Hot air balloon at Heathrow Terminal 2

10 May 2017 by Tom Otley

A hot air balloon has been installed in Terminal 2, London Heathrow.

Standing over 15 metres tall, the balloon – sponsored by Burberry and made by made by Bristol-based Cameron Balloons – is inspired by Air Commodore Edward Maitland’s 1,117 mile journey from London to Russia in 1908 where Maitland wore protective Burberry gabardine suiting.

The journey established the British long-distance, in-flight record. Along with fellow balloonists Auguste Gaudron and Charles Turner, Maitland travelled the 1,117 miles from the Crystal Palace in London to Russia in the ‘Mammoth’ balloon.

Located in the departure lounge of Heathrow terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal, the installation depicts a scene akin to Edward Maitland’s balloon taking off amid a preparatory picnic, with bespoke pieces of furniture designed and made by the Sebastian Cox workshop and studio.

Cox imagined the items Maitland might have taken on his journey and the traveling chests and ‘campaign’ furniture which accompanied explorers as they travelled the globe. He designed the balloon basket, picnic table and trestles, curved screens, hampers, crates, trolleys and chests with pegged mortise and tenons, luggage-inspired leather handles, brass shackles and hand turned toggles to bring this adventurous scene to life. Each piece is made using English oak frames, woven with English ash in an entirely bespoke diagonal weave.

The balloon will be on show until August.

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