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Introduction of Hot Air Balloon Hot Air Balloon Encyclopedia Advantages of Hot Air Balloon

Origin of Hot Air Balloons

Hot air balloons are the oldest successful human flight technology. The first recorded manned balloon flight was made on November 21, 1783 in a hot air balloon developed by the Montgolfier brothers of France.

Principle of Hot Air Balloons

In concept, the balloon is the simplest of all flying machines. It consists of a fabric envelope filled with a gas that is lighter than the surrounding atmosphere. Since air in the envelope is less dense than its surroundings, it rises, taking the basket filled with passengers or payload with it. A balloon is distinct from other aircraft in that it travels by moving with the wind and cannot be propelled through the air in a controlled manner.

Type of Balloons

There are two main types of balloons, hot air and gas, but other specialty type balloons are also flown. The Rozier balloon is an example of a less common balloon. A hybrid balloon that utilizes both heated and unheated lifting gases for long distance record flights, a Rozier was flown by Steve Fossett in his record-setting first solo circumnavigation in 2002. A recent addition to the hot air balloon field is the solar balloon, which uses heat radiation from the sun to provide lift. This handbook primarily covers hot air balloons.

About Ballooning

Ballooning is a spectacular and exciting sport for spectators and at the same time challenging for pilots, testing their skill and judgement. Balloons need light wind conditions for initial inflation and safe landings; consequently, hot air balloons often take place in the early morning or late afternoon when the winds are most gentle.
Hot Air Balloons are totally dependent on the wind for their movement and interpreting the potential changes of wind direction at various altitudes requires great skill and judgement. In hot air balloon competitions pilots use the shift in the winds at different altitudes to navigate to carefully positioned goals such as 10x10m crosses or road intersections, or to achieve maximum / minimum distances between two fixed points.