Cameron Balloons History
In 1967 aeronautical engineer Don Cameron and some of his friends built and flew the “Bristol Belle”, the first modern hot-air balloon in Western Europe. He then founded
In 1972 the company built the world’s first hot-air airship. In the same year, it built the world’s largest hot air balloon (140,000 cu.ft) which was used to make the first hot-air balloon crossing of the Swiss Alps.
In 1975 the company again built the world’s largest hot-air balloon (500,000 cu.ft) sponsored by Heineken. It had a two-storey basket and carried 30 people. Don Cameron used this to make a record-breaking flight across the English Channel, which was honoured by an award of the Harmon Trophy, presented in the White House, Washington.
In 1977 the first special-shape hot-air balloon was produced by
In 1978, Don Cameron, with Christopher Davey attempted the first crossing of the Atlantic by balloon using a combination hot-air and gas balloon. They flew for four days and unfortunately came down only 100 miles short of the coast of France. But the development of the combination balloon was to have very productive consequences.
The business continued to grow rapidly during the 1980s and, in 1989, the company was awarded the Queen’s Award for export. Throughout its history
In 1990, the combination helium and hot-air balloon was used for the first (and only) balloon flight from England to the Soviet Union and in 1992 the same design was used for five balloons which competed in the first Transatlantic Balloon Race.
In 1999, the Breitling Orbiter, built by
Two years later, Steve Fossett made the first solo balloon flight around the world using a similar Cameron balloon. Cameron Balloons hold the records for the longest duration and the longest distance flown by any aircraft in the earth’s atmosphere.
In 2005 Vijaypat Singhania, aged 67 at the time, gained the world altitude record of 70000 feet for hot-air balloons for India in a specially designed Cameron balloon. This remains the world record for altitude.
These technical challenges have given the