Do You Know How Hot Air Balloons Work?

Do You Know How Hot Air Balloons Work?

Do You Know How Hot Air Balloons Work?

You’ve always been curious about balloon rides, but do you know how hot air balloons work? In this post, we’re revealing the science behind hot air balloons.

Keyword(s): how hot air balloons work

For all those thrill seekers out there, taking a ride in a hot air balloon probably sounds like a blast. Those of us that are more skeptical though wouldn’t think about getting into that contraption without learning a bit more about how hot air balloons work.

It may sound scary to those that are afraid of heights, but a hot air balloon ride is rumored to be one of the most peaceful experiences out there.

Maybe riding in a hot air balloon is on your bucket list, but you’re a bit hesitant because you are wondering just how hot air balloons work.

Look no further. We have all the facts about hot air balloon travel: how they work, how to steer, and most importantly how to land!

Keep reading for all the fun facts on how hot air balloons work.

History of the hot air balloon

In 1783, the Montgolfier brothers were the first to figure out how a hot air balloon works.

The two men sent a sheep, chicken and a duck flying over France for a full eight minutes! It took a couple years for them to develop a hot air balloon that is very similar to those that are in use today.

As for fuel, they were not using propane, they were burning straw, manure and other material in an attached fire pit as fuel.

Types of hot air balloons

There are two different types of hot air balloons.

Montgolfier

The most common type of hot air balloon. This type uses fire to heat up the air inside the balloon to get it to life off of the ground.

You know that trademark blowtorch noise you hear when a hot air balloon is near? That is a Montgolfier balloon.

Hybrid

The hybrid balloon uses hot hair in the same way but it also has a compartment of helium and hydrogen gas at the top.

Hybrid and gas balloons are the most common types because they require less fuel and can stay in the air for extended periods of time.

Parts of the hot air balloon

A modern hot air balloon is made up of a number of different parts that contribute to how hot air balloons work.

Envelope

The envelope is a fancier name for the balloon itself. This part is typically made of nylon which is sewn together in squares to stop rips and tearing. Nylon is used because it is a light, durable, and synthetic fabric.

The squares of nylon are sewn together very tightly in long, vertical patterns to keep air from leaking.

The envelope has holes at the top and the bottom.

The hole at the top is referred to as the parachute vent.

The parachute vent can be opened using a cord.  Opening it will cause hot air to escape from the envelope and the balloon will descend.

The hole at the bottom is referred to as the throat.

The throat is located directly above the burners and reinforced with a skirt of fireproof material to keep it from melting or burning.

Burner

As mentioned above, the main component to how hot air balloons work is, in fact, the hot air!

The burner is generally one or more gas jets, fueled by propane cylinders. Some balloons only have one burner but it is common to have more than that. You can think of the burner as the engine of the balloon.

For safety, extra fuel is carried within the basket.

Basket

Typically, the passengers in a hot air balloon will be traveling in a wicker basket.

The baskets are almost always made of wicker because it is durable and light. Wicker is also a bit flexible so it can absorb the impact of landing.

The basket is attached to the envelope by strong metal cables.

Hot air balloons have a minimum and maximum in regards to the weight that they can carry and the basket sizes come in quite a range.

So, this is how hot air balloons work

Simply put, hot air balloons run on the philosophy that hot air rises and cold air sinks. When the air inside the balloon is heated, it becomes warmer than the air outside and therefore is lighter.

This is what causes the balloon to become airborne.

Steering

Now that we know how the balloon goes up and down, how does it steer?

In order to obtain horizontal movement, the pilot must move the balloon up and down to catch different wind currents. The direction of the wind varies at different altitudes. Due to this factor, going up and down will also change the horizontal movement as well.

Of course, there is no foolproof way to follow wind patterns so the pilot is never in complete control. This may be why sometimes you hear horror stories about hot air balloons winding up in trees.

Hot air balloons rarely take off and land in the same place unless they are tethered to the ground. This is due to the fact that it is very difficult to predict their path.

Launching and Landing

The launching process only takes about fifteen minutes from start to getting off the ground.

Once a suitable location for launch has been found, the envelope is laid out and the crew begins inflating it with a fan.

After inflation, the burner and basket are attached and away you go!

The landing process is a bit more time-consuming.

When the pilot is ready to land they will need to find a landing site that is a wide open space with no power lines and space to lay out the balloon.

The balloon landing can be a little rough but an experienced pilot will know exactly what to do. Typically they will bump along the ground to stop the balloon and decrease the force of the impact.

Once the envelope is on the ground, the team begins pushing the air out and laying it flat. After it is totally flat, the balloon gets packed up for next time!

Now you know how hot air balloons work. So, what’s next? Are you going to head out there and go for a ride or do you feel safer on the ground? At least now you have all the facts to make an educated decision!

First-Time Hot Air Balloon Experience: What to Expect

The Hot Air Balloon Experience: What to Expect

If you’ve never been in a hot air balloon, you probably have a lot of questions. We’re telling you what to expect from your first hot air balloon experience!

Keyword(s): hot air balloon experience

Your first hot air balloon experience will be a memory you’ll never forget.

The thrill of quietly floating through the air among the birds is an experience like no other.

Riding in a hot air balloon is nothing like being on a plane. The gentle peace of the air around you cannot be compared to anything else.

If you’ve been considering your first hot air balloon experience, there are many things you should know before taking flight.

Read on and become an expert even before setting foot in your first hot air balloon.

You Might Be Nervous or Scared About Your First Hot Air Balloon Experience. Don’t Be.

If you’re deathly afraid of heights, a hot air balloon ride is probably not for you.

However, most people say that they felt very safe and secure during their flight. A balloon will never take flight without optimal weather conditions (more on that later), and your pilot is very well trained.

Although you won’t be strapped into the basket, it’s tall enough to come up to the rib cage of a person of average height. You’re not going to fall out.

When the balloon first begins to take off, you may feel a twinge of anxiety as the ground gets smaller and smaller.

Relax.

The altitude of most hot air balloon flights ranges from only just above the treetops to about 2,000 feet.

The world record hot air balloon record is over 65,000 feet, but don’t expect your pilot to take you to those levels!

What Should You Wear?

Even in cool weather, you can expect your balloon ride to be hot. The balloon’s burners are sort of like standing near a hot bonfire.

No matter the forecasted temperature, prepare yourself with a few layers of clothing that you can remove when the ride starts to heat up.

Nothing will ruin a hot air balloon ride faster than sweating through the entire thing.

Be Flexible

First, know that your pilot wants to take flight just as much as you do. However, when weather conditions are not optimal, he or she will not risk your safety.

Be prepared for your flight times to change. Even if you’re already on the launch field, a flight might need to be canceled without warning. It’s the pilot’s decision and they are the experts.

If winds reach 10 miles per hour or above, you won’t be flying that day. Additionally, any rain in the forecast will quickly end a scheduled flight.

Don’t worry though. You’ll get to take flight when the conditions are right.

Prepare to Stand

If you’re thinking about wearing those strappy heels on your flight, you might want to think again. There are no seats or chairs during a hot air balloon ride.

The best bet is to wear your most comfortable pair of athletic shoes or some cushy flip flops.

Your can expect your balloon ride to last 3 – 4 hours. Nobody wants to be standing with uncomfortable shoes for that amount of time.

Come prepared and get the most out of your first hot air balloon experience.

What About the Takeoff?

We’ve all seen dramatic TV or movie scenes where people are wildly jumping into the hot air balloon basket as it’s beginning to take off.

Of course, these scenes are not based in reality.

Expect your takeoff to be very gentle and smooth. Everything (and everybody) needed for the flight will be painstakingly loaded into the basket before it ever leaves the ground.

Your pilot is trained to make the takeoff a pleasurable experience. The feeling of slowly leaving the ground will take your breath away. 

Don’t Drop Your Phone!

While you’re enjoying your first hot air balloon experience, you’re going to want to take a bunch of pictures.

The scenery is amazing.

However, when hovering at anywhere from 200 to 2,000 feet you’ll want to make sure your phone or camera doesn’t slip out of your hands and end up on the ground somewhere in the middle of the woods.

The best way to avoid this is by getting a wrist or neck strap that will keep your camera or phone secure and safe from harm.

The Basket Is Very Stable

You might be worried that the hot air balloon basket will start to sway when other passengers move around.

This simply isn’t true.

While there are baskets that can accommodate up to 20 people (and you obviously can’t control all of these people’s movements), these baskets weigh upwards of 800 lbs.

The stability of the hot air balloon basket is key to an enjoyable ride. Manufacturers understand this and make sure everyone feels stable and safe.

How Fast Will the Balloon Be Travelling?

Ever hear the term “as the wind blows”? This is how fast you will be traveling through the air.

This is the main reason why a trained pilot will not launch a balloon when wind speeds are in excess of 10 mph. It wouldn’t be safe.

Trained pilots pay very close attention to weather forecasts. They know what to expect before taking off.

In rare cases where wind speeds unexpectedly rise to an unsafe level, your pilot will get you safely on the ground in short order.

Floating at the pace of the wind is an incredible feeling. It’s one that will make your first hot air balloon experience something you will never forget.

The Landing

Expect the landing to be a little bit bumpy.

Your pilot will give specific instructions for each passenger on what they need to do to make the landing as soft and comfortable as possible.

All you need to worry about is paying attention to the pilot and following his specific instructions for you as it relates to the landing.

Ending It with Some Bubbly

There’s a long-standing tradition of cracking open some champagne after a successful hot air balloon flight.

Some even consider this a requirement to concluding the flight.

Even if you don’t drink alcohol, consider requesting some non-alcoholic champagne so you can enjoy this tradition with the other passengers.

Your first hot air balloon experience will be something that you’ll never forget.

Being prepared and knowing what to expect will help make your experience even better.

The 10 Best Places to Take Hot Air Balloon Rides Around the World

Best Places to Take Hot Air Balloon Rides in the World

Whether you want to travel far or stay in the U.S., there are many amazing places for hot air balloon rides. We’re sharing the 10 best places to take one here!

Keyword(s): hot air balloon rides

After having flown with Aerogelic Ballooning in Phoenix, Arizona and wanting to go another another hot air balloon ride here are some awesome suggestions I have suggested to many of our passengers.
Did you know that two of the seven wonders of the world are located in Turkey? The Temple of Artemis and Mausoleum of Halicarnassus can be found in Turkey. These are just some of the exciting and beautiful places you can take hot air balloon rides around the globe.
Read on to find out the top 10 best places to take hot air balloon rides worldwide.

Cappadocia, Turkey

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, then you should seriously consider taking part in a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey.
The mountains and rocky landscape will literally take your breath away. You will also get to see beautiful orchards, valleys and vineyards.
The gold and red colors of Turkey’s mountains can be seen atop a hot air balloon ride any time of the year.

Mount Bromo, Java, Indonesia

Indonesia also offers gorgeous scenery due to its rising volcano and encompassing plains surrounding it. Mount Bromo is an active volcano located in East Java, Indonesia.
Hot air balloon rides have become more popular over the years throughout Indonesia. An International Festival has made the sport more common while the aesthetic landscape attracts more visitors.
Going on a hot air balloon ride in Mount Bromo will definitely be worthwhile due to the breathtaking scenery surrounding the volcano.

Switzerland Is One of the Best Places to Take Hot Air Balloon Rides

If you’ve always been interested in seeing the Alps, taking hot air balloon rides throughout Switzerland will be an incredible treat!
The country holds more than 50 different spots from which you can choose to go riding in a hot air balloon.
Château-d’Oex, Switzerland holds a festival every year that attracts hot air balloon enthusiasts from around the globe. If you’ve never been to Switzerland before and you love hot air balloon rides, this festival may be the perfect experience for you!
The festival takes place in January, but you can go on a hot air balloon ride in Switzerland anytime throughout the year. Seeing the mountains and trees growing atop the Alps will surely be a sight to see!

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Few places around the globe provide as much excitement and wonder as taking hot air balloon rides through Serengeti National Park.
When you get onto the hot air balloon with the wind blowing through your hair, you’ll get to enjoy a spectacular scene of zebras, giraffes, and lions walking through the plains. You may even spot a wildebeest migration from your balloon.
If you’re interested in taking part in a safari, be sure to ask about the four points at the Serengeti National Park where you can take a hot air balloon ride.

New Mexico, USA

The state of New Mexico offers some great sights when flying in a hot air balloon. The scenery will vary from mountains to prairies with many enthusiasts rushing to this state due to its many hot air balloon festivals.
For instance, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta offers a wonderful nine-day festival where more than 500 hot air balloons lift off into the sky, offering both the riders and those on the ground a gorgeous view.

The Arctic

Going up in a hot air balloon ride in the Arctic could be one of the most exciting adventures you’ll ever take!
Not only will you get to see icebergs and extraordinary winter scenery, but you may get a glimpse of the wildlife in the area as well. Polar bears, whales, and migrating caribou are just some of the active wildlife in the Arctic.
If you’re looking for hot air balloon rides in colder climates, you might want to seek out Canadian companies that provide ballooning services in the Arctic.

Luxor, Egypt

If you want an extraordinary experience, you can’t go wrong with taking a hot air balloon ride in Luxor, Egypt!
Along with the wonderful scenery, you’ll be able to see historic sights such as ancient temples and tombs that hold famous Egyptian rulers. Flying over the landscape of Egypt, you’ll feel as if you’ve gone back in time.
The best time to go on hot air balloon rides in Luxor, Egypt may be in the early morning hours before tourists flood the streets. You’ll be able to see the sun rise across expansive deserts all the way to the greener banks along the Nile river.

Lake Champlain, Vermont

During the Autumn, the state of Vermont offers one of the most colorful landscape you’ll ever get to experience in the United States. The trees will be filled with bright yellow, orange, and fiery red leaves.
You’ll also get to hear the peaceful sounds of nature when you glide in a hot air balloon across Lake Champlain, Vermont and the countryside.
The most picturesque views of Lake Champlain occur at sunset. The area also includes a number of parks.
The best time to visit Vermont in a hot air balloon is during the fall when the leaves change colors.

Istria, Croatia

If you’re looking to enjoy sandy beaches, eat ethnic foods, and learn about ancient history, you should consider traveling to Istria, Croatia.
When thinking about taking hot air balloon rides, Istria offers views of beaches, wineries, and a beautiful countryside. The houses along the countryside provide colorful orange and yellow views while the ocean is a brilliant blue.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a perfect place to travel if you love nature and want great scenery during a hot air balloon ride.
The greenery and mountains make a gorgeous landscape when taking a hot air balloon ride. The rivers and jungles will keep you enthralled as you glide across the sky.
You’ll find that most times of the year in Costa Rica are perfect for a hot air balloon ride.
These top 10 places for a hot air balloon ride around the world should give you a great idea of your next travel destination. Which place do you want to visit first? Let us know in the comments section below!

Local to Phoenix, Arizona?
Try going for hot air balloon flights before traveling around the world to experience extraordinary hot air ballooning locations; check us out at www.AerogelicBallooning.com. We offer various hot air balloon flight options, and locations to get the experience of balloon flight in several different environments such as hot air balloon flying over the city, desert, contouring mountainous terrain, and some hot air balloon rides even offer more wind or distance than others. So lets go hot air ballooning at Aerogelic Ballooning!

The Importance of Hot Air Balloon Safety

The Importance of Hot Air Balloon Safety

Hot air balloon rides are loads of fun, but safety is still of the utmost importance. We’re going over some essential hot air balloon safety tips for you.

Keyword(s): hot air balloon safety

If you want to personally re-enact the final few scenes of The Wizard of Oz, you may have some concerns about how safe hot air ballooning really is.
The good news? Despite what you may have heard, fatalities are actually very rare. 
Still, that doesn’t mean it’s OK to forget about basic hot air balloon safety.
To make sure you have both a safe and fun time, we’re outlining everything you need to know about hot air balloon safety in this post.

Fly With A Reputable Company

Much of your hot air balloon safety depends on the company and individual operator you decide to fly with. Their experience, training, and certification matters.
When you’re choosing a company to book your hot air balloon flight with, there are a few things you can look for on their website to help you know you’re making the safest choice.
First, the reviews and testimonials on their website. If there’s anything shady going on, rest assured past customers will let you know.
You can also check out sites like Trip Advisor, the Better Business Bureau, and even social media accounts!
Then, see if the company is a member of the Professional Ride Operators (PRO) sector of the Balloon Federation of America (BFA.)
PRO Membership is a great indicator that the company takes hot air balloon safety seriously. It was formed to keep passengers safe, as well as to hold balloon operators accountable should anything go wrong.
In fact, the operating standards of the PRO are actually laid out by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.) That should make you feel very safe!
Finally, keep in mind that all hot air balloon operators are required to have a pilot’s license. Usually, the companies will also have an additional amount of required flight time before allowing them to take passengers up in the air.
Try www.AerogelicBallooning.com

Check The Weather

Though most hot air balloon companies won’t “take off” in dangerous weather, for your own peace of mind, you may want to check the forecast on the morning of your flight.
If the weather is overly windy if it’s raining hard, or of course, if there’s a storm, you’re not going to be able to fly that day. If your company insists that “everything’s fine,” leave immediately and tell others to come with you.
Keep in mind that many hot air balloon companies will also offer a “rain check” guarantee or a chance to fly another day if the weather conditions are poor. Be sure to ask about that when you book!

But What If…

When it comes to hot air balloon safety, we know it can be easy to dream up worst-case scenarios. This, again, is why flying with an experienced pilot is so important.
Still, if you can’t seem to stop yourself from panicking, remember that…

  • Birds are scared of hot air balloons because of their size and the noises they make. If you’re worried that a bird flying into the balloon could cause an accident (like on an airplane) know that because the balloon’s fabric is so tough, they’ll likely just bounce right off!
  • If a burner goes out, it will be relit at once. Also, there’s a backup burner that will ignite to make sure the balloon still flies. Even in the highly unlikely scenario that both burners go out, the balloon would only fall about as fast as a parachute.
  • If your balloon somehow gets a hole in it, tests have been performed and proven that they can still fly, even with a small or medium-size hole.
  • Since 1964, there have only been 70 hot air balloon fatalities in the United States. Remember that people have been flying them since 1783 – that’s even before the Wright Brothers had their first airplane flight! The takeaway? Hot air balloon safety has had a lot of time to be perfected.

What About Power Lines?

It is true that power lines are one of the main causes of hot air balloon accidents. Again, this is why flying in excellent weather conditions is so important – because power lines can be tougher to see in the fog.
It’s also why many balloon rides take place in the morning or afternoon, for maximum visibility.
The takeaway here? If you see something, say something! Your pilot has a lot to do to keep your balloon in the air. He or she would appreciate you mentioning that you see a power line if you think you’re coming a little too close.
Again, make sure you ask the company how long their pilots have been flying. Experience is the best teacher, so go with a company that’s been in business a long time.

How Should I Behave On Board?

Of course, hot air balloon safety is also dependent on your behavior during the flight!
First, don’t be alarmed if you see safety equipment inside the basket. This is an industry standard, and it should actually make you feel better! Your pilot may also give you a brief talk about how to stay safe during the flight.
While it’s perfectly fine to reach your arms slightly outside the basket to snap that awesome picture, make sure that the rest of your body stays firmly inside the basket. This isn’t the time or the place to goof around.
Don’t lean way over the railing, and don’t jump around inside the basket.
Finally, don’t forget to bring a jacket or heavy coat to stay warm! You’d be surprised to learn that sometimes, it can get a little cold up there.
Luckily, safety inside the basket just goes hand in hand with common sense.

You’re An Expert In Hot Air Balloon Safety

Now, you know everything you need to about hot air balloon safety, so you can stay safe and have an amazing time on your flight!
Instead of worrying, just do your research, check the forecast, and listen to the instructions the pilot gives you.
Thanks to these tips, you’re ready to go on the flight of your life. Don’t forget to pack your camera!

Why You Should Take a Vacation to a Hot Air Balloon Festival

Why You Should Vacation to a Hot Air Balloon Festival

Family vacations are supposed to be the best time of your life, and taking one to a hot air balloon festival could be just the trip you’ve been looking for.

Keyword(s): hot air balloon festival

Thinking about taking a vacation, but not sure where to go?
Well, question no more! Going to a hot air balloon festival give you a unique experience, allowing you see some amazing views and get some great photo ops!

Hot Air Balloon Festivals to Experience

Albuquerque, New Mexico

If you are looking for an amazing sight to behold, book a trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico. During the first week of October, a choreographed launch of 600+ hot air balloons can be seen at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
When you’re not riding in the hot air balloon, there are plenty of other things to do as well! The historic old town houses centuries-old buildings transformed into local restaurants, the American International Rattlesnake Museum, and a well-preserved patch of Route 66.
If you would rather explore, there are plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails decorated with the natural, rugged beauty Albuquerque has to offer. Or perhaps you would like to kayak? A number of opportunities and adventures lie ahead!

Temecula Valley, California

The Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival is smaller than Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta. But, with 25 years of experience, balloon rides, and wine, it’s hard to see a downside. And with the Southern California weather, the three-day hot air balloon festival is sure to allow for some relaxation and fun.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Replacing the Colorado Balloon Classic, the Labor Day Lift Off has opportunities for the adventurous. Taking place on Labor day weekend, the hot air balloon festival contains entertainment and activities for everyone!
Want to go skydiving one day and ballooning the next? No problem! Decided you want to try out paddle boarding? Go ahead!
The hot air balloon festival also contains a “Glow” event. Watch the night sky light up as the hot air balloons inflate and ignite their burners at 7 pm on Saturday and Sunday evenings. This free and family-friendly event will provide you with amazing memories.

Other Opportunities

Looking for more of an adventure? Hot air balloon rides are everywhere! You don’t need to wait for a festival to come around to take a look at some amazing views!

Loire Valley, France

Looking for some European flair?  The Loire Valley is almost 170 miles long and contains over 800 castles and manor houses. The view contains the Chateau de Chenonceau, vineyards, sunflower fields, stone villages and more.
The best time to plan the French hot air balloon adventure of a lifetime is between April and October. Castles will be open to visit, the spring weather will be warmer, and the plants will be blooming.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Want to see the African safari? Why not do it from a bird’s eye view!
Home to the largest mammal migration worldwide, ballooning over the Serengeti National Park is a site to behold! The grassy plains contain around 2 million wildebeest, 250,000 zebras, and 500,000 gazelles with a few other wild animals for you to see.
The moderate climate allows for year-round ballooning. But if you want to catch a glimpse of migrations, the best times are from March to May or October to December.

Lake Champlain, Vermont

Looking for something a little closer to home, or at least within the country? Go to Lake Champlain and experience the amazing views! You can see everything from a higher altitude, from the lake’s shoreline to the Green Mountains.
Balloons are year-round, as long as the weather allows. However, the vibrant colors of autumn are amazing to behold.
Hot air balloon rides can be found anywhere! But, there are a few things to keep in mind for your hot air balloon festival extravaganza…

Things to Remember

Flexibility is key

Hot air balloon rides are completely dependent on the weather. Try to schedule your flight at the beginning of your trip, so if there is a need to reschedule, it can be done.
On that note, try to plan more than one day for flying. It makes it easier to reschedule if/when needed.
It helps to know when the best weather conditions occur for your destination. You don’t want to plan a trip during stormy months because you may not get to fly.

Early Rising

For many destinations, the winds are more stable during the early morning or evenings. Keep in mind that you may need to wake up earlier than usual on the day you are to fly.

Safety

Every company wants to ensure you are safe. Before taking off, the pilots will be sure to check official weather briefings from the flight service, the Federal aviation association, and other weather forecast sites.

Pack Light

There is only so much space within the basket of the hot air balloon. Be sure to only bring the necessities with you. The necessities include layers, sunglasses, closed-toes shoes, a camera, and a hat.
A hat is especially recommended for those over 6 feet tall. It will help protect your head from the burner’s flames.

Comfortable Ride

Despite the rising altitude, the ride will be a comfortable temperature. The added heat from the burner creates a warmer atmosphere than you would think.
It helps to note that the balloon will be constantly moving at a leisurely pace. Due to the constant motion, those who are scared of heights should be fine. Without a fixed point, there will not be a swooping feeling in your stomach.
Another reassuring note: hot air ballooning is one of the safest forms of aviation. The practice dates back to November 21, 1783, so you can be assured the pilots know what they’re doing.

No Seats

Remember, there are no seats in the basket. Once the hot air balloon takes off, you should be ready to stand for up to 2 hours.

No Bathrooms

Just as there are no seats, there are no bathrooms either. And landing during mid-flight is not permitted. Be sure to go to the bathroom before you take off.

Weather Conditions

Remember, hot air balloon festivals rely on the weather. If the weather conditions are determined to be unsafe, the balloon will not take off.

Pricing

Prices of hot air balloon rides will vary. Not only seasonally, but also due to destinations, the package chosen, and the flight time.
A typical hot air balloon ride can cost anywhere from $150 to $250 per adult.
If you keep these things in mind, your trip will provide you with memories that will last a lifetime and pictures that will envy your friends!

www.AerogelicBallooning.com

How to Choose the Right Hot Air Balloon Company

How to Choose the Right Hot Air Balloon Company
by www.AerogelicBallooning.com

Looking to book a hot air balloon ride? Pick a hot air balloon company that’s going to be safe and fun. Find out how here.

Keyword(s): hot air balloon company

Every year you tell yourself that you’ll finally conquer your fear of heights, and you’d like nothing more than to stick to your resolution this time around. In order to show yourself and everyone around you that you mean business, you’ve actually started vetting your first hot air balloon company.
In order to show yourself and everyone around you that you mean business, you’ve actually started vetting your first hot air balloon company.
Of course, you’re in over your head; you don’t even know the first thing about selecting the right hot air balloon company. The only thing you know is that you want to go for a ride in the sky.
How, then, should you go about choosing a company that will do right by you? What exactly should your vetting process look like?
If you stick around for a while, we guarantee that we’ll give you some of the most important information you need to make your hot air balloon ride a success.

Look For A Licensed Pilot

Anyone who has a sense of self-preservation knows not to get into a hot air balloon (or anything that moves) with an unlicensed pilot, and when we say “unlicensed” here, we mean to say that the pilot does not meet the Federal Aviation Administration‘s requirements.
Needless to say, we assume that you belong to the party of people which we’re referring to. Still, actually selecting a licensed pilot is probably going to be the least of your worries since how you go about selecting your pilot is the more important issue.
To be blunt, if your selection process involves a third party’s services (i.e. a broker of some sort), you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
Ride brokers, while they might seem helpful, often scam customers and don’t necessarily have your best interests at heart; even if they manage to get you in contact with a licensed pilot, there is no guarantee that this pilot actually owns or even flies the balloon you’ll be riding in.
Fortunately, separating a broker from an actual pilot isn’t too challenging. The internet is just one of many sources that you can use to verify whether or not you’re dealing with a broker or pilot.

Check The Company’s Credibility

Finding a licensed pilot isn’t equivalent to finding a credible hot air balloon company because you could easily find a subpar company which happens to have a few good pilots. That said, once you find your pilot, you’ll need to start gauging the company’s credibility.
That said, once you find your pilot, you’ll need to start gauging the company’s credibility.
Generally speaking, you’ll be able to find official evidence of a company’s credibility online, and please note that “official evidence” doesn’t include customer reviews. Yes, customer reviews are definitely useful (and we’ll actually discuss them a little later), but they probably aren’t going to give you much information beyond some critiques of the business’s services.
For instance, customers usually aren’t privy to any run-ins with the government which involve the company’s conduct, probably because companies typically don’t broadcast their legal troubles. Such legal troubles could include, for example, a history of accidents. Customers also aren’t going to know much of anything about a company’s licenses to provide their services.
Luckily for you, there are databases, such as the Better Business Bureau, which are committed to providing customers with all of this information and more. Having said as much, make sure that you take advantage of these types of resources before deciding on a hot air balloon company.

Check The Company’s Reputation

In all fairness, a business’s credibility and its reputation are undeniably linked to each other. Even so, the two should not be conflated. Unlike a business’s credibility, a business’s reputation takes customer experience and feedback into consideration.
Even so, the two should not be conflated. Unlike a business’s credibility, a business’s reputation takes customer experience and feedback into consideration.
Hopefully, you can see why the two should remain separate: A customer’s experiences don’t necessarily delegitimize a company’s services, nor should they in most cases.
Still, customer ratings should be taken into account if you want to enjoy your hot air balloon ride, primarily because customers will give you honest accounts of what their experiences were like.
They’ll tell you, for instance, how friendly (or unfriendly) the staff is and just how attentive staff members are.
Not only will you be able to get details of this nature, but you’ll also be able to get a feel for just how “safe” the company’s services are. No, we’re not suggesting that hot air balloon rides are inherently unsafe, but we are suggesting that sometimes companies get lax when they feel that they can afford to.
Needless to say, though, you should take customer reviews with a grain of salt. Or two. Everyone has different standards, something that is routinely reflected in reviews.
There is also another reason that you shouldn’t put too much weight on customer reviews: You’ll overlook many small yet legitimate businesses that might be good options for you.

Observe The Company’s Hot Air Balloon Rides

Seeing is apparently believing, which is why there is absolutely nothing wrong with requesting that a pilot allows you to observe his or her hot air balloon rides from a distance.
During an observation, you should be looking for any and all red flags. That is to say, if the pilot you’re vetting does or says something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you shouldn’t hesitate to turn him or her down. You should also be sure to ask any questions that come about during the observation.
If your company of choice tries to do something to discourage an observation (such as charging you a fee for it), we recommend that you find a company that will be more open to assuaging your fears.
While seeing might be believing, however, you shouldn’t necessarily take an observation as the gospel truth. In other words, you’ll have to assume that the company is putting on a bit of a show for you, as it does for most visitors since it’s ultimately a business.

More On Selecting A Hot Air Balloon Company

The information we’ve provided here is by no means a complete guide.
Every individual is different and will undoubtedly be looking for a different experience. The above information is, nevertheless, essential for those of you who are looking to have a good time and do safely.
Having said as much, we strongly encourage you to personalize your search for the hot air balloon company that is right for you. We’re just glad that we could give you a good foundation.

Want to talk to someone?
Call 602-402-8041 or check us out at www.AerogelicBallooning.com

How to Take Great Pictures on a Hot Air Balloon

How to Take Great Pictures on a Hot Air Balloon
by www.AerogelicBallooning.com

You’ve booked the hot air balloon ride, and now it’s time to take amazing pictures. We’re sharing what you need to make fantastic memories.

Keyword(s): hot air balloon

Are you an outdoor aficionado with a desire to take great photos on a hot air balloon?
If yes, lean in!
Every day, thousands of hot air balloons across the country lift off into the air, giving riders a perfect opportunity to capture stunning images while enjoying the experience.
What’s more, there are no windows on a hot air balloon, so you can grab shots from any angle that pleases your eyes.
However, taking great photos on a balloon requires the right equipment, good photography skills and a good understanding of your new environment.
The good news is you don’t have to take a couple of flights to master the art of aerial photography from a hot air balloon.
We’re sharing everything you need to know to know in order to return home with stunning photos after your first flight!

First Things First

Let’s get a few things out of the way.
If you’re a ballooning newbie with a fear of heights, you may want to take deep breaths before taking off.
Capturing truly unique views aboard a hot air balloon requires calm nerves. Feelings of anxiety or anticipation can impair your judgement and ability to hold your camera without shaking.
Also, don’t expect any air turbulence, because balloons don’t fly against the wind. The basket is quite calm, a perfect ground for taking great photos.

Get the Right Equipment

To achieve the best pictures, you need the right equipment.
Here’s a breakdown of what you need:

Cameras

Just about any modern camera take great photos, but not all cameras can capture great pics on a hot air balloon.
As such, a lot rides on the camera you choose for your mission.
Although we’re not go to mention any specific brand or make, go for a camera that is light in weight but compact in shape. When it comes to features, look out for one with large sensors and interchangeable lens.
That said, you don’t have to break the bank for expensive cameras, especially when you don’t take photographs for a living. You can find great, cost-effective alternatives online marketplaces like eBay.

Lenses

Hot air balloons usually cruise at an altitude of 2,000 feet, though high-altitude ones can go up to 5,000 ft or more.
You will need a powerful lens to capture awesome air-to-ground photographs. Even though a 50mm lens works great for most altitudes, a 200mm lens is the most preferable when flying at higher altitudes.

Storage Devices

For some people, a hot air balloon ride is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Even for frequent ballooners, every ride is a unique experience.
This means you should be prepared to take lots of photos, and keep in mind there will be no time for reviewing and deleting the ones you don’t like.
Yet, there is nothing more frustrating that running out of storage space when capturing shots of stunning landscapes from above. To avoid this, carry sufficient backup memory cards with you.

Get Familiar with Your Camera

Have you ever prepared to take a photo but somehow your camera failed to click away?
This usually happens when you’re using a new camera that you aren’t familiar with.
Before boarding the hot air balloon, ensure you’re familiar with your camera’s dials and menu systems. Learn how to adjust shatter speeds and light sensitivity, as well as how to swap lens quickly.
You certainly don’t want to miss a chance to capture an amazing view because you can’t change lens quickly enough or get around the menu system.

Space is Crucial

Smaller hot air balloons can carry 2-4 people, while the biggest can accommodate up to 14 people.
If you book your ride in a balloon with several people on board, find a spot where you can freely take photos from various angles.
To enhance your chances of getting the best spot, ask the pilot or someone who knows a thing or two about taking photos on a hot air balloon.

Plan Your Photoshoot

Planning a photo shoot is vital to taking stunning images.
Even if you’ve booked a ride across a place you have never been to, it pays to have a good idea on what you expect to capture.
For example, if you’re flying across a game reserve, you should know the location’s interesting subjects. Go online and research about the place or ask your pilot what to expect.
Either way, don’t board a hot air balloon and start clicking your camera right away.
Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the conditions in the balloon basket, and then get your camera ready.

Be More Creative with Your Camera

Adding creativity to your photography can make a big difference when taking photos on a hot air balloon.
Use the fact that balloons allow a 360-degree view to your advantage.
While horizontal photos are the easiest to shoot, try different angles and find new ways to capture your views. For instance, if you are flying across a city with tall buildings, try taking down-facing photos.
Remember not to move your feet when shooting. Unless it’s necessary, just rotate your waist to either side and capture the scenes. This helps you to avoid shaking your camera, something that can cause blurred photos.
Use quicker shutter speeds in high-light environments, and slower shutter speed in low-light environments.
If your ride is in the early-morning or late-evening, you can set your camera to a slower shutter speed even before taking off.

Secure Your Gear

Hot air balloon landings can be pretty hard sometimes.
If you don’t secure your cameras and memory cards, they can be destroyed on landing, and you may lose your photos.
Once the pilot has signaled passengers to prepare for landing, get off the camera and secure your devices. Cushion them with a protective cloth before tucking them firmly in your bag.

Winding Things Up

Hot air ballooning is an awesome experience that enables you to get a new perspective of the world around you.
Taking great photos of these perspectives requires proper planning, the right photography equipment, and a creative sense.
Lastly, don’t get consumed by your camera. Take some time out to enjoy your balloon ride.
Have you ever taken photos on a hot air balloon? We’d love to hear your experience!

The Insider’s Guide to Hot Air Balloon Festivals

The Insider’s Guide to Hot Air Balloon Festivals
by www.AerogelicBallooning.com

Thinking of attending one of our amazing hot air balloon festivals? This guide is sharing the inside scoop. Here’s what you need to know to get ready.

Keyword(s): hot air balloon festivals

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to fly outside of an airplane? Floating hundreds of feet in the air with the wind in your hair, and the world below you?
Well, that’s all possible with hot air balloons. The floating wonders have captivated millions of people for this very reason.
If you ever have the chance to ride in a balloon, take it. In fact, if you ever have the chance to visit a hot air balloon festival, take that too.
Hot air balloon festivals bring together people who share a love for these beautiful floating orbs and bring them together in one place.
The spectacle put on by the dedicated hot air balloon community is something that no one forgets.
You haven’t truly seen the sky until you’ve seen it dotted with all manner of unique hot air balloons.

Where To Go

Hot air balloons are at their peak in cool, arid conditions with breezy winds. It’s no surprise then, that most hot air balloon festivals take place in the West.
Those of us living out West rejoice, but East Coasters might not like this news. Don’t worry, though, between Colorado, Nevada, and Texas there are enough airports to make traveling easy.
Here’s a list of hot air balloon festivals worth checking out.

  • The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM
    • This festival is the largest in the country. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a 10 day event featuring over 500 balloons. Additional attractions include Sandia Mountain National Park and the Ojo Caliente mineral hot springs.
  • The Labor Day Lift Off, Colorado Springs, CO
    • The event, formerly known as the Colorado Balloon Classic, is held annually over Labor Day weekend. Get ready for tons of balloons, live entertainment, and balloon rides.
  • The Great Texas Balloon Race, Longview, TX
    • This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Great Texas Balloon Race, so come prepared for an extra special year. Competitive pilots from around the world gather to race for victory.
  • The Great Reno Balloon Race – Reno, NV
    • The Great Reno Balloon Race mixes family fun with friendly competition as pilots compete in a number of unique events. Make sure to take the kids on a tethered balloon ride.

Any of these events are a great introduction into the world of hot air balloon festivals. Each offers family friendly fun that you’ll never forget.

What To Do At Hot Air Balloon Festivals

Now that we’ve established where you can find these hot air balloon festivals, we need to break down what you should actually do once you arrive.
Yes, you look at hot air balloons. We know that’s the obvious answer that most of you are probably thinking.
However, there’s so much more to these festivals than just watching the balloons soar.

Dawn Patrol

Most hot air balloon festivals have an event called the “Dawn Patrol.” This “patrol” sets off before daybreak to measure the prevailing winds and air density.
These balloons make for an excellent spectacle if you’re willing to wake up early enough to catch them in flight.
Their silhouette over the grounds while the sun rises provide the opportunity for great photographs.
Plus, getting to the festival early ensures you’ll have an easier time getting finding seating for the rest of the day. That, and you can enjoy the first round of balloons without the crowds.

The Balloon Glow

If you’re looking to get a close-up view of your favorite hot air balloons, you’ll want to check out the Balloon Glow event.
Held in the evening and into the night, Balloon Glow is when pilots tether their balloon very close to the ground and ignite their burners.
The result is a field full of swaying, brilliantly lit balloons of all kinds that are close enough to reach out and touch.
Balloon teams also affix baseball styled cards to their baskets, or simply hand them out, to spectators. The cards detail vital statistics like balloon age, weight, team size, and home state.
Many people walk from balloon to balloon, collecting each card and saving them as a free commemoration of the event.

Balloon Rides

Could you really hold a hot air balloon festival without offering balloon rides? Of course, not!
If you’re feeling adventurous, just step right up and hop on a balloon. Most rides are tethered (unfortunately), but it’s still great fun and an even better view. Click here to check out Aerogelic Ballooning

The Key Grab

If you’re the competitive type then make sure to attend the key grab.
During this event balloon team’s first must judge the wind speed and direction of a pole planted at random in the festival grounds.
Atop the pole is the prize, usually a key to a car or money in an envelope, that teams collect to win the event.
Competitors then leave the event and launch their balloons from a distant location. The first team to maneuver their balloon and grab the key wins!

The Mass Ascension

Yes, this event is exactly what it sounds like. The mass ascension is when every balloon in the festival simultaneously launches into the air.
Balloons of all shapes and sizes rise up into the sky, stretching far and wide. There’s nothing more spectacular than hundreds of balloons blotting out the sun.
Expect a rainbow of different colors, and balloons of all different shapes and sizes. We’ve seen everything from your traditional balloons to Spongebob Squarepants flying high overhead.
If we could only choose one event to visit, we’d choose the mass ascension every time.
Hopefully, this guide has piqued your interest about the world of hot air balloons. We’re an interesting bunch, but always welcoming of newcomers.
Our yearly festivals are just another way for us to say hello and bring joy to someone’s life.
We’re looking forward to winter’s end so we can get our balloons in the air again.

The next round of festivals is this summer, and we hope to see all of you there. Remember, you haven’t truly seen the sky until you’ve seen it outlined with hot air balloons.

What Do Hot Air Balloon Rides Actually Feel Like?

What Do Hot Air Balloon Rides Actually Feel Like?

Thinking of checking out hot air balloon rides, but wondering what it’s actually like? Look no further than this guide! Here’s what you can expect.

Keyword(s): hot air balloon rides

Hot air balloon rides are an adventure.
From the beautiful views to the adrenaline rush of being up in the air to the unique experience of being floated into the heavens by a brightly colored balloon, it’s hard not to see the appeal in the remarkable world of hot air balloon rides.
However, to someone who has never been, the idea of being in a tiny basket in the sky may seem a bit daunting.
Should you pass on the adventure, or go for this awesome outdoor vacation idea? We put together a guide to understanding exactly what happens during hot air balloon rides and what the experience really feels like so you can make an educated decision.
Check out our awesome guide to hot air balloon rides!

What Happens During Hot Air Balloon Rides?

Here’s the play-by-play of what happens before and during a hot air balloon ride.

Basket

The basket (the part of the hot air balloon you will be inside) will be unloaded and mounted.
A burner will be installed to the top of four “sticks” that line the sides of the basket securely.
Gas hoses will then be connected to propane tanks inside of the basket. After a quick test to make sure the burner is working right, the basket will be fixed to the balloon– known beforehand as “the envelope”.

The Envelope

The hot air balloon pre-hot air will be taken out of a large bag. The tapered part of the envelope will them be attached to the basket to hooks along the burner.

Inflation

After neatly spreading the envelope out flat, it will then be inflated with cold air. After checking for holes, the balloon will then be inflated.
During this hot air inflation, sand bags or hooks will be used to keep it on the ground.

Entry and Takeoff

At this point, riders will be brought on board. After a short security and safety briefing, weight will be removed and the burner will be activated to make the air lighter.
Now it’s off into the sky, where the wind will gently push you on an undetermined path up to three thousand feet in the air.

Book Now!

What Does A Hot Air Balloon Ride Feel Like?

First and foremost, it feels really hot.
The flames from the burner are very warm, and you’ll notice pretty quickly that that basket is a well-heated spot.
When you lift off, you’ll probably brace for an abrupt, jolting takeoff. Surprisingly, this doesn’t happen. Once the hot air balloon is filled with less heavy air, the basket is lifted gently away from the ground.
This initial feeling is very surreal. You may feel like you’re in some kind of a dream, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how gentle the floating sensation of being in the balloon is.
When you first get into the basket, which is typically made of wicker, it may appear or feel flimsy. Don’t worry– once you’re in the air, it will feel more stable.
You’ll also notice that you can’t quite hear the wind from inside the basket, either.
To put it simply, not matter how nervous you are, you will feel a serene sense of peace while up in the air. Hot air balloon rides are designed to be gentle.

Tips For First-Time Hot Air Balloon Riders

Are you intrigued but still feel about uneasy about hot air balloon rides? Here are a few tips for first timers from experienced hot air balloon enthusiasts.

Do Your Research

Prices and rates for hot air balloon rides vary significantly. Typically, a shared basket (public) hot air balloon ride cost approximately $200 per person, varying from place to place.
A private hot air balloon ride (typically for two people) will cost you between $600 and $900. It is typically considered polite to include a tip for the crew as well if your ride was enjoyable.
There are plenty of places to research rates, prices, and hot air balloon companies for just about every area.

The Basket Sizes Range A Lot

You may have an image of your mind from the movies of a tiny two-seater basket underneath a large hot air balloon. However, basket sizes range quite a bit, from single sizes to bigger baskets that can hold almost fifteen people.
The public size baskets are a great way to get up close and personal with other nervous first-time riders. However, as we mentioned above, public baskets are usually significantly cheaper.

You Will Not Fly In Bad Weather…

Are you nervous about a sudden storm or gust of wind sweeping up your hot air balloon and tossing you into oblivion? We’re talking about gentle easy-going hot air balloon rides here, not skydiving.
If there is even an inkling that weather may not be optimal or safe before takeoff, no hot air balloon company will allow takeoff.
That means that any suspicious weather predictions like rain or wind will be carefully surveyed by the balloon crew, and they will definitely prevent takeoff should conditions not be at their best. So rest easy, Dorothy!

…So Prepare For Rescheduling

Since weather conditions must be perfect for a safe ride to occur, be prepared to be flexible and patient if your flight time or date gets delayed or rescheduled.
You want to fly safely, so there is a chance that your flight will be canceled two minutes before you were supposed to step on board.

Dress For Summer, Even If It Is Winter

Because of the balloon burners and big flames, the basket will get pretty toasty– even if the weather is nippy. Dress how you would want to for maximum comfort if you were sitting next to a big bonfire before you head out for your trip.

Start Flying In Style!

Was our guide to hot air balloon rides helpful in your decision-making process? Tell us what you think, along with your own personal experience with hot air balloon rides, in the comments below!

Hot Air Balloon Ride Christmas Special Gift Phoenix Arizona


GIFT CERTIFICATES ALSO AVAILABLE FOR ALL OCCASIONS!
Birthday gift, Holiday gift, Anniversary gifts, or Just because!
*Christmas Gift Certificates only valid starting 12/26/16
Available to use 7 days a week schedule permitting. Christmas Certificates are honored like groupon whereas once expired for only $50 per person renew them for Another 6 months.
This hot air balloon ride, or gift certificate will entitle you to one of our morning hot air balloon rides in Phoenix or Gilbert, AZ. Our premier hot air balloon ride service will cater this affair for you, giving you and your party the full “VIP” treatment.
Aerogelic hot air ballooning specializes in smaller more intimate groups. We operate balloons carrying no more than 10 passengers at a time, or less. Versus many of our competitors who specialize in Large groups operating 12-20 people. We feel a once or twice in a lifetime memory doesn’t need to feel like a city bus tour. While keeping it more intimate with just a few couples at a time you will all be able to join in as part of the Aerogelic family. Get to know your pilot, and crew, become a part of the experience, and know we are making a great memory with you too.
Imagine the experience as you and your family one take an early morning hot air balloon ride over the San Tan Mountains. Gasp in awe as you watch Phoenix Arizona come to life in the morning, as you float over them in the gentle morning breeze. Few sights can compare to what you’ll see as, together, you experience the thrill of a hot air balloon ride over Phoenix, Scottsdale and Mesa.

Also check out all of our locations:
Phoenix Hot Air Balloon Rides – Aerogelic Ballooning:
(602) 402-8041
Google Plus
2136 W Melinda Ln.
Phoenix, AZ 85027

Glendale Hot Air Balloon Rides – Aerogelic Ballooning
(602) 478-1797
Google Plus
4101 W. Alameda Rd.
Glendale, AZ 85310

Arizona Hot Air Balloon Rides – Aerogelic Ballooning:
(480) 247-7813
Google Plus
3765 S. Gilbert Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85295

Scottsdale Hot Air Balloon Rides – Aerogelic Ballooning:
(480) 991-4260
Google Plus
526 N. 74th st.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257

Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Rides – Aerogelic Ballooning:
(866) Fly-TDay
(866) 359-8329
Google Plus
2831 Graceland Dr. N.E.
Albuquerque, NM 87110

Call Now 602-402-8041