Hot Air Balloons.

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C.W.E.
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Hot Air Balloons.

Post by C.W.E. » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:24 pm

Anyone here fly them?
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mmm..bacon
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Re: Hot Air Balloons.

Post by mmm..bacon » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:46 pm

Does one actually ‘fly’ a balloon? I imagine that it’s more like trying to herd cats...
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Re: Hot Air Balloons.

Post by digits_ » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:50 pm

mmm..bacon wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:46 pm
Does one actually ‘fly’ a balloon? I imagine that it’s more like trying to herd cats...
You can only directly control your altitude. So you pick an altitude at which the wind blows in the direction you want to go. Flight planning is slightly more important than for airplane flights. It's fun as a passenger, I can imagine it must be pretty nerve wrecking as a pilot when you are approaching a town in a light wind just as you are about to run out of gas.

There's usually a support system in place with ground cars following you, as they have to pick up the balloon when you land. Which could be the most dangerous part of the activity if you land in a farmers field and damage the crops but you have to talk to said farmer to gain access to their field...
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Re: Hot Air Balloons.

Post by HiFlyChick » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:26 am

I'd love to hear from anyone who flies them, too. Been to the Sussex, NB hot air balloon festival a few times and have yet to successfully get up for a ride (closest I got was paying my money and standing next to the balloonist as he decided that the winds were too strong and cancelled). Tough call, and one that I imagine happens fairly frequently - I was impressed that he had the confidence in his own experience, since one guy launched just as he was considering cancelling. It turns out no one else launched, and I heard my pilot talking with another one and expressing concern about the pilot that chose to go - small community and they were worried about him - he was a young fellow with much less experience and not as much caution as the old timers

So amazing when you they all launch at once!
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C.W.E.
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Re: Hot Air Balloons.

Post by C.W.E. » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:34 am

I went on a long sightseeing flight in a hot air balloon in Luxor Egypt and it was incredible being suspended high above the ground with no apparent movement and total silence.

I have often thought about taking lessons but never had a chance to do it yet.
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Re: Hot Air Balloons.

Post by A346Dude » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:23 pm

I used to fly them. They do require almost perfect weather conditions; 10 knots is considered fast for a balloon and is roughly the limit to be able to inflate it for takeoff. You can land in faster than that, but it will be bumpy and you need a longer field to do it.
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Re: Hot Air Balloons.

Post by C.W.E. » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:56 pm

I used to fly them. They do require almost perfect weather conditions
That was the beauty of Luxor the weather and winds were so predictable that they could fly almost every morning.

I can still remember the smell of dust mixed with camel shit in the calm hot air when walking down the streets. :mrgreen:
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Re: Hot Air Balloons.

Post by HiFlyChick » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:02 pm

I think I'll try again this year to see if I can get a flight at the Sussex balloon festival... I'm actually quite amazed that there aren't more car accidents around the festival when the balloons are flying because a lot of the spectators end up dashing around in their cars with their faces pressed against the windshield and their eyes skyward :)

Like all things aviation related, it looks to be a pretty expensive sport
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Re: Hot Air Balloons.

Post by Hockaloogie » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:11 pm

When things go wrong in a hot air balloon, they go really wrong. Google "hot air balloon disaster".

The "pilot" is a passenger.
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Re: Hot Air Balloons.

Post by TG » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:06 am

I did a hot ballon ride in Florida. 10 years ago maybe.
The guy was a friend so he coxed me all into it, including his "route" planification versus the upper winds forces and directions.
We positioned our departure point very early in the morning in function of where he wanted us to land, that morning was border line with the winds (we had to cancell the day before)

He said: "We are going to land there!" Pointing some spot on a map 20km away or so.
"If we cannot make it, here and there will be our back up landing spot"
The initial "there" was a football field, its area was all surrounded by low buildings. Once airborne, he literally "steered" his balloon playing with winds and altitude only. When I finally realized where he was aiming for, I just could not believe it (a football field looks very small from way back)
But that's exactly where we landed. A rough one but right on the spot!



That was most impressive, a true art!
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Re: Hot Air Balloons.

Post by A346Dude » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:36 am

Hockaloogie wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:11 pm
The "pilot" is a passenger.
You have no idea what you're talking about.
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Re: Hot Air Balloons.

Post by Hockaloogie » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:54 pm

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Re: Hot Air Balloons.

Post by Hockaloogie » Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:07 am

So I'm up 100 feet in the dead still air in a hot air balloon with a pilot...

Me: Can you go over there to the right?
Pilot: Sorry, can't do that.
Me: Ok, can you go over there to the left?
Pilot: Nope, can't do that.
Me: Hmm... well can you go forward 50 yards?
Pilot: No, sorry, can't do that.
Me: Well then can you go backward 50 yards?
Pilot: Sorry, not possible.
Me: Well this is frustrating. Please put this thing back on the ground at once!
Pilot: I can do that, but you'll have to wait a while.
Me: Jesus Christ, I give up. Can you make this thing go up another hundred feet?
Pilot: Sure, hold onto your hat.
Me: Thank God I'm up here with a PILOT.
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TG
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Re: Hot Air Balloons.

Post by TG » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:39 am

TG wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:06 am
I did a hot ballon ride in Florida. 10 years ago maybe.
The guy was a friend so he coxed me all into it, including his "route" planification versus the upper winds forces and directions.
We positioned our departure point very early in the morning in function of where he wanted us to land, that morning was border line with the winds (we had to cancell the day before)

He said: "We are going to land there!" Pointing some spot on a map 20km away or so.
"If we cannot make it, here and there will be our back up landing spot"
The initial "there" was a football field, its area was all surrounded by low buildings. Once airborne, he literally "steered" his balloon playing with winds and altitude only. When I finally realized where he was aiming for, I just could not believe it (a football field looks very small from way back)
But that's exactly where we landed. A rough one but right on the spot!



That was most impressive, a true art!
I think you missed my post Hockaloogie so here you go...
Unless you are trying to compare speedboats with Tallships.
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