We’re certainly not averse to sharing a few snippets of ballooning history here at Virgin Balloon Flights HQ. You’ll be pleased to know that today is no exception.

To complement our series of posts on ‘ballooning firsts’, today we’re investigating Britain’s first modern hot air balloon.

Affectionately named The Bristol Belle, Britain’s first modern hot air balloon was developed by four members of the Bristol Gliding Club.

Bill Malpas, Mark Westwood, Giles Bulmer (of cider making fame) and Don Cameron finished the balloon in 1967.

Not one of the four creators knew how to fly. Gerry Turnbull from RAF Weston-on-the Green was called upon to impart his piloting knowledge.

After a few failed attempts at inflation, thanks to the appearance of three distinct tears, Westwood and Cameron began to correct the design.

On 9th July 1967 the Bristol Belle made its flying debut from RAF Weston-on-the-Green.

Spurred on by his passion for ballooning, Don Cameron went ahead and set up his own ballooning business in Bristol in 1971.

Cameron Balloons is the largest hot air balloon manufacturer in the world today. From creation to aviation, Cameron Balloons are reliable experts on all things aviation.

So there we have it, a little potted history on modern ballooning in Britain.

If you want to follow in the footsteps of these pioneering aviators, why not call 01952 212750 or visit www.virginballoonflights.co.uk to book your flight today.