Long before the first “heavier than air”aircraft successfully flew at Kitty Hawk piloted by the Wright brothers of the United States, another duo namely the Mongolfier brothers of France built and successfully flew the first Hot Air Balloon in the late 18th century during the reign of King Louis the XVI almost a hundred years previously.
Not much has changed from that original design when one sets off on a Balloon Adventure, except that today powerful fans are used to fill air to force the balloon to take shape. Once the balloon finally takes shape the pilot and passengers take up position in the wicker basket located at the bottom of the balloon also known as a gondola and the “lighter than air” craft is ready to lift off.
Hot Air Balloon Rides are usually scheduled early in the morning or late afternoon just before dusk. You are charged depending on the type of ride you prefer. A private ride costs more compared to one with many passengers following the principle of the more the merrier, which are then divided up into four compartments, plus one for the pilot. A full balloon could carry over ten medium sized adults and if you happen to weigh more than the stipulated amount which is usually 80 kilos, you may have to pay extra.
Most people expect their Hot Air Balloon Adventure to be a cold experience, but nothing could be further removed from the truth. A hot air balloon is exactly what it purports to be and that is ‘hot’. The best gear to wear on a flight is layered clothing,which means one should carry or wear a sweater to take off when you board the flight in case you fly in the morning and to be able to put on a sweater in the event intended passengers plan to take their Hot Air Balloon Rides in the evening.
Hot Air Balloon Rides rarely take place higher than1500 metres above sea level, unless specifically requested as part of the charter. As a general practice the Balloon pilot maintains analtitudeof150 metres to 500 metres, which is the ideal height to enjoy the spectacle of viewing the countryside or desert areas of Rajasthan with any kind of detail and enjoyment.
In case weather is not favorable, then to ensure safety and follow correct protocol the pilot might cancel the ride and elect to reschedule the flight to an alternate day. The entire ride takes about three to four hours which includes inflating the balloon, an hour in the sky and deflating the balloon and the ride back to your Hotel or meeting point. Sometimes a meal such as breakfast or high tea is included in the cost of the passenger ticket.