FANTASY BALLOONING
866-606-RIDE (7433)
doug@fantasyballooning.com

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Questions & Answers

When was the first balloon flight?
On September 19, 1783, a sheep, a duck, and a rooster become the first passengers in a hot air balloon launched by the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph and Ettienne in Versailles, France.

No one knows if these three were served a bag of peanuts and a soda on their flight!

The first manned balloon flight occurred on November 21,1783, in Paris.

Built from paper and silk by the Montgolfier brothers, this balloon was piloted on its 22 minute flight by two noblemen from the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. From the center of Paris they ascended 500 feet above the roof tops before eventually landing miles away in the vineyards.

Local farmers were very suspicious of this fiery dragon descending from the sky. The pilots offered champagne to placate them and to celebrate the first human flight, a tradition carried on to this day.


How do balloons fly?
Balloons operate through the basic principles of gravity and heat transfer. In other words, Hot-Air rises and Cold Air descends!

As air inside the balloon is heated, it rises. As the air inside the balloon cools, it descends. To make the balloon fly, an inflator fan first fills the envelope with air, which is then heated with the burners.


How do you steer a balloon?
Winds determine a balloons direction. And winds flow in different directions, at different speeds, and at different altitudes.

Balloonists can steer a balloon, to a limited extent, by adjusting the balloons altitude to make use of different wind speeds and directions.

In other words, we put heat in to rise and gain altitude or we let air out or cool to descend to get into the layer of air moving in the direction we want to go.


How long does a balloon flight last?
All flights last approximately one hour and is totally dependent upon the good graces of Mother Nature. It depends upon the weather, the winds, fuel consumption, and landing site availability.

Your entire ballooning experience, including pre-flight preparation, flight, and post-flight celebration, may take anywhere from three to four hours.


What fuel do balloons use and how high do they fly?

Sport Hot-Air Balloons carry 20 to 45 gallons of liquid propane in stainless steel fuel tanks.

Balloons typically fly from treetop level all the way up to several thousand feet, depending on what the pilot is trying to accomplish. The world record in a stock Aerostar hot air balloon is over 32,000 feet!


Why do balloons fly in the early morning and late evening?
Winds are generally most favorable the first hours after sunrise and the last hours before sunset. The suns uneven heating of the earths surface causes strong, variable winds. In the morning, it takes a few hours for the sun to heat the earths surface enough to generate the thermal activity that creates wind. In the evening, the suns intensity has diminished enough to reduce winds to acceptable flight levels. Ideal winds are 3 to 6 mph.


Do you need a pilot's license to fly a Hot-Air Balloon?

Yes you do. There are two levels of balloon pilot ratings.

The first is a private pilot. The pilot must have at least 10 hours of flight time in free balloons, which must include six flights under the supervision of an instructor. The private pilot must pass a written test, an oral test, and a flight check prior to being issued a private pilots license.

The second rating is a commercial pilot. The commercial pilot must have at least 35 hours of flight time, of which at least 20 must be in balloons (the remaining 15 hours may be in other aircraft). The commercial pilot must pass an additional written, oral, and flight check prior to being issued a commercial pilots license. The holder of a commercial pilots license may operate a balloon for hire and may give flight instruction.

For additional requirements on both ratings, please consult FAA Regulation Part 61 for details.


How many passengers can you take at a time in the balloon?
Just as there are different types of cars that can carry anywhere from 2 to 10 or 12 people, the same is true for Hot-Air Balloons.

The size of the envelope determines how many passengers, or to be more specific, how much weight you can carry. The bigger the envelope, the more weight you can carry. Consequently, the bigger the envelope, the more people you can carry.

With Fantasy Ballooning, there are anywhere from two to four passengers in the basket with the pilot on your flight.


What should I wear?
Dress comfortable! Wear casual cotton clothing for an outdoor activity like a picnic in the park or a walk in the woods. Dresses are not recommended! Wear hiking boots or tennis shoes that you don't mind getting a little wet. Please do not wear sandals or heels since we will be walking in fields and the ground is usually wet with dew. Dress in layers wearing natural fiber type clothing for cooler weather.

Can I bring a camera?
Yes, we encourage it. Some of the greatest pictures of the surrounding area can be taken from 500 feet in the air. Don't forget to bring lots of film and a protective case for landing...we don't want to scratch anything. We are not responsible if you decide to throw that expensive camera off the basket though!

What's it like to fly in a Hot-Air Balloon?
Flying in a Hot-Air Balloon is the closest thing to being a cloud. It is a magical and mystical moment for everyone. Call us at 386-736-1010 to take your flight!

FANTASY BALLOONING
Copyright (c) 2001 Fantasy Ballooning
603 N Garfield Ave
DeLand, Florida 32724
866-606-RIDE (7433)

doug@fantasyballooning.com