Gone with the Wind- Manual for Gas Ballooning by Walter Muller, Astrid Gerhardt, and Gerhard Hurk, (Sept. 2002)

This is the only gas ballooning instruction manual available at this time.  It is a great book with detailed information about flying quick fill gas balloons.  It is a tremendous resource.  This book is only available through the German Balloon Federation.  Please contact them at this address:

DFSV Wirtschaftsdienst GmbH
Versandstelle Fax +49-89-89949193


Free and Captive Balloons by Ralph H. Upson. (1926)

 This is probably the most comprehensive book about gas balloons that is still readily available.  It provides very detailed information about gas balloon construction.

This book is rare but can still be found on Abebooks.com or in some of your college libraries.



Theory of Ballooning No. 1-305 by the US War Department (Oct. 1940).

The manual covers the factors involved with flying of free balloons and the proper handling of equipment pertaining to that activity.  Manual has extremely useful Information.

This information is available in a PDF file at the Goodard Library - Balloon Technology Collection. Search for item: BT-2361.   You must request the file from the library. Check out their site at:

Goddard Balloon Technology Database

 Available as a TM-1-305.pdf

A Short Course on the Theory and Operation of the Free Balloon by C.H. Roth, Instructor (1917)

The manual is very difficult to find.  It is available in copy form only.  This is a manual written for the military and discusses the netted gas balloon.  It is very interesting and provides good detailed information about how the balloons were build, how gases are produced, weather and flying. The the information is dated but still provides useful information.  Available as a pdf.


Technical Manual of Aerostatics No. 1-325 by the US War Department (Oct. 1940).

This a short manual about the study of aerostatics as it applied to airships and balloons.  It has detailed information about Lighter than Air aircraft, the atmosphere, physical properties of gases, pressure and temperature and short methods of computations.  Available as a .pdf


Flammable Gases by Don Overs. (1981) This is a publication of the Balloon Federation of America and it discusses lifting gases used by the balloon flyers of Akron.  It is currently available from the Balloon Federation of America at www.bfa.net

Scientific Ballooning Handbook by Alvin   L. Mooris (1975).  This is a very technical publication about ballooning.  It deals with many different subject including the physics, weather, technology and history of ballooning.  It is available from University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.  303-497-8508 or at: www.ucar.edu

Document Number:  02840 in the NCAR Archieves.

Available in .pdf file.  ( This is a very large file)


Military Observation Balloons (Captive and Free) by Emil J. Widmer (1918)

This book is a complete treatise on their manufacture, equipment, inspection and handling with special instruction for the training a a field balloon company.

This book is rare but can still be found on Abebooks.com.


Manual for Balloon Cutters by the US War Department (1918)  Document 881



Flying Balloons 2008


Balloon Flying Handbook by Federal Aviation Administration (2008)

This book is produced by the Federal Aviation Administration and deals with flying Hot Air and Gas Balloons in the USA.  It is the newest instruction book about flying balloons.   It is a good reference book.

 This book is available for download from the FAA or can be purchased at the following site: http://www.lulu.com/xlta .  All books purchased from this site support experimental ballooning events


Spherical Ballooning   Spherical_Ballooning -Some of the Requirements by P.J. McCullough 1917 .pdf

Justin H. Smalley
Research Library

Determination of the Shape of a Free Balloon - 2 Aug 1963 Litton Systems


Determination of the shape of a free balloon - Balloon with Super pressure, sub pressure and circumferential stress and capped balloons 22 Apr 1964 Litton Systems BT 1526

Determination of the Shape of a Free Balloon -- Cylinder, Cylinder-end, Taper, Tangent and Tangent - harness balloons. 1 Nov 1964Litton Systems

Determination of the shape of a free balloon - Cylinder balloon 20 Nov 1964Litton Systems BT=1528

Determination of the shape of a free balloon - Considerations of Material Elasticity 3 Dec 1964 Litton Systems BT-1529

Stresses and Configuration of Natural Shaped Balloons Dec 1963 Litton Systems BT-13034.03

Balloon Shapes and Stresses Below the Design Altitude - Dec 1966  Nation center for Atmospheric Research BT 1718


This site was last updated 06/27/10