G-BHTG update – Second maiden flight after 21 years
Back on the UK register and passed as ready to rock, G-BHTG took to the air again with its Hot Tom on Sunday 6th May 2012. Its not often balloons have such a long break and emerge from storage in such good condition but Halycon proves the exception to the rule.
So, early evening on 6th May 2012 intrepid aviators Andy Austin and Martyn Turner decided the time had come to see what 1980 ballooning was all about and set off on BHTG’s second ‘maiden flight’.
In a perfect conditions they launched at 19.30 from Clipston and just over an hour later at 20.40 ended up at Lutterworth near Daventry. Martyn explained that at take-off the winds were light but just as they were getting used to the awesome power of the Hot-Tom (the whisper was more powerful!) they found themselves hacking along at 15 knots at 500 feet, not quite what they’d expected!
Commenting on the flight characteristics Martyn reported that, “She flew amazingly, used little fuel, flew for over an hour and I can see now why a cow/whisper burner was invented, the blast valve was rather loud!” Andy added, “I can’t remember the last flight when I felt that nervous, partly the Hot Tom but also the challenge of finding somewhere to land after all that rain. Finally a dry field was found belonging to my daughters boyfriend.”
The landing, by all accounts was impressive. It was agreed by both that one Hot Tom made a lot of noise and produced an impressive flame but it did not really do much more. Linking the burners on the crossflow made a big difference, like it got noisier, and the whisper valve definitely worked a lot better than both burners on at the same time, so that’s how they decided to fly it, a bit of mix and match until the whisper valve started leaking!
Now with a new whisper valve fitted they are ready for their next flight in slightly calmer conditions they hope!