1859 Balloon Voyage

Balloon

Current Status: Closed

1859 Balloon Voyage is CLOSED for the season.

Join us in celebrating innovation with the renewal of Conner Prairie’s 1859 Balloon Voyage! In 1859 a crowd of 20,000 gathered in Lafayette, Indiana to watch the launch of the “Jupiter.” The balloon was designed and piloted by John Wise and marked the first successful airmail delivery in the U.S.

Interesting facts about the balloon:

  • The balloon delivers on Conner Prairie’s explorer spirit, having lifted over 190,000 passengers 377 feet up in the air, which is higher than the Statue of Liberty!
  • The balloon is 105 feet tall, higher than an eight-story building, and 73 feet wide, the length of Conner Prairie’s covered bridge.
  • The balloon was originally lifted with coal gas, but now floats with enough helium inside it to lift 211,880 party balloons.
  • The balloon is one of only four tethered helium balloons in the whole country and is the only one in the world to put balloon flight into a historical context.
1859 Balloon Voyage Sunset

Thank you to our sponsors!

Reynolds Farm Equipment Color

Nicholas H. Noyes, Jr. Memorial Foundation

Arthur Dean Family Foundation Logo
1859

The Jupiter takes flight, piloted by John Wise, and completes the first successful airmail delivery in United States history.

2009

Conner Prairie begins a new era of innovation and growth, debuting the 1859 Balloon Voyage exhibit, supported through a co-op partnership between Ricker Oil and BP.  

2015

Conner Prairie welcomes its new corporate partner, Reynolds Farm Equipment, with a brand-new balloon.

Early Summer 2021

A new balloon launches, representing the growth of the relationship with Reynolds Farm Equipment, and an enhanced 1859 Balloon Voyage exhibit opens.

Late Summer 2021

Conner Prairie will celebrate its 200,000th flyer: will it be you?

Aerial shot of new, green and white hot air balloon
Exhibit features:
  • What Does it Look Like up There?
    (four-season view from above video)
  • Future of ballooning interactive station
    touching on multiple subjects in
    modern lighter-than-air technologies
  • Lighter-than-air history from 19th century to today
  • Air Quality Measurement System. This tool will be used to measure the amount of pollution in our atmosphere.

 

Read more about 10 years of balloon flights in a blog post written by Chris Greiling, Conner Prairie's Balloon Manager and Chief Pilot!

Inflation & Deflation videos

2021 Deflation

2021 Inflation

2009 Inflation

2015 Inflation

Share your 1859 Balloon Voyage Memories

Frequently Asked Questions

If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, ask the pilot next time you visit our 1859 Balloon Voyage!