Hangstat foot launch balloon

Article from Ballooning Magazine published Nov/Dec, 1978

1st page of Hangstat balloon article showing son Matt with dad in the swing seat operating the burners.
2nd page of the Hangstat balloon article shown with Frank Colver hovering above.
3rd & last page of the Hangstat balloon article showing Frank Colver terrain contour flying.

When I first started flying my foot launched “Hangstat” there was a lot of scepticism among the balloonists at the local field. This was too much of a radical change for them to accept. So, knowing that people tend to accept what they see in print, I decided to write an article about it in Ballooning Magazine. This article came out in the November/December, 1978 issue. Sure enough, as soon as the article was published I got full acceptance from the other balloon pilots and many wanted to try out my balloon.

I continued to fly this balloon well into the late 1980’s. Some of my favorite flights were drifting just above the ground over fields of spring wildflowers. I also enjoyed ground skimming over hilly terrain and often walking across the tops of hills and off the far side into the air again. My Colver Variometer (see other pages) was very useful for this type of ballooning, since it would respond quickly to any changes in altitude.

The name I gave this design was “Hangstat” which was a combination of pilot hanging (flying in a swing seat) and aerostat (the early name for human carrying balloons). I have learned in recent years that the name has become generic (like thermos bottle) for single place balloons where the pilot is not inside a basket and lands and launches on his/her feet.

My son Matt now has the Hangstat along with one he built himself, in Colorado where he lives. Neither balloon has been flown in many years.

Frank Colver, February 12, 2019

Hot air ballooning with no basket: a relaxing way to fly