Monday, June 30, 2014

Take The Couples Hot Air Balloon Ride Colorado Vacationers Love

By Sally Delacruz

Humans beings were taking to the skies long before the Wright brothers made their historic flight. As early as 1783, Europeans sent intrepid farm animals aloft, and soon afterward people were also happily drifting through the skies of France in balloons. Although fixed wing aircraft would prove to be the future of aviation, booking a couples hot air balloon ride Colorado style is still an exciting adventure.

Early models used an open flame to heat the air, and had little or no steering. The ships tended to travel wherever the wind was blowing, and sometimes ended up in trees. Gas soon provided a more reliable source of lift, and dirigibles could be steered. Despite the romance of floating gently above the countryside, the public lost interest in ballooning.

During the 1960s, the United States Navy funded research intended to find a better way to economically move small loads short distances using airships. Although there were no earth-shattering solutions, old hot-air flight concepts were updated and modernized, bringing ballooning into the modern era. Power sources became safer and easier to regulate, and certain design problems were eliminated.

After the program ended, interest in ballooning remained high. There is an almost magical quality that surrounds this type of retro transportation, and it did not take long for entrepreneurs to begin selling recreational rides to adventurous passengers. With new safety features in place, outdoor enthusiasts have taken to the sky in increasing numbers.

Hot-air festivals are commonplace, and often showcase brightly colored and whimsically shaped aircraft. In principle, however, these ships are still quite similar to those flown by 18th century Europeans. Air is still heated by a flame, and when captured inside a balloon, floats upward. Progress up or down is controlled by the size of the flame, and there still is no actual steering wheel.

Beneath the source of energy is a basket called a gondola, often made of lightweight wicker. Depending on the size of the structure above it, a gondola can carry up to twenty people at a time. There is no heavy seating, and most passengers stand during the relatively short flying times. In a fashion similar to hang gliders, they follow air currents that provide lift and direction, and land simply by turning down the heat.

There is a special feeling about flying without jet noise and engine turbulence. Passengers can actually feel the wind, hear birds, and are not 35,000 feet above the earth. The landscape can be viewed from a comfortable distance, revealing secrets and features that can only be seen from above. The experience is enjoyable because rising through the air is not only exciting, but also because it nurtures the soul.

The plains and foothills near the Rocky Mountains in the central United States have become one of the most popular areas for ballooning. The climate and wind patterns make the warmer months perfect for vacationers who want to include this unique activity in their plans. Commercial operators are required to employ experienced, licensed pilots, making floating together on the wind both safe and enjoyable.

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