Hot Air Ballooning
The sport of hot air ballooning is a great way to enjoy spectacular scenery. While flying in a hot air balloon, you have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful summer weather, clear skies and some good times with friends. In addition to being a fun sport, hot air ballooning also has a long and interesting history.
Hot air balloons consist of a basket suspended beneath a large bag or envelope, which contains the heated air and a heat source, like an open flame or propane burners. The balloon is capable of flight because the heated air inside the balloon provides the buoyancy and provides the life to the balloon. The hot air inside the bag has a lower density than the cold air outside, so it is buoyant, which means that it will float.
The construction of hot air balloons is actually rather complex. The bag is usually made from nylon strips that are sewn together and sealed. Modern balloons also have vents, including one at the top, and some balloons even have vents at the side, which are turning vents. The top vent is used to release hot air from the top so the pilot can start and increase the rate of descent. The turning vents, if the balloon has them, are used to rotate the balloon.
Hot air balloons also have burners to heat the air. Generally they are propane fueled burners. Some balloons have more than one burner, so the pilot can use either or both burners. When the pilot turns on a burner, a flame is ignited, which is directed into the opening at the bottom of the balloon. When the burner is on, it heats the air inside the balloon, allowing the balloon to fly.
Considering the equipment requirements as well as licensing, most people pay for hot air balloon rides from licensed companies. Purchasing your own equipment and getting licensed is a considerable expense. Should you discover that you love hot air ballooning, getting your own equipment is an option if you have the experience and can afford the expense.
If you are just interested in taking a hot air balloon flight, you can find a hot air balloon company in your area and purchase a flight. Hot air --it's a great way to see the area.
Another great way to learn about hot air ballooning is to attend a balloon festival. You can find balloon festivals all around the world. Some festivals will also allow you to walk amongst the balloons. When you are at the balloon festival you should take the opportunity to ask the pilots questions. They have a lot of experience and will most likely be happy to answer your questions and tell you all about the sport.