Sometimes extreme conditions
Imagine: hanging in a basket at 7,000 meters, in darkness, -31°F outside, you breathe through an oxygen mask. You are crossing an air corridor; radio communication with air traffic control is intense. The ground crew based in Paris is trying to reach the balloon to establish a flight plan for the next few hours. Weather settings need to be monitored, measuring tools to be checked… Everything is OK but the atmosphere in the gondola is intense.
Imagine also: Bright sun, no noticeable wind, 2000m above the ground, you are warm and comfortable, as if sitting in a restaurant at altitude. You can go out on to the small balcony made by lowering the door of the gondola. You have just launched the drone for a breathtaking 360° shoot around the balloon with the Norwegian fjords slowly passing in the background. And 3 hours later climbing once more to 7000m.
An emblematic record
The longest balloon flight to date, whatever the category, was achieved with fuel : that was the limiting factor. The duration world record is 19 days 21 hours 47 minutes, it was set in 1999 by Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones.
The innovation brought by Zephyr Endless Flight will enable an even longer flight without using a single drop of fossil fuel. The only limiting factor is the food supply on board. This is a real technical and ecological leap.
Beyond the sheer feat, this flight demonstrates a new way of surpassing perceived limits by caring for the environment and adapting to it, not by exploiting and exhausting natural resources.
Zephyr Endless Flight is carried by the wind… How can it determine and maintain the correct route?
The answer is simple: by exploiting the changing winds.
Many layers of wind are superposed in the atmosphere. Depending on the altitude the streams have different speeds and different directions. Thanks to technical innovation Zephyr Endless Flight can climb and descend at will between 0 and 8000m and is able to choose the most favorable stream to suit its flight path.
This 3D navigation relies on meteorological routing. Like sailing in the open sea, the best route is determined according to meteorological forecasts. Favorable weather conditions will make it possible to approach a chosen mountain summit or to fly at low altitude over specific spots.