Deflation Systems


The world's best (and most copied) deflation system

The SMART VENT was developed and introduced to the ballooning world by Kavanagh Balloons in 1994. Since then the design has revolutionised the business and sport of ballooning. As with any good idea, it has been licensed by some manufacturers and copied by others.

Beware of imitations - Not all centre pull vents are a true SMART VENT. A true Smart Vent is easy to open, has top centering lines that give a guaranteed on centre reset and the manufacturer will proudly use the SMART VENT trade mark.

Fast to open - The centre pull SMART VENT deflation system can be fully opened in less than three seconds. With the clear opening above there is no restriction to air flow, your Kavanagh balloon empties much faster than a balloon with a parachute vent of the same size.

Smart Vent photo sequence
Smart Vent - centre pull sequence

No pins, no mechanical locks - There are no mechanical locks or pins necessary to make the SMART VENT safe. Preparing for a flight is easy. During inflation the SMART VENT can be fitted from outside the envelope. Simply start the fan, go to the crown and fit the hook and loop tabs as on a normal parachute vent.

In flight venting - The SMART VENT is used as a parachute for in-flight venting. The exclusive Kavanagh "Lip Seal" ensures a perfect seal around the edge of the vent panel.

Easy to operate - The force required to activate the SMART VENT is about the same as a parachute vent to begin with but decreases as the system opens. No force is needed to keep the SMART VENT open. If the pilot loses hold of the red line during landing the SMART VENT will not automatically close from air pressure like a parachute vent, but will stay in the last commanded position until altered by the pilot. This enables a TRUE hands free landing.

It's an open and shut case - The most remarkable feature of the SMART VENT is that unlike any other fast deflation system, it can be reset during a landing. The red line opens the SMART VENT and the white parachute line will close it again in seconds, allowing the never before option of being able to land in a tight spot, dump most of the lift quickly to prevent the basket dragging, then reset the SMART VENT ready to change passengers and fly away again.


The best solution for big balloons

Bigger balloons not bigger muscles - The LITE VENT brings together all the best features of the SMART VENT with an improved in flight venting system that can effectively be operated by the lightest pilot in even the biggest balloon.

Rather than have the pilot haul the whole vent down and away from the hole as in a conventional parachute vent, the unique rigging system allows the edge of the vent panel to curl in towards the center of the balloon so that the pilot can easily dump lift with the minimum of effort. Release the vent line and the LITE VENT panel reseats automatically.

A bigger vent for a faster stop - The LITE VENT allows for a much larger vent to be fitted to our bigger ride balloons so they stop faster and are easier to land in smaller spots. With the introduction of the Lite Vent, operators are finding they can move to larger balloons, previously too difficult to land in congested landing areas.

Lite Vent photo sequence
Lite Vent - Parachute operation

Still fast to open - The centre pull operates just like a SMART VENT for those fast landings, drawing the vent into the center of the hole and rapidly uncovering the deflation port. Of course if you change your mind, the LITE VENT can be resealed again.

Lite Vent photo sequence
Lite Vent - centre pull sequence

A positive close - The system also has a closing line which can force the LITE VENT panel into the closed position either during inflation or flight - no other deflation system gives you this convenience or safety.

As with the SMART VENT, there are no mechanical locks or pins. Just tab the LITE VENT in as normal and you on your way.

Venting in fast climbs? No problems - For the design of our high performance competition balloon, the EX-65, we included a version of the LITE VENT to enable the positive closure of the vent.

With climb speeds in excess of 1600 feet per minute, the LITE VENT enables the pilot to safely vent without the risk of a floating vent or displacement of the vent due to turbulence. A little pressure on the closing line and the vent is held solid and closed.

Due to the ease of use and effectiveness of the parachute action on such a small balloon, the center pull is not fitted to the EX-65.


SMART VENT and LITE VENT are registered trade marks of KAVANAGH BALLOONS Pty. Ltd

Patents granted for the SMART VENT are as follows:
Australian Patent No. 656118, U.S. Patent No. 5,584,449, European Patent No. 0671322

Patents granted for the LITE VENT are as follows:
Australian Patent No. 752784, Patents are pending in Europe and the US

For further information regarding licencing of the SMART VENT or LITE VENT
please contact us.