One of the oldest and most beautiful forms of flight was first “test-piloted” by a sheep, a duck and a rooster! In 1783 the Montgolfier brothers loaded this menagerie aboard an airship and launched it up, up and away! Later that year they themselves took to the skies in a balloon made of paper and silk.
Modern hot-air balloons are showcased early Saturday morning with a spectacular airship launch. Pilots participating in this launch are part of a unique group of seasoned air-show veterans from around the world.
Hot air balloon pilots carry an FAA issued pilot’s license in the “Lighter than Air” Category. In addition to passing the traditional written tests, a pilot is specially trained in balloon mechanics, safety, procedures, and the unique flight characteristics of balloons. Rated as either Private or Commercial, pilot competence can only be attained by extensive experience in actual flight.
Balloon events at SUN ‘n FUN include limited daily demonstration flights from the Light Plane field by commercial firms – usually at 7:00 a.m. Saturday is the “big” event! Balloons will be launched in a traditional “Hare and Hound” race. As the name suggests, this event involves chasing a single airship after it takes off. This airship acts as the “hare” and floats in the air for a short while before other balloons are allowed to take off. The balloons that follow are the “hounds”, and the winning balloon is the one who lands closest to the “hare”. This is a sight you won’t want to miss, but you’ll have to get up early.
The Balloon launch (weather permitting) takes place between 6:30-8:00 a.m., Check out the BALLOON GLOW during our night air shows!
Are you a balloonist who would like to participate
during the upcoming event?
Please download the Pilot Technical Record Requirement form and bring with you to SUN ‘n FUN. Also, please review the Documentation Requirements to insure your participation during the event. To get started, complete the form below to register as a participate for the SUN ‘n FUN Balloon Race: