Monday, January 12, 2009

The first hot air balloon license given to an Indian was to Mr. Vishwa Bandhu Gupta at Livermore, California, U.S.A. on 15th November,1972. He was the only Indian pilot to participate in the Hot-Air Balloon Championship at Alburquerque, U.S.A. on February, 1973.

‘Udan Khatola’, the first hot air balloon built by the Ballooning club of India on 20th September, 1973 had its inaugural flight at Safdarganj airport on 7th October, 1973.

To celebrate Air Mail Day, a Balloon flight carrying was organised on 16th November, 1973 during the International Philatelic Exhibition (Indipex-73) in Delhi on the exhibition ground by Mr. Vishwa Bandh Gupta. About 2000 numbered covers were carried in the balloon. The mail carried a pictorial cancellation of the day. Some covers were signed by the pilot of the balloon stamped with a balloon shaped cachet reading ‘Flown in Balloon Udan Khatola’ India’s first hot air balloon at Indipex 1973.