An interesting exhibit looked at cluster balloons. It featured "Chairway to Heaven," an office chair fastened with a bunch of balloons that Jonathan Trappe used to take flight. Kind of like that balloon boy hoax, but this one was for real; Trappe flew at an altitude of 15,000 feet over 50 miles for four hours.
Another exhibit examined hot-air balloons in war. The French first employed them in the 1794 Battle of Fleurus for reconnaissance. Though they later were used to drop propaganda and even bombs. It made sense: Balloons were simple and cheap to make and could operate unmanned.
The museum also offered a display on how to weave gondolas, with plastic-like strands for you to give it a go, and an homage to hot-air ballooning's first ladies, who parachuted from the balloon barely dressed for a Victorian-era aerial peep show.
It's a great stop if you're curious about Albuquerque's popular pastime or ballooning history. Admission is $4 and $2 for kiddies.
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[Photos: Jennifer Kester]