!! Amboise, Land of Games 2024 !!


Discover our balloon flights over the castles of the Loire.

Aeronaut: civil name of the hot air balloon pilot.

Aircraft: they are divided into aerostats that are less heavy than air and are heavier than air. Aerostats sail on air currents - jet streams - or float and fly aerodynes.

Aeroplane: the one who sustains himself through his plans, that is, through his wings.

Aerostat: envelope filled with a gas lighter than air, wind-propelled and non-airship.

Aerostation: a generic word that covers all activity of "lighter than air."

Aerostier: a term for the military corps responsible for monitoring enemy movements from the sky from gas balloons.

Aircraft: The word "aeroplane" was used to define military aircraft until an air minister decided to call the aeroplanes "airplanes" in homage to Clement Ader, who had called his first aeroplanes: "Airplane 1 - Eole," "Airplane 2 - Zephir" and "Airplane 3 - Aquilon"; plane for "opinion" which is the Latin name of bird, and Eole, Zephir and Aquilon which are names of the winds, Eole being even the god of the wind.

Balloon: a familiar synonym for hot air ballooning.

Gas balloon or Charlière: a gas balloon is an aerostat class aircraft. It often looks quite large but this is due to the distance of the pod and the ball. In fact, the envelope is much smaller than that of a hot air balloon because the upward force of a gas such as helium or hydrogen is greater than that of hot air. It consists of two large parts: a waterproof rubbery canvas envelope holding the gas, a wicker pod and braided rattan. It is also called "Charlière" after its inventor, Jacques Charles or, more rarely, "Robertine", after its builders, the Robert brothers.

Burner: powered by propane, the pilot operates it intermittently to keep the air in the balloon at the right temperature.

Load frame: steel structure that is attached to the envelope, basket and burners (on gas balloons that do not have burners, it is made of wood).

Cirrus: clouds of altitudes, between 6,000 and 10,000 m, warning of bad weather.

CNPPA: Created in 1992 on the initiative of a few passionate pilots, the National Council of Aerostation Professionals and Partners aims to represent aerostation professionals and partners to aviation institutions. To date, the CNPPA represents the interests of some 50 commercial enterprises.

CTA: The Air Carrier Certificate is the accreditation issued by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation for the public transport of passengers.

Cumulus: typical clouds of good weather, but they are also synonymous with turbulence at the base of these clouds. In the summer, a pilot will avoid taking off with large cumulus clouds nearby.

Depression: is said to be the atmosphere when pressures are less than 1015 hectopascal.

DGAC: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is in France the administration, attached to the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, which brings together all the state services responsible for regulating and supervising aviation safety, air transport and civil aviation activities in general.

Steerable: large balloon, aerostat lighter than air powered by an engine and airship. The gas or hot air airship has a more aerodynamic shape. It uses an engine as well as rudders to steer it (zeppelin).

EASA: European Union Aviation Safety Agency. European Union aviation safety agency. Founded in 2003, it is based in Cologne.

French Aerostation Federation: it brings together private clubs and pilots, supervises leisure and competition activities, runs a flight school and represents associations with civil aviation authorities.

Gas: the one used to heat a hot air balloon is propane. It feeds the burners in a liquid phase. Helium or hydrogen are used to fill gas balloons.

Swelling: Hot air balloon swelling is the first operation before the flight. The envelope is first laid on the floor, then attached to the gondola that has been placed on the side. A fan can blow cold air into the balloon. When the envelope is inflated to two-thirds, the burner is then turned on to heat the air in the balloon. The warm air rises and brings the balloon vertically.

GPS: Global Positioning System - a satellite navigation system based on a constellation of 26 satellites. These satellites are continuously sending a radio signal. Knowing the time the satellite broadcasts the signal and its arrival time at the receiver, the distance between the satellite and the receiver can be calculated. It is a system that allows to know its location, its route, its direction that is used as well in the car, on foot, by boat as by balloon.

Helium: rare gas, lighter than air, inert and safe. It is often used to inflate balloons for "balloon releases."

Hydrogen: gas lighter than air and highly flammable.

On-board instruments: compasses, compasses, barometer, altimeter, GPS, anything that allows navigators to locate themselves to track the jet stream. In addition to these instruments, for each hot air balloon, a radio-connected ground crew is required to ensure the successful flight.

Registration: hot air balloons are registered as airplanes, their code in France begins with the letter F. followed by 4 other letters.

Jet stream: high-altitude air current through which and in which balloons are "directed." These currents, discovered by World War II pilots, travel from 150 to 300 km/h between 9000 and 14,000 m. The ball goes where the current pushes it. Winds blow in directions and at speeds that vary depending on altitude; it is therefore a matter of going up or down to an altitude where the wind is blowing in the desired direction. In principle, hot air balloons "take off" just after sunrise and one or two hours before it goes to bed because that's when the winds are the calmest and the air is more stable, allowing them to gain altitude to choose their "air current."

Kilogram: mass unit. Before we boarded passengers, we asked them for their weight. Each volume of balloon, depending on temperature and altitude has a maximum carry load. This calculation is made by the pilot to ensure that the use limits of his equipment are not exceeded.

Pilot's licence: Supervised by an instructor or within the federal school, you will have to fly at least 16 hours, including 2 hours alone on board. The theoretical part will be validated by an examination. The licence is renewed every 2 years, 5 ascents as captain are enough to retain the right to fly.

Hot air balloon: Aerostat class aircraft. It consists of three large parts, a nylon envelope coated with high-strength polyurethane holding hot air, a burner powered by liquid propane and a wicker and braided rattan pod.

Gondola: always made of wicker, the pods are the only protection for passengers on landing. A noble and warm material, the wicker ages well, light it takes shocks.

Parachute: the top of the envelope, which is open, is sealed from the inside by a removable circular panel, called a "parachute." The latter, under the thrust of the hot air, settles on the edge of the top of the envelope, thus ensuring its waterproofing. It can also act as a valve.

Pilot (or aeronaut): the hot air balloon pilot, perfectly masters the instruments and technical elements that make up the equipment, their preparation and maintenance, their use in flight, safety and navigation constraints, emergency procedures, radiocommunications, characteristics and use of gases (propane, helium, hydrogen, etc.), the assessment of weather and atmospheric phenomena, general regulations and provisions specific to the aerostation, physiological and psychological factors. The practice of hot air ballooning is regulated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC). You have to have a hot air balloon pilot's license to fly.

Regulation: Hot air balloons are subject to the same regulations as aircraft, airspace is divided into zones with specificities that must be respected. The hot air balloon pilot flies vfR (Visual Flight Rules); it must respect certain distances from clouds, certain heights above ground or agglomerations. Horizontal visibility should be sufficient.

Dizziness: you don't feel dizzy during a hot air balloon flight, the feeling of vertigo is due to being connected to the ground, the gondola is suspended from its envelope, it floats in the air.

Captive flight: moored on the ground by ropes, the hot air balloon may rise but not move away.

Free flight: a hot air balloon flies in the sandstone of the wind, the pilot does not fully control the course. However, it uses winds at different altitudes to influence the trajectory.

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Agréée par la direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile pour le transport public des passagers

Fédaration Française d'Aerostation DGAC Atout France CNPPA EASA