Wind of Hope


The adventure of ballooning in the Oberhausen Gasometer

Bertrand Piccard himself had not yet seen his Breitling Orbiter III like this: - in its full size the gigantic, silvery glittering balloon first hung in a building in 2004. It was 55 metres high, with a diameter of 32 metres, and spotlighted to great effect. It was with a balloon like this that Piccard from Switzerland and his British co-pilot Brian Jones succeeded in doing in 1999 what nobody before had ever achieved - they travelled non-stop once round the earth. In 19 days they covered 40,813 kilometres. 'The Wind of Hope' in Oberhausen's Gasometer told the adventurous story of the circumnavigation of the earth in the balloon.

The record was preceded by many long years of preparation and setbacks. It was only with the Breitling Orbiter III that Piccard finally succeeded in the great adventure. 'Wind of Hope' documented the preparations and the flight. Fascinating pictures and films, objects and the pilots’ instruments gave exciting insights into the adventurous everyday life in a balloon capsule. Piccard and Jones spent exactly 477 hours and 47 minutes in it. The capsule of the Breitling Orbiter II could also be inspected in the Gasometer.

However, the gleaming highlight was the gigantic balloon envelope. Combined with a sound and light show by Uwe Giebeler (start.design) the balloon gained even more fascination inside the 110 metre high air space of the Gasometer. And whoever travelled past it in the glass panorama lift dreamt about discovering the world by balloon.

Curator: Wolfgang Volz