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Pedal-powered airship gets half way...

A French amateur pilot's attempt to be the first to cross the channel on a pedal-propelled airship has failed.

Stephane Rousson, 39, from Nice, took off from Hythe on the Kent coast at about 0800 BST and was half-way to the French coast by 1300 BST.

But he was hampered by a change in the wind direction and called off the trip 11 miles from Wissant in France.

Mr Rousson said: "I'm not disappointed. I feel happy because it had nothing to do with any technical failure."

During the challenge, Mr Rousson was suspended underneath the balloon envelope in a carbon fibre gondola, powering the two propellers with his feet using a bicycle-like contraption.

The most amusing thing about the whole trip is the safety system:

Just in case Rousson found himself flying irretrievably high, he hung an open penknife from the gondola framework, with the intention of popping the balloon and heading for a splashdown.

Sorry, that's the second most amusing thing. The most amusing thing is the pilot's childhood inspiration - ET.

BBC article

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Plasmana8 years ago
Cool! Now we can go for a bike ride in the air!
and maybe catch a glimpse of ET? 
Where is the Detail about it ?
but  intresting .. nice ,,,,
Did you see the link to the BBC article?  Did you read it?
puffyfluff8 years ago
Interesting.
gmjhowe8 years ago
nice work! looks like its worth the fun
bumpus8 years ago
Aye-aye Captain!
fail.bmp
LinuxH4x0r8 years ago
Sweet! I've always wanted to make a lighter than air craft. I have a great idea about how to control altitude, but I can't test it yet.