The Royal Australian Air Force launched a new hot air balloon today, linking the oldest and newest forms of aviation through its distinctive design.
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies unveiled the new helmet-shaped hot air balloon in Canberra today, saying it was reflective of Air Force’s evolution into the 21st century.
“For more than 25 years, the Air Force Balloon has travelled throughout Australia, inspiring an interest in aviation among young people, and promoting the professionalism of the Air Force and its personnel,” Air Marshal Davies said.
“While hot air balloons are one of the oldest forms of aviation, they still attract a huge amount of interest from the general public and schools and pique a fundamental interest in science and technology.
“With the replacement of the old balloon, there was an opportunity to create a new, custom, modern design to inspire a new generation of Australians to learn about aviation and their Air Force.
“Designed and manufactured by UK-based company Cameron Balloons, the balloon required an impressive 1574 panels to create the Air Force fighter pilot helmet shape, complete with visor, oxygen mask and oxygen hose,” Air Marshal Davies said.
The new Air Force Balloon will make its public debut at the Canberra Balloon Spectacular tomorrow, on the lawns of Old Parliament House.
In the next few months, the Air Force Balloon plans to visit the Illawarra region and the Gold Coast.
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