On the 28th of May, 2010, Jonathan Trappe became the first man to fly across the English channel using just a cluster of helium filled balloons.
Tied to a colourful cloud of 54 industrial strength helium balloons, mimicking the Pixar animation movie “Up”, Trappe floated the 22-miles across the English channel.
The 36-year-old dangled beneath 54 balloons for more than four hours to complete the journey, taking off from Ashford in Kent and landing near Dunkirk in northern France.
The American reached a top height of 7,500ft and travelled at up to 25mph before descending by cutting away some of the balloons tied to his chair.
As the wind carried him off his intended route, he was forced to make a crash-landing to avoid flying into restricted airspace, a no-fly zone between Dunkirk and the border with Belgium. It resulted in a near hit of a private polytunnel!
Asked why he wanted to cross the English channel he answered:
“The Channel is iconic: The White Cliffs of Dover; the Lighthouse at Dunkirk. It is a classic challenge that has called to aviators for generations, since long before you or I were born. The challenge itself is classic; one might as well ask the same question about Wimbledon, Indianapolis, or the Tour de France. It is The English Channel; as a challenge, it stands on its own.”
Here is the iconic video of his flight
One of his upcoming projects is to to fly a house by means of cluster balloons!
How kickass can you get!!
UPDATE: In the meantime Trappe has managed to fly a real house in both Mexico and the USA. Have a look here for the full story on kickasstrips.com: FLYING A BALLOON HOUSE