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America's Challenge Race Cancelled for 2009
14th America's Challenge - launch cancelled this evening
Tragic death of balloon team leader
11th Friedrich Thode Wettfahrt
6th Coupe du Nouveau Siècle
German Nationals 2009 - Results
German Nationals Gas balloon 2009
Lighter than air
Gas balloon contest on WAG is cancelled
Men with a mission

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Breaking News

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 to a friend
Categorys : Competition / Meetings, Gas Balloon - General

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 to a friend
Categorys : Competition / Meetings, Gas Balloon - General

09 August 2009

Tragic death of balloon team leader

The leader of the Jersey Balloon team, due to compete in one of the sport's most prestigious races, has died in a tragic accident.Serge Cuhat from Switzerland died on Friday in the Italian Alps.

On the picture, left to right - Paul McCallum  Balloon Meister, Serge Cuhat, Sten Adeler

Serge Cuhat and Sten Adeler, a retired pilot who lives in Jersey, had been preparing to take part in the Gordon Bennet Cup - an exclusive gas balloon race due to start in Geneva next month. The race is known as the Grand Prix of ballooning with entry limited to just 18 places.

Yesterday, after a flight from Switzerland, the balloon landed in the Italian Alps near Pejo. After securing the balloon, Cuhat slipped on a bolder, lost his footing and tragically slipped over a drop to his death. He'd been flying balloons for 20 years.

Team-mate and close friend Sten Adeler said the Jersey team were in deep shock.

See also the video


Posted by Luc at 2:22 PM | Email to a friend
Categorys : Gordon Bennett

27 June 2009

11th Friedrich Thode Wettfahrt

This week's duration flight - the Friedrich Thode Wettfahrt - has been cancelled.

It was impossible to ascend last night because the wind would have taken the balloons to Belgium and the Netherlands, and in these countries night flights are still forbidden. Moreover there is a big chance on bad weather today.

If the balloons were to ascend on Saturday night they would find very little wind and all the balloons would float towards the Dusseldorf airport, resulting in a very short flight.

Because of these reasons the organisation decided to call off the meeting. Yet the pilots will have the opportunity to make individual flights from the Gladbeck launching field on Sunday.

The organisation has promised to try to organise the competition again later this year. We'll keep you informed!

Posted by Marianne at 1:16 AM | Email to a friend
Categorys : Competition / Meetings

20 June 2009

6th Coupe du Nouveau Siècle

During the Lorraine Mondial Air Ballon there will also be a gas balloon ascension on July 29th. The gas balloons will then fly the 6th Coupe du Nouveau Siècle.

For more information you can contact the Pilatre de Rozier Organisation:
Tel : +33 (0) 3 82 33 77 77
Fax : +33 (0) 3 82 33 72 72

Posted by Marianne at 10:57 AM | Email to a friend
Categorys : Competition / Meetings

19 June 2009

German Nationals 2009 - Results

Here at last the final results of this year's competition:

2 Tomas HORA
4 Dominik HAGGENEY
5 Bepperl HÖHL
8 Alfred DERKS
9 Markus PIEPER

Results of the German nationals (updated)

Exceeded altitudes

We sincerely thank the organisation and the jury for the great job they've done!

Thumbnail image for MD000366.jpg

Posted by Marianne at 1:28 AM | Email to a friend
Categorys : Competition / Meetings

16 June 2009

German Nationals Gas balloon 2009

German Nationals

Last weekend 14 teams from 6 countries participated at the "Deutsche Meisterschaft Gasballon 2009" in Mettingen:

The teams:
03 - Alfred DERKS (D-OWML) GER
05 - Dominik HAGGENEY (D-OWNT) GER
06 - Bepperl HÖHL (D-OWBI) GER
07 - Tomas HORA (D-OSTZ) GER
08 - Markus PIEPER (D-OWBA) GER
11 - Rainer HERKENHOFF (D-OIBB) GER outside competition
12 - Axel HUNNEKUHL (D-OWBO) GER outside competition
13 - Ben MATTSSON (OH-ENI) FIN outside competition
14 Jan SMRCKA (OK-0001) CZK outside competition

The start had to be delayed because of the bad weather, but Friday at sunrise the "fox" finally ascended and herewith started the German gasballooning championship. After ten minutes the first team took off and 16 minutes later all the balloons were aloft for a new adventure.

The competitors had to accomplish 5 tasks before sunset.

Task 1: Judge Declared Goal
A goal was set near Jöllenbeck, N. Bielkefeld, approximately 60km from the starting field. Every team carried a gps to registrate every second their altitude and position. These track-logs are used after the race to determine the results.

Task 2: Fox hunt
At 08:15hr the fox landed near Bad Salzuflen. Jan Smrczka managed to throw the marker at 20,60 Meter, a Warsteiner balloon threw the marker outside the 50 Meter radius but the marker never turned up. For the other balloons the track-logs will be studied to see how close they came to the fox.

Task 3: Pilot Declared Goal
Using the weather predictions for the first 3 flight hours, the pilots had to declare individual goals before the start of the competition. All the goals had to be set east of the A7 expressway, between Göttingen and Ertfürt. The pilots had to show their ability to navigate to a place of their own choice.

Task 4: Hesitation Waltz
Before the competition the pilots had to set 3 goals, situated in the competition area between 12° and 14° East an north of 50° N. In flight the pilot had to decide which goal to fly to (taking the available wind speed an direction into account).

Task 5: Maximum Distance (with time limit)
The pilots had to travel the greatest distance from the launch point within the maximum time allowed (15 hours) before dropping the marker. 20:50hr: the last team (Kurt Frieden and Pascal Witpraechtiger) set foot to earth at 50 km south of Prague.

The teams returned to the competion center on Sunday, where the tournament organisation started to study the track-logs.

As soon as the results are known we will post them here too...

German Championship

Posted by Marianne at 9:55 PM | Email to a friend
Categorys : Competition / Meetings

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
Email: gary.hall@oppuk.co.uk
Tel: +44(0)1327 357770
Fax: +44(0)1327 359572

Posted by Luc at 7:39 PM | Email to a friend
Categorys : Gas Balloon - General


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