Gloucestershire firm create penguin balloon for anniversary

A giant hot air balloon shaped like a penguin has been created for Exclusive Ballooning to celebrate its 15th birthday.

The penguin was chosen as the winner of a recent design competition, which the firm will add to its already extensive collection of balloons. The contest invited fans of ballooning to submit a character proposal online, with the promise that a winning design will be made into its real-life version.

Ultramagic, a specialist manufacturer in Spain, will be creating the 70,000 cu ft balloon using revolutionary production techniques. For this reason, it will become one of the lightest of the ‘special shape’ balloons to have ever been constructed.

Winner of the competition, artist Tom Moore, from Bristol, based his design on a character from a sketch. A competition on Facebook was also held to give a name to the new balloon. In addition to this, the penguin has its own blog that charts the journey from concept to reality, and will follow its adventures travelling the globe.

Managing director of Exclusive Ballooning, Andrew Holly, said:

“We love the design of this balloon and think it will make a real splash at the balloon festivals it will be visiting around the world. This balloon will be a real crowd-pleaser and Tom has done a great job in designing something simple and easy to identify with. Everybody loves a penguin.”

The penguin has been signed up to hot air balloon festivals in the USA, Australia, South Africa, and the Philippines. Closer to home, the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and Gloucestershire’s Exclusive Cup festival will also witness the penguin’s arrival.

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