In December 1975, I got my first balloon.
Ken Frank's Mousey's Madness and Peanuts
I received my pilot certificate at the end of 1975 and immediately looked for a balloon. I found a used Raven S-55 in the balloon newsletter classified and arranged to inspect it near Detroit Michigan while I was in Connecticut for Christmas.
The balloon was previously flown for Porter Paints but had the corporate identification removed. In keeping with Porter Paints, the balloon colors were yellow and orange. As time would show, this was a great combination. It turns out yellow and orange get dull, but don't look dirty like black or white when they get dusty (sometimes known as Albuquerque Enchantment). With a bright burner, yellow and orange shine on Dawn Patrol.
At the time, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the other Peanuts characters were an important influence in my life and therefore played an important part in choosing a balloon name. I couldn't pick a particular character so in the end, the balloon name became Peanuts to include them all.
A few years later when I was getting a brand new balloon, the basic colors were a given. Ken Frank, another San Jose area balloonist, was flying an interesting dark blue, light blue, and white pattern designed with Tracy Barnes at an Albuquerque Fiesta Zoo Party. With permission, I used the pattern in dark orange, light orange, and yellow to stay with my colors. Since this balloon also had to use the name Peanuts, it became Peanuts Too.
Things never go quite as planned. As delivered, the balloon had the chevrons alternating up and down while the pattern sheet clearly showed all chevrons should point up. I was able to fly this envelope for about a month while they built the correct pattern. This incorrect pattern was called Peanuts Oops.
After about 660 hours, it was time to replace Peanuts Too. The colors were still a given and the pattern only required minor adjustment because they changed the fabric width which changed the number of panels from top to bottom. The name of this balloon was Peanuts Encore.
After 15 years, Peanuts Encore didn't have as many flight hours, but the
coating was getting porous and required much more
fuel for each flight. It was time for a new balloon. Again the colors
were a given. The pattern required minor adjustment again for the number
of panels from top to bottom. This is balloon number four (not counting
Oops) and the name will never change! Therefore we now have
[ HOME ]
Comments or questions?
This page modified: July 13 2007 10:37:05.