Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cluster Balloon Launch

On Saturday I had the pleasure to watch North Carolina pilot Jonathan Trappe fly to the sky in his specialized cluster-balloon chair consisting of 40 giant helium-filled balloons. The scene was amazing as colorful, over-sized balloons were filled and preparations were made for take off. Trappe silently floated away from Sanford Regional Airport mid-afternoon and landed safely Sunday morning after traveling 70 miles and reaching a high altitude of 7,000 feet. Luckily Trappe knows his way around cluster balloons after several flights including a promotional tour for the Pixar movie Up. He also has plans for a cluster-balloon crossing of the English Channel in May or June.

Isn't it magical?!

**UPDATE** Jonathan Trappe e-mailed me and said The Spirit Cluster actually "went up to about 7,500 feet on the flight, and covered a track-over-the-ground of 109 miles." He also went on to say, "It was my first flight to cross from day into night, and then survive the night and return into the daylight again. The dawn was so welcome; it had dipped into the 30's aloft, and the return of the warmth was very welcome." Such an amazing feat!

Link - Cluster Balloon


Victoria said...

What fun! I think this appeals to the kid in all of us!

Amanda Nicole said...

How amazing! I love when science and art come together like this.

bronwyn said...

I'm freaking out over this! It IS magical! It's just like the end of The Red Balloon. That must have been so fun!

ampersandity said...

that is SO crazy & cool!!! one of my lifelong dreams is to ride a hot air balloon, but this is even better!

ps. up is one of my fave movies.

Talita said...

The photos are really beautiful, but... There was a priest who tried to do that here in Brazil, and he died. Is it too dangerous, I guess.

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