BLT-37 / KT5TK-4 – The Big Floater

BLT-36 may be lost, before that we didn’t get hydrogen, but we never give up! Today we have finally had all parts together and the weather was with us. It took us a week to get the permissions and the delivery worked out for the new hydrogen cylinder, and in fact it was not carbonated this time. I tested it with a small latex balloon. As expected it floated up very well. Therefore the launch was on “GO”.

Ron Sparks was our host. Sparks’ Ranch was appropriate for a hydrogen launch because of his name, we thought. He has a huge barn which was perfect for filling the balloon with the half-closed door. However when we came out we noticed that it was just as calm outside. Perfect for a slow ascending floater. The Balloon gently glided out of my fingers and without any side movements it climbed vertically up.

The predictions looked better than the reality. We do get in direction Europe, but the winds at altitude were very slow as well. So on the first day we only got to Louisiana. This is the same Mississippi miracle we’ve already observed last year at the N0D launch. The balloon literally hangs at the same location like a light bulb. The altitude reached 121000 ft and we all stopped breathing while hoping that it didn’t burst. And it didn’t. Phew. I’m pretty sure we’ll make it through the night, but what will happen in the morning? We’ll see…

Screenshot from 2014-02-08 21:55:20


An this is how it all ended…


(No political opinion implied)



2 thoughts on “BLT-37 / KT5TK-4 – The Big Floater

  1. Hello Thomas,

    Congratulations on your 05/04 kt5tk-5 long duration flight !!

    I have been following thru an Internet application I made to track our balloon flights in Argentina.

    You can try thru

    & charts at

    You can use these online apps freely on next flights.

    Impressive flight, lot of interesting findings,

    Whishing success on attemps of transatlantic flights.

    Best 73,
    lu7abf, Pedro Converso

  2. Question left, have you recovered ?, may be some ham from Jackson, Louisiana could check close to route 68 can find and return. On the map a yellow pin shows estimated landing location.

    You can peek into our last flight on the url I left on signature.

    Any comments or change to application you may have please tell me.

    Best 73,
    lu7abf, Pedro Converso

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