Balloon Fiesta is looking forward to the launch of the record-breaking balloon flight, "The Two Eagles." The team is ready, continuously monitoring weather conditions, and Two Eagles pilots Leonid Tiukhtyaev and Troy Bradley are preparing to launch from Saga, Japan.
The goal of the flight is to set a new distance record for straight gas balloons (balloons solely using a lighter-than-air gas like helium for lift). The current record of 8,382.54 km / 5,208 mi was set by Ben Abruzzo, Larry Newman, Ron Clark and Rocky Aoki in 1981. They are also looking to beat another hallowed world record for longest distance for a gas balloon set in 1978 by Ben Abruzzo, Larry Newman and Maxie Anderson. They stayed aloft for 137 hours, 5 minutes and 50 seconds.
For real-time updates, please follow the Two Eagles Balloon Team Facebook page and
Shortly after launch, the flight support team will begin operations at the Mission Control Center at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. For updates from Mission Control, go to their Facebook page here.
Troy Bradley is a friend and Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta pilot. From all of us at Balloon Fiesta, we would like to wish the best of luck to Troy and Leonid.