Hot Air Balloons

Ever been told you’re full of hot air? Well these two cool things certainly have!

Hot air balloonHot Air Balloons get a bird’s eye view!

Did you know that the Hot Air Balloon is the oldest, most successful, human-carrying piece of flight technology?  On November 21, 1783, in Paris, France, the first manned flight was made by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes in a hot air balloon, created by the Montgolfier brothers!
A hot air balloon is a bag called an ‘envelope’ that holds heated air. Underneath the giant balloon is the ‘gondola’ or wicker basket which carries the passengers. The heated air inside the envelope (or balloon), makes it float because it is lighter than the cold air outside the envelope. So no air can rush in or out!

Did you know?

Balloons are usually made from nylon fabric and the bottom of the balloon which is near the flame, is made from a special fire resistant material like what the fire men and women wear when fighting fires.

How times have changed!

Times have changed a lot since the first shape of a hot air balloon. Did you know they have now made hot air balloons in all different shapes such as flowers, hot dogs, rocket ships, elephants, trains, cows and ice creams…? It’s amazing what a few years and a lot of imagination can do!

Blimp flyingBlimps can just hang around!

There are many different types of hot air balloons. These particular models are called ‘Blimps’ or ‘Non-Rigid Airships’. They are different to normal hot air balloon which are pushed along by the wind. Airships actually move through the air like a plane!

Airships can fly and hover without using fuel or energy and they can float in the air for hours! This makes the blimp perfect for covering sports events, advertising and special types of research.

Even more interesting flight facts!

  1. As an aeroplane flies, its wings are angled with the front edges higher than the back edges.

  2. An eighteenth-century Swiss scientist, Daniel Bernoulli, discovered that when air speeds up, its pressure is reduced and when the air slows down, its pressure is increased!
  3. The aeroplanes drag is what pulls back and slows it down.
  4. The most important property of an aeroplane is called stability. Stability helps an aeroplane return to steady flight after a bad throw or a strong gust of wind.
  5. Pitch stability keeps the plane's nose from pointing too far up or down.
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