stay connected

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey YouTube Icon
  • Grey Google+ Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon

TM 2018 the Big Black Bird   Bird Willy Productions   Company logos and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies   All rights reserved

with

Piccard Balloons

Don Piccard's list of accomplishments is virtually endless. He made the first post-World War II free flight in 1947, with a captured Japanese Fu-Gos; a small, hydrogen-filled paper balloon. In 1948, he organized the first balloon club in the United States; the Balloon Club of America and in 1957 he flew in the first plastic gas balloon, the Pleiades. Piccard joined RAVEN Industries in 1962 as manager of the sport ballooning program and soon left RAVEN starting Don Piccard Balloons, Inc., of New Port Beach, CA, in 1964.

click on logo to link to Piccard

Two of Piccard's earliest creations are pictured here (left, black/white) including his first balloon system ever sold along with several additional Piccard build systems. If there was one drawback to the Piccard system it was the Piccard’s burner set up. Because it was a “floating burner”, meaning the absence of a rigid burner support, thereby creating the situation where the burner system would flex on hard landings and come down on the heads of the pilot and passengers making it mandatory that all on board wear helmets. As long as there was tension from the balloon to the basket there were no problems.

Piccard was among the first manufacturers of modern hot air balloons beginning in the mid-1960's. Below is an early letter, typed and personally signed by Don himself (far right, 1977) as well as the cover and an inside page of an early Piccard brochure (right). When the Piccard balloon was first introduced  and  in production,  there were  eight  models  to choose from, ranging in size from the very small 30,000 cubic feet to  the very large 105,000 cubic feet, all evaluated

by the FAA and type certified. Piccard's balloons would be seen for many years to come throughout the sport with many appearances and a profound presence at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta beginning in the early 1970's.

PICCARD BALLOON 1975.jpg

clicking on the photograpns will enlarge them &

allow you to view in greater detail