Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Lifts Off | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 06.27.16

Airborne 06.28.16

Airborne 06.29.16

Airborne 06.30.16

Airborne 07.01.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 06.27.16

Airborne 06.28.16

Airborne 06.29.16

Airborne 06.30.16

Airborne 07.01.16

AEA2016 LIVE Aero-TV: 04/27-0830ET, 04/28-1400ET, 04/29-1100ET

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

Mon, Oct 03, 2005

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Lifts Off

34th Annual Event Features Opening Of Anderson/Abruzzo Ballooning Museum

Clear skies, light winds and the unveiling of a new 60,000 square-foot museum greeted attendees of the opening ceremonies of the 34th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta this weekend.

The Anderson/Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum opened its doors following Saturday's mass ascension with a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring cake, mariachis... and certainly a more-than-ample supply of green chile breakfast burritos.

"I think my father would have thought [the museum] was way more than he ever dreamed it would be," said Richard Abruzzo to the Albuquerque Journal. "Its size, scale, color and dramatics are very reflective of what ballooning is all about, and you don't have to be a balloonist to appreciate it."

Abruzzo, a world-renowned champion balloonist in his own right, is the son of late ballooning legend Ben Abruzzo, for whom the museum is partially named. The senior Abruzzo, along with the late Maxie Anderson, completed the first nonstop Atlantic gas balloon crossing in 1978, along with partner Larry Newman.

The $12 million museum includes artifacts and exhibits tracing the history of hot air and gas ballooning since 1783, as well as a research library. "Balloon history goes back to 1783," Abruzzo said. "So there's more than 200 years of stories of invention, intrigue and tragedy to learn about here."

In all, 700 balloons are expected to participate in this year's Fiesta, down from an all-time high of close to 1000 a few years ago but still more than enough to fill the skies over Albuquerque with enough color and splendor to grab your attention away from the mountain and high-desert vistas surrounding the city.

(And traffic -- morning auto accidents typically increase dramatically during the 10-day fiesta, as people pay less attention to the road to watch the pretty, pretty balloons.)

In typical Fiesta fashion, heavy rains in Albuquerque last week gave way to clear skies and light winds by Saturday morning, ideal conditions to launch a hot-air balloon.

The weather also held through Saturday evening, allowing the twelve gas balloons participating in this year's America's Challenge and 49th Coupe Aeronatique Gordon Bennett gas balloon races to lift off on an all-out trek to see which team could make it the farthest distance from Albuquerque. 

This year's fiesta also marks the return of the Smokey Bear balloon. As was reported in ANN two months ago, the Smokey crew now has a new balloon following last year's accident, when a gust of wind blew the towering bear into a radio transmission tower west of the field. Longtime Smokey Bear Balloon pilot Bill Chapel and two young passengers managed to climb safely down the tower after the accident.

"I'm ready," said Chapel Friday night, talking about Smokey's scheduled return to the skies over Albuquerque the following morning. "I can't wait."

One of the passengers onboard Smokey's flight Saturday was 15-year-old Troy Wells, who was also onboard the Smokey balloon during last year's accident flight. "If you've ever been in a hot-air balloon before, you know how cool it is," said Wells.

FMI: www.aibf.org, www.smokeybearballoon.com

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 06.30.16: 7000th Citation, C Series Order, John Glenn Honored

Also: Solid Rocket Motor Test, OSH16 Coverage!, Ducted Fan, Welsh Farewell, Blue Origin, Boeing-Farnborough, European TBM 930 Cessna has delivered the first fractional Cessna Citat>[...]

Airborne 06.29.16: SWA Delays Max, McConnell OKs B29-Doc, AAL Trashes Cameras

Also: Flytenow V Supreme Ct, Electric eSpyder, F-35 Adir, IL AirShow, NJ AvTax, FAI Young Artist, Unregistered Airplane To survive in the airline business it is sometimes necessary>[...]

Airborne 06.30.16: 7000th Citation, C Series Order, John Glenn Honored

Also: Solid Rocket Motor Test, OSH16 Coverage!, Ducted Fan, Welsh Farewell, Blue Origin, Boeing-Farnborough, European TBM 930 Cessna has delivered the first fractional Cessna Citat>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (07.01.16)

FAA Repair Station Locator Need to find a certified repair station near you? This FAA resource allows you to search by state and type of repair needed to provide you with your opti>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (07.01.16): Terminal VFR Radar Service

A national program instituted to extend the terminal radar services provided instrument flight rules (IFR) aircraft to visual flight rules (VFR) aircraft.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC