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Thunder-Colt Balloons

Thunder & Colt Balloons was initially formed when Colting and Thunder balloon manufacturers joined forces. Colting and Thunder balloons have roots dating back to the mid-1970s. Some of the photographs shown here are vintage shots of some of Thunder's creations from days gone by. Renowned aviator and industrialist Per Lindstrand was involved with Thunder Balloons long before the merger with Colting and following the merger Lindstrand played an even greater role within the company. The new company, Thunder & Colt Balloons, was formed in the late-1980s and produced a high-quality system which bore many similarities to that of their competitor - Cameron Balloons.

By 1991 Per Lindstrand's involvement within the ballooning industry had grown as he embarked on many world record attempts. Along with Sir Richard Branson, Per was the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean by hot air balloon (see black/white photograph)  1987 in their Thunder & Colt  build Virgin Atlantic 

Flyer (named for Branson's Virgin Airways). The balloon was the largest hot air balloon of the day at just over 2 million cubic feet. Sir Richard Branson, being the adventurist he is, invested in Thunder & Colt in order to help facilitate the Atlantic crossing and other world record  attempts.

Prior to Lindstrand and Branson's world record Atlantic crossing, Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson  and  Larry Newman, of Albuquerque, NM were the first to cross  the Atlantic by helium (not hot air) balloon in 1978. 

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In 1991 Per Lindstrand left Thunder & Colt to form his own balloon manufacturing company, appropriately called Lindstrand balloons, which as you might have imagined also produces a high quality balloon system and is one of the top brands on the US market today. Unfortunately, Lindstrand Balloons UK, ceased operations in early-2015.

The Thunder Thunder & Colt system is quite similar to that of the Cameron system in both quality and performance. The T&C basket was well appointed including its high-output burner system. You'll see by the photographs that the T&C name was associated with some of the most familiar special shaped balloons including; The Michelin Man, Ball Park Franks, Virgin Atlantic Airways and the Chronicle just to name a few. T&C had also produced numerous balloon systems for the corporate advertising world as well as the sport and fun flyer.

simply click the photographs to enlarge and view in greater detail