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Balloon Facts

"Big Smokey" - Hot Air Balloon:

The current Smokey Bear Hot Air Balloon, a 2005 Aerostar International, Inc., special shape balloon N87SB, holds 145,000 cubic feet of air, with a height, including basket, of 97 feet. The diameter below the eyes is 55 feet, and the hat brim diameter is 72 feet. The envelope is made up of 4,670 square yards of rip-stop nylon weighing 546 pounds. The Smokey Bear Balloon is heated by two LPG burners, producing 30,000,000 BTUs per hour. The basket weight, with fuel tanks and miscellaneous equipment, is 584 pounds. The total balloon weight is 1,130 pounds. It requires a launch site at least 100' long and 80' wide, at least 750' from any overhead power lines, and at least 300' from any obstruction over 50 feet above the launch site surface. It requires 12 to 15 personnel to set it up and inflate it, and chase crew personnel to ensure a safe landing.

"Little Smokeys" - Cold Air Balloons:

The first Smokey Bear Cold Air Balloon was added to the inventory in March 1996 and the second Smokey Bear Cold Air Balloon was added in September 2000. They are primarily used for stationary displays outdoors. Their height, from base to top of his hat, is 25 feet, diameter of head, 16 feet, diameter of hat, 20 feet. The envelope is 250 yards of a vinyl-coated nylon base fabric. They are inflated by a forced air fan using 110 volt power source, and requires a set-up site at least 50' X 50', and requires at least 2 personnel to set it up. Our two newest 7-foot cold air were added in November 2003, and July 2004, which are primarily used for stationary displays indoors. They requires a set-up site at least 5' X 5' and requires only one person to set it up.

The Smokey Bear Balloon Trailer

The accompanying trailer provides opportunities for special exhibits, presentations, and demonstrations to gather support for forest conservation. It also houses the Friends' Store where you can purchase Smokey Bear and Smokey Bear Balloon merchandise.