10 years ago, a tiny AX-1 hot air balloon envelope, named High Lighter, was built by Bill. A report of a couple of test-flights exists in one of the back-issues of The Crownlines…. The balloon hasn’t come out of the bag in many years… but we have never forgotten about it.
Fast forward to a couple of winters ago, where Bill and Sandra, with the help of other club members, built both AX-2 and AX-3 sized envelopes, with the hopes of flying them, as well as the AX1, and in the process, setting Canadian records. You see – no current records exist for such small hot-air balloons in Canada yet (AX-1 and AX-2) because no one has ever flown any with the intent to set records.
The last time someone set a record on an AX-3 size hot air balloon in Canada was in 1976:
27 May 1976
OWENS, S. Peter
Cloud 69, Serial No. 1
Duration: 2hr 49min 58sec
In January 2012, Sandra had set a World feminine distance record in the AX-4 class.
So we’ve been waiting for Transport Canada to issue paperwork on the AX-2 and AX-3 balloons for over a year. And with that now out of the way, the only thing left was to wait for an appropriately cold weather-window to fly.
And this week, Sandra did indeed fly the AX-3.
Here is the recap from Sandra right after her first flight successful flight on the AX-3.
The flight took place this morning (Feb 3, 2014) – a little over 3 hours – for a Canadian duration record. The flight will also set Canadian distance and altitude records, since there currently are not any in Canada.
Lots of paperwork to do to validate it – Mary will be busy!
Thanks to everyone for your support and well wishes.
This was a great exercise to see how the balloon flies – we are really pleased. The next flights will be longer, farther, and higher!
And see the tracklog from SPOT and to see a few more pictures.