Yost, Ed (Paul Edward Yost), 1919–2007, American balloonist, b. Bristow, Iowa, grad. Boeing School of Aeronautics, 1940. The father of modern hot-air ballooning, Yost pioneered the used of propane (instead of hydrogen) to heat the air inside a hot-air balloon. After years of working with balloons for the U.S. army and navy and private industry, he made the first propane-powered hot-air balloon flight in 1960, suspended from a 40-ft (12-m) balloon in a chair with propane tanks attached. His company, Raven Industries, subsequently manufactured balloons and balloon equipment. Yost and Don Piccard became (1963) the first persons to traverse the English Channel by balloon. In 1976 he attempted to solo across the Atlantic by balloon and flew 2,740 mi (4,410 km) before landing in the sea between the Azores and Portugal.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Sports: Biographies