THE “FIESTA” BALLOONS BY WALLY BOOK FOR THE AIBF HERITAGE COMMITTEE t seems only appropriate that the Albuquerque International ® Balloon Fiesta , as the world’s premier ballooning event, should have its own balloon -- and of course it does owever, there I actually have been, and are still, three “Fiesta” balloons, one by happen- stance and two by the Balloon Fiesta’s design All are airworthy and frequently grace the sies in and around Albuquer- que, and occasionally, out of country Spirit of Fiesta II went to France with Balloon Fiesta irector of perations, ­am €ars, in the summer of ‚ƒ„… †he original “Fiesta” balloon was not created for the Balloon Fiesta itself, but it may have been an outgrowth of a short-lived attempt to create a new, Albuquerque-manufactured balloon brand Bob ‡uppenthal was a mechani- cal engineer by trade ˆat the engi- neering consulting fi rm Bridgers and €aŠton‹, and an avid balloonist, †hunder huge part in promoting and further- huge part in promoting and further- balloon dealer, and owner of AŒ‡Ž ing the sport of ballooning Bob and The original Fiesta fl ying Balloonport, a balloon repair station ­id were much more friends than they with other balloons in in Albuquerque e was in the unique were competitors †he balloon they Pagosa Springs, CO. position of being able to capitali‘e on designed in „…’“ was going to be the a grand idea ­id Žutter is legendary test bed for a line of balloons called for his general aviation roots and his “”omad” that were in some respects – 65 PICTURE PERFECT

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