After an inaugural season of successful flying, Genesee Country Village & Museum’s one-of-a kind, Civil War-era gas balloon—the Intrepid—has suspended flights of the winter. It will resume operation in the spring.
The 72-foot, helium-filled balloon has been taking passengers aloft since July 4.When not flying, the Intrepid remains on display in the museum’s South Field, surrounded by a Civil War encampment.
Conceived by Professor Thaddeus Lowe, the Union Army Balloon Carps was authorized by Abraham Lincoln in June 1861. Like its namesake, the museum’s Intrepid displays the image of the then-popular Gen. George McClellan below a flying eagle. Its name is inscribed on the balloon’s reverse.
While historically balloons were inflated with hydrogen, the modern Intrepid uses approximately 50,000 cubic feet of helium.
When inflated, the balloon has a 44-foot diameter and, like the original Civil War balloons, it is tethered to the ground for optimal convenience and safety.
GCVM is open 10 am-4 pm Tues.-Sun.
Closed Mondays except for May 27, Sept. 2 & Oct. 14