Balloonists Locked in Tight Race Across America

The Swiss duo of Nicolas Tièche and Laurent Sciboz (Team 6), have covered 1138 miles and are flying over Wisconsin toward the Great Lakes. Defending champions Barbara Fricke and Peter Cuneo of the U.S. (Team 1) have covered 1124 miles! In this race, U.S. (Team 1) has also snatched the lead from the Swiss duo (Team 6), who in turn regained the lead, overnight.

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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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