Last year, reader Gary K and his wife hosted Vy and I for a few days so we could check out the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. Today, he just sent me this photo from this year’s show of what is now my favorite hot air balloon of all time. After a little research I discovered that this was originally built as a promotional tool for George White Superbikes and it was flown during rounds of the 2010 British Superbike championship.
The George White sponsorship is no longer on the balloon, but it’s still rocking the logos of Yoshimura, Arai, MCN, Pirelli, and because George White sold all of the big 4 Japanese bikes, both Yamaha AND Kawasaki.
The balloon is 138 feet tall, it weighs 1239 pounds, and it has a top speed of 12 miles per hour. According to MCN, it was built over three months and utilizes over 50 miles (!) of thread.
If you’re at all interested in the making of the balloon and/or some footage of it in flight, check out this video released by the company that built it, Lindstrand Balloons.