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Renishaw sets sights high for world record attempt

10 May 2017

Renishaw's hot air balloon, G-RENI, has participated in a successful world record attempt for the largest number of hot air balloons to cross the English Channel. On April 7th, 2017, 82 balloons launched from Lydden Hill Race Circuit before heading to the White Cliffs of Dover and crossing the English Channel, finally landing in Calais, France. This attempt breaks the previous record of 49 balloons, set exactly six years before.

The record attempt was organised by aerial marketing specialist, Exclusive Ballooning, and sponsored by recruitment processing outsourcing specialists Datum RPO. Led by Datum RPO's bespoke balloon, which was piloted by company director James Strickland, the balloons travelled over the world's busiest shipping lane, spanning 35km of water. Pilots from ten different countries participated in the event, which had been postponed previously due to unfit weather conditions. The tracks and images from the day will now be submitted to Guinness for official ratification.

Renishaw has been working with Exclusive Ballooning since 2012, and its balloon is a well-known sight in the Gloucestershire skies and at the annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. G-RENI is unique in that it flies with a bespoke adapted basket, which can accommodate wheelchair passengers and was also the only balloon in the attempt with its own twitter account, @GRENI_BALLOON.

"Thank you to all the pilots and crews who travelled so far to make this truly an international and unforgettable flight,” explained Andrew Holly, Director of Exclusive Ballooning. “The 2011 flight was my favourite of all time and we were thrilled to be able to give so many pilots from all over Europe the opportunity to have the same experience. It was a fantastic day and I think this flight is now top of my list!"

“Congratulations to everyone that was involved in the event,” said Chris Pockett, Head of Communications at Renishaw. “This flight beat the previous record by a significant margin and we were proud to be part of it. G-RENI has become a popular sight in the South West region, has flown above London as part of the Lord Mayor's Hot Air Balloon Regatta and has now been seen overseas too.”

This is not the first participation in the Guinness World Records for Renishaw, which was featured in 2015 for manufacturing the world's first 3D printed titanium alloy bike frame. Renishaw is also contributing engineering expertise to the Bloodhound SSC project, which aims to break the world land speed record.

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