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Archive for the ‘Hot Air ballooning’ Category

Burn Baby Burn

Posted on: February 18th, 2015 by Clare |

We expect rapid change in all aspects of our lives these days.

Buy the latest wiz bang thing one day and you find its obsolete the next. Not so in ballooning though. Change is evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

Man first took to the skies in a hot air balloon 230 years ago. (21st Nov 1783) and it was a scary experience. The balloon was made from paper and silk and the burner was just pretty much just a fire built from anything that would burn. What they had invented, was an aircraft that had an engine that could not be controlled and a shell that had a tendency to catch fire way too easily.

Pilots were brave people back in those days, but not stupid, when someone invented the gas balloon which was both safer and could be controlled the hot air balloon become a thing of the past. A memory.

And so it remained until a bunch of Yankie Hipsters in the sexy 1960′s cobbled together some synthetic fabric and an invention called a propane fueled burner, and so you had a flying machine that was safe, fun and affordable. The modern balloon had arrived.

So what’s different today? Being a Hipster is back in fashion and just like the new Hipsters the balloon is the same but a little different, but better.  Fabric technology and build methods mean they last longer; are safer and can be made larger. New deflation systems means that you can stop the balloon once it’s back on the ground. And burners have got hotter and much more powerful.

For a Pilot operating a burner is like stomping on the gas peddle of an automobile. If the power unit is gutless it just isn’t fun.

Luckily for those power sick pilots two manufacturers, Cameron & Kavanagh balloons have recently introduced new power units onto the market that should keep us pilots grinning for the next century or two.

The Crossfire and Safire burners are pretty impressive pieces of kit. Rather than being an upgrade of an old burner the designers and engineers threw away the old motor (burner) sat down and produced a modern high tech engine for a balloon.

These fiery beasts now put out up to 70% more power but at the same time are both quieter and more fuel efficient. The flame is now up to 8 metres long perfect for heating up the large passenger balloons you see in the skies today. They operate much more efficiently with the rubbish fuel (propane) found in some regions. They are light weight, reliable and pretty much maintenance free. They are even expected to last up to 20 years. If you ‘re a short Hipster (like me) you can adjust the height as well. The controls are easy to use and they look HOT.

They are so good we just brought one, the Crossfire. Might just have to take it out for a ‘burn’ around the neighborhood. Come and join us.

You don’t have to be a Hipster.

burners_Crossfire Kavanagh Crosfire BurnerBurner Balloon

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a Basket case?

Posted on: October 16th, 2014 by Clare | No Comments

If you do a balloon flight you will be standing for up to an hour in what looks like an oversized picnic basket.

The Basket or Gondola is the bottom part of the hot air balloon which carries passengers, flight crew and fuel supplies. They come in a variety of sizes. Small 1m x 1m baskets suitable for sport balloons carrying 1-3 persons up the large passenger joy flight baskets 5m x 1.5m carrying 25 persons.

The basket is constructed by weaving Kooboo or Palambang cane through a stainless steal frame. Wire cables run through the cane and plywood floor and attach to the balloon envelope with carabineers. Plywood or cane can be used for the partitions. Most balloons now padding on both the floor and walls for passenger comfort. Rope handles are woven into the basket side for passengers to hold during landings.

There a two types of baskets, Open or T – partitioned. Open baskets are generally used on smaller balloons, up to 6 persons with all passengers, crew, fuel occupying the same open space.  When numbers increase above 6 persons the basket is both increased in size and partitioned off to separate flight crew and fuel from the passengers.

The T-partition’s advantage over the open baskets are numerous. The load is more evenly distributed over the length of the basket. The pilot cannot be obstructed by passengers. Fuel and control lines are separated from passengers and the design is much safer for passengers when landing as no person can fall upon another.

Open basket Open Basket

Single T-partitionSingle T- Partition Basket

Double t - Partition Double T-Partition Basket

Ballooning in Winter

Posted on: May 27th, 2014 by Clare | No Comments

I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised that most people want to hot air balloon during the warmer seasons. It seems reasonable to assume that the air temperature drops as soon as you leave the ground, and who wants to freeze when you are supposed to be enjoying a new experience.

The reality is somewhat the opposite. Step aboard a balloon during the hot summer months and you will quickly realise why we call it Hot Air ballooning.  The combination of the warm ambient temperature, often 20oC with the fierce heat radiated by the balloon powerful burner often makes flying conditions uncomfortable for both passengers and flight crew.

Choose to fly in the cooler months and you will be rewarded with a combination of cool mornings and beautiful flying conditions. At this time of the year the air temperature increases as the balloon rises above the ground. So whilst you may need a jacket when on the ground often you will find yourself taking it off above 1000ft and soaking up the warmth of both the sun and the radiated heat from the balloons burner.

There are other bonuses with flying during the cool months. With less humidity trapped in the air you can both further and it’s clearer. Winds are generally a little stronger as well so the distances travelled are usually greater. But the best part is that with sunrise being later we get to spend more time snuggled up in bed before we embark on our airborne adventure.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard.

No Steering Wheel, No Engine, No Problem

Posted on: May 13th, 2014 by Clare | No Comments

What! No engine or steering wheel on this thing.

Maybe it’s this very fact that makes balloon flight so appealing. In this age of the Nanny State where your every movement is monitored, scrutinized and criticized it comes as pleasant relief to just climb into a wicker basket, fire up the burner, heat the balloon up to boiling point and go Up Up and Away from it all.

These days there are very few activities that allow this sort of freedom. Back in the good old days you would have tried motorcycling, water skiing or un protected sex to stimulate the senses and get the blood rushing. But regulations, insurance and STD’s took some of the ‘fun’ out of that fun.

Now I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said there are no rules & regulations concerning hot air ballooning. There are sections in Libraries full of books of the boring stuff and agencies overflowing with people administrating the thing. But it’s really all smoke and mirrors because you can’t write laws telling Mother Nature and her friend the Weather what to do.

And this is why ballooning gives people that sense of freedom. Who doesn’t just want to bugger off one day in no particular direction and see what you see and see who you meet. I do and that’s why I’m still doing it after 28 years.

Hunter Valley

Posted on: November 15th, 2013 by blogadmin | No Comments

Hunter Valley Hot Air Balloon Flights

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Hunter

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Instructions: Hover on a day to see places available, click on the day you want to book to start the booking process. Use the Prev and Next buttons to view other months.
‘it was fun and relaxing flying through the sky’
Liam 8 Years

Looking down from the clouds upon this famous valley of 150 wineries, 65 restaurants and 180 places is a splendor to behold.

On board this magnificent flying machine under the control of Australia’s safest and most experienced pilots, one minute you will be gliding low over vines and open fields with the mobs of kangaroos and cattle grazing, then soaring aloft to take in the panorama of the Brokenback Ranges.

There is no better location near Sydney or Newcastle to getaway for a short break to relax and rejuvenate. So welcome the new day with a hot air balloon ride then spend the rest of your stay, wining and dining the hours away.

Over breakfast you will have the opportunity to view and purchase a Souvenir A4 photo taken whilst airborne by our in flight camera.
The price of your Hunter Valley balloon ride depends on the day you wish to fly. Weekend flights are most popular and fill up quickly, so book early!

  • Hot Air Balloon Hunter Valley

    Flight Information

    • Rates
    • Inclusions
    • Meeting Point

    • $259 per person (weekday or weekend)

    • 45-65 minute hot air balloon flight
    • Insurance
    • Flight certificate
    • Online souvenir photos
    • Bus transfers to balloon


    Sebel Kirkton Park, Hunter Valley, 336 Oakey Creek Road, Pokolbin


    The Sebel Kirkton Park, Hunter Valley provides Cloud 9 Balloon Flights with comfortable, first class facilities for checking our passengers in on the morning of the flight.

    All our hot air balloon rides take place around Sunrise with the meet time being 5am in Summer and 6am during Winter. We shall contact you prior to your flight to confirm the meet time.

    After the completion of some paperwork and a short briefing from your pilot you will be transported to the launch site where you are welcome to help prepare the balloon for flight, or stand back and take pictures. The launch site changes day to day depending on wind speed and direction.

  • Additional Information

    • Your Flight
    • Weather
    • Accommodation
    About 20 minutes to prepare the aircraft for flight in which time your Pilot will explain how balloons are made, how we control them and some history.Then it’s up and away on the gentle breezes over the beautiful Hunter Valley in our hot air balloon.What goes up must come down. Your pilot will choose a landing site, which is always downwind of the take off site, and inform the ground crew who will meet us as the balloon comes back to earth.Most of our flights have a gentle ending but if we are moving at more than 10kph it is not unusual to bump along the ground for a bit before the basket falls over on it’s side. Its quite safe but lots of fun!

    About 20 minutes is spent packing the balloon away before a short drive back to The Sebel Kirkton Park where you enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast at the Infuzion Restaurant.


    The weather plays a major part in deciding if your flight takes place. Wind, rain & fog can play a part in spoiling our fun. But you have to remember that the whole idea is to have fun and do it safely.

    So if the Pilot decides conditions aren’t suitable don’t get upset, he just wants to give you the best experience possible.

    We provide accommodation packages. Click here for more details

The Hawkesbury

Posted on: November 15th, 2013 by blogadmin |

Sydney – Hawkesbury Valley Hot Air Balloon Rides

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Hawkesbury

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I would just like to take the time to say thank you for providing us with such a wonderful experience on Saturday the 21st of June. We had a lovely time and it was great to see the staff so enthusiastic and keen. I would highly recommend your balloon rides to friends and family!Thanks once again. Lenore.
Lenore - Oatlands

 

The Hawkesbury region is our personal favorite hot air ballooning location. Most people find it impossible to believe that such a beautiful diverse landscape can be found so close to Australia’s largest city. But it does, and viewed from the platform of our magnificent balloon it is a sight to behold.

Lying at the foot of the Greater Blue mountains wilderness area, the evergreen fields of the Hawkesbury farmlands paint a stunning patchwork quilt next to the quiet meandering of the Hawkesbury River and surrounding townships.

Come fly over our Home and explore our beautiful backyard. Just a few hours spent exploring the Hawkesbury will have you feeling refreshed and relaxed wanting to come back again and again.

  • Hawkesbury Valley Hot Air Balloon Flights

    Flight Information

    • Rates
    • Inclusions
    • Meeting Point

    • $259 per person (weekdays or weekends)

    • 45-65 minute hot air balloon flight
    • Insurance
    • Flight certificate
    • Online souvenir photos
    • Bus transfers to balloon

    The Sebel Resort & Spa, 61 Hawkesbury Valley Way, Windsor

    The Sebel Resort & Spa, Windsor provides Cloud 9 Balloon Flights with comfortable, first class facilities for checking our passengers in on the morning of the flight.

    All our balloon rides take place around Sunrise with the meet time being 5am in Summer and 6am during Winter. We shall contact you prior to your flight to confirm the meet time.

    After the completion of some paperwork and a short briefing from your pilot you will be transported to the launch site where you are welcome to help prepare the balloon for flight, or stand back and take pictures. The launch site changes from day to day depending on wind speed and direction.

  • Additional Information

    • Your flight
    • Weather
    • Accommodation
    About 20 minutes to prepare the aircraft for flight in which time your Pilot will explain how balloons are made, how we control them and some history.Then it’s up and away on the gentle breezes over the beautiful Hawkesbury Valley in our hot air balloon.
    What goes up must come down. Your pilot will choose a landing site, which is always downwind of the take off site, and inform the ground crew who will meet us as the balloon comes back to earth.Most of our flight have a gentle ending but if we are moving at more than 10kph it is not unusual to bump along the ground for a bit before the basket falls over on it’s side. It’s quite safe but lots of fun.

    About 20 minutes is spent packing the balloon away before a short drive back to the Sebel Resort & Spa where you enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast at the Gazebo restaurant.

    Interested in staying at the Sebel Resort & Spa, view our accommodation deals (link).

    Over breakfast you will have the opportunity to view and purchase a Souvenir A4 photo taken whilst airborne by our in flight camera.

    The price of your Hawkesbury Valley balloon flight depends on the day you wish to fly.  Weekend flights are most popular and fill up quickly, so book early!

    The weather plays a major part in deciding if your flight takes place. Wind, rain or fog can play a part in spoiling our fun. But you have to remember that the whole idea is to have fun and do it safely.

    So if the Pilot decides conditions aren’t suitable don’t get upset, he just wants to give you the best experience possible.

    We provide accommodation packages. Click here for more details.

Home

Posted on: November 14th, 2013 by blogadmin | No Comments

hot air balloon gifts

Welcome to Cloud 9 Balloons

A balloon ride is luxurious indulgence a ‘Once in a Lifetime’ experience. When you ascend into the skies of The Hawkesbury or Hunter Valley with Cloud 9 Balloon Flights do it with the confidence that you are flying with arguably Australia’s finest and safest hot air balloon ride operator.

An Australian owned Company with 28 years experience that has carried out over 4700 flights and safely flown 25,000 passengers. (read About Us)

  • hot air balloon flights

    Hawkesbury, Sydney

    • Overview
    • Inclusions
    • Prices
    A great river meandering through a patchwork quilt of farmlands. Sydney’s Hawkesbury Valley, the perfect location for your hot air balloon experience.
    More details

    • 45-65 minute hot air balloon flight
    • Insurance
    • Flight certificate
    • Online souvenir photos
    • Bus transfers to balloon

    • $259 per person (weekday or weekend)

    Breakfast optional – $25 per person

  • Hunter Valley

    • Overview
    • Inclusions
    • Prices
    Drift with the morning mist in our beautiful balloon over the rows of vines heavy with next years vintage – offering the perfect place to enjoy hot air ballooning.
    More details

    • 45-65 minute hot air balloon flight
    • Insurance
    • Flight certificate
    • Online souvenir photos
    • Bus transfers to balloon

    • $259 per person (weekday or weekend)

    Breakfast optional – $25 per person

  • Recent Blog Posts

    • Burn Baby BurnFebruary 18, 2015
      We expect rapid change in all aspects of our lives these days. Buy the latest wiz bang thing one day and you find its obsolete the next. Not so in ballooning though. Change is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Man first took to the skies in a hot air balloon 230 years ago. (21st Nov 1783) and it ...
    • Are you a Basket case?October 16, 2014
      If you do a balloon flight you will be standing for up to an hour in what looks like an oversized picnic basket. The Basket or Gondola is the bottom part of the hot air balloon which carries passengers, flight crew and fuel supplies. They come in a variety of sizes. Small 1m x 1m baskets ...
    • Death of BallooningAugust 14, 2014
      Born, 21st November 1783 – Dead 2020 After some 231 years the aircraft that enabled man to take to the heavens is dying. It will be a slow drawn out process bringing pain and frustrations to all the flight crews and spectators that love seeing these beautiful aircraft sail in the winds overhead. So what is it ...
    • 50 Years of Australian BallooningJuly 24, 2014
      It’s been 50 years since the first manned hot air balloon flight in Australia lifted off in Parkes. On July 4th 1964, Sydney University student Terry McCormack and some of his friends set out to make Australian aviation history. They travelled to Parkes in central west New South Wales with their self designed hot air balloon, set the ...