For the first time in history gas balloons are coming to Slovenian. 1st Slovenian Gas Balloon Challenge will be organised as a part of the Slovenian Open National Hot Air Balloon Championship Murska Sobota 2020, which will take place at airport Rakičan from 27. till 30. August 2020.
You will be able to see the take off of gas balloons on August 28. at 20:00 in the fron of Expano pavilion.
Differences between gas balloons and hot air balloons
At first glance you can see the difference between gas balloon and hot air balloon. The shape of the dome of the gas balloon is more rounded compared to the hot air balloon, both are equipped with a basket that carries the pilot, passengers and equipment. Gas balloons do not have a burner to heat the air, they are equipped with sand or water bags that serve as ballast.
Gas balloons, unlike hot air balloons, use hydrogen or helium to take off. As a result, gas balloons can fly for hours or even days together and thus reach significantly greater distances compared to hot air balloons, which can stay in the air for an hour or two.
Hot air balloons use warm air to control the height, which is heated with a burner. The height of the flight is controlled by a valve that slowly releases the surrounding air into the dome, which cools the air inside the balloon and the balloon begins to descend.
After take-off, pilots then have two options to control the height of the flight. If they want to descend, they release the gas through the valve at the top of the dome, or they wait for the gas inside the dome to shrink in the evening due to lower outside temperatures. To lift, pilots drop ballast, which is usually water or sand, or wait for warmer daytime temperatures, which cause the gas in the dome to heat up and expand.
Ideal conditions for flying with hot air balloons are usually early in the morning, when colder temperatures and weak winds provide better conditions for the flight. They prefer winds that are weaker than 10 to 15 km/h at ground level. Gas balloons usually take off in the evening when the surrounding air cools. Ideal winds for take-off and landing must be weaker than 20 km/h.