Fun hot air balloon facts you probably didn’t know about

Here's some fun facts about Hot Air Balloons

In May 2018, we spent some time in the air at the Canton Balloon Festival. Now, we're sharing our bird's eye view and some fun facts along the way.

Hot Air Balloons have been around since the 1700's

The first untethered hot air balloon flight was performed by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes  in Paris, France in November 1783. The two men traveled just over 5 miles in 25 minutes.

The first passengers included a sheep, duck & rooster

In 1783, the first hot air balloon was set to fly over the heads of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the French court in Versailles.So a sheep, a duck and a rooster were the first passengers chosen to take flight. Since they survived the very first hot air balloon flight unharmed, which lasted about eight minutes, humans began taking flight.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes

The hot air balloon consists of three parts: an envelope, a basket, and a burner system. The envelope is what we consider the balloon. While most envelopes have inverted tear drop shape others are designed to look like animals, cartoon characters, pirate ships, and other fun objects.

The balloons are made of Nylon

The melting point of Nylon is approximately 230º C (446º F) which makes it suitable to keep a burner under without melting.

The internal balloon temperature is around 250ºF

Hot air weighs less than the same volume of cold air (it is less dense), which means that hot air will rise up or float when there is cold air around it, just like a bubble of air in a pot of water.

The average height a balloon flies is 2,000 feet

The record height for a hot air balloon is 68,986 feet. This was accomplished by avid hot air balloon pilot Vijaypat Singhania, who, along with his copilot. Both men had to wear an oxygen mask to even stay alive at such heights.

Once a balloon lands, champagne is shared

You may have known this fun fact, but you probably didn’t know the origin. Apparently back in the day local farmers believed that hot air balloons that were landing in their fields may have been dragons or aliens coming down from the skies and ruining their crops. To make peace, the hot air balloon pilots would share a bottle of champagne with the farmers whose land they have disturbed.

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