Experience Gifts Balloon Rides

Experience Gifts Balloon Rides

When a balloon is the only way up.

Balloon rides are far from new. In fact, ballooning is one of the earliest means of getting airborne.

Doing away with the complexities of the combustion engine and the intricacies of flight, pilots only needed a gas lighter than air, a delivery method and a means of harnessing the rising air and they were off.

First ‘manned’ flights were way back in 1783, when the Montgolfier brothers opted to trial their pioneering invention with a crew of animals, not humans.

Even today, there are times when a balloon is the only way to fly. Here’s a couple:

To collect weather information: Meteorologists use weather balloons to monitor atmospheric pressure, temperatures and wind speeds. Balloons are launched all over the earth and send back essential data to our prediction of weather patterns.

To get really high: A balloon is the only way to get really high, up and beyond the edge of the atmosphere to the edge of space. Fairly soon a former Austrian pilot, Felix Baumgartner, will attempt the world free-fall record and to do so will jump from a balloon that has reached 120,000ft.

Because of extremely low oxygen levels regular engines just can’t operate at these heights, so it’s left to the balloon, one of the oldest transport methods, to take us into space.

Baumgartner’s balloon will expand as it rises, and by the time it’s reached the edge of space it will have spread to 400ft across.

So the balloon is both old and new technology, even so, many people have yet to ride in one. Well, they really should give it a go: it’s a special moment and one to be treasured.

There are Hot Air Balloon Ridehot air balloon rides available across the US, so if you live in Albany, Philadelphia, Miami or Denver, in fact in just about every major city, there should be a gift certificate you could buy a friend or loved one