Last updated 4/29/2020   8:47:45

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The Fantasy World of Kathie Kollins

Raven S-40 (1967)
28,000 cu ft

Raven Industries Vulcoon S-40
Hot Air Balloon

Registration N-24062
Manufacturer Name Raven Industries
Model S-40
Serial Number S40-111
Manufactured 1967
Number of Gores 12
Volume 30,000 cu ft
Registered Owner Keith Sproul

The Raven Vulcoon Hot Air Balloon was made in the early days of modern ballooning. There were several different models that carried the 'VULCOON' name. This Vulcoon is the only known balloon of this particular model left in existence. This balloon has a very interesting history and some very unusual artwork. It is being restored because of these reasons.

This balloon was flown by Kathie Kollins, who was a stripper. She flew the balloon and did her act while suspended under the balloon. Some reports state that she was in a 'macrame' basket or seat. This report is backed up by some of the paperwork from the FAA, and the artical in the Houston Balloon Pilots Association Newsletter reprinted below. The macrame seat no longer exists.

The balloon was bought by Sherry Smythe-Green, the wife of magazine editor Wayne Green. Wayne Green started Byte Magazine, Kilobaud Magazine, (both computer magazaines) and 73 Magazine (an Amateur Radio magazine). Sherry tethered the balloon in her yard a few times, then put in the barn where it stayed for over twenty years. Her son (age 20 at the time) said "Gee, Mom, you're much braver than I thought!" when he saw her seated in the sling-seat tethered and taking a balloon lesson and having the balloon go up and down.

Keith Sproul found out about the balloon in 2000 and was interested in it because the it was 'Chariot' style balloon. Then in 2005 he bought it because the 'chair' or bottom end was worth getting to put into a museum. When he bought it, he had no idea that it was the famous balloon owned by Kathie Kollins. When purchased, the tanks sill had fuel in them, and everything still worked, including the regulator, burners, etc.

Keith is now working on getting the balloon back to airworthy and getting the all the proper FAA paperwork completed. Back in the 60's and 70's, Airworthiness Certificates were issued for one year and expired. Due to this and the fact that there was no paperwork with the balloon when purchased, we have to go thru the FAA to get it re-issued. As of March 2008, this is progressing nicely, and we should be able to fly the balloon soon. Pictues will be put up as soon as that happens.

N-24062 Ownership History

Purchase DateOwnerLocation Comment
Apr 19, 1967Raven Industries (Aerostar Balloons)Sioux Falls, SDManufacturer
May 04, 1967William W Marion
Style-King Manufacturing Co
Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 29, 1969Link Z BaumGolden, CO
Jul 09, 1978Kathie KollinsRedonda, CAStripper
Sep 10, 1979Kathie KollinsScotland, SDMoved
Feb 21, 1981John Crumpler
D. Hall Clark
Roanoke Rapids, NC
Apr 21, 1981Sherry Smythe
(Wayne Green's Wife)
Peterborough, NHKept in Barn for 20 years
Jan 01, 2005Keith SproulNorth Brunswick, NJCurrent Owner
(Information from FAA Records)

Known Raven S-40 Balloons

Serial NumberRegistrationYear BuiltRegistered OwnerLocationStatus
S40-101N-1068Z1961Raven Industries IncSioux Falls, SDRevoked
S40-102N-1069Z1964Colorado Balloon Advertising, IncLittleton, COCancelled 09/15/1970
S40-103N-119751962?Oklahoma City, OKCancelled 07/29/1975
S40-104N-119761961Herb KersmanN Muskegon, MIDestroyed 06/30/1975
S40-105N-119771963?Oklahoma City, OKCancelled 07/29/1975
S40-106N-119781963Stephen HodgsonTorrance, CARevoked
S40-108N-120001963Connecticut Aeronautical Historical AssocHebron, CT
(In Museum)
Cancelled 10/13/1972
S40-109N-120011965? Co-OwnershipNapa, CACancelled 05/18/1973
S40-111N-240621967Keith SproulNorth Brunswick, NJVALID
S40-112N-240631967Corbin Gentry IncSommersville, CTRevoked
S40-113N-24065? ??Cancelled 09/12/1989
(Information from FAA Records)

Jan 9th, 2005, Test inflation, East Brunswick, NJ

Ground Crew Shirt

Pictures from Steve Andrews, TX

Pictures from 1981
Hall Clark

Raven Vulcoon Basket
Hall Clark

Houston Balloon Pilots Association Newsletter
Volume 3 Number 9 (September 1978)

This not only described the HONEYBEE chase crew in Milwaukee but is the motto of balloonist and chase crew chief Kathie Kollins. Kathie owns a 30,000 cu. ft. S-40 Raven complete with a macrame seat. Bill M. and the KOOL balloon crew helped her inflate it and with his subtle charm Bill got Kathie, Jeretta and Sue for crew. Kathie wasn't in town for the race, she was working with her friends at the Camelot, a strip joint on 13th St. Bill didn't go see the dancers but was told by a longtime friend that the Muppet act was super. Posters depicting "The Fantasy World of Kathi Kollins" were treasured as souviniers by most balloonists. Some got tee-shirts. Kathie is going to the Balloon Ranch for lessons soon. If you have a chance to meet her, do. Her enthusiasm is what all balloonists need. You don't have to see her show to enjoy this lady. P.S. Jeretta got her first ride in Saturday's race.

Pictures of Katie Kolins

Thanks to the following people for help on this project:

Name StateComment
Garry Haruska SCPilot that flew this balloon at one time, and knows some stories about it
Martin Harms SDAerostar Balloons, helped with getting a new manual
Greg Winker WAGave me a brand-new original equipment replacement regulator for the Vulcoon Burner
Mike Speciale CTExecutive Director, New England Air Museum
Tommy Robins NJSky Tech Balloon Repair Station
Wendy & Clayton ThomasMAfor some spare parts for the burner
Steve Andrews TXfor supplying pictures of the Ground Crew Shirt. He actually has the shirt and crewed for the balloon
Hall ClarkNCa previous owner that supplied some of the pictures


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"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards,
for there you have been and there you will long to return."

- Leonardo da Vinci

"It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill."
- Wilbur Wright

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away."
- Anonymous

Keith Sproul's Festival History

Scorch the Dragon Hot Air Balloon
Pandy Hot Air Balloon
Tetrahedron Hot Air Balloon
Birthday Cake Hot Air Balloon
Pig Headed Hot Air Balloon
Fred B Rabbit Hot Air Balloon

Meteor Crater Flight
Letchworth State Park, NY Gorge Flights
Shooting the Delaware Water Gap PA/NJ
Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Amarillo, TX
Red Rock Balloon Festival, Gallup, NM
2007 Switzerland Balloon Festival
Dawn Patrol Flights
Spash-N-Dash Flights

Chariot Balloons
Keith's Cameron Duo Chaiot
Balloon Flights in 3D
Balloon Parachute Artwork
Balloon Pictures from the Bottom
Red, White & Blue Balloons
Arrow Design Balloons
Flame Design Balloons
Aerostar Aurora Balloons
Parachute Drop Pictures
List of University Balloons
FLIR Balloons Pictures (Infrared heat picture)
Flytec Instruments Info Page
Digitool Instruments Info Page

How to make a Hot Air Balloon
How to make a Tetrahedron Hot Air Balloon
How to put turning vents into a Hot Air Balloon

Bonnie, our Dog
Mark Sproul's Observatory
Keith Sproul's N-Scale Trains Winds Aloft

amazing counters
Oriental Trading Coupons

Created 1/3/2005
Modified 4/29/2020
© Copyright Keith Sproul