The Baloon – Transatlantic Challenge


Bert Padelt built this Toshiba balloon in his factory in Bally, Pennsylvania.

The weight was critical. As David has not lost the two stones he promised Bert they have had to make a super lightweight basket and envelope to compensate. The basket is no bigger than a coffee table. The balloon gas cell is AA 6 and the envelope is 37,000 cubic feet.

Joanie, Bert’s wife, is the unsung heroine who did all the sewing and building of the balloon.

The balloon is white with two logos of the sponsors, Toshiba and XP Power. It is 4ft long, 4ft high and 4 ft wide.

The basket is so small a cat flap has been designed so David can put his legs outside.


David’s diet will include ginger biscuits, pork scratchings, soup and tea. He will cook on the bottom of the basket using a camping stove. Sleep will be minimal, taking cat naps half an hour at a time.

David will take a pee bottle and when it comes to a number two it will go over the side in a bio-degradeable bag.

David said, “Having spent months preparing with the fabulous team it will be fantastic to be in the balloon giving the record my best shot. It should be an exhilarating and beautiful flight, I’ll be taking photographs of the sunsets and sunrises and hopefully shooting stars.” David will be receiving air traffic control, weather information and doing a blog via Toshiba’s new laptop, the Portégé R500.

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