Inducted into the U. S. Ballooning Hall of Fame
August 2, 2008
by the Balloon Federation of America at the
National Balloon Museum, Indianola, Iowa
Tracy Barnes was one of the founders of the balloon company, “The Balloon Works” (now known as “Firefly”). Barnes built his first balloon from used parachute fabric in 1961, just about one year after Ed Yost invented the modern hot air balloon. Along with Raven, Semco and Piccard companies his company was one of the early makers of the modern hot air balloon. He also was responsible for a number of inventions which improved the hot air balloon technology including the parachute top and the triangular shaped basket. In 1964 he set 7 world altitude records when he ascended to 38,650 feet using a unique gas balloon system that he made incorporating a polystyrene foam capsule type basket and a polystyrene plasitic balloon filled with hydrogen. Later, after the FAA changed the categories for balloon flights, this flight qualified him for at total of 11 records, none of which have been challenged.
“The Balloon Works” company was later sold and is now known as “Firefly”. Barnes now operates a company called “The Blimp Works” which manufactures small promotional gas filled blimps.
To go to the The Bliimp Works webpage click HERE.
For more information and photos click here for complete PDF printable document.
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