Unless you are very familiar with hot air ballooning, you may be surprised to learn that the balloon itself used for hot air balloon flights is actually known as the ‘envelope.’

Not to be confused with the popular letter container, a hot air balloon envelope is a complex construction carefully designed to meet the requirements of the hot air balloon aircraft. Each nylon section that stretches from the base of the envelope to its crown is referred to as a gore and is made up of lots of smaller panels. Actually, balloons are made from the same material as parachutes, nylon, or polyester, which is used for its light, durable, and heat-resistant properties.

Envelopes come in all shapes and sizes: rabbits, octopuses, even a house as featured recently in Disney’s ‘Up’ film, literally any special shape balloon you can imagine.

You can even wear a Virgin Balloon Flights retired envelope that has been given a fresh role in life by sustainability company Worn Again.

Here, you can see a lovely example of one of our balloon envelopes drifting over the lake near our Witherslack launch site.

Virgin Balloon Flights envelopes are supplied by Cameron Balloons.