The Two Eagles balloon piloted by American Troy Bradley and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev has passed some major milestones today!
Shortly before 10pm GMT last night, 5 hours and 5 minutes into their flight, the Two Eagles balloon passed the 5,209-mile (8,383 km) mark in its transpacific journey. This surpasses the distance flown by Double Eagle V in 1981 to set the distance record for gas balloons.
This was a fantastic achievement! However the Fédèration Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the international air sports federation, dictates that previous records must be surpassed by at least 1% for a new record to be set, meaning the two Eagles balloon needed to fly at least 5260 miles or 8467km! The pilots achieved this at quarter past midnight.
Shortly before 4pm GMT the balloonists reached their next goal; the duration record! The previous record stood at 137 hours 5 minutes. The Two Eagles balloon has now been flying for 138 hours and 46 minutes, satisfying the previous record + 1% requirement!
It needs to be emphasised that the record has not ‘been broken’ until the attempt is verified by the FAI. This process could take several months, but the team have achieved what they set out to do! They are now looking to continue their crossing of the Pacific and are aiming for a safe landing!! They are anticipating landing in Baja, California sometime on Saturday!
Well done to everyone involved, what a fantastic achievement! Track the rest of their epic journey here: http://www.pacificballoon.com/tracking/index.php