Hot Air Ballooning is the wonderful ability to float across the sky in a basket hanging underneath the most enormous balloon filled with hot air to keep it up.
Skills - Strength: 1, Balance: 1, Flexibility: 1, Agility: 1, Coordination: 1
Time needed: travelling time + 1 hour, Cost to try: £150
A hot air balloon can provide a whole new view of the world. Hot air balloon rides are a wonderful experience, and could be a flight of a lifetime. Your choice of location will provide you with the most spectacular views and scenery on your hot air balloon ride.
What makes a hot air balloon rise?
A hot air balloon works by filling an enclosed canopy with air that is at a higher temperature than the air on the outside of the hot air balloon. For those of you who paid attention in your physics class, hot air rises, which is why a hot air balloon goes up. The greater the temperature difference between the air inside the hot air balloon and the ambient air outside the hot air balloon, the greater the lift given. A hot air balloon does not work that well during the middle of a hot day, as it is more difficult to get a good air temperature difference. Hot air balloon flights therefore usually take place in the calmer air conditions that are found just after sunrise and as dusk falls. Hot air balloon flights take place throughout the year, with the best times of the year to go hot air ballooning being between April and October.
How is a Hot Air Balloon Launched?
Everyone from your party can get involved in launching the hot air balloon. Once the team have unpacked the balloon, you will get shown the basket and given instruction on where to stand, safety, and what happens when you land. The basket is laid on its side, and the balloon itself is initially inflated using fans to blow air inside. this inflates the canopy enough space so that the burners won't be blowing the hot air onto the sides of the balloon. The gas burners are then ignited and the balloon canopy will begin to rise upright. Once it is upright, you can board ready for take off. With a few blasts of hot air from the gas burners, you gently take off.
The hot air balloon flight
The hot air balloon flight will usually take an hour or so, depending on the weather. You will fly at heights of between 500 and 3000 feet. As the balloon takes off, you will feel yourself gently rising. The ground falls away from you and you are off, whichever wya the wind takes you. when the burners are not firing, it is very quiet up in the balloon. There is no wind blowing you, as you are in fact travelling at the same speed as the wind. you can hear all of the noises from the ground below; dogs barking, people chatting. It is great to see into everyone's back gardens and see who has a swimming pool!
The views from a hot air balloon are stunning. Choose your location carefully, as this will enhance your hot air balloon experience immensely. To go hot air ballooning over a game reserve in South Africa is truly amazing.
The landing can be quite graceful, or a bit bumpy. this depends on the wind speed at the landing site. your qualified pilot will tell you what you need to do. Basically, the basket has compartments for each person to stand in. For landing, your lean with your back against the side of the compartment that is in the direction you are going. If the basket should tip over on landing, then you are safely leant against that side already.
After you have landed, a team from the launch party will arrive. they will have been tracking the balloon flight so they can be there when it lands. Often, you celebrate your successful hot air balloon flight with a glass of champagne.
I highly recommend the experience of a hot air balloon ride. You will always remember your experience.
The Best Places to go Hot Air Ballooning
If you want to go hot air ballooning, you should choose somehwere that will have an amazing view from up in the sky. Some great places to go hot air ballooning are Scotland, Sydney, South Africa, Melbourne, Australia, Cape Town, Ireland, San Diego, Florida, France, California and Colorado.
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