Lift-off for Aéronautes de Monaco balloon
Following a decade-long effort and a conclusive test in March, a world first was witnessed today on Place du Palais as an eco-friendly hot air balloon took to the skies, headed for Italy.
The Aéronautes de Monaco balloon launched at 7.30 am, watched by H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince, after two hours of preparation. The flight was conducted under extremely good conditions and ended three hours later when the balloon landed close to the Italian town of Saluzzo (Piedmont ).
The two pilots, Alain Cruteanschii and Guy Bouckaert, both passionate about the environment, spoke of the privilege and great honour they felt at finally being able to bring this project to life. The balloon was equipped like a Boeing 747, with a transponder allowing it to be identified by control towers and aircrafts. It ascended to a height of 5,700 metres above the ground, where the temperature was an estimated -30 degrees (the pilots had an oxygen supply).
The venture is part of Aéronautes de Monaco’s Next Generation Project, and aims to reduce the amount of propane consumed by hot air balloon burners. The balloon has a double envelope, which reduces energy loss by preventing hot air from escaping. Jeeper, the model used, consumes just 20 kg of propane per hour, compared with the standard 60 kg.
Further reporting will follow on our social media pages and on Monaco Info, starting at 7 pm on Monday.
For more information, see: www.ballonmonaco.com
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