Hot Air Ballooning: Great For All Occasions

By: Amos Brock

Hot air balloons continue to be a huge attraction among adventure enthusiasts and ordinary folk. Quaint, calming and safe, they're a popular choice of entertainment for special occasions.

Manned balloons have come a long way since their invention in the 1700s. The traditional round shape is still the most common but today's designers craft balloons shaped into buildings, faces, animals, ships, airplanes and many more. This versatility is what makes ballooning a popular attraction in amusement parks, as part of events like weddings and birthdays and for advertising, sports and corporate affairs.

Weddings: More daring couples eager to make their special day even more meaningful frequently choose balloons to celebrate their nuptials. Since space constraint is a factor in balloons, ceremonies typically take place on the ground following which the couple takes to the skies. If the ceremony is a small affair then it can be held in a balloon.

Birthdays: Ditching the usual clubs and restaurants in favor of ballooning to celebrate birthdays is common. Organizers tend to charge on a per person basis though hiring a full basket can be cause for a discount. Even if several balloons are booked, the cost is still reasonable as the experience is literally out of this world.

Advertising: Hot air balloons have been a boon to the advertising sector. They're difficult to miss, huge and very customizable which makes them ideal mediums for ads.

Custom shapes have become the norm if balloons are used in advertising. Promoters typically opt for them because they have a better impact on a target audience.

Sports: Ballooning has become a popular sport with competitions ranging from small set ups to extravagant affairs. Unlike racing sports, a balloon's speed cannot be controlled as it rides on warm air drafts. Perhaps it's this factor that compels enthusiasts to take up ballooning in addition to trying to stay aloft the longest.

Corporate do's: Companies are regular clients of ballooning services whether for taking employees out on a fun trip or impressing potential clients. It's a great idea for incentives too. Wouldn't you rather experience flying than making use of a regular store voucher?

Conventional balloon shapes are differentiated on the number of gores (segments of the envelope) they contain. The shape of the gores is also taken into account. For example, a 3-gore bulbous balloon will have a puffy shape that protrudes on three sides while a 16-gore flat panel balloon will have a well-rounded shape and no bulges.

Capacity also plays a part when choosing balloons for occasions. A 21,000 to 42,000 cubic feet envelope typically flies only the pilot and no passengers. Larger envelopes of 65,000 to 77,000 fly the pilot and three passengers. Very large envelopes capable of carrying half a dozen people will have volumes of 120,000 to 150,000. Ballooning companies have several volumes in their fleet and larger balloons usually cost more.

A useful point to remember is that bigger balloons stay aloft longer and also last longer. They fly at cooler temperatures so the envelopes don't overheat as fast. Most rides last for an hour but choosing a balloon that's larger than its given payload and flying it at 200 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit will increase flight duration and safety.

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A hot air ballooning is a simplistic aircraft, utilizing no engines and offering no speed settings and directional control. To avail more information about this entertainment source, visit this website.

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