What size balloon should I buy?
You’re looking at buying your first balloon, but aren’t sure what size balloon to buy – here are a few tips:
- Start small – Small balloons are easier to handle. On the ground, smaller balloons are less work on the crew. Smaller balloons also fit into smaller launch and landing spots. Not that a new pilot should be utilizing small launch/landing spots, but oftentimes newer pilots misjudge the space required of their balloons when handling on the ground which ends up causing damage on signs, fences, mailboxes, etc. trying to inflate/deflate in smaller than appropriate space. A smaller balloon is easier to handle on the ground and can limit some damage caused on the ground.
- But not too small – Small balloons limit your ability to take a passenger. Most new pilots want a balloon that will accommodate at least one passenger in all temperatures. Be sure that the size is big enough to accommodate this with your weight.
- And not too large – Some new pilots want a large balloon to be able to accommodate a lot of friends on every flight. We recommend a new pilot not take more than two passengers at a time. Larger balloons are harder to handle on the ground, and also harder to handle in flight. It’s like driving a sedan during your training and then jumping into a F-350 or school bus. It takes time to develop the proficiency in the sedan to be able to safely fly the F-350. As you build in hours and proficiency you will be able to move up in size of balloon and accommodate more passengers.
- We recommend that students/new pilots buy between a 60,000 and 90,000 cubic foot balloons. 77,000 is a sweet spot as far as a good size starter balloon. What size you buy in this range depends on weights, altitude, temperatures, etc. where you will be flying.
Hope this helps you determine which size balloon to buy. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to message us!