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Pedal-powered airship gets half way... Answered

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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

10 Replies

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Plasmana (author)2008-09-30

Cool! Now we can go for a bike ride in the air!

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Goodhart (author)Plasmana2009-12-03

and maybe catch a glimpse of ET? 

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hirenpanchal47 (author)2009-11-30

Where is the Detail about it ?
but  intresting .. nice ,,,,

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kelseymh (author)hirenpanchal472009-11-30

Did you see the link to the BBC article?  Did you read it?

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DJ Radio (author)Kiteman2008-09-29

nvm, i deleted that comment, i had poor judgement last night

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gmjhowe (author)2008-09-29

nice work! looks like its worth the fun

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bumpus (author)2008-09-28
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LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-09-28

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.

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