DIY Balloon Building


Thanks for your interest in Stumpf super lightweight hot air balloons.  I have been designing and building hot air balloons since 1975. My lightweight balloons are the culmination of over four decades of balloon design, fabrication, inspection and repair experience. Stumpf balloons are engineered to provide a high level of safety and durability, while maximizing fun and ease of use. I offer many options for do-it-yourself hot air balloon building.

You must hold or obtain a Balloon Pilot License from the FAA to operate any hot air balloon, as they are considered aircraft,
and must comply with Federal Aviation Regulations.

Homemade hot air balloons can be registered, and qualify for an Experimental Amateur-Built Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA. They can then be used for sport flying, balloon rallies, festivals, etcetera, and can be insured for uses that might require liability protection.

Homebuilt hot air balloons can be made in various sizes ranging from one man “Hoppers” up to multi-passenger traditional balloons with baskets.

Visit Vermont and build your own balloon as my apprentice! Custom design and build your own dream machine.  Call anytime to discuss the possibilities.  Please note, that due to liability concerns, we can only offer our apprenticeship programs to individuals who already hold an FAA Hot Air Balloon Pilot Certificate.

 41k Stumpf Hopper / bicycle retrieval mode
How about bicycle retrieval mode!?! 
Pictured is my Stumpf Duo Chariot 41k lightweight system completely transportable by bicycle! 

My personal 41,000 cubic foot super lightweight Hopper Duo fits into the back of a Honda Element, without removing or folding up ANY of the seats!  Total system weight (without fuel) is only 135 lbs!

The Stumpf super lightweight systems are available in single place ultralight and two place Hopper Duo models.  Duo model carries an Experimental Airworthiness Certification, and can be used for sport flying, rallies, festivals, etc.  Experimental models are fully registered aircraft and can be insured for uses requiring liability protection.

Visit the photo gallery below to see many of the dream machines that my students and I have created.


Do It Yourself Balloon Projects

Click on pictures to enlarge


"I wanted to enjoy the process it took to learn to fly and build my balloon and knew it would take a special mentor to help me achieve my goals."

Morgan Calderini


"As I built the balloon Paul helped me through the process of cutting panels and then sewing the panels into gores and then sewing together until..."

Larry Nelson


"I highly recommend working with Paul if you want to build your own balloon. In fact, I want to build a second balloon with his guidance."

Jim Mueller


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