Category Archives: Calendar

Happy birthday James Gordon Bennett Jr.

Portrait of James Gordon Bennett, Jr.

Portrait of James Gordon Bennett, Jr.

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

First human in the Space on 12 April 1961

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).

Yuri Gagarin

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

FAI ballooning events in 2017

FAI CIA logo21-27 August, 2017
20th European Air Balloon Championships, Brissac, France

4-10 September
4th Women Hot Air Balloon Championship, Leszno, Poland

  • ED: Moniek vande Velde
  • Status: 2nd round of invitation running. Ends  30th April
  • Contact: Bogdan Prawicki – bogdanprawicki@wp.pl

7-16 September
61st Coupe Gordon Bennett, Fribourg, Switzerland

22-25 June
Slovenian Open Championship, Sporting event, Murska Sobota, Slovenia

  • ED: Thomas Herndl, CIA loggers
  • Invitation: All FAI members. Entry deadline: 6 June 2017.
  • Entry fee: 150€ includes maps, breakfast, lunch, opening/closing ceremony. No propane, no accomodation.
  • Contact: Matjaž Pavlinjek, matjaz.pavlinek@gmeil.com

3-6 August
20e COUPE D’EUROPE DE MONTGOLFIERES & 25e COUPE DU MONDE DES DAMES. Sporting event, NOUVELLE AQUITAINE – BLANZAC-PORCHERESSE, France

  • ED: Jacques Bernardin, loggers,
  • Invitation process: 1-31 March 2017
  • Entry fee: 290 € (3+ pilot) Accommodation, breakfast, brunch after morning flights, dinner, propane, pilot’s pack, maps
  • Contact: Viviane Barbot, fr.mainfondsaubeville@orange.fr

8-10 August
Minsk 950th Anniversary Balloon Cup, Sporting event, Minsk, Belarus

  • Entry Fee: Before 1 July, 200€, after 1 July, 300€. Includes gas, map, CIA loggers, accomodation (2 nights), breakfast and lunch for 4 persons, opening and closing ceremony.
  • Contact: Anton Bystrov, Sec. Gen. of Belarusian Fed. of Air Sports, secretary@bfas.by

13-16 September
1st Central European and 2nd Szeged Balloon Cup, Sporting event, Szeged, Hungary

  • ED: Zoltan Palhegyi, CIA loggers
  • Invitation: All FAI members. Entry until 10 June, 2017. Entry Fee: Before 10 May, 100€, after 10 May, 200€. Includes gas, map, breakfast and lunch for 4 persons, free camping at airport.
  • Contact: Zoltán Pálhegyi

Richard Abruzzo made the first transcontinental solo balloon flight in the USA

Richard AbruzzoHe 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

Largest Montgolfier hot-air balloon ever made, Le Flesselle in 1784

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.

largest Montgolfier hot-air balloon ever made - Le Flesselle

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.

Continue reading

The Virgin Pacific Flyer started in 1991 to the Pacific Crossing

26 years ago today 15th January, Per Lindstrand and Richard Branson, began their Pacific crossing by hot air balloon. Two days later they landed in Yellowknife, Canada on 17th January 1991. They had achieved the first Pacific crossing by hot air balloon.

Richard Branson - Per Lindstrand

Continue reading

Invitation to the Central European Cup

Central European CupCentral European Cup

FAI Sporting Event – CIA sanction pending

We would like to invite you to the BorTér winefestival, where more than 100 wineries presents excellent products and the second Szeged Airshow which is the largest flying event in the region and to the first Central European Cup hot air balloon competition and to the second Szeged Ballon Cup fiesta.

The Event will run from 13th September 2017. The last flying day will be 16th September PM unless the minimum tasks under rule 1.2 have not been achieved, in which case the last flying day will be 17th September AM.

The entry fee is 100 EUR if you pay it before 10th May and it’s includes are FAI loggers, officials, electronic maps and rules, propane for the flights, light breakfast and lunch for pilot + 3 (Thursday – Friday – Saturday), pilot pack souvenirs, free camping facilities on the airport with your own equipment. If you don’t want to camp then you should manage and pay your accommodation.

The organisers will accept the first 40 valid entries.

You may find the invitation here.  Printable version of the invitation.

26 November 2005: Indian Tycoon Vijaypat Singhania sets World Balloon Altitude Record 21 km

B-42, MUM-290301 - MARCH 29, 2005 -  MUMBAI: VIJAYPAT SINGHANIA CHAIRMAN EMERITUS RAYMONDS GROUP AND AVIATOR ANNOUNCES HIS NEW HOT AIR BALLOON ADVENTURE IN MUMBAI ON TUESDAY. PTI PHOTO

B-42, MUM-290301 – MARCH 29, 2005 – MUMBAI: VIJAYPAT SINGHANIA CHAIRMAN EMERITUS RAYMONDS GROUP AND AVIATOR ANNOUNCES HIS NEW HOT AIR BALLOON ADVENTURE IN MUMBAI ON TUESDAY. PTI PHOTO

The record by Vijaypat Singhania is subject to verification, but his son Gautam Singhania said the 44-ton balloon climbed nearly 70,000 feet, beating the old mark of just under 65,000 feet.

“This goes to show to the world that we are not bullock cart drivers, but we can compete against the best of the world,” the balloonist said.

One of the balloon’s designers said the height will be determined by instruments sealed inside the capsule. Once verified by aeronautical groups, the findings will be submitted to Guinness World Records. The 67-year-old balloonist landed safely after a nearly five-hour flight inside a pressurized cabin suspended from the 160-foot-high, multicolored balloon. The flight was carried live on Indian national television.

“The exact height reached was 69,852 feet. This is subject to certification,” said Colin Prescott, one of two British designers of the balloon. The previous world record was 64,997 feet, set by Sweden’s Per Lindstrand in Plano, Texas, in June 1988. Hundreds of jubilant villagers crowded around the balloon to congratulate Singhania.

“When I broke the record, I was euphoric. I screamed quite loudly,” he said.

Singhania lifted off from downtown Bombay and landed safely on barren land near Panchale, a village about 150 miles south of Bombay.

Singhania, the chairman emeritus of the Raymond Group, one of India’s leading textile companies, also set a record for ultralight aviation 17 years ago when he flew 6,000 miles from Britain to India in 23 days.

Auguste Piccard made his first balloon altitude record

Auguste Piccard and Paul Kipfer

Paul Kipfer and August Piccard prepare to enter the stratosphere in a pressurized gondola lifted by a hydrogen filled balloon on May 27th, 1931.1

In 1930, an interest in ballooning, and a curiosity about the upper atmosphere led him to design a spherical, pressurized aluminum gondola that would allow ascent to great altitude without requiring a pressure suit. Supported by the Belgian Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) Piccard constructed his gondola.

An important motivation for his research in the upper atmosphere were measurements of cosmic radiation, which were supposed to give experimental evidence for the theories of Albert Einstein, whom Piccard knew from the Solvay conferences and who was a fellow alumnus of ETH.

Auguste Piccard in 1932

Auguste Piccard in 1932

On 27 May 1931, Auguste Piccard and Paul Kipfer took off from Augsburg, Germany, and reached a record altitude of 15,781 m (51,775 ft). (FAI Record File Number 10634) During this flight, Piccard was able to gather substantial data on the upper atmosphere, as well as measure cosmic rays. On 18 August 1932, launched from Dübendorf, Switzerland, Piccard and Max Cosyns made a second record-breaking ascent to 16,201 m (53,153 ft). (FAI Record File Number 6590) He ultimately made a total of twenty-seven balloon flights, setting a final record of 23,000 m (75,459 ft)