Monday, April 24, 2006

Artwork tops off a good Balloon

A new site explores the decorative world of hot air balloon parachute tops. Creator Keith Sproul feels that "Balloon parachutes should not be 'plain' They should have a design of some sorts."

So he's set out to document and show off the artwork atop balloons. A 'parachute top' is the round vent at the very top of a hot air balloon that can be opened and closed to adjust altitude. They are usually large, say a dozen feet across or more, and visible throughout a flight from the basket, but not from the ground.

So parachute top artwork is best enjoyed from the basket, or when a balloon is inflating or deflating. Of course, if you have the option, flying over is even better.

Some of the balloon top artwork shows off smiley faces, a roulette wheel, geometric designs, a clock, wizard's hat, and even animals.

This is a really fun site with a simple premise. Be sure to check it out, and if you know of a balloon with a cool top that's not shown, send Keith a picture.

For other sites with pictures of balloons or to learn about the hot air balloon manufacturers who build these beauties, try these listings. And Kudos to Keith for coming up with an original idea for a good ballooning website.


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