Hot Air Balloon Record
October 5, 2011 | Reviews
There’s a reason hot air balloons fell out of favor militaristically after their introduction in the late 18th century—as a 50 foot inflatable sphere leisurely drifting through the sky, with a gaudy rendition of the Premier Consul of the French Republic painted on the side would have the enemy sniggering. This, combined with the element of surprise utterly lacking in an object of those dimensions, a wind current pushing in a direction opposite to that of the Prussian army and an inability to launch substantial attacks of any kind beyond a few German language insults yelled down from the tiny wicker basket, meant that they were almost immediately relegated to reconnaissance mission status.
Today though, for budding Baron von Munchausens there are nearly 8,000 recreational hot air balloons operating in the United States, but you won’t catch us hovering above the tree line any time soon, as we believe propane should power crab cake cook-offs and not flying machines.
Still, it’s a charming, old-timey pastime and safe as well, provided a mighty wind doesn’t kick up.
Recently in New Mexico, 345 hot-air balloons took to the air—a stunt that would’ve set a Guinness World Record if they’d tipped officials off (the air is currently being let out of an organizer as we speak?).
As a point of interest, the oldest person to ever go up in an air balloon (a record unlikely to be bested as even reaching such an advanced age without dropping like well, a hot air balloon, is an achievement) is Emma Carrol, who, according to the people at Guinness, ventured up at the age of 109.