On March 1, 2016 PBS – American Experience broadcast a film detailing the early, pre-Mercury, high altitude test flights. These flights were done with large balloons carrying diverse payloads. We are linking to some of the reference material(s) here on our website. We hope that you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed them.
Fleming Field History and Balloons Over the decade of 1950 and 1960 that airport was the main launch center for Winzen Research Inc. One of the most important companies devoted to the construction and operation of stratospheric balloons. The proximity to their headquarters in Minneapolis, made the ideal place for testing of new balloon models, as well as for technological flights and a number of scientific experiments.
In 1957, Fleming Field was the site chosen to launch the first manned flight of the MANHIGH program of the Air Force, commanded by Lieutenant Joseph Kittinger. According to our records the latest balloons flights from there dating from the mid 60’s.
Pacheco, L. E. (n.d.). Stratospheric balloon launch bases and sites – Fleming Field Airport. Retrieved March 02, 2016, from http://stratocat.com.ar/bases/23e.htm