You may be one of those who think designing hot-air balloons is as romantic as operating space crafts or running a chocolate factory – the kinds of things you can imagine yourself doing with a loved one on Valentine’s Day. Slow down, though! Production of chocolate is limited by an insane number of sanitary requirements while designing hot-air balloons is governed by two authorities – physical laws and the Civil Aviation Authority. And what do these two have in common? Simple – they are both virtually impossible to bypass.

 A hot-air balloon is a type of aircraft lighter than air and was the first craft to take man up in the air. It consists of an envelope (the textile part filled with hot air), a gondola for the crew, a burner to warm up the air in the envelope, and a fuel tank (propane or a mixture of propane and butane). Hot-air balloon flying started in June 5, 1783, when the Montgolfier brothers, with a sheep, a duck, and a rooster on board, all lifted off the ground in Annonay, France. By returning alive, they proved that the atmosphere didn’t contain poisonous gases like people thought, making it possible for people to finally fly. 

A true paradise for hot-air balloons

#brnoregion is a kind of Promised Land for hot-air balloons, which you can see for yourself every summer; weather permitting, you can enjoy watching balloons floating in the sky almost every day. Why is that? Well, hot-air balloon flying in Brno started in the 1970s, with the establishment of Aviatik Club, a group of balloon-flying enthusiasts led by Aleš Kubíček. In 1983, following a series of attempts and failures, they finally succeeded in constructing the very first Czech hot-air balloon. This was no easy feat, not only due to a fatal lack of basically any materials, which turned the construction into one big improvisation that put even the proverbial Czech skilfulness to the test, but also due to the totalitarian regime in what used to be Czechoslovakia. In several cases, people from Eastern Europe had emigrated to the West by a hot-air balloon, which is why the manufacturing of balloons was strictly controlled. Taking today’s freedom for granted, we can’t even imagine what the local balloon pioneers had to go through before they could pump it up for the first time. These days, if you want to get your own balloon, you no longer have to stitch up your grandma’s bed sheets and spend your nights weaving a wicker gondola with your friends. Just call the Kubíček family!

Kubicek Balloons is the second largest company producing hot-air balloons and airships in the world. Based in Brno, it exports its products to countries on every continent, and is the biggest European exporter to the USA as well. Established in 1991 by Aleš Kubíček, designer of the first Czech modern hot-air balloon, today it has over 50 employees who produce around 100 balloons every year. In addition to standard envelopes for balloons, it manufactures its own gondolas and burners, and even develops and manufactures balloons of special shapes, such as a 38-metre flying bear, St. Gallen cathedral or a testicle-shaped balloon manufactured for a British campaign against testicular cancer. The balloons are made of a unique, extremely strong polyester fabric made by its sister company, Textil Kubíček based in Černá Hora near Brno. Another sister company named Balónový Zámek (Balloon Chateau) provides pilot training for clients.

How to do it

What should you expect after deciding to get your own hot-air balloon? First, you need to meet with the representatives of the company’s sales department to clarify what balloon you need, how you’d like it to look, how many people it should carry, how often you’d fly, and other important details. If you want a balloon of an unusual shape, just remember that the laws of physics outweigh customer wishes. Some shapes will never rise whereas others are impossible to control. Narrow elongated shapes, such as a bottle, are the worst; the narrower the balloon is, the faster it warms up and cools down, i.e. it rises and falls quickly and needs to be controlled by a very experienced pilot. And a needle-shaped balloon won’t fly even if controlled by the Montgolfier brothers themselves. 
Once you’ve clarified everything, including the price and deadlines, the company will prepare a visualization for you to see what your balloon is going to look like.

And then it’s time to actually produce the balloon. The sales representative meets with the workers from the sewing room, the locksmith’s shop and the gondola-makers and with the person responsible for the technical part of production who, using special software, prepares references for the cutting machine to cut the fabric. Then, the seamstresses start to sew up the balloon or, more precisely, the part of the balloon called the envelope, using special French felled seam, which is used on the outer side of your jeans legs as well. Then, load cables are inserted, the lower non-flammable part of the balloon is added and the top – also called the crown – containing the release valve is completed. 

In the meantime, the metal structure for the gondola is welded in a different workshop. Once finished, it is manually filled with rattan. Another essential part of the balloon are the burners; typically, there are two, but their number depends on its size – the bigger the balloon, the more burner units needed.

Once every part has been finished, the balloon needs to be assembled and tested. Each new envelope needs to be inflated, tests are conducted with special-shaped balloons to see if they rise, and all the valves, burners and every single part are tested as well. Only then is the balloon passed on to its owner.

Up in the air!

Jules Verne had his characters spend an amazing five weeks in a balloon and expressed pretty much everything people associate with hot-air balloons – freedom, great experiences, traveling beyond the known horizons… In #brnoregion, we know that flying in a hot-air balloon is one thing while constructing hot-air balloons is something totally different – hard work for very skilful professionals. Nevertheless, it still remains a beautiful and romantic job.

Hot-air balloons are about sky, wind, fire, and land, you know. They made it possible for us to fulfil one of the greatest dreams of mankind – to fly like birds. And the story of Kubicek Balloons more than anything else shows that it takes only one or two men to positively influence the life of an entire region. It’s thanks to the handful of Aviatik enthusiasts from the 1980s that #brnoregion today boasts the second largest and the most modern factory producing hot-air balloons in the world.

Some numbers:

  • Approximately 1 million CZK (EUR 39,000) – the average cost of a hot-air balloon.
  • 100+ balloons are produced in the Kubicek Balloons factory every year.
  • Over 1,500 – number of balloons produced by Kubicek Balloons in its 30+ years of existence. 
  • Approximately 3 weeks – how long it takes to sew the balloon envelope. 
  • Approximately 2 weeks – how long it takes to manufacture a gondola for 4 passengers.
18. 06. 2019
Photos: Balóny Kubíček

More articles

A guide to working from home Work

A guide to working from home

Working from home: Not long ago, this was mostly the realm of freelancers. Today, however, lots of employees who had previously only worked in offices have had to take up the lifes... READ MORE
Viliam Vatrt: Introducing a global altitude-measuring system is simple Work

Viliam Vatrt: Introducing a global altitude-measuring system is simple

Viliam Vatrt, a professor of geodesy, was the first to calculate the current value of the physical constant W0 – a value as important as the speed of light in a vacuum or Newton’s ... READ MORE
The Záchranka life-saving app: one click sends help Work

The Záchranka life-saving app: one click sends help

What was just a part of a bachelor thesis several years ago has been turned into a fully-functional mobile app interconnected with rescue service systems that is saving lives in se... READ MORE
Turbochargers from #brnoregion spin the incredibly fast engines of Formula 1 race cars Work

Turbochargers from #brnoregion spin the incredibly fast engines of Formula 1 race cars

In the Brno development centre of Garrett Motion, a leading global producer of turbochargers, developers have been working on a revolutionary new product – an electrified turbochar... READ MORE
Why every digital nomad should work from #brnoregion Work

Why every digital nomad should work from #brnoregion

Whether you’re an app coder or a professional magician on the road, you know that being a digital nomad isn’t about lying on the beach with your laptop. There are lots of enchantin... READ MORE
Reminding people what it feels like to do good Work

Reminding people what it feels like to do good

Even as a high school student, Libor Hoření was already working on his own online projects. Today, this young businessman from #brnoregion is not only a successful investor but mai... READ MORE
Zdeněk Kříž: Ego is a powerful tyrant Work

Zdeněk Kříž: Ego is a powerful tyrant

Capitalism is dead, long live conscious capitalism! At least that’s what current trends in business suggest. We discuss this new wave which has been gradually making its way throug... READ MORE
Foreigners in #brnoregion: Arielle DeSoucey Work

Foreigners in #brnoregion: Arielle DeSoucey

When her husband received a work relocation assignment in Brno, and he asked her if she wanted to move here, she replied “What is Brno? Shouldn’t we move to France instead?” READ MORE
The joys of coworking in #brnoregion Work

The joys of coworking in #brnoregion

Every creative person knows that truly good ideas are hard to think up. Just like mushrooms in the woods, they need just the right conditions to grow into something special. To fin... READ MORE
Foreigners in #brnoregion: Vincent van Scherpenseel Work

Foreigners in #brnoregion: Vincent van Scherpenseel

If the Dutch and Czech authorities ever competed to see in which country it was faster to establish a company, the Dutch would beat the Czechs by a mile. Nevertheless, in other cat... READ MORE
UV radiation in fight against adulterated wines Work

UV radiation in fight against adulterated wines

In the beginning, there was light… actually, more like UV radiation. And it enables the chemists from Brno to differentiate among hundreds of samples of various wines. And they wan... READ MORE
“I will return to Brno,” young scientist promises Work

“I will return to Brno,” young scientist promises

For two months, she participated in research of neural cells. In an interview, Katja Klosterman told us how she liked working here and what impressions Brno made on her. READ MORE
Ondřej Veselý: Machine learning is a big thing Work

Ondřej Veselý: Machine learning is a big thing

As a student of IT technologies, Ondřej Veselý got excited about machine learning and teamed up with his colleagues to later develop a plant-identifying app. Today, the app identif... READ MORE
Foreigners in #brnoregion: Johan Nilsson Work

Foreigners in #brnoregion: Johan Nilsson

A constant runaround – that’s how Johan Nilsson described the lengthy process of establishing his company in #brnoregion. It was much more complicated than back in Sweden, where yo... READ MORE
Foreigners in #brnoregion: Hassan Šejk Work

Foreigners in #brnoregion: Hassan Šejk

He spends nights at Petrov, talking to the city he loves more than to people around him. He says he didn’t choose Brno – Brno chose him. Still, he can see a lot of places for #brno... READ MORE
“Dálník” – the dream of a pilot who wasn’t allowed to fly Work

“Dálník” – the dream of a pilot who wasn’t allowed to fly

The history of this single-track cabin motorcycle is a story of freedom. “Dálník”, which is what this Czech invention is called, was supposed to be a cheaper and more economical al... READ MORE
Unique registry improves care for stroke patients Work

Unique registry improves care for stroke patients

Patients who have suffered a stroke get world-class care in the Czech Republic. One of the reasons is the RES-Q international registry, created by Czech experts, which helps partic... READ MORE
Foreigners in #brnoregion: Emanuele Ruggiero Work

Foreigners in #brnoregion: Emanuele Ruggiero

“A dynamic country with a wide range of job opportunities.” That’s how Emanuele Ruggiero, founder of Kinovision Production, sees the Czech Republic. And for him, Brno is a city whe... READ MORE
Stay calm! We’ve found life Work

Stay calm! We’ve found life

In their experiments for the CEITEC research centre in Brno, scientists Judit and Jiří Šponer travel four billion years into the past to try and figure out how life emerged on our ... READ MORE
Expert on product reliability and safety: I have to do a top-quality job Work

Expert on product reliability and safety: I have to do a top-quality job

One of the best experts on the reliability and safety of products in the Czech Republic lives and works in #brnoregion. While this discipline isn’t too common here, Michal Vintr al... READ MORE
Laboratories with no white coats Work

Laboratories with no white coats

The extraordinary concentration of universities and research centres in our region create an ideal environment for research. However, once the thorough research is done, where is t... READ MORE


Anyone who knows at least something about the video game industry in Brno knows Jakub Bedecs and Zdeněk Záhora, as they’ve been very actively pushing game developers from #brnoregi... READ MORE
Winemaking technologies in #brnoregion Work

Winemaking technologies in #brnoregion

Even though we’ve been making wine for over a thousand years, in #brnoregion there’s always room to innovate. In fact, we’ve been researching new methods and inventing new technolo... READ MORE
Man in the Room? Work

Man in the Room?

We’ve learned how to protect our virtual accounts as well as computers in various ways and companies use sophisticated solutions to protect their data. Yet new threats keep emergin... READ MORE
Kentico plants a tree for each bug found Work

Kentico plants a tree for each bug found

The developers at Kentico Software are proud to say that bugs in their website design tool are very rare. For every one that shows up, however, Kentico plants a tree. Why do they d... READ MORE
Psychology diagnostics remotely Work

Psychology diagnostics remotely

Since the day it was created, Hypothesis software has travelled an unusual path – from cartographers directly to the army, which uses it for remote psychology diagnostics of its jo... READ MORE
Left Netflix and Elon Musk Work

Left Netflix and Elon Musk

David Pavlík graduated from the Faculty of Informatics at Masaryk University. Strong-minded as he was, he went on to successfully work for several top American companies in Silicon... READ MORE
The Industry 4.0 has arrived in #brnoregion Work

The Industry 4.0 has arrived in #brnoregion

Digitalization, robotic process automation, autonomous production, machines taking people’s jobs… Hey, slow down, would you? Each industrial revolution brought changes. In #brnoreg... READ MORE
The best care for your head and heart Work

The best care for your head and heart

No, we can’t help with your broken heart in #brnoregion (well, we actually could, but let’s leave it for some other time…), but if you’re looking for the best experts on diseases, ... READ MORE
There are no space technologies as such Work

There are no space technologies as such

To bring Space back to Earth and start-ups into orbit is the motto of space visionary and avid fan of startups Frank Salzgeber. READ MORE
4 centres of excellence – 4 reasons to be proud Work

4 centres of excellence – 4 reasons to be proud

Some people know the word of “excellence” only from the diplomatic protocol, since expressions like “Your Excellency” abound there. If this word existed only in the sense of an h... READ MORE
Red Hat presents Brno as an example for the whole world Work

Red Hat presents Brno as an example for the whole world

Software giant Red Hat launched its Brno subsidiary in 2006. At that time, it was manned by just a couple of people and its office wasn’t larger than a flat. Today this company emp... READ MORE
University spin-off companies drive innovation Work

University spin-off companies drive innovation

Universities research, explore and develop. Useful things emerge! They can also come in handy outside of the academic sphere, where they can bring money (that can be used for furth... READ MORE
Girls and Technology? Perfect couple Work

Girls and Technology? Perfect couple

Right. There is still majority of men in Czech IT and engineering. However, #brnoregion supports bright brains regardless of gender, and ladies and girls take the plunge! READ MORE
We Don´t Hack Around Work

We Don´t Hack Around

A gang of professionals, limited time, uncompromising deadline and useful software at the end: congratulations, you’ve just passed a fast track hackathon. This programming format i... READ MORE
Sound Engineers Work

Sound Engineers

You have certainly seen many movies with agents filtering off sound layers off a crime suspect’s phone call to discover where the caller is. Nowadays the real job is very very simi... READ MORE
Ice flowers for scientists Work

Ice flowers for scientists

There’s winter in #brnoregion, however we still haven’t got any snow. A team of scientists from Brno couldn’t wait and set off to a polar district ... thanks to their special elec... READ MORE


Region of South Moravia is one of leading centres of science, research, and innovation in Europe. Let´s check if you belong to this region too! READ MORE


JIC STARCUBE is now launching registration for its ninth run. Teams with promising technology or products now have until 31st October to apply to central Europe’s longest running a... READ MORE
From #brnoregion into space. And back Work

From #brnoregion into space. And back

#brnoregion has had a great influence on the relationship between the Czechia and the rest of the universe. And it still holds true to this day. READ MORE


In 1947 the first electron microscope was brought to Brno as part of UNRRA help after World War II. Only three years later, in 1950 scientists in Electron Optics Laboratory at Czec... READ MORE


RedHat, Honeywell, or NetSuite. And Kiwi, Y Soft, or Safetica. These are very successful companies based in Brno. The list of leaders and their achievements is much longer and beyo... READ MORE


In April 2017 an IT company Artin introduced unlimited holiday. Their web informs that they are not interested in overworked employees sitting in the off... READ MORE
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn moreThis website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.