History Takes Flight

With a collection of more than 200 historic aircraft, the EAA Aviation Museum is a year-round destination, combining aviation's past with the promise of its exciting future.

Rasor 21 Balloon Basket

Location: Pioneers of Flight

In 1909, at age 50, Warren Rasor achieved his dream to own and operate a balloon. Throughout his life, Warren acquired a total of seven balloons, which he enjoyed flying with his son Herbert. In spite of the thousands of miles Warren flew in a balloon over the course of his life, he refused to ride in an airplane, claiming that they were too dangerous.

During World War I, Warren was a civilian instructor with the rank of captain training observers in the U.S. Army Air Service stationed in San Antonio, Texas. On one training flight, he carried 18 men with him and is credited with making one of the longest flights at the balloon school.

As a homebuilder, Warren developed a tight sealing envelope varnish that became a standard among builders. Warren built seven balloons during his 15-year career and held FAI spherical balloon certificate number 50.

Warren and Herbert participated in more than 200 national balloon races in the early 1920s in which he was a successful competitor and was considered especially skilled at flying while running short of ballast. In the National Race from St. Louis, Missouri, to Ontario, Canada, in 1919 Warren, with Herbert’s aid, completed a flight of 850 miles, his longest flight.

At one time, Warren had a captive balloon in Brookville, Ohio. He would take people for rides in the balloon, which he had attached to a 500-foot rope. A horse was hitched to the rope and would pull the balloon back to the ground at the end of the flight.

Warren made his last flight in 1924, but Herbert continued to fly for quite some time. After retirement, the baskets sat in a shed for about 15 years before they were donated to museums around the country. The Rasor 21, woven in 1921, was donated to the EAA AirVenture Museum by Walter Rasor in 1973.

Length: 4 feet, 2 inches

Width: 3 feet, 4 inches

Height: 3 feet, 4 inches

Basket Volume: 46.4 cubic feet

Crew: 1