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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 April, 2005, 20:11 GMT 21:11 UK
Balloonists tackle record attempt
Andy Elson and Dr Vijay Singhania
Dr Singhania (right) will have to take the balloon to 70,000ft
A team of ballooning experts from the West is building a hot air balloon for a new world altitude record attempt.

Andy Elson and Colin Prescott have joined with Cameron Balloons to make the balloon for pilot Vijay Singhania.

The two men are building the balloon's capsule at their base in Glastonbury, Somerset, while Bristol-based Cameron will make the giant balloon canvas.

Dr Singhania, 66, from India, aims to break the world altitude record for a hot air balloon in November.

The industrialist and adventurer, who has flown more than 40 types of aircraft, will have to take the balloon to 70,000ft to break the record.

'Very exciting'

The attempt, from a launch site in India, will take around seven hours to complete.

"I'm very excited about it," Dr Singhania said.

"I'm more excited because I think I am dealing with people who understand this business and I'm quite hopeful we will make it."

The 85-metre balloon's capsule, which will be pressurised and equipped with its own air supply, promises to be a feat of engineering.

'Technical challenge'

"No-one has ever got balloon burners to work past about 60,000ft before," Mr Elson explained.

"We need them to work at 70,000ft. Although that is only 10,000ft, the difference in the atmosphere will be huge.

"It's a real technical challenge for us."

Mr Prescott and Mr Elson attempted to break the balloon altitude world record in a helium-filled balloon in 2004.

But their attempt was thwarted when an eight-metre tear appeared in the fabric of the balloon as it was being inflated.

New balloon record attempt
21 Jan 04 |  Somerset
Balloon record bid called off
03 Sep 03 |  Cornwall


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