Ballons Chaize is the French historical hot air balloon manufacturer. But it’s also a family story.

In the 70’s, Maurice Chaize, awnings manufacturer and sail maker in Saint-Etienne, discovers and falls in love with hot air ballooning, as yet a very confidential hobby. Modern ballooning, originating from the US, is at its beginnings!

With another fellow balloonist, Pierre Schubert, Maurice builds his first balloon type, the “CS”, certified in 1975. Ballons Chaize is born.

Maurice and other enthusiasts contribute to balloons popularity in France, as a recreational activity, a sport, and later an exclusive tourist activity.

Dany Cleyet-Marrel, pilot, explorer and son in-law to Maurice, will push aerostatic boundaries a bit further by inventing the Canopy Raft and the Cinébulle, for scientific, discovery and cinematographic purposes, collaborating and innovating with Ballons Chaize.

After building more than a hundred balloons, Maurice Chaize retires in 1985 and sells Ballons Chaize to Bernard Jacquemot who creates a second type certificate with Serge Zuin : the “JZ”. The manufacture is then relocated to Annonay, hometown of the Montgolfier Brothers, and keeps building an average of 12 balloons per year, before shutting down in 2009.

In 2013, Benjamin Cleyet-Marrel, Maurice’s grandson, decides to restart the company with the aim of steering the family company into the future. Since then Ballons Chaize Next Generation are once again known for their innovation and quality, with the creation of the Dawn Chaser, a widely popular racer, but also the Eco Concept double envelope balloon, and a lightweight basket (end of 2021).

Now the only French hot air balloon manufacturer, Ballons Chaize is orientated towards export and also caters to the professional market with bigger volumes (up to 12.000m3).

The French love story with hot air balloons is far from finished… And Maurice? Well, he just celebrated his 100th birthday in August 2020, and he’s very interested in all the manufacture’s ongoings!