[balloon-makers] America's Challenge Gas Balloon Flight

Tim Baggett tim at acca.nmsu.edu
Sun Oct 7 08:27:47 CDT 2001



Good Morning,

This is the first of hopefully a few updates of the Nott/MacNutt gas
balloon flight. 

Phil and Julian launched last night at about 9PM from Albuquerque NM. The
inflation and rigging of the balloon went very smoothly with no problems
and very few minor inconveniences. Not bad for our first time I believe.

The balloon was filled with 30,000 cubic feet of helium and about 1000
pounds of sand bags were hung from the basket. Avionics and enough gear
were stowed inside and outside the balloon to sustain a three day
campingtrip in a 4x6 foot box several thousand feet above the ground.

The pilots have been in the air now for 12 hours. They are currently
heading east and about to fly into the Texas pan handle. The chase team
left Albuquerque this morning after a fresh night's sleep.

Flight tracking can be viewed on the WWW at:

map.findu.com/n5yxc-5
[note that this page ONLY updates as the pilots fly over areas with a
radio/internet groundstation - positions may be a few hours old]

The official Gas balloon race web site is:
www.balloonfiesta.org/gasrace/index.htm
[it appears that at the present time the webmaster needs to correct some
tracking links]

I have uploaded a number of images showing the full flight tracks of all
the teamsto:

acca.nmsu.edu/~tim/gas  (I just dump gif images in this directory)


Phil and Julian are using an Iridium satellite phone on board the balloon 
to communicate[via voice and data]  to the chase and command cetner. I
will post more details as we communicate with the pilots. I
will be in the command center each afternoon through the end of the race.

Tim


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