Gas Balloon - General

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05 October 2009

America's Challenge Race Cancelled for 2009

Logo America's Challenge 2009Yesterday the gas balloons were inflated and waiting for the winds to die. By 9:00 pm all had pulled out and deflated.

At a noon briefing today (Sunday, October 4), race officials announced to America's Challenge pilots that the race originally scheduled to launch last night will not be rescheduled.


Posted by Luc at 9:09 PM | Email this to a friend

04 October 2009

14th America's Challenge - launch cancelled this evening

The launch of the 14th America's Challenge race for gas balloons scheduled for tonight (Saturday evening, October 3) has been cancelled.

Winds at Balloon Fiesta Park are too strong and gusty to permit the balloons to launch safely. There will be a pilot briefing for the America's Challenge pilots at noon tomorrow (Sunday, October 4), at which time further plans for the race will be discussed.

Posted by Luc at 9:08 AM | Email this to a friend

23 March 2009

Lighter than air

An Illustrated History of Balloons and Airships

Tom D. Crouch

This richly illustrated book chronicles lighter-than-air flight from Archimedes' discovery of the principle of buoyancy to the latest in sport balloons and plans for future airships. Far more than a timeline of events, Lighter Than Air focuses on the people -- flamboyant and daring, heroes and scoundrels -- who made history in the sky. Here are the eighteenth-century pioneers who first took to the skies, the peripatetic aeronauts who criss-crossed two continents a century later, the airmen who manned the great rigid airships, and the intrepid balloonists who flew their craft across oceans and continents in the years following World War II.

The first half of the volume recounts the invention of the balloon, the golden age of the professional aerial showmen in Europe and America, the use of balloons for aerial reconnaissance, and the key role of balloons in scientific research. The second half presents the rich tale of the airship from eighteenth-century dreams to twentieth-century reality. These chapters describe the early development of the pressure airship, the emergence of the rigid airship and its golden age in the first half of the twentieth century, and the military and civil applications of these aerial behemoths. The author concludes by discussing modern blimps, sport balloons, and dreams of a future for airships.

The highly accessible text is complemented with a wealth of prints and photos from the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., the Museô de l'Air et de l'Espace at Le Bourget, the Zeppelin-Museum at Zepplinheim, and the Imperial War Museum in London. Written by award-winning aeronautical historian Tom D. Crouch, Lighter Than Air brings to life the colour and excitement of buoyant flight.

Tom D. Crouch, senior curator of the Division of Aeronautics at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, has written and edited over a dozen books. He has won several major awards for historical writing, including prizes offered by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Aviation/Space Writers Association.

978-0-8018-9127-4 £19.00
April 2009 192 pages 30 colour & 80 b&w illustrations

If you would like a review copy please contact me at the address below:
Gary Hall
The Johns Hopkins University Press
c/o The Oxford Publicity Partnership Ltd
5 Victoria House
138 Watling Street East
NN12 6BT, UK
Tel: +44(0)1327 357770
Fax: +44(0)1327 359572

Posted by Luc at 7:39 PM | Email this to a friend

16 September 2008

Men with a mission

Maidenflight OH-ENI.JPG

Ben Mattsson and Olli Luoma of the Aerostat Society of Finland strongly intend to participate at the Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett 2009 as the first Finnish team ever. The two hot air balloon pilots went to Germany and made their first training flight on August 18/19 2007, with Tomas Hora and Volker Löschhorn as instructors. This first flight took them from Magdeburg (Germany) to Iller (Denmark).


Ben and Olli made their last training flight on July 27/28 2008. They took off in Stuttgart (Germany) and landed in Kecskemet (Hungary) ... a magnificent flight over 5 countries (Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) and over 3 European capitals (Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest) ... along the Danube river ... in 13 hours 17 minutes they managed to cover 823 km!

In the meantime Ballonbau Wörner had received an order and in July we were informed that OH-ENI with nickname 'Fin Pearl' had been inflated in Augsburg for the first time. On August 24th the weather finally was good enough to make the maiden flight. The Fin Pearl ascended in Stuttgart - Bad Cannstatt and floated to the east. After 5 hours of flight the basket gently touched the ground near Ulm, in a small village called Unterbechingen.


We wish the crew of the Fin Pearl many safe flights and GUT LAND! We really hope to meet you in Geneva, Switserland, in 2009!


Posted by Marianne at 11:04 PM | Email this to a friend

07 September 2008

Helma Sjuts deceased

Helma SjutsHelma Sjuts is no longer among us. She died at the age of 89.
In 1969 she made her first balloon flight in Münster. In 1970 Helma got her license, she participated in many competitions and she broke many records. With her numerous participations in the Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett (´83-Parijs;´84-Zürich;´85-Genf;´87-Tirol; ´88-Bregenz;´89-Lech;´90-Lech;´91-Lech; ´92-Stuttgart) she also obtained international fame. Helma Sjuts was one of the most famous female gas balloonists in the world and she spent over 6400 flight hours in a balloon.

In 2003 her book "Ein leben in ballon" was published. It described her ballooning passion, her adventurous flights and also the technical aspects of ballooning. The stories were illustrated with many splendid photos and documents that demystify the world of gas ballooning to the reader.

Helma never got married and she had no children.

Photo: Luc & Donald Buyle

Ballonpost van Helma Sjuts

Posted by Marianne at 12:27 PM | Email this to a friend

31 January 2008

World Record Balloon Flight

World Record Balloon Flight From Japan to North America

Unlike the propane-fueled hybrid balloons called "Rozieres" that circled the earth in recent years, traditional "straight gas" balloons are the stuff of legend.

As featured in Jules Verne's, "Around the World in 80 days" old-fashioned 'gas' balloons, filled with helium and without the benefit of burners, pit man against the elements at a very basic level...with just bags of sand...and a healthy dash of boldness, as the "fuel".

The longest distance flight ever made in a "gas" balloon occurred almost a quarter-century ago. In 1981, four men lifted off in their helium filled balloon, Double Eagle V, from Nagashima, Japan and landed three and a half days later in California. They traveled 5,208 miles on the first-ever trans-Pacific flight by a balloon. To this day, that crew still holds the world distance record for all gas balloons.

Until now!

A team of internationally renowned ballooning experts, including several members of Steve Fossett's "Spirit of Freedom" global balloon support crew, has built a giant new straight gas balloon and taken up the challenge of capturing the world record.

Chief pilot Troy Bradley, with over 50 world records under his belt and co-pilot Peter Cuneo plan to navigate their craft more than 6,000 miles. If successful, they may also capture the world duration record for gas balloons, set in 1978 by the Double Eagle II on a 5 day flight across the Atlantic.

A lot has changed in the past 20+ years, and our team will use much more sophisticated equipment and meteorological trajectory models than were available to the Double Eagle V crew. These improvements will allow Celestial Eagle to fly from Japan, across the Pacific, landing perhaps as far as the eastern USA.

The balloon is presently named "The Celestial Eagle." A title sponsor may rename the expedition as include the company name or a product and appropriate logos.

More info on :

Posted by Luc at 7:44 PM | Email this to a friend

06 September 2007

ALBERT is his name!

On Friday August 24th a small group of select Flemish people travelled with a bouncing heart to Bavaria in the South of Germany. Destination: Augsburg, THE most important German balloon town.

May 30th, 1901: birth of the Augsburger Verein für Luftschiffahrt.

May 27th, 1931: the Swiss physicists Auguste Picard and Paul Kipfer reached for the very first time the stratosphere in a balloon filled with hydrogen. They flew up to 15.281 meters and landed after 17 hours of flight on the Hochgurgler glaicier in Tirol, Austria.

In September 1976 Augsburg organised the first World Championship for gas balloons; the Belgian pilot to defend the honour of our country was Albert Vanden Bemden.

Since 1986 Augsburg is also the hometown of Ballonbau Wörner ... and there started the latest adventure of our four travellers. A brand-new white balloon was waiting for them at Wörner's, nickname: "Albert"!

Albert !

On Friday August 24th the moment had finally arrived for D-OAVB to meet his natural environment: the deep blue sky. Philippe and Ronny proudly took off in their new "toy". In the balloon it will never be pitch-dark anymore. The graphite coating has been replaced by a silver-coloured coating that conducts the electricity. For this reason the balloon is "bright and shining" at the inside.

No ... they did not reach high altitudes nor did they make an endurance flight, but "Albert" certainly came up to the expectations of his new owners. Philippe, Ronny ànd Albert are absolutely ready for the upcoming Gordon Bennett race !!!

We sincerely congratulate the men and women of "Cercle Belgica" with their acquisition ... and most of all we wish them a safe and perfect flight !

Glück ab - gut Land...

Flight report in Dutch : Click here

Posted by Marianne at 12:47 PM | Email this to a friend

06 July 2007



DavidFinished. Landed in 15 kts!!!!
Thank you all for your support.

We'll put on more deatils when we've run out of champagne.

5 world records broken... Distance 4370 km

Posted by Luc at 7:27 PM | Email this to a friend

3 World Records for David Hempleman Adams

3 World Records for David Hempleman Adams

To break a previous record Dave must have exceeded the old record by over 1%. Each new record must also be ratified by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), the aviation governing body (a point Dave forgot on his blog in his excitement!).

Non-pressurised gas balloon size classes are split into codes, starting at AA-01, the smallest (250 cubic meters of gas or less) and counting up to AA-15, the largest (22000 cubic meters and above).

The Toshiba Challenge balloon is an AA-06 size. AA-06's size limits are between 1200 and 1600 cubic meters, as Dave's balloon heats up it expands from its cold size of just over 1000 cubic meters to fit into the limits of the AA-06 class.

The distance record for both the AA-06 and AA-07 size class was 3400.39 km, giving a 1% extra target of 3434.39 km.

The world record for the longest flight in an AA-06 balloon was 80 hours and 18 minutes, the 1% extra target to beat was 81 hours 06.

Dave has so far flown in his Toshiba Challenge AA-06 balloon for 82 hours and 30 minutes and he has covered a total of 3949 km. As Dave has a smaller balloon he automatically beats the AA-07 distance record as it is considerably harder to fly a smaller balloon with less gas to play with than a larger one. So he has beaten 3 world records.

Now we just need to wait for ratification from the FAI before the 3 new world records are completely official.

Posted by Luc at 1:24 PM | Email this to a friend

2 More World Records

2 More World Records

HQ have just reminded me that the distance record for my balloon class was the same as the one above it, so I actually broke both. So that was 2 right then. I'm very tired now and not thinking too clearly.

I have just broken another world record too for staying airborne longer than anyone else in this size class of balloon. The previous was 80 hours 18 minutes. I'm on 82 hours 52 and going well!

Thats 3! Fantastic.

Posted by Luc at 12:32 PM | Email this to a friend

New World Record

World Record

We've done it! I've just passed the distance I needed to get the world record for the class of balloon I'm flying. I can't believe it. We've done it. I'm so pleased, thank you everyone.


Posted by Luc at 7:44 AM | Email this to a friend

05 July 2007

Toshiba Transatlantic Flight - update

Toshiba Transatlantic

05 / 07 / 2007 Falling out of the sky

I've just dropped from 11,000 ft to 9,000 ft. I nodded off! The guys in HQ have been telling me to sleep all day - and look what happens when I do what they say. They now want me to get up to 10,000 ft. It's been a busy day - I've travelled 903 kms since midnight. Phew. HQ have told me I've gone 2324 km in total. I feel refreshed after my kip and have got my eye on that record. The guys have got the map and I've just got to cross the line. Sounds simple - but there's still a long way to go.

What's in my basket?

This basket is cramped. It's about 4ft by 4ft, smaller than most people's dining tables.

People always ask me what I’ve got in it. Well, I’ve got all my safety equipment, inflatable life raft, life jacket, helmet, maps, oxygen bottle, sat phones, VHF radio, Argos satellite systems, flares, knife, food, drink, toothbrush, waterproof bag. No deodorant, soap or books.

My one luxury is toilet paper. And I will be taking my map reading glasses as I’m a veteran now - and all veterans wear glasses. If I didn’t have my glasses I’d be stuffed.
I’ve also got my prayer beads which I’ve used on every expedition and, touch wood, they’ve always got me home safely.

I haven’t got a parachute. Trying to parachute into the sea is very difficult. What you can do is cut some of the ropes and the balloon will act as a parachute. It’s a big ocean to get lost in and it still scares me.

The other thing I don’t have is a sleeping bag - and last night was chilly chops.

I’ve been told I’ll fly over land - northern France - in the early hours of tomorrow morning. If I’m lucky I’ll see the sunrise over the coastline. I can't wait.

Actual : 18:00 UTC - 9500 ft - 3°C - 44,2 kts - 2612 km

Posted by Luc at 6:04 PM | Email this to a friend

03 July 2007

Toshiba Transatlantic - Successful launch

At 00:00 Hr UTC David launched the balloon after months of preparations.

Nigel Mitchell, the logistics director, witnessed the event from the launch site at St. John’s. He said, “It all went extremely smoothly. All that preparation paid off. Bert, Bill and Jim did a fantastic job. We had Luc’s final weather in early evening. The local conditions were not great. There was a light mist - a cross between mist and drizzle, which made it a little damp. It meant that David was flying up into a milky misty murk. We phoned Air Traffic Control an hour before launch to confirm our plans and immediately before launch we phoned St John’s Tower to request final clearance which was granted.
At 0130 UK hours off he went. David was very calm and confident. He had spent some time in the basket before he launched going through everything and making final checks. There was a great crowd with lots of kids. A little girl came up and gave him a Canadian penny for luck. The crowd cheered him on and off he went. Bert Padelt’s calculations were on the button and, at 53 bags, he was just floating. An extra bag off and he started to climb rapidly upwards into the mist. I’m now flying back tomorrow lunchtime and would very much like to be there to ensure David’s landing is as safe as possible. The track at the moment looks like it will get him over southern Britain and into central Europe. Bert did the balloon prayer just before we left. Bert said, “It went off real well and hopefully he’ll have a great flight. Before he left I recited the following prayer: May the winds welcome you with softness, May the sun welcome you with warm hands, May you fly so high and so well that God joins you in laughter, And may you land gently and into the loving arms of Mother Earth.

Bert added, "Everything was perfect on launch. The winds were not an issue which had been a great concern of mine. The fact David launched so well it now allows him to take over and fly the balloon. I think he was relieved and anxious to get away. It was perfect according to my calculations. He went out with 53 bags. The balloon was designed to cut down as much weight as possible. He was aiming to go up to 5000 ft and then tomorrow he’ll slowly climb up to 6000 ft and then higher each day until, at the end of the flight, he can be up to 13,000 ft. The tracks show it will take about four and a half days, but hopefully it will be faster. I started building the balloon in March and it’s always an emotional moment when the pilot looks you in the eye before launch. There’s a long look, nothing is said, you cut the line and off he goes.”

Posted by Luc at 3:19 AM | Email this to a friend

02 July 2007

Toshiba Transatlantic Challenge - Green Light

Toshiba Transatlantic

Today, July 2, 2007, David Hempleman-Adams has received the green light to launch the Toshiba Transatlantic Challenge.

If surface weather conditions are favourable, the launch will be from Feildian Grounds in St. John’s New Foundland at approx 1.00 am GMT tomorrow. Hempleman-Adams hopes to break the existing distance record for the AA06 class of balloon by completing a solo flight in an open wicker basket over the Atlantic towards Europe. This is the smallest gas balloon ever to attempt this flight. The journey is expected to take about four days.

Luc Trullemans, one of the world’s leading meteorologists, will be providing the weather information throughout the flight.

Hempleman-Adams arrived in St.John’s over the weekend where he was met by questioning from immigration officials as to why he only had a one-way ticket. After a referral to the website all was well.

The flight has a zero carbon footprint, the most basic form of flight. The helium is an inert natural gas and the ballast, or fuel, is sand which will be thrown out for the balloon to ascend. The 3425 km journey could take four days, depending on weather conditions, which will cause sleep deprivation and extreme fatigue in temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees.

A small highly specialised team of experts will be based at the control centre at Toshiba headquarters in Weybridge, Surrey. There will be hourly updates on the flight website; this will give speed, location, altitude, weather, photographs and blogs.

To track David’s progress log on to

Posted by Luc at 9:00 PM | Email this to a friend

21 June 2007

A World-Record Breaking Transatlantic Flight

Toshiba Transatlantic

David Hempleman-Adams LVO OBE DL Launches the Toshiba Transatlantic Challenge, A World-Record Breaking Transatlantic Flight

LONDON, June 21, 2007 --- One of the worlds leading explorers, David Hempleman-Adams, today announces his World Record breaking transatlantic flight today, for a helium balloon of this size, in a highly dangerous expedition to cross the northern Atlantic in the smallest gas-balloon ever to attempt this flight.

In July, Hempleman-Adams, the first man to fly to the North Pole in a balloon, will be piloting a small gas balloon, no bigger than most people’s front rooms, from St Johns, Newfoundland, Canada, to Europe. This will be a new FAI world record in distance. He will be flying in an open wicker basket, no bigger than a coffee table, open to the elements. He will endure extreme low temperatures down to minus 20 with the danger of landing in the North Atlantic. The 3425 km journey could take four days, depending on weather conditions, which will cause sleep deprivation and extreme fatigue.

Continue reading : "A World-Record Breaking Transatlantic Flight"

Posted by Luc at 6:32 PM | Email this to a friend

10 April 2007

Crossing the Carpats

Crossing the Carpats

on Friday evening April 6th, four teams launched for a long distance flight from Marl.

The teams were:

Heinz Kroger & Hansjorg Federl
Dominik Haggeney & Christoph Almodt
Kurt Frieden & Stefan Zeberli
Tomas Hora & Volker Löschhorn

This flight was meant for training for the Gordon Bennett as well as qualification for the Swiss and German Teams.
After launching in Marl all teams took direction Kassel - Erfurt Airport (were no traffic was reported) and continued to the Czech Republic.
With a lot of good will from the Czech air traffic controllers it was possible to cross Praha TMA. Precondition for this was that all teams have a working Transponder Mode C and would keep an altitude of FL90 to 100. At this point Heinz Kroger decided to land, since his transponder didn't work properly. Well done!!!!!
Our clearance we received was also used by the later balloons of the NRW championship. Most of them kpt all the necessary steps Unfortunately the controller were not happy about the behaviour of all the pilots flying in the Czech Republic. This incident is under investigation, now.

After having cleared Praha we continued to Brno, where the controller already started to work on the clearance for Romania. Brno then passed us on to Slovakia, where we then entered the second night all balloons still flying in the vincity of approx 1km or less. After a couple of hours we entered Hungarian Airspace with a very nice female controller, who then also passed us on to Romania, where the clearance was given with the waiver to call the police after landing and to keep the transponder running at all times.
We then approached the Carpat mountains, which was quite spectacular at night with a bright moon. After having crossed the 2300m high mountain range, the sun came up. Due to the ballast situation of Tomas & Volker and no valid clearance for Bulgaria all teams decided to land in the morning.
The hospitality all teams received from the Romanian people was overwhelming. The region we landed is quite poor with no running water in the homes and one heated room (kitchen) in the whole house. Nevertheless they offered us a fabulous meal which could not be topped and provided us any help we didn’t even ask for. Everywhere we came the friendliness was present. The local police even informed border control, so that our way back would be easier.
The crews were at the basket very shortly after landing, which was a big success, since they had car problems on the way and the streets in the East are getting worse with every kilometre. But Iris & Jorg on the Swiss side and Petra, Andreas & Helge on the side of Dominik & Tomas handled all challenges with a smile.


After packing all teams met again and drove the way two days back together. We all had big fun and the "learning factor" was incredible since everybody was sharing information totally openly.
Thank you for the "backstage" team with Sabrina & Stefan Handl and Michael Reichert.

Best regards


Posted by Luc at 6:10 PM | Email this to a friend

13 February 2007

I just want to tell everyone ...

Flight time: 62 hrs. 45 min.
Distance: 1,966.1 km 1,221.7 miles
landed: Crete, NE 08:45 CST N 40- 39.165 W 096- 51.950

From Andy, Feb. 5, 2007:

I just want to take this opportunity to tell everyone thanks and what a great time this little gas flight was. We didn't make the distance mark that we had wish for, but far exceeded any goals in adventure ! Total planning time for this flight and putting this outstanding team together was less than 40 days.
To my team and all the people around the world that followed the flight, I hope the time spent with us was time well spent. Many lessons on our equipment in extended freezing temperatures were learn.
Hopefully, flight following in the future will be better. Sam and I are talking about maybe trying to finish the task. We may pick-up where we landed and finish the flight before his end of March deadline. Stay tune and see what we come up with to keep Sam from losing his 10 year old bet.
Best Regards to All,

Andy Cayton

Posted by Luc at 3:20 PM | Email this to a friend

07 February 2007

that was one amazing ride

From Sam Canders - Feb 03, 2007:

Wow! Guys, that was one amazing ride. I know we did not get the record, but it was one heck of a try. I want to thank you all for everything you did. Special thanks to Barbara Fricke, Peter Cuneo, John Hager and any one else dealing with airspace (I KNOW you had your hands full), Bert Padelt, Troy Bradley, Jim Bilbrey, Mark Caviezel (recovery team out of OKC, great source of information on high altitude ballooning:, Danni Suskin, Website Bill (everyone I spoke to loved the site), Tim Baggett (thanks for the tracking help! Small world, my Army Buddy was your college roommate!), Don Day on weather, Stuart Enloe and Sam Parks (I sure wish I could have met you two on this trip) and of course special thanks to the good old crusty Warrant Officer, Andy Cayton.

I think there were some great lessons learned on this attempt and I am sure we will be discussing them in detail over the next few months. I am quite confident that next time we will reach our goal. The way I see it, if we can put together this outstanding attempt with the amount of time we had, with more planning and more preparation we will have success. I will definitely consider another try (after I thaw out) and maybe you all would like to do the same. Let's wait until the dust finally settles and see what happens!

In the meantime, as you may all be aware, this adventure started about 9 years ago with a bet with a college buddy. The wager was that I would fly a balloon across the US before I turned 30. If I win, his yet to be conceived child will have my name (Samantha if it is a girl and his wife has not say in this matter), if I lose I will have to get a 2"x2" tattoo on my arse. The way I see, the hardest part is behind me. If you all have any friends or contacts that might be interested, I would like to pick up where we left off on head east of the 96o 51.95? line towards the east coast before my 30th birthday on the 12th of March. I plan to have the week prior to that date off and could be available on weekends to do small hops working my way east. Mark maybe you would like to kick it off out of OKC some weekend between now and then? So, if you have any contacts or ballooning friends in Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia (Andy, maybe you might want to finish what you started?) have them get in touch with me.

In the meantime, I would also be happy to take tattoo suggestions. Any design will do but it must have the initials of my college bud, TLH. I think a balloon of some design would be appropriate...

Take care and talk to you soon,

Sam Canders

Posted by Luc at 7:19 PM | Email this to a friend

01 February 2007

Final Update: Safe Landing in Crete, Nebraska!

31 January 8 p.m. EST, final update
Safe Landing in Crete, Nebraska!
Just heard from Andy, and he is enroute back to Oklahoma City, with Mark and Johanna Caviezel with the balloon. From OKC, he'll be going back home to Savannah with the ballon. He said they swooped in low over town, at 40 mph, just as school was starting and made a rough landing and were actually bounced out of the basket, but managed to keep hold of the drag line and keep the balloon from hitting the treeline. The chase crew was on scene very soon after, and the balloon suffered no damage. There is a short news story from the Lincoln Journal Star at:
Short news story
and a longer story:
Balloonists escape rough landing near Crete
Thanks to all who helped and supported the attempt!

Posted by Luc at 7:53 PM | Email this to a friend

31 January 2007

Update #5 - 6 : Landing planned

9:00 p.m. EST, 30 January:
Just got a call from Danni, who just spoke with Andy. They are down to 3 bags of ballast and cannot keep the balloon at the altitude needed for the record tonight, so Andy has decided to land in the morning, I am working a trajectory for Danni so he can find someone and get them in place tomorrow A.M. Will send that traj on soon. Too bad, but it has been a heck of a ride!

9:18 p.m. EST, 30 January:
I have spoken with Andy. He is at 12000 ft, 3 bags ballast left. He will land first light - he is estimating near Enid, OK - that's about 50 miles north of Oklahoma City. Retrieval is arranged - I have spoken with Mark in Oklahoma City - his trailer is ready, they have food and dry clothing for them and are ready and eager to go. He will retrieve them and the equipment no matter where they are. The equipment with stay in OK, they will fly home. They sound a little bummed, but ok.

Posted by Luc at 5:47 PM | Email this to a friend

29 January 2007

Update #4 : "Andy and Sam Launched"

For all that aren't already watching the tracker on-line. Andy and Sam Launched at 2345z and as of now are at 12,000' MSL heading NE at about 20 MPH. So far they have traveled 60 miles. See below the pictures of the launch. Don just talked with Andy and all is well.

tracker :


Posted by Luc at 4:32 AM | Email this to a friend

28 January 2007

Update #3 : The flight has been delayed

The flight has been delayed by 2 hours. It is currently too breezy for inflation so the new goal for launch is 6 p.m. PST. (UTC : 02:00 Hr)

Posted by Luc at 11:31 PM | Email this to a friend

Update #2 : Andy says it's a GO for launch

1500z Sunday, 28 January, 2007
Andy says it's a GO for launch about 4:00 p.m. Pacific time, 0000z 29 January.

Inflation is scheduled to begin around Noon Pacific time, 2000z 28 January.

Initially the flight will attempt to make 12,000 ft, going over Las Vegas, then New Mexico, and then up to as high as 18,000 feet in the jetstream to make the remainder of the 60 hour flight.

Posted by Luc at 4:21 PM | Email this to a friend

25 January 2007

Update #1 : "I'll be on my way tomorrow"

OK, Everything is looking good. The gas is on order and will be there when we are. The new location for our set-up and launch for Sunday morning is CA89 Skylark Field in Lake Elsinore, CA ( N33 37.801 W117 18.103 ). This is closer to where we are basing and we now have permission.
Our airspace questions are all taken care of due to the hard work of John Hager, Tim Baggett and the folks of Albuquerque Center.
Don is saying we have a green light to leave town and most of the crew will be in CA tomorrow.

Thanks Again for all your help and support. I'll be on my way tomorrow at 04:30 EST.
See you all in CA.

Posted by Luc at 11:18 PM | Email this to a friend

First Gas Balloon Record Attempt - news from pilot

Hi Folks, long time no-see. Almost all of time flying in GAS balloons. I never thought I would become any more involved with gas ballooning than just having the restriction on my license removed by making one flight and two landings.

First Gas Balloon Record AttemptAfter the last up-date, my next adventure was representing the US in the 2005 Gordon Bennett gas balloon race. It was held that year at Albuquerque, NM during the Balloon Fiesta in October. This was only my third time flying gas and I was very honored to be flying as part of the US Team. Danni Suskin was my co-pilot and together we came in 5th place overall. Though not winning, we did place as the best of the three American teams, and made the best distance (1,962 km or 1,219 miles) of any US team of any Gordon Bennett race in its 100-year history. The Belgium team of Bob Berben and Benoit Simeons won the race and also set a new world record with a distance of 3,400 km or 2,113 miles. Richard Abruzzo of the USA previously held the AA-6 distance record in category of free balloons.

Continue reading : "First Gas Balloon Record Attempt - news from pilot"

Posted by Luc at 11:00 PM | Email this to a friend

Green light for attempt to break world record Distance

attempt to break world record Distance

This weekend Andy Cayton will attempt to break the world record distance in a gas balloon, now in the hands of Bob Berben and Benoit Simeons with 3400 km. Probably Andy will take off at the small airport Parris Valley (L65), south of March AFB. For the fanatics, the coordinates are N 33 45.649 - W 117 13.097.

WE HAVE A GREEN LIGHT ! These were the words Andy Cayton sent us a couple of days ago. Don, the meteorologist, announced favourable conditions from January 28th on. The pilot and his crew will arrive at the latest on Saturday in Lake Elsinore, CA, for the final preparations.

Click on the next link to discover the goal of this flight.
Start on Sunday morning

We wish Andy good luck with his attempt. We will certainly follow his progress online !!!

Posted by Marianne at 6:30 PM | Email this to a friend

23 January 2007

"Born in a basket"

Geboren in een mand

Dear gas balloon friends,

On Monday April 10th 2006 our famous gas balloonist Albert Vanden Bemden died at the age of 88. Albert was a very nice and optimistic man, and born as the son of a balloonist his whole life turned around balloons. He made 400 gas balloon flights all over Europe, and liked to tell us about his heroic adventures. We clung to his lips in admiration and it is thanks to him that gas ballooning revived in Belgium.

Some time ago Albert decided to write down his memories, but unfortunately death caught up with him before he could finish his book. Some balloon enthousiasts put their shoulders under the project and today the Belgian Balloon Federation proudly presents a very beautiful 130 pages thick book, filled with stories and colourfull photo's from the private collection of Albert Vanden Bemden. It was Albert's wish that the book should be written both in Dutch and French, and so it happened!

The book is for sale from now on. Price: 30 euro. Do you want one? Don't hesitate, this is only a limited edition! You can contact us via You'll receive all the necessary information as soon as possible.

For those who understand some French and/or Dutch: here's an extract from the book. Enjoy!

Continue reading : ""Born in a basket""

Posted by Marianne at 11:26 PM | Email this to a friend

03 November 2006

Crossing the Alps with 2 balloons

Crossing the Alps
At this moment 2 balloons are ready to cross the Alps. From Bitterfeld in Germany a tight north wind brings the balloons direction Italy. Intention is to start between 00:00 Hr and 01:00 Hr. On board of the first, D-OWBA, Tomas Hora and Dominique Hageney. Pilot in second balloon is Ferald Stürlinger (D-OSTZ)

You can follow the flight online. For the track you go to D-OWBA or D-OSTZ

For direct news and photographs from the basket blog gas balloon flight

Full story follows on this site after the flight.

Posted by Luc at 11:12 PM | Email this to a friend

01 October 2006

September 30th 2006, Ballonstartplatz 'Gladbeck' is OPEN!


After 20 years of lobbying Ballonstartplatz 'Gladbeck' finally opened yesterday. 10 Gasballoons - among which one from Belgium and one from the Netherlands - were present to take off for the very first time from this beautiful spot.

Unfortunately the weather gods were not good-tempered. In the morning they treated the Ruhr region on rain and the predictions for the evening were not good either so the fox hunt was canceled.

Because the organisation wanted to give the invitees a bit more than an empty launch field to look at, they decided to inflate the 500 m3 D-OEIM.


Then suddenly all the rain showers disappeared from the radar, but by then it was too late to inflate the 10 gas balloons for the fox hunt. Finally 5 balloons took off for a free flight, accompanied by ten hot air balloons.


The brand-new Warsteiner D-OWBO (3rd flight) claimed the honour to be the first balloon to be inscribed in the logbook of Startplatz 'Gladbeck'.

The evening ended with a cosy 'walking diner' and a nice cold beer.

Gluck ab

Posted by Marianne at 11:56 PM | Email this to a friend

29 September 2006

Tomas and Volker are in the air...

picture by Ben Blass

Tomas Hora and Volker Loeschhorn (team GER1 during Gordon Bennett Race) started this morning for a gas balloon flight.

You can follow the flight on this site . Just click on LIVE TRACKING.
The intention is pass trough of the night.

Picture by Ben Blass

Posted by Luc at 7:41 PM | Email this to a friend

16 June 2006

When Love is bigger than the will to live on alone...

Als de liefde groter is dan de wil om alleen verder te leven...

In 1941 balloonist Albert Vanden Bemden married "his" Josephine Lecleir, better known as "Fientje", who he had left behind in a carnation field 5 years before. In his book he writes:

The abandoned sweetheart

My father, Felix, had to make a flight from "De Spiegel" in Jette. I had asked my fiance to come and watch the ascent. At the moment of the take-off I simply lifted her in the basket. My father was very surprised and asked: "Who is this young lady?" My answer was: "You'll see that later...".

My father had to make a stopover to take other passengers aboard. During this landing he turned to his non-expected passenger and said: "Miss, you'll have to get out here". Fientje obeyed and climbed out of the basket in the middle of a vast carnation field. I was following in the retrieve car, my father asked me to get in the basket and off we went again. Fientje stayed behind in an unknown region, and was quite panic-stricken. Fortunately some friends were following the balloon and they gave her a ride.


With sadness we heard about the decease of Fientje. She died last week at the age of 85, and was buried on Thursday. We wish the family a lot of strength in these painful days.

Posted by Marianne at 10:46 PM | Email this to a friend

11 April 2006

Funeral Albert Vanden Bemden

On request of the family we want to inform everybody concerning the funeral ceremony of Albert Vanden Bemden

Albert will be buried next Saturday, April 15th at 10.00 AM.
The service for the funeral will be held at the St Martinus church in Ganshoren, his hometown.
The church can be found at the Koningin Fabiolaplein of Ganshoren.

The family wants to invite all friends, enthusiasts and pilots on the ceremony.

Posted by Luc at 3:06 PM | Email this to a friend

10 April 2006

Albert Vanden Bemden

a great, little man is gone...

Dear Balloonists,

It is with great regret that we must inform you that Albert Vanden Bemden, whom many of you knew, passed away this afternoon at the age of 88.

Albert was a well known balloonist and long time friend of the CIA, and fervent supporter of the Belgian and the World ballooning community. He was considered the living encyclopaedia of early ballooning, and we will all dearly miss Albert, his kindness and his humorous stories.

Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with his family and with his friends.

Philippe De Cock
President Belgian Balloon Federation

JC Weber, president
FAI Ballooning Commission

Ps: Details for the funeral service and contact address for the family will be announced as soon as they are known.

Posted by Luc at 5:43 PM | Email this to a friend

23 March 2006

New world record AM-03

Recordvaart Greg Winker

FAI has ratified the following Class A (Free balloons) record :
Claim number : 11990
Size category AM-03 (Mixed balloons : 400 to 600 m)
General Category
Type of record : Distance
Course/location : Moriarty, NM (USA) - White City, KS (USA)
Performance : 920,97 km
Pilot : Gregory J. WINKER (USA)
Balloon : Homebuilt Cameron R-15
Date : 02.10.2005
Previous record : 568.63 km (22.10.1999 - Troy BRADLEY, USA)
FAI congratulates the pilot on his splendid achievement.

Posted by Marianne at 11:50 PM | Email this to a friend

31 December 2005

Best Wishes for 2006

Posted by Luc at 11:59 PM | Email this to a friend

14 December 2005

Gas balloon flight to Sweden


We have more information for you about the gas balloon flight of October 28th, starting in Stuttgart. Tomas Hora and Volker Lsshorn were the pilots on board of D-OSTZ Stuttgarter Hofbrau. Apparently it is their habit to make an important flight in the same period as the Gordon Bennett race; last year they were in the air before the participants of the GB in Thionville. This year they had to postpone their flight because Tomas acted as launch master in Albuquerque.

At 17:00 hr on October 28th they took off, direction straight to the north. During the night they kept the balloon at 1200m, during the daytime they enjoyed the beautiful warm autumn colours, with some descents very close to the ground. At home Stephan Handl and Dominik Haggeney studied the weather forecasts to guide the flight. And in the mean time we had discovered the tracking site to follow them via internet.


Continue reading : "Gas balloon flight to Sweden"

Posted by Marianne at 11:44 PM | Email this to a friend

13 December 2005

New World Record

FAI has ratified the following Class A (Free ballons) records :
Claim numbers : 11989 & 12287
Size categories AA-06 & AA-07 (Gas balloons: 1 200 to 2 200 m)
General Category
Type of records : Distance
Course/location : 49th FAI Coupe Aronautique Gordon Bennett : Albuquerque, NM - Squatteck, QC (Canada)
Performance : 3 400.39 km
Pilot : Bob BERBEN (Belgium)
Crew : Benot SIMEONS (Belgium)
Balloon : Homebuilt Bradley Gas 037
Date : 06.10.2005
Previous records : 3 338.25 km (05.02.2003 - Richard ABRUZZO, USA)

Posted by Luc at 11:23 AM | Email this to a friend

30 October 2005

Start from Stuttgart ...

Even after the Gordon Bennett the pilots are not allowed to rest very long ... some of them are already trying to qualify for the next edition! Friday 28 October Tomas Hora took off on board of the `Stuttgarter Hofbru' balloon. Tomas was active as launch master during the last Gordon Bennett Race in Albuquerque, now he's aiming for very good results in a duration flight. His intention: to be in the GB 2006 edition as a pilot.

Thomas HORA

After almost 45 hours the balloon is actually above Sweden. You can follow the link below to see the track:

Follow track gas balloon

Posted by Luc at 2:44 PM | Email this to a friend

04 October 2005

New AM-3 record

Greg Winker informed us that his attempt to break the AM-3 distance record has been a great success. He almost doubled the old record of 568,63 km (353,33 miles).

His aim to get the duration record on his name was not successful; he landed after 23 hours of flight, just before sunrise. After takeoff Greg noticed that the valve was not functioning properly. The heat of the sun would have caused an uncontrollable ascent of the balloon.


Posted by Marianne at 12:47 PM | Email this to a friend

25 September 2005

D-PIRAT's new life

D-OCOL In the year 1997 we've definitely lost our hearts to the gas balloons... Why 1997? Well, that's the year when Philippe De Cock and Ronny Van Havere reintroduced gas ballooning in Belgium!

In May 1999 we attended for the very first time a gas balloon meeting in Germany (Marl). 18 balloons were filled with hydrogen gas but the meteo briefing revealed that the weather was not good enough for a safe flight. The meeting was cancelled and thousands of cubic meters of gas were released.

We were very disappointed because at that time everything was still new to us. Of the 18 balloons that were inflated that day we have never seen 3 of them again. Sometimes we dream of a real oldtimer gas balloon meeting, but we fear this will never be realised.

Once in a while, however, an old balloon starts to fly again. A couple of years ago OO-BAZ raised from the dust after many years of inactivity. And now it is PIRAT's turn to colour the sky again, thanks to Sabrina and Stefan Handl.

pictures - copyright Stefan HandlOn August 27th, 5 years after its last flight, the balloon started its second life as D-OCOL. It took off in Burgkirchen, accompanied by D-ORZL. 3 hours later Sabrina put the balloon safely down in Kupferstatt.

You can find pictures and the complete story on!

Glck ab und Gut land

Donald & Luc Buyle

Posted by Marianne at 1:27 PM | Email this to a friend

17 February 2005

Record claim - AA-03 - duration

FAI has received the following Class A (Free ballons) record claim :
Claim number : 10832
Size category AA-03(Gas balloons: 400 to 600 m)
General Category
Type of record : Duration
Course/location : Amarillo, TX (USA)
Performance : 46 h 55 min
Pilot : Troy BRADLEY (USA)
Balloon : Homebuilt balloon
Date: 11.02.2005
Current record : 46h 10mn (30/03/1941 - Serge SINOVEEV, USSR)
The details shown above are provisional. When all the evidence required has been received and checked, the exact figures will be established and the record ratified (if appropriate).

Posted by Luc at 6:44 PM | Email this to a friend

11 February 2005

AA-3 record attemp - update #4

Record attemp...

Troy is down and safe, after successful AA-3 record breaking flight, but not without some hair raising excitement! More coming soon.

whit landvater
gardnerville, nevada

Posted by Luc at 10:50 PM | Email this to a friend

AA-3 record attemp - update #3

If you're following Troy's flight, you'll know that this is a real knuckle biter! According to our calculations, Troy has exceeded the existing AA-3 duration record by the required 1% as of 2104Z.

Troy has managed to descend through some severe turbulence in an attempt to slow his speed which was 50+ kts., and is now waiting for an inversion to set in within an hour which should slow his speed even further for landing.

From Lou Billones (Team Meteorologist): Last night Troy was able to make the necessary track adjustments that set us up to break the record. The down side was that Troys track was in a major synoptic scale jet stream flow that reduced our follow on options for flight after tonight.

Last night and this morning, Troy was in 50+ MPH winds that really kept everyone busy. This afternoon we have Troy cruising along at 5000 ft at 50 kts heading for Florida. However, due to sunset considerations, once the record is broken and when he has cleared controlled air space around Columbus, Georgia, we have recommended that he descend out of the jet and look for a landing location in South Western Georgia. Landing winds will be brisk.

Posted by Luc at 10:20 PM | Email this to a friend

AA-3 record attempt - update #2

Record attemp...

February 10, 2005 : 2230Z :

Troy Bradley has now been aloft 24+ hours and is currently north of Oklahoma City, OK [N36409323, W97307839]. In his latest message, Troy was flying at 1,000 ft. agl heading 40 at 13mph and said: "At the moment, it's just a nice evening flight."

Earlier today, Troy was headed for Vance AFB and was told to climb to avoid training aircraft. This ascent increased his speed to 20+mph and his heading to 90, more east than he wanted. He said he was "extremely busy" until he cleared the area and was allowed to descend.

For those of you asking for more pictures, the request is in. The crew has the balloon in sight, but say they're not close enough to get a good picture, but will try.
whit landvater
gardnerville, nevada

Posted by Luc at 5:58 PM | Email this to a friend

10 February 2005

AA-3 record attempt - update #1

Troy Bradley has launched on his AA-3 duration world record attempt at 22:26Z (16:46:49 Central). You can track his progress here

Posted by Luc at 12:03 AM | Email this to a friend

09 February 2005

AA-3 record attempt - duration

Record attemp...We are back in Amarillo for another attempt on the AA-3 duration record.

The weather looks super and we are anticipating a lift off between
09/2200Z and 10/0000Z. It is the best weather pattern we have seen this winter.

If you are interested you can follow the flight at this site

Troy Bradley

Posted by Luc at 4:03 PM | Email this to a friend

18 September 2004


Hi, I'd like to thank everybody who has supported me throughout the past difficult days. I'm also very happy with the beautiful present.

The following weeks are going to be tough but the friendship, the nice atmosphere, the support ... in the gas ballooning world is something unique, and this is going to give me the strength that I need.

I hope I'm still going to make friends with many people throughout the world, thanks to ballooning. I'll see you all again soon!



You want to send a get well card to Nancy? The address:

Algemeen Stedelijk Ziekenhuis Aalst
tav Nancy Van Huffel - kamer 602
Merestraat 80
B-9300 Aalst

An sms for Nancy? Send it to:

+32 474 321 479

We'll keep you informed as to Nancy's recovery...

Posted by Marianne at 8:30 PM | Email this to a friend

16 September 2004

New gas balloon baptised

Sunday afternoon, during the 4th Moerser Freiballonfestival, the spectators could witness the baptism of a new gas balloon...

Continue reading : "New gas balloon baptised"

Posted by Marianne at 8:45 AM | Email this to a friend

18 August 2004

Little white gas balloon...

Sunday, August 15th, at about 17:15 and while a thunder storm was approaching I suddenly saw a small gasballoon. I quickly grabbed my radio and contacted the balloon. The famous Leys brothers (4x winners of the Gordon Bennett race) were flying there!

Continue reading : "Little white gas balloon..."

Posted by Marianne at 10:32 AM | Email this to a friend

06 July 2004

New German altitude record AA-3

Altitude - OO-BAZ
My very well prepared flight begins rather stressfull because the helpers have some difficulties to reach the launching spot and because of the flight over the vast Haard.
Thanks to my helpers the preparing of the balloon progresses smoothly. And with 5 bags of sand (7,5 kg each) and an overfilled balloon I manage to mount very fast.

The valve reduces the ascent force of the balloon only slightly. The small balloon makes some unpleasant movements. The basket is very low, so these movements are visible to me. At an average speed of 3,4 m/sec I reach an altitude of 4153 m in 20 minutes. I don't want to stay long at this altitude because I want to clear air space as soon als possible and to land before sunset.

Continue reading : "New German altitude record AA-3"

Posted by Marianne at 9:00 AM | Email this to a friend

17 June 2004

2 balloonists and a small balloon = 1 new record

The famous carnival weather forecasts in Rheinland and a bit of help from the Paderborn air traffic control helped Benjamin and Wilhelm to break the 37 years old German record of Heinz Theinert, on "Rosenmontag" 2004.

OO-BAZHumba, humba, humba, tter can be heard all over Rheinland an even in more remote parts of the Republic.

The weather forecasts are turning in favour of the carnival festivities, and because we didn't get much nice ballooning weather in winter, a sports balloonist grabs every opportunity with both hands.

It is our intention to break a 37 years old German duration record. The Augsburg balloonist Heinz Theinert got this record in 1967 with the 'Einer', he stayed in the air for 10 hours and 30 minutes. "The name 'Einer' " his widow told us one day (Heinz died in 1985 at the age of 65), "comes from the very small basket that was meant for 1 person only". This basket is kept now in the balloon museum in Gersthofen. Another Augsburg pilot, Erich Mrkl, obtained in 1967 the altitude record with 2630 meters and he has made more than 50 flights with the 'Einer'. "Erich, when do you intend to write down your ballooning memories?"

Continue reading : "2 balloonists and a small balloon = 1 new record"

Posted by Marianne at 2:43 PM | Email this to a friend

13 April 2004

Gas Balloon for Sale

G-BWVMHello to all,

I have a gas balloon for sale. A complete gas balloon system,

Details are:

Gas Balloon
G-BWVM Thunder & Colt 1,000 cu mt. quick fill built in 1996.
Standard airworthiness certificate,254 hours total time on envelope.
has a current annual. System has two baskets; the original, and a special Lindstrand built model, that has three flights. Form fitted blank banner, and banner loops. Every thing one needs to go fly gas.
Price: $20,000

For more details, please contact Sam Parks
(+1) 704-873-0080 office
(+1) 704-872-0562 home
(+1)704-902-0124 cell

Posted by Luc at 9:03 PM | Email this to a friend

04 December 2003

Gas balloon for sale

Gasballoon - Te koopFor Sale: Wrner Gas balloon 100 flights built in 1989 very good condition ready to fly volume 1050 m - light-weight envelope net valve basket loadring trail rope tested at Gordon Bennett at flights 1+4, approximately 25 bags of ballast

Herr Rainer Herkenhoff
Brgermeister-Meyer-Strasse 19a
49497 Mettingen/Westfalen

Phone: (+49) 5452-935493
Gsm: (+49) 172-2917912

Posted by Marianne at 7:25 PM | Email this to a friend

25 November 2003

Old Glory ... OO-BAZ

Benot Simeons

At the age of 16 Benot Simons was the youngest pilot in Europe. Born in a family of balloonists his brothers Patrick and Jean-Frdric share the same passion. As a born adventurer Benot has visited countries all over the world with his hotair balloon. Some of his realisations: a flight over the Chinese Wall ... flights above the deserts of New-Mexico, Morocco, Tunisia, Qatar, Karkoum ... ascents from the Red Square in Moscow several national records ... vice world champion hotairship ... And yet Benot thought something was still missing: a gas balloon flight!

Continue reading : "Old Glory ... OO-BAZ"

Posted by Marianne at 2:03 PM | Email this to a friend

11 November 2003

5 Gas balloon Symposium

Dear gas balloon friends,

Gas Balloon Symposium I invite you warmly to visit the 5th gas balloon symposium. We can make it a real success if many gas balloon pilots will be there. The past 4 years we have noticed that enough cheap accommodation can be found in and around Knzell. To be able to provide a sufficient amount of chairs and meals for everybody, I'd like you to confirm your presence informally by means of tel. (+ 49) 2841-8585 or fax (+ 49) 2841-81315 or by e-mail to

Glck ab Willi Eimers

Program :

Continue reading : "5 Gas balloon Symposium"

Posted by Luc at 8:00 PM | Email this to a friend

08 November 2003

Spassiva Kaliningrad

Spassiva Kaliningrad

Kaliningrad On Friday, early in the morning, Stefan and I started our journey in the direction of Marl, hopefully not to get into any traffic jam.
After an eight hour trip, we arrived in Marl, had a good long lunch, we begin filling the sand backs. We had been the first team, who arrived at the field, so we had the possibility to look for a shady place. Because of the heat, we began very slowly with the preparing of the basket an the envelope. The filling time was 7pm.

Continue reading : "Spassiva Kaliningrad"

Posted by Luc at 12:04 PM | Email this to a friend

05 November 2003

The land, where the Cheddar grows

The land, where the Cheddar grows.

by Stefan Handl

16.10.2003 17.10.2003
Gersthofen Cheddar Res.

Coast UK

To use the high pressure over the north sea for a fast flight to England the anxious question hydrogen or not hydrogen came up. But Wolfgang Kunz, our Ballon-Meister, made the impossible possible. We all, including our president, worked together to bring D-OCOL in the air.

Already on Monday, we have warned Colin (Cameron Balloons) that we would need his help after landing. The flight plan was exactly planned and confirmed by the air traffic control. Shortly before starting we have got the information that VFR flight by night are not allowed in Ireland.

Continue reading : "The land, where the Cheddar grows"

Posted by Luc at 7:16 PM | Email this to a friend

02 November 2003

Crossing the Channel

Map flight Germany - Engeland

Extra information about this flight
By clicking on the picture you'll see the complete track of this crossing.

03:36 - Start Oer-Erkenschwick
04:45 - Wesel
09:00 - coast line - altitude: 520 meters - speed 43 km/hr

over sea : in 03:32 Hr - speed 52 km/hr - 500 m altitude - distance 185 km

14:30 - Military CTR Mahan - 25 km/hr
18:55 - Beautiful upright landing on grass, at 5 km from Coventry.

total : 595 km - 15:22 Hr
flight crew : Wilhelm Eimers (553) - Horst von Riegen (30) - Uli Seel (19) - Achim Wissinger (4)

Posted by Luc at 12:29 PM | Email this to a friend

30 October 2003

To England by balloon

The Channel

I hadn't been in England since Christmas 1996, when we were five on board and landed in the proximity of Oxford. The years after that we had also the right weather conditions, but they are only one of many important factors when you want to fly to England.

We met no difficulties while being in the air, but they showed up after the landing.

Eenmaal de zee rieken

It was impossible to get help from English balloonists. The crossing by boat had become very expensive. But without boat it is impossible to return to the mainland. An early booking saves money ... but how can you do this as a balloonist?

The flight itself was magnificent. The crew kept together very well. Up in the air it is of course a logical thing. But even afterwards, back on the ground, it remained that way.

I'm already looking forward to my next trip to England, but on that occasion I'll take my own beer.

If you want to read the full report, please click on one of the photos.

Wilhelm Eimers

Posted by Marianne at 9:10 PM | Email this to a friend

01 October 2003

New Belgian Records

The Sports Commission of the Royal Belgian Aroclub has ratified today the following Class A (Free ballons) records :
Size categories AA-06 (Gas balloons :1200 to 1600 m)
General Category
Type of records : Distance
Course/location : Arc-et-Senans (FRA) - El Palomar (ESP)
Performance : 1422,7 km
Pilots : Philippe De Cock and Ronny Van Havere (BEL)
Balloon : OO-BCX -- Belgica II
Date : 14.09.2003
Previous records : none
Size categories AA-06 (Gas balloons :1200 to 1600 m)
General Category
Type of records : Duration
Course/location : Arc-et-Senans (FRA) - El Palomar (ESP)
Performance : 41:51 Hrs
Pilots : Philippe De Cock and Ronny Van Havere (BEL)
Balloon : OO-BCX -- Belgica II
Date : 14.09.2003
Previous records : none

The Sports Commission congratulates the pilots on there splendid achievement.

Posted by Luc at 11:35 PM | Email this to a friend

27 September 2003

Gassing up

Fuel-cell busses
For all you gas balloonists out there. BP has applied for planning permission for Brittain's first hydrogen filling station at Hornchurch in Essex.
It is to supply fuel-cell busses that are being tested in many European cities as part of the Cleaner Urban Transport for Europe trials. The hydrogen will be pressurised to 5.000 psi.

Posted by Luc at 12:30 PM | Email this to a friend

31 August 2003

New Site

As you can see we have worked very hard on a new look for our gasballooning site.

The Dutch version is finished, the English one is nearing completion. We intend to add a French and a German version later. This means we will have to do a lot of extra efforts, but we hope some nice people will volunteer to help with the translations. Doesn't the saying go: "Many hands make light work"?

Anyway, we wish you a good time on our site! Please come back to this page (Home) regularly, because here you will always find the latest pieces of news on gasballooning.

Posted by Marianne at 8:13 PM | Email this to a friend

Last messages

America's Challenge Race Cancelled for 2009
14th America's Challenge - launch cancelled this evening
Lighter than air
Men with a mission
Helma Sjuts deceased
World Record Balloon Flight
ALBERT is his name!
3 World Records for David Hempleman Adams
2 More World Records


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