09/06/11 Balloon Club of America 1952-1978
The following pictures have been provided to gasballooning.net  by Michael Fairbanks. The pictures in this segment are from 1952 - 1978.

The Balloon Club of America began in 1952 when the Douglas Leigh Company of New York donated parts of eleven balloons to Tony Fairbanks and Don Piccard.  These balloons were part of a large supply of surplus material which Mr. Leigh's company had purchased from the Government at the end of WWII. 

The Balloon Club of America was founded by:  Tony Fairbanks, Jerry Burns, Don Piccard, Francis Shields, Pete Wood, Eleanor Vadals and Connie Wolf.  The clubs first flight was held in Brookhaven Pennsylvania on Nov. 1952 when Don Piccard and Tony Fairbanks flew 4 hours to Hammonton, NJ.    The balloon club flew from the Valley Forge Airport for many years until it was turned into a golf course.  The club relocated to the Wings Field in Blue Bell  near Ambler, Pennsylvania.  Check this site regularly as we will be adding additional pictures soon.

Click on the Picture to get a better look at the picture.

Balloons Launching at Valley Forge 1960

Double inflation

First Flight of the Balloon Club of America 1952

Adjusting the Envelope Net!

Getting inflated.

Standing around the basket.

Francis Sheilds and Tony Fairbanks installing the Load Ring.

Barograph Tracing

N9071H - The balloon that started it all.

Teather Flight

A view from below!

Swiss Balloonist Fred Dolder flying with BCOA 1965

Mike Fairbanks flying with Tony in Germany in 1976

Tony Fairbanks flying over the Alps in 1971

Bill Lewis and Tony Fairbanks

Tony drinking orange soda on his alps flight 1971

View of the Alps from the basket!

La Coquette was the gas balloon used in the film: Around the World in 80 Days

Inflating for the last flight of La Coquette!

Posing in front of La Coquette.

One Diamond Down!

Preping the basket

Firetruck at the ready!

Inflation going well.

Standing at Attention

A closer view

Ready for Flight

Navy Balloon

Clearing the trees

One Away

Off on a new adventure

Up Up and Away!

Looking Good


La Coquette Shinning in the Sun!

Longbranch, N.J. July 24, 1958

Longbranch, N.J. July 24, 1958

Longbranch, N.J. July 24, 1958

Longbranch, N.J. July 24, 1958

Tony Fairbanks