Scotland on Sunday


A Frenchman inspired by the classic film ET is hoping to become the first person to cross the English Channel from Kent in a pedal powered airship.Stephane Rousson, 39, from Nice, is preparing for his second attempt to cross the 28 mile stretch from Hythe to Wissant after he was forced to postpone his challenge in June due to strong winds.The feat is a long-held dream for the flying enthusiast, whose love affair with aviation grew as a child after watching Steven Spielberg's alien adventure and led to him gaining his pilot's licence.He said: "When I was young, I saw the movie and watched the little guy pedalling on a bike flying in front of the moon with ET.


"I always wanted to fly."

The 16-metre-long helium-filled blimp, nicknamed "Miss Louise" after his former girlfriend, requires light gusts of only two knots to become airborne. He said: "Today I need to build a small hangar to store the balloon inside. "We are looking for a weather window that is quite complicated to find, so we are preparing, making sure we are ready for it. "The weather seems a bit windy over the next few days."

Rousson is banking on a five-hour wind-free timeframe to enable him to set off, flying at an altitude of 100ft.



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11:39 Écrit par Laurence Latour | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)