Up, up and …

For the past few weeks, Hot Air Balloons have been peppering the morning sky.  It’s fall – prime flying time, baby.  Once the leaves change, the FAA will need to establish routing grids to accommodate the increased ‘traffic’. I’ve never been in a hot air balloon, but I think it would be way cool. It just seems so peaceful floating through the sky. Since I knew little about this mode of transportation, I googled it. Oh, and I’m NOT citing my source. Someday, I may rise above that, though. (pun intended)

Montgolfier Brothers got it Wright

  • Early unmanned hot air balloons were used in China.
  • The first untethered manned hot air balloon flight was performed by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes on November 21, 1783, in Paris, France, in a balloon created by the Montgolfier brothers.
  • The hot air balloon is the first successful human-carrying flight technology.

In this case, Hot Air is a good thing

going up 

Hot air is less dense than cool air; the heated air causes the balloon to rise simply because it is lighter than an equal volume of cold air. Buoyancy is an upward force that the air exerts, and it helps hot air balloons and blimps stay in the air. A hot air balloon uses a burner to heat up the air inside the balloon. This causes the balloon to float upwards, as if it were in water.

If you heat that air by 100 degrees F, it weighs about 7 grams less. Therefore, each cubic foot of air contained in a hot air balloon can lift about 7 grams. That’s not much, and this is why hot air balloons are so huge — to lift 1,000 pounds, you need about 65,000 cubic feet of hot air.

coming down

Obviously, if the air is allowed to cool, the balloon begins to slowly descend.


During the flight, the pilot’s only ability to steer is to climb or settle into winds going different directions.

It’s all about the ride, baby

  • To pilot a balloon you must have a pilot’s license, or airman’s certificate, just as you would for an airplane or any other aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues balloon pilot licenses and offer training in the Lighter-than-Air category – Hot Air Balloon with Airborne Heater rating.
  • Hot air balloon rides season runs typically from April to October.
  • The cost is normally $275 / person based on 5 person ride. However, the cost is only $ 1325 for the flight up to eight (8) passengers.

You fear, you lose

Globophobia – morbid fear at the thought, sight, touch or even smell of balloons. Most individuals, however, are only afraid of the sound made by the popping of balloons. Since the likelihood of a Hot Air Balloon popping is slim, I’m thinkin’ there may be a possibility some globo might goforit. 

 Aviophobia (aerophobia)   is the fear of flyingNo chance in hell one of these people is going near a balloon ride.

Acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear or phobia of heights, especially when one is not particularly high up. Considering the only way is up, this person is staying down. 

 … away

This Fifth Dimension song immediately came to mind, of course. But, so did the Disney movie Up! . Both are equally appropriate. However, the movie wasn’t actually about Hot Air Balloons.  Since I’m all about the details, the song definitely had the required hot air to lift this post. (Pause) Just ask Kevin.

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