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What a lot of Hot Air!

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balloonballoon collage

No, not our Parish Council meetings!

Goodness me, I wouldn't dare to suggest that.

Spotted over Drayton and heading towards Curry Rivel this morning – but where did it go? It must have landed in one of the fields around Park Lane – I thought for a while it was going to be in our garden, but it dropped quickly out of site behind our trees.

So who has it?

Did you know:

  • The first manned flight, in Paris 1783, was in a hot air balloon created by the Montgolfier brothers.
  • King Louis XVI had originally decreed that condemned criminals would be the first pilots, but Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes petitioned successfully for the honour.
  • A hot air balloon consists of a bag (the envelope) full of heated air with a gondola suspended below. Heat is created usually by an open flame burning liquid propane, the hot air being lighter, or less dense, than the cold air around the envelope thus the balloon will rise.
  • Jean-Pierre Blanchard crossed the English Channel to Dover Castle accompanied by Dr. John Jeffries, in January 1785. Blanchard suffered a heart attack while ballooning in 1805 and fell from his balloon, dying of his injuries. His wife Sophie continued ballooning, but also died on a balloon ten years later when a firework festival cased the hydrogen in the balloon to catch fire.
  • In January 1991, the Virgin Pacific Flyer balloon manned by Per Lindstrand and Richard Branson, completed what was at the time the longest flight in a hot air balloon flying 4,767.10 miles from Japan to Northern Canada.
  • Later, in 1999, what remains the most significant accomplishment in ballooning history, was the journey by Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, who completed a round the world trip in 20 days. The pair left Switzerland on March 1st, 1999, and landed in the desert near Cairo after circumnavigating the entire globe travelling +/- 25,000 miles.

As for that early morning sighting, if you saw it, have it, or know where it landed, please send your photos in to

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