LIVE UPDATES, NEWS AND PROGRESS REPORTS FROM MISSION CONTROL
17-10-2023: INTERVIEW WITH BERT COMING SOON!
04-10-2023 & 05-10-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: FURTHER UNSETTLED WEATHER
Conditions will start to deteriorate tomorrow with increasing southerly winds. On saturday rain and showers will move in from the south and southwest.
03-10-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: LITTLE CHANGE
Our meteorologist reports that there is little change in the weather situation. As reported previously unsettled conditions will reach the Maine area by the weekend and could last for a few days. We remain patient!
02-10-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: WEATHER SYSTEMS
The latest update from our meteorologist is very similar..
Over the coming days the high pressure will head east over the Atlantic with a new low approaching Maine from the west. By the weekend, a large area of low pressure will become the dominant feature over the eastern Atlantic. More soon!
01-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: HIGH & LOW PRESSURE.. UNSETTLED CONDITIONS RETURN?
As reported previously the high pressure remains until Wednesday before moving east over the Atlantic Ocean. In the meantime a low pressure situated over the Atlantic will “ block the way” to Europe. Early indications are that by next weekend a new low pressure will be situated over the launch site bringing unsettled conditions.
30-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: MIDWEEK CHANGE? PERHAPS..
Our meteorologist reports that high pressure continues to remain well established over Maine until midweek when it finally moves east and over the Atlantic ocean. With this change, winds are forecast at all levels to become westerly. Let’s see how this change develops in the next weather update. More soon!
29-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: WINDS REMAIN UNFAVOURABLE FOR NOW..
As reported yesterday the winds at all heights will remain unfavourable now until next week. Around midweek there are early indications that the winds will become more favourable however this is still a long way off. More soon!
28-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: METEOROLOGIST REPORTS..
Our meteorologist reports that there is once again very little change in the forecast. High pressure remains over the launch site whilst in the mid-Atlantic a low pressure area begins to build. By Saturday the wind direction at all heights changes and becomes unfavourable until the early part of next week.
27-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: THE WAIT CONTINUES..
The weather situation remains as described in yesterday’s update with high pressure over Maine and low pressure heading from west to east over the Atlantic. Frustrating yes but patience remains the order of the day!
26-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: ANTICYCLONE, WEAK WINDS & ATLANTIC LOW
Our meteorologist reports that the anticyclone will continue to dominate the weather over Maine with weak winds at all levels. In the meantime over the Atlantic, a low pressure system is starting to head east from Labrador to Scotland which will bring stronger winds and potentially unsettled conditions.
Away from the weather, Bert has been speaking about the adventure to Lighter than Air Flight Magazine. Click here for the article!
25-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: MAINE ANTICYCLONE
A large area of high pressure is currently situated over Maine giving settled conditions for the week. The downside to this is that the wind (especially the direction)remains unfavourable. More soon!
24-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: NO CHANGE
Our meteorologist reports no change in the forecasts. Perhaps better news for the end of the week into next weekend.
23-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: LOW PRESSURE & OPHELIA
No new updates on the weather.. Low pressure systems continue to track from east to west over the Atlantic Ocean with Hurricaine Ophelia continuing to to develop over the east coast of America. There may however be good news later next week..
21-09-2023 & 22-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: WEATHER REMAINS UNSTABLE
Our meteorologist reports that the weather situation remains unstable over the Atlantic Ocean with a series of low pressure systems present. Conditions at the launch site are good for a Sunday morning launch however shortly after take-off the balloon would soon quickly catch up with the above mentioned unstable weather.
Later next week conditions do appear to become “more stable” however our meteorologist is closely monitoring the development of Hurricane Ophelia.
20-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: WEATHER HOLD & LTA FLIGHT MAGAZINE ARTICLE
The team remain on a weather hold with low pressure systems continuing to “block the way” to Europe. In the meantime, here is a link to the LTA Flight Magazine article..
19-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: ATLANTIC WEATHER
Our meteorologist reports that whilst conditions on Friday & Saturday look good (at present) for a launch, conditions over the Atlantic Ocean and into NW Europe remain unsettled with deep areas of low pressure. More patience required!
18-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: MORE WEATHER!
The weather still remains uncertain with various low pressure systems “blocking the way” to Europe. Fingers crossed for an improvement soon!
17-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: THE WAIT CONTINUES..
15-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: REMAINING UNSETTLED
Our meterologist reports..Hurricaine Lee will continue to track north east with further unsettled and changeable conditions due during the week. By the end of next week, conditions could change and become more favourable however this is a long way off. More soon!
14-09-2023: HURRICAINE LEE
Hurricaine Lee close to our take-off site. Take care everyone!
14-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: TRICKY WEATHER
Our meteorologist reports that by Monday morning conditions over Presque Isle, Maine look “good” with clear skies and light winds. However, over the Atlantic Ocean the remnants of storm Lee & Margot remain giving instability and uncertainty. More soon!
12-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: WEATHER HOLD
The team remain on a weather hold. The latest update from our meteorologist is that unsettled and unstable weather conditions will continue over the coming days. Frustrating yes but patience is the key!
07-09-2023:PRESQUE ISLE HIGH SCHOOL VISIT
This afternoon Bert and the team were invited to attend Presque Isle High School and talk to the students about the flight.
07-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: EMERGENCY SERVICES MEET
Today we continued preparing with the incredible support from the community of Presque Isle. First meeting was with the fire chief Nate Allen who is organizing emergency services to be in site for launch day.
06-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: IN THE HUT
Everything is ready and now has been moved to the hut adjacent to the launch field. This moment is best celebrated with Paul Cyr, who is hosting the launch and preparations at his property. Volumes could be written listing the number of ways Paul has helped the team! THANK YOU PAUL!
05-09-2023: LABOR DAY TIME OUT
Yesterday was Labor Day in the US so the team took some time out and enjoyed a spot of early morning ballooning!
The ground team would also like to give a special mention to Dolores & Bruce Roop. Dolores & Bruce have been hosting the ground team for the past week, welcoming the team into their home with the warmest hospitality imaginable. Every evening Dolores prepares a huge dinner for the team including dessert!
05-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: RADIO FUNCTIONALITY & TAKING A BREAK
Bert and the team have been continuing radio functionality checks with the help of local radio expert Matt Harris.
04-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: HYDROGEN TUBE TRAILER ARRIVES
The Hydrogen tube trailer has arrived on site!
In the meantime, the weather remains unsuitable for a launch with low pressure situated over the coast of Nova Scotia till the end of the week. Conditions in Presque Isle, Maine will also become unsettled by Thursday evening so the message from the meteorologist is to remain patient!
Bert with Gabriel from Southern Pines Trucking
The Hydrogen tube trailer onsite
03-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: HF RADIO TESTING & WEATHER
This morning the team have been carrying out tests on the HF radio. In the meantime our meteorologist continues to analyse the weather. There is currently little change with low pressure over the eastern and western Atlantic ocean. By next weekend there is the possibility of unsettled weather conditions over the launchsite in Presque Isle, Maine however time will tell.
02-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: PREPARING THE SCIENCE
Today, Bert, Noah & Jason have been running through various mounting options for the agar dishes which will play a key part in the scientific experiments during the flight.
02-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: HYDROGEN TUBE TRAILER ARRIVES IN WEST VIRGINIA
The hydrogen tube trailer has been filled at General Hydrogen in West Virginia and is now on its way to the launchsite at Presque Isle, Maine. Pictured below we have the tube trailer along with Sunny Punj & Justin Richards from General Hydrogen. Thanks guys!
01-09-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION: FINE-TUNING & TESTING
Today Noah & Jason have been fine-tuning essential comms equipment (transponder,VHF airband radio etc) which will be carried on-board the Torabhaig Atlantic Explorer. In the meantime, Bert took the opportunity to test the comms and lighting equipment in “night conditions”.
01-09-2023: WEATHER UPDATE & DOUBLE EAGLE II LAUNCHSITE VISIT
The current weather situation remains unstable due to the presence of the tropical storms over the ocean. Our meteorologist concluded that whilst conditions at the launchsite will be favourable ( warm, sunny, light winds) conditions over the Atlantic Ocean remain unfavourable into early next week.
In the meantime, Bert, Noah & Jason have visited Riverside Bicentennial Park, the launchsite of Double Eagle II.
On Thursday 17th August 1978, Double Eagle II piloted by Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman became the first balloon to successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean when it landed in Miserey, France, 137 hours 6 minutes after departing Presque Isle, Maine.
31-08-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION - HYDROGEN TUBE TRAILER
The tube trailer is now on it’s way to collect the Hydrogen before heading to the launchsite. Pictured below is Jack Finn CEO & President of FIBA Technologies along with his two sons Chris & John.
31-08-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION - IDALIA & FRANKLIN
The team have just received the latest GFS (Global Forecast System) & ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) weather charts from our meteorologist.
In brief: The weather situation remains challenging with ex-storm Franklin weakening and moving to the north-east. In the meantime, storm Idalia continues to influence weather patterns over south-eastern US. More soon!
30-8-2023 (PM) : FLIGHT PREPARATION - WELCOME COREY!
This afternoon we welcomed Corey Bouchard of WAGM-TV to our base.
30-8-2023 (AM): FLIGHT PREPARATION - RIGGING TESTS & WEATHER UPDATE
This morning Bert and the team are carrying out various rigging tests to establish which setup will be best suited when it comes to the inflation of the balloon. In the meantime our meteorologist continues to study and provide detailed forecasts and trajectories for the team on a daily basis. At present, the weather situation is ever changing with emergence of tropical storm Franklin now being declared the first major hurricane of the 2023 season. More later!
29-08-23: FLIGHT PREPARATION - MORE SANDBAGS & WEATHER
Sandbags now full and ready to be used as disposable ballast during the flight.
In the meantime, our meteorologist continues to carefully monitor weather conditions and flight trajectories over the Atlantic Ocean.
28-08-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION - SANDBAG FILLING
Filling sandbags with the help of Presque Isle Civil Air Patrol.
28-08-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATION - SANDBANGS
Today the team will begin filling sandbags with over 4,600lbs
of sand which will be used during the flight.
26-08-2023: FLIGHT PREPARATIONS BEGIN
Bert & the team begin flight preparations. This includes system integration
and the weighing of equipment which will be carried on board.