Don Piccard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Don Piccard

Donald Louis Piccard (born 1926) is an American balloonist.

The son of Jean Felix Piccard and Jeannette Piccard, Don Piccard first flew in a balloon in 1933, when he was enlisted as "crew" by his mother, the first woman to fly to the edge of space. He served as a balloon and airship rigger in the U. S. Navy during World War II.

He was one of the driving forces behind the hot-air ballooning revival after the war while a student at the University of Minnesota. He made the first post-war free flight in 1947 with a captured Japanese balloon.[1] In 1948, he organized the first balloon club in the United States, the Balloon Club of America. This club, along with the Balloon Flyers of Akron, formed the Balloon Federation of America, today the national organization for ballooning.

He pioneered plastic and Mylar balloons. In 1962, he set a new altitude record for a second-class free flight balloon, climbing to 17,000 feet.[2] On 13 April 1963, he and Ed Yost were the first people to cross the English Channel in a hot air balloon.[3] He also promoted ballooning as a sport and designed balloons to that end, through his company Piccard Balloons.

He appeared as a "Mr. X" guest on "What's My Line" on September 1, 1963.

Piccard Family[edit]


  1. ^ Gettysburg Times. "Don Piccard To Try Balloon Ascension". September 13, 1947, p. 3. Retrieved on May 29, 2013.
  2. ^ Associated Press. "Piccard Takes Off Into The Blue: Balloonist Shatters Record". Sarasota Herald-Tribune, August 26, 1962, p. 4. Retrieved on May 29, 2013.
  3. ^ Associated Press. "Record Balloon Flight Made By Americans". Gadsden Times, April 14, 1963, p. 1. Retrieved on May 29, 2013.

External links[edit]