The equipment and items listed below form an integral part of the collection – without these, there would be no way of flying. The British Balloon Museum and Library aim to provide as wider view of ballooning both current and historical.
The museum holds examples of burners from homebuilt and production balloons. Production burners include Omega, Cameron, Colt, Thunder, Western, Raven and Piccard.
Development burners include an Airtour, a Thermal Aircraft from Tony Patey and the Turner burner. For demonstration purposes we now hold a sectioned Colt double burner.
As with the burners we hold examples of production and homebuilt types. In the collection we hold a Colt and a Brighton basket along with examples from homebuilt balloons by Bradshaw, Cambridge and two by Abingdon. We also hold a couple of baskets donated as a whole with the envelope and other items.
Envelopes are not the only special shapes. The museum holds the barrel shaped basket from G-PUBS.
On a more historical note the collection holds two military gas baskets, one of which is a folding basket for a gas balloon.
One of the gondolas in the museum is loaned out to the Cameron Balloons Ltd to be hung from their ceiling in the factory and was a Cameron D96 example. The others are a Cameron DG28 and a second D96.
Several tanks are held including an exploded tank from G-BIGT, a sectioned Colt tank and a Cameron example used for drug smuggling. This item was donated after recovery by Customs and Excise.
Also held in store are load rings, ropes, an anchor, gas valves, inflation fans and sandbags.
Items from the Museum have been loaned to film companies for use as props or background scenery – programmes such as Heartbeat have also benefited from the resources of the BBM&L.
Some of the above are on display at various museums, and others regularly appear at balloon meets or at the Icicle meet exhibition. A display is also available at the Museum’s annual luncheon at the end of the year.