Hot air balloons are intrinsically fascinating; how can wicker propelled by flames not be fascinating? And much like many notions, interesting or not, hot air balloons have many interesting oddities, which when explored can make an already interesting concept even more interesting!
We thought, due to all this interestingness, we’d explore the weird and wonderful the of hot air balloons world, as we know you’re interested!
When hot air balloon rides were first invented, they weren’t for the rich and famous. Although you’d imagine they were, due to how groundbreaking they were. But no, people were so terrified at the very thought of being in wicker propelled by a flame that they wanted to test the invention out on criminals.
Albeit during archaic times, close to the flight it was deemed to unethical to potentially lead two men to their death without having any emotional involvement with the invention, no matter their criminal past. Due to this, a scientist and an aristocrat embarked on the first flight. Their hot air balloon ride lasted 20 minutes, in doing so, they became the first men ever to endure sustained flight. What an accomplishment that would’ve been for the two criminals.
To land hot air balloon flights you need… well, you need land. Back when hot air balloon first took off many had to land in farm fields. Understandable, farm fields are nothing but land. However, this incurred angry farmers – why would they let this rich folk land their new invention in their field for no good reason?
To counter this, the aristocrats piloting these balloons started bringing champagne on the flights. They saw it as a bargaining tactic upon landing. A farmer will invariably be less angry if handed a flute of champagne. Now? It’s become tradition. We often celebrate out flights with a glass of champagne.
Now, imagine if hot air ballooning didn’t originate in France, instead, it originated here in our anglo lands. We’d have tea upon landing – much less fun if you ask us.
There are two fun facts sandwiched together in this title. And you must be wondering how hot air balloon rides could ever be used for destructive purposes, right? Well, here we go:
Fact number one: hot air balloons were used in the battle of the French Revolution. When in battle they were used as observatory like vehicles, telling all about the battlefield. Although somewhat quiet as to their effectiveness, the French did win the specific battle they were used in.
Fact number two: there was once a balloon battle. Two men, deeply infatuated with the same woman, decided to take to the skies to settle their debate. Once in the sky they both took their blunderbusses and aimed at each other’s balloons. One succeeded, the other’s balloon punctured and he went crashing down to Earth. The duel ultimately ended with his and the balloon’s other occupants demise.
The battle, thought to be a balloon race, was said to had been spectated by many. They were apparently horrified by the ongoings. Not the nicest, but nonetheless interesting.
A rather Victorian invention, a hot air balloon embarked on its maiden flight back in 2010. Although it surprisingly didn’t bode too well with its audience; during its first flight, it apparently had its occupants shrieking in terror, desperate to get down. Which, we think, makes the fact all that more interesting. Something that many wanted only to be rejected when surfaced. Fascinating.
This sure is an interesting industry. The balloons in the air itself are fascinating, never mind all these additional little quirks. If you wanted to discuss any of these facts with us we’d love to hear from you, give us a call. Or, better yet, book a flight and we can discuss them when in the sky itself! Here’s our booking link.