Short film commemorates hot air balloon record

In a recent video, Sir Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand recall crossing the transatlantic for the first time in a hot air balloon.

The video is part of a series of short films that have been commissioned to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Guinness World Records. In 1987, Sir Richard, the British entrepreneur and adventurer, teamed up with the Swedish pilot and aeronautical engineer Lindstrand to cross the Atlantic in a hot air balloon for the first time. During the trip, the pair travelled 2,900 miles in just 33 hours.

The hot air balloon flight broke the record for the fastest balloon flight. At some points, it was moving at 130 miles per hour (209kph). The balloon the adventurers used was called the Virgin Atlantic Flyer. At 2.3 million cubic feet, it was the biggest hot air balloon ever built up until that point.

Both men had a history of pushing the envelope when it came to flight, but Sir Richard wanted to make a splash in the world of flight for another reason. In the video, he explains:

“We were competing with British Airways with their three hundred and fifty planes, so we needed to come up with fun ways of promoting the airline, getting Virgin on the map.”

When the couple broke the record, it was a worldwide news event that captured the imagination of the public. In 1991, the pair broke another record by crossing the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Arctic Canada. During that flight, they travelled 6,700 miles and reached speeds of 245 miles per hour (394kph).

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