Purpose of the flight and payload description

The "Small World" mission was an attempt of crossing the Atlantic from Tenerife (Canary Islands) to Barbados using an hydrogen balloon which was carried out in December 1958.

The crew, who designed the ballon and planned the whole voyage consisted of Arnold "Bushy" Eiloart (Commander), his son Timothy Eiloart (Radioman), Colin Mudie (Navigator), and his wife Rosemary Mudie (Photographer).

A special feature of the balloon was that the basket was designed as a sailing boat, to be used if the party were to be forced to ditch in the sea.

The balloon was launched from el Medano beach, in the southern tip of the Tenerife island, at 1 AM in the morning of 12th December 1958, after being frustrated and delayed by high winds and bad weather. They flyed during 94 hours before being forced to ditch in the sea through problems with maintaining altitude and having to sail the rest of the way to Barbados, which took them about 3 weeks.

They eventually were found in the sea by a fishing boat that towed them to land. They arrived to Barbados on January 5th, 1959.

The details of the adventure appeared in the National Geographic Magazine. Also in 1959 was published a book entitled "The Flight of the Small World" with a detailed account of the flight

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 12/12/1958 at 1:07 local
Launch site: El Medano, Canary Islands, Spain  
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon  
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 12/15/1958
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 94 h
Landing site: Atlantic Ocean, 1450 miles E of Barbados

Postal cover issued on launch day commemorating the flight

External references

Images of the mission

The Small World balloon in Canarias Islands The Small World balloon in Canarias Islands The Small World balloon in Canarias Islands Dramatization of the moment of the ditching of the balloon in the Atlantic  

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