Pedal-Powered Blimp Attempts to Cross English Channel
A 16-metre long airship will hopefully be pedalled across the 55 kilometre wide English Channel later today, UK time. French sports enthusiast and pilot Stephane Rousson hopes to complete the journey in about five hours. He’ll be slung under the blimp in a semi-recumbent style bicycle frame, 30 metres above the water, and navigate by adjusting two large propellers on each side of his rather airy ‘cockpit.’ Apparently he has been preparing for this trip for the past four years.
Probably the most famous pedal-powered airborne crossing of the channel took place back in 1979. That’s when Brian Allen took just less than three hours to fly the late Paul McCready designed 25kg Gossamer Albatross from England to France, scooping the Kremer Prize from the Human Powered Aircraft Group of the Royal Aeronautical Society.