LONDON XP Power and Toshiba are sponsoring David Hempleman-Adams' world record attempt to cross the northern Atlantic in the smallest gas-balloon ever to attempt such a flight.
XP Power is also providing an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) from its Xi3000 range to ensure continuity of supply in the event of power failure at the crucial mission control room in Weybridge, Surrey, UK.
Hempleman-Adams is piloting the balloon from St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, to Europe. This will be a new Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) world distance record. He is flying in an open wicker basket, open to the elements, and will be enduring temperatures down to minus 20 degrees centigrade, with the added risk of landing in the North Atlantic. The 3425 km journey could take four days, depending on weather conditions, causing sleep deprivation and extreme fatigue.
“David is renowned for pushing the boundaries of what was previously thought possible and that’s exactly the way we approach the design challenges in our business,” said Larry Tracey, executive chairman of XP Power.
Hempleman-Adams added, “I’m extremely nervous about this challenge. It is on the edge of technology and possibility. People have asked me, ‘Why are you doing it?’ and I say, ‘I want to push myself as a pilot and push the equipment and technology to the extreme’. There is no such thing as an easy world record. I don’t mind the cold temperatures but I’m wary of having to land in the water. All three of my daughters can swim further than me. In the event of ditching, I will have a life raft, and lots of sea-sickness tablets. With XP Power’s support, at least I know the control room is going to be backing me up all the way.”
An hourly update from Hempleman-Adams is available during the attempt.
In 2000, Hempleman-Adams became the first person to fly to the North Pole in a balloon. On his third attempt, he was the first person to cross the Atlantic in a Roziere Balloon. In all, he has 44 FAI World Records. A gas balloon is a gas-cell used for duration flights with helium as a lifting gas.