Aircraft are classified intotwo types; fixed wing and rotary wing. They are designed to overcome the forces of weight and drag by a combination of lift and thrust. These are essential characteristics of the “heavier than air” type of aircraft. Much before the first flight of the “heavier than air”aircraftwas the Balloon which dates back to the ancient Chinese Han Dynastyover two thousand years ago. The Balloons of that era consisted of a light frame over which light paper or cloth was stretched and a candle generated the hot air inside causing it to become lighter than air owing to the rarefied density of the hot air trapped inside which caused it to lift off.
A little over two hundred years ago two brothers in France harnessed this principle to create the first Mongolfier Balloon.Hence the creation of this “lighter than air” craft which literally translated from the French is Balloon Hot Air. A gondola suspended below the Balloon Hot Airis attached to contain passengers and hence the first Balloon Hot Air Rides in history were achieved in the court of King Louis the 16th.
The passenger represents a significant percentage of the total aircraft weight load whereas on an airplane,passengers represent only one out of 250 people. If an individual is overweight by a hundred pounds then the total average weight per person only changes by less than half a pound. Some people have more than that for lunch. In a balloon one person can represent about 25% of the total passenger load so 100 pounds changes the per person weight by 25 pounds each! That is the weight of a small child. Imagine what happens if a passenger in the gondola weighs over 250 ponds!
Typical Balloon Hot Air Rides attempt to fly over scenic beauty such as parks undulating deserts or historical monuments and locales. Balloons only float with the wind so they are limited in the direction they may travel. MotherNatureinvariably choosesthe flight path. Many times Balloon Hot Air Ridesfly over specific sites such as the Pushkar Mela, Jaipur City or the surrounding Fort.The flight is not always OVER Jaipur City but it is possible to see most parts of the City from an oblique angle. Bearing in mind the size of the City it is possible to go right over the Palace and still be miles away from the Fort.
Sunrise is thebest time of the day when weather conditions are ideal to fly in Rajasthan. In most parts of the world it is possible to organise a flight in the late afternoon just before sunset; however, the sun is very strong during the day time and the atmosphere does not always calm down enough to enable another flight safely.