Tethered passenger balloons are an increasingly popular leisure activity to be found at tourist sites around the world. Famous balloonist Per Lindstrand is credited with pioneering the trend with his Hiflyer balloons that can carry up to 30 passengers, typically to a height of 200m.

These tourist attractions rely on winch systems for their operation and David Brown Engineering has now delivered its 10th such system. David Brown designs and manufactures the electric winch systems that pay out, moor and tether the helium-filled balloons. The winches are driven by a custom engineered worm/epicyclic gearbox and PLC control system installed in a standard ISO shipping container that is surface mounted or installed underground.

An auxiliary motor that drives the winch at 10% of full speed is also fitted so that, in the event of a power failure, a balloon can be recovered. For overnight mooring and security during high winds a further 16 units of the 1.5kW series C helical/worm geared motors hold each balloon at ground level.

Winch systems have been delivered for tourist carrying balloons to countries that include Israel, Japan, Portugal, Spain, USA and Africa.