Projects built by other builders
On top of the 10 Bard Balloons we have built in our own workshop (plus a dozen we personally helped to build in other workshops), this pages features the projects built by other builders. They have completed 12 other Bard Balloons in the last 3 years, and there more than another dozen projects on the go all over the world.
BARD Balloon Special Shapes
Visit our Special Shape Balloons page to see all of our completed Special Shape Hot Air balloons to date.
I built a BARD84B, I find this design to be a perfect blend of the best characteristics of the old Cameron Viva and O as well as a modern Lindstrand or similar shape. The size vs. performance is a win as the envelope weighs only 145 lbs in the bag yet contains a volume 84,0000 ft3, which gives it more usable lift then a standard 90 yet it handles like it is no bigger then a 77.Jeff Trzebiatowski
For a first-time builder, you “don’t know what you don’t know” until you run into the next question. I was lucky to receive local guidance from other experienced balloon builders Nathan & Dave.
I appreciated the ongoing support offered by Bard Balloons with my specific questions during my build. The advice and help provided was valuable and reassuring. The communication and responsiveness were extraordinary. Bard Balloon’s use of instant messaging, complete with photos & drawings, as well as asking clarification questions to confirm they had the perspective and understanding of my questions helped to give the best guidance possible.
The fee paid for the patterns and support was worth every dollar. Not needing to create my own paper patterns, unlike a traditional build based on the 1962 Smalley profile eliminated the guesswork of making patterns and decisions such as mouth and parachute sizing. The Bard profile is attractive in the air, has excellent ground handling during inflation, and it flies fantastic! Comparing a Bard to a Smalley I would pick a Bard Balloon again.
Bard Balloon’s engineering data and support was also valued. I received a cut sheet, a gore layout diagram, an instruction sheet and a 3D rendering – which made the experience similar to what purchasing a custom designed envelope from a manufacturer would be like, but in this case, I also became the manufacturer.
Building the balloon was both challenging yet relaxing. At first, it seemed like such a huge project but in the end, it wasn’t complicated. I’m an organized person and it all flows together logically. Now that the envelope is completed, I actually miss not having the project to work on! I will build again in the future. In the meantime, I am encouraging and offering to help other LTA pilots with building as I share my experience of “building” with the same zest as our stories of “flying”.
After building this balloon, I will never look at any other balloon the same way again. I find myself looking at all the small details of how and with what materials other balloons were built and comparing differences between brands and models. I have gained a new level of appreciation for the craftsmanship and skill coming from major manufacturers that build our type-certified balloon envelopes.
With each inflation of the completed balloon, I find myself taking a pause to appreciate and remind myself that I built it. It leaves me with feelings of awe, satisfaction, amazement, pride, and it puts a big smile on my face! It really brings a new meaning to flying “my” balloon. When people ask about the balloon, I get great satisfaction to also tell them that “I built it”.