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Penguin-shaped hot air balloon created by Gloucestershire firm Exclusive Ballooning for 15th birthday

By citizenmike  |  Posted: February 22, 2014

The penguin design

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A special penguin-shaped hot air balloon will become the newest addition to the ever growing fleet owned by Gloucestershire based Exclusive Ballooning as they celebrate their 15th birthday.

A Facebook competition is also running until Wednesday to decide upon a name for the balloon.

The penguin is the result of a design competition, where hot air ballooning fans were invited to submit online designs for a character balloon with the winning design being turned into reality. The winning design is based on a character from a sketch by Bristol based artist Tom Moore.

The 70,000 cubic feet special shape hot air balloon will be built in Spain by specialist manufacturer Ultramagic using revolutionary new techniques in order to make this one of the lightest special shapes ever built.

The penguin already has his own website blog following 'his' production from sketch to reality and then following his adventures around the world.

Andrew Holly, managing director of Exclusive Ballooning, said: “We love the design of this balloon and think it will make a real splash at the balloon festivals it will be visiting around the world. This balloon will be a real crowd-pleaser and Tom has done a great job in designing something simple and easy to identify with. Everybody loves a penguin.”

Exclusive Ballooning plan for the penguin to see as much of the world as possible and he has already been booked into balloon festivals in Australia, USA, South Africa, Philippines as well as Gloucestershire's Exclusive Cup balloon festival in June and Bristol International Balloon Fiesta in August.

Andrew Holly is one of the world’s most experienced pilots and is ranked in the top 30 best balloon pilots and won at the National hot air ballooning championships held in August 2012 and retained the title in 2013.

Not content with just giving their 36,000 Facebook fans the chance to design a balloon, they are now running a competition with prizes to name the penguin. If you would like make your suggestion, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/exclusiveballooning.

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