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Home > Sports > News > Report

Singhania sets hot air balloon altitude record

Our Correspondent | November 26, 2005 10:54 IST
Last Updated: November 26, 2005 21:54 IST

Industrialist-aviator Vijaypat Singhaniaon Saturdaybecame the first man to soar69,852 feet above sea level in a hot air balloon. In the process,he broke the world recordof 64,997 feet, set by Per Lindstrand,in June 1988, in Texas.

"The balloon attained 69,000 feet at 8.55 am, thereby breaking the existing world record," an elated Gautam Singhania, son of Vijaypat, told reporters in Mumbai later.

Though the attempt was to attain 70,000 feet, the journey was terminated after touching 69,000 feet, he added.

"Our aim was to first touch the 67,000 feet mark to set the new world record. After that we had aimed to go for the 70K mark. After touching 69K he came down a bit and again tried to sail up.

"However, the technical teamand the Aeronautical Society of India (ASI) officials monitoring his journey did not want to take any risk and insisted that he came down since the world record had already been set," Gautam said.

The balloon travelled at a consistent speed. It took off from the Mahalaxmi Race Course at 0640 hours amidst thunderous applause from a crowd gathered to watch Singhania take offon his mission.

Before lifting off Singhania said, "I'm very excited but very nervous and confident I'll make it."

A helicopter followed the balloon to monitor wind direction in preparation for the landing.

Also see: Conquering the skies

The balloon, called Envelope and designed by Don Cameron, is around 160 feet high (approximately equivalent to the height of a 22-storey high building). It is made of 67,250 square feet of specially made light nylon, allowing it to gain altitude without much difficulty. Itwas inflated by blowing air into it using portable fans.It is also designed to be rip-proof, and the capacity of the air inside is 80,000 kilograms (80 tonnes) .

There are 18 burners of different capacity and design. The capsule is equipped with three fuel tanks, two filled with kerosene and one with propane. The weight of the balloon (including gondola, the envelope, 18 burners and other apparatus) is around 1,820 kilograms. The capsule is also equipped with necessary safety devices, should Singhania be forced to abort his mission. It is also fitted with state-of-the-art instrumentation and control systems for navigation.

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Number of User Comments: 51

Sub: DAMN GOOD Achievement.....

Hello All, On behalf of the proud indians, I wish Mr. Singhania all the very best, he has made us proud and finally we have ...

Posted by KP

Sub: Singhania sets altitude record

Dr. Singhania's achievement is highly creditable. This should spur Indian Aviation for more action, in particular, in hot-air balloon related activities.

Posted by Dr. S. Selvarajan

Sub: 68K and rising..........................................

I salute Mr Singhania who has proved yet again that the ability to break world records is not the forte of the West alone. His ...

Posted by vijay subbaroyan

Sub: Singhania's Feat in the sky

Mr Singhania's feat has done us all proud. Time we Indians rise as one unit and and touch new heights in all spheres of life. ...

Posted by Deepak Singh

Sub: Victory in the skies

It is a moment of glory in the indian aviation. Singhania is great, congratulations. R.Sharma

Posted by R.Sharma



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