Cluster of Balloons Used in Trans-Atlantic Attempt

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

CARIBOU, Maine (AP) -- The contraption being used by a balloonist to cross the Atlantic Ocean looks like something from the movie "Up."

Instead of using a conventional hot-air balloon, Jonathan Trappe lifted off Thursday in northern Maine using hundreds of helium-filled balloons, like those used in Carl Fredricksen's aerial adventure in the Disney-Pixar movie.

His goal is to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

Caribou City Manager Austin Bleess says about 150 volunteers assisted in filling more than 300 helium balloons starting Wednesday night. Trappe and his balloons lifted off in fog at sunrise Thursday.

Trappe says on his website that he's been working on the cluster balloon trans-Atlantic crossing for two years. The North Carolina native hopes to be the first person to do it using a cluster balloon system.


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