Special Shapes Attending

Iwi the Kiwi

Registration: N6566K
Pilot: Rick Walczak
Pilot Hours: 1050

Pilot Bio: Rick Walczak is an experienced pilot with over 40 years of international flying experience in balloons, marketing, corporate sponsors and companies. He has participated and helped in over 350 balloon events around the world. With Flying Colours Business in New Zealand it has taken Rick to places such as USA, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia , Panama, India , Turkey now Chile. Rick Has set several records in New Zealand to gain maximum exposure for major advertising clients such as CNN and Sky News via Balloon Advertising. This accomplished pilot has won an award for the best marketing using a hot air balloon to promote “An egg a Day Is Now OK” and a great contract with Nestle with a large seven story Nescafe Mug. The Latest Balloon in the fleet is the Famous Iwi The Kiwi standing seven Stories tall and now available and on tour.

Angry Bird

Registration: N333AB
Pilot: TBC
Pilot Hours: TBC

Pilot Bio: TBC

Yoda

Registration: G-CIIE
Pilot: Benoit Lambert
Pilot Hours: 900

Pilot Bio: Benoit lives in Belgium and regularly tours all over the world with his special shaped balloons. This will be the first time Yoda has ever been to a UK event since he left the Cameron Balloons factory in 2014.

Owl

Registration: G-OWLL
Pilot: Jeff Lawton
Pilot Hours: 1400

Pilot Bio: 

In the summer of 2016, Jeff was chatting to his daughter, Rosanna, about designing a special shape hot air balloon. Within days she came up with a fantastic drawing based on an owl picture hanging in their house.

The design was then handed over to manufacturers Ultramagic Balloons who then started putting Rosanna’s paper drawing onto the computer. After a few changes to colours the final design was agreed and what a great looking balloon it is!

It is a mixture of standard and lightweight fabric and comes in at 100kg and took 12 weeks to build.

Also attending the event will be the World Owl Trust where you can see the real thing up close and find out more about these wonderful birds.  More information on the World Owl Trust can be found here: www.owls.org 

Hot Lips

Registration: G-Lips
Pilot: Anthony Brown
Pilot Hours: 3000

Pilot Bio: 

Tony has been flying for the past 45 years initially with British Airways as a Senior Flight Engineer on Boeing 707 then training to convert to Concorde in 1977 where he remained until his retirement, just after the Air France Concorde accident.
Hot Air Balloon flying started in parallel in 1983 when he was asked to fly the Concorde balloon, in several foreign countries, during it’s early promotional days. As well as attending a host of balloon meets worldwide, he has competed in two World Championships with a Gold Award for Accuracy and a Diamond Award for Altitude achieving 33,500 feet.
In 1991 Tony set up Reach for the Sky for commercial passengers eventually flying 19 passengers each flight in the UK’s largest licensed balloon.
Some of his most memorable balloon flights have been over the winter Alps at 16,000 feet in International long distance competition which, with his accomplished crew, he has won several times. Tony is a licensed engineer, balloon inspector, instructor and flight examiner.

Aston Martin & Orange

Registration: G-OAML & G-CDXW
Pilot: Andrew Kaye
Pilot Hours: 1630

Pilot Bio: 

Andrew is a specialist in Special Shape flying, and owns/operates a number of classic Special Shaped Balloons. When not flying Shapes Andrew is flying larger passenger carrying balloons and spends half the year flying over the city of Melbourne in Australia, and the other half flying over the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District and places like Ashbourne, Bakewell and Matlock. Andrew and his team attend many festivals throughout the World and their travels have taken them all over Europe , USA, Japan, Israel and Australia

Action Man & Babybel

Registration: G-CGIS/G-BXUG
Pilot: Karl-Heinz Grünauer
Pilot Hours: 1200

Pilot Bio: 

We are a private balloon team based in Germany. We flew often in the past in the UK where we have lovely friends who will be helping us with the inflation of Action Man & Babybel.
We have attended many meetings around the world. Our team is looking forward to seeing all our friends at the Midlands Air Festival and we wish the organisation great success.

Captain Jack & Morris the Donkey

Registration: G-OIIY/G-DONK
Pilot: Martin Cowling
Pilot Hours: 800

Pilot Bio: 

TBC

Mr Peanut & The Piper

Registration: G-NUTS & G-PIPY
Pilot: Neil Ivison
Pilot Hours: 183

Pilot Bio: 

These delightful characters are being brought by the British Balloon Museum & Library. It was formed in 1979 by a small group of balloonists, with the objective of preserving the many different items associated with and used in hot air and gas ballooning. The museum is run entirely by volunteers – not all balloonists – and is funded by private and corporate donations and annual subscriptions. To find out more visit www.bbml.org.uk

Swatch Watch

Registration: G-BMJJ
Pilot: Damian Busby
Pilot Hours: 25

Pilot Bio: 

Built up in 1985 this was the second of three watch shapes to be built. Only test inflated in the U.K. it had first flight in France before spending its life in Switzerland. After being retired in 1987 it was stored away until I acquired it in 2013. After a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears, this balloon was back in the air again and enjoying her first flight from uk soil. 2018 sees the last year of flight and I am proud to bring it to this weekend for all to enjoy one last time.

Michelin Man

Registration: G-PNEU
Pilot: Matt Rowley
Pilot Hours: 110

Pilot Bio: 

We fly mainly in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire but attend event across the UK. We have flown across London and the English Channel to France. Eric is a 150ft tall replica of the Michelin mascot, Bibendum. Sadly no longer airworthy, he can be seen inflated at a number of events we attend.

Maxwell Coffee Jar

Registration: G-BVBJ
Pilot: Neil Ivison
Pilot Hours: 183

Pilot Bio: 

Built in 1993 for an advertising promotion. This is one of 2 identical balloons were built and taken to Brazil for filming a TV advert – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j3rDCWwoxw This balloon is now owned by the British Balloon Museum & Library and will be flying from the event. The museum will also be attending with 2 tether shapes – Mr Peanut & The Piper.

Saucepan

Registration: G-BHRK
Pilot: Damian Busby
Pilot Hours: 25

Pilot Bio: 

A Colt 56 special shape saucepan was one of the first built by colt balloons. Born in 1980 and with only a couple of flights to its name, the saucepan found itself on the way Switzerland. A little more than a year later it was involved in an accident. The damaged envelope was taken on by the American dealer for colt balloons and shipped to the USA. Repaired and flying again, the dealer found himself flying with a prospective sponsor in Canada. Feeling positive it unfortunately did not happen and the gentleman decided to give up the dealership. The saucepan was given to the repair station from where it was repaired on first arrival in the USA, never to fly again. After 5 years of searching for this balloon I was ready to give up until a random email was replied to from the original USA colt dealer in the 80’s. One thing led to another and the envelope was found in the back of a storage unit in Illinois. An amazing gentleman, a family member of the owner of repair station, was very helpful and happy for it to come back to the uk but only after he inflated it one more time. 33 years in the bag and suddenly the saucepan graced the Illinois landscape once again. Packed up and on a ship back home the saucepan was on uk soil. It had taken 8 years but 14th January saw its first inflation on U.K. soil for more than 36 years. I am delighted to bring this balloon to the midlands air festival for its first ever public showing.

Buddy

Registration: G-WLVE
Pilot: Chris Freeman
Pilot Hours: 250

Pilot Bio: 

Buddy has only ever flown once in the UK since being built in 2006. Despite very few UK flights, Buddy is quite the international traveler, having flown in Spain, Norway, Holland, Germany, England, Thailand and most recently the Philippines in February this year. Buddy will be flown by co-owner Chris Freeman and we are looking forward to seeing Buddy & Chris over the Worcestershire skies.

Shuttlecock

Registration: HB-QOC
Pilot: Thomas Gleixner
Pilot Hours: 100

Pilot Bio: 

The Shuttlecock was built in 1991 for the worlds’ oldest winter sports club located in St. Moritz. In the first 25 years it has been flown only around St. Moritz and a few times at other places in Switzerland. In 2015 the Swiss Shapes Team was founded and since then we operate the Shuttlecock which has done just 5 flights in the past 18 years. In the last 2 years, we showed this golden shining balloon at balloon festivals in Switzerland and Germany. We are happy to show it for the first time in the UK.

Bertie Bassetts

Registration: G-BZTS/G-BXAL
Pilot: Andrew Kaye
Pilot Hours: 1630

Pilot Bio: 

Andrew is a specialist in Special Shape flying, and owns/operates a number of classic Special Shaped Balloons. When not flying Shapes Andrew is flying larger passenger carrying balloons and spends half the year flying over the city of Melbourne in Australia, and the other half flying over the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District and places like Ashbourne, Bakewell and Matlock. Andrew and his team attend many festivals throughout the World and their travels have taken them all over Europe , USA, Japan, Israel and Australia.

Ricoh imagine. change.

Registration: G-RCOH
Pilot: Malcolm Campbell
Pilot Hours: 3200

Pilot Bio: 

The RICOH imagine. change. special shape is a familiar sight at balloon events in the UK and RICOH are the headline sponsors of the Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta®.

Lion

Registration: G-LEAT
Pilot: Andrew Holly
Pilot Hours: 2200

Pilot Bio: 

tbc

Busby the Queens Guardsman

Registration: G-POMP
Pilot: Paul Burrows
Pilot Hours: 1000

Pilot Bio: 

tbc

Stuart

Registration: G-DMEZ
Pilot: Nick Langley
Pilot Hours: 1650

Pilot Bio: 

tbc

Superbike

Registration: PH-GJV
Pilot: Herman Kleinsmit
Pilot Hours: 2800

Pilot Bio: 

Pilot Herman Kleinsmit is from Holland and started ballooning in 1986. He has a commercial flying company which takes him all over the world. His first spcial was the Big Cow from Cameron. After that the Bunch of Balloons and then the Frog. He did flights in America, Israel, Mexico, Thailand, Japan, Canada and all of Europe. I bought the Superbike 2 years ago and so far have done 25 flights.