Hot air balloons are one of the most unique and exciting aerial activities.
There are more opportunities to experience this amazing mode of transportation than you may realize.
Hot Air Balloon History
The National Balloon Museum notes that the Montgolfier brothers were responsible for the first manned hot air balloon flight in 1783. Jacques Alexander Charles and Nicholas Louis Robert created a gas-powered balloon in the same year that ran on hydrogen. We’ve come a long way since that first flight involving silk and paper. Over the years hot air ballooning has gained tremendous popularity, first as an actual mode of transportation and then as a novelty experience. In the 20th century, gas balloons were used for research purposes as well by NASA and other meteorological organizations.
Taking a Ride
Hot air balloons operate with a pilot that controls the amount of hot air in the balloon. Because the air inside the balloon is lighter than the air outside, that is what creates the lift. Rides are available for people interested in the thrill of flying all over the world. Cloud 9 Living is an example of an online site that can connect you to a flying opportunity near you. When you go, there’s nothing that can accurately describe the thrill of lifting off the ground in a seemingly weightless state. Don’t feel helpless, because your pilot knows exactly how to safely take you back down when the time comes.
Wild Looking Balloons
Because the balloon itself can be made into virtually any shape (all that matters is that the air inside is lighter than the air outside,) there are some pretty cool balloons used for novelty and even commercial purposes. This balloon of the Abbey of Saint Gall is an absolutely amazing sight! Watching the filling process of hot air balloons is also quite interesting. This YouTube video showing the preparation, take-off, and flight of a balloon in Tucson, Arizona shows how interesting the whole experience is to watch. So if you’re interested in giving it a go, find a balloon operator and see how life looks as a soaring eagle!