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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

Semco Balloons

Semco Balloons, first introduced to the sport balloon market in 1971 just as the sport was growing in popularity. The Semco manufacturing facility was located in Griffin, GA., while producing aircraft for pilots across the country. As hard as it may be to believe, a complete hot air balloon system (AX 7/76,000 cubic feet) was selling for just under $6,000 (see pricing sheet from early Semco brochure below) in the early 1970’s. Many of the photos featured here have been taken from a 1974, early Semco sales brochure and as one can see the sport has come a very long way.

As the sport continued to grow coupled,  with  many  manufactures 

may arise upon hard landings. Later models would feature a wicker basket for obvious reasons. To compound the situation even further, the Semco suspension cables attached to the basket handrail (waist level) vs at burner level as was the case with most other systems. Because of this design, it was quite possible  that upon windy landings the pilot and passengers could experience what is known as a "dog house" landing.  This is where  the basket can actually turn over, dumping the occupants.

entering the market for competitive and comparative reasons, Semco aircraft were seen as not  the safest of balloon system options. With the basket being  comprised  of an aluminum frame and canvas outer shell, stretched around the basket frame, one  can see  potential  complications that

VINTAGE SEMCO N2040J.jpg
SEMCO BROCHURE CENTER PGS.JPG

simply click the images to enlarge and view in greater detail