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International Ballooning Hall of Fame

A Balloon Museum Exhibition Featuring Official Inductees from Around the World

Féderation Aéronautique Internationale Ballooning Commission International Hall of Fame

A view of an exhibition on Sport Ballooning

With an emphasis on the science, technology, engineering, and math-related contributions of world-renowned balloonists, the redesigned International Ballooning Hall of Fame at the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, delves into the groundbreaking advancements and achievements of Hall of Fame inductees.

Sport Ballooning

Lighter-than-air sport involves competition, the type of which varies depending on the skill level of the pilot and the type of aerostat flown, an aerostat is a lighter-than-air aircraft that gains its lift through the use of a buoyant, lighter-than-air gas. Aerostats include unpowered balloons and powered airships. In the United States, hot air ballooning is a popular sport, whereas in Europe gas ballooning is more common, even for leisure flights. This is because hydrogen is cheaper and more available in Europe. There is also a longer tradition of gas balloon flying there. Regardless of the type of aerostat, competition flying provides pilots the opportunity to practice and sharpen their piloting skills. Just like with many other sports, practice is needed to maintain, hone and broaden skills and to improve performance, enhance safety and stay sharp.   


The World Air Sports Federation's International Ballooning Commission, or Comité International d'Aérostation, founded the Hall of Fame in 1994 to honor those who have made significant contributions to ballooning and airships, including those who have excelled in business, history, design, engineering, competitions, and record-setting. The Balloon Museum has been home to the International Ballooning Hall of Fame since 2011.

Learn more about the FAI Ballooning Commission

The multi-media exhibition includes many unique and never-before-seen artifacts from the Balloon Museum's extensive collection, including burners, instruments, and inflation devices. A centerpiece touchscreen interactive, nearly 8 feet tall, invites visitors to learn more about all of the inductees.

Hall of Fame interactive 2021

The exhibition traces the stories of inductees, beginning with those who launched the age of human aviation over two centuries ago through ballooning. Since then, people have pushed the technology of ballooning and lighter-than-air (LTA) aviation in order to reach new heights, gain new knowledge, and advance human capabilities.

The International Ballooning Hall of Fame recognizes and memorializes the accomplishments of these legendary aeronauts.

In 2021 the Ballooning Commission recognized Wilhelm Eimers and Jim Winker for their groundbreaking advancements and achievements in ballooning.  Read Press Release: Two Pioneers Recognized and Inducted Into the FAI Ballooning Commission International Hall of Fame.


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(L to R: Dr Marilee Schmit Nason with Mark Sullivan, Greg Winker (son of inductee Jim Winker), and inductee Wilhelm Eimers and his daughter in a video he sent from Germany while he was unable to attend)

See more photos from the 2021 event.


Watch: The FAI Ballooning Commission International Hall Of Fame - 2021 Induction Ceremony