The world’s biggest hot air balloon took to the skies today in the form of a giant – MOTORBIKE.
Measuring an incredible 120ft (37m) high and 154ft (47m) wide, the enormous balloon was launched to mark the start of the 2010 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.
The inflated superbike and rider is the brainchild of Chester-based Linstrand Balloons and – as well as being the largest – is also one of the most complex ever built.
The fabric is made up of 5,500 individual panels, weighs a staggering 605kg and took eight seamstresses and two engineers over three months to put together.
Linstrand Balloons spokesman and pilot Chris Sanger-Davies said: ”Engineers worked long and hard creating this incredible balloon which is the largest in current use in the world today.
”It’s quite an incredible sight when it takes to the air and dwarfs other balloons. The unique design certainly catches the eye form the ground and we often get admiring glances.”
The balloon was designed to scale and produces the equivalent of 23,000cc’s of power, despite only having maximum speed of 12mph.
It was commissioned by accessory and clothing retailer George White Superbikes and a team of engineers at Linstrand Balloons spent three months meticulously poring over the plans.