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Balloon Flight

A copy free feature of a Hot Air Balloon Flight over mid-Kent

Merlin Balloons Landrover Drivers Door Logo

A copy free feature as we fly with a Merlin Balloons

Merlin Balloons Landrover & Loaded Trailer Arrive

Land Rover & balloon trailer arrive

Off Loading Balloon

Off loading basket at Hamstreet Recreation Ground

Balloon Assembly

Ground Crew Member Andy preparing the eight man basket which is already loaded with gas cylinders

Balloon Assembly Balloon Basket Assembly

Joined by pilot Matthew to assemble burner

Burner Head Mounted Padding Fixed

Fitted to flexible mounts it's protected by padded sleeves

Burners Tested

Testing burners

GPS Navigation & radio communication also tested

Balloon Envelope

Balloon envelope of "Jaffa" being laid out as Land Rover slowly drives forward

Balloon Envelope Extended

Balloon unloaded

Balloon Envelope Extended Balloon Attached to Basket

Envelope fixed to basked which in turn is tethered to Land Rover

Forming Balloon Shape Balloon Inflation Begins

Passengers lay out the rough balloon shape

Balloon Inflation Begins Balloon Inflation

Ready for inflation

Cold Air Ram Cold Air Ram

First cold air is forced into the envelope

Cold Air Ram

This is accomplished a petrol driven fan

Balloon Takes Shape Balloon Takes Shape

Balloon envelope begins to take shape in evening sunshine

Stage 2 Inflation Stage 2 Inflation

At this stage, two "volunteers" lie flat in the basket to act as ballast

Stage 2 Inflation Holding Balloon Back

Andy hangs onto the cap line

Basket Begins to Raise Almost There

Whilst burners continue heating the cold air

Get in Quick!

Passengers climb aboard ready to embark as the balloon comes upright

Airbourne Airbourne

To be quickly free of the ground

Tree Hopes Romney Marshes

Some tree hopping

Hamstreet Hamstreet Farm House

Low stuff over Hamstreet

Fast Burn Over Farmland

Another burn to assist the climb

Kent Countryside towards English Channel & France

The Lush Kent Countryside looking across the Channel & the French Coast

Airbourne Friend Back to Hamstreet

Small aircraft passes alongside slightly below us as the breeze takes us back over Hamstreet

Low Cloud Cloud Hoping

Climbing through low cloud

Inside Balloon Envelope from Basket Top of the Cloud

Into glorious sunshine

Super Sun

Some breeze & sun rays

Balllon Pilot Checks Position Balloon Adjustments

Matthew checks GPS & Altimeter before making flight adjustments


A couple of passengers clearly enjoying the experience

Marshes to Dungeness

Over the marshland towards Dungeness

The Crew

A shot of everyone before descending

Single Track SE Railway

Over the single line South East Network railway track

Dungeness Power station on the horizon centre left

Landing at Appledore Ballloon Collapses

To land in fields close to Appledore Village

Celebration Champaign

Matthew pours the champaign

Toasting a Successful Flight

To toast a successful & enjoyable flight

Toasting a Successful Flight

And landing for the "ballast" girls

End of a Great Flight

Based at Appledore Merlin Balloons also fly from Hamstreet, Biddenden & Headcorn using qualified Commercial Aircraft Pilots

For flight information see their website or call them direct to book your own "Hot Air Experience" on 01233 785 188

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[HOME] (c) Bob Le-Roi 2004