Cameron Balloons are the largest manufacturer of hot air balloons in the world!
Cameron Balloons is the largest and most experienced manufacturer of hot air balloons in the world and the majority of the hot air balloons which attend the annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, including all of the current hot air balloons, which Airship & Balloon Company own or operate, including our Special Shapes and Round balloons are built here in Bristol. Cameron Balloons have a worldwide dealership network, which often assist ABC, when we are touring with one of our balloons.
Come and meet the ABC team at Bristol Balloon Fiesta, or we can arrange a private visit to the balloon factory at a mutually convenient time.
Cameron Balloons offer the most extensive range of aerostats in the industry be it: hot-air balloons, personal hopper balloons; fly-around-the-world Roziere balloons; gas balloons; thermal airships; and are leaders in special-shape hot-air balloon production.
Don Cameron, Aeronautical Engineer MBE, founded Cameron Balloons Ltd in 1971, (although he had made a number of balloons as early as 1967) in his basement flat in Bristol, which he ran as a hobby alongside ‘proper work’ for a while. The business steadily grew until it got too big for him to do in his spare time and Don with a number of intrepid craftspeople moved the business into its first proper business premises, a disused church hall which had some small rooms above.
Now over 40 years on, we are in a 42,000 square foot factory in the centre of Bristol, employing 55 people in a business which maintains its family ethos. They work together with many of staff having worked here over 20 or 30years, a few have even been there for over 40years!
Such shapes as a Fantasia Castle for Disney; a bust of Beethoven; an Orient Express train; trucks; shoes; telephone; motorcycle; cars; fruit; bottles; cans; golf balls and numerous animals, such as a dinosaur, a dog, a parrot, bears, rabbits, Mickey Mouse, and, of course Donald Duck. The designs of early special shapes were all completed by Don Cameron himself using a drawing board and slide-rule technique. He later wrote special-purpose software for the design of special shape balloons which made possible the present wide range of achievable shapes. All of these craft are fully certified as aircraft, yet they are entirely built of fabric. There are no solid devices to help them keep their shape.
The Minion Special Shape balloons are managed by ABC and we commissioned this video, which was shot at Cameron Balloons factory and in Ashton Court, Bristol
It shows the complete design and production process -