Hot-air balloons

Hot-air balloons

From 1783 when the first human flew in a balloon propelled by hot air rising an open fire, innovations in hot-air balloons have been revolutionary. Hot air was quickly replaced by hydrogen, which was easier to control. Hot-air ballooning has become a popular sport with more than 5000 hot-air balloon pilots in the United States. Chemistry has contributed the durable, inexpensive and heat-resistant nylon fabric and the liquid propane technology used for propulsion. During the 1960s, hot-air balloons attracted less interest, but later they became a popular means of sport and recreation, for instance in the United States. Chemistry contributed to the success of this special kind of sport by developing light-weight and strong synthetic fabrics. The burner unit of today's balloons gasifies liquid propaneto produce hot air.

Flying above the skies

Flying in a hot-air balloon is fundamentally different from every other kind of flight. Having an undisturbed view of 360 degrees from the basket, balloons provide us with an undeniable feeling of liberty.

Did you know?

The first clearly recorded instance of a balloon carrying passengers used hot air to generate buoyancy and was built by the Montgolfier brothers on October 19, 1783. The passengers of the ballon were a young doctor and a marquis. Their flight lasted 25 minutes during which they covered a distance of 7.5 meters.