Our Balloon for Private Flights
With room enough for just the pilot and up to four passengers, this traditional balloon is classified as a Firefly Ax-8B, 90,000 cubic feet. Commonly used for private flights, it is not wheelchair accessible. For a donation of $900 you can have a private flight for 4 persons up to 700 lbs total.
Our One Person “Cloudhopper”
This unique system was once described as looking like a space age jetpack with an aluminum lawn chair attached! It is actually a fairly accurate description. The Cloudhopper features an aluminum framed seat with a fuel tank that straps on the pilot’s back similar to a backpack. The 30,000 cubic feet (850 cubic meters) envelope attaches to the frame. The pilot stands up with the seat, fuel tank and inflated envelope attached. As the burner further heats the air, the envelope rises and the suspended pilot enjoys the flight with his feet dangling in the air! We utilize this only as an interesting display piece. Sorry – no rides!
Our Walk-In Balloon (named Jitterbug)
Using a “retired” envelope that is no longer certified as air-worthy, we inflate it horizontally (lying on its side) using only ambient (unheated) air forced in by fans. A custom developed metal frame keeps the throat (or opening) of the envelope in place allowing people to actually walk inside the inflated envelope. The wide entrance allows easy wheelchair access. It is surprisingly spacious inside and can accommodate large groups. It is a rare experience to see a hot air balloon from the inside out and it can create a real attention getter for your event or function.
The Walk-In Balloon
- Can be set up either inside or outside, dependent on space.
- Can be safely used in areas that prohibit use of an open flame, since no heat or propane is used in the inflation, just a powerful fan.
- Can be kept inflated for an extended period of time, dependent on wind and weather.
- Can be used day or night and can have lights set up inside, if desired.
- Can be set up a screen inside to show slides, a PowerPoint presentation, movies, etc. (Note: the fans are loud and make it difficult to hear a soundtrack, although loud speaking voices can be heard.)
- Can hold as many as 100 people at a time.
Our Restored Raven Basket
For a period of time in the 60’s, some manufacturers experimented with making balloon baskets out of the latest state of the art materials. We have an example of those efforts in our restored 1969 Raven Basket made of aluminum and fiberglass. What these rule breakers discovered was that new is not always better. Traditional wicker baskets can absorb much more impact and therefore are much more resistant to damage than rigid materials like aluminum. We use this basket to display a piece in the history of ballooning.
Our Triangular Basket
Another display we have available is a traditional wicker triangular shaped basket made by BalloonWorks. This one is an ideal size for flying a pilot and one or two passengers. We often taken this relatively compact basket into classrooms and have also exhibited it as a part of our Balloon Education Booth. People are welcome to climb inside. It is a popular spot for photo taking.