Tags: balloonists | world | distance | record

Balloonists' World Distance Record: Pair Smashes Old Milestone

Image: Balloonists' World Distance Record: Pair Smashes Old Milestone
Pilots Troy Bradley of the United States (R) and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia wave in the early morning of January 25, 2015, as they leave a ground in Saga, western Japan, by helium balloon. (Kyodo/Landov)

By    |   Friday, 30 Jan 2015 03:16 PM

Two balloonists broke a world record Thursday for the longest distance flown in a helium balloon, surpassing the previous milestone of 5,209 miles, and they’re still in the air, expected to land Saturday.

The Two Eagles team, made up of American Troy Bradley and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev, plan to land somewhere near Baja California, Mexico, a last-minute decision in response to weather-related course changes, the Daily Mail said.

The team cautioned on its website that the world record determination will be made by the U.S. Aeronautical Association, so the record-breaking flight isn’t official yet.

On Friday morning, according to the Two Eagles’ website, the two broke an additional world record, a 1978 duration record, which NBC News said is the “holy grail” of achievements in their sport. The old record was 137 hours, 5 minutes, and 50 seconds.

“At 7:29 this morning MST (1429 UTC), the Two Eagles balloon passed the absolute world record for time aloft (duration) for gas balloons of 137 hours, 5 minutes, 50 seconds, set by Double Eagle II on its transatlantic flight in 1978,” the website said. “As noted previously, under the rules established for the Fédèration Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the international air sports federation, an established record must be beaten by at least 1 percent of the previous distance. This mark was reached at 8:51 AM MST (1551 UTC).”

They also posted updates on their Twitter accounts:



The final step of this record-breaking flight is to get the balloon safely on the ground, Steve Shope, the mission control director based in New Mexico, told The Associated Press. Then there would be time to celebrate.

“Maybe later when they get down on the ground, I can look back and say this is a great accomplishment, but right now we have a big job ahead of us to get this balloon down," Shope told the AP.

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Two balloonists broke a world record Thursday for the longest distance flown in a helium balloon, surpassing the previous milestone of 5,209 miles, and they’re still in the air, expected to land Saturday.
balloonists, world, distance, record
333
2015-16-30
Friday, 30 Jan 2015 03:16 PM
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