RASOR 21 BALLOON BASKET
In 1909, at age 50, Warren Rasor achieved his ambition 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 in the balloon section of the Air Service stationed in San Antonio, Texas. Warren trained balloon observers for the Army. On one trip he carried 18 men with him and is credited with making one of the longest flights at the balloon school. Warren obtained his pilots license, which was signed by Orville Wright.
As a homebuilder, Warren developed a tight sealing envelope varnish that became a standard among builders. Warren built seven balloons during his fifteen year career and held FAI spherical balloon certificate number 50.
Warren and Herbert participated in over 200 national balloon races in the early 1920s. Twice Warren finished second. Warren was regarded as the most skilled pilot in the world when 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, Warren’s longest journey.
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.
After nearly 100 flights, Warren made his last flight in 1924. The balloons continued to be flown for quite some time by his son Herbert. 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 the 1973.
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