News Room - 2007

18th December 2007

Christmas closing dates
The staff at Kavanagh Balloons will be taking a well earned break over the Christmas and New Year period. The factory will be closed from 1.30 pm on Friday 21st of December through till 7am on Monday the 7th of January. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year and hope you have a great break.

Hobart Yacht Race
Many would argue that spending the Christmas/New Year break in a washing machine is not much fun but Phil and Sean don't see the problem. Both will be competing in the 2007 Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race aboard Namadgi, the 44 foot Bavaria.

Back in July, Phil and Sean were part of the team to take Namadgi to a prestigious PHS division win in the Sydney to Gold Coast race.

Thanks to sponsorship by Titley Electronics, Namadgi has a brand new high tech main sail which in a handful of training days has already shown to give a significant performance boost to the yacht. Namagi will also be the only yacht in the fleet with a radio direction finder on board to assist in the location of a man overboard. The RDF system allows the crew to home in on the 121.5Mhz signal from a personal EPRIB making location and rescue of a lost crew member much more likely in difficult conditions.

The Hobart race is considered one of the worlds most challenging ocean passage races. It will be the second trip south for Phil and Sean's first Hobart race.

Everyone is wishing them good luck at this end. You can watch all the action via the live tracker on the Sydney to Hobart website.

New 5.0m basket
Testing on the new 5.0 x 1.55m basket is complete. A total of 1534 bricks were carefully loaded into the massive basket for the ultimate load test of just over 7000kg. The basket passed with flying colours much to the relief of Kevin, the head basket weaver.

Now that the main testing and inspection has been done, the basket is ready for final fitting and upholstery for delivery early in the new year along with it's twin.

The larger basket will offer more space for passengers in our B-400 or G-450, with 24 passengers being the intended load for this size basket.

New maximum weight for the E-260 & E-300
The E-260 and E-300 maximum weights have now been revised after successful flight testing.

Introduction of an improved stress analysis system has allowed an upgrade from the original data used when the E-300 was first certified in 1993.

A revised flight manual will be released in early 2008 and will include the revised MTOW for both the E-260 and E-300.

Show us your best image..
If you have a great digital photo of your Kavanagh Balloon why not send it through on an email so we can include it in our slide show. Suitable photos will be selected for use on the web page or even in promotional material so make sure you own or have the rights to the image before submitting it.

17th July 2007

Flight Bags in Stock
The wait is over for a flight bag designed to hold all your precious electronics and flight gear.

The new Kavanagh Balloons flight bag is now in stock and ready for fast delivery.

Movable/removable, padded dividers allow you to layout the inside of the bag the way you want and the bag is deep enough to protect radio antennas.

Other features include an adjustable shoulder strap with pad, expanding front and zippered rear pockets, water bottle pocket, side striker pockets and pen pockets. The main flap is secured with hook and loop tape so you can close it fast and a buckle for more secure closure.

Side loops on the bag allow it to be clipped to a tank or the basket with an optional strap.  The flight bags are available in two smart colour combinations, Charcoal/Navy Blue or Royal Blue/Navy Blue.

Priced at only $125, get one now while their hot or visit our merchandise page for more information.

Karabiner Keepers
Another small but nifty gadget from Kavanagh Balloons, this time to help keep your flying wires in order.

The karabiner keeper is made from durable rubber and fits onto each of the flying wire karabiners to prevent the wires from sliding around the karabiner and out of order. Once installed, sorting out rigging twists becomes a breeze as there is no way the flying wires can get messed up.

A set of four is only $5 and your crew will love you for it.

New Flytec 6010
Kavanagh Balloons are pleased to introduce the all new Flytec 6010 as the replacement for the 4005 entry level flight instrument.

With a host of new features including 250+ hour battery life, 130 hours of barograph recording, flight logging and download capabilities all packaged in a sleek new case, the 6010 represents fantastic value for money at the same low price of $554.

Australian National Championship
Benalla was host to the 2007 Australian National Championship. The event had a total of seven flights and 15 tasks in great conditions.

Teams from all over Australia competed with the first three places going to Paul Gibbs, Sean Kavanagh and Edwin Michell. All three were competing in their Kavanagh EX-65 Vertigo Racers.

Two special mentions must go out to Andrew Robertson in 4th place, making up the same top four that represented Australia in the 2006 Worlds and also to Neville Blyth who finished in 6th place in his first Nationals and his "new to him" EX-65.

Well done to all competitors and the organising committee for a safe and well run event. We look forward to being back there in 2009.

A photo slide show from the event can be found on Aunty Monkey - The ballooning social network.

New Balloons
A long overdue update to the new balloons page has been done. We hope you enjoy the pictures as much as the new owners are enjoying the balloons.

25th April 2007

Maintenance Manual - Issue 4

Issue 4 of the Kavanagh Balloons Maintenance Manual is now out and available for download from the documents/manuals section of our website. All personnel involved in the maintenance of Kavanagh Balloons need to update to the latest issue.

Colour printed and bound copies are available for order from our office.

Just a quick reminder that subscribing to our technical documents update service will make sure all your documents are kept up to date.

29th January 2007

Ex-Demo sale

To welcome in 2007 we have a great deal on a pre-loved EX-65. This balloon has been flown mainly in Japan and with only 59 hours will provide years of trouble free and exhilarating competition flying.

Download the information sheet to read more or call the factory for more details.

Australia Day and Sky Orchestra

The flying in January has been great so far with many local and interstate pilots visiting Sydney for the Sydney Festival Sky Orchestra flights and the annual Australia Day celebrations and flight from Parramatta Park.

The Sky Orchestra saw seven balloons flying over the west of Sydney while playing music to the waking residents below. The weather allowed for 5 out of 6 scheduled flights and by all accounts was a huge success for the artists, festival and ballooning in general.

Australia Day was also a great success with the weather clearing up just in time for a perfect flight out of Parramatta Park, while a few balloons remained to tether and entertain the crowd.

News Room - 2006

21st December 2006

2006 is Going, going , gone...

The final update for 2006 is here. First of all a special thank you to all of our valued customers, friends, family and staff. It has been a great year and we are looking forwards to 2007 and all the new fun and work it will bring.

Factory closing dates

The Kavanagh Balloons factory will be closed over the Christmas break from 12pm, Thursday 21st of December and will reopen on Tuesday, 2nd of January 2007.

Over the past few months lots has happened but none of it has made it onto the website so here a few missing bits of news.

November - 2007 Australian Nationals announced.

After a long break, Australia is to have its first National Championship since 2003. The website is up and running at

November 2006 - 2006 World Championship in Motegi

Australia was represented by four teams at the 2006 Worlds, including our own Sean Kavanagh. All four pilots were flying the
EX-65 Vertigo racer in this very challenging location.

The week was not the best for the Australian Team with Paul Gibbs taking the top Aussie rank in 18th, Edwin Michell in 31st, Sean in 36th and Andrew Robertson in 44th. The Event was won by Johnny Petrehn (USA), closely followed by Joe Heartsill (USA) and Uwe Schnieder (GER).

As with the rest of the ballooning community we were shocked by the passing of Masashi Kakuda, who was to be the event director. Masashi will be missed by us all and the staff here at Kavanagh Balloons wish his family all the best in such a difficult time.

November 2006 - Pacific Cup

Sean Kavanagh and Paul Gibbs represented Australia in Saga, Japan for the 22ns Pacific Cup. Both did well in this warm up for the Worlds with Sean finishing 4th and Paul finishing 6th in their EX-65 Vertigo Racers.

September 2006 - Maintenance Course

Kavanagh Balloons have just completed our first large maintenance training course. By all reports it was a great success, with 14 participants spending three days learning to sew as well as various aspects of hands on experience, carrying out repairs to burners, baskets and other components.

All participants left with a deeper understanding of how to carry out proper inspections and repairs.

A date for future training courses has not been set but expressions of interest can be made directly by contacting

New Balloons

A long over due update to the new balloons page has been made. Of particular note is the RAAF B-105 featuring the new face of the Airforce and a FA/18 fighter. The two main artwork items are ink jet printed to spectacular effect. Another special mention goes to the new G-450 for Hot Air in Cairns, who have continued their tradition of over sized wildlife with a giant kangaroo and joey on this balloon.

16th June 2006

Service Bulletin and mailing list

Kavanagh Balloons Service Bulletin #2 has been published. This SB relates to Automatic Fill Limiters in all Kavanagh Stainless Steel fuel cylinders. Please go to the Documents section of our web site to download this bulletin.

This SB is expected to become a CASA issued Airworthiness Directive.

To assist with keeping owners, pilots and maintenance personnel up to date, we have also set up a mailing list for people to join. Emails will only be sent to members of this list when there are updates to technical documents or particularly important news. Go to the info page to join up now.

24th February 2006

Big pants to fill..

When Mitch Dowd, an underwear and nightwear manufacturer wanted to show their support for the Australian team in the upcoming Commonwealth Games they contracted Kavanagh Balloons to design and manufacture probably the world's largest pair of boxer shorts.

Measuring 12 meters wide by 10 meters high, the giant undies were then strung between two Kavanagh D-77 balloons and flown across the city of Melbourne by Sean Kavanagh and Paul Gibbs.

Picture This Ballooning managed and coordinated the stunt which also included the "Love" balloon full of VIP passengers and a helicopter loaded with media and cameras.

"While not an incredibly difficult stunt to do, the challenge of flying Melbourne can be enough in a normal balloon, being tied to another certainly added to the concentration required. It was great fun!" said Sean.

A special photo album from the stunt has been added to the photos section of our web site.

15th January 2006

First Ex-65 based in Switzerland

Shawn MacKinga has taken delivery of a striking red and white EX-65 which made its debut at Chateau d'Oex in January.

Our European dealer, Ron Kleinsmit was on hand to help out with the baptism and maiden flight. The weather provided five great days of flying in the Alps for Shawn and the Speedo-Optic team.

As balloons in Australia rarely see snow, the photos for us at least are a novelty!

Have a look at Shawn's balloon when you next see it at a competition. If you are interested in a Kavanagh Balloon for Europe, contact Ron at Dreamflights.

New Balloons

A few more new balloons including the one above have been added to the web page - check it out.

17th January 2006

Issue 3 Maintenance manual out now

Issue 3 of the Kavanagh Balloons Maintenance manual is a complete re-write and supersedes all previous maintenance manuals for all models of Kavanagh balloons. You can download and print the manual free of charge or you can order printed and bound copies by contacting our office staff.

Our customers rewarded

Balloon Safaris in the Hunter Valley and Dawn Drifters in Canberra will be heading off to the Gold Coast this February to battle it out for the National Tourism Awards.

Both companies have won the Adventure Tourism category in their State Tourism Awards showing that balloon rides are top tourist activities in both NSW and the ACT.

Dawn Drifters have just taken delivery of the new PRIME television E-240, while Balloon Safaris operate a new
E-260 in their company colours.

9th in Division for Namadgi

After a great race that saw records smashed and the second only hat trick of Line Honours, Handicap and Race Record being taken by the super Maxi Wild Oats, Namadgi sailed into Hobart under spinnaker to take 9th place in the PHS division of the Sydney to Hobart.

The crew all had a great race with strong winds and mild seas making for a relatively fast and smooth trip down the coast.

Well done! from the rest of the staff here at Kavanagh Balloons.