News Room - 2003

24th December 2003 - Merry Christmas.....

The staff at Kavanagh Balloons would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Summer has arrived just in time so it is off sailing and relaxing in the sun for a few days before jumping into the new year.

The factory will be closed from the 24th December and will open again on Monday the 5th of January so we look forward to seeing you in the new year.


2nd December 2003 - Podium finish for the EX-65

Sean Kavanagh has wrapped up a great year of competition flying with podium finishes in both the Motegi International and Japan Grand Prix.

Team "Mix Fly" finished in second place in the Japan Grand Prix with Sean flying the last two rounds in Saga and Motegi. During these events he made 128 GP points from 28 tasks, making Sean and the EX-65 the highest scoring team for those two rounds.

In the final standings for Saga he finished in 7th place for the Pacific Cup, while in Motegi he finished 3rd overall.

Paul Gibbs ended the week in Motegi in 10th Place, a great result for his first time flying in an area where local knowledge plays a big part.

"It was great to see both Australian teams in the top ten at this event. It is a hard week of competition and good preparation for the 2004 worlds." Sean said.

Results and Photos from the Motegi Event are now available.

New Balloons: Hot Tomato! has been added to the page. This E-300 for Brisbane radio station 102.9FM should be easy to see first thing in the mornings.

Photos can be seen on the New balloons page.


26th October 2003 - Saga and Motegi

October and November will see three Australian teams off to Japan for the Saga and Motegi competitions for various rounds of the 2003 Japan and World Grand Prix events.

Adam Barrow and Sean Kavanagh will compete in Saga in two of the Kavanagh Demonstrators, Sean in an EX-65 and Adam in a D-77. While in Motegi, Sean will again fly the EX-65 and Paul Gibbs will be in the D-77.

Results from the events can be followed at the following addresses:

Saga International Balloon Fiesta 2003 (Starts on the 30th October)
Honda World Grand Prix (Starts on the 20th November)

New Balloons:A few more new balloons have been added to the pages including our first B-105 Demonstrator for the Netherlands and a B-400 for Kenya.

Ronnie Kleinshmit is the owner of this bright orange B-105 to launch our balloons in Europe. It features the revolutionary Lite Vent deflation system so people can see why it has been so popular in much larger ride balloons.

Contact: info@dreamflights.nl or visit www.dreamflights.nl for more info and European pricing.

Meanwhile the B-400 for Kenya has arrived to the busy and windy part of the season over there. In its first week of operations it has seen landing speeds in the range of 25 to an amazing 32 Knots!

This particular B-400 is made to our upgraded "Mara" specifications and features a massive 10 meter Lite Vent. Despite its size the unique rigging system makes it easy to open and incredibly easy to use and effective for in flight venting. To quote the chief pilot:

"The bigger vent is great, light, effective and fast."

Photos can be seen on the New balloons page.


11th July 2003 - 2003 Australian National Championship

Sean Kavanagh is the 2003 Australian National Champion after a great week of competition in Mildura, home of the 2004 World Championships.

Sean yet again showed the versatility and performance of the Kavanagh EX-65 Vertigo and won the competition by a staggering 1828 points. In 2nd place was Paul Gibbs in a Kavanagh C-65, Edwin Michell in a Kavanagh EX-65 finished 3rd.

"It really was an interesting week of flying, one day we were hugging the ground for the entire flight, while on others we really got to stretch the legs of the EX-65 with big climbs and descents - it was great fun." said Sean

This years event was of particular interest for Australia's top pilots as it was also the qualification round for the 2004 Worlds to be held in Mildura next year.

At this stage the team for Australia will be Sean Kavanagh and Paul Gibbs with Edwin Michell expected to get the third spot in the second round of invitations.

The 2003 Mildura International was also run at the same time with pilots from the UK, Japan and Poland in attendance. The top the spots were again held by Kavanagh, Gibbs and Michell with Mamoru Endo of Japan in 4th Place.

More details, results and Photos from the 2003 event as well as information on the 2004 Worlds can be found at www.2004worldsballoons.com

New Balloons - It has been a while since the photos were updated but some new balloons have been snuck out the door since the last update. Included in these is a new 24 gore B-77 for Peter Dutneal. The simple yet striking combination of teal and black vertical stripes have been a hit where ever this balloon has turned up. This is the second B-77 to be produced.

There are a few more to come still so check back soon for all the latest.

Photos can be seen on the New balloons page.


24th April 2003 - Notice to Smart Vent owners

It has been bought to our attention by a UK balloon operator that Cameron Balloons have indicated that they can no longer support the Smart Vent deflation system. It has also been inferred by Cameron Balloons that existing Smart Vents must be removed or modified.

This is not the case. A press release for concerned owners is available which details how the action taken against Cameron Balloons will have no effect on existing Cameron balloons with a Smart Vent fitted.


14th April 2003 - EX-65 Cleans up in Canberra

For the second year running Sean Kavanagh has taken out the Precision Fly-in event at Canberra Balloon Fiesta in an EX-65.

The KAZ Technology precision fly-in is a great crowd pleaser at the event with the fleet of competitors flying back into the main launch site.

This year the fly-in was also the final task in the KAZ Cup event which had been running from mid week. Sean also flew the EX-65 demonstrator to victory in the overall KAZ Cup competition.

The Canberra Balloon fiesta is a great fun event flying over the lake and landscaped parks of Australia's capital city. For more information about the 2004 event contact Jacky at: canberraballoonfiesta@netspeed.com.au

New Balloons update: An E-260 has just been added to the New balloons section.

Web Site update: Some new design blanks have now been added to the site for our E-300, B-350 and B-400 Balloons. Design Blanks for all models will be updated over the next few weeks.


8th April 2003 - Smart Vent Patent News

The judgement was handed down on 7th April 2003 in the patent infringement case started in December 2000 by Kavanagh Balloons against Cameron Balloons.

Cameron Balloons has been found guilty of infringing the Smart Vent patent and a court injunction has been granted, which prevents Cameron Balloons from making and selling balloons fitted with Smart Vent from now on.

Download the full press release here...


26th March 2003 - Smart Vent Patent News

Despite news circulated to the contrary by Cameron balloons, the judgement from the case has not actually been handed down yet. Due to the rules of the court this is all we are able to say on the matter.

We have been advised that the judgment may be handed down by the end of the week and at that time we will publish the true results and implications of the infringement action against Cameron Balloons.

We understand that people are interested in the outcome in this matter and regret that the other side have jumped the gun with their press releases and public announcements before the judgment has actually been made.

A land like no other.... A B-350 has just been delivered to Colombo in Sri lanka for the first passenger carrying operation in that country.

The balloon will be operated by Adventure Center Asia. ACA specialise in adventure tourism activities such as Mountain Bike tours of the Himalaya, Canyoning, Kayaking, Rafting and Paragliding. All the fun stuff in exotic locations and now including ballooning in Sri Lanka.

Photos can be seen on the New balloons page. You can also visit the ACA web site for more information on their activities - www.ac-asia.com


27th February 2003 - Lite Vent Patent Issued

Notice has just been received that Australian Patent Number 752784 has been issued for the Lite Vent Deflation System. Patents have also been applied for in other countries of interest.

"The lite Vent is yet another giant leap forwards in deflation system design that started here at Kavanagh Balloons back in 1994 with the Smart Vent. As the size of balloons has increased we have strived to improve their control response making them easier to fly and land. The Lite Vent has enabled pilots in tight flying areas to fly and land bigger balloons with more ease and saftey than ever before." said Phil Kavanagh.

The Lite Vent is the successor to the Smart Vent and includes several major improvements for large balloons. Among these are incredibly easy and effective in flight venting as well as a fast acting center pull for final deflation.

The Lite Vent, like its little brother the Smart Vent is resealable at any time but in another step forward for deflation system technology, the Lite Vent can also be held in the closed position at any time. This is particularly helpful on inflation or even in severe turbulence while in flight.

So good is this closure system that some operators do not even bother tabbing in the vent on their 350's and 400's.

The Lite Vent has been in operation since 1999 with big balloon operators from Australia to the Masai Mara in Kenya enjoying the benefits of this revolutionary system.

The Lite Vent is standard in all balloons from 120,000 cu.ft to 400,000 cu.ft with the Smart Vent still a no cost option up to 180,000 cu.ft. A special version of the Lite Vent is also used in our EX-65 Vertigo competition balloon to allow safe in flight venting at very high rates of climb.

Download the full press release here...

New balloons - A C-77 has just been delivered to the Western Australian Balloon and Airship Club (WABAC). A photo from it's test inflation is now on the new balloons page.

Other Patent News: There is still no news on the outcome of the court case against Cameron Balloons over their infringement of the Smart Vent Patent. Thank you to everyone for their best wishes and we will let you know how it went as soon as we know...


30th January 2003 - 2004 Worlds Web site

The new web site for the 2004 World Championships in Mildura Australia is now online and can be viewed at: www.2004worldsballoons.com

The website has lots of information on the 2003 event in June and more information is being added all the time.

Patent news - The court case is now over and we just have to sit back and wait for the result. All in all it ran for eight days and although we don't know which way the cards will fall, it will be an interesting result for all concerned. Watch this space for the announcement.


29th January 2003 - Patent news

Again the trial has been extended with Wednesday the 29th to be the last day.

Both experts have now been heard as well as closing arguments from Camerons side. The case ran over time yesterday so the court was adjourned for the night. Our sides closing arguments will be concluded in the morning.


28th January 2003 - Australia Day Flight

January 26th saw yet another successful Australia Day celebration in Parramatta Park with several balloons making flights over Sydney. Severe bushfire risk over the weekend had caused the cancellation of all fireworks displays in NSW, Victoria and the ACT due to a total fire ban. The balloons were allowed to fly under a special exemption.

Patent news - Day five of the Court case was expected to be the last but Tuesday the 28th is now scheduled as the sixth and last day. Monday saw expert evidence given from our side and Tuesday will be Camerons turn to respond. Closing arguments from both sides are expected in the afternoon.

Exactly when the verdict will be handed down is not known at this time but it may be anywhere from three to eight weeks.


24th January 2003 - Another B-400 for Cairns....

The new B-400 for Hot Air in Cairns is now in service and has been added to the web site. Just for fun we have also included a picture of the 4.3 meter double tee basket that went with it.

Patent news - The court case over patent infringement by Cameron Balloons is well under way with only two days of court remaining. Monday the 27th of January will be the last day when expert witnesses from both sides will be giving their evidence.

The Smart Vent has revolutionised sport and passenger ballooning since 1994. The Smart Vent is not only the fastest deflation system in the world but also has the ability to be tested before flight and reversed if needed.


13th January 2003 - Happy New Year and off to Court....


It has been a busy end to 2002 and we are starting 2003 with a long awaited visit to the Patents County Court in London to resolve the issue of infringement of our Smart Vent Patent by Cameron Balloons.

The original press release from the 12th of January 2001 has some details of how this case has come about. Watch this space for more news as it happens.

The case has been set for the 21st of January and is expected to run for around a week.

In the meantime it will be business as usual at the factory...

New balloons - There are 5 new balloons on the site including a fun 120 for Hot Air in Cairns which has each gore split vertically so that what was once a 20 gore balloon now looks like a 40 gore balloon! There is also another 400 that has been inflated but is just awaiting delivery so you will see that as the first balloon of 2003 in the next update.

2004 World Championships - The 2004 worlds are only 18 months away and will be held from the 26th June to the 3rd of July 2004.

On the the 26th of June to the 5th of July 2003 Mildura will also host the Australian National Championships and Mildura International Championship.

The new web site is under construction for these two events. In the interim there is a section for enquiries from media, spectators, officials and competitors as well as an e-Newsletter to keep everyone up to date with the 2003 and 2004 events.

Visit www.2004worldsballoons.com for more information


News Room - 2002

11th October 2002 - New balloons and New markets

It is now October and the Christmas decorations are already going up in the shops. The 2002 Worlds have come and gone and in the middle of all this excitement I have not updated the site for some time so.....

New balloons - There are a total of 6 new balloons added to the site including two of our EX-65 Vertigo models and a B-350 for the Masai Mara in Kenya. There are two more photos to come and they will be up once the customers have taken delivery.

New markets - as mentioned above we delivered our first balloon to the Masai Mara back in August. Sean Kavanagh visited the Mara Balloon Safaris operation at Little Govenors Camp for the inaugral flights of the B-350 to see just how tough conditions are there during their windy season.

"I'm very happy with the way it is holding up in pretty extreme conditions" said Greg Russell the Chief Pilot.

The basket has all the standard Africa modifications such as bullet proof shielding in the passenger compartments, seats and landing skids on the downwind side of the basket.

2002 Worlds - Congratulations to Paul Gibbs and his team with their 4th place in the 2002 World Hot Air Balloon Championships in Chatellerault, France. This is the best result of any Australian team in a World Championship for a very long time.

On returning the demonstrator to the factory, Paul commented that "flying a standard shape balloon was some what disapointing after the performance of the EX-65"


20th June 2002 - Fossett launch

Steve Fossett has launched from Notham in Western Australia for his 6th attempt to fly around the world.

Using the track data available on the Spirit of Freedom web site we will be updating the map on the front page of our site with his location as the flight progresses.

The updates will be about four times a day so for the latest information visit Steve's web site.


2nd May 2002

Some new photos have been added to the Photos section of the site so check them out.

Also another B-400 for Hot Air in Cairns has been added to the New Balloons page. This is their second World B-400 and it looks as good again as the first one did! The test inflation was on a really foggy morning so the photos are not all that great but we hope to get some good ones from Hot Air once it starts work.


8th April 2002

2002 has started with a flurry of yellow D-77 envelopes for Picture This Ballooning in Victoria. The envelopes were used for a combined television commercial and music video shoot in the rural Victorian town of Mansfield. The shoot ran for one week and involved a crew of over 60 people.

As for the balloons, they were all built in less than five weeks from the order being placed and most have now been sold to happy private pilots who picked up a near new balloon (most had less than two hours on them!) for a real bargain.

Thanks to Andrew Chapman for the great photos, we hope to have more on the site soon.

The 2002 New Balloons page has now been started with the first seven entries for this year. On top of the five yellow D-77s there is an E-180 for Windward Adventures in Western Australia and Craig Farrell's new D-90 for Canberra. The last two balloons for last year have also been added to the 2001 page - a B-400 for Raging Thunder and an E-210 Remax balloon for David Parkes.

March saw the Canberra Balloon Fiesta introduce some competition flying and an afternoon flying program for the first time. It was a great success thanks to the hard work of the new committee and event manager Jacky Jansse.

The last weekend of the event gave Sean Kavanagh a chance to show off the abilities of the EX-65 by winning the Aspect Computing Precision Fly In. For a lot of Australian balloonists this was their first time to see the EX-65 in action.

Since its debut, Sean has flown the Ex-65 to 7th and 3rd places in Saga (2000,2001) and 2nd place in the 2000 Motegi International.