Balloon Rides

Information on hot air balloon rides, in particular:

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If you would like to buy a ballon ride for yourself or as a gift, please read our essential guide to Hot Air Balloon Rides - one of many free resources on this ballooning site.

If you are thinking of buying a balloon and would like to know more about the operating costs, please read our guide to the operating costs of a small balloon.

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We regularly fly at hot air balloon festivals, such as the annual Bristol Balloon Fiesta in the UK or the biannual Metz Mondial Air Ballon in France (on the famous Chambley airfield). Our usual flying trips in the UK include the areas of Bristol, Bath, Gloucester and Somerset as well as other sites in England and Wales.

Please have a look at our independent guide to commercial hot air balloon rides .

Guide to the 4-flight balloon ride site

On this site we explain the preparations for a typical Hot Air Balloon ride, from rigging the hot air balloon to the final landing as well as packing the trailer and the art of retrieving. Here you can get an appreciation of what is involved in safely launching our aircraft, what it takes to fly a Hot Air Balloon, and why we rely on trained retrieve crews.

In our FAQ section we try and answer some of the frequently asked hot air ballooning questions. If you have a question which is not already in the FAQ please Contact Us and we will add it to this section.

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We also provide some insight into the history of hot air balloons. We look at the events in Annonay France that led the Montgolfier Brothers to launch the first Hot Air Balloon in 1783 up to recent record breaking round the world hot air balloon voyages by Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones. Their excellent book "The Greatest Adventure" is highly recommended. A time-line of aviation developments puts the achievements of the Montgolfier Brothers into context.

Questions about hot air ballooning are in the FAQ section.

In the hot air ballooning books section we review some of our favorite flying books and suggest where you may find the out of print copies. A few of the many pictures of Hot Air Balloons that we have taken over the years are shown in Gallery section.

A selection of hot air ballooning festivals are listed in the hot air balloon festivals section. For those festivals that we have attended, we have tried to give a personal view of the event. In the Links section there are also details of hot air ballooning clubs, manufacturers, regulatory authorities and a selection of other interesting sites.

Please note:

The 4-flight hot air balloon group is a private balloon club based in Bristol, England. We operate two Cameron VIVA Hot Air Balloons, G-BNFO and G-BNAU. To date we have flown hot air balloons in France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Latvia, Slovenia, Spain, Germany, Luxembourg and Ireland.

If you just want information about taking a hot air balloon ride in the UK, our sister site hot air ballooning in the UK is the place to go.

We wish you a good ride with the winds!