For some, animation movies such as Pixar’s “Up” are an accessible form of entertainment, but for others, they seem to be nothing more than instruction manuals.
Jonathan Trappe, 38, took the Pixar animation seriously, unlike most people. He has made the news a while ago for being the first cluster-balloonist to fly over the English Channel, but this time, he decided to make himself some publicity in a geekier manner.
This wacky man, originating from Raleigh, North Carolina, prepared the balloon-strapped cartoon-themed flying house for the Leon International Balloon festival, which took place a few days ago in Mexico. Trappe seems to have bigger plans, so he certainly will not stop here. Next summer, he plans to cross the Atlantic ocean in a 7-foot lifeboat carried by 365 gigantic helium balloons. Considering that he will have to cover 2,500 miles in these conditions (more than 10 times his previous record of 230 miles), I would say that he is rather ambitious. The Atlantic adventure has already cost Trappe $170,000, and at the moment, he is launching a Web site to promote his dream.
The unique lifeboat that Trappe will use for crossing the pond features an open top for take-off and a canopy that should offer protection for frost bite and high altitude. Speaking of altitude, he will fly between 18,000 ft and 25,000 ft, thus breaking yet another of his previous world altitude records, which was of 21,600 ft.
Trappe holds numerous records, all of them balloon-related. He has crossed the Alps, has broken the record for the most cluster balloons, and for the longest distance covered in this manner. However, the Atlantic project seems to be something he has thought about for quite some time now, judging by his declaration: “I didn’t wake up one day and think: ‘I’m going to fly across the Atlantic.’ Every attempt before this was geared towards this flight. I’ve been training for a long time. It’s about living an interesting life – for me as the pilot and those watching.”
The ones who are interested in sponsoring Trappe or simply in donating him money for the project can do this on the UpAcrossAtlantic website. After this year’s Red Bull Stratos project, next year’s Atlantic crossing will surely be something worth watching. Not many of us have the courage to do such things and the ones who do should be appreciated.