of them in northern california and it's always nice to look at during my long-distance drives. great to see antarctica utilizing renewable energy.

  3. Hey Brody!! LOVE the pics of the turbine AND the EC-130. What a pretty, pretty aircraft!

    I see you're heading to HI after NZ ... I must say, I'm also quite envious! Take care, buddy, and talk to you soon!