Hot Air Balloons

On  my way to San Francisco, I saw some hot air balloons outside of Davis, which is a city located just outside of Sacramento. They were conventional round hot air balloons, and they drifted slowly across the sky. While I do not want to ride in a hot air balloon, I enjoyed seeing them.

Hot air balloons have an interesting history. Their origins can be traced back to China. According to Wikipedia, China used unmanned hot air balloons for military signalling during the Three Kingdoms era (220–280 AD).

The birth of modern-day hot air balloons began in Europe. According to Wikipedia, “the first documented balloon flight in Europe was demonstrated by Bartolomeu de Gusmão. On August 8, 1709, in Lisbon, he managed to lift a balloon full of hot air about 4.5 meters in front of King John V and the Portuguese court.”

After Gusmão’s demonstration, additional attempts to launch hot air balloons occurred in France. The first unmanned flight of a hot air balloon in France occurred on September 19, 1783. While there are some slight variations in the details of this flight in the sources I consulted, there seems to be a consensus that the balloon transported a sheep, a duck, and a rooster in the air anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes before crashing to the ground. This demonstration was seen by Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the rest of the French court.

The first manned hot air balloon flight occurred two months later on November 21, 1783 in Paris, France. According to the National Balloon Museum website, this flight “was in a hot air balloon made of paper and silk made by the Montgolfier brothers,” and the “balloon carried two men, Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent, Marquis of d’ Arlanders.”  During this flight lasting about 25 minutes, “the balloon reached an altitude of at least 500 feet and traveled about 5½ miles.”

Even though the materials and designs may have changed over the years, hot air balloons remain popular today. People celebrate this captivating invention at hot air balloon festivals all over the world. Here are some fun photos of unusual hot air balloons at these festivals.

Sources:

“Ballooning History” – National Balloon Museum

“History of Airships and Balloons” by Mary Bellis  –  About.com

“Hot air balloon” – Wikipedia

“The History of Hot Air Ballooning” – eballoon.org

“Who Invented the Hot-Air Balloon?” by Nina Sen – Livescience.com

Characters

Darth vader hot air balloon 1.jpg

By Darth_vader_hot_air_balloon.jpg: Tomas Castelazoderivative work: Jebulon (Darth_vader_hot_air_balloon.jpg) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Darth Vader head  hot air balloon
Hot Air Balloon festival in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. 27 November 2010, 15:31 (UTC)

 

Leon hot air balloon festival 2010.jpg

By Tomas Castelazo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Sponge Bob Square Pants hot air balloons and other hot air balloons at a hot air ballon festival in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico
Hot air balloon festival in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. November 2010.

 

Moi, moche et méchant 2, Minion au Paquier d’Annecy.jpg

By Boungawa (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Giant balloon shaped Me Minion Despicable Paquier the Annecy animation during 2013 Festival
French: Ballon géant en forme de Minion de Moi, moche et méchant au Paquier d’Annecy lors du Festival d’animation 2013.
English: Giant balloon shaped Me Minion Despicable Paquier the Annecy animation during 2013 Festival.
2 July 2013, 15:55:27

 

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2011 – Spider Pig balloon.JPG

By Mav (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Spider pig" hot air balloon
1 October 2011

Historical Themes

BallonKathedrale01 edit.jpg

Böhringer Friedrich (Foto); fliegende Kathedrale der beiden Künstler Jan Kaeser St.Gallen und Martin Zimmermann St.Gallen [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Flying Cathedral" hot air balloon by Jan Kaeser and Matin Zimmermann (Artists from St.Gallen). This balloon is a lookalike of the Church of the Monastery of St. Gallen.
Balloon
Swiss Aircraft Registry-Nr.:HB_QSG
Manufacturer:KUBICEK S.R.O. *** Bj.2002
27 June 2008 Aircraft-Pattern/Type:SPEC.SHAPE BB GALLEN
Main Owners:Kanton St. Gallen; CH-9001 St. Gallen, Regierungsgebäude
Main holders:B & M Balloon & Airship Company GmbH; CH-8593 Kesswil, Breitfeldstrasse 1, Postfach 1
“Flying Cathedral” by Jan Kaeser and Matin Zimmermann (Artists from St.Gallen) lookalike of Church of the Monastery of St. Gallen. Seen at the “internationalen Ballontagen Alpenrheintal” [3] on the bridge festival[4] Wiesenrain in Lustenau – Widnau.

 

Festival de Montgolfières de Gatineau 03.JPG

By Jamez42 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

hot air balloon that looks like the head of a man with a hat
Balloons at the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival. 4 September 2005, 17:28:10

 

Pipy-Canberra Baloon Fiesta 2006.jpg

By Ruth Ellison from Canberra, Australia (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Pipy, the Scottish Piper balloon, Canberra Baloon Fiesta, Australia, 2006
Pipy, the Scottish Piper balloon, Canberra Baloon Fiesta, Australia, 2006.
Taken at the Canberra Balloon Fiesta. “Owner and pilot, Muir Moffat explains that the PIPER is a Pipe Major in full regalia wearing his family tartan, the Red Fraser, while the cap and sporran badges are of his old school, Morrison’s Academy.” Source – ‘PIPY” PIPES US INTO THE SKY, Canberra Balloon Fiesta website.
April 22, 2006
Source: Flickr

Objects

Helball07-024.jpg

By Renbo (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Heißluftballon in Chambley Lothringen
Deutsch: Heißluftballon in Chambley Lothringen
2007

 

Helball07-036.jpg

By Renbo (Eigenes Werk von Helmut Jakob (own work)) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Deutsch: Heißluftballon in Chambley Lothringen
Deutsch: Heißluftballon in Chambley Lothringen
2007

Flora, Fauna, and More

International hot air balloon festival in leon guanajuato mexico 02.jpg

In order to comply with the use and licensing terms of this image, the following text must must be included with the image when published in any medium, failure to do so constitutes a violation of the licensing terms and copyright infringement: © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

butterfly hot air balloon and other hot air balloons at the International Hot Air Balloon Festival 2012 in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico
International hot air balloon festival 2012 in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico. This is the 2nd most important balloon festival in the world and first in Latin America.
16 November 2012, 08:28:05

 

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2011 – Creamland Cow balloon.JPG

By Mav (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Creamland Cow hot air balloon at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2011
1 October 2011

 

Mister Bup the Turtle (Ferrara Balloons Festival, 2007).jpg

By Tommaso.gavioli (Transferred from it:Wikipedia: it:Immagine:Bup.jpg) [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Mister Bup the Turtle hot air balloon at the Ferrara Balloons Festival 2007
Mister Bup of Ferrara Balloons Festival.
11 July 2007

 

AIBF, The Approach, 2007.jpg

By Eric Ward from Provo, UT, USA (The Approach Uploaded by PDTillman) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Mister Bup the Turtle hot air balloon touches a nearby balloon with both hands
Mr. Bup has very soft hands…
13 October 2007, 07:58
Source: The Approach

 

Pink elephant in the sky.jpg

By Tomascastelazo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Pink elephant hot air balloon and other hot air balloons at the hot air balloon festival in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico
Hot air balloon festival in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico, the largest hot air balloon in Latin America, third in the world. In 2011, about 185 flew during the festival.
21 November 2011

 

Aeromagic SS-30-OC AN0273305.jpg

By John Davies – CYOW Airport Watch [GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons

"Octupus's Garden" hot air balloon shortly after launch from the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.
“Octupus’s Garden” shortly after launch from the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.
2 September 2002
Source:
Gallery page http://www.airliners.net/photo/Aeromagic-SS-30-OC/0273305/L
Photo http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/5/0/3/0273305.jpg

 

Aeromagic SS AN0273289.jpg

By John Davies – CYOW Airport Watch [GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons

Amazon Rainforest Tree/Amazon Birds passes over Ottawa after launching from the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.
Amazon Rainforest Tree/Amazon Birds passes over Ottawa after launching from the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.
30 August 2002
Source:
Gallery page http://www.airliners.net/photo/Aeromagic-SS/0273289/L
Photo http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/9/8/2/0273289.jpg

 

Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2009-25.JPG

By NotFromUtrecht (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

green monster hot air balloon a the Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2009
Bristol Balloon Fiesta, early morning ascent 2009.
7 August 2009
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6 thoughts on “Hot Air Balloons

    1. I am glad you enjoyed seeing them. They are fun to look at. 🙂

      Thank you for taking the time to visit my blogs and leave comments. I also appreciate that you liked this post and “Replicas of Famous Landmarks.” Best regards to you! 🙂

      Like

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