Re[2]: [MV] WWII Barrage Balloon

James Burrill (
25 Jul 1998 20:10:52 -0500

Hi List,

I seem to remember there was a WWII movie about the war on the home
front in the UK ( Hope and Glory?) Where there is a sceen where a
barrage balloon gets loose during it's filling and lift-off.

I think the problem with owning one is the original lift gas was
hydrogen, which was dirt cheep because you get is as a byproduct of
running an electrical current through a tank of water, basically
breaking down the H2O. The trouble with today is that Hydrogen is do
ungodly flammible, I don't think you could fill this thing up with it
as part of a display at an event.

Helium would work, but expensive for a 2/3 day event. You might be
able to use a modern hot air balloon system and fly it for a few hours
and then let it come down and re-fill it.

Would look damned freat at the WWI site in Newville PA or on a REAL
SHORT teather at the reading airshow.... or attached to one of the two
Liberty Ships ala WWII D-Day.....

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: [MV] WWII Barrage Balloon
Author: at Internet-USA
Date: 7/25/98 6:30 PM wrote:
> Rob,
> What is this thing? How big is it? I am definitely interested.
> Rob Kiser

Rob (and list):

I got enough replies on the Barrage Balloon that I felt it was warranted
to just post it to the list:

Here's the exact text of the ad, as appeared in today's (25 July Seattle

World War II Barrage Balloon, orig WWII packing, as new, $500. Buckskin
pants worn by Alan Ladd in movie, "Shane", $500.00. (206) 824-4403

Best of luck...let me know how it comes out...

> What is this thing?

Oh boy, with all the expertise on this list, you're asking the wrong
guy, but from photos, I gather they tethered these balloons over areas
they wanted to protect from very low level air raids. The ones I have
seen are sort of like a stumpy blimp in shape, complete with three
inflatable fins. I'm not sure if the balloon itself or the tethering
cable was supposed to be the deterrent...

> How big is it?

Not sure. Hard to gauge from photos, but a guess is 75 ft long X 40ft
in diameter... In other words, BIG!

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