Tag Archives: Balloon

this day in the yesteryear: S.A. Andrée Attempts to Reach the North Pole by Balloon (1897)


S.A. Andrée Attempts to Reach the North Pole by Balloon (1897)

After gaining funding from the likes of King Oscar II and Alfred Nobel and generating widespread public interest, Swedish explorer Salomon August Andrée and two companions departed from Norway’s Svalbard for the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon. They flew for two days before a hydrogen leak grounded the balloon, forcing the poorly equipped trio to travel on pack ice. Three months later, the men reached the island of Kvitøya, where they eventually died. When was their last camp finally found? More… Discuss

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: LARRY WALTERS, LAWN CHAIR PILOT (1949)


Larry Walters, Lawn Chair Pilot (1949)

“Lawnchair Larry” was an American adventurer who built a homemade aircraft out of a patio chair and dozens of helium-filled weather balloons and lifted off from his girlfriend’s Los Angeles backyard in July 1982. He quickly shot up to over 15,000 ft (4,572 m) and then drifted toward a nearby airport, where passing pilots reported him to the control tower. When he was ready to return to solid ground, he began shooting out the balloons with a pellet gun, but then he dropped it. What happened next? More… Discuss

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