auuuu Index
Early Balloons
Military Use of Balloons
Scientific Use of Balloons
Ballooning as a Sport
Ballooning Records
Long-distance records
Zero-pressure balloons
Superpressure Balloons
Uses of Scientific Balloons

Ballooning Records

The helium-filled Double Eagle II, piloted by the American businessmen Ben L. Abruzzo, Maxie L. Anderson, and Larry Newman, made the first successful transatlantic balloon flight in August 1978. The balloon took off from Presque Isle, Maine, on August 11 and landed in Miserey, France, on August 17, setting a distance record of 5,000 km (3,000 mi) and an endurance record of 137 hours 6 minutes. Two Americans, Troy Bradley and Ben Abruzzo’s son Richard, broke the endurance record in 1992. After taking off from Bangor, Maine, in the world’s first transatlantic race, they were blown off course and landed near Fes, Morocco, 146 hours later. Kittinger made the first solo transatlantic crossing in 1984 when he flew his helium-filled Rosie O’Grady’s 5,690 km (3,535 mi) from Caribou, Maine, to the Italian Riviera near Savona. All of these sport-ballooning flights were made with a zero-pressure balloon, a balloon with an envelope made of plastic that is filled only partly with gas while on the ground. As the balloon ascends, a lifting gas, usually helium, fills the envelope.

Hot air ballooning

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