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back to article Plucky Swede glides spaceplane to Earth from edge of stratosphere

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team would like to raise a pint or two today to David Windestål - a Swedish radio-controlled aircraft enthusiast who recently pulled off an impressive "Space Glider" flight from a dizzying 33,000m. David's audacious mission involved taking an off-the-shelf Muliplex FunJet (picture …

COMMENTS

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Pint

Amazing!

Great little mission and a good video of the entire adventure..

It's amazing how ingenious some people can be, using an over the counter RC plane, Helium weather balloon, and other available gadgets, including the GoPro camera to achieve the kind of feats that were limited to science labs and universities a decade or so ago.

The reasonably priced and rugged GoPro camera has really revolutionised video footage for amateurs undertaking high altitude adventures like this,

Thanks ElReg, for not letting the Scandanavian's little experiment go unnoticed..

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Mushroom

Re: Amazing!

Indeed - amazing!

But check out the colour of the top of the gas tank - that's not helium, it's something lighter ...

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Silver badge

Re: Amazing!

And why use helium - hydrogen is perfect? Its no more dangerous than helium in this sort of situation and a lot cheaper.

11 out of 10 for the man.

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Happy

Re: Amazing!

ooooh - you don't want to say that in front of the SPB! They get a bit tetchy ...

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Happy

Re: Amazing!

I am wondering, as I do, that I'd like to do it as a series of balloons, all with the bare minimum of lift (allowing for leakage etc) so that as the altitude increases, the balloons go up way higher, before popping, or needing to be cut loose.

I also think that at that altitude, with enough balloons, etc., it may be possible with a rocket, to achieve orbital velocity.... if only half way around the earth.

Or to buy a roll of the plastic film that dry cleaners use to make covers from, and to weld up a HUGE balloon from it......

Ooooooooo this is an itch I just have to scratch....

Dammit...

It was the Space Wars shows I saw as a kid on TV....

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Bronze badge
Windows

"That's not helium, it's something lighter"

Erm....

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MrT
Bronze badge

Excellent effort!

This high-altitude stuff is turning out to be quite a popular hobby in all it's different versions... Landing right at his feet would have been the highest of fives, mind - quite literally still something worth aiming for :-D Well done!

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Anonymous Coward

No legoman or playmobileman pilot? No wonder it almost failed, this time he was lucky.

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Hehehehe ^_^

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Silver badge
Thumb Up

Marvellous

Have an upvote, Mr Windestål.

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Thumb Up

Excellent stuff!

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Thumb Up

wow what a pic.....

See title

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Thumb Up

Well done that man!

*Applause*

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Anonymous Coward

Glad they waited for a foggy day

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Silver badge

indeed... without the clouds/fog it might have been easier/possible to navigate to his feet

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Petur

you missed the bit about the loss of communications and the lake then?

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Excellent

Well done that man, very enjoyable video too!

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Pint

Swede..t

Nice job!

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Thumb Up

Impressive

How long before some ties themselves to a weather balloon and glides back down to Earth in a glider suit?

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Mushroom

LOHAN II

For the next flight, has the SPB considered using Hydrogen as a lifting gas rather than Helium? Far cheaper and saves the scarce Helium.

//playmonaut not a smoker, is he?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LOHAN II

Pay attention chaps, see pic 5 & 6.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LOHAN II

re: Pic 6, clearly a frightening experience... #wetspot

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Thumb Up

Re: LOHAN II

As usual, the SPB is ahead of the curve!

//I stand corrected, thanks

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Could combine this with James May's GPS controlled balsa glider crossing of (a section of water the same widths as) then English Channel .... I'm sure he could spin that out into a program reclaiming the UKs space heritage along with a link with some toy of the past ("Remember when you were a child and you had one of those stomp rockets where you stamped on a pump to launch a rocket which went up and then landed back beside you ... did you ever wonder about being able to launch it all the way to space? ....."). Ok, BBC, over to you now ... just put in a "from an original idea by ..." line in the creedits please!

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Bronze badge

that's exactly the sort of line May would say. If he's not available how about you act as a stand in?

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Thumb Up

Awesome!

Skål, David! :-)

Well done, that was awesome.

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Pint

Damn!

The footage was incredible.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Bronze badge

Excellent Footage and Narration

It's also interesting to see how quickly the horizon adopts its curvature at high altitude.

Thanks for the link.

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Boffin

Re: Excellent Footage and Narration

The fish-eye lens on the camera was responsible for almost all the curvature you see in the video.

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Happy

Re: Excellent Footage and Narration

"The fish-eye lens on the camera"...was doing some very weird things to the impression oh horizon curvature. It appeared to be flipping between convex and concave in very trippy way.

Icon...for the trippyness.

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Go

T-shirt

He deserves a coveted SPG T-Shirt as a fellow traveller, surely?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: T-shirt

He does. However, there are only three in existence. Maybe it's time to look into a short production run...

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Coat

@Lester Re: T-shirt

"a short production run"

Would that be a production run of a limited quantity, or production run of apparel aimed exclusively at Geordies?

<--<--<-- icon used in an ironic way, as everyone knows Geordies don't wear coats

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Devil

Re: @Lester T-shirt

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting a t-shirt from El Reg - It's been five years since I won the WiReD contest and I still haven't got mine!

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Windows

Did really like the KISS release mechanism!

A resistor and a matchhead. I'd wondered if the match would've got too sogy to ignite. Maybe that was the delay that caused the latex to flap around for a bit -- match had to be dried out for awhile, before it'd burn.

Dunno.

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