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The Gordon BENNETT Cup

The Gordon BENNETT Cup is the oldest and most prestigious aviation competition in the world

Photo d'Angélique Quantin
Photographie par Angélique Quantin

It brings together the world’s best gas balloonists, who compete with each other on a simple principle:  each team launches from the same location with the same quantity of gas.  The team whose balloon lands furthest from the starting point after an average of 3-4 days of uninterrupted flight wins.

The first edition of the balloon competition, launched in 1906, was held in front of 200,000 spectators at the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris.  The competitors launch to their national anthem at intervals of a few minutes.  Up to three teams per country can take part.

Today, the Gordon BENNETT Cup benefits greatly from the fact that everyone on the internet can access the position, altitude and speed of all participating balloons in near real time. As a result, the Gordon Bennett fan community has grown rapidly.  In 2016, the Cup was followed in 152,000 web sessions.

Since then, the media presence has also been strongly increasing.  In 2017, Gordon Bennett appeared on TV channels in 580 hours and 13,000 news reports in 50 countries. (Source: FAI).