RCL Exclusive

This French Startup Sells Personalized Hot-Air Balloons

Be careful flying it home.

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Historically, the only people who happen to have hot-air balloons on hand are wizards trying to send lost humans back to Kansas and eccentric inventors looking to circumvent the globe.

And, well, hot-air balloon companies, who will happily take interested parties in the air for a hearty fee.

That could all change soon, though, thanks to a troposphere-minded startup called FlyDOO. The French company has spent two years researching and perfecting a prototype that it plans to sell for individual use. The light and compact unit packs down small enough for storage in a garage or closet.

hot-air balloon
Image by FlyDOO.
hot-air balloon
Image via FlyDOO.

FlyDOO is yet to launch on Kickstarter, but plans on a joint for-fun/for-advertising business model. The “for fun” option is particularly refreshing — who the hell knows anyone with a hot air balloon? But FlyDOO believes “light sport ballooning” could take off thanks to its unique blend of action and relaxation. The concept checks out; now they just have to figure out ease of use and safety.

And FlyDOO checks both boxes. Hot-air balloons are pretty simple, believe it or not. There’s a basket for the pilot and a friend, the propane burner and the envelope (the balloon), which fills up with air. This model will make its debut October 6 at the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival (worth a trip if only to obliterate everyone else on Instagram), and of particular interest will be FlyDOO’s Vectored Thrust Unit, a battery-charged steerer that attaches to your balloon to guarantee you can land where you prefer.

Gotta make a proper entrance on Day 80, after all.

Find more information and check for updates on production here.

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