World famous hot air balloon spectacle
The international event of the Lorraine Mondial Hot Air Balloon Festival has been gathering in a former NATO airfield in eastern France at the Chambley-Bussieres Aerodrome ever since the establishment in 1989. Hundreds of hot air balloons of different colors, shades, and hues soar to new heights at this international balloon gathering. For many years, the balloon festival has offered the aligned takeoff of balloons which is already a global premiere. Philippe Buron Pilatre, a descendant of Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier who was an aeronautics pioneer in the 18th century, is the organizer of the event. Philippe who has been piloting balloons since 1979 is also the founder of the balloon festival and continues the family hobby and tradition.
Beating world records
The Lorraine Mondial Balloons Festival held on the 31st of July 2013 on the Chambley-Bussieres airfield was record-breaking. The balloons rose to the skies of eastern France in an attempt to set a record for the most number of them in the air. But that annual balloon festival saw the breaking of two world records, both at the same time. The first world record was when 408 balloons were soaring into the sky within an hour. The second world record was when 391 of them formed a line on the runways and took off into the air together. This feat indeed broke the record for the most substantial number of hot air balloons launched all at once.
Painting the sky
In an attempt to beat the most significant take-off world record, participants of the 408 hot air piloted balloons, with 391 of them all in a row, lifted off synchronously and filled and brightened up the sky. Unsurprisingly, and as can be imagined, the hot air balloon festival was visually spectacular. With bursts of different colors dotting the sky on a sunny day, it was like a pointillist painting in action. The media, as well as the photographers and videographers, were there to capture all the beauty. The blasting sound of hundreds of balloon burners was extraordinary. Time-lapse videos depicted the process from inflation of the balloon envelopes to take off.
Participants and attendees
Hundreds of thousands of balloon-enthusiasts attended the hot air balloon festival in France. A total of nearly 200 crew and 1,207 balloon pilots took part in this international celebration. Balloon manufacturer Cameron was one of the participants at the hot air balloon Festival in France. The founder of the festival complained that the airport authorities placed on hold various commercial flights planned over the few days of the balloon festival. He also lamented about the bad behavior of some participants, especially when 20 balloon pilots deliberately landed on cropland instead of on lanes and roads, making local farmers furious.
The previous week
The 408 balloonists were not only in a festive mood but were also in a competitive spirit as they were trying to beat a record that was set just a week ago at the Chambley-Bussieres Aerodrome. The previous Saturday, at the Lorraine Mondial International Festival, the taking off of 343 balloons set a record. It beat out the earlier 2009 record of 329. The participants had a determination to push the envelopes even further. No pun intended. In the end, their hard work and perseverance paid as they did manage to break the previous week’s balloon record.
Preceding record holder
The 2013 ballooning event in France where 408 piloted balloons went aloft within an hour broke a 2-year old record held by Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico. The Albuquerque Festival until then was the epitome of the balloon show on earth in the ballooning industry. But the news of this coveted position aroused little competitive zeal from the officials of the fiesta. The earlier record was when 345 balloons ascended within an hour in 2011. The day was the launch of the 40th Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. The organizers at the Albuquerque Fiesta have no plans to reclaim the record and set a new one.
Event officially recognized
Guinness World Records has certified the world record for the first ascent of 408 balloons taking off concurrently. It published the official announcement of this remarkable feat on its website and social network. The Guinness World Records, through this recognition, formalizes that now Lorraine Mondial Balloons is the biggest balloons gathering. This event overtakes the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. It is an honor that the organization of Pilatre de Rozier shares with the partner, the Regional Council of Lorraine. Around 175 communities and companies also support the event.
Balloon and safari
People gather every year at the former NATO airfield in eastern France. At the Chambley-Bussieres Aerodrome they watch the hot air balloons in operation. At the Lorraine Mondial International Balloon Festival in France people watch it from bottom up. But when it comes to wildlife safari they survey it from above. Kenya wildlife balloon safaris offer people a taste of what it is like to circle closer to the clouds and more. It also provides passengers with a spectacular view of the wild animals below in their natural habitat. The sound of the burners is kept to a minimum so as not to disturb the animals below as well as to preserve the ecological pristine of the vast plains. There is no better way to spot the Big Five in Kenya than flying over the savannas of the country in a hot air balloon.
The spectacular wildebeest migration in Kenya is considered to be the eighth wonder of the world. It is when millions of wildebeests cross the rivers towards the border of Tanzania in search of water. Since the migration is a seasonal natural occurrence, unfortunately, it only happens twice a year. Tourists flock to this place to watch this environmental phenomenon, enjoying the marvelous sight from the vantage point of a hot air balloon. And that is how the hot air balloons of the French International Festival are put to use commercially in the tourism industry in Kenya.