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 →
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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)
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.
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.
We 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).
The FAI has released a new video featuring all air sports activities under the umbrella of the Federation. The 3-minute film succinctly presents the FAI sports and includes footage of FAI international records from Charles Lindbergh to Felix Baumgartner.
The video sequences have been selected from various sources to highlight the beauty and diversity of Aeromodelling, Aerobatics, Ballooning, Experimental Aircraft, General Aviation, Gliding, Hang Gliding and Paragliding, Microlights and Paramotors, Parachuting and Rotorcraft.
“With this new video we aim to pass the bug for air sports to as many people as possible; all our sports have the great advantage of being exciting not only to practice, but also to watch,” said Secretary General Susanne Schödel. “We also want to emphasise that the FAI is part of the epic history of aviation and air sports, having ratified over the years more than 17,000 records including those of Lindbergh, Gagarin, Armstrong, Piccard, Fossett and Baumgartner, to name but a few.”
The participants of International Sport Competition of Hot Air Balloons “Sky Fair – 2013” – which was FAI Sporting Event – made a special flight after the contest program. We travelled from Kungur (host city, Perm region) to near Pervouralsk (satellite city of Yekaterinburg) at evening 5th July 2013. There is monument with a huge column which shows the border of Europe and Asia (56.870553, 60.047951). Twenty-two balloons are arrived to the meeting point. The distance is 250 km between Kungur and Pervouralsk which is not so much but the journey was hard because the Russian bus and roads. We had a good lunch and some rest. The organisers provided a nice folklore show too.
Folklore show at border of Europe and Asia
Some balloons are prepared to take-off close to the monument and the rests are moved to a nearby glade after the briefing in the Asian side. We didn’t plan long flight because huge forests, big lakes and few glades were in the flying area. The destination was only crossing the border of the two continents which was successful.
Briefing before the flight
Launch from Asia
We recorded and scored the flights with same tools as the competition flights. The officials of the FAI Sporting Event checked the tracks of GPS loggers after the flights. One pilot turned on the GPS logger during the flight. We can’t record his take-off position but that was the first documented Event were many hot air balloons flight over the Europe – Asia border. The organiser will apply for the approval of Guinness Record.
The green line is the border of Europe and Asia. The tracks of the balloons are red.
Asia Europe flight. We started at first and we flew southernmost.
Balloon Adventures UAE in collaboration with Skydive Dubai officially broke two of the Guinness World Records. The first record broken was for the most skydivers to parachute from a balloon during the same flight is 40, achieved by Skydive Dubai, on the 10th of February 2013. The second record broken was for the most skydivers to parachute from a balloon simultaneously is 25, also achieved by Skydive Dubai, at the same day.
“We had no idea what will happen on the balloon, the balloon may be distorted, it may rock, we had no idea when the balloon will stabilize” said Raul Bocanegra, Skydive Dubai Desert Campus Manager.
The idea came to life when Mike Howard afrom Skydive Dubai suggested joining forces with Balloon Adventures UAE and use one of their big hot air balloons.
“It took us two weeks planning and preparing all the scenarios that might happen and our reaction to it, we needed the weather to be perfect to proceed,” explained Mike Howard Skydive Dubai Air Balloon Pilot.
The event took place in The Skydive Dubai Desert Campus Drop Zone, located in Mergam, 35 km away from Dubai city. One of the main problems that was faced was trying to find the skydivers when they landed, since there were 40 skydivers jumping they all had to land in different places to avoid any accidents. The Balloon Adventures pilot Peter Kollar (HUN) who was the main pilot of the balloon was also trained on parachute emergency and safety procedures for extra precautions.
“All records are meant to be broken” stated Bocanegra. All in all the whole process went well, two major world records were officially broken and the event proved to be an ultimate success.
Pilot: Péter Kollár, chief pilot of Balloon Adventures Emirates, UAE and Balaton Ballooning Kft. Hungary