Guildford, Surrey, U.K., 21 June 2010 - BOC balloon gas has helped to invent a new mode of transport and with it, a first for an English Channel crossing. The Cluster Balloon, 54 gas-filled balloons tied to a chair, kept US adventurer Jonathan Trappe aloft on a flight from Ashford in Kent, over the white cliffs of Dover, to northern France. It took him just under five hours to complete the 22 mile journey.
Travelling at 25 mph, Trappe ascended to 7,500 ft before cutting some of the balloons loose and crash-landing in a cabbage patch in Les Moeres, 12 miles west of Dunkirk, much to the bemusement of the local Gendarmerie. Fortunately, with the cluster balloon classified as an aircraft, they were satisfied with his flight plan and documentation and sent him on his way.
Said Trappe, a qualified pilot, “It was an exceptional experience – very quiet and very peaceful. With steering very much in the hands of the elements, it was a childhood dream come true…….the fulfilment of a wonderful fantasy of grabbing onto toy balloons and floating away into space.“
BOC, a member of The Linde Group, traditionally supplies helium gas for party balloons but this was a new departure. Ian Stewart, BOC account manager, said, “Whilst it is not something we’d recommend you try at home, the idea really caught our imagination. I am delighted that BOC’s ability to execute resulted in a seamless launch of a new mode of transport and a new record for the iconic Channel crossing challenge.“
Trappe joins an elite group of history-makers. Pierre Blanchard was the first balloonist to cross the Channel in 1785. In 1963 Ed Yost and Don Piccard made it in a newly-invented hot air balloon in just over 3 hours and, 45 years later, jet man, Yves Rossy, made a successful jet-propelled crossing in 2008.
BOC is a member of the Linde Group. An industrial, medical and special gases provider, the company supplies compressed and bulk gases, chemicals and equipment. For more than a century the company’s gases and expertise have contributed to advances in everyday life, and industries including steelmaking, refining, chemical processing, environmental protection, wastewater treatment, welding and cutting, food processing and distribution, glass production, electronics and healthcare.
For more information visit: http://www.BOConline.co.uk
The Linde Group
The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with almost 48,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2009 financial year it achieved sales of EUR 11.2 billion. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.
For more information, see The Linde Group at http://www.linde.com
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