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.
In January 1991, in the Virgin Pacific Flyer (a hot air balloon measuring 74,000 m³ (2,600,300 ft³), designed and built by Thunder & Colt), Lindstrand and Branson completed the longest flight in lighter-than-air history when they flew 6761 miles from Japan to Northern Canada. Their flight set two new world records for distance and duration and they broke their own ground speed record. The Virgin Pacific Flyer still remains the largest hot air balloon ever built.
The Pacific Crossing records included:
- the first hot air balloon across the Pacific
- the fastest manned balloon flight
- the longest manned balloon flight
- Peak speed — 239.62 mph (208 knots, 385.4 Km/hr)
- Mean Cruise Altitude — 27,000 feet (8.23 Km)
- Max. Altitude — 36,000 feet (10.97 Km)
- Fuel burnt — 2526 kg
- Consumption — 54.80 kg/hr
- Take off — Miyakonojo, Japan, Time: Jan. 15th, 1991 – 18.47′ UTC Jan. 16th, 1991 – 03.47′ Local
- Landing — Northwest Territories, Canada, Time: Jan. 17th, 1991 – 16-53′ UTC 09.53′ Local
- Flight duration — 46 hours, 06 minutes (46.10 hr.)