Searching for Baloon flights in Grand Rapids? You've come to the page you want! Finding a firm to provide Baloon flights is easy. In addition, you can visit the rest of our site, or look in the yellow pages.
Enjoying Baloon flights is something everyone can $do, but it is also a popular way to celebrate a birthday! When you speak with the firm you are thinking about riding with, don't forget to ask how many passengers will be aboard the balloon.
When it is time for your ride, your ride company will offer to let you help with the assembly and inflation of the balloon. Go ahead and do it - it adds to the experience!
Do you need a license to fly a balloon?
A Balloon Pilot Certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA. You must pass an FAA written exam, obtain a prescribed number of hours of instruction, make a solo flight, a flight to a specific altitude and pass a flight test.
A pilot offering balloon rides (flying passengers for hire) must receive additional training and have more experience than a private pilot. You don't have to be able to fly an airplane since it is a completely different type of aircraft, although many balloon pilots also fly other types of aircraft like airplanes and helicopters.
Famous Balloon Quote:
Suddenly the wind ceased. The air seemed motionless around us. We were off, going at the speed of the air-current in which we now lived and moved. Indeed, for us there was no more wind; and this is the first great fact of spherical ballooning. Infinitely gentle is this unfelt motion forward and upward. The illusion is complete: it seems not to be the balloon that moves, but the earth that sinks down and away...
Villages and woods, meadows and chateaux, pass across the moving scene, out of which the whistling of locomotives throws sharp notes. These faint, piercing sounds, together with the yelping and barking of dogs, are the only noises that reach one through the depths of the upper air. The human voice cannot mount up into these boundless solitudes. Human beings look like ants along the white lines that are highways; and the rows of houses look like children's playthings."
— Alberto Santos-Dumont, 'My Air-Ships,' New York, The Century Company, 1904.
It's a very basic principle: Hot air rises and cold air sinks. So while the super-cooled air in your grocer's freezer settles down around the food, the hot air in a hot air balloon pushes up, keeping the balloon floating.
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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.