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Ballooning in Cappadocia
 

Ballooning

A hot-air balloon flight is unique from all other experiences of flight as there is no sensation of motion. Travelling at heights of up to 1500 feet, the feeling is one of peace and tranquility. The earth slowly descends and rotates below you. Within moments after lifting off you become at ease while you effortlessly drift over the treetops and the spectacular Cappadocian landscape. It is like a dream to gently float over the countryside in complete harmony with your surroundings.

The deep canyons and lush fertile valleys of Cappadocia provide our balloons with an ideal playground for a unique and memorable flight; gentle winds carry us over places that could never be reached except by balloon. Ballooning can be such fun! In season we can even pick apricots from the trees!

Ballooning – Hot Air Ballooning Basics

How do balloons fly?
Balloons operate through the basic principles of gravity and heat transfer. As air inside the balloon is heated, it rises. As the air inside the balloon cools, it descends. To make the balloon fly, an inflator fan fills it with air, which is then heated.

What are the main parts of a hot air balloon?
A hot air balloon has three major parts: the envelope, the burner, and the basket or gondola. The basket is where passengers ride. Usually made of wicker, baskets protect the occupants and are lightweight and flexible. The burner is positioned above the passenger’s heads and produces a huge flame to heat the air inside the envelope. The envelope is the colorful fabric bag that holds the hot air. When the air inside the envelope is heated, the balloon rises. To descend, the pilot allows the air to cool and the balloon becomes heavier than air. The pilot has complete control of the up-and-down movements by controlling the heat in the envelope.

What are envelopes made of?
Rip-stop nylon is the most common material, but polyester and other fabrics are also used. The fabric around the lower opening (called the mouth) of the balloon are usually made from a fire resistant material like Nomex, similar to the suits that firefighters wear.

What is a balloon basket made of?
Woven wicker is used because it is lightweight, flexible and easily repaired.

Are all hot air balloons alike?
All hot air balloons consist of a burner system, a basket and an envelope. The differences are in the shape and size of the envelope, the deflation system, the basket shape and design and the configuration, design, and number of burners.

How long will balloons last?
Depending on the care given, a balloon envelope may last 500 or more flying hours. The basket will last much longer, perhaps thousands of flight hours with proper care.

Can you steer a balloon?
Winds determine a balloon’s direction. Pilot can steer a balloon, to a limited extent, by adjusting the balloon’s altitude to make use of different wind speeds and directions.

How many people can ride in a hot air balloon?
Balloons are constructed with greater or lesser volume to carry more or less weight. The smallest passenger balloons carry just the pilot! The largest passenger transporter in operation has a capacity of 24 passengers plus the pilot. Our balloons are designed to carry between 6 and 16 passengers.

How long does a balloon flight last?
The actual flight time averages more than an hour.

What fuel do balloons use?
Our hot air balloons carry 60 to 110 gallons (120 to 200kg) of propane in stainless steel fuel tanks. We expect to use roughly 75% of the fuel during a single flight.
Ballooning – Safe Landings

How safe is a balloon?
Hot air ballooning is one of the safest forms of flying. Serious accidents are rare.

How high do balloons fly?
We prefer to fly at very low levels as this gives the best flying experience. At lower altitudes you will be able to observe people, animals and the landscape up close. During the flight we may ascend as high as 2000 feet.

What happens if the burner goes out?
If the burner goes out, first burner will be relighted. There is also a redundant burner that we can rely on to fly the balloon. Without a burner the balloon will only descend at about the same rate as a parachute.

What happens if a bird flies into a balloon?
Balloons are so large that most birds avoid them. The envelope fabric is much tougher than it might appear and a bird would likely bounce off if there were a collision! Balloon manufacturers have performed tests, and it is possible to fly a balloon even with a hole.

How long does it take to inflate and deflate the balloon?
A good ground crew can inflate and launch a balloon in fifteen minutes or less. It takes about the same amount of time to deflate and pack up the balloon after the flight.

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