Searching for Air balloon flights in Fort Collins? Welcome to the page you want! Finding a pilot to provide Air balloon flights is easy. Also, you can visit our ride guide, or look in the local yellow pages.
Enjoying Air balloon flights is something the entire family can participate in, but it is also a very popular way to celebrate a birthday! When you speak with the ride provider you are considering flying with, be sure to ask how many other passengers will be aboard the balloon.
When it is time for your trip, your pilot will offer to let you help with the assembly and inflation of the balloon. Go ahead and do it - it adds to the experience!
Why can't I get a balloon ride in the middle of the day?
Balloons fly early in the morning, right after sunrise and late in the day, right before sunset. This is when the wind is calmest since the sun is low in the sky. The wind is generally too unpredictable, with severe up-and down-drafts, during the middle of the day. It isn't safe to offer balloon rides when the wind is unstable.
Famous Balloon Quote:
As we were returning to the inn we beheld something floating in the ample field of golden evening sky, above the chalk cliffs and the trees that grow along their summit. It was too high up, too large, and too steady for a kite; and, as it was dark, it could not be a star. . . The village was dotted with people with their heads in air; and the children were in a bustle all along the street and far up the straight road that climbs the hill, where we could still see them running in loose knots. It was a balloon, we learned, which had left St. Quentin at half past five that evening. Mighty composedly the majority of the grown people took it. But we were English, and were soon running up the hill with the best. Being travelers ourselves in a small way, we would fain have seen these other travelers alight.
The spectacle was over by the time we gained the top of the hill. All the gold had withered out of the sky, and the balloon had disappeared. Whither? I ask myself; caught up into the seventh heaven? or come safely to land somewhere in that blue uneven distance, into which the roadway dipped and melted before our eyes? Probably the aeronauts were already warming themselves at a farm chimney, for they say it is cold in these unhomely regions of the air. The night fell swiftly. Roadside trees and disappointed sight-seers, returning through the meadows, stood out in black against a margin of low, red sunset. It was cheerfully to face the other way, and so down the hill we went, with a full moon, the color of a melon, swinging high above the wooded valley, and the white cliffs behind us faintly reddened by the fire of the chalk kilns.
— Robert Louis Stevenson, from his travelogue of a canoe trip from Antwerp to Paris, written when he was 25, 'An Inland Voyage,' 1878.
In their simplest form, balloon competitions score how close a pilot can get to a pre-determined target. Small weighted markers are dropped at the target. The challenge is to be the closest to the target, but unlike all other forms of flying, balloon pilots do not have direct control of their direction of flight. The balloon simply drifts with the wind.
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A balloon has an envelope, basket, and usually a burner and fuel system. The envelope is the fabric part of the balloon, the bag that holds the lifting gas. The basket (traditionally wicker) is where the pilot and passengers ride. In a hot air balloon (which is what you'll fly in), a burner hangs between the envelope and the basket. It burns liquefied propane gas to make an intensely hot and long flame, capable of heating a large volume of air very quickly.