Two Eagles Introduction

Unlike the propane-fueled hybrid balloons called "Rozieres" that circled the earth in recent years, traditional "straight gas" balloons are the stuff of legend.

View from balloon capsule

As featured in Jules Verne's, "Around the World in 80 days" old-fashioned 'gas' balloons, filled with helium and without the benefit of burners, pit man against the elements at a very basic level...with just bags of sand…and a healthy dash of boldness, as the "fuel".

The longest distance flight ever made in a "gas" balloon occurred more than a quarter-century ago. In 1981, four men lifted off in their helium filled balloon, Double Eagle V, from Nagashima, Japan and landed three and a half days later in California. They traveled 5,208 miles on the first-ever trans-Pacific flight by a balloon. To this day, that crew still holds the world distance record for all gas balloons.

Until now!

A team of internationally renowned ballooning experts, including several members of Steve Fossett's "Spirit of Freedom" global balloon support crew, has built a giant new straight gas balloon and taken up the challenge of capturing the world record.

The pilots Troy Bradley and Leonid Tiukhtyaev plan to navigate their craft more than 6,000 miles. If successful, they may also capture the world duration record for gas balloons, set in 1978 by the Double Eagle II on a 5 day flight across the Atlantic.

A lot has changed in the past 30+ years, and our team will use much more sophisticated equipment and meteorological trajectory models than were available to the Double Eagle V crew. These improvements will allow Two Eagles to fly from Japan, across the Pacific, landing perhaps as far as the eastern USA.

Distance : 8,382.54 km / 5,208 mi

Date of flight: 12/11/1981
Pilot: Ben L. ABRUZZO (USA)
Crew: Rocky AOKI, Ron CLARK, Larry NEWMAN
Course/place: Nagashima (Japan) - Covello, CA (USA)
Flight: Double Eagle V

Duration : 137h 5mn 50s

Date of flight: 12/08/1978
Pilot: Ben L. ABRUZZO (USA)
Crew: Larry NEWMAN, Maxie ANDERSON
Course/place: Presque Isle, ME (USA) - Miserey (France)
Flight: Double Eagle II