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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

Raven/Aerostar Balloons

click on logo to link to Aerostar

RAVEN Industries, established in 1956, began exploring the realm of lighter-than-air possibilities with its high-altitude research balloons for the Office of Naval Research. The U.S. Navy was seeking a reusable aircraft based on the Montgolfier principle (see black & white photo of one of the first modern balloons ever to be created) and in 1960 invented the modern

In the late 70's RAVEN introduced an affordable, sport balloon the "Rally RX-6" as an easy to own and operate balloon system. The "Live it Up" Rally advertisement  as well  as  the  corporate  brochure

RAVEN Industries remained one of the preeminent names within the ballooning market until it was spun-off into Aerostar International and became a subsidiary of Raven Industries in 1986. Aerostar International continued manufacturing high quality balloon systems until 2007, when the company ceased accepting new balloon orders. Aerostar, while still manufacturing hot air balloon systems became synonymous with colorful, whimsical, eye-catching special shaped balloons. Here you will Tony The Tiger, created for Kelloggs cereal.

hot air balloon with Ed Yost playing the primary role in its development. The early Raven systems were crude, by today's standards, but they worked (see early raven gondola, black & white photo, composed of fiberglass and aluminum).

(seen below, 1978). Raven Industries, touting "the Most Beautiful Balloons in the World," sparked a flourishing market for sport ballooning while also capturing a large market share throughout the 1960's and into the 1970's.

RAVEN CAT BALLOON 1974.jpg
RAVEN COYOTE 1974.jpg
RAVEN(S) MULTIPLE 1974.jpg
RAVEN RALLEY RX6 YELLOW BLUE 1974.jpg
RAVEN MULTI COLORED 1974.jpg

simply click the photographs to enlarge and view in greater detail