Roziere Balloons

This page is a list of Roziere balloons as used on recent record-breaking and long distance flights.
Partial lists of other types of balloons are also included.


Balloon Categories

Balloons come into four categories, defined by the F.A.I. (Federation Aeronautique Internationale):


Roziere Balloons

Roziere balloons use a combination of helium and hot air. Below the spherical helium gas cell is a conical sleeve where air can be heated by burners in the same way as a normal hot air balloon. By varying the hot air temperature, altitude can be maintained without having to release helium or to drop ballast. The burners are principally used to compensate for the lack of solar heating at night.

The hybrid principle was devised by Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier for use in an attempt to cross the English Channel on 15 Jun 1785. Unfortunately the combination of hydrogen and a naked flame used to heat the lower portion of the balloon was disastrous, and de Rozier and his passenger P A de Romain were killed when the balloon caught fire.

Cameron balloon types are prefixed R- followed by the helium capacity in thousands of cubic feet. Lindstrand balloons use either the F.A.I. prefix AM followed by the capacity in cubic metres, or in thousands of cubic feet with an 'M' suffix.

Registration Details
F-HCGF Cameron R-77 "Generali Arctic Observer"
Jean-Louis Etienne flew 1,931 miles across the Arctic Ocean from Longyearbyen, Svalbard to Sakha, Siberia 5-10 April 2010
G-BIAZ Cameron AT-165 "Zanussi"
Transatlantic attempt by Don Cameron & Christopher Davey from St.John's, Newfoundland 26 July 78; covered 1,780 miles but due to a small tear developing in the helium cell, ditched in the Bay of Biscay, 30 July 78.
Balloon later flown using hot air only.
G-BICI Cameron R-833 "ICI Innovation"
For a proposed world flight by Don Cameron, Peter Bohanna, Julian Nott and Leo Dickinson in 1980. The attempt was cancelled.
G-BLIO Cameron R-42
Preserved by the British Balloon Museum & Library
G-BNXK Nott / Cameron / Airship Industries ULD-3 "Explorer"
Julian Nott, 1987. Not flown.
G-BRGU Cameron R-60 "Doctus"
Don Cameron & Gennadi Oparin. First UK - USSR balloon flight 1-3 Oct 1990 - landed at Ledurga, Latvia
Renamed "La Ciudad de Helva"
Atlantic crossing by two Spaniards, Thomas Feliu and Jesus Gonzales Green from Hierro in the Canary Islands to Maturin, Venezuela, 8-14 Feb 92. (First East-West Atlantic flight)
G-BUFA Cameron R-77 "Chrysler 1"
G-BUFB Cameron R-77 "Chrysler 2"
G-BUFC Cameron R-77 "Chrysler 3"
G-BUFD Cameron R-77 "Chrysler 4"
G-BUFE Cameron R-77 "Chrysler 5"

The above five were for a transatlantic balloon race from Bangor, Maine 16 Sep 92.
"Chrysler 1", Wim Verstraeten & Bertrand Piccard, landed Peque, Spain 21 Sep 92;
"Chrysler 2", Erich Krafft & Jochen Maas, ditched south of Greenland 19 Sep 92.
"Chrysler 3", Don Cameron & Rob Bayly, landed Figueira da Foz, Portugal 21 Sep 92;
"Chrysler 4", Evert Louwman & Gerhard Hoogeslag, ditched off Lands End, England 21 Sep 92;
"Chrysler 5", Troy Bradley & Richard Abruzzo, landed at Sidi Amar El Kadmiri, near Casablanca, Morocco 22 Sep 92.
G-BVJO Cameron R-77 "Peregrine"
Steve Fossett & Tim Cole for transatlantic flight. Launched from St.John's, Newfoundland 18 Aug 94; landed near Hamburg, Germany 22 Aug 94.
Envelope sold to Ed Heltshe "Tranquil Voyager"
Bruce Comstock & Ed Heltshe; Flew from Aspen, Colorado to Altoona, Pennsylvania, 6 - 9 Oct 95.
Bruce Comstock and Steve Fossett flew 425 miles from Erie, Colorado to Carlton, Kansas 22 Sep 96, testing Steve Fossett's capsule for "Solo Spirit".
G-BVOG Cameron R-9
Günter Schabus of Austria reached an altitude of 5,816m in a flight from Semley, England on 13 Oct 94.
G-BVUO Cameron R-150 "Pacific Peregrine"
Steve Fossett; Pacific crossing from Seoul, South Korea 18 Feb 95; landed near Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada 21 Feb 95
G-BWCJ Lindstrand LBL-14M
G-BWEO Lindstrand LBL-14M (AM-400) "Virgin"
G-BWEP Lindstrand LBL-77M (AM-2200)
Per Lindstrand achieved a record altitude of 10,589m flying from Reno, Nevada 25 Nov 96.
G-BWER Lindstrand LBL-14M (AM-400) "Virgin"
(The above four were used for testing during development of "Global Challenger")
G-BWJD Cameron R-200 "Solo Challenger"
Steve Fossett, for World attempt from the Stratobowl, Rapid City, South Dakota 8 Jan 96 ; landed near the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick 10 Jan 96
G-BWVD Cameron R-210 "Solo Spirit"
Steve Fossett, for World attempt from Busch Stadium, St.Louis, USA 14 Jan 97; wrecked on landing, Sultanpur, near Calcutta, India 20 Jan 97 - covered 10,360 miles (16,673km).
G-BWVJ Cameron R-450 "Breitling Orbiter"
Bertrand Piccard & Wim Verstraeten. World attempt from Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland 12 Jan 97; ditched in the Mediterranean off La Grande Motte, S.France 12 Jan 97 after kerosene started leaking inside the crew capsule.
G-BXDX Lindstrand LBL-77M
ICO colours. Rebuilt as G-BYRZ
G-BXEP Lindstrand LBL-14M
Flown by Janet Folkes from Reno, Nevada 4 Nov 98; reached a height of 6,866m and a distance of 69.7km
G-BXGK Lindstrand LBL-203M
(The above three were used for testing during development of "Global Challenger")
G-BXIU Cameron R-270 "Solo Spirit"
Steve Fossett, for World attempt from St.Louis, USA 31 Dec 97; landed near Krasnodar, southern Russia 5 Jan 98
G-BYRZ

[ex- G-BXDX]
Lindstrand LBL-77M "Conseil Régional de Lorraine"
Transatlantic flight by Laurent Lajoye and Christophe Houver of France. Launched from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada 30 Aug 2000; landed at Saon, near Bayeux, France 5 Sep 2000. Set a duration record 146 hours and 49 minutes.
G-BYZX Cameron R-90 "Britannic Challenge"
David Hempleman-Adams, for a flight from Spitsbergen to the North Pole and back in an open basket, launched 28 May 2000, flew over the North Pole 1 Jun; landed back at Spitsbergen 3 Jun 2000.
New name: "Chase de Vere Atlantic Challenger" Launched from a site near Pittsburgh, Ohio 24 Sep 2002 for a planned transatlantic flight in an open basket; attempt abandoned due to autopilot failure and landed near Hartford, Connecticut 25 Sep 2002.
Attempt resumed with new sponsors as the "Bank of Ireland/Special Olympics Atlantic Challenger" - launched from Pittsburgh, Ohio 27 Jun 2003. Flight abandoned due to unfavourable winds and landed near Hardwick, Massachussetts 29 Jun 2003.
Successful transatlantic flight launched from New Brunswick 26 Sep 2003; landed at Hambleton, near Blackpool, England 29 Sep 2003.
On 23 March 2004 David Hempleman-Adams reached a height of 12,557m.
G-CICI Cameron R-15
A miniature version of G-BICI, flown at Longmont, Colorado 25 Nov 80; used for development flying;
On 9 Mar 85 Jacques Soukup and Don Cameron achieved a duration of 6 hours 30 minutes and a distance of 155 km
G-CWCW Cameron R-900 "Cable & Wireless"
Andy Elson & Colin Prescot; World attempt from Almeria, Spain 17 Feb 99; ditched 50 miles off Japan 7 Mar 99.
G-GLBL Lindstrand AM.32000 "Virgin Global Challenger"
Richard Branson, Per Lindstrand & Alex Ritchie. World attempt from Marrakech, Morocco 7 Jan 97; landed after 19 hours near Brazina, Algeria 8 Jan 97. Capsule recovered; envelope scrapped.
Envelope blown away during inflation at Marrakech 9 Dec 97, landed beyond repair in Algeria.
Replaced by a new envelope with the same registration, first test-inflated 17 Jan 98.
Renamed "ICO Global Challenger"
Richard Branson, Per Lindstrand & Steve Fossett; World attempt from Marrakech, Morocco 18 Dec 98; Ditched off Hawaii 25 Dec 98
G-JNEE Cameron R-420 "J-Renée"
Kevin Uliassi; World attempt from Rockford, Illinois 31 Dec 97. Wrecked on landing near Starke City, Indiana (10m SE of Chicago) (Forced landed after three hours when the helium cell ruptured)
G-ORTW Lindstrand AM.25000 "Virgin Global Challenger"
Richard Branson, Per Lindstrand, for proposed round-the-world flight from Marrakech, Morocco in early 1996; cancelled due to the weather and problems with the balloon envelope. Replaced by G-GLBL.
G-ROZY Cameron R-36
Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum. (Flown 113km by Hans Akerstedt & Jan Balkedal in the 37th Gordon Bennett Race from Albuquerque, New Mexico 4 Oct 93.)
G-RTWI Cameron R-550 "Spirit of Peace"
Jacques Soukup, Mark Sullivan & Crispin Williams for world attempt from Albuquerque, New Mexico Jan 99; cancelled due to Chinese airspace problems. (The envelope was later used for Steve Fossett's fourth "Solo Spirit".)
G-SPRT Cameron R-450 "Solo Spirit"
Steve Fossett for World attempt from Mendoza, Argentina 7 Aug 98. Caught in a thunderstorm and forced down; ditched in the Coral Sea near the Chesterfield Islands 16 Aug 98
G-WRLD Cameron R-15
HB-BRA

[ex- G-BXZR]
Cameron R-650 "Breitling Orbiter 3"
Bertrand Piccard & Brian Jones; Took off from Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland 1 Mar 99; landed near Dakhla Oasis, Egypt 21 Mar 99 - first round-the-world flight.
HB-QBV

[ex- G-BXFM]
Cameron R-500 "Breitling Orbiter 2"
Bertrand Piccard, Wim Verstraeten & Andy Elson. Took off, Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland 28 Jan 98; landed, Sitkwin Minhla, Burma, 75m from Rangoon 6 Feb 98
N9VS Semco GAS-4 "Odyssey"
Transatlantic attempt by Bob Sparks and Haddon Wood. Launched 28 Sep 75; ditched off Cape Cod after 25 miles.
N277SF

[ex- G-RTWI]
Cameron R-550 "Solo Spirit"
Steve Fossett, for World attempt from Northam, Western Australia 5 Aug 2001. Landed near Bage, Brazil 17 Aug 2001.
New name "Bud Light Spirit of Freedom" for successful solo round-the-world flight from Northam, WA 18 Jun 2002. Landed near Durham Downs, Queensland, Australia 4 Jul 2002
N298AR

[ex- G-BXKG]
Cameron R-420 "Global Hilton"
Dick Rutan & Dave Melton for World attempt from Albuquerque, New Mexico 9 Jan 98, Helium cell ruptured soon after take-off; crew bailed out; balloon continued on and finally landed near Gainesville, Texas 9 Jan 98.
N761JR

[ex- G-RNEE]
Cameron R-420 "J-Renée"
Kevin Uliassi for world attempt, initially scheduled for Jan 99 but postponed. Launched from Loves Park, Rockford, Illinois 22 Feb 2000; landed, Nyaungu, Pega Yoma, Burma 3 Mar 2000. (Named after Uliassi's wife Renée)
N2079 Semco "Free Life"
Malcolm Brighton, Rodney Anderson & Pamela Brown; Transatlantic attempt from East Hampton, New York 20 Sep 70. Lost off Newfoundland 21 Sep 70; no trace of crew or balloon.
N4914M Saum HGB-14
AM-2 balloon designed and built by Nick Saum in 1984. Saum set 24 world records in this balloon in 1984. Flew 551km from Burlington, Colorado to El Rino, Oklahoma 9 Nov 90; reached an altitude of 5,136m in a flight from Burlington, Colorado 12 Jan 91
N6174V Pandammonia Gas-08
Troy Bradley; flown from Amarillo, Texas to Cimarron, Kansas 3 Feb 94; flown to an altitude of 5,530m from Albuquerque, NM 15 Jun 94; flew 568km from Ozark, Missouri to Spring Hill, Tennessee 22 Oct 99
PH-EIS Cameron R-225 "Dutch Viking"
Henk Brink, Evilien Brink & Willem Hageman for transatlantic flight. Took off, St.John's, Newfoundland 31 Aug 86; landed, Almere, Netherlands 2 Sep 86. (The first successful Atlantic crossing in a Roziere)
PH-LMD Cameron R-225 "Flying Dutchman"
Henk Brink, Evilien Brink & Evert Louwman for transatlantic attempt. Launched 25 Aug 85; ditched in mid-Atlantic 26 Aug 85
PH-UNICEF Cameron R-706 "Unicef Flyer"
Henk Brink & Willem Hageman, for proposed round-the-world flight from Nijmegen in 1996. Test inflated in the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida Sep 95; project suspended following the bankruptcy of sponsor Fokker.
VH-DSE Cameron R-77 "Australian Geographic Flyer"
Dick Smith & John Wallington; flew across Australia from Carnarvon to Tabulam, 16-18 Jun 93.
Renamed "Australian Solo"
Stephen Griffin; flew across Australia from Carnarvon, WA to Clermont, Queensland, landed 8 Jun 94.
Renamed "Australian Geographic Flyer"
Dick Smith & John Wallington; flew across the Tasman Sea from Kaitaia, North Island, New Zealand to Iluka, NSW, Australia, 22 - 24 Feb 2000.
Gondola on display at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
VH-KCA Kavanagh Conqueror AM-90 "Australian Maid"
Phil Kavanagh & Brian Smith. Flew across Australia from Carnarvon, WA to Windorah, Queensland in 40 hours, 2-3 Jun 93
? Semco "Yankee Zephyr"
Bob Sparks, launched from Bar Harbor, Maine 7 Aug 73; forced down by a storm in the Atlantic after 850 miles, 8 Aug 73.
? Semco "Spirit of 76"
Karl Thomas, for Atlantic attempt from Lakehurst, New Jersey 25 Jun 76; forced down by a thunderstorm 350 miles NE of Bermuda 27 Jun 76.


Gas Balloons

The first hydrogen balloon was developed by Professor Jacques Charles and flown from Paris on 1 Dec 1783. The same basic design was popular right up to the 1970s, when the type was made largely obsolete by the modern hot air balloon, which is much cheaper and quicker to inflate. The gas balloon still sees limited use, due to its longer duration.

The following is a partial list of balloons used for transocean and transcontinental flights:

Registration Details
G-APOBR.F.D. "The Small World"
Arnold Eiloart, Timothy Eiloart, Colin Mudie & Rosemary Mudie; Attempted to cross the Atlantic east to west from Tenerife, Canary Isles 12 Dec 58; Ditched after 1,200 miles 15 Dec 58; the gondola was sailed on to Barbados.
? ? "Maple Leaf"
Atlantic attempt by Mark Winters & Jerry Kostur; ditched off Nova Scotia 10 Aug 68.
N76SMBerger One "Spirit of Man"
Atlantic attempt by Bob Berger; Pilot killed after the balloon burst over the sea off Bayville, NJ soon after take-off, 6 Aug 74.
N9289ZYost GB-47 "Silver Fox"
Ed Yost; Atlantic attempt from Milbridge, Maine 6 Oct 76; ditched east of the Azores 10 Oct 76 after 2,475 miles (3,983km).
N50DEYost HB-72 "Double Eagle"
Maxie Anderson & Ben Abruzzo; Atlantic crossing attempt from Marshfield 9 Sep 77; ditched off Iceland 12 Sep 77. Covered 2,950 miles.
? Yost "Eagle"
Dewey Reinhard and Charles Stephenson; launched from Bar Harbor, Maine 10 Oct 77; ditched in a storm in the Atlantic after 200 miles, 12 Oct 77.
N50DEYost "Double Eagle II"
Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman. First Atlantic crossing, Presque Isle, Maine 11 Aug 78, to Miserey, France, landed 17 Aug 78. Balloon preserved in the National Air & Space Museum, Washington
N80KH Raven "Kitty Hawk"
Maxie Anderson and Kris Anderson; flew from Fort Baker, California to Ste Felicite, Quebec 8-12 May 80. First North American transcontinental flight.
Renamed "Jules Verne"
Maxie Anderson and Don Ida; Round the world attempt from Luxor, Egypt 12 Feb 81; landed after 2,676 miles at Hansa, India.
Continued the attempt from India 20 Dec 81; travelled 20 miles.
Flew 1,162 miles from Rapid City, S.Dakota to Midland, Ontario 7 Nov 82.
? Raven "Super Chicken III"
John Shoecraft & Fred Gorrell; flew from Costa Mesa, California to Blackbeard Island, Georgia 9-11 Oct 81. First coast-to-coast US flight.
N4003ARaven NO5ST-15/15/15T-0400 "Double Eagle V"
Ben Abruzzo, Larry Newman, Rocky Aoki and Ron Clark; first Pacific crossing, launched from Nagashima, Japan 10 Nov 81; landed, Covelo, California 13 Nov 81
? ? "San Francisco"
Flown by Maxie Anderson and Kris Anderson, made a 3,100 mile flight, landing near Matane, Quebec after four days 12 May 80
N53NYYost GB-55 "Rosie O'Grady"
Joe Kittinger; flew from Caribou, Maine to Montenotte, Italy 15-18 Sep 84; first solo Atlantic crossing by balloon.
N92LN; later
N92VH;
N93VH;
N1994H
Raven "Earthwinds"
- used a helium balloon, plus a second anchor balloon filled with pressurised air suspended below the gondola.
Two-thirds scale version test flown from Tillamook, Oregon1 Nov 90.
"Virgin Earthwinds"
Launch attempt from Akron, Ohio 21 Feb 92 scrubbed due to wind.
Larry Newman; Vladimir Dzhanibehov & Don Moses; World attempt from Reno, Nevada 12 Jan 93; failed after 12 miles when the ballast balloon was torn on a mountain peak.
Renamed: "Earthwinds Hilton"
Launch attempt from Reno, Nevada 5 Nov 94; balloon wrecked during inflation.
Larry Newman, Richard Abruzzo, Dave Melton & Vladimir Dzhanibehov; Launched from Reno, Nevada 1 Dec 94; flew 200 miles to Fresno, California.
Larry Newman, Dave Melton & Kerry Bartlett: from Reno, Nevada 31 Dec 94; the anchor balloon ruptured after 70 miles.
N66050Padelt G-37 "Toshiba Transatlantic Challenge"
David Hempleman-Adams; Solo Atlantic crossing in helium balloon; Launched from St. John’s, Newfoundland 3 Jul 2007;
Landed near Nolay, France 6 Jul 07


Superpressure Balloons

Normal gas balloons are built to automatically vent gas when pressure builds up beyond a certain level, thus limiting their range. The superpressure balloon has a strong, non-elastic envelope of Mylar or Kevlar, with a special coating which minimises the effect of the sun's heating. This maintains (as far as possible) a constant volume of helium, which enables it to fly long distances at a constant altitude.

All known manned Superpressure balloons are listed below:

Registration Details
N7TG Gatch LH1 "Light Heart"
Cluster of ten balloons, used by Thomas Gatch for attempted Atlantic crossing from Harrisburg, 18 Feb 74; lost without trace near the Azores 21 Feb 1974.
N20AP Raven "Windborne"
Malcolm Forbes and Tom Heinsheimer for attempted Atlantic crossing, 6 Jan 75. Attempted to launch from California, the balloon cluster was cut away before take-off when high winds began dragging the combination along the ground before they were ready.
N200LA ATMOSAT AS-5 "America"
(Atmospheric Satellite). First flown in 1976; Used for scientific flights, investigating air quality in Southern California, mostly flown by Tom Heinsheimer. Last flown in California in May 1984 by Roger Barker, establishing records in the F.A.I. AS-4 category.
G-BLHF Nott-Cameron NC ULD-1 "Endeavour"
Flown by Julian Nott and Spider Anderson in Australia, 20-22 Nov 84. Achieved a distance of 1,486 miles and a height of 17,767 ft in a flight from Perth to Broken Hill.
? Pacific crossing attempt by Fumio Niwa from Yokohama, Japan; ditched 1,500 miles SE of Japan 19 Feb 89
? Pacific crossing attempt by Fumio Niwa from Japan; pilot died of hypothermia after ditching in the Pacific 10 Jan 91.
G-BYPC Lindstrand AS-2 "Super 2"
Dr Coy Foster, to be used for attempts on F.A.I. records from Plano, Texas. First test flown 8 Jul 2000, flew 138 miles.
Record flight from Plano, Texas to Clinton, Missouri 7-8 Mar 2003: 400 miles.


Hot Air Balloons

Pioneered by the Montgolfier brothers and first flown on 21 Nov 1783, just ten days before the first hydrogen-filled balloon. The hot air balloon was subsequently overshadowed by the gas balloon, and it was not until the 1950s that Ed Yost and Raven Industries turned the concept into a practical proposition, with a propane burner and nylon envelope.

The vast majority of modern balloons use hot air. A few were built for transocean flights:

Registration Details
G-OWWF Colt 2500A "Virgin Pacific Flyer"
Per Lindstrand & Richard Branson; took off from Miyakonojo, Japan 15 Jan 91; landed, Yellowknife, Canada 17 Jan 91. First Pacific crossing by hot air balloon. (Launch originally scheduled for 26 Nov 1989 but the envelope was damaged by frost.)
G-USUK Colt 2500A "Virgin Atlantic Flyer"
Per Lindstrand & Richard Branson; First Atlantic crossing by hot air balloon, from Sugar Loaf Mountain, Maine 2 Jul 87; ditched in the Irish Sea (after briefly touching down near Limavady, Northern Ireland) 3 Jul 87.
G-WASH Cameron N-850 "Zanussi"
For proposed Atlantic crossing from St.Johns, Newfoundland by Don Cameron, 1987; not flown due to inflation problems.


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Page last updated 22 May 2010