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Rousson Zeppy
Stephane Rousson's blimp, a crank-driven zeppelin known as Zeppy, is 16-meters-long with a 5-meter diameter, and a maximum speed of 20 kph. The craft's forward momentum and steering come from a pair of 10-foot movable propellers turned by a recumbent bike hanging from the ship's belly and pedalled.
Rousson, a 39-year-old Frenchman, attempted yesterday to cross The English Channel in a pedal-powered airship on 28 September 2008. He was forced to deflate his blimp and continue to France in a boat after a shift in winds made it impossible for him to progress, no matter how hard he pedalled.
"We were about three-quarters of the way across but the wind was flowing in the wrong direction for me to make it across," he said. "I'm not disappointed. I feel happy because it had nothing to do with any technical failure, it was purely the wind that got in the way of this achievement."

The failure is strike two for Rousson, whose June attempt to cross the Channel was also foiled by winds. This time around, he waited more than a week for the right conditions, but was doomed by a light breeze that picked up while he was in flight. "What feels breathlessly still to most people feels like a storm when you're trying to fly a pedal-powered airship," he says.
Rousson's singular focus on flight also seems to be taking over his life. "All of my money has gone into this," he says. I'm in quite a bit of debt." He was also dumped by his girlfriend; presumably he loves his blimp more than he loves her.

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