Steve Fossett's balloon flight around the world

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Wayne Bundrick, Jun 29, 2002.

  1. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 17, 1999
    Messages:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just saw a map of Steve Fossett's flight so far, and the feat doesn't look as impressive as it could be. He's basically doing a lap around Antartica and not going any further north than the southernmost tips of South America and Africa and Australia's southern coast.

    Yeah, technically it counts as a trip around the world. But if one could find the exact spot of the south pole, one could "walk around the world" by taking just a few steps in a circle around it.
     
  2. Bill Balcziak

    Bill Balcziak Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 1999
    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's really hard to get excited about some bored rich guy buying hisself an thrill ride. This guy (and his publicity team) wants you to believe this is some kind of rugged adventure, but it's no more compelling than a long Concorde flight without decent champagne.
     
  3. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wayne and Bill,

    I agree with both of your points. There should be some kind of distance or latitude/longitude requirement to be called "around the world," and even if there were, Fossett's trek is more self-promotion than courageous.
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Like Bill, I find it hard to get into the vain exploits of a fabulously wealthy man indulging in an expensive, high-profile hobby. Wish him well, but I simply don't care.
     
  5. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 17, 1999
    Messages:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    0
    I found an article at Yahoo that says there are "rules" by the World Air Sports Federation for what constitutes an around-the-world balloon flight. Fossett has to stay out of an imaginary circle around the pole with radius 2085 miles, but the pole doesn't have to be at the center of that circle. They say the rules are difficult to interpret so they won't know if he's done it until the end of the flight. It doesn't say but I think one rule requires him to pass over the continents because he seems to have made a conscious effort to do that.

    I think the rules are too lenient. I think the flight should stay within the tropical latitudes and maybe even cross the equator at least once. It shouldn't be possible to see the entire flight traced on a polar map.
     
  6. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,609
    Likes Received:
    0
    This does seem like a scam....

    The first round-the-world trip (1999) started in Switzerland and ended in Egypt for a total of 28,431 miles.

    Steve Fossett's current trip is only 19,250 miles.

    Around-the-world sailboat races usually have to cross the equator in 2 distinct locations, ensuring a bit of tropical latitudes. Then again, a sailboat is a little easier to steer than a balloon.
     
  7. Bill Balcziak

    Bill Balcziak Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 1999
    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    0
    By comparison to Richie Rich and his $46,000,000 ride, David Kunst of Waseca, MN walked around the world in 1974. [His brother, John, started the trip with him but was murdered by bandits in Afghanistan.]
    Read about it here.
     

Share This Page