Double Eagle - Charles McCarryW. H. Allen, 1980, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Price Clipped. Pages lightly age-tanned.
First British Edition. Illustrated by way of: Colour Photographs; Maps to the endpapers and blanks;
From the cover: “Double Eagle is the riveting true account of the first balloon flight across the Atlantic Ocean by three men — without a doubt one of the most extraordinary human adventures of all time.
In 1978, Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson
and Larry Newman, three businessmen from Albuquerque, embarked on one of the world’s most difficult and dangerous physical challenges. Sixteen previous attempts to cross the Atlantic by balloon had failed disastrously, with five lives lost. No one who had ever attempted the flight wanted to try again.
Anderson and Abruzzo made their first attempt in Double Eagle, named after Charles Lindbergh, the Lone Eagle, in 1977. This voyage ended in bitter failure when they were hit by storms and blown off course; with Abruzzo suffering from exposure, they had to ditch the balloon off the coast of Iceland. Undaunted and even more determined to be the first across the Atlantic, they tried again in 1978 with Newman. This time they successfully rode a high pressure ridge from Maine to France.
Charles McCarry and the balloonists chronicle both flights, describing the tensions and comradeship they shared in their tiny gondola as they drifted thousands effect above the surface of the earth. As the ground crew constantly advised them about weather conditions, the men fought off frostbite in arctic temperatures. At one stage the balloon became coated with so much ice that the weight began to force them down. It was only the warmth of the afternoon sun that melted the ice and saved them from plunging into the sea to certain death.
Despite the problems of cold and storms, the enormous silver and black balloon eventually sailed over a barley field in France. Suspended beneath it were three exhausted Americans who had faced a challenge on the same scale as the conquest of Everest and had won. They had achieved the impossible and became heroes overnight.”