Friday, 25 September 2009

Hot air balloon

Explorer David Hempleman-Adams has broken two more world records after spending 14 hours in a laundry basket-sized capsule attached to a hot air balloon, it was reported, last Sunday. The 52-year old British adventurer flew more than 200 miles from Butler, Missouri, to Cherokee, Oklahoma, smashing the record for the AA-01 class balloon, which had stood for more than 26 years, and also breaking the record for the bigger AA-02 class of balloon. According to some reports the tiny seating capsule was in fact a £78 Ikea laundry basket.
In an earlier adventure, Hempleman-Adams attempted to fly over the north pole in a secondhand basket previously used to take tourists over Bristol. This expedition was in part modelled on that of Swedish explorer and balloonist, Salomon August Andree, who, in July 1897, attempted to drift, along with two companions and 35 carrier pigeons over the north pole to America. The expedition ended in disaster and it wasn't until 30 years later that their remains were discovered, a story included in the Polar chapter of Those Who Dared.

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