Jonathan Trappe launches cluster-balloon house into the sky for trans-Atlantic flight
Jonathan Trappe, a cluster-balloonist who became the first person to fly the English Channel, has launched a house into the sky just like in the Disney movie Up.
Intrepid Jonathan Trappe, 38, took off just like the 78-year-old character Carl Frederickson in the hit movie.
Jonathan Trappe, from Raleigh, North Carolina, stepped into the cartoon themed home before soaring above the Leon International Balloon festival in Mexico yesterday.
He was using the event as a warm-up for his planned trans-Atlantic flight scheduled for next summer.
Jonathan Trappe aims to complete the 2,500 mile journey across the pond in a seven foot lifeboat carried by 365 huge helium balloons.
He has invested $170,000 into his Atlantic dream, for which he’s been training his whole career, and now he’s launching a site so ordinary people can play their part this amazing adventure.
Jonathan Trappe is learning to sail a lifeboat, in case he needs to ditch into the ocean during the danger-filled mission.
The unique gondola will have an open roof for take-off but a canopy to protect Trappe from high-altitude winds and frost bite during the crossing.
The daredevil will fly at between 18,000ft and 25,000ft, beating his previous world altitude record of 21,600ft, and must fly uninterrupted a distance ten times longer than his previous world record of 230 miles in order to succeed.
Jonathan Trappe, who holds records for crossing the Alps, flying the most cluster balloons, and the longest distance, has spent his entire career building up to the momentous expedition.
He said: “I didn’t wake up one day and think: <<I’m going to fly across the Atlantic>>.
“Every attempt before this was geared towards this flight. I’ve been training for a long time.”
In May 2010, Jonathan Trappe became famous worldwide when flew from England to Belgium dangling from scores of helium balloons.
Now he is ready to take on the Atlantic, a challenge which has called to balloonists for decades, although five others have died in the process, and none have crossed attached to cluster-balloons.
“It’s about living an interesting life – for me as the pilot and those watching,” said Jonathan Trappe.
“So, one day we can look back and say: <<Humankind were able to pull this off. They did it>>.”
Those interested in donating or sponsoring Jonathan Trappe can do so at: http://www.indiegogo.com/upacrosstheatlantic
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