Lafayette, Ind., 1859. Credit: Bass Photo Company Collection, Indiana Historical Society
Up, Up and Away: 1859 Balloon Voyage Fun Facts
How long will the exhibit be at Conner Prairie and what does it cost?
This exhibit will be here for many years to come! Tickets are $15 per person + general admission, and $12/member (general admission is FREE). Pick up a coupon from presenting sponsor Ricker's BP and get $5 off your balloon voyage.
Is it safe to ride Conner Prairie's balloon?
Yes! It is filled with helium, a nonflammable gas also used in party balloons. A net and an aluminum guardrail surround the passenger gondola, and the balloon is operated by a trained pilot and assistant. For more safety information, click here.
How much can it lift?
The winch that pulls in the tether cable could lift 54 of our oxen, or up to 45 tons!
How tall is it?
At 105 feet, it’s as tall as an eight story building.
How many people can it hold?
Up to 20 people, depending on the wind conditions.
Is it cold up there?
No. The temperature in the air will be roughly the same as the temperature on the ground.
How high does it fly?
Up to 350 feet.
How long will the average ride last?
The average ride length is 10-15 minutes, which includes ascending, viewing and descending.
Can I reserve the balloon for a special occasion?
Yes, you can! 1859 Balloon Voyage Group Exclusives feature custom voyages during regular operating hours and Close Encounter packages. Call 317.776.6000 ext. 266 for more information.
Is the balloon wheelchair accessible?
A wheelchair no wider than 25.5" will fit on to the gondola via a ramp, for easy access. If your wheelchair is too wide, we have one you can use. Once the wheelchair is inside the gondola, it will be secured to the base with special safety clips.
What is the gondola of the balloon made of?
The gondola of the balloon is crafted of composite materials and aluminum, and the upper portion of the gondola is surrounded by netting. The balloon is filled with helium, an inert, nonflammable gas. The balloon ascends in good weather conditions only and will not fly in unsafe conditions, including storms or high winds.
What will I be able to see?
On clear days, the downtown Indianapolis skyline will be visible. The Pyramids at 86th Street and Michigan Road are quite clear. The beautiful bend in the White River and Conner Prairie’s “prairie,” a floodplain in actuality, are quite visible. To the north, visitors can see Noblesville and the old Conner Prairie Farm that Mr. Lilly owned on the other side of the White River. To the east, the water towers of various communities are visible.
Who made the balloon?
Aerophile, the French company that manufactured and installed our tethered balloon, has been in business since 1994. They have sold over 50 balloons in more than 20 countries in cities including Paris, Berlin, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai. In 1783, the Montgolfiere brothers launched the first successful manned balloon in Paris. Aerophile carries on the French ballooning tradition.