How High Of An Altitude Can a Hot Air Balloon Go?
If you are curious about hot air balloons flying or maybe you are afraid of heights, you might be wondering just how high a hot air balloon can go?
A hot air balloon can go up to 3000 feet in height, however most float around 1000/2000 feet, hot air balloons are not allowed to go lower than 1000 feet due to them being too close to civilians, the highest one has gone is 68,000 feet and bove for a world record.
Down below in our guide, we will discuss what the limit is for a hot air balloon in terms of height, if it’s safe to go high in a hot air balloon, when you need oxygen in a hot air balloon, how they float so high and how far they can go too.
What Are The Limits For Hot Air Balloons Altitude?
The utmost limit for a hot air balloon is 3000 feet, this is very high, however, most stay between 1000-2000 feet otherwise weather conditions can become very unstable, with strong winds and colder temperatures.
You also have to stay above 1000 feet when in a hot air balloon to keep air traffic safe and away from the population on the ground.
Is It Safe To Go High In a Hot Air Balloon?
At 3000 feet, being in a hot air balloon can make you feel very exposed in comparison to a plane ride, for example, do not worry however, since these balloons are designed with safety in mind, with a tiny amount of incidents happening each year.
Hot air balloons travel when the winds are at their weakest at a slow speed, they tend to have many safety features onboard too in case of an emergency landing. The highest a hot air balloon has ever gone is 68,968 feet for setting a world record.
Can I Fly In a Hot Air Balloon If I’m Scared Of Heights?
If you are scared of heights, you might be slightly reluctant to get on a hot air balloon ride due to them climbing up to 3000 feet.
Surprisingly, people who have a fear of heights often do very well at high heights, most people find the experience of flying high relaxing due to the slow pace you move at, you also avoid that vertigo feeling since you are not looking down but more on the horizon.
Do You Need Oxygen For Flying In a Hot Air Balloon?
Many people wonder how high you can go in a hot air balloon before you need oxygen for the ride, well, you don’t need oxygen assistance till you are at least 12,0000 feet in the air when on a hot air balloon which is not within legal limits anyway.
Some people wonder if you will also feel motion sickness when flying high, this is very unlikely since you are moving about on the balloon instead of remaining stationary.
How Do Hot Air Balloons Fly So High?
To fly so high, hot air balloons use physics called buoyancy to float up. In the simplest terms, the air inside of the balloon is heated by a burner at the bottom of the balloon which in turn lifts the balloon since the warm is less dense than the cold air on the outside which is heavier.
As soon as this hot air is released it can then start to lower down since the air inside becomes colder.
How Far Can a Hot Air Balloon Go?
Now we know how high a hot air balloon can go, you might be wondering how far they can go too.
A hot air balloon can travel a couple of miles max, with most rides lasting for about an hour, the distance you go depends on the fuel that you have, fuel however is also very heavy for a hot air balloon to carry.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hot Air Balloons & Altitude Limits
Can you get altitude sickness in a hot air balloon?
No, altitude sickness does not kick in till you travel till around 8000 feet and above, since you can only travel up to 3000 feet in a plane this is nothing to worry about.
What height do most hot air balloons fly at?
You will typically fly in your hot air balloon around 1000-2000 feet, 3000 feet is very high, under 1000 feet is dangerous for the population on ground level.
Do you get fear heights when in a hot air balloon?
Many people with a fear of heights do not get scared of hot air balloons, but some still might, we suggest taking it easy and talking to your doctor as well as your company before flying depending on how severe your fear is.
What safety features does a hot air balloon have?
There are many safety features on a hot air balloon such as fire extinguishers, ground rope, backup ignition, separate hose and GPS.
Overall, the highest altitude a hot air balloon has gone is around 68,000 feet for a world record, flying above 30000 feet on a hot air balloon however is not recommended due to severe weather conditions such as strong wind, you also have no shelter on a balloon, unlike a plane.
It is very safe to go a hot air balloon despite being at high heights with a small number of incidents occurring each year.
I’m Annie, a twenty-something year old girl who loves hot air balloons. So much so, that I have a full time job as a Flight Instructor and it is all I love talking about. Something about being up there in the elevated altitudes helps all my stresses float away!