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National Digitool Day – October 9, 2024

National Digitool Day is celebrated on October 9 in the U.S. This day has been celebrated since August 2019 and it is a day to celebrate Digitool USA which is the only manufacturer of flight instruments for hot air balloons in the U.S. Digitool USA manufactures Digitool Balloon Instrument model 3 (DBI3), which is considered to be the only balloon instrument in the world that has Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval. As a sponsor, National Digitool Day will be celebrated at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, highlighting the products of Digitool USA.

History of National Digitool Day

Digitool USA or Balloonacy, ltd, LLC, is a full-service hot air balloon facility located in Fayetteville, Georgia, offering repairs and maintenance on all major brands of hot air balloons in their FAA certificated repair facility. They manufacture the DBI3, which is the third generation of their balloon instruments. They take pride in manufacturing balloon instruments approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) — the DBI3, which is said to be the number one balloon instrument in the U.S. They have been engaging in electronic and software research and development since 1985. They work together with Digitool Instruments in Sweden, which has pilot experience in ballooning since the late 1970s.

The DBI3 made its debut during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in 2017 after two years of development. The DBI3 itself is a flight instrument that is designed to replace aging instruments, as well as provide a cheaper option for new equipment. The DBI3’s features include an altimeter, variometer, and temperature indicating displays, as well as a flight timer, audio alarms, and an integral GPS showing ground track and speed. It also has an onboard flash memory capable of storing up to 10,000 hours of recoverable flight data. It is powered by an integrated lithium polymer battery lasting up to 12 hours per charge with no replaceable batteries to contend with. The DBI3 is currently approved for installation on 15 different balloons certified in the U.S.

National Digitool Day was created in August 2019 by Digitool USA to celebrate the only U.S. manufacturer of hot air balloon instruments. It is usually celebrated at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta each year.

National Digitool Day timeline

September 19, 1783
The Unmanned Flight

Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier demonstrate an unmanned hot air balloon publicly.

October 15, 1783
The Manned Flight

The Montgolfier brothers perform the first balloon flight with a person in it and Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier is the passenger.

The First Military Use

A hot air balloon is first used in the military for observation during the battle of Charleroi and Fleurus of the French Revolutionary Wars.

The Modern Hot Air Balloons

Ed Yost develops modern hot air balloons with an onboard heat source.

National Digitool Day FAQs

What is the purpose of hot air balloons?

Hot air balloons are commonly used for recreational purposes, to enjoy the view, and even to attempt to set new records.

What are the odds of dying in a hot air balloon?

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), 16 people died while hot air ballooning between 2002 and 2016; it’s about one person per year.

What country is known for hot air balloons?

Turkey, specifically in the Cappadocia region, is one of the most popular destinations for hot air ballooning.

National Digitool Day Activities

  1. Participate in a ballooning event

    If you already own a hot air balloon, celebrate the day by participating in a balloon festival. You don’t have to use a balloon instrument from Digitool USA to celebrate the day.

  2. Buy and install the DBI3

    You may want to buy DBI3 and install it in your balloon. Once that’s done, go out on a hot balloon ride

  3. Attend the balloon festival

    National Digitool Day will be celebrated at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. If you have an interest in hot air balloons, you may want to see the balloon festival on this day.

5 Interesting Facts About Hot Air Balloons

  1. Chinese invented the first hot air balloon

    Zhuge Liang, a military strategist, invented an airborne lantern.

  2. The first passengers were animals

    The Montgolfier brothers used a sheep, a duck, and a rooster for their prototype balloon in 1783.

  3. There was a balloon duel

    In 1808, two Frenchmen were involved in a balloon duel, in which one balloon crashed into buildings and killed its occupants.

  4. The debut of a glass-bottom air balloon

    Christian Brown debuted his glass-bottom hot air balloon at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta in 2010.

  5. It was used for air warfare

    During past wartime, a hot air balloon was used for reconnaissance.

Why We Love National Digitool Day

  1. The only U.S. manufacturer

    Digitool USA is the only U.S. manufacturer of hot air balloon instruments. We recognize this innovation and celebrate these forerunners.

  2. It enables a fun activity

    National Digitool Day will be celebrated with a festival of hot air balloons. Even just watching hot air balloons flying in the sky can be fun and exciting!

  3. It encourages the use of the DBI3

    Hot air balloon owners may want to try the DBI3 manufactured by Digitool USA. National Digitool Day is the best time to test this piece of equipment.

National Digitool Day dates

2024October 9Wednesday
2025October 9Thursday
2026October 9Friday
2027October 9Saturday
2028October 9Monday

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