Skip to comments.Helium balloons lift aviator Jonathan Trappe Up for transatlantic trip
Posted on 09/13/2013 2:04:52 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
An American aviator has begun the first attempt to cross the Atlantic suspended by hundreds of coloured balloons. Jonathan Trappe took off from Caribou, Maine, on Thursday morning as his capsule was lifted by 370 helium-filled balloons in heavy fog and he headed east from the US.
The concept may sound like the story from the Disney film Up but Trappe, 39, specialises in cluster ballooning and was the first person to cross the Channel and the Alps using the method.
The transatlantic trip could be as long as 2,500 miles (4,000km) and take between three and five days. Depending on the weather, he could land anywhere between Iceland and Morocco.
Trappe is relying on state of the art weather data from the meteorologist who advised Felix Baumgartner on his record-breaking skydive from the stratosphere last year. The latest weather reports suggested winds would take Trappe to western Europe.
"Weather is absolutely the most dangerous factor," said Trappe, speaking immediately before launch. " It's the only thing that will carry me across, but bad conditions could also ruin the attempt or endanger my life."
Trappe, an IT project manager from Raleigh, North Carolina, said: "It was nail-biting waiting for a weather window that would allow me to get up into the air and catch those transatlantic winds we'd been seeing. I need to get on them and ride them across like a conveyor belt."
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
Jonathan Trappe soars in his bid to become the first man to cross the Atlantic in a balloon cluster system. Photograph: Paul Cyr / Barcroft USA
From 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GLrr_Xp0qc
The trackers seem to indicate he’s down. The one says 180ft and 0mph.
Hope he packed a big lunch.
If he wants to do this I am cool with that.
I jut hope they don’t spend a lot of money looking for him when he goes down in the ocean.
What about TD Gabrielle? Counterclockwise winds.
Those balloons don’t look like they are metallized to prevent gas permeation.
If they’re just rubber, he’s liable to lose the helium before he gets there.
It will be a cold trip, that said, I wonder what research they did to tackle the friction between balloons and any risks of damage/tears/wearing holes that might occur.
I’m glad he’s down and that’s th end of that Or, is it? I suppose he’ll try again.
I remember reading recently the observation that generally only free societies can produce eccentrics, while collectivist societies produce drones.
As long as we have a smidgin of freedom left, I'll cheer on the eccentrics.
I thought collectivism was a mental disorder!