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Penguin

Penguin

Our Penguin is the result of Exclusive Ballooning's 15th Birthday Facebook competition where we invited online designs for a character balloon and said we would turn the winning design into reality. Our winning design is based on a character from a sketch by UK based artist Tom Moore.

The balloon will be built in Spain by Ultramagic and you can follow his production from sketch to reality here and also on our Facebook page and then continue to follow his adventures around the world. At 70,000 cubic feet and flying over a Tekno bottom end, our Penguin was designed and built with portability in mind. Ultramagic are incorporating a number of new lightweight design features in order to keep the envelope at under an amazing 70KG.

Follow our Penguins life right here......!

 

November 2013

Tom's original sketch of the penguin below wins our competition. Working with paint, digital and mixed media at his Bristol based studio, Tom was trained in lacquering techniques whilst working for three years as a special assistant to Damien Hirst at his Gloucestershire studios. See TomMooreArt.com

Exclusive Ballooning's special shape penguin hot air balloon. www.balloon.tv/penguin

"Having heard of Exclusive Ballooning's 15th Birthday Competition, this was not an opportunity I could miss.

I started simply with my sketchbook and drew several penguin cartoons, trying to imbue them with character. Having submitted the drawings to Exclusive Ballooning, I was thrilled when they asked me to work with them to develop the idea into a balloon". - Tom Moore

 

December 2013 / January 2014

Work begins on transferring Tom's design into a balloon visual that captures the character but that will also work as a special shape hot air penguin!

"The design was honed several times with the eyes and shape of the balloon being modified, to ensure the penguin would work with the technical aspects of a balloon, while retaining the feeling that this was a character who could have a story of its own.

It has been a great experience and I loved working with Exclusive ballooning. I am really happy how the final visual looks and I can't wait to see it inflated!" - Tom Moore

Exclusive Ballooning's special shape penguin hot air balloon. www.balloon.tv/penguin

Above - how Tom's sketches developed into an initial balloon visual.

 

January 27th 2014

Our penguin is signed off and the order is placed with Ultramagic balloons in Spain. Below - the final visual from Spanish hot air balloon manufacturer, Ultramagic. The eyes are slightly more rounded than the original sketch as this seemed to work aesthetically on the balloon.

Exclusive Ballooning's special shape penguin hot air balloon. www.balloon.tv/penguin

"We are really excited that Ultramagic Balloons has been chosen to design and produce the special shape Penguin balloon for Andrew Holly at Exclusive Ballooning. This project allows our company to continue to develop our desire to make our technical special shape balloons easier and lighter to handle. Also it is such a fun shape to produce and we can't wait for the test flight, photographs and videos to be made!"

Carles Lladó-Costa
Ultramagic Spain

 

"All of us at Ultramagic UK are very excited to be working with Exclusive Ballooning on the ‘Penguin' Project. From the very outset the brief from the client was absolutely clear. The balloon has to retain the character of the Penguin but it has to be super lightweight for easy transportation around the world and yet still tough enough to fulfil the demands of rigorous flying. Using a combination of special lightweight fabrics, load tapes and a brand new envelope design to Ultramagic we are thrilled with the outcome and very much look forward to seeing the Penguin in the air soon!"

Richard Penney
Ultramagic UK

 

February 5th 2014

Our penguin is announced and a competition on our Facebook page to name him begins. In the first 24 hours since the announcement, our Penguin received over 2,500 Facebook likes!

 

February 12th 2014

The design work is now underway turning a visual drawing into a technical drawing ready to cut the panels.

Exclusive Ballooning special shape penguin hot air balloon. www.balloon.tv/penguin

Exclusive Ballooning special shape penguin hot air balloon. www.balloon.tv/penguin

Exclusive Ballooning special shape penguin hot air balloon. www.balloon.tv/penguin

Exclusive Ballooning special shape penguin hot air balloon. www.balloon.tv/penguin

Exclusive Ballooning special shape penguin hot air balloon. www.balloon.tv/penguin

Exclusive Ballooning special shape penguin hot air balloon. www.balloon.tv/penguin

 

February 18th 2014

Now we feel our Penguin is really being born! Today his feet are being designed....!

Exclusive Ballooning special shape penguin hot air balloon. www.balloon.tv/penguin

Exclusive Ballooning special shape penguin hot air balloon. www.balloon.tv/penguin

Exclusive Ballooning special shape penguin hot air balloon. www.balloon.tv/penguin

Exclusive Ballooning special shape penguin hot air balloon. www.balloon.tv/penguin

 

February 20th 2014

The process of manufacture has really started today as the first fabric is being woven.

penguin special shape hot air balloon exclusive ballooning. www.balloon.tv/penguin


March 1st 2014

The most talented and famous pair of hands in the ballooning world are currently preparing the burner for our Penguin. Paolo Bonnano building our burner in his workshop Mondovi, Italy.

Paolo Bonnano preparing the burner especially for our Penguin, Mondovi, Italy

 

March 4th 2014

The fabric has arrived at the factory today and is now ready for cutting!

The fabric for our Penguin arriving at the factory

The fabric for our Penguin arriving at the factory

March 5th 2014

The burner is now in the factory being finished off...

Penguin special shape hot air balloon. Exclusive Ballooning balloon.tv

Penguin special shape hot air balloon. Exclusive Ballooning balloon.tv

March 6th 2014

Cutting is now well underway. All of the panels are cut at once taking several days, these are then transfered to a seamstress for sewing together!

Penguin special shape hot air balloon. Exclusive ballooning www.balloon.tv/penguin

Penguin special shape hot air balloon. Exclusive ballooning www.balloon.tv/penguin

Penguin special shape hot air balloon. Exclusive ballooning www.balloon.tv/penguin

March 10th 2014

Sewing is now underway and this final part will happen very quickly! One seamstress will work on the balloon sewing each panel together creating the gores from top to bottom which are then sewn together....

Penguin special shape hot air balloon. Exclusive Ballooning www.balloon.tv/penguin

Penguin special shape hot air balloon. Exclusive Ballooning www.balloon.tv/penguin

Penguin special shape hot air balloon. Exclusive Ballooning www.balloon.tv/penguin

Look! An eye taking shape.....!

Penguin special shape hot air balloon. Exclusive Ballooning www.balloon.tv/penguin

Penguin special shape hot air balloon. Exclusive Ballooning www.balloon.tv/penguin

Penguin special shape hot air balloon. Exclusive Ballooning www.balloon.tv/penguin

March 11th 2014

The balloon has a registration and it is G-UINS

special shape hot air balloon penguin. Exclusive Ballooning www.balloon.tv/penguin

March 12th 2014

The basket and burner are ready and sewing is nearing completion! Exciting times - the blue section is the mouth of the balloon and it is on track for a first inflation next Monday!

special shape hot air balloon penguin. Exclusive Ballooning www.balloon.tv/penguin

special shape hot air balloon penguin. Exclusive Ballooning www.balloon.tv/penguin

special shape hot air balloon penguin. Exclusive Ballooning www.balloon.tv/penguin

March 13th 2014

Our penguin now has feet! Sewing is nearly complete and today also saw the crown ring sewn into the balloon. This carries the serial number and suddenly what was a lot of fabric is now an aircraft! If the crown ring looks unusual and slim, this is all part of the measure to keep the weight down. The balloon will go for rigging tomorrow and will then be ready for test inflation!

March 13th 2014

His name is PUDDLES! The winner of our naming competition is Erin Burry from Atlanta, Georgia USA. We have pin badges available for pre-order here.

Special shape hot air balloon penguin. Exclusive Ballooning

 

March 17th 2014

Exclusive Ballooning were with Ultramagic in Spain today, to witness the birth of our Penguin!

Weighing only 62kg, Puddles was born at 9am this morning on St Patrick's Day. Breaking records from the start, Puddles is now the world's lightest special shape.

The winner of our naming competition Erin Burry was there on site to see Puddles come to life.

The Ultramagic Team

With Heavy Duty Bag, Puddles Still Only Weighs a Tiny 65.4KG

Our Penguin is being laid out ready for rigging

Our Penguin Has Feet!

The First Inflation Begins

8:30am and the Rigging of the Balloon Begins

Josep Llada, the MD of Ultramagic Finalising the Rigging

Rigging the Crown Line

Exclusive Ballooning's Penguin is Ready to be Inflated for the First Time

Exclusive Ballooning's Penguin is Ready to be Inflated for the First Time

Exclusive Ballooning's Penguin is Ready to be Inflated for the First Time

The Burners are Switched On for the First Time Ready to Inflate Exclusive Ballooning's Penguin Balloon

Exclusive Ballooning's Penguin Balloon Is Being Brought To Life

Exclusive Ballooning's Penguin Balloon Is Being Brought To Life

Puddles Is Born! 9am, 17th March 2014, St Patricks Day, Weighing Only 62KG

Naming Competition Winner Erin Burry is On Site and Thrilled to See Puddles Born!

Naming Competition Winner Erin Burry Showing That A Good Balloon Looks Like Original Visual

Exclusive Ballooning's Puddles The Penguin is Finally Born!

Exclusive Ballooning's Puddles The Penguin is Finally Born!

 

It is our intention for the Penguin to see as much of the world as possible and he has already been booked into balloon festivals on four continents. We are now inviting bookings from balloon festivals around the world and hope we can bring him to visit you!

To enquire about our Penguin visiting your event, please contact us here.

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