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
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
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".