Ayrton Senna used to fly low on the track, but now he will also be represented flying high in the sky with a special balloon created in his honour. The driver’s iconic helmet served as inspiration for Rodrigo Silva and Ricardo de Almeida to create a balloon 27 metres high and 18.8 metres wide. Rodrigo says the project took three months from the beginning of the plan to inflating the balloon for the first time for testing. Its first official flight will be at the beginning of September.
“Senna is not just about an athlete who represented us for so many years. He is a true example of a human being, who left a huge legacy for our country, which is the Ayrton Senna Institute. For all these reasons, we, as fans, decided to hold this tribute. Our desire is to further spread the Senna surname around the world,” says Rodrigo, who is the manager of Aeromagic Balloons and, like Ricardo, a balloon pilot.
The hot air balloon has a volume of 3,000 m3 and is called SS-SENNA30. The creators of the project intend to make presentations in Brazil, but the balloon has already been confirmed for the Festival Internacional Del Globo in Mexico, one of the largest hot air balloon festivals in Latin America, which will take place between November 18 and 21.
“Ayrton Senna’s helmet is a source of inspiration for various special tributes around the world, but in a balloon over 18 metres wide I believe this is a first. We really like the idea because this kind of action shows how Ayrton’s legacy is still present in these 28 years. Ricardo and Rodrigo will make it possible for many people to see this special tribute around the world,” said Paola Santilli, Head of Marketing Senna Brands.
For this unique tribute to Ayrton Senna, the guest for the inaugural flight was the big wave surfer Marcelo Luna, who, besides being a declared fan of the driver, has been a great partner of the Institute. One of the reasons for the association is the fact that the balloon has the height of the waves that Luna is used to surfing in Nazaré (Portugal).
“For me it is a huge honour to be associated with any action that involves the name Ayrton Senna. I feel honoured to have been nominated for this. And it was simply surreal to fly in a balloon, and even more so in Senna’s balloon,” says Luna.
The SS-SENNA30 balloon holds up to four people for captive flight, being one pilot and three visitors.