G-CFHX – Hot Air Balloon Team

In Versailles on September 1783, the Montgolfiers flew the first passengers in a basket suspended below a hot air balloon. The first balloon flight, which lasted eight minutes, took place in front of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the French court, as well as a crowd of about 130,000. The passengers were a duck, rooster and sheep. The hot air balloon flew about 2 km before returning the occupants safely to earth.

Our hot air balloon is the modern development of these early balloons. A SCHROEDER G22/24 G-series envelope with a volume of 2200 cubic meters or 77000 cubic feet. The balloon envelope has 24 vertical gores and is manufactured from rip stop nylon balloon fabric.

The original Montgolfier test hot air balloon was made of paper and linen and opened at the bottom. When flaming paper was held near the opening, the bag, called a ‘balon’, slowly expanded with the hot air and floated upward.

At the time, the Montgolfiers believed they had discovered a new gas within the dense dark smoke, which they called ‘Montgolfier gas’ that was lighter than air and caused the inflated balloons to rise.

In fact, the gas was merely air, which became more buoyant as it was heated. The balloon rose because the contained air was lighter and less dense than the surrounding atmosphere, which pushed against the bottom of the balloon.

Our balloon is flown with a Cameron bottom end, with a Mark IV double burner with dual vapour feed pilot lights. The basket is a Cameron CB300-2A with four Worthington ballooning cylinders.

On this site you can find information about the world of hot air ballooning and our hot air balloon.