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American crosses English Channel in chair tied to helium balloons

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To regulate height along the way he simply snipped one balloon away at a time with a pair of scissors, and used water bags as ballast. It took him a little over three hours to float across the Channel to Dunkirk, France. (See video below.)

Trappe's flight was done on the 70th anniversary of the evacuation of Dunkirk beach. Between May 24 and June 4, 1940, some 340,000 Allied troops, including 243,000 British soldiers were rescued from the advancing German army.

Why the Channel?

Trappe also had his eyes on the Channels history - with aviators - as he explained on his website:

"That iconic ribbon of water separating the UK from the continent has called to people for generations, tempting them to cross since long before you or I were born. [Louis] Blériot crossed in 1909 [in an aircraft]. Bryan Allen in 1979 [in a hang glider]. Yves Rossy [in a jet pack] crossed in 2008....

"And here it is, the English Channel, continuing to call to us. I don't know if it is a siren's song, or if crossing that ribbon of water will be like breaking the ribbon at the finish line. With good luck, I will find out today."

When did Cluster Ballooning become popular?

Though the history of attempted cluster balloon travel may go back as long as there has been helium balloons, the sport of cluster ballooning really (ahem) took off in 1982.

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