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

Picture of Pedal-powered airship gets half way...
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Plasmana9 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?
puffyfluff9 years ago
Kiteman (author) 9 years ago
Excuse me?
nvm, i deleted that comment, i had poor judgement last night
gmjhowe9 years ago
nice work! looks like its worth the fun
bumpus9 years ago
Aye-aye Captain!
LinuxH4x0r9 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.