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Hot Air Balloon Festivals and Rides

Updated on February 15, 2011

Riding in a hot air balloon is one of the most heavenly feelings and to-do-life-lists that would take your breath away. This year’s hot air balloon festival was fantastic than ever. Just looking at the pictures and photos I’ve uploaded in this hub would describe the spectacular hot air balloon ride and experience.

Recently, the international hot air balloon festival in my dear country has once again added some magic in the month of February. Perfect time to pre-celebrate Valentine ’s Day. Not to mention, I’ll be one year older again. LOL Anyway, back to the hot air balloon rides, it was one gigantic event. Indeed, one of the most fantastic festivals in 2011. This year, more display of multi-colored huge hot air balloons were blown up and flown up in the air while more people and tourists came to their favorite affair in our city. In this hub, I’m gonna say a bit about how hot air balloon works, its history, how hot air balloon floats, how to fly a hot air balloon, its construction parts, and the list of famous hot air balloon festivals and rides worldwide.

fantastic hot air balloon festivals and rides
fantastic hot air balloon festivals and rides

Brief History of Hot Air Balloon

On September 19, 1783, almost a century before the time of Einstein, a scientist named Pilatre De Rozier launched the first hot air balloon called Aerostat Reveillon. On board were a sheep, a duck and a rooster. The balloon lasted 15 minutes before crashing back to the ground. Two months later, two French brothers, Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier, launched the first manned hot air balloon flight. They flew for about twenty minutes in the middle of Paris. So it was the birth of hot air balloon – 1783, 120 years before the invention of Wright brothers’ successful airplane. Years later, some genius balloonists have tried to soar higher. In 1785, Jean Pierre Blanchard, and his American co pilot, John Jefferies, became the first to fly hot air balloon across the English Channel. Yippee yay! This unstoppable Blanchard man launched the first hot air balloon in North America. 100 years later, another big milestone in the history of hot air balloon was achieved on August 1932 when Swiss scientist Auguste Piccard has reached the Stratosphere. The dude set a new altitude record reaching 52,498 feet. Eventually, new challenges have launched to set break new records as they tried reaching the highest point. In 1935, Balloon Explorer 2, a gas helium model reached an altitude of 72,395 feet (13.7 miles). Amazing! Hot air balloon is indeed the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology in history.

My friend Arianne really captured these amazing hot air balloons photos in my hub
My friend Arianne really captured these amazing hot air balloons photos in my hub
my friend Arianne's car is a gorgeous model of Toyota so she didn't miss to shoot this one hot air balloon
my friend Arianne's car is a gorgeous model of Toyota so she didn't miss to shoot this one hot air balloon

What makes a hot air balloon? The main parts of a hot air balloon are the envelope, the basket and the burner. The envelope is the fabric gas bag which is usually made of light-weight and strong synthetic fabrics. Attached to the envelope is the basket or what they call gondola, too. Obviously, this is where it carries people. The basket is usually made of woven wicker or rattan because these materials are proven light and durable for balloon flights. Lifting the balloon up in the air, we need a burner. It is mounted above the basket and centered in the mouth. This is the main fuel of the flight well aside from the wind. The burner is fueled by propane and liquefied gas.

Riding in a hot air balloon

What to expect riding in a hot air balloon? Just expect the unexpected. You’re gonna be thousands of feet high above the ground. There’s nothing quite like riding a hot air balloon unless you're really afraid of heights. :) No worries, hot air balloons ride operators got some licenses and follow some strict regulations. The pilots and staffs are well experienced before operating rides and flights.

When is the perfect time to ride? It's perfect time to ride hot hair balloons in the summer where the weather is so fine. Usually so early in the morning. In my hometown Pampanga, the rides are scheduled so early in the morning like around 5 am to 7 am. The wind is so fine during those time of the day.

How hot air balloon works? How do they lift up? The balloon floats and lifts up in the air because of the buoyant force exerted on it. The buoyancy of the hot air balloon depends upon the difference between the temperature of the air inside the envelope and the temperature of the air outside the envelope. It’s majorly about density if you get me.

A simple video how hot air balloon lifts up is on the right side.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2011 from Clark, Pampanga, Philippines
Hot Air Balloon Festival 2011 from Clark, Pampanga, Philippines

Hot air balloon festivals usually feature other exciting events. These thrilling activities include hot air balloon flights, paragliding exhibitions, aerobic flight display, kite flying exhibition, hot air balloon bursting competitions, sky diving exhibitions, Airsoft competitions, and my favorite – hot air balloon night glow. Have you gone to your hot air balloon festival this 2011?

Hot air balloon festivals and rides in the USA are famous in the cities like Orlando Florida, Tamba Bay, Austin Texas, Houston, San Diego California, Napa and Los Angeles, Phoenix, Arizona, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado.

Hot air balloon worldwide has grandiose festivities, too from countries like New England, UK, France,  Spain, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Slovenia, Italy, Philippines, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, Jordan, Slovakia, Japan, Thailand and Russia. To see the complete list of this year 2011 hot air balloon festivals around the world, go to

Would you ride in a hot air balloon?

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Thanks for reading my hub. Hope you enjoyed hot air ballooning in moi page :)


© Copyright 2011 by Fehl and Co.

All Rights Reserved

Hot Air Balloon Photos © Copyright 2011 by Arianne Guinto



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