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Riding the jetstream : the story of ballooning, from Montgolfier to Breitling

Author: John Christopher
Publisher: London : John Murray, 2001.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Ballooning can be both an all-absorbing hobby and a competitive high-tech sport. Most recently aviation's last great challenge, the nonstop round-the-world voyage has dominated the field. This book tells the story of competitive ballooning, from the Montgolfier brothers of the eighteenth century to today's riders of the jetstream - the narrow band of fast winds high in the Earth's atmosphere. Fascinating historical  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John Christopher
ISBN: 0719560519 9780719560514
OCLC Number: 47233016
Notes: Includes index.
Description: xv, 256 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations (some color), portraits (some color) ; 23 cm
Responsibility: John Christopher ; foreword by Brian Jones.

Abstract:

"Ballooning can be both an all-absorbing hobby and a competitive high-tech sport. Most recently aviation's last great challenge, the nonstop round-the-world voyage has dominated the field. This book tells the story of competitive ballooning, from the Montgolfier brothers of the eighteenth century to today's riders of the jetstream - the narrow band of fast winds high in the Earth's atmosphere. Fascinating historical byways are glimpsed, from Napoleonic visions of airborne armies to the exploits of wealthy Edwardin thrill-seekers. With each technological advance balloonists became increasingly ambitious, taking extraordinary risks to fly further and higher. The pressurized capsule, invented in the 1930s to replace the wicker basket, opened up access to the upper atmosphere. In the 1980s the latest, most thrilling phase in ballooning's history began. Successively millionaire adventures, backyard dreamers and experienced pilots attempted to circum-navigate the globe against overwhelming odds, at times caught up in political intrigue, at others tossed about by violent storms. In the full glare of worldwide media attention some endured humiliating defeats. Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones in Breitling Orbiter 3 ultimately made history, yet many colourful figures have made significant contributions to the era of global ballooning."--Jacket.

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