Category Archives: Gasballoon

David Levin (1948 – 2017)

David Levin (1948 - 2017)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.

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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

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

Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov breaks world balloon record

Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov has broken the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the Earth in a rozier balloon in just over 11 days.

Konyukhov, who set off from Western Australia’s Avon Valley on July 12, has gone past the point he needed to fly over to break the record and is expected to land in WA’s Wheatbelt later this afternoon.

Fedor Konyukhov track

But his difficult task of landing the balloon is still ahead of him and the crew is eager to get the craft back on the ground before nightfall. Continue reading

Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov took off to fly around the world

Russian balloonist Fedor Konyukhov took off early this morning from western Australia, near Perth, on a quest to fly around the world nonstop and solo. Konyukhov, 64, an artist, author and adventurer, hopes to beat Steve Fossett’s record, set in 2002, of 13.5 days to complete the journey. He’s flying a Roziere-style balloon, which is a hybrid that uses both hot air, heated by propane tanks, and helium to provide lift. If he succeeds, he’ll be only the second person to complete the solo circumnavigation. As of Tuesday morning, he was flying eastward above the Australian continent.

Fedor Konyukhov

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Final standings of Gordon Bennett 2015

Gordon_Bennett_2015_podium

Gordon_Bennett_2015_final_standings
Here are the final standings after a truly amazing Gordon Bennett 2015 balloon race. Swiss-2 squeezed every last drop out of their balloon last night and landed in 3rd place. Pilots have been tested fully since launching on friday evening. Decisions to land early are always disappointing, but a leaking balloon of USA-1 and thunderstorms in the night gave four teams no choice. We have watched balloon flying at its finest and the organisers, pilots, crews and helpers can all be proud of a job well done.

Congratulations for all participants!

Two world records by Troy Bradley and Leonid Tiukhtyaev

The Two Eagles balloon team is pleased to report the Two Eagles balloon has landed safely just off the Baja coast near La Poza Grande. The pilots made a controlled descent to a gentle water landing about four miles off the Baja coast. The balloon is stable and still inflated and the pilots are fine.

Two Eagles balloon team trck

Winds at the lower levels turned parallel to the coast, which made it more prudent for the pilots to execute a landing in the water. Mexican authorities are cooperating fully and the Coast Guard is enroute to the balloon. We anticipate they will tow the capsule to shore.

Troy Bradley and Leonid TiukhtyaevWe would note that a water landing is acceptable under the international rules governing the establishment of world records. Two around-the-world attempts using a different type of balloon landed in the water and were approved as records.

Congratulations for Troy Bradleyand Leonid Tiukhtyaev! Landing occurred at six days, 16 hours and 37 minutes into the mission (approximately 7:01 AM MST or 1400 UTC) at a distance of 6,646 miles (10,696 km).

Gondola of Two Eagles in the air

Two Eagles balloon in the air

Balloons of Gordon Bennett 2013 started

In 45 minutes, from 5:45 a.m., the 18 balloons flew! The 57th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett began in a small light drizzle. The 36 pilots and co-pilots (from 10 countries) will try to steal the title held by France with Vincent Leys. The competition can be followed in live on:

tracks

For the first hours, the balloons take the direction of East. The routers on the ground will ensure the baton to guide them and allow them to travel the greatest distance. A half of the balloons are still on low levele to East but some of them going around 2500 feet and direction of North. Same destination to everybody:  greatest distance with a 1000 m3 gas balloon in the contest area. Good luck for everybody!

Gordon Benett 2013 start

Gordon Benett 2013 start – photo: Martine Besnainou