What Is The Average Size Of a Hot Air Balloon?
If you’re looking at a hot air balloon from the ground, they might all seem the same size, with some people even calling them small, however, these envelopes are huge at ground level, especially when full of hot air.
The average size of a hot air balloon is between 50-60 feet wide at the middle point of the envelope with the top and bottom being small. For height, they tend to be between 60-80 feet tall.
To find out more about how big a hot air balloon is, we’ve put all the information you need to know is a guide down below which will cover why hot air balloons are so big, the different types of hot air balloons and their sizes as well as how many people a hot air balloon basket can carry.
Why Are Hot Air Balloons So Big?
On average a hot air balloon measures between 50-60 feet wide, however hot air balloons are officially measured in the amount of air that they can hold, on average is an envelope volume of 77,000 cubic feet and is called the AX-7, it can carry about 3-4 people.
Hot air balloons are huge, they need to be large to carry enough hot air to float with their basket and people inside.
What Are The Different Types Of Hot Air Balloons?
To categorise different sizes of hot air balloons, they can be divided into three different types; the o-type, n-type and a-type.
- O-type – O-types are the smallest kind of hot air balloon that you can find, they have a small bulb-like shape making them great for show and sports ballooning, these tend to have a size of around 44 feet in diameter.
- N-type – These balloons are mostly used for promotions since they stand out, their medium size puts them at about 76 feet wide.
- A-type – This is the largest balloon that you can find and is excellent for carrying people, their width ranges between 60 and 90 feet, they can on average carry up to 18 people.
Hot air balloons size also differs according to what they are made for –
- Sky lantern – Sky lanterns are a mini version of a hot air balloon, their small size allows hot air to get trapped inside, they measure between 12 inches and are over 6 feet wide.
- Long-distance – These are also known as hybrid balloons and are designed to be able to handle long distances and high altitudes, they are designed with capsules too to protect the crew from altitude and bad weather.
- Tourism – Your traditional balloons, for proposals, sightseeing and more, measure between 50-60 feet wide.
- Racing balloons – These balloons are lighter and easier to move around so they can reach high speeds when driven by wind.
- Montgolfier – The earliest types of hot air balloons, they were slightly larger than modern air balloons, being made with airtight paper and fabric, they have not been used much anymore nowadays due to their weak design.
- Marketing balloons – These balloons are very wide and are used for attracting attention, they are huge and are likely tethered.
How Many People Can a Hot Air Balloon Basket Carry?
The envelope is not the only size you need to consider when talking about hot air balloons, you also need to consider how the sizes of the basket are impacted too since this will determine how many people it can carry.
You can find single person baskets to baskets that can carry 32 people, we’ve listed some sizes down below.
- Eight people basket – 10-meter height.
- Twelve people basket – 12-meter height.
- Sixteen people basket – 14-meter height.
- Twenty people basket – 16-meter height.
- Twenty four people basket – 18-meter height.
- Twenty-eight people basket – 20-meter height.
- Thirty-two people basket – 22-meter height.
Do Small Hot Air Balloons Exist?
Small hot air balloons do not exist, the first reason is that they need to be able to carry a large amount of hot air to carry a lot of people, the second reason is that an envelope can only hold a certain amount of air to lift without popping!
Frequently Asked Questions About Hot Air Balloons & Size
What’s the biggest hot air balloon out there?
The largest hot air balloon ever is a Cameron Z-750 which measures 750,000 cubic feet, this was one of the largest hot air balloons ever recorded in the world.
Why are hot air balloons so big in size?
Hot air balloons need to be very big to lift and store hot air, hot air also expands in volume as it is heated.
How many people can a hot air balloon carry?
On average, a hot air balloon can carry between 4-6 people in their basket, you can find larger baskets however supporting up to 30 people.
Why do hot air balloons look so small from the sky?
Hot air balloons look very small from the sky simply due to perspective, the same way planes, planets and stars look small, at the ground level their envelope is very large.
Overall, a hot air balloon has a size of 50-60 feet wide and a height between 60-80 feet tall making them very large, this is to support all the hot air inside of them to allow them to lift passengers and their basket. You can find smaller 0-type hot air balloons but these are mainly used for racing and sporting, not carrying people.
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!