Recommended Ballooning Books

Here is a selection of our recommended ballooning books and papers. Many of these books are available from Amazon. Please follow the link below to order a book from Amazon. We will receive a small commission from any orders, which will be used towards our next envelope.

Follow Your Dreams: The Story of Alberto Santos-Dumont

Elizabeth Waugaman
ISBN: 85-99240-02-1

... has three goals - to inspire children's dreams, to make the story of Alberto Santos-Dumont better known, and to help children in Brazil. The author is donating half of her royalties to charities helping children in Brazil.

Alberto was one of the greatest of the early aviators. He designed and flew both lighter than air (the smallest passenger balloon and blimps) and heavier than air (airplanes) flying machines. He accomplished the first flight in the modern sense of the word - with an itinerary and schedule - with an airship and won the Deutsch Prize for that accomplishment in 1901. This was the first flight of a practical and manageable blimp - before Zeppelin.

He was never deterred from his dream of flight despite great difficulties and danger. He was humble, and he gave away vast sums of prize money to the poor. So why has he been forgotten? Because he refused patents. He felt new ideas should be free for everybody to use to advance progress as quickly as possible. He was interested in ideas, not patents, in prototypes, not marketing. His story is so amazing and so inspiring, it should not be forgotten.

This is a bilingual childrens book. The author is looking for a publisher in the UK.

For more information: Follow Your Dreams: The Story of Alberto Santos-Dumont

Hot Air Ballooning

Don Cameron

The ballooning book every balloonist should and would have by the pioneer of ballooning and founder of Cameron Balloons Ltd. The book covers: Fundamentals of Ballooning, Flying Techniques, Advanced Flying Techniques, Hot-Air Balloon Technology, Navigation, Meteorology.

First published in 1986 this book is somewhat out of date now, but still essential reading for anyone seriously interested in the art of ballooning. If you can find a signed copy of this book, keep it safe. The book is out of print at present, but there are copies occasionally available from second hand sellers or possibly form Cameron Balloons Ltd. themselves.

J B Books who are an excellent source of out-of-print balloon books should have this.

The Ballooning Manual

Bob Carol Howes
(ISBN: 1-85310-284-9)

This book is more up to date than Don Cameron's Ballooning Handbook, although also published in 1991. The book is divided into four sections: 1 General introduction to the sport, 2 flying techniques and navigation, 3 ground studies for pilots and crew, 4 basic theory needed to pass the CAA PPL (balloons) exams.

If you are interested in the more technical aspect of ballooning this book is pretty good. No colour pictures but plenty of diagrams and monotone images. This book has probably been superseded by the excellent BBAC training manuals. Probably quite difficult to find nowadays.

Recently reprinted. We have not seen the lastest copy, which is available from Amazon.

Daffodil and Golden Eagle

Jonathan Yeatman
(ISBN: Paladin 1974)

The Saga of Two Balloons Crossing the Sahara with photographs by Jon Gargey

In January 1972 Don Cameron, Julian Nott and Felix Pole cross Spain to fly in Morocco and then into Niger, supported by by a camera team, two drivers and two cooks!

12 Chapters, 1 An Amusing Episode, 2 The Bleeding Horse, 3 Lobos - Globos, 4 Tangier, 5 Ghardia, 6 First Flight in Africa, 7 Gardey's Gulch, 8 Agadez, 9 Tenere, 10 Bilma, 11 Journey's End and 12 Niamey.

They were the first to fly in the Sahara and set a high altitude record of 19458 feet over the Tenere region. Jonathan Yeatman chronicles the expedition.

Ride the Wind USA to Africa

Richard Abruzzo, Troy Bradley
ISBN: 0-9642561-7-7

Two balloonists from Albuquerque shattered 25 aviation records when they successfully flew a 90 foot Roziere balloon from the USA to Africa. The accomplishment came as part of the Chrysler Transatlantic Challenge, the first international balloon race across the ocean.

Weekend with Willow

Sir Alister Hardy
ISBN: 1-85509-219-0

London to Oxford in an Old-fashioned Gas Balloon. It was in the early evening of 4th October 1924, when Alistair Hardy and three companions launched their gas balloon into the skies of London. They fly westward climbing to 10000 feet before landing in Oxford. On the way the basket collides with a hill top. bumps from tree to tree across a wood and descends into a mist covered Thames.

The modeling and validation of the vertical dynamics of a hot air balloon.

Ellenrieder, T. J.
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part G, Journal of aerospace engineering, v. 213, no. G1, 1999: 57-62. TJ1.P867


The contemporary interest in automatic altitude control systems for balloons has precipitated the need for dynamic models of the vertical balloon motion. This paper develops the vertical dynamics equations of a hot air balloon from first principles and successfully validates the results against three sets of flight test data from a typical balloon. It is concluded that the developed model is of sufficient fidelity for the proposed dynamic modelling needed in the development of flight control systems. However, further areas of model improvement are highlighted, which would extend the applicability of the balloon model