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Collections & Exhibits

Enjoy favorites from the Permanent Collection and explore new displays with our Special Exhibitions.

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Special Exhibitions

Every six months, the Balloon Museum features new exhibits discover the past, present, and future adventures in aviation.

Read more about our special exhibitions.

Permanent Collection

The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is home to one of the most complete collections of artifacts, images, and stories from the world of Ballooning.

Discover a World of Wonder with our permanent collection.

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All About Ballooning

Since the first balloon flights in 1783, there have been many feats recorded in the story of Balloon flight. Hot air and gas balloons have been used for adventure, scientific experiments, the arts, warfare, espionage, and the exploration of space.

The exhibits at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum help the visitor see and understand how all this happened. Emphasis is on the development of exhibits that combine historic artifacts with modern multi-media technology to create a sense of excitement as well as an educational environment.

The exhibit design focuses on the intergenerational audience with topics ranging from the general to the specific, the historic to the most recent ballooning feats.

How and Why Balloons Fly

  • Balloon construction and equipment: envelopes, fuels, baskets and gondolas, burners, parachute valves
  • Instruments: Altimeter, variometer, thermic probes and aeronautic radios
  • Buoyancy: atmosphere and altitude
  • Weather conditions and topography
  • Triumphs and Tragedies
  • First manned hot air and gas balloon fights, 1783
  • Women aeronauts


  • Aerial photography
  • Otto Winzen's invention of new balloon materials
  • James Van Allen, radiation belts
  • Stratospheric flights and the Stratolab Gondola
  • Excelsor/Manhigh experiments
  • Joe Kittinger world record parachute jump


  • Barn-storming
  • Shaped Balloons
  • Gordon Bennett Competition
  • Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Balloons in War

  • Civil War Observation Balloons, 1860s
  • Balloons and Air Mail during the Siege of Paris, 1870
  • Barrage Balloons, World War I
  • Germany's use of Zeppelins to bomb England, World War I
  • Japanese Fugo Balloon Bombs and discovery of Jet Stream, World War II