PREPARING FOR THE FLIGHT
It only took about ten minutes to fill the ballon with air...
Before long it was looking the right shape...
The other ballon was filling out nicely alongside - two people
failed to turn up who were booked to fly with us, so a couple
from the white balloon were transferred to our coloured one.
Soon the ballon seemed to be itching to get upright and into the air.
The Butane burners generate enough heat to make the top of
your head distinctly warm, so it helps to have a hat if you
are thinning on top or worried about this. Our pilot still
had most of his hair despite over twenty years of flights,
so it can't be too much of a problem. The air is still -
as you're moving with the wind - while you're in flight, so
you only really need a coat for when you land.
We used 200 litres of Butane in our flight, which lasted for
just over an hour. Like all aircraft fuel, balloon Butane is
duty-free so it costs just 17 pence per litre, but ballooning
is still not a cheap mode of travel - that works out at about
18 litres a mile, or less than a quarter of a mile per gallon!
P.S. Apologies to chemistry enthusiasts for confusing Butane and
Propane in earlier versions of this page, then mis-spelling chemistry
in the first version of this apology. ;-)
The other balloon