Félix Peaucou tells about the circumstances in which he set the French record of altitude : "Toul marked the most active and brilliant era for the French military kites. It is thus in the region of Toul, that the French record of altitude has been reached during my ascension to 650m on April 17th, 1914 at Villey-Saint-Etienne, located 25 km from Toul.
The new day is announced by the rise of a strong wind. The winch is firmy anchored to the ground and the pilot kite is sent into the clear sky, without clouds.

Successively, four elements are shuttled and reach the pilot kite, forming a five kite train.

Shuttle kites and the nacelle, with its rig, are brought behind the winch; I already have the camera in my hands; the teams occupy their station beside the control ropes; everything is ready for the ascension.

Lieutenant Cholley ordered me to climb in the gondola. The wind took me quickly away from the winch and the ground. I heard with pleasure the regular noise of the metal suspension's bearings rolling on the carrier cable, as well as the wind whistling around the rigs. I felt surrounded by that powerful flow that was taking me increasingly far away from the ground.

Things became smaller at a vertiginous rate and I could now discover the bottom of the entire valley, the Moselle, with all its curves and, as far as one can see, the hills, the forests and everything they were hiding : military installations, forts, etc… I never got the chance to make such a brilliant ascension; so regular, so fast and so high.

I was fully aware of that. I was so involved in my own dream, feeling such happiness inside, that I didn't even think of looking at the recording barometer that was fixed outside the gondola.
I had to keep my arms wrapped around the suspension lines of the gondola in order to secure myself inside, since I was holding the camera, that was fairly heavy, outside the nacelle with my arms straight forward. My hands were therefore busy and I had to wait like this for the second of calm that allowed me to press the button.
Soon, I heard the sound of the bearings (rollers) again, but they were rolling in the opposite direction and I realized that the lieutenant asked that I be brought back to the ground.

On the ground, I saw smiling faces. My friend Donzella rushed towards the barometer and yelled ; " 650 meters ! It is the French kite ascension altitude record ! You beat the record my dear friend Peaucou!"

I had just jumped out of the nacelle and was trying to stand straight on the ground ; I felt like I was walking on cotton and was drunk. I was, some said, very pale.

The ascension had last forty-five minutes; time during which I have been continuously balanced and jerked in all directions. This pitching and rolling motion got to my stomach a little bit. I wished only one thing though : make it again.

[...] Just imagine, this tiny basket, barely reaching belt height, hanging under a steel thread just the size of a notebook pencil.

Just imagine it at a height exceeding twice the height of Eiffel tower
We didn't quite realize it from the nacelle, but it is from down there that the effect was the most impressive, when it was nothing but a tiny dot lost in the sky, with the white dots of the kites a little to the side and even higher. In conclusion, I had the joy to see the satisfactory result of my shots. Despite the instability of my position up there it was a complete success and I was congratulated.