Landing of ‘Gordon Bennett’ over Bulgaria – balloons ‘attack’ by air from Yablanitsa to Tsarevo and Sredets

Landing of ‘Gordon Bennett’ over Bulgaria – balloons ‘attack’ by air from Yablanitsa to Tsarevo and Sredets
Landing of ‘Gordon Bennett’ over Bulgaria – balloons ‘attack’ by air from Yablanitsa to Tsarevo and Sredets

A massive attack of air balloons near populated areas in northern and southern Bulgaria caused alarm and curiosity in the local population, like yellow moving dots. Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, residents of Isperih reported to the city authorities about foreigners who had landed near the city in a balloon.

The landing is in no way related to the military conflict in Ukraine, but is part of the 65th edition of the Gordon Bennett Cup Ballooning Competition. On Friday at 16:00 local time, 17 crews took off in their balloons from St. Gallen with one simple goal – to reach as far as possible. The teams from Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, USA and Switzerland took off one by one, and the last two landed on Monday shortly before noon in the Isperih and Razgrad area.

According to the preliminary weather forecast, winds at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level could take the balloons south of Munich along the German-Austrian border, then further into Austria and later into Hungary.

The furthest reached were pilots Wilhelm and Benjamin Eimers, who landed meters from Nestinarka Beach at coordinates Lat/Lon: 42° 9.07 N, 027° 51.92 E, having flown 1,572 kilometers seaward after having previously flown south of Shumen over Veliki Preslav and further towards the sea towards Kableshkovo and entered over the Black Sea between Ravda and Pomorie. Second are the Swiss Kurt Frieden and Pascal Wildprachtiger, who landed near Yasna Polyana in Burgas after a flight of 1,550.32 kilometers. A French crew landed near Sveshtari, and another balloon with the French flag on the outskirts of Razgrad on the main road Varna – Ruse. Americans landed between Slavyanovo and Obnova near Pleven, Germans at Brestnitsa, Austrians five kilometers north of the Air Force base at Graf Ignatievo, and one aircraft landed in the area of ​​Prohod in Strandzha. A total of 10 balloons “hit” Bulgaria, one flew over our country and landed between Orestiada and Dimotika in Greece, having previously flown literally over the Kapitan Andreevo border crossing.

The balloons involved in “Gordon Bennett” are filled with hydrogen as a lifting gas. They are all the same size – 1000 cubic meters maximum, so all teams have the same lift and theoretically have the same durability and chances, and the rest depends on the strategy they choose. For the organizers, this year was extremely difficult in terms of route planning due to the many restrictions in the airspace due to the current military situation in Eastern Europe.

The International Balloon Race was created by adventurer and newspaper magnate James Gordon Bennett Jr. in 1906, when 16 balloons took off from the Tuileries Gardens in Paris in front of a crowd of 200,000 spectators. The winner is the team whose balloon lands at the farthest point from the launch site in a straight line, regardless of trajectory, after an average of 3-4 days of continuous flight.

To gain height, pilots drop sand from ballast bags attached to the outside of the basket. To drop altitude, they release small amounts of hydrogen. In addition, sand is released to counteract the loss of hydrogen from the balloon envelope. There is a fixed amount of gas and sand, so the use of sand and hydrogen must be carefully managed to stay in the air as long as possible.

The article is in bulgaria

Tags: Landing Gordon Bennett Bulgaria balloons attack air Yablanitsa Tsarevo Sredets

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