Up, Up, and Away

Airship was printed on Cameron in-house Durst Rho 351 printer with Caldera RIP.

Big Picture

It took French adventurer Jean-Louis Etienne just over 121 hours to make the first balloon crossing of the Arctic Ocean in Generali Life Insurance company’s “Arctic Observer,” a 25-meter-tall balloon envelope created by Cameron Balloons of Bristol, UK.

The airship, featuring Generali’s logo and artwork, was printed on Cameron’s in-house Durst Rho 351 printer with Caldera RIP, using Durst inks. Output took two days and necessitated more than 800 meters of a specially coated rip-stop nylon Cameron uses to build its balloons. The Roziere-type balloon was supported by a combination of helium and hot air and was engineered in an oblong shape to help it shed any snow that landed on it.

Etienne, a doctor from southwest France, called the flight the last in his trilogy of solo Arctic expeditions – having previously trekked the North Pole by sled and boat – to bring attention to the diminishing polar ice caps.


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