You’ve seen them floating in the sky, but do you really know your hot air balloon facts? For example, hot air balloon flights have a chase crew. This is a ground crew that follows the balloon throughout its flight. The chase vehicle is big enough to handle the balloon, basket, passengers, and pilot. Here are more interesting hot air balloon facts:
1. Hot air balloons were invented in France in the 1700s. The first experimental flights did not include human passengers. Instead animals, including a sheep, a duck, and a chicken were used.
2. The longest hot air balloon flight was by the Virgin Pacific Flyer piloted by Richard Branson. The flight originated in Japan and terminated in northern Canada. During the flight, the balloon recorded the fasted ground speed ever for a hot air balloon, 245 miles per hour.
3. Hot air balloon flights are not possible in the rain. The heat produced by the balloon is hot enough to boil the water on the top of the balloon which can destroy the fabric. This is one of the most interesting hot air balloon facts.
4. Albuquerque, New Mexico hosts the world’s largest hot air balloon festival, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The festival is a nine day event that includes approximately 750 balloons.
5. Hot air balloon rides are usually launched early in the morning when the atmosphere is most calm.
6. A champagne toast is a tradition for hot air balloon rides and it is a must for a hot air balloon wedding.
7. The Hot Hare Energizer Bunny balloon is the tallest hot air balloon, measuring 166 feet high.
Seven hot air balloon facts are not enough to completely understand the sport of hot air ballooning. You really must experience a hot air balloon ride for yourself.