Translate Our Site

Balloon Museum Permanent Collection & Exhibition

The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is the premier location for learning about the history of ballooning.

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 permanent exhibition at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum helps visitors to see and understand the rich history of ballooning, now well into its third century. In our permanent exhibition, delve into:

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

Recreation and Air Sports 

  • 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