August 11, 1978. A historic day for Maine. It's the day the Double Eagle II balloon left Presque Isle. 178 hours later, it landed in Miserey, France, making it the first successful transatlantic balloon flight in history. 3099 miles!

The transatlantic balloon crossing has been one of the most dangerous in history. This was the fourteenth attempt of people trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean by balloon. Several had tried and were never found. Five people have died while attempting the feat.  Double Eagle II was piloted by Ben AbruzzoMaxie Anderson, and Larry Newman. It was their second attempt to make the historic run, as they had to bail out in Iceland in their 1977 attempt.

Check out the balloon's gondola. It was 15 x 7 x 4 feet and housed the crew, a catamaran, and a glider!  Tne actual balloon was 112 feet high

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Here's the full story of the Double Eagle II's journey from Maine to France. Incredible.

 

In Presque Isle, you can visit a monument where the Double Eagle II took off. You'll find it at 140 Spragueville Rd.  How cool that Maine is part of this amazing human feat!