Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions was recently asked to contribute in a big way to the success of the historic flight of Solarimpulse. This amazing aircraft, which is powered only by solar panels, left Abu Dhabi on March 9, 2015, on its mission to be the first solar powered aircraft to fly around the world. The mission is set up in 13 stages and when landing in Hawaii safely on July 3, 2015, it completed stage 8. The remaining 5 stages, however, will have to wait until April 2016 to begin due to an issue with the battery packs; so while this beautiful aircraft of the future rests in the hangar here, repairs are underway to ensure its readiness for the last legs of the journey. I know, I know…so what does this have to do with Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions? Well, here’s the exciting part!
This highly technical plane is loaded with sensitive panels and equipment and will need to be docked in Hawaii for several months. One of the biggest concerns is that the plane remains un-touched and undamaged especially from birds. Yes, birds pose a huge risk to this aircraft. Birds nesting in or around the plane or even birds defecating on the plane’s extremely sensitive surfaces could potentially lead to disaster for this flight. The engineering team for Solarimpulse contacted us to design and fabricate a bird proof net enclosure that would exclude the birds from the aircraft while still allowing maintenance personnel to access it!
This once in a lifetime opportunity to assist in a historic around-the-world flight was an opportunity we couldn’t let pass. Even though we were in the midst of our busiest month in 18 years, we decided to tackle the task. With only 7 days to design, propose, and complete this mission, our staff jumped into overdrive working around the clock and on weekends to meet the challenge. This was a huge job with highly technical considerations that would normally take weeks or months of planning to accomplish, but we only had 7 days! We called on our friends at BirdBarrier in California and United Bird Control in Arizona to help. They were amazing! They compiled all the materials, components and help that we needed – even custom fabricating some of the parts and overnight shipping it all to us.
The final result was a five-sided net enclosure that measured 250 ft. x 100 ft. x 40 ft. with entrance points for maintenance workers. Over 53,000 square feet of bird netting was used to complete this enormous structure. And, the best part was that it was completed 2 days ahead of the deadline!
I am very proud of the Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions team. When met by an enormous challenge we were able to step up to the plate and hit a grand slam! It’s that drive and determination in our employees that has helped to make us the largest locally owned pest control company in Hawaii. Kudos to our entire staff for such an important job done well!