[Blog] Gordon Bennett 2016

The Spanish team obtains a meritorious third position in the world championship of gas balloons.

The team was formed by the pilots Anulfo González (Aerotours) and Angel Aguirre.

Aerotours pilot Anulfo González and Angel Aguirre from Globus Kon-Tiki have earned a third place in the long-range World Championship hydrogen balloon category. It is the first time that a Spanish team manages to be among the first three classified.

The competition, which is considered the oldest and most prestigious in the world of aeronautics, consists of traveling the maximum distance with gas balloons and counts the distance traveled in a straight line from the starting point to the landing. The Spanish team has been for 49 hours in the air and has covered a total of 1,585.93 kilometers; From Gladbeck (Germany) to near Mesoraca (Italy), flying over the Alps and the Tyrrhenian Sea, a journey that has been this year especially technical and only the most experienced pilots have been able to overcome.

It is an adventure-driven test; Two pilots and a 1000m3 gas balloon are the only rules that impose from the organization, in the other hand, it’s the pilots who decide what technology they want to use, or how much baggage they want to carry. This year's edition has been the most participated with 24 teams from 12 countries.

The Catalan pilot explains that this "is the most complicated flight of the four years we have participated" adds that "in the Alps we have been very cold, we have been practically 40 hours above 5,000m breathing with the help of auxiliary oxygen" . Finally, they decided to land in Italy at one o'clock in the morning. Balloon night landing is always a maneuver that implies a certain risk due to the lack of visibility, but Aguirre explains that "continuing would have meant crossing the sea until reaching Greece - where the winning team of the race landed - and was too risky considering the distance, the little reserve of ballast and also the consumption of oxygen". It was finally the Swiss team that occupied the first and second position. The first qualifier of the competition is commissioned to organize the Gordon Bennett Cup the following year from his country of origin.

The Gordon Bennett Aeronautics Cup

The Gordon Bennett Aeronautical Cup is the oldest aeronautical competition in the world. It was born in 1906 and was only interrupted during the World Wars. This year has celebrated its sixtieth edition with record of participation of pilots.

The most prestigious aviation competition in the world owes its name to the founder of the New York Herald, founded in 1887 by James Gordon Bennett, the first newspaper to be flown, taking copies from Paris to London.