Trans-Atlantic Balloonists set new world record

Friday, 30 January 2015 - 9:41

American Troy Bradley and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev (two pilots) have set a new world distance record for a flight in a helium balloon after crossing the Pacific Ocean.

They left Japan in their "Two Eagles" helium-filled balloon on Sunday and had destined to land in Canada or the US.

Nevertheless, weather has forced them to change course towards Mexico where they are due to land sometime on Saturday.

Their state-of-the-art balloon is equipped with monitors and other instruments that track their course and compartmentalize data to be submitted to record-keepers.

The well-designed capsule sits beneath a huge helium-filled envelope and is designed to stay in the air for up to 10 days.

To set new distance and durations records the team needed to supersede the existing records by 1%.

For distance that meant a journey of about 5,260 miles (8,465km) to surpass the prevailing record of 5,208 miles made in 1981.

Last Thursday, the Two Eagles team tweeted: "The pilots have just beaten the distance needed to make a new record. 5,261 miles or 8,467km."

The duo had been targeting for Canada but a ride of high-pressure ridge off the US West Coast forced the balloon into a sweeping right turn toward Mexico.