You’ve probably seen pictures of colorful, giant balloons floating in the sky. These are called hot air balloons. Long, long ago, over 200 years ago, two French brothers invented the hot air balloon.
To fly, hot air balloons use a very basic science principle. When you heat air, it rises up. The big balloon part, also called an envelope, is filled with hot air by a burner. When the air inside the envelope gets hotter than the air outside, the balloon starts to float upwards!
Hot air balloons are used for many fun things. They’re perfect for checking out beautiful views from up high, racing in balloon festivals, or even just having a peaceful ride through the sky.
These balloons are super big, some of them can be taller than a 10 story building! The part we ride in is called the basket. It’s usually made up of wicker because it’s both strong and light. The basket is also designed to protect you in case the balloon lands strongly on the ground.
You can steer a hot air balloon, but not too much. It mainly moves with the wind. By heating up the air inside the balloon, pilots can make the balloon go up or down, but the wind determines which direction the balloon goes.
One more cool thing – the patterns on hot air balloons aren’t just pretty. The colors are made by different pieces of fabric sewed together. This helps to keep the hot air inside the balloon.
Hot air ballooning is all about peacefully floating in the sky, enjoying the great views below. So next time you see one, imagine you’re on it, gliding through the sky high above the earth.