Category Archives: Calendar

Largest Montgolfier hot-air balloon ever made, Le Flesselle in 1784

Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier with Joseph Montgolfier, he was one of six passengers on a second flight on 19 January 1784, with a huge Montgolfier balloon Le Flesselles launched from Lyon. Four French nobles paid for the trip, including a prince.

largest Montgolfier hot-air balloon ever made - Le Flesselle

On January 19, 1784, the largest Montgolfier hot-air balloon ever made, “Le Flesselle,” made an ascent at Lyons, France. This engraving depicts two scenes from the event.

Continue reading

The Virgin Pacific Flyer started in 1991 to the Pacific Crossing

26 years ago today 15th January, Per Lindstrand and Richard Branson, began their Pacific crossing by hot air balloon. Two days later they landed in Yellowknife, Canada on 17th January 1991. They had achieved the first Pacific crossing by hot air balloon.

Richard Branson - Per Lindstrand

Continue reading

Invitation to the Central European Cup

Central European CupCentral European Cup

FAI Sporting Event – CIA sanction pending

We would like to invite you to the BorTér winefestival, where more than 100 wineries presents excellent products and the second Szeged Airshow which is the largest flying event in the region and to the first Central European Cup hot air balloon competition and to the second Szeged Ballon Cup fiesta.

The Event will run from 13th September 2017. The last flying day will be 16th September PM unless the minimum tasks under rule 1.2 have not been achieved, in which case the last flying day will be 17th September AM.

The entry fee is 100 EUR if you pay it before 10th May and it’s includes are FAI loggers, officials, electronic maps and rules, propane for the flights, light breakfast and lunch for pilot + 3 (Thursday – Friday – Saturday), pilot pack souvenirs, free camping facilities on the airport with your own equipment. If you don’t want to camp then you should manage and pay your accommodation.

The organisers will accept the first 40 valid entries.

You may find the invitation here.  Printable version of the invitation.

26 November 2005: Indian Tycoon Vijaypat Singhania sets World Balloon Altitude Record 21 km



The record by Vijaypat Singhania is subject to verification, but his son Gautam Singhania said the 44-ton balloon climbed nearly 70,000 feet, beating the old mark of just under 65,000 feet.

“This goes to show to the world that we are not bullock cart drivers, but we can compete against the best of the world,” the balloonist said.

One of the balloon’s designers said the height will be determined by instruments sealed inside the capsule. Once verified by aeronautical groups, the findings will be submitted to Guinness World Records. The 67-year-old balloonist landed safely after a nearly five-hour flight inside a pressurized cabin suspended from the 160-foot-high, multicolored balloon. The flight was carried live on Indian national television.

“The exact height reached was 69,852 feet. This is subject to certification,” said Colin Prescott, one of two British designers of the balloon. The previous world record was 64,997 feet, set by Sweden’s Per Lindstrand in Plano, Texas, in June 1988. Hundreds of jubilant villagers crowded around the balloon to congratulate Singhania.

“When I broke the record, I was euphoric. I screamed quite loudly,” he said.

Singhania lifted off from downtown Bombay and landed safely on barren land near Panchale, a village about 150 miles south of Bombay.

Singhania, the chairman emeritus of the Raymond Group, one of India’s leading textile companies, also set a record for ultralight aviation 17 years ago when he flew 6,000 miles from Britain to India in 23 days.

Auguste Piccard made his first balloon altitude record

Auguste Piccard and Paul Kipfer

Paul Kipfer and August Piccard prepare to enter the stratosphere in a pressurized gondola lifted by a hydrogen filled balloon on May 27th, 1931.1

In 1930, an interest in ballooning, and a curiosity about the upper atmosphere led him to design a spherical, pressurized aluminum gondola that would allow ascent to great altitude without requiring a pressure suit. Supported by the Belgian Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) Piccard constructed his gondola.

An important motivation for his research in the upper atmosphere were measurements of cosmic radiation, which were supposed to give experimental evidence for the theories of Albert Einstein, whom Piccard knew from the Solvay conferences and who was a fellow alumnus of ETH.

Auguste Piccard in 1932

Auguste Piccard in 1932

On 27 May 1931, Auguste Piccard and Paul Kipfer took off from Augsburg, Germany, and reached a record altitude of 15,781 m (51,775 ft). (FAI Record File Number 10634) During this flight, Piccard was able to gather substantial data on the upper atmosphere, as well as measure cosmic rays. On 18 August 1932, launched from Dübendorf, Switzerland, Piccard and Max Cosyns made a second record-breaking ascent to 16,201 m (53,153 ft). (FAI Record File Number 6590) He ultimately made a total of twenty-seven balloon flights, setting a final record of 23,000 m (75,459 ft)



Montgolfier day – 1783 the year when World changed!

Montgolfier day – 231 years ago the World changed!


Picture by Bennie Bos

Happy Montgolfier Day Everyone!
On the 21st November 1783, Pilâtre de Rozier & the Marquis d’Arlandes, made the first, manned, free ascent in a balloon, flying the Montgolfier Brothers built aerostat for about 5.5 miles (9 km) in approximately 25 minutes.
Benjamin Franklin wrote in his journal about witnessing the balloon take off: ‘We observed it lift off in the most majestic manner. When it reached around 250 feet in altitude, the intrepid voyagers lowered their hats to salute the spectators. We could not help feeling a certain mixture of awe and admiration.’

“Eye of Mother and monkey masters” – by Masashi Kakauda

Masashi Kakauda sent us this letter ten years ago:

“Dear Balloonists,

clown hot air balloonWe are very glad to send big news for participants of 2004 World Hot Air Balloon Grand Prix on 1st of April 2004.

The big news is that the World Grand Prix system will be used to the selection procedure for the 2006 World Championship in Motegi, Japan.

This was discussed at the CIA Plenary Meeting in Debrecen, Hungary last month.  The voting delegates agreed to our proposal without any objection, since they were bit tired to talk about the travel subsidy of 2004 Worlds in Australia. (As far as I know, the Australian organizer decided to reward to participants by 1000 bananas or oranges to each competitor, who can not have enough travel subsidy.) Anyhow, top winners of 2005 WHGPX will be invited to the 2006 Worlds in Japan.  For that reason, the 2005 WHGPX will be competed with up to 100 teams and one million cash prizes with a HONDA NSX, but the minimum requirement of entry is 3,000 flight hours in a hot air balloon as PIC.  (This regulation is not applied to Japanese, since Japan is the host country!)  We think that this World Championship should be planned for only top pilots in the world, even though only 10 competitors available.

These several years, we have announced robot observers.  But now we must return to trusting humanity.  So we decided to use human observers in balloon competitions.  These products are currently developed by several computer companies.

The new observing system, called ‘Eye of Mother’, consists of TV cameras, sensors GPS units and radios.  An observer is not required to be on board.  They can watch a pilot activity or balloon maneuvering via TV cameras in a basket, at the burner flame and at the top of balloon.  The motion sensor is also attached at a basket.

So an observer is able to know whether a pilot makes a ground contact or not for a non-light contact.  For a light ground contact, another electric magnetic sensor is covering a basket and can detect a contact with earth surface.  The position of balloon is always monitored by GPS.  Those data will be transmitted to the observer on the ground.  The markers will be measured by a sensor which is implanted to at the centre of intersection.

There are several advantages.  An observer do not need to bear up working with a bloody pilot.  They will not be required to go to the event place nor the competition centre.  They can watch a computer screen with live monitors and sensing data.  They participate in balloon competitions from their own home or room, with a coke and potato tips.  An observer just sent their report to the competition centre by internet.  The score will be calculated with monkey masters (sorry, this will become an old nickname).  If an observer watches a very rapid decent or ascent or violating PZs, he/she can send a warning message to a competitor.  If he receives two warnings, it means ‘yellow’ and 300 points penalty.  If he receives one more, he will be disqualified from the task.  Therefore, an observer will have much power to a competitor.

The observers will be rewarded 10 bananas per a task flight and 100 bananas to monkey masters.

We wish you have good flights and soft landings under blue skies and gentle winds.

Soft Landings,
Masashi Kakuda

PS: If you read this News Letter on 31st March or after 1st of April, it is your fault.  I do not care your complaints, since my watches and clocks show 1st of April.

Why I am using a banana in rewarding?  Because, I want to eat it now.”

14th International Youth Camp will be in Radesín, Czech

Invitation to participate in the 14th IYC:

14th International Youth Camp 2014

Dear young people,

We, the organisers of the 14th IYC, are very happy to invite you to the 14th International Youth Camp 2014! We welcome all young people who want to fly in a balloon and have the experience of a summer ballooning youth camp in Europe. The last few editions were in Germany, this year we’ve partnered up with Kubicek Balloons, and are very glad that we will be able to welcome you to the beautiful town of Radesin in the Czech Republic. We organise this summer camp, because we want to make our beautiful sport accessible to young people and to build a young international balloon community.

Among other things, our programme will consist of the following activities:

  • ballooning & chasing the balloon
  • introduction to the safety of ballooning
  • explore the surrounding area – visiting the Kubicek Balloons factory
  • campfire romanticism – event education games
  • swimming – football – volleyball
  • model ballooning
  • and a lot more!

Flying balloon is only possible at good weather in early morning or late evening, so all our activities depend very much on the weather conditions. We will often decide situational what is possible to do, ‘safety first’ is key in this decision. Our accommodation will be at a camp site on the Radesin Castle estate, where we will spend the nights in large tents. The meals will be cooked by all participants with the help of our kitchen team on site.

Date: 2 August 2014- 9 August 2014
Location: Radesin, Czech Republic
Organisers: Tim Diller and Jop van Hooft
Age: From 14 to 24 Years
Fee: 150 €
Register on:
Deadline: 30 April 2014

After the deadline we’ll contact the admitted participants! After that you have to organize your trip to Radesin by yourself. We will send you the participants list so you can travel together with other participants. If you have questions, simply get in touch with us.

We’re really looking forward to see you!. You may pass this invitation on to your friends and acquaintances, everybody is welcome.
Take care, good flights and we hope to welcome you this summer!

Kind regards,
Tim Diller and Jop van Hooft