Several amateurs played in aerospace around Toorcamp, and many more space lovers and hobbiests were present. JonM from Hackerbot, who is one of the leads on the AHAB (Another High Altitude Balloon) project gave me my ham radio cram course and test. You can see him in a hat in this photo, taken by Bre Pettis’s kite aerial photography rig. Bre, Adam, and Zach of Makerbot Industries tried a few times to get that beautiful ram-air kite up, too bad I wasn’t there to see it snapping away.
Eric of Hackerbot also had a few kites of his own that he let us play with. As for myself, I lost my tiny solar hot air balloon on it’s first run- it gets WAY more lift in dry air than in muggy Brooklyn- the spool just lept out of my hands.
Still, I did my best to plug solar balloons, especially the Yahoo Solar Balloons Group and Robert Rochte and his class at Gross Pointe Academy doing long distance solar-heated missions.
Then of course there were the dust storms which brought a pair of flying pants, several airborne tents, and at least one dome.