Balloon Flight Simulator

This simulation is very realistic.  If you can properly control the simulated balloon you could be well be on the way to flying a real balloon!  It may be helpful to print this page before clicking here to start the simulation.

The Basics:

Place your cursor over the bottom of the balloon and click the mouse.  The burner comes on and the air in the balloon heats up.  Several clicks should get the balloon up in the air!  Try and fly it level. Hint: you are trying to anticipate what the balloon will doing up to 10 seconds before it does it; eg if you wait for the balloon to stop rising before burning you'll never get level flight.

If you want to descend you can just leave the burner alone and as the balloon cools it will naturally descend.  If you want to instigate a descent before the balloon cools place your cursor over the top of the balloon and click the mouse.  This 'dumps' some hot air - don't over-do it!

You can give up at anytime and restart the flight by clicking page refresh/reload on your browser.

The instruments (exactly the same as in a real balloon):

The dial at the top left of the screen is the fuel guage - don't run out of fuel!
The dial to its right is the variometer - with the needle horizontal the balloon is flying level, above horizontal and you're rising, below and you're falling!
The °C is the temperature of the air inside the balloon.
ft is your height above the ground.
m/s is your speed over the ground in metres per second.

Mastered the basics?  Then let's compete in a flying competion!

When you start the simulation an arrow appears above the balloon for a few seconds; this points in the direction of the target.  You want to fly in that direction.
The target will appear on the ground at sometime; it's a yellow flag and you want to drop the marker as near to it as possible.  When you're over the target put your cursor over the 'drop marker' icon and click  The little sandbag will fall to the ground.

Next you must fly back over your launch point to where you see two red flags and land the balloon between the flags.

You can do this because at different altitudes the wind blows in different directions.  If you want to see what the wind is doing at different altitudes before you take off you can release a 'test balloon' by clicking on the icon.  NB In reality it's not often that you can actually fly back over your launch point but, when the conditions are right, it's called "flying a box".

Happy Flying