Somerset balloonist back in skies to fight disease
He flew into the record books with the first non-stop flight round the world by balloon, and 10 years on Brian Jones is set for another flight with an even bigger goal.
When he and fellow pilot Bertrand Piccard made their breathtaking flight they vowed to use their success to eradicate the terrible bacterial disease noma, which ruins the lives of thousands of children.
They founded the Winds of Hope charity with the $1-million prize money from Budweiser and have since raised £3m. Now Breitling, which sponsored the original record-breaking flight, has commissioned a replica balloon from Bristol-based Cameron Balloons in which Somerset-based Mr Jones will make a humanitarian world tour.
They set seven world records on the original flight, and became global celebrities. That fame will fuel Mr Jones' journeys as he meets VIPs to raise awareness of the disease and the charity.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Thailand and Japan are already on his schedule and he and other organisers are hoping to visit China and Russia too.
Yesterday, the anniversary of the completion of the original epic journey, he said: "We committed ourselves to the struggle to eradicate noma through prevention and early detection programmes. It remains our ambition to see the end of this scourge within our lifetimes. We are active in six countries in Africa – Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Benin, Togo and Senegal.
"This year Bertrand will be visiting our activity centres to assess the results of our field actions and I will be touring the English-speaking countries within Africa where noma has been reported to assess the needs and discuss how Winds of Hope can help. The first country in which we set up the prevention programme was Niger in 2000 Since then this country has seen an apparent decline of approximately 90 per cent through training 2,300 health workers in prevention, early detection and treatment.
"The other great achievement was to bring together all the organisations and charities working in the field of noma to form the No Noma Federation.
"This federation of agencies seeks to work together sharing information and resources where appropriate to speed up the process of eradication and maximise our effectiveness in the field."
Mr Jones and Mr Picard also hope to produce a manned aircraft which fly round the world powered only by solar energy. Solar Impulse was launched in 2006 and the project led by Mr Picard and Andre Borschberg now has an aircraft with a 62ft wingspan under construction. It is expected to make its first flight this year.