David is the only balloon pilot to have won both the Hot Air and Gas Balloon World Championships and he completed the “triple crown” of ballooning by winning the prestigious Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett in 1992. He has also won the U.S. National Championships in both Gas and Hot Air. Other wins include the 1988 Trans-Australia Balloon Challenge, 1990 Canadian Open National Championship, 1994 Alpine Balloon Trophy in Austria and the 1996 America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race in Albuquerque. His last win was the 2000 America’s Challenge with a flight of 1,998 miles, flying from Albuquerque to Gorham, Maine in 66 hours. David retired from balloon competition after the World Air Games in Seville, Spain in 2001.
James Gordon Bennett Jr. (May 10, 1841 – May 14, 1918) was publisher of the New York Herald, founded by his father, James Gordon Bennett Sr., who emigrated from Scotland. He was generally known as Gordon Bennett to distinguish him from his father. Among his many sports-related accomplishments he organized both the first polo match and the first tennis match in the United States, and he personally won the first trans-oceanic yacht race. He sponsored explorers including Henry Morton Stanley’s trip to Africa to find David Livingstone, and the ill-fated USS Jeannette attempt on the North Pole. Continue reading →
On 12 April 1961, the Vostok 3KA-3 (Vostok 1) spacecraft with Gagarin aboard was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome. Gagarin thus became both the first human to travel into space, and the first to orbit the Earth. His call sign was Kedr (Russian: Кедр, Siberian pine or Cedar).
Picture: Time Covers – The 60S, Boris Chaliapin, from the Life.com collection
The radio communication between the launch control room and Gagarin included the following dialogue at the moment of rocket launch: Continue reading →
He flew from Torrey Pines, San Diego in California to Waverley, Georgia in 73 hours 20mins, a distance of 2074kms. The balloon was gas balloon Abruzzo GROM-1. Reg. N96YD,landing on February 5th 2003. On the weekend of the flight, the equipment was driven to California from Albuquerque by crewmembers Leonard Saiz and Jeremy Dorcas. They also provided the retrieve for the flight. The sandbags were filled and the system was assembled on Saturday. It all finally came together and the balloon was launched exactly at 12:00 noon PST. Continue reading →
Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier with Joseph Montgolfier, he was one of six passengers on a second flight on 19 January 1784, with a huge Montgolfier balloon Le Flesselles launched from Lyon. Four French nobles paid for the trip, including a prince.
On January 19, 1784, the largest Montgolfier hot-air balloon ever made, “Le Flesselle,” made an ascent at Lyons, France. This engraving depicts two scenes from the event.