A Japanese War Weapon and Don Piccard’s Famous Flight

Seventy years ago, Donald Piccard, barely 21, modified the envelope of a Japanese balloon bomb for a balloon flight over Minneapolis and earned the nation’s first Free Balloon Pilot Certificate. The student pilot flew solo for two hours and 10 minutes in a paper and hydrogen balloon for the first time, creating history and reactivating the sport of ballooning in the United States. But the balloon that he flew also brought to light another interesting story–this one from its prior service as a Japanese balloon bomb!

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Balloon Fleet for Channel Crossing on “GREEN” for April 7th

It’s “GREEN” for the hundred hot air balloon pilots who have been oscillating between “standby” and “amber alerts” since 5th March, in anticipation of favorable weather to cross the English Channel..
Datum RPO, is backing the project and will lead the fleet. Organized by leading aerial marketing specialist Exclusive Ballooning, this mass crossing is set for a Guinness World Record, and will smash the existing world record set in 2011, which had 49 balloons fly across the channel. All the best from The Balloon Journal for a safe and enjoyable flight.

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Exhibition Portrays Birth-of-Flight Era

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Sophie Blanchard, became a celebrated balloonist and aeronautical entertainer drawing huge crowds to her balloon-based stunts. As fearless and ambitious as her husband, the famous French ballooning pioneer Jean-Pierre Blanchard, she rode tiny flimsy scaffolds for gondolas that became her style, and she delighted in creating dazzling fireworks, while swinging perilously from the balloon.

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