Pedal-powered airship gets half way... Answered
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.