Media Release – First viewing of next generation Air Force Balloon – 11 March 2016

11 March 2016 | Media Release

The Royal Australian Air Force launched a new cutting-edge hot air balloon, linking the oldest and newest forms of aviation in a distinctive design, reflective of Air Force’s evolution into the 21st century.
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies AO, CSC, unveiled the new and striking helmet shaped hot air balloon in Canberra today.
“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 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.

Media note: 
Images of the Air Force Balloon are available at
Vision will be fed to the Canberra Press Gallery at Parliament House later today.
Media Contact:
FLTLT Kellee Rollston 0477 377 517
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999

Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946

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