Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Dropping Hang Gliders From Balloons

balloon dropping hang glider
Dan Buchanan's photos of carrying hang gliders aloft under a balloon and launching the hang glider in a free-fall drop from the balloon. This was done at a Santa Rosa, California balloon festival. First flight was solo, then a tandem flight.

Includes a dramatic picture of Dan weightless in free-fall from the balloon, while the hang glider spews smoke from the rear. The shot must be from the balloon, and it looks like they're a long way up.

Another site, by John Heiney, discusses a Balloon Drop Seminar for hang gliders. This took place in Perris, California and included 4 hang gliding pilots.

Then consider the case of Judy Leden who was lifted to 12,000 feet over Dover and flew across the English Channel landing at Calais. That wasn't high enough, so she broke the world hang gliding altitude record, being released from a balloon at 41,307 feet and experiencing a wind chill factor of -87C in the process.

Look here for more record setting flights and other extreme balloon adventures.

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