Can A Hot Air Balloon Keep Going Higher?
Have you ever wondered what would happen if a hot air balloon kept going higher and higher in the air?
Well, not much would happen if a hot air balloon kept going higher, eventually, their fuel would run out, meaning they would sink back to the ground. It is generally not considered safe for a hot balloon to go any higher than 3000 feet since weather conditions can become more turbulent.
We’ve put together a guide below which will take you through how high a balloon should go, how long it can stay floating in the air, whether or not it’s safe to be high in a hot air balloon and if you feel the effects of altitude.
How High Should a Balloon Fly?
Technically, a hot air balloon should never fly higher than 3000 feet since it becomes dangerous and can interfere more with other aircraft flight paths, plus weather conditions and winds tend to become more turbulent.
They should also never fly lower than 1000 feet due to the chances of incidents with ground obstacles, the highest balloon managed to fly to 68,986 feet as a world record, this is not suggested for standard hot air balloons, however.
If you were to keep going higher and higher with a hot air balloon then you would likely have an issue of oxygen at some point too.
How Long Can a Balloon Stay Floating In The Air?
There is no specific period that a balloon can stay floating in the air, they can stay suspended in the air as long as they have enough hot air and fuel and weather conditions remain calm, most hot air balloons have a duration of one-hour rides, however.
A balloon would have to carry multiple fuel tanks to keep travelling long distances and higher.
Is It Safe To Be In a Hot Air Balloon At High Heights?
Many people can be concerned about the safety of hot air balloons at high heights, they are very safe however as long as they are flown under 3000 feet.
In terms of people who are scared of heights these hot air balloons move very slowly and almost don’t feel as if they are moving or climbing higher, reducing that vertigo effect you can get on tall buildings.
Hot air balloons also have to be flown by very experienced pilots and are equipped with many safety features such as backup ignition in case anything goes wrong during your flight.
Very few hot air balloon incidents happen each year.
Do You Feel The Effects Of Altitude When Going Higher In a Hot Air Balloon?
Some people wonder if you can get altitude sickness when climbing to high heights in a hot air balloon, this is very unlikely since people only start to feel altitude sickness from around 8000 feet and above, which is not a safe height for a hot air balloon to travel at.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hot Air Balloons & Height
What happens if a hot air balloon keeps going higher and higher?
Eventually, fuel will run out, oxygen will run out or weather conditions will become dangerous.
How much fuel can a hot air balloon carry?
This entirely depends on the size of the balloon and the basket, some hot air balloons can carry multiple fuel tanks for backup fuel.
Can hot air balloons fly as high as planes?
No, hot air balloons max out around 3000 feet while on average commercial planes fly up to 42,000 feet which is much much higher.
Overall, if a hot air balloon kept flying up and up then it would run out of fuel eventually or you would run out of oxygen, weather conditions are also much worse the higher up you fly, hot air balloons operate best in calm winds and dry conditions.
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!