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Bristol manufacturer builds solar powered hot air balloon

16/07/2015 Jo Bailey Balloon Ride Innovation

In a city known for its innovations in the hot air balloon industry, one Bristol based balloon company is set to make history with its new balloon.

The Cameron Balloons factory, which is located in Bedminster, has produced the first ever solar-powered hot air balloon.

The company who are famous for their novelty balloons, including one giant balloon in the image of Darth Vader, have been researching the technology to make solar-powered hot air balloons a reality for years. They have recently announced that their research has reached the stage where their dream has become a wonderful reality.

The balloon manufacturer has recently revealed that they will have used 1,600 square metres of polyurethane-coated nylon to create the balloon’s panels.

Speaking to The Bristol Post ahead of the balloon’s creation Nick Purvis from Cameron Balloons said:

“We’ve finished an intense period of testing the model and we’re now in a position to start production of the full-size hot air balloon. The concept for the design is relatively basic but hasn’t been done on this scale before, so in order to get to this stage we’ve had to try different fabrics, techniques and ways of adjusting the heat inside the balloon so we can create a certified aircraft that has longevity and isn’t just used experimentally.”

The balloon that is fitted with a backup propane burner as well as solar technology will make its first flight at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta in August; with the popularity of hot air balloon rides in Bristol rising, this innovation will be yet another attraction to enthusiasts.

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