Facts about ballooning.

Where was the first hot air balloon made?
In Paris France, the Montgolfier brothers made the first balloon out of paper and light fabric in June of 1783.set_up235×180.jpg

Who were the first test pilots?
A sheep, a duck and a rooster were the first air travelers.

What makes a balloon fly?
Hot air rises because it is less dense than colder air. The envelope traps the hot air and is carried up as the hot air rises.

What fuel is used in a hot air balloon?
Balloons mostly use propane, but sometimes they use butane. The same fuel is used in barbecue grills.flying190×340.jpg

How do you steer a hot air balloon?
Balloons are not steered. Their direction is determined by wind direction. However pilots change direction by ascending or descending to pick up varying wind directions.

Can you fly a balloon anytime?
You can fly in any season. Balloons need stable weather with good visibility, no rain and light winds. Two hours after sunrise and before sunset offer the calmest winds. Flying mid-day is too risky because of stronger winds and turbulence.

What are the parts of a hot air balloon?
envelope: the fabric balloon that holds the air
burner: the unit that propels the heat in the envelope
basket: where the pilot and passengers stand

How much heat do the burners put out?
A burner can put out 10-20 million BTUs at temperatures over 1000F. Your home furnace puts out 50,000 BTUs.

What is the basket made of?
Most baskets are of hand-woven wicker. These do not conduct electricity and will absorb shock from a hard landing.

How much do balloons weigh?
The average envelope weighs ~200 pounds. The basket and fuel tanks add another 400-500 pounds.

How far can a balloon fly?
Flights can cover up to 3-12 miles, however distance depends on fuel, wind speeds and available landing sites.

How high can a balloon fly?
Balloons can climb over 12,000 feet above sea level before pilots tims_balloon1.jpgand passengers require oxygen. Most flights occur within 2000 feet of the ground.

Where can a balloon land?
Most accessible open areas, such as parks, school grounds, large yards, cut crop fields or even beside roads. No airport is required.

This Balloon is 73 feet tall and the volume of the envelope is over 89,000 cubic feet.
89,000 basketballs could fit inside the envelope!

These Partners invite you to enjoy the Mississippi Championship Hot Air Balloon Fest