DANTE balloon group.

The Dante balloon group can proudly call themselves ‘the oldest balloon group still active’.

It was formed on 5 December in 1971 by a group of enthusiasts including Pete Bish, John Baker, Phil Dunnington … to be continued

The original ‘DANTE’ Balloon.

Registered G-AZIP, a Cameron AX-7 O-65, c/n 29. (65,000 cu ft. volume)

First flight on 5 December 1971, at Murcott, Oxfordshire.

Used by the DBG for training and fun flying, it was also used to promote B.O.A.C – hence the ‘Speedbird’ Symbols.

Now retired by the Group, it has flown 202 hours and visited 7 countries.

John Baker commissioned a radio controlled model of G-AZIP in 2016….

Commissioned by me, 2 model balloon enthusiasts from Bristol got to work in late 2016 to build this replica.
Envelope – built by Andy Booth, it is a Cameron O-65. (but only 65 cu m., or 2,300 cu ft. volume)!
A faithful copy of the original blue/white check design, including the Speedbird symbols in turquoise.
It also has a hanging skirt rather than the modern scoop.
Basket & Burner– built by Howling Wolf Model Balloons (Ray Preston).
Basket – fully woven (including the floor), with hide covered edges, and 2 wooden runners. It also has leather retaining straps for the cylinders.
Burner – a replica of the Cameron Mk1, with a red burner frame.
The original balloon flew without any support for the burner frame (no ‘rigid’ system). To replicate this, clear acrylic tubes have been used to support the burner frame, giving the illusion of a hanging burner.
First public appearance at ‘The Icicle Re-Frozen Balloon Meet’ 2017.
Thanks to Jane Crawford for the pictures.
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