Oceanside, Calif. — Ron Ripps and John Shoecroft are sailing in quest of a record transcontinental flight aboard their 10-story-high helium-filled balloon, Super Chicken II. It will be their second attempt to complete the transcontinental crossing. In September they made speedy progress across the country in Super Chicken I until running into severe thunderstorms over Columbus, Ohio.
The flight of Super Chicken II is expected to take 48 hours. Temperatures outside their enclosed, 9-foot-diameter gondola are likely to dip to 50 below zero, but the men hope a portable heater will keep the inside temperature at zero. The gondola is also equipped with a stove, radio gear, navigation equipment, and oxygen.