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Ballooning in Hampshire

Ballooning in Hampshire

Right on Adventure Balloons doorstep at Farnborough there is a unique piece of ballooning history.

In 1905 the Governments Balloon Factory moved to Farnborough, having previously been based in Aldershot and prior to that Woolwich. They took over common land that has since gone on to become the home of the internationally known Farnborough Airshow. It continued to be known as the Balloon Factory for only more 6 years, at which time it changed its name in quick succession to the Army Aircraft Factory and the Royal Aircraft Factory. The manufacture of balloons ceased on the site in 1916, but continued to manufacture fixed wing aircraft. A further name change in 1918 and the Royal Aircraft Establishment was born.

The Kite balloons which included tail fins for stability in wind were developed here and used in both World Wars. The first Airship flew from Farnborough to London in October 1907 but returned by road, deflated. Other airships and balloons were built at Farnborough but they were gradually overshadowed by the aeroplane.

For more information about the factory try this site

Royal Engineers Museum

TIMELINE

  • 1878 War Office Balloon Equipment Store opened in Woolwich.
  • 1892 Balloon Factory moves to Aldershot
  • 1905 Balloon Factory moves to Farnborough
  • 1911 Changes name to Army Aircraft Factory
  • 1912 Changes name to Royal Aircraft Factory
  • 1916 Ceased Balloon manufacture
  • 1918 Changes name to Royal Aircraft Establishment
The balloon factory buildings at Farnborough

The balloon factory buildings at Farnborough

Women manufacturing gas bags for balloons at Farnborough

Women manufacturing gas bags for balloons at Farnborough

Barrage Balloon filled with hydrogen

Barrage Balloon filled with hydrogen

Observation balloon being tested at Aldershot

Observation balloon being tested at Aldershot

The Giant Airship and Balloon shed at Farnborough

The Giant Airship and Balloon shed at Farnborough

Adventure Balloons Ltd, Winchfield Park, London Road, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, RG27 8HY.
Reg No 4837166

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