Breitling Orbiter, Château d’Oex, Switzerland

The first Breitling Orbiter balloon, outside the Musée de l’Espace Ballon in the centre of Château d’Oex and just a few steps away from the official take-off site.

The museum takes visitors on a journey through the history of lighter-than-air flight, from Icar to Piccard.

The Breitling Orbiter 3 was the first balloon to fly non-stop around the world. Pilots Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones took off from Château d’Oex at 0805 on 1 March 1999 on their historic flight. They landed 19 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes later in Egypt on 21 March.

They had travelled 25,361 miles (40,814 km), at an average speed of 161 knots, in a unique balloon, the Breitling Orbiter 3, which was designed and built by Bristol based Cameron Balloons in the UK. The Breitling Orbiter 3 was 180 feet tall (55 m) when fully inflated and was equipped with six burners that were fuelled by propane stored in 28 titanium gas cylinders.

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