Bristol Belle launches from Ark Royal


Terry Adams has enjoyed an illustrious career in ballooning but before that he was a dashing young Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and surely his most memorable flight was in G-AVTL Bristol Belle from the deck of the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal on 29 November 1970.

The story is told in Trailrope #129 (Winter 2022)  but after several false starts Adams ‘commanded’ the carrier to steam towards the island from the west and after a tricky launch he successfully landed on Malta – the first ever balloon to do so.

After a drop of champagne, Terry cadged a lift to the Post Office and franked 4,000 flight covers , one of which is safely stored in the museum library.

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