News Room - 2005

12th December 2005

Christmas closing dates

The Kavanagh Balloons factory will have a short break over Christmas with the office closing on Friday 23rd December and re-opening on Tuesday 3rd of January 2006.

Anyone requiring spares is advised to order early to avoid any postal delays.

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

As some may know, Phil Kavanagh is an avid sailor and Boxing Day 2005 will see him start in his first Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

With Kavanagh Balloons as part sponsors of the 44 ft Yacht Namadgi, Phil has constructed a range of light weight headsails and spinnakers. The sails have been made especially for this race which is famous for its extremes in weather.

As the official web site says "Over the past 60 years, the Rolex Sydney Hobart has become an icon of Australia’s summer sport, ranking in public interest with such national events as the Melbourne Cup horse race, the Davis Cup tennis and the cricket tests between Australia and England"

With Namadgi entered in the cruising division, there is no real chance of a line honours position against the big maxi yachts, but it is an achievement just to compete in what is regarded as one of the world's toughest ocean races on both boats and crews.

Visit for race updates and live tracking.

Pre-Worlds in Motegi

The final round of the Honda World Hot Air Balloon Grand Prix was held in Motegi, Japan late in November. As Motegi will be the location of the 2006 World Championships, this years event was also run as a Pre-Worlds to give the organizers and area one last shake down.

In Masahi's words the weather was "tooooo good", with light winds and fine conditions providing 9 consecutive flights and a world record 32 tasks.

Australia had 2 pilots competing, Sean Kavanagh in the new EX-65 VH-PWM and Paul Gibbs in his Click Photo EX-65. With Australia expecting 4 places in 2006, both Andrew Robertson and Edwin Michell joined Sean and Paul's teams to experience this unique flying area.

The competition was as always hard fought. 1st place went to Nick Donner of the US, with Sean finishing in 4th and Paul in 19th place. We are expecting 2006 to be a fantastic event and one at which a well prepared Australian team could expect good results.

24th August 2005 - Pilot training at the Lake...

Congratulations need to go out to Deidre, Kerry and the MIBF team in Mildura for putting on a fantastic training week out at Lake Cullulleraine. (Google Earth Link here.)

The Lake as it is known, is located about 50km west of Mildura, home of the 2004 Worlds. The event is run specifically for student training and 2005 was the third time it had been run.

Between 18 balloons, 3 examiners, 10 instructors, 16 students and 14 other pilots a total of 70 hours and 35 minutes of instructional time were logged in 9 days. 58 student exams were sat and a further 15 exams were done by pilots looking to become instructors.

Both Phil and Sean attended the week with three students between them and all agreed it was a fantastic event for everyone, not just students.

Google Earth - Google Earth is a 3D interface for our entire planet made with satellite images. The application is free from and will allow you to zoom around the world looking in on friends, flying areas and places of interest from above.

Ok, we admit this is a tenuous link to ballooning but once installed, you can do a virtual visit to our factory by following the link here.

New Balloons..The new balloons page has been updated with two new balloons added to the photos section of the site. A D-84 for Canberra and an E-240 for Western Australia.

15th June 2005 - A new website and months of news...

Where to start. A much overdue update to our website is under way. Have a look around at what we have in place so far and check back to see what’s been added over the coming weeks.

Despite the inactivity on our website, we have been very busy behind closed doors with some great special projects and fantastic new balloons. Starting with the most recent and working back here are some of the highlights of the past months.

The new balloons page has been updated and re-organised. Other photo albums will be added in the near future as the site upgrade continues.

Artwork to match your expectations.. Inkjet artwork on balloons is not new, we did our first production balloon using the technology back in 2001. The cost however is on the way down and as a result larger and more impressive pieces of flying art are going to become more common.

When Austcorp were looking for a way to promote a new residential development in the centre of Brisbane they handed us our biggest ink jet job to date. The result is nothing short of stunning.

Printed directly onto the E-210, each of the dancers stand just under 18 metres tall. The total printing covers just over 550 square metres of fabric. The whole balloon was completed in under 12 weeks from sign off on the concept drawings.

We have more shots here in a dedicated gallery.

New Basket size - A steady increase in the average passenger size has resulted in more operators wanting just a bit more space in their baskets. In response we have introduced a 4.0 x 1.5m basket to our range of double tee baskets to fill the gap betweem the 3.6 and 4.3m models.

The new basket is designed for use with 260 to 350 envelopes in the E and B Type range.

Gas Cyliner Test Station Approval - We are pleased to announce that Kavanagh Balloons can now offer full testing and re-certification on our full range of fuel cylinders.

10 Year inspections are now easier than ever as we stock all required spare parts and can ensure all CASA release certificates and log book entries are correctly made.

If your tanks are getting close to that testing time, give our office a call to make a booking.

Party dome.. When Virgin Atlantic launched its services to and from Australia last November they needed a special venue for the party. Kavanagh Balloons was approached by Sydney based production company, Studio Kite, to design and manufacture an inflatable dome 55 metres long and 35 metres wide.

The dome was tailored at one end to match the shape of a 747 nose section which was to be the entrance to the main part of the venue. A dozen or so projectors ran graphics and animated cloud scapes over the interior of the dome along with a light and laser show to set the mood for the night.

The dome was housed inside a huge warehouse on the docks on Sydney Harbour and was kept inflated by mobile industrial air conditioning units. A stage at one end housed a live band, while the main entrance was elevated with a first class bar and seating as found on Virgin Atlantic flights. The dome was home to about 1200 party guests including Sir Richard Branson himself.

More Photos are here.

G-450 in a sky near you...The G-450 has taken to the skies over Cairns and makes a welcome addition to our range of passenger carrying giants.

The new model has 28 gores and is 450,000 cubic feet in volume, making it the largest passenger balloon in our range. The test flight was carried out in Canowindra in August 2004 and a very welcome group of NSW & ACT balloon club members were along for the flight and more importantly the pack up.

The balloon is being operated by Hot Air in Cairns and went into service in September. It is the largest ride balloon in Australia and will fly along side their fleet of Kavanagh 400's, 350's and 300's. Hot Air are well known for their massive flying artworks and this balloon is no different. VH-FLI has a huge mum and baby koala on one side. The pair are 22 metres high which is about 36 times larger than a real koala.

News Room 2004

7th July 2004 - and the winner is...

The nudie 16th World Hot Air Ballooning Championship has finished with 13 tasks in 4 flights. Congratulations to Markus Pieper of Germany who is the new World Champion.

Australia's pilots fared well with a long over due podium finish for Paul Gibbs in 3rd place. Sean Kavanagh finished the week in 15th place and Edwin Michell in 42nd after what most pilots would agree was a challenging week for all.

Poor weather prevented the full range of tasks and flights from being set which was as much a disappointment for the organisers as it was for the competitors. Every one is now looking forward to November 2006 for the next World Championship which is to be held in Motegi, Japan.

Full details of the event and results can be found at

29th June 2004 - 2004 Worlds and more..

The nudie 16th World Hot Air Ballooning Championship is under way. Currently only one flight has been made in the competition due to high winds but the weather is expected to improve over the next few days.

The Australian team will all be taking the Ex-65 Vertigo into competition as their balloon of choice and we wish them all good luck.

Full details of the event and results can be found at

Kilo Bravo is a new publication that Kavanagh Balloons have created in-house as a gift to all participants and crews at the 2004 Worlds. The 24 page, full colour magazine has been edited by our own Tem Smith with the graphic design work by Sean Kavanagh.

The magazine includes articles on the very first World Champion, Denny Flodden and a look at the history of the event through past results. Tem Smith has also hit the archives to look at the very early days of ballooning in Australia.....there is lots more in there so watch this space for an online copy if we can get the file size down enough.

Members of the ABF and New Zealand Balloon federations will receive a copy in the post and extra copies are available to everyone at the Championship.

Model Mania - Just in time for the 2004 Worlds, we have produced our second M80 envelope for Justin Galbraith to entertain the crowds with. This pint sized balloon is 80 Cubic Metres in volume and uses a German made remote controlled basket and burner.

The RC balloon featured in the opening ceremony of the 2004 Worlds and has made regular appearances on the main launch site when weather permits. Along with the balloon, Justin has remote controlled helicopters, planes and cars to keep the big and little kids entertained.

Pricing on the RC balloons is yet to be confirmed but after the crowd reaction to this one, they seem to be a great promotional tool for launch fields once the real balloons have flown away.

New Balloons - The new balloons page has been updated with a whole bunch of balloons for all corners of Australia and Kenya.

5th January 2004 - Welcome to 2004

2004 is shaping up to be a great year for Australian ballooning with lots of exciting events to look forward to.

Second Round Entries for the 2004 World Championships in Mildura are out and will close on the 30th of January. At this time Sean Kavanagh, Paul Gibbs and Edwin Michell are all registered to represent Australia at what is going to be a great event.

Visit for more information as the count down begins.

January 2nd and 3rd 2004 - Flights over Melbourne