Record breaking ‘Long Jump’ flight for Rotork’s hot air balloon

Rotork’s distinctive bright red air balloon is a familiar sight in and around the company’s home city of Bath, where employees and their guests are able to take advantage of pleasure flights.

Purchased as part of Rotork’s 50 year birthday celebrations in 2007, the balloon serves charitable functions and travels to balloon fiestas in the UK and Europe. Recently Rotork’s balloon team has won the ‘Long Jump’ award, an annual competition open to all comers to achieve the longest distance flight from anywhere to anywhere in the UK. The Rotork balloon beat twelve other teams to win the coveted ‘Long Jump’ trophy.

The balloon is piloted by Rotork Systems Engineer Mark Dunstan-Sewell, who on this occasion was co-piloted by Rotork’s Operations Director Alastair Spurr. Taking off from Jacobstowe in Devon, the balloon was in the air for six hours, completing 230 miles at a maximum height of 6250 feet before landing at Sutton Bridge in Cambridgeshire.

The landing, in a newly ploughed field, was the most potentially hazardous event in the adventure, the balloon basket ploughing its own 250 yard furrow before finally coming to a halt and enabling the two, by now slightly bruised, Rotork balloonists to be re-united with terra firma.

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 15

Summer 2020 // Issue 53
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