Sunday, July 26, 2009

New balloon world record

The annual Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons rally in Chambley-Bussieres, France, is described as the largest gathering of hot-air balloons in the world. It attracted no less than 326 balloons in a mass take-off today, to establish a new world record for the most balloons to do so at one time. Thanks to Eugenie L. for e-mailing these pictures to me (click them for a larger view), and also the link to the video.

The video below was taken by one of the participants from the basket of their balloon at the start of the mass lift-off. This is a high-definition video, so it may be a little slower than usual to load, but the picture quality's worth it.

Beautiful! I'd have loved to have been there, to see it in person.



Leatherneck said...

Impressive! I had the pleasure of attending the Albuquerque balloon festival a few years back and that was also an experience I'll never forget. The masses of balloons warming up in preparation for the mass liftoff, the joining of spectators to assist in ground handling, the noise and smells, all create an atmosphere of partying mixed in with aviation. Worth going to if you can.


Jerry said...

How can this be a world record when the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta typically has 900-1000 balloons in attendance and has mass ascensions of more than 500?

Anonymous said...

Several years ago an Albuquerque Air Traffic Controller told me that the ABQ mass ascension shows up on their radar as a blob of jellyfish. Normally they can't see an individual balloon, but get a few hundred and "hello!"

Anonymous said...

This French event is by no means even close to the world's record for mass balloon launches. The source of this misinformation can be traced to the ignorance of a British reporter for the Daily Mail who erroneously attributed a world's record to the launch of a mere 326 balloons in France last July at a balloon event in Lorraine. If the reporter had done his homework he would have discovered that the worlds record is for a launch of approximately 850 balloons, almost three times the Lorraine launch, which was accomplished at the 26th annual Albuquerque, NM balloon fiesta back in 1997. Typically, in virtually every year of the Albuquerque fiesta , the balloon launches are at least twice the size of this French launch record.

mtl said...

It is a world record for the most balloons inflated and standing in line ready to take off. Albuquerque launches in waves. They launch one group and when they are clear, they inflate another wave, and so on.
I've participated in both LMAB and ABQ, and LMAB is by far my favorite.