Our New Bristol Balloon Takes Flight!
Today (7th August), marked the maiden voyage of our new Bristol Balloon at the 37th Annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta!
The UWE Bristol, Visit Bristol and Business West Balloon, with Dom Cameron MBE at the helm, took off from Ashton Court in beautifully clear conditions as part of a mass ascent this morning. Over 250 business people, plus many more visitors, were present to witness the spectacle of over 103 hot air balloons climbing into blue Bristol skies.
Manufactured in Bedminster, South Bristol by Cameron Balloons, the world’s largest hot air balloon manufacturer, the new ‘Bristol Blue’ design for the envelope replaces ‘Bridgit’ the Bristol City Balloon that, after 13 years and nearly 400 hours of good service, was in need of retirement.
The purpose of the recommissioned Bristol Balloon, which is yet to be named, is to promote Bristol as one of the most liveable cities in Europe and the best place to invest study, visit and run a business. It further demonstrates how Business West and UWE Bristol are working closely together.
James Durie, Executive Director – Bristol Chamber & West of England Initiative, part of Business West, said, “We are delighted to be launching this new Bristol Balloon with our partners, UWE Bristol, to help promote the city and region as such a great place for business, visitors and students. We wanted to see this reflected in the new Bristol Balloon which will be a great ambassador for inward investment to the city. It’s great to be able to launch it at the Bristol Fiesta which is such an important event for the city.”
The 2015 Fiesta also bore witness to the debut flight of the world’s first hybrid solar-powered hot air balloon. Where possible, the balloon harnesses solar energy to heat the air inside rather than using a propane burner to provide a more sustainable method of flight.
The solar-powered balloon has been funded by 2015 to mark the city’s status as the UK’s first European Green Capital, an accolade which recognises the city’s environmental efforts and its continued commitment towards making sustainable urban living, mainstream.
With up to 500,000 people visiting Ashton Court over four-days, and more than 100 balloonists taking part from all over the world, the International Bristol Balloon Fiesta is an important part of Bristol’s tourism offer and the event continues to put this city on the map.