The balloonists previously courted disaster during a dangerous transatlantic crossing that ended in a crash-landing in the sea off the coast of Ireland. But Mr Branson insists that the current project will be meticulously planned. The trip is scheduled to start by late January.Reuse content
Per Lindstrand, the balloon designer, and Richard Branson, head of Virgin Group, spent the day in Derby yesterday at the Rolls-Royce Aero Engines plant. A team from Rolls is helping them design, build and test a miniature engine that will power their life-support system during a planned two-week circumnavigation of the globe in a balloon. They will travel in a pressurised steel capsule at up to 35,000 feet, and be propelled by the jet stream to speeds of as much as 250 mph.