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     Longest distance flight in a helium balloon-world record set by David Hempleman
[July 6] DIJON, France-- The British explorer David Hempleman-Adams has set a new world record by flying across the Atlantic and completing the longest distance ever travelled in a helium balloon.
David Hempleman-Adams took just four days to travel 3,379km from Canada to France - a new record for the longest distance flight in his size of balloon.

   The 50-year-old completed the 2,100-mile journey in four days in the smallest hot air balloon ever to make the transatlantic crossing. Organizers of the voyage say it is the smallest gas balloon ever to attempt this flight.

   The businessman, from Box, Wiltshire, flew over the coast of Brittany, northern France, after setting off from Newfoundland in Canada. He endured temperatures of minus 20C, little sleep, and the terrifying thought that he could crash-land into the ocean hundreds of miles away from help.

   Hempleman-Adams flew below 16,000ft, the altitude at which oxygen is required, and cruised at up to 12,000ft. He was forced to continually drop sandbags from the basket to make the balloon go higher to catch the optimum winds.

   The balloon uses only helium and sand as ballast so the challenge will have a zero carbon footprint.
Oh My Cod: David Hempleman-Adams kisses a cod as part of a Newfoundland good-luck tradition before taking off

  He had to rely on the wind to keep him going and only slept for three hours a day, in 30-minute naps, while surviving on a typically British diet of pork scratchings and ginger nuts.He said it was fantastic to see dry land again, but despite the harsh conditions, he would miss the balloon. "It flew like a dream," he said. "It did everything I asked of it. It's beautiful."

   In 1998 Hempleman-Adams became the first person to reach the geographic and magnetic North and South Poles as well as climb the highest peaks in all seven continents. He already holds a number of ballooning records, including staging the highest formal dinner party, at 24,262ft, in a specially-designed hot air balloon in 2005. In January he broke the 26-year-old world hot air balloon altitude record, by ascending to 32,500ft over Alberta, Canada.

   The previous record holder, Benoit Simeons, praised Hempleman-Adams in a message read during the flight.

   Link: David's Blog, clock here