01/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Solar Airport Hangar: Burbank Tries To Green Aviation

A team of Southern California developers today is taking the wraps off what may be the world's greenest aviation facility, one capable of powering a Boeing 757 with solar energy while the aircraft is on the ground for maintenance.

The new 60,000-square-foot structure at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank is believed to be the industry's only solar-powered airport hangar. Its rooftop photovoltaic panels provide enough juice to operate the building's lights and to recharge electric-powered ground equipment such as forklifts and tow vehicles. The array can also keep an airplane's electrical system humming inside the hangar while mechanics perform their chores.

Green construction and solar-powered buildings are nothing new in California. Still, the Burbank facility, known as Hangar 25, appears to be a clean step forward for the aviation industry, which has a massive carbon footprint.

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