Our challenge is to fly all 48 contiguous US states in the fastest time during a calendar month.
Our adventure begins on February 6th in Louisville, Kentucky and where we travel next is all down to the weather...
We hope to visit all our ballooning friends across the country and invite them to come and fly with us in their home state and we are also looking forward to seeing all of the weird and wonderful sites America has to offer along the route...
In order to help with the speed and flexibility in transit, the team are using a bespoke lightweight balloon called a 'techno' which was designed and built by UltraMagic Balloons. G-UNKY is a small balloon of 50,000 cubic feet with a collapsible basket, which will be paramount if the team have to carry in or out of awkward locations.
Andrew is the Chief pilot and Operations Director of the world's leading aerial marketing specialist Exclusive Ballooning who operate branded hot air balloons for a multitude of high profile clients around the world.
Andrew has successfully taken balloons to some of the most iconic locations in the world; Brookyln Bridge New York, The Coliseum Rome, The Atomium Brussels, The Palm Dubai and famously flew under Tower Bridge in London for Disney.
"I've always wanted to roam America with a balloon in the truck. Road trips in the U.S. are so much fun and the option to stop off and meet up with balloonists along the route and see as much as we can from the air is fabulous"
- Andrew Holly
Martin is a one of Exclusive Ballooning's most senior crew members with years of experience at both commercial and competition events.
Martin is also a qualified and experienced mechanic who will be taking care of all vehicle and balloon maintenance on the trip.
"I'm looking forward to seeing so much of America in such a short period of time. It will be amazing to see and meet so many amazing people and places."
- Martin Rooke
John is an experienced cameraman who is in charge of Exclusive Ballooning's online media content.
John is responsible for the filming and final editing of all aspects of the project.
"I have had a keen interest in documentaries for a few years now, especially 'run & guns'. To be given the opportunity to film the road trip is very exciting to me, as it not only means that I get to experience the different landscapes of "The Greatest Country in the World", but I also get to capture and preserve those experience for others to see."
- John Howe
Mike is Exclusive Ballooning's in house website developer and Social Media manager who has travelled to events across the globe with the company.
Mike will be providing crucial support to the team from the UK office. He will be fielding all media enquiries and liaising with members of the press whilst managing Social Media.
"I'm delighted to be assisting the team raise the profile of this exciting project."
- Mike Buckle
Louise is the Operations Manager at Exclusive Ballooning and has worked with Andrew for nearly ten years. Through her work at Exclusive Ballooning she has worked on client projects taking balloons to various global locations including London, New York, Dubai, Monaco, Denmark amongst many others.
Louise will be providing crucial logistical support to the team from the UK office.
"I am very excited to be part of this project and help the team to achieve such an amazing and ambitious goal. I have been involved with many client campaigns and global adventures at Exclusive Ballooning but this will certainly be a challenge!"
- Louise Moore
Jack has recently joined the operations team at Exclusive Ballooning and will be working on research and permissions for Air Traffic Control, site permissions and where the team can get good quality hot Earl Grey tea in the middle of nowhere in Montana at 4am.
"It's a privilege to be providing research and planning support to such a unique and ambitious project."
- Jack Tudor
Glen Moyer is editor of "Ballooning" Official Journal of the Balloon Federation of America (since 2001). A commercially licensed balloon pilot, Glen has been honoured by the BFA and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale for his contributions to the sport over 3 decades. He's been involved in many special ballooning projects including two BFA national conventions, and provided control centre and communications logistics for many of Dr. William Bussey's "Skyquest" world record flights.
Glen has been a friend of Exclusive Ballooning for many years and will be will be assisting with logistical support while in the US. His extensive knowledge and history within the ballooning community will be invaluable.
"I'm honoured to join Exclusive Ballooning's team and to provide logistical support for this adventurous ballooning project across the USA."
- Glen Moyer
Matt is a hot air balloon pilot himself and has been working with Exclusive Ballooning for many years. Matt will be assisting with US logisitcs and meeting the team on their arrival in Kentuckty to help in the final stages of preparation before they set off.
Through his passion and profession of hot air ballooning, Andrew is extensively well travelled and has also spent a great deal of time in the US. Andrew has always wanted to do an extensive road trip across the US with a hot air balloon and in 2016 it will become a reality.
Due to the weather dependant nature of hot air ballooning, the route will need to be very flexible and our plans will be continuously changing as the weather changes.
Martin Rooke has been Andrew's Senior Crew Chief at multiple events over the last seven years and they have travelled to various destinations together. Andrew 'sold' Martin on the concept during a ballooning event they were at together in Italy and Martin couldn't say no!
As initial planning began, the trip gained momentum and then gained excitement. Andrew cleared his diary for February and simply booked the flights for the whole team - no going back, we are going!